December 31, 2011

The End, the end, the end....

   My Last Thoughts On Virginia Woolf


  I sit by my window, and my hand trembles as I attempt to write in my journal; my last journal page, but I cannot help but look out of this window and see the colors of the evening sky, the orange and gold mixed with blue, soon to be covered with a gauze of blackened hue. 

     Shades will be drawn across this scene, and bombs will be dropped, and burst, filtering a dim light through this darkness, but for now my beautiful fields are there before me.  The grass blades wave to and fro; moods are contemplative, complicated and complete, a moment in time within, and without, searching the sun, the moon, the sky, and the seas, all faces of humankind; found, lost, searching for love, though I have ridiculed, articulating my rule.

     My demise, I see in my own eyes.  I see reflections on this old shiny surface.  I see into the whys and the wherefores.  I see into the words of friends and foes alike; the works of a million years, to be criticized, and delved, and probed, and shelved.  My own worst enemy I see now.
 
     I think about my life, as it was then, as it is now; I feel the ages of time through these tremors of mine, through these headaches and pains, and my age is a haunting reminder, all inclusive years both wanted, wanting, and unwanted, bombing me with nerves that halt and spin my mind; time spent with voices that reached out to me, yet holding me down in recline, in darkness, in moods and depths not even the written word can describe.  What does it mean, to be ill?  Can anyone explain these feelings? The shades are drawn; darkness falls, as night must, it is happening.....Dawn ascends...

     Damn you!  Leave me, oh life, oh leave me!  You are cumbersome, you are inhibiting, you are prohibiting forward motion, damn you!  I have loved you, I have hated you.  Night and Day, my worst critic, leave me!

December 22, 2011

I Believed



Do you see the flag quiver in the breeze, next to the pole; do you see the frayed threads gently brushing along its side? 

I wait
I watch
I anticipate

I peek between the curtains of my window. I see nothing that would alarm me, no branches bending, no fronds careening across the street, no tumbleweeds caught beneath the undercarriage of a car.  I stand and watch the flag move up and down, back and forth, assuming my world was secure, nothing to worry me. I was out of harm's way.

Yes, I wanted to believe, but then
I was taken by surprise, again 

A leaf flutters to the ground, and then rises up, higher and higher, it is a sense of what may come; it’s taken away, this leaf, and calm changes to chaos; the earth begins to vibrate, and a long, slow rumbling descends from the sky. 

I’m vigilant, but more than surprised
How fast you intensified

The air and rain batter my window pane with unseen force, attempting to drive my world apart and did I not tell you, never come back, you hold my pose, you mock me with the wave of a flag.

Haunting
Taunting

I cannot stand here and watch, but I cannot walk or run away for fear of being hurled, taking me again and again, away from my world.

You deceived me
I believed in you
Am I never to be free

December 11, 2011

Charmed

A luxurious overture, a song, a tune, you enthrall me with heat
A breeze
 An undertone
 Covered by music’s beat

You take my breath, you horde, in my nakedness you steal
Fake
 False
Never once real

I leaned into you, strong, pounding pulses you hurled my way
Exasperated horned voices, I heard in dismay
You unpredictable wind of the night insane
Exit my life the way you came!

I plummet
I fall
I fell
 I flew

Calling your name
 Conundrum
 Puzzler
Poser

It’s all just a game


December 8, 2011

Winds of Rage



It’s a cold wind blowing today
Plunge soaring wings into gravity’s eye

You remind me of the wind
Gales propel a howling voice

Everything groans
Droning gusts of force let fly

I need silence
Lashing, turning, twisting

The wind is howling brute force
Humble resistance failing

I hate the unpredictable wind
Felling the strong

I wish it would stop
A tremulous hush settles, look around

I need solitude
Trees, lines and limbs at a standstill 

Nature, the evocative you
Silence falls to the ground

November 27, 2011

Formidable


Aged rough hewed; a window is barred with wire in which only the smallest of living things can enter, and hung beside is a circle, a loop of sharp studded metal.  A painful reminder curves its way around weather torn wood.

Against it steals
hidden endless lengths
 unrevealed

The barren land shelters near
a growth of straw colored weeds
a friend and companion to fear

November 21, 2011

Run


Clouds lowered themselves across the plaines, rolling in a gray and foreboding mass – sultry, salt laden wet droplets wanting to seize the living, the breathing creatures that inhabit a domain called earth.

Take heed and listen
run, run, run away

The fog tumbled
The earth trembled

Run, run, run away
escape from this prison

Wetness oozed its way through and over the silk strands of time, encompassing a dusty film with a coating of mud, taking; sucking life without care.

Before you are locked in
run, run, run away

The mortals ran
The mud stuck

Run, run, run away
away from forbidden sin

Dense and thick, layer upon layer, the fog folded itself upon the fruit. 


Don’t ask me how
just run, run, run  
run away now

November 7, 2011

Rest (Haiku)

flowers rest your head
nurturing smiling faces
fall prepares your bed


Time (Haiku)

 Wisdom born of age
Pages of parchment here lies
Turn the leaves of time

November 6, 2011

Remember

A slight breeze touched the side of the curtain
she backed away into shadow

Remembering
he passed this way
A long while ago

A letter held in his weathered hand
she watched  from the window and yearned

Days came
they went
he never returned


November 5, 2011

Gone

turning my insides out
I need to write
rust splashes
paint peels

chain hangs suspended
nothing in sight
no crossing
beware

CLOSED
but then:

Please CALL AGAIN

October 30, 2011

Exfoliation

Trees burst
Life starts
Limbs bud
Leaves open
Living

Trees sway
Burning radiation
Brittle days
Breaking apart
Dying

October 29, 2011

Days End


Photograph by Kathleen S. Shattuck

Clouds, you brought the rain
With tears, holding pain

All is caught, within His hand
Cared for, these grains of sand

Tree, lift your branch above

Bough bend, acknowledge love

Forever children, without end
Hear us now, tears again

Precious time, we have on earth
 Moments all, giving birth

Days end, the seeds are sown
Stand still, all is grown

Look up, to warmth of sun
And life, His work is done

For Sandra with love

October 25, 2011

Passing

 Photgraph by Kathleen S. Shattuck


Touch the night and let it cry
  Touch the heart and let it fly
    Touch with heat of pulses sob
      Touch with tips of fingers throb

Catch the moon and cast away
  Catch the stars that lead the way
    Catch with tides our paths will try
      Catch with waves of years gone by

Hold the currents steady now
  Hold the depth of sounding prow
    Hold with muted noise of stern
      Hold with hearts we softly yearn

For Monday
Rest in peace, Ed

October 24, 2011

Crossing Lines

The sharp barbs extend, pointing - cutting into the skin of recognition with pokes and prods, suffocating with scars that fold the skin layer upon layer.

Wounds  
hiding the hurt

The gut twists, as barbed wire - a cruel notion of love to which the age-old line of distinction is blurred by rust, encrusted deep.

Corroding  
line with time

October 19, 2011

Searching

Even though I knew grass was growing taller; plants and trees were spreading their branches and leaves, and flowers never ceasing to open their buds to bloom, it was the clouds that came into my view on that exceptional, motionless day.  Not a breath of air could I feel, nothing moved around me, that I could see, except the scuffle of my feet. 
I could hear the chirp of birds, singing their songs, and the bees buzzing in their making of honey; I could hear these noises of affirmation, that life was all around me, never silent, never still, but why did I feel this halting sense of longing from this earth? What made this day so unlike all the rest of my days?

*******************************

In the distance, I could see the tractor, bright orange, parked in the middle of the field, abandoned to the hard packed, weed covered soil.  It stood apart from the hues of gray beneath the tread of tires.  The metal rakes, hooked to the rear, dragged to a stop out of weariness by this tractor, now abandoned to rust.
I walked through the field, on this mystifying day, and saw the clouds, how they swirled lines and flattened the foreground into the sky, melting the hills away and becoming the background for the living.  I felt as though this tractor was about to challenge an ominous, bleak form of nature; the sky and the land threatened against all struggles for survival.  What was this orange monolith trying to convey to me on that day?

Loneliness, I found upon his death
Waiting
With that, darkness shrouded the sky
Listening
The wind began to howl, breathing, that’s what I could hear
Near
The sky lifted, swayed in a torment, expanding into life
Strife
And to this, it was all I could do but to listen, and watch
Searching

The tractor’s motor turned, and this great machine moved slowly forward, pulling tires out from their sluggish positioning in the holes, almost flat where they had slept for years.  Slowly, they crept along, without knowing a destination.  The wheels turned, and a loud cracking sound resonated from pieces of metal wrenching loose from bolts and screws, metal which had held the rake as one, years ago, but now falling to the ground in large chunks of useless iron, no longer searching.
I thought of you, as you once sat upon this tractor, erect, and silent.  You would bow into the wind, steering wheel in your grasp; you turned it around and around.  The tires climbed the hill, dust billowing beside you, just as I saw you on that day. 
You smiled that day – yes, you smiled at me.  I see that smile, as if it were yesterday.  You waved, I waved back.
You leaned across your hands; you swayed with the motor humming its low rumble.  The clouds perched high in the sky, waiting to take their turn at churning the earth, to humble this rider, this man who sat upright in his wide metal seat.  He pushed hard, into the gears, to make the last pass at the field ahead of him, when out of the sky, a bolt came from this single cloud, hitting its mark as if it was meant to be, falling, down he came, to the ground he dropped, in front of my blinded eyes. 

blinded was I
that day when the clouds rolled in
blinded to the notion that every day would follow every day
just as it had before, and would always continue to be
that was my man
who sat erect upon his tractor in the field of green
he fell that day
and no one in this world can be seen on that tractor
 but the tractor moves as if it had the same heart
the heart that struggled up and down those high green hills
 year after year
this is where my heart remains, on that one summer’s day

Through tears, I see an orange blur of steel; the tractor sits in the dusk of evening,  quiet and alone - the gray clouds move on, leaving night to take hold of a memory, a memory of that day, a day where everything stood still, a day an orange tractor came to life – but, curiously, existence around me may stand motionless, but memories within continue searching.

September 2, 2011

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow


 
Yesterday, a book came to my door, and I held it in my hands last night.  It was a new book for me to read about Virginia Woolf.  It’s called A Moment’s Liberty, The Shorter Diary....Virginia Woolf’s diaries, abridged and edited by Anne Oliver Bell, with an introduction by Quetin Bell.   I do have the whole of the fifth and last diary, but can’t bring myself to finish it.  It will end her life, when I do.  I held A Moment’s Liberty in my hands last night, and cried.  Why did I cry?  Because a life of 59 years, she took it into a river and ended. 

This note to her husband, Leonard:
"I have a feeling I shall go mad," the note read. "I cannot go on any longer in these terrible times. I hear voices and cannot concentrate on my work. I have fought against it but cannot fight any longer. I owe all my happiness to you but cannot go on and spoil your life."

I’ve read many books about Virginia Woolf.  I’ve read many books by Virginia Woolf, but as I held this one, I knew it could be the last.  I cried.  I became angry at Virginia Woolf for taking her life.  I cried as I threw this book across the room.  Yes, I was angry that she took herself away from me.  But, I can’t stay angry, knowing of her illness, and the intimate details of this woman’s life.

Her illness throughout her life was both a blessing and a curse, yes, a blessing, in that her writing was a reflection of who this woman was, in her mind, her heart, through all circumstances, every day that she breathed,  she dealt with this battle of wanting, needing, to know the answers to the question, “why?”.  She took nothing for granted, in her need to know these answers, especially as they reflected on the life around her.

I can understand this.  I’ve felt, and do feel, this need to know.  It’s hard for me to admit that I’ve tried to put my feet in her shoes.  I’ve felt what she felt, as she walked those paths she’s talked about in her stories, fiction or non fiction, these paths live on.  I felt, for a breath of a moment, the cold water that washed over her, as she stepped into that river that day.

We can’t take anything for granted, especially in what this one and only life holds for us.

September 1, 2011

What is Beauty?


Beauty only goes so deep.  How deep, you ask, as deep as one allows, until ugliness takes a firm grip.  It oozes, and drips, and seeps, until it has revealed to you its worth.  What is its worth, you ask, it says, nothing, nothing at all, in its silence that mortifies the living, and assaults the dead.

August 29, 2011

From Nowhere With You

A million miles from nowhere, she placed her hands upon her lover’s face.

A million miles from nowhere, she said, I’ll take you to a place across the miles to nowhere, she said I’ll love you until forever through all the years, she did not fear a million miles from here.

She only feared what was near.  

A Cloud


The air was still, that is until a cloud rolled across the sky, and sat; watching this moment, a moment is all it took to want to look back.

you drive me to tears
you twist, you turn around in my heart
you tied these strings in knots
you plucked and twanged

Shadows, of lights and darks, looking for a place to sit, and wait, and stay; it was quiet, until a cloud rolled across the sky that day.

you torment my life, the cool and the quiet of my life
you heat the air, you boil the waters of azure
you batter the earth, reckless with torrents
you turn a cloud from white to black

The rains came down, down; earth sucking the life out of this cloud, and every drop drenched the dry parchment of leaves.

The butterflies flew, the frogs jumped; the rabbits bounded away looking after a cloud which rolled across the sky of cerulean blue that day.

August 17, 2011

The Marionette



Around and around, the marionette danced, her arms in the air, her legs going here, then there, as the music played on, and on, and on.

Fingers pulled, each length of string, one by one, and one by one she danced to the music, and as it played she would swing, on and on, on and on

The face of the marionette looked up, then down, then all around, with eyes of paint, the color of brown.

The hair of the marionette was black as the night, face fringed with curls, it wound round and round and round her face, ever so tight.

The strings of the marionette twisted, and wound, her arms hung limp, then taut, she danced to the music, a puppet forgot.

She was real, she was alive, with music infused, she could smile, she could laugh, and she danced as she cried.

To the left, to the right, as she turned she stirred, she bent, she skipped, and they danced to the night.

With a twist of the thread she was real for a moment, she dipped, she swayed, she swung, she performed in her strings, until tangled she hung.



August 2, 2011

A Voice

  
Hush, hold your breath
Don’t move, I can feel you
The heart waits
The mind waits
Delirious, cacophonous noise awaits movement
Dissonant chords, twanging vibrato
Delicious, drumming and humming to
Invisible, silent beats
Don’t speak, she said
Don’t make a sound, she pled
She waits
A limb quakes
I’m afraid
I’m frail
I’m full
I’m overwhelmed
Don’t breathe, she said
Her exhale rocks the sea
but all she said was
hear
me

July 17, 2011

Catching Life in a Butterfly Net

 
Running though the field of green, yellow, and brown
Hanging in mid air, waiting, waiting, and waiting-----for what?
Throwing my arms, and slinging my net over my shoulder from the ground

What do we wait for? 
What is this thing called life? 
Can’t be a butterfly, can it?

Stumbling, climbing over the ground strewn with boulders
Net in hand, suspense waits for no one
Holding my breath, taught limbs and shoulders

Scratched, I aimlessly thrash about the foliage
Looking, looking, and looking for what this thing is we call life
Swing the net far and wide, make the move, and show the courage

July 11, 2011

Resurrection

Hop, skip and a jump
Snap
crackle
pop!

The air vibrates -
electricity whistles a tune
come hell or high water
come midnight or noon

no escape the flowing
Joy floods the unknowing
Love soothes
 shapes

 molds to the heart
love pulls
 then tears it apart
Love

hesitates
inundates
translates
to

snap
crackle
pop!

Pleas


Love soars and fills the air, taking its place
in a darkened room

Love travels upward, higher and brighter
until flashing lights illume

Love takes the heart, eager to breathe
wanting to cry
don’t let me go
you and I

Love whole and complete
you hear yourself say
Don’t leave me now
stay somehow stay

Night pulls at the soul
days hang in the balance
voices out loud
this teetering valence


Tears Speak


Down, down across the fullness of the cheek, catching amongst the lines weaving their way down from the eyes, tears fall.  Down.

Into the corners of the mouth, salt gathers, licked away by the tongue, across lips, the edges of time, come down, down, spoken sublime.

Burning the throat, tears fall across centuries of battles, gifts, and strong holds of love, salt laden crystals flow faultless morsels of hurt.

Not dusty nor dry, barren or battered
Tears of love swell with elation about all
Not to be mistaken for hatred.  That matters
Eyes look down, down into the heart, where tears must fall.

July 9, 2011

Resentment


I mean what I say, when I say goodbye
The roller coaster skims the track
Up
Up one side
Down
 Down the other side
You say not a word, when I say goodbye
I mean what I say, when I say goodbye!
No, I’m back!  I’m back!
Don’t let me come back!
I meant what I said,
Goodbye!
Down, down to the bowels
Up, up to you I fly
skim the track, suspend in air
hovering silhouette
the voice howls
Don’t come back!

June 30, 2011

Rain - Wind

 
Rain
My heart was hung out in the rain
Pull it in!  I cried.  Pull it in!
It vanished like frost on a window pane
Too late, too late, simply too late
Too long in the rain! I cried
It melted like frosting on a cake

Wind
The wind blows harsh currents across the seas, oceans turn, twist, rise, move to the swell of surface white caps, secretly placing shiny crystals upon these lips, as they tell you their secrets. Are you listening to the wind, is your ear close by?

Do you taste the savory, do you feel the bite upon your skin, all the while wind batters your side, telling you, whispering to you, saying to you, don’t cry?

“You don’t have to understand”, it speaks in a low, tremulous voice. 

“She doesn’t know how to die”
the voice is heard over the wind, in a sigh
“I’m here to make it clear “
the wind murmurs in her ear