This poem is dedicated to Hastywords,
who taught me the value of true friendship
A bowman knows his craft and his art
The deer only knows its fluttering heart
When the arrow pierces its tender mark
The bowman knows he must give
The deer knows she must part
I never knew of you before we met
Though in my heart you lived
For Love is born in the beating heart
Which the bowman hears and hunts
What once was a sacred mystery
Now lives on the tip of his arrow
But she broke it and lives in the dark
Not daring to hope, so full of sorrow
Distrustful of the bowman’s mark
He knew he could never hold her
Though she cried of lustful hunger
Rather than accept his tender gifts
For of a debt she would never owe
He wanted to tell her, but she said no.
She was locked in battle with her insecurity
But her defiance was all too polished and real
Not wanting to stray, not wanting to feel
Not wanting to falter beneath his loving touch
Denying her heart, for the distance too much
He broke his bow and beheaded his arrows
and blew out candles and laid them to rest
He wanted no shadow to witness
Her struggle, her half-hearted protest
He wanted to protect her dreams and her fears
So she could stop hiding her sweetness
Embrace new love, and cease hiding her tears
She knew she had fallen in impossible love
The kind she would lose and later write of
One heart divided would not much long beat
His arrow lay broken, like his heart at her feet
So she gathered the pieces, her joy and her bliss;
and offered the bowman her sweet-scented kiss
Then she thrust the arrow deep into his heart
And whispered goodbye as he entered the dark
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.
She spent half of her life
wearing the same pair of shoes.
When she first saw them, they were dazzling…
full of promise (and promises!)
Tightly laced and polished,
glistening like diamonds upon her feet.
They were immediately comfortable, and comforting.
At first, she walked through dark night forests
and midnight-winding streets; breaking them in,
smiling at the melody of new leather creaking
in harmony with the violin-sawing of cricket wings,
with the ruffling of the night owls feathers.
She dared to share her dreams, and danced in her new shoes
with abandon and trust and hope.
The shoes spoke to her of wondrous things to come…
making promises shoes should not make
but new love demands –
of forever cradling her feet against sharpened stones;
of warming her toes through winter’s storms;
of lifting her heals in rapturous dance…
She fell in love with these shoes,
flooded with dreams of where they might carry her.
Each morning, she slipped them on with tenderness and love;
each night, un-laced, she fell asleep clutching them to her breast…
…whispering sweet hallelujahs
for all the miles they had shared,
and would in all their ahead days walk,
promising – until death do us part!
She loved her shoes with complete abandon
and imagined they would always be as comfortable
as the day she first placed them upon her trusting feet-
each day praying these shoes would always love her in return;
with tenderness, truth, and above all else, never hurting her.
But the years went by, and those beautiful shoes began to wear.
With time, they lost their gloss, and the leather cracked and hardened.
She noticed, one morning, a tiny droplet of blood upon her sock;
Later, a small cut upon her heel, a new pain within her heart.
Yet still, devoted, she continued to wear them
though at night she began setting them beside her bed.
In the final year, she wept looking at these shoes;
they were now ugly shoes, painful shoes.
“These shoes,” she tearfully whispered,
“will never carry me to where I need to go.”
She could tell in other’s eyes that they
were glad these were her shoes and not theirs.
They never talked about her shoes.
They looked away in embarrassed empathy.
To learn how awful her shoes were might make them
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
She began, for the first time, to hate her shoes;
with guilt at first, then with an increasing passion
until one day an awareness swept through her thoughts:
“I deserve a better pair of shoes.”
She looked around, and for the first time understood
that she was not the only one who wore those shoes.
“There are many pairs in this world,” she thought.
I can either learn how to walk in them, timidly,
so they don’t hurt quite as much…
“…or I can throw them away.”
And she began to plan.
“No woman deserves to wear these shoes,” she cried.
So for the final few months, she gathered her courage
…..to throw them away.
Ironically, it was these shoes
that had made her a stronger woman.
These shoes had given her the strength to face anything.
They helped make her who she now was.
One day, she slipped them on a final time
feeling the worn leather against her savaged foot;
then, flooded with the intensity of love one can only feel
knowing love is forever lost…she kissed the shoe goodbye.
When the time was right, she took her shoes to a secluded ravine
kissed them, and tossed them…like an old pair of shoes,
into an abyss.
The shoes lay there broken, tattered, worn and useless.
The shoes could not speak of the love they held for the woman
For its tongue was torn.
Left to decay with nothing but the scent of the woman’s
tender hands scenting its laces, slowly fading.
As soon as the shoes were disposed of
she went barefoot into tomorrow, pain-free
and dancing and singing:
“I will forever walk the bare feet
of a woman who has lost her shoes!”
But in exactly one year, she slipped on another pair,
happy and in love again, dancing and laughing once more...
hoping against hope, forgetting old shoes,
willing with all her heart for this shiny new pair to carry her home.
As you know, from time to time I’ll feature a new poet on The Winter Bites My Bones. I am pleased to spotlight an emerging poet and talent, Steven Cehula. Although I’ve only known Steve a short time, there are few young artists that back passion with street crede in both his writing and his personality. Steve is an intelligent, intuitive young poet with an obvious thirst for the art of expressing the mysteries of living through the written word. Please join me in welcoming Steve to our WordPress family!
Petrichor in the air tonight,
as rain falls to my delight;
tumbling off angel wings,
as it falls the wind does sing.
Sing of now and sing of night,
present turns to past as dusk
doth flourish at loss of light.
So tumble down and cleanse the soul,
feeding grass make this earth whole.
About Steve Cehula:
Life Enthusiast. Born in Alaskan; now living and loving in South Orange County. I love to travel the world embracing the new cultures and friends I meet. Besides writing I have a voracious appetite for reading, fine food, and stimulating conversation.
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.