Love Songs (a somonka)

windowmorning

 

The sun is singing
love songs outside my window.
The trees join in,
harmonizing in the breeze.
Can you hear them, where you are?

The songs you’re hearing,
I whispered to the morning
— sent them to you on
the wings of a small blackbird
— cries, of my lust and wanting.

—–

POETIC FORM:

The somonka is a Japanese form. In fact, it’s basically two tankas written as two love letters to each other (one tanka per love letter). This form usually demands two authors, but it is possible to have a poet take on two personas. Click here for a refresher on the tanka.

AUDIO FILE:

Advertisements

Wading

sunsetonwatermohawk (2)

The woods were calling.

I sat at at the feet of my Wolf, with tears in my eyes, at having received unexpected news of loss. My heart was spilling over with sorrow, and I could only think of running to the trees. So she took me by the hand, and wiped tears from my eyes. She drove to our favorite set of trails, and let me lead the way. We hiked along, through wet grass and slippery mud as we made our way deeper into the wooded area and turned the corner to a favorite path — one that’s been under water  for months.

Accompanied by the frenzied calls of geese and ducks from the nearby marsh, we stepped from the planked walkway into ankle deep water feeling the mud suck and grasp at our boots. Sticking to the center of the path, or the edges, depending on the depth, she splashed along beside me, softly speaking words of love and encouragement, with a smile in her voice.

We waded.

And we talked, about the sorrow of losing a man who has loved me since the day I was born — he was one of the few people in this life I can say that about — and the sudden absence of his presence in this world was a reality I was struggling to absorb. But the woods and the water were soothing. Placing my hands against tree trunks was comforting, and the sound of her voice made it easier to breathe.

The sky overhead was dark, overcast by clouds that promised rain, but held off for reasons unknown. The sun would set in an hour, and the sounds of ducks and geese in preparation for this nightly event filled my ears. Finally, I found the place I’d been longing for since that morning — a stone bench surrounded by trees, deep enough in the woods that I knew I’d see wildlife, if only we were still for a little while.

I sat, and she stood — leaning against a nearby trunk, listening while I shared with her what was on my heart. As I wound down, and fell into thought, they came. First, it was two young deer, who stopped in the nearby copse of trees and stared at me, ears twitching, and bodies perfectly still. The near one and I gazed into each other’s eyes for several long moments, in silent conversation. Then the birds began to call from the tops of the trees, a woodpecker worked steadily in the distance, and briefly, a very large and beautiful brown owl graced us with a silent, overhead flight.

I breathed in these gifts of presence, and pointed out each of them to her, as she watched me. At one point she asked me to do her a favor, and it was really a gift she was giving to me. At her request, I chose a song (the one that had been in my heart all morning, since I’d heard the news) and queued it on my phone. She stepped away, wet, rippling, water sounds following her, as she retreated to some not-too-distant place behind my back, and left me alone in my sanctuary.

I pressed my boots into the sludge and water at my feet, imagining the mud between my toes as I grounded myself. I took a deep breath, before slipping my ear buds into my ears, and starting the song. I sobbed, breathed deeply, and let the words wash over me… just as the sun broke through the clouds over my left shoulder, and cast its reflection into the water at my feet like a blanket.

I cried until I  felt I could breathe again – thankful for this quiet, sacred space, and for a Wolf who would watch over me as I got lost in it. The song was set to repeat, and when it began again, I took another, deeper breath, and sang it aloud — to the trees, to the distant deer and the birds overhead, to the wet earth, the water and the sunlight pooling at my feet. I sang aloud, not caring who might hear, or how it might sound. It was my declaration and my prayer. The well of emotion in me surged, and I rode the wave, singing triumphantly,  in gratitude.

As the last notes faded, the beautiful sun pulled her blanket of cloud cover back over her shoulders and ducked toward the horizon. I watched for a moment, then stood slowly to my feet. I put away my phone, and gathered myself, turning to find my Wolf sitting not ten steps away, smiling softly at me. She took me by the hand and together we walked through the water, through the trees, and the fading sunlight — finding our way back to dry land.

—–

advice from e.e. cummings

climbing

*on a day when i face my climb alone,
a beloved poem by e.e cummings
can say everything i need to hear.
this is my response:

advice from e.e. cummings

run to the woods
for the sun is warm
he said, “trees are their roots
and wind is wind’

so, when you feel alone
climbing your mountain
you can “trust your heart
if the seas catch fire”

you’re surrounded by strength
you are loved by many,
so “live by love
though the stars walk backward”

the words of a fool
will lose their power in truth
while you ‘dance your death
away at this wedding’

———-

AUDIO FILE:

Questions (a shardorma poem)

 

rain

 

(for Tasha)

When it rains,
I wonder where are you?
Does it slip
on your skin,
like my fingers, making love?
Do you think of me?
When the sun
taunts the horizon,
as I might
linger near,
hoping to touch you again —
do you miss me, too?

 


POETIC FORM: SHARDORMA

Shardorma is a Spanish 6-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively. – See more at: http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides/poets/shadorma-a-highly-addictive-poetic-form-from-spain#sthash.bn2uFi5o.dpuf

The Morning After

Sunrise-1105725567

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.” ~Leo Tolstoy

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”  ~Anne Lamott

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”  ~John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
I didn’t write in May. Not a poem, not a blog post, not a journal entry.  I was too exhausted, too empty. Some days I didn’t even make it out of bed. I’m not too sure I wrote anyone a decent email, save the ones I wrote to “him”. We spent much of the month of May, and part of June conversing in emails and text messages, and sorting through the rubble of our life together. This might seem an alien sort of undertaking. You may think me a glutton for pain, or too kindhearted in my efforts to honor my heart, and my love for a man who after five years made the choice to end our relationship because his other lover insisted he choose or lose her. The truth is, I’ve wondered whether it might be easier to just hold my anger tightly, and walk away. In fact, I tried to do just that. In April, while they were on their honeymoon in Ireland, I spent two weeks fortifying my decision to stop allowing myself to be hurt by these two people I’d once promised to love forever. I was spent, and could not bear any more. I was relieved at the silence after six months of turmoil and grief. But I did not stay there.

 

For me, there is a rightness in finding understanding and healing after such a traumatic, painful breakup. The truth is, the work is hard. I finally had the chance in recent weeks to share some of my deepest hurts from this experience. I also heard some of his deepest hurts, and accepted my responsibility for some of his pain. I can tell you, it sucks. I’ve spent days, crying, sobbing out that pain and frustration. I’ve talked about what we’ve learned, what we would change, and what we will do differently going forward. I’ve heard things that made it very difficult to hold onto my own self-righteous anger, and things that pushed me to acknowledge humanity and a need for forgiveness and understanding in those who hurt me.

 

I have learned how to ask for help, and I’ve enlisted some help in healing my own life. I am living again, being productive, creative and active. My heart is stronger, and “he” is my friend. I’m learning to be  good friend to him. Maybe, somewhere in the future, there will be a friendship with “her”. I don’t know. I just know that I feel good about the work I’ve been doing, and I can see light at the end of this dark night. The sun is coming and I can’t wait to feel her warmth on my shoulders. Life is good, even when it hurts. I’m glad to be here, in the light.