Promises


“Just so you know, despite the darkness and despair of some of my poetry, here’s a glimpse of the more hopeful and soulful affirmation of my personality” Anyone laughs, I un-follow!

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PROMISES

You ask if love’s forever
A promise I can’t make
But if I could, or thought I should
I would not hesitate

I’d promise you forever
And then a day or two
If I were free to guarantee
Forever loving you

But promises are born of doubt
A doubt that’s seldom real
The love we know can only grow
In trusting what we feel

Yet, I’ll promise you this moment
If words can still your fears
Just hold me now and show me how
To love you through the years

 

Dedicated to Brooke and Her Sister


This is dedicated to two sisters who I have recently come to know and adore. They are the embodiment of what this poem attempts to convey – that we are transformed by the love one has for another.  I’ve posted this before, but never has it spoken so loudly until I understood the transforming love these two sisters have shared in their very special bond.

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By Pino – Two Sisters in “Afternoon Respite”

LOVE”S TRANSFORMING HAND

I don’t profess to understand
The power of Love’s transforming hand
But I can’t deny what’s plain to see
Loving you is changing me

As a child walking on the shore
I saw the ocean…nothing more
I cried, “Oh God – what senseless waste
This vast expanse of liquid space.”

Yet now, with your hands guiding me
I cherish the life within the sea
I built myself a one room home
And dared to live there all alone

It wasn’t that I did not care
Just felt I had not much to share
But now, beneath Love’s soft caress
I simply have to give my best

I once viewed stars as nothing much
Cold, distant worlds beyond my touch.
I had no need for cheap sensations
Built on simple constellations

Then Love’s hand touched me through your heart
And I knew that stars were heaven’s art
No, I don’t profess to understand
The power of Love’s transforming hand

But I can’t deny what’s plain to see
Loving you is changing me

The Skirt


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You laid your plaited skirt
on the foot of my bed,
neatly folded as though
in doing so you could somehow
retain your virtue.

In the midst of our fleshy thrashing,
I kicked it to the floor, and you began
to cry, deep sobs that rattled
the mattress springs.

I moved, too reluctantly, to retrieve it
but you said, “Why bother? You’ve ruined it.
You’ve ruined me. You’ve ruined everything!”

Making love doesn’t always
mean making sense,
and so I threw my feet to the floor,
pulled on my jeans, and looked back,
although I would never be able to see.

“So that’s it?” you sobbed.
“You bastard!”

I smiled In affirmation, buttoned my shirt,
and turned toward the door,
and as an afterthought, picked up
your once plaited skirt, tossed it
carelessly over my shoulder,

and left.

 

It Is The Season


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“God talks in the trees.”
— Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas

It is the season of sleeping late
while dreaming of red-orange trees
shuddering in the evening breeze.
These are the short days
when the thirst for warmth suborns desire
and Eros kisses summer love goodnight.

It is the season of crimson sunsets
pouring slowly, like thick molasses,
over church steeples and frozen riverbeds.
When snow-pregnant clouds float lazily
across flower-less meadows
and lovers seek shelter beneath heavy quilts.

It is the season of naked trees,
with branches like fingers extending
toward the setting sun, tracing delicate arches
across the rose autumn sky.
Those days when the blackbird flies southward
into the night beneath crystal constellations.

It is the season of surrender,
when burdens, like the yellowing leaves,
fall silently to the frozen earth
and tired bones warm themselves before tended fires.
It is the season of dying in the palm of God’s hand;
comforted in the knowledge of spring’s resurrection.

A Poet’s Affection


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The phases of life, the marking of time;
I lived two weeks, four months,
six months before moving on.
There were no long-term relationships –
one night, maybe a week, perhaps two.

Love was too expensive for a traveler,
much too heavy to carry in a bag or box.
I put my days on paper, ending one story,
another poem filed away, me moving on.
There would always be another day,
another pretty face, a warm body
to hold through another cold night .
True love by the hour or day, I could afford that.

That’s what I thought at the time.

I sold my poems, sad stories, many years ago.
I didn’t sell them for money;
it was always a trade , a fair exchange I thought.
The perfect and ideal love
burning so bright, but not very long.

 

The Following Two Poems Just Published by Indiana University’s Literary and Arts Journal


I am extremely honored that two of my poems, “Graveyard” and “Corner Bar” have been published in the spring edition of “From the Well House” – Indiana University’s Literary and Arts Journal. Please visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fromthewellhouse  I am reposting the two poems here in honor of my “Followers” who push me to keep writing with their support and encouragement.  These two poems are for you! ~ Thank you….Dennis McHale

GRAVEYARD

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I always found the
taste of Heaven stale,
like coffee three days old.

I prefer to spend my nights
in graveyards with ghosts,
in the company of stone angels
and cemetery cats
whispering my secrets to the dead.

The setting sun casts
dying fingers of soft orange light
through rusting iron gates,
lobbing sharp, offensive shadows
across these cold granite faces.

Above, an unkindness of ravens
caw an unspeakable truth.
Of late, I have been known
to sing with them.

My darkness is a sanctuary,
my voice a broken prayer.
My hope deeply planted
in this field of shattered bones
awaiting a resurrection
that shall never come.

Here among the sleeping dead
I have lain down many times,
and in the stillness of the night
have heard my death composed.

CORNER BAR

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It always felt familiar and safe;
not like home, but filled with that same tragic scent
of failure, futility, and confusion.
In this darkened chapel, night after night,
we feigned brotherhood, but watched our backs.
We found religion in tall tales
and twisted notes floating softly from the jukebox.
The enormity of the lies exchanged was staggering,
yet not once was truth demanded.

Here, we worshiped and blessed ourselves
at the mahogany and brass altar of amber absolution,
our sins washed in a flood of cheap whiskey and stale beer.
Our bottles filled the night with dead words and hungry ashtrays
and all these incessant “maybes”
while shameless calls for “another!” filled the tepid air.

We licked the back of our teeth
and bought rounds for the prostitute sitting there all alone,
hunched over to entice our drunken libidos.
We adored her, this faded Madonna,
with her chipped teeth and sagging breasts,
reeking of a stale alcohol and tragic perfume.
Where once there had been beauty and life
some bastard had beaten it out of her;
taking everything that made a woman good and reduced her to this.
Our prayers were answered
in the way this whore swallowed you whole
in the back room’s secret confessional
where you keep her words tightly knit
in the dark corners of your heart.

This was the flip-side of our saintly home-lives;
our souls consumed in the repetition of it all.
We whispered our hallelujahs as the clock struck two;
last call and a slow retreat into the shameless shadows of wretched existence,
as God soundly closed the doors behind us.

Where I Live


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How temperamental is the man in me
who misses you but will not call this because
I find the thought of romance more alluring
than actually opening myself to you?
I drink to burn the voices in my belly
that mock my tenuous hold on sanity.
I buy my smokes one at a time because
I have no vision of or faith in tomorrow
and I make my living scratching the underbelly of
this wretched world;
This desolate city, crumbling beneath the
broken wings of blackbirds…it is my home.
It is where I live. My pen scrapes past
its veneer of civility and sheds light upon
the ugly, the lost, the torn asunder. My people.
I take my walks at night under many clouds
all dressed in muted black.
I am callous with the hipsters and the tweakers
camped by the muddy rivers, and the hookers
and the pimps and the holy man and the
goddamned garish fluidity of this headache world.
I live in a city of fifty thousand accumulated flesh tombs
or more pretending about the news and the weather
with their minds drifting always back to the same
goddamned thing. How pathetic to be so far away
in space but not in time?
How desperate is the faith convinced by two arguments;
Both to be and not to be?
When I stumble, I lean against the wall or the lamppost
reading a page of Plath or passage of Hemingway
and all I can think is how courageous their exits were.
I yearn for their knowledge of the final crossing.
I read words, not novels, because words
are better spit than woven.
I refuse my fate gazing at my expiration date
and pouring another drink, I turn off the radio and
sit silently in the dark chambers of my thoughts.
I remember you, but me? I do not.

Beneath a Dust of Snow


snow

The darkly puffed clouds, pregnant with snow,
hang dark and bitter and over mountaintops flow.
A cowardly moon casts a muted light, reflecting
scattered jewels across the veil of night;
Winter descends.
The rippling hills in the park in dusted white repeat;
streets grow eerily silent beneath unmoving feet . . .
The timeless face ticking on the old clock tower
shivers as the bell strikes its mournful hour.
The city sleeps unaware, or lost in the memory
of yesterday’s warmth and illumination.

He, from his frost-laced window panes
in silent rumination, stares out in pain
over the bitter whiteness of the slumbering town,
Seeing through swirls of white softly floating down
one candle burning in the window of a shuttered house
where this night the flame of love was cruelly doused
as she, in death’s harsh grip and coiled embrace
surrendered the light that transformed her face.
The frozen earth, itself reluctant to let her go
as he laid his love to rest beneath a dust of snow.

He desires like this to forget what will not pass,
Grey death, stale ugliness, and the sodden grass.
Deep in his heart old bells are beaten again,
Slurred bells of grief and twisted pain.
Dull echoes of hideous places where poisons grow,
he desires to drown in a cold white peace of snow.

Letting Go


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Slip away my son, your night has come
As this day unwinds the sorrow
And do not fear the bells you hear
They ring a bright tomorrow

See the stars above, shining bright, my love
It reveals a path for you
Take one step to be heaven bound and free
Your spirit’s been renewed

It has been my boy, the utmost joy
To hold and love you true
If I must let go, you must surely know
How proud I am of you

Take my hand my dear, and feel me near
Let go these earthly hollows
Feel the light within as you now ascend
And know that I will follow

 

Sisters in Silence: an Ode to Brooke by D.L.McHale


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Your meaning falls
like a silent waterfall pouring
over polished stones,
continually filling the well
of my heart with a perfect understanding.
Your hands are busy
painting words across the sky
the sparkle in your eye
provides the “what” and “why.”
It shatters my heart
because I never heard your voice
If I could give you anything,
I’d give you a choice
To whisper, just once,
all the dreams that you hold
To know that I love you,
if my words were so bold.

In your quiet moments,
I hear you louder than
one thousand angels
singing their lofty hallelujahs.
Without a word spoken,
the wall of silence broken,
Without a word heard,
you communicate more
wisdom and compassion
and joy than will ever
be found in the
incessant mumblings of those
who speak
but do not seek to be understood.

With your pen,
you push light across the page
dispelling the dark
from those who can’t know
how in art
you give us a glimpse of your soul.
with a pad and a pen
you erase my thoughts
your words are contagious,
when all that I sought
was to hold you and love you
with all of my heart.

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Heart and Soul


rose

The heart beats strong for what it will
Yet still I seek to master
My thoughts within or outward spilled
Inviting sure disaster
The love I seek, or hope to keep
Isn’t mine to choose
The sweet delights and dreamy nights
Are only mine to lose
Our soul is but an open door
Through which flows passion’s fire
Though oft’ ignored, it stands much more
The beacon of my desire
The heart bestows on those who know
That love is never what it seems
The arrows flung from Cupids bow
Pierce the few and far between
Be still the beating of your heart
And to this verse stay true
The heart and soul both play a part
In bringing love to you

 

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In Memory of Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens


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Oh, Brother! Heaven your great soul doth claim
As we humbly sing of your immortal and righteous fame;
Libya’s vast beauty you did us, in love,  engage,
Where you sought nobler objects in our civil rage:
And, with wise conduct, to your home country showed
The hope, the promise on this, our land bestowed.
The crown of a hero you must now eternal wear,
On your victorious head, sadly now lay prostrate there.
We that loved you, grieve, concerned this day to see
Such a price for liberty and freedom, which is never free
In heaven angels weep at such an untimely death
In unimaginable grief we Libyans mourn with a single breath

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IF JUST ONCE MORE by D.L. McHale


 

A heart divided cannot beat for long
An unsung note cannot be called a song
The dancer spins a lonely pirouette
Who dances only with her silhouette

The un-prayed prayer on deaf ears fall
Despite the soul’s relentless call
This crowded world is such an empty place
When from heaven, too, angels fall from grace

The flames of love that burn so bright
Without lips to kiss becomes a dying light
The promise of love that is unreturned
Is the loneliest truth for man to learn

The sun may rise, but each day descends
Like a long, dark night that will never end
The longest path for he who walks alone
Are the shuffled steps toward an empty home

In winter’s grip, luscious gardens shorn
Though the wilted rose still bears its thorns
Yet all these sorrows I would dare embrace
If just once more I could see your face

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Supriya


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I think a while of Supriya, and while I think,
She’s the reason I write poems with India ink
To make permanent my words, my thoughts, my love
For this beautiful vision sent from heaven above
“Greatly Beloved” is what her name means
Angels whisper her name, or so it seems
She’s the setting of the sun and the rising of the moon
Her grace floods my heart like a summer monsoon
Her poetic heart understands my desire
Her songs and poems do my muse inspire
For she is that link between heaven and earth
She’s the reason for my laughter, my joy, and my mirth
I don’t know from where she draws such beauty and grace
I only know she hides behind a beautiful face
In my heart, in my soul, to the center of my core
And all that I ask is a few minutes more
To have and to hold her in my faraway arms
To protect and to love her and keep her from harm.
She’s the reason I write such words on this day
For she’s entered my life and carried me away.
For if the truth were known, Love cannot speak
But only thinks and does and continually seeks
To lift up my spirit past the stars up above,
Supriya my friend, my hope, and my love.

 

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i never had a plan for you


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you push and pull, like wolves at the door,
and all i hear is this discordant humming.
you play only the black keys, the sharp keys,
and your music screams of pain.
but isn’t that the choice?

we’ve come a long and lonely way
to owe ourselves to wolves
each howl a dying little light of the soul
i don’t remember, did we take this road together?
did you see our wings fold together?

you have a wanderlust growing in your soul
and live where ashes take the form of houses
all around the grounds we see a flashlight metronome,
that skips to sleep in leaps, lock and key, or latchkey…
a house you tricked empty because
you knew they would take it back, piece by piece.

who do we let it in? do we have a choice?
you said you don’t even like to be seen
in the parking lot, beneath the moon
and the drinking of the glass…
whatever the hell that means

i’m sorry again for everything i’ve been
and all the things i wasn’t
i’d sink to your city streets if i wasn’t buried in your hands
there is nothing out there; i do not hear what you hear
regardless of everything, i came to know you as a relic
you are ashes falling between my burnt fingers

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Omnipresent Love


Beautiful-Couple-After-Making-Love

If flowers bloom when winter ends, their fragrance rising, too,
These I, on bended knee would give, and even more to you.
Celestial stars and distant moons I’ve gathered up for thee –
And as the angels sweetly sing, profess your love to me.

The tides should rise and surely ebb with every breath you take;
Each heartbeat to mine own entwined a passion full awake!
Softly pressing palm to palm, our fingers tightly laced,
Pulling closer, closer still, a warm and tight embrace.

Each minute to the hour unwinds, and still the night unfolds
Timeless and eternal as we lay in sweet repose.
The morning comes on the rising sun, our love in warm reflection
Whispering low, we are even so lost in introspection.

Such is our love, so tightly stitched, the seams appear transparent –
And to the world our vows are writ in verse now made apparent.

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Little White Bird


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We counted, huddled, precious hours
two lovers sheltered against springtime showers
‘Neath the down-stretched arms of a weeping willow
My arms your shelter, my lap your pillow

And there, like the myth of an ancient love
Carried upon the wings of a snow white dove
Sunlight breaking with the flutter of wings
From the little white bird who softly sings

We watched it flit with a delicate glee
From branch to branch and tree to tree
Against its soft wing nature pressed
The storm abates, the day is dressed

Beloved skies where imagination weeps
These our newfound white bird keeps
Beneath her wings, winds lifting higher
Chasing clouds for her hearts desire

Until she finds her true love rising
On thermal bands, her flight revising
The two-winged now as one together
Each wingbeat now in equal measure

And so do we, in love’s all knowing
Feel this precious love now growing
In awe we sigh, love’s prayer now heard
In the shadow of our little white bird

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My Pagoda


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In my next incarnation,
I will dwell in a house
with a roof that curls like a smile.
Nestled in a flush of empurpled trees
and luminous clouds –
paths winding up
the velvety-green mountains
and ninety-nine steps
upward to my teak-carved door.

Shivering, I will rise in the morning,
blow on my hands like coals,
and squat to make tea in the teapot.
Slowly, the aromatic leaves will fill my heart
like a cup, the tea swirling,
knowing more than I know.

In the room’s far corner,
an altar, a few flowers, incense.
Buddha smiling.

My visitors will carry bright offerings
But how little will be necessary!
Like a beggar’s bowl,
each day will be full and empty

 

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We Shall Remember: Ode to a Dying Poet


moon words

Your night has fallen;
the brilliant light
of the new moon
filtering through the
broken mass of clouds,
a brilliant ray reflecting
upon your tongue-kissed works.
Your verse remains standing,
redeeming the world from darkness:
they seem to move and
we are filled with awe.

Your words were mountains;
iron-like masses thrown heavily
against the somber sky –
and as the dark blue deepens
into purple and purple-black
we reflect upon your poems,
which were gurgling streams
of naked visceral truth
cutting through our consciousness.

One never thinks of velvet
when the light is cold and thin;
when snow lies deep
and the intense light dazzles the eye.
But your lines were velvet in their
silver light and inky blackness
and we shall remember.

To Love Once More


kiss

She whispered softly in my ear
such tender words to ease my pain;
soothing verse to calm my fears.
Though, she was gone when morning came,

the essence of her love remains!
Here even in my darkest hour
soft echoes of her song sustains,
which fills me with a lasting power.

Where has she gone? my life unwinds!
If I must die, I’m so resigned,
for dying unites and gently binds
my heart to hers, two souls entwined.

She filled me with a lasting breath;
Once more within my arms I hold
the height of love, its width, its breadth,
spanning dreams that now unfold

So cast me down into death’s abyss,
But allow once more her lips to kiss.
I shall not pray for more than this –
Once more I love…eternal bliss.

 

Love’s Transforming Hand


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I don’t profess to understand
The power of Love’s transforming hand,
But I can’t deny what’s plain to see –
Loving you is changing me.

As a child walking on the shore
I saw the ocean…nothing more.
I cried, “Oh God – what senseless waste,
This vast expanse of liquid space.”

Yet now, with Love’s hand touching me
I feel the life within the sea!

I built myself a one room home
And dared to live there all alone;
It wasn’t that I did not care –
Just felt I had not much to share.

But now, beneath Love’s soft caress
I live, I love, and share my best.

I once viewed stars as nothing much –
Cold, distant worlds beyond my touch.
I had no need for cheap sensations
Built on simple constellations.

Then Love’s hand touched me through your kiss
And I knew that stars were more than this.

No, I don’t profess to understand
The power of Love’s transforming hand,
But I can’t deny what’s plain to see –
Loving you is changing me.

Sacrifice


ballet

The beauty of ballet
is not found in the graceful plié
nor the elegance of a perfect glissade;
it is in the twisted, broken toes of the dancer;
the slipper full of blood.
The exquisiteness of life
is not in the gathering of fame and riches,
but rather, like the danseur lifting the ballerina,
it is found in the painful sacrifice of self
that lifts another heavenward
toward the dazzling stars.

The beauty of the butterfly
is not in the shimmering iridescence
of its painted wings in morning’s light
or the weightlessness of its flitting flight;
but in the awe-inspiring metamorphosis
from lowly caterpillar to winged god,
as it slowly struggles to survive beneath
the hungry beaks of a thousand birds.
Likewise, the magnificence of Man
is best reflected in the transformation
of the lonely individual
who, despite the darkness of the hour,
finds his wings and angelic cause
in the collective community of humankind.

Beauty isn’t always lavish and dazzling,
apparent to the surface of the eye;
beauty can be elusive and transparent,
to be felt only in the interior of the heart.
It takes form when you discover something
greater than yourself in the world.
It takes meaning when the light that is you
is redirected and reflected on the
anonymous shadows of another.
The smile that is on another’s face
because you put it there;
the hope that takes root in another’s soul
because you planted it there.
The faith that no proof requires;
the love which fills and inspires.

Living in this world isn’t wonderful
simply because you are in it –
living in this world is wonderful
because of all the people with whom
you get to share the journey.

Before…


calm-before-storm-1

Before the ashes, Vulcan’s vengeful fire.
Before the sex, a deep and burning desire
Before the storm, a dark and restless quiet;
Before the morning, a deep and somber night.

Before the hunt, the frightened fleeing fox,
Before the race, coiled tightly in starter’s blocks.
Before the cut, such soft unblemished skin;
Before the blade, sparks fly, the whetstone spins.

Before new love, the queasy, nauseous start;
Before the kiss, a young and hopeful heart.
Before rejection, all things possible, bright, and new;
Before enlightenment, faith in what we say and do.

Before Sun’s rays, dark clouds enshroud the planet
Before the sculptor, Creation locked in blocks of granite.
Before the fall, transcendence true and boldly rising;
Before the gasp, in silent awe, a sweet surprising.

Before the rose arises first the lowly bloom –
Before the family, a dark and empty room.
Before old age comes the child full of life!
Before victory, the pain of loss and bitter strife.

Before the Universe, a bright and solitary star
Before the nearness, a cold and distant far
Before the night, a day of brilliant cerulean blue
Before the “Us,” a prayer for joining “Me” to “You”

Fade to Heaven


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Time comforts me, though the clock winds down
And I’m driven to the ticking of another sound
My heart beats so softly, in erratic measure
Comes now an end to this life I have deeply  treasured

I have done my best, or so shall I plead
As the Book of Life will surely read
When comfort was asked, I held out my hand
I shared what I had without a demand

Solace I gave to those deep in sorrow
Lived for today, and prayed for tomorrow
The sick I did comfort, the hungry I fed
If needed I fought, and oftentimes bled

For the weak and the child with no one to care
To fill them with love and crush their despair
My joys and my sorrows, both equally scattered
Like dying fall leaves that no longer  matter

Now days turn to hours, and hours to minutes
Now comes to a close this life with me in it
Softly my prayers in last utterance fall
“Grace be upon me, I’ve given my all.”

The Tiger Flower by D.L.McHale



christian
This is a short “fable” I wrote inspired by the incredible story of the daughter of Author, Christine Nolfi, as told in her wonderful article “The Woman I Raised”  Please take a moment and visit Christine’s post at
 http://christinenolfi.com/2013/04/the-woman-i-raised/ (Part of her continuing series on The Celebration of Women!

—————————–

The Elder Women of the villages spoke of a legend; they told a tale of a rare and exotic flower that grew in the dense lush jungles of the Philippines. It was said that no other flower existed like it anywhere in the world. No one had ever seen this flower live for it was said that to actually see it one had to be a True Believer and to date none of the Elders could remember such a person ever coming to the islands.

Although no one had ever seen one, everyone on the islands knew its name: it was called, quite simply, the Tiger Flower.

While the islands were full of bright, sun-dappled meadows dancing with flowers of every imaginable color, the Tiger Flower grew alone…somewhere deep in the jungle beneath the dark tangled palms and fronds.  At its base grew three distinct shoots, huddled diminutive beneath its protective pedals.  The three shoots needed the Tiger Flower to survive, and the Tiger Flower needed the three shoots to give it purpose.

In the depths of the jungle, no sunlight could penetrate the dark tangle of palms and fronds, but the Tiger Lily, it was said, survived because it had Fire in its veins.  Despite its estrangement from the flowers of every imaginable colors dancing in the bright, sun-dappled meadows elsewhere on the islands, the Tiger Flower was not a jealous flower, nor did it consider itself a victim.  It  fought each and every day simply to survive, and to ensure the survival of the three distinct shoots huddled diminutively beneath its protective pedals.

One day, a very special Woman arrived on the island.  The Elder Women knew she was special because she wore beautiful flowing robes of Compassion and Understanding.  On her feet she wore bejeweled sandals of Hope and Promise. She was full of Light and Laughter. She was a Weaver of Words, a Story Teller, and a Poetess.  They called her  “Mother” because she was of the Earth and full of Nurture.  But they could see she was one more thing as well.  One more very important thing:

She was a True Believer.

You see, she had come because back in the World she had a dream of the Tiger Flower. When she closed her eyes tightly in Faith and Unconditional Love, she could see the Tiger Flower, there deep in the jungle beneath the dark tangled palms and fronds, fighting for meaning. Fighting for Love and Acceptance. She could see at its base the three distinct shoots, huddled diminutive beneath its protective pedals, fighting for survival.  In her Dream of Dreams, she knew she had to come to the islands to bring the Tiger Flower and the three shoots back to the World. To bring them back into the Light.

The Elder Women of the villages led Mother to the bright, sun-dappled meadows dancing with flowers of every imaginable color, where it met the edge of the depths of the jungle, where no sunlight could penetrate the dark tangle of palms and fronds.  They watched as she disappeared into the darkness.

Once more, Mother closed her eyes tightly in Faith and Unconditional Love.  She did not need open eyes to guide her, for she had the vision of her Dream.  She walked deep into the jungle, and when she had walked an hour or so, she felt the air rush from her lungs and a single tear of joy fall from her closed eyes.  Slowly, she opened her eyes and there, beneath the dark tangled palms and fronds, she saw what she had waited her whole life to see: a Tiger Flower, surrounded by three distinct shoots, huddled diminutive beneath its protective pedals.

She kneeled gently upon one knee, and with a Kind and Loving Hand, she thrust her fingers into the soft earth, careful so as not to severe the island’s Heritage from the flower and the shoots, and she lifted the flower to her bosom in a warm and tight embrace.  Slowly, and with Patience and Enduring Love, she carried the Tiger Flower and the three distinct shoots, out of the jungle, back to the World, and into the Light.

——–

Nearly twenty years has passed since Mother returned from the islands.  The Tiger Flower has bloomed fully in the Light and is now a beautiful young Tiger Lily, dancing in sun-dappled meadows.  She named the flower Christian, for she was truly “Christ-like” in her own growing abilities to Forgive and Love and Nurture others into fully flowering.

The three distinct shoots, too, have blossomed, in every imaginable color.  When they are older, she would tell them of the Elder Women of the villages, and of dense jungle and the dark tangle of palms and fronds.

But for now, she is content to see them all Dream their own Dreams.

Them Logs


logs

The logs that was put in that barn
are up there until this day, an’ it turns out,
they were made by my Gran’pa
an’ were a part of his home a mile up this here creek
where he lived an’ where my kinfolk are resting.
Those logs are older than my Ma.
She was borned in that house after they moved there,
an’ she was borned ‘round 1891.

Yep, them logs has been there some.

An’ the house was there an’ them logs,
an’ twice since we’ve taken over the land,
since they all be gone an’ sweetly passed away,
someone has approached me to buy them logs.
An’ the first one offered me eighty dollars for the logs.
An’ Lord knows, we needs the money
‘cept I can’t sell them. They’s history in em.

They are still sound ‘cept where they’re layin’ on the ground.
The ones that were axed an’ are in the earth,
look as perfect as the day they were put there!
An’ it was only last week that my kinfolk that live up there
said some man ask him to talk to me could he buy them.
An’ they had been there that long.
But I reckon I won’t sell them,
cause they has my Gran’pa’s sweat in them.
At least eighty-five years since I’ve been here.
An’ my Pa–there’s his axe marks
where he made them, on them very same logs.

Before the Chestnut Blight (Part I)


chestnuts

 

Old people had them a sayin’,
that when the chestnuts bloomed,
they were so tall they stood straight
up above them other trees,
‘n they’d say ‘the snow is in the Mountain.’

Well, we had chestnut trees,
before the blight come in.
When my daddy cleared the ground,
you know to farm –
it was covered with chestnut trees.
He’d sifted out about an acre of chestnut trees,
for our pikcin’ up use.

‘N when they would get ready ‘n start falling.
We would get our sacks ‘n buckets ‘n stuff,
‘n the men would get up in the trees with big poles
‘n they’d thrash them out ‘n we’d pick em up

But, when they fall, usually the burrs open on the tree,
‘n they fall as they come down.
You don’t ever touch that burr,
you get those needles in your fingers, that’s bad.
You stay away from that.
You just pick the chestnuts up. They’re on the ground.
Now ‘n then you find a burr open with the chestnuts in it
‘n you can take your foot, if you got shoes on,
‘n step on them, ‘n they’ll come out.
After it frosts, they’re easy.

Anyways, we’d get them in them sacks
‘n take them to the chicken house, ‘n hang them in thar,
the empty house, it had been a chicken house,
but we had et the chickens, ‘n it were empty.

You hardly ever, at that time,
a chestnut with a worm in it.

 

I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award


Nominated by Tersia Burger
Nominated by Tersia Burger

In accepting the honor of “I Am Part of the WordPress Family Award,” I am moved not only by a profound gratitude for the recognition of my writing, but also by a very poignant humility coming from being nominated by such a courageous and awe-inspiring woman as Tersia Burger.

For those of you who don’t already know the story of  Tersia and her beautiful daughter, Vicky Bruce, I strongly encourage you to visit their blog, http://tersiaburger.com/.  It chronicles the incredible devotion and grace of a mother suffering the joys and heartaches of her daughters journey through an agonizing illness, which only recently took her from her mother’s enduring embrace.  It is a powerful story that will once and for all define what is meant by unconditional love.

Let me assure you that words fail to convey the deep emotion which stirs within me at this time, when it falls within my province to receive this testimonial, as I do, on behalf of the memory of Vicky Bruce. Thank you Tersia, for the award and love you have conferred upon me.

With Gratitude and Love,

Dennis

Love One Another


mother-teresa
Our unheard voices,
silenced in the crumpled lies
daily and soundly trumpeted
by the world of false authorities!
Cities crumble beneath
the weight of their own conceit
and concrete concealments
and governments, but wisps
of foul winds blowing in the deserts
of corruption and covetousness greed.

Are we to submit our precious few years
and the infinite possibilities of life
to a blind obedience to this pile of dust?
We will not! We cannot!
We must live for love, or else we die,
and love requires freedom from all
false restraints, be they societal or
or subjective – it must be unfettered
and at liberty to express the authenticity
of human experience.

We should with deep and soulful
glee pledge our allegiances
to the elegance of nature
and the exquisiteness of tender acts
of mercy and unrestrained love.
Let us, therefore, express unbridled
compassion toward our neighbor.
than mindlessly march, day by day
into the dark void of hate and self-pretenses?

With love and patience, we shall prevail.
.
Let us council with the philosophies of the
woodland creatures before that of immoral
false prophets, and beneath the wings of
of the soaring eagle let us find our truths.
Where injustice reigns, we will struggle
with all our might to unshackle the chains
that bind us to fabricated obedience, and
band together beneath the social hammer
that crushes our capacity to love.

We are made of clay, but not to be lightly
molded into conformed shapes fired in the
blazing ovens of social orthodoxy – but
rather let us emerge as the shining gods
of glory and infinite adoration and peace and love
we were, from Eden, meant to be!

I Am Ready


Old Man

The years have swept my face
carving time in deep crevices
thinning my skin with relentless cold
Like a child pushing milk teeth
my smile is likewise gapped
though my innocence lays broken
like this child’s backyard toys

These days, I pretend that I’m busy
that I’m working, that I’m writing
but I’m not doing anything
I just wanted not to look too artificial
in these my final fading days

I have known my moments of fame
where my words stroked the hearts of man
and my poems filled a woman’s soul
but all these things mean very little to me
I am so much into the finality of the now
the past is such a strange thing for me

Oh, loving her was an incredible journey
a wonderful everlasting treasure hunt
I found emeralds in her eyes
and sparkling diamonds in her smile
golden coins tinkling in her laughter
but like all treasure, she lies buried now
and I am castaway upon these lonely shores

My life is a dead space, a dead time
if you describe it in colors, a grayness
The seasons no longer cut by
snow and rain and sun and falling leaves
but rather, like clouds pushing darkly
against one another in a stormy sky
my days blend beneath a blotted sun

I know the number of my evenings are few
and my remaining mornings fewer by one
but I am tired, and I am alone,
and I am ready