I awoke to a kiss, a whispered taste
softly pressed upon my face,
and in that moment, my soul, it wished
to know once more that soulful kiss!
Yet it was a vapor of a waking dream.
Nothing more; not what it seemed.
These wretched ghosts that find delight
in morning’s light, dancing and playing
betraying with the dust of sorrowed dreams
promises broken, and vows false spoken!
Violently shaken in the sudden waking
arms no more to hold me tight
through winter nights…I am awake. I am awake.
Where, gentle caress of morning rain?
that eases my pain; The merciful patter
that shatters my hold on false dreamt love
each drop above my window pane, slowly
washing in rivulets the memories set
under granite stone..I lie alone. I lie alone.
Enduring ink upon the page, how do I gauge
What’s real? What’s myst? What’s relevant?
Unlock the night, Release my dreams
silence the screams, and write for me
an ending poem, whereby I lie here not alone.
How sweet the dream that never ends?
Where love ascends and kisses dealt
are truly felt in dark of night.
In the bitter waves of loss,
Thrashed and tossed about,
By the sullen winds of life that blow,
From the desolate shores of doubt,
Where the anchors of love once cast
In search of eternal purchase
Now dragging useless in sorrow’s gale.
I am quietly holding fast, holding alone
To the things that cannot fail.
That’s what I seek (although my heart knows full well)
The truth is, I may never be able to know for sure why.
But I do know that there is no single
“Should have done” or “could have done”
Or “did” or “didn’t do”
That would have changed that why.
All that love could do was left undone.
This shipwreck, my castaway life,
This endless frothing of cold, death-capped waves
Was due to my taking my eyes off the horizon
Where our dreams were setting with the dying sun.
Letting go of regrets is not some passive undertaking.
Regret is a weight that anchors us in the past,
rendering the future as unobtainable.
Letting go takes courage and lots of sweat.
It takes a willingness to allow pain to run its course.
We are forever changed by the failures of yesterday.
Who we are today barely resembles who we were yesterday.
The heartaches and the pervasive sense of loss
can either pull us down into the morass of self-pity,
or it can catapult us from the depths of relentless sorrow
to the heights of new joy.
It all depends on upon a readiness to face the sun
as it rises upon a new day.
Upon how hungry we are to feed the possibility
that something more, something better
awaits us in the infinite possibilities of tomorrow.
Memories are like a cracked mirror;
they can only serve to offer us
a distorted reflection of our true selves.
Memories seduce us with useless thoughts and images
of what was, of what might have been.
But memories are a poor substitute
for imagination and hope.
If we are ever to break free from the shackles of our past,
we must first wean ourselves from our addiction to memories.
Our addictive behavior is the root of all suffering.
But much like the heroin addict
who struggles and writhes in agonizing pain
as he kicks his deadly habit,
we, too, must find within ourselves
the strength and courage
to kick our dependence on self-recrimination
and useless reflection.
The soul is a restless being;
it is constantly expanding
and demanding room to grow
and to breathe.
Let’s be honest –
the air has been sucked from yesterday,
and when we exist with our hearts and our feet
planted in the past,
we deny our souls the essential life force
needed to carry us further
toward our fullest potential.
In the very moment that we let go,
we invite a rapture that can feed and satisfy the soul.
Be brave. Face the emptiness.
Wrap yourself in self-love.
Live once more.
When the sun sets, when its dying rays
filters through my bedroom window
I get the full brunt of this powerful star.
It is beautiful and blinding.
I feel its warming fingers softly caressing
my cheek; it dries the last traces of my tears.
Today, as the sun came into its latitude
to be shining directly on me,
I close my eyes beneath its warmth
remembering brighter days.
Was this the same sun that kissed us
on our first walks upon the beach?
Was this the same sun that cast
its light on our wedding day?
Many people have expressed their love
to both of us throughout this process,
and many people have let us know
that it may be God’s will this, or God’s will that.
And it may well be.
But I know one thing.
We were both born of this organic, living universe.
Star matter is within us. We are forever connected
beneath the arch of its healing light.
I have never felt more in the presence of the supernatural
than today, with this mighty being shining on us,
me here, in my thoughts, you, there, wherever you are.
I can almost see the last breaths of our togetherness
in the stardust that once showered the idea of “us”
being pulled back towards that Sun.
It is as if the Sun had decided to choose this moment,
to envelop the two of us in divergent beams of light,
and take us back, separately, back to the stars.
In a way, it is beautiful.
This Sun, our Sun, reminds me
to live more fully, more appreciatively, and more happily.
I won’t think of a marriage that has died.
I’ll think of those moments we had to dance in its light.
With much love and sadness.
The redwoods swayed softly;
their crowns in the planets,
toes tucked below soft earth
under carpets of wet needles
beneath our feet.
This is how we said our soft goodbyes.
Our love, our forever love,
lay smoldering in the fire.
I could see the flames flickering
in her dampened eyes.
I looked away, ashamed and afraid;
too much the coward to own her pain.
She said it was the smoke –
one final lie to comfort me.
We speak in the soft, cordial tones of defeat
the air hanging heavy and silent between us.
Neither of us could hear the babbling brook
gently washing away the last remnants of hope.
I will hold back my tears,
and the wrenching of my heart,
for the long, dark lonely nights ahead.
Tonight, my love, my forever lost love,
let us wrest some comfort and warmth
from the dying embers of this bitter fire.
Beneath these redwoods gently swaying
gather one last bouquet of memories
to set us on our separate ways.
Photo Credit: Jeff Jones, Photographer
(image of his daughter, Valerie)
Skin softly bleached like the Southern twilight
freckle-kissed face ‘neath the Ozark ‘s skylight
fire-red locks and curls tossed by stormy winds
Pa’s softly-pressed dimple upon her boyish chin
Green eyes revealing her faded innocence
a determined gaze, a child’s jaded reverence
for a young life lived beneath the savage blows
of poverty’s yoke, though no one knows
for this girl who bravely looks right through you
wears a forthright courage, honest and true
She rides a bitter storm that’s never-ending
twelve tender years in fields deep-bending
with calloused hands plucking earth’s creations
like her kinfolk have done for generations
Laughing like a banshee, she dances in the rain
holding back her tears as she swallows her pain
A motherless child born to a colorless world
still she sings of a future, of hope yet unfurled
she sings of the woods, and the trails, and the streams
of infinite hope and impossible dreams
She could never be pressed to surrender this hour
‘neath the soft Ozark moonbeams that fill her with power
to endure what she must, though she’s only a child
under dark gathering clouds she stands there beguiled
filled with wonder and light behind a soft-freckled face
she presents to the world the persona of grace