Tag Archives: love

The Door Sill

His foot seeks to glide as it steps over the doorsill, easing into the grooves and pits and indentations that have formed through a century’s use.  Each foot carries a story as it moves from one room to another.

A young girl, tremulous and proud as she carries her first cake to the table, intent on hearing words of praise from her father.

The mother, with hair escaping from her bun, carrying a wriggling body, holding the hand of another, steadfastly working her way to the tub of hot water steaming on the kitchen floor.  She works to encircle each child and wash away barnyard grime and smears.  She mutters “Church don’t abide with the dirty.”, repeatedly.  “A clean body is a Godly body.” Trying to hammer those words into little minds.  Her child squirming as she scrubs rough lye soap behind his ears.

Grandfather, eight decades old and climbing, clutches his chest as he slips slowly to the floor, one foot on either side of the sill, gazing one more time at the portrait of his beloved wife, long passed from his side.  Her grave weathered and worn with a wee babe cross beside it, both mother and child passing in a mutual birth/deathbed, the last of seven pulled from her womb.

So many years past, the children sprouting, their homes popping like mushrooms on the rich, moist loam of the land.  The old homestead still ringing with young voices as they crowd about to listen to stories of past experiences, of a dear woman, gone except for memories.

And now, beyond the years of aloneness, the grandfather slips down the frame, his legs buckling beneath him, as he smiles one last time into the eyes of the woman he is going to join.  Now the childish voices have died down, the fireplace embers glow dull red and black, and wispy spider webs dance in the draft spilling over the sill and through the open door.  His remaining moments, speeding past, knowing these are the times quick gone, are of reflection – of times long gone and those to come he will miss seeing – of trouble and renewals.

He remembers dances on the creaky barn floor, tables laden under the burden of foods thoughtfully prepared with pride of the family.  A lifetime of training, from earliest times, watching his loved ones doing chores which honed them into the persons they grew to be, products of their generation.

In the moments of each morn, as the dew-kissed flowers and ferns, and steam wisped upwards in the burn off of the day, the family knew who they were, where they had come from, and what they would grow into from the stories of other times, teachers to the next generation.

Land was the place to grow one’s heart, a place to toil but find comfort in the repetitive workings of a farm – active meditation, the soul-soothing smell of animals and earth mingling into a symphony of the senses – the active clangor of day slipping into the ease of the night – the sounds and smells but a blessing to those fortunate to know its peace.

The grandfather leaned his bulk against the door, pain slicing through his chest but bringing a comfort, soon, soon it cried out, he looking out at the dusky twilight, the orchard where bees were lulled to sleep in their hive, the trees healthy and strong – planted and tended so carefully those decades ago at his wife’s urging.  “Cattle and pigs are fine for a man, but a woman needs the smell of pears ripening, the fairy dance of apple blossoms as they drift to the ground, yielding their indolent fragrance to the soft spring breezes, the wild grape vines brought from the woods and trained to grow domesticated, berries in neat patches to be turned into Winter’s jam.”

And the grandfather remembered how bewildered she made him.  The dreams of pristine beauty she held onto through driest drought and bitter blizzard storms.  Of them all, crowded thick those early years, she had been able to tweak the earth, reminding it to offer up its riches, chastising it until it brought abundant yields.

It had been a bold extravagance for the portrait to be painted.  Money was scarce the year the painter was making his way West, drawn by the untamed beauty he’d heard described. But after a night or two of lodging, grandfather asked for a picture of his beloved.  She had been embarrassed but he had held his ground saying, “As surely as the painter sees the mountains ablaze in God’s glory, so I see the heavens in your eyes, lightening my sorrow, bringing joy.  I come home to see your smile.  Til’ the end of my time I want to remember that smile and carry it close to my heart.”

Life can be a cold, dark space where eternity seems trapped in the deepest of caverns, never to know the sun’s warmth again.  The quiet reflection of her serene calm carried him through deepest fears and greatest sorrows for he knew she would always be near, in this world or the next, to lend whispers of guidance in moments of confusion or despair.

He smiled at the image of those Saturday bathing’s – each child dreading his turn because he knew he was not to leave before his skin glowed – sometimes from the rawness of the scrubbing.  The children would huddle in a group, drawing straws to see who would be next in line, those with shorter ones begging and bartering, even threatening the others to relinquish their coveted places in line.  Saturday scrubbings started early in the afternoon, extending well into evening’s dark and hell would be paid to the errant child who slipped outside for a few minutes of fun, dirtying himself after his washing up.

Mother never gave much thought to the fact that seven miles on a dusty, dirt road had the ability to wilt clothes and seep dirt back into crevasses dearly scrubbed.  “It is the intent that matters,” she would say as they covered the ground to the white-washed, steepled church. “God knows when people try to do his will, and is pleased,” she would say as she completed her last tasks of picking the freshest flowers for the altar’s table and brushing egg whites on baking bread for the parishioners at service’s end.

It wasn’t until years later, as they were dragging their own children to the tub, that they smiled in understanding at her fierceness about this one ritual.

Grandfather thinks of the long years since her death, that terrible silence that comes from being truly alone and bereft of the company of the one he needed most.  His blessings have been many. The door sill gleams with the shine of countless footprints – it was the heart of their home because each night, as they crossed the sill, they knew they had entered a safe haven where cares could be relinquished and joys celebrated.

And as he draws his last breath, straddled across the sill, he sighs and relaxes in the knowledge that he is both home and on his way to the home of his heart

So Far Away and always Near

So far away you are
3,000 miles and then some
Long ago I drove
all that long way
6 nights and 7 days
blinking eyes weary,
rubbing my back
at rest stops
from here to there.
I am older now.
traveling is harder
but I’ll be coming little one
whether by train, plane, car
or maybe a big balloon
scattering clouds in its wake
as surely as the morning sun rises

If I could but snap my fingers
or nod my head
you would find me knocking
at your door
spinning like a whirlwind
floating on a soft breeze
in pictures or the internet
I’ll be there for you
My love roars like a lion,
is playful as a puppy
wagging its tail in sheer pleasure
As enduring as a stone

And when I finally
hold you in the embrace
of my arms
you will feel
all the love stored in them
for You are your family’s special gift
Every second together
I will treasure
for I am your Nana
and it will always be so.

Notes on Camelot

Lancelot and Judas filled the same purpose
in their historical roles – each was a pawn
in the greater design.

Guenevere merely fought herself – the battle
between wanting to be woman while needing
to be legend – peace only coming when she
accepted a higher power … God.

Arthur was not meant to be a man
but a god in the guise of man.
Half man – half legend.
Totally noble – but weak in that goodness.
Not wholly real but not able to handle
the strength of goodness
therefore weakness being his evil.

Mordrid was evil incarnate –
lacking goodness.
Neither Arthur or Mordrid
were fully realized within themselves
they were whole together.

Launcelot and Guenivere were, too.
Crushed by their need
to be human – only recovering
when hell had been paid –
when higher powers were last
surrendered to –
Launcelot’s Higher Power Trinity
being Arthur, Truth and Love.

Remember Me

When drafty, cold sheets
embrace you –
clean, cool air
your only companion,
wrapping bracing arms
about you . . .
remember me,
remember me.

When the only touch
lies in your own caress
and you rock back
and forth,
holding yourself,
loneliness a cloak,
ripped and tattered,
shabbily contenting an empty husk,
remember me.

As you wake with a start,
and reaching down,
feel shame
and a touch of disbelief
as your sheet
sticks with a tackiness
born of dreams . . .
Remember me.

i drank the nectar
of deep, warm recesses –
then you were gone,
leaving an empty cup
tilted over, with rusty edges
on your stand.

One morning I was held by
the savoring sweetness
of sexual desire,
next choking on a
bile of bitter rancor,
spitting out bits
of broken dreams.

So when the time comes
for you to yearn, plead,
beg for fulfilment,
wavering shadows in
the dark becoming
your only company . . .

Lick the drained cup
for the dregs of what was –
will never again be –
do this in remembrance
of me.

Until his return

Wearing his shirt
holding his fragrance
unique unto him alone
close to me
so that many miles
might not seem so far.
Sheets changed
night before he left
so his essence
and each night
until he returns
I can hold pillows
and dream of a closeness
physical boundaries
don’t permit.
His stamp in dreams –
the sweet savoring
of those precious moments
only lovers share –
as I linger
in fantasies of love
until his return.

Cautious re-entry

Somewhere beneath angry words
and pain of hurt feelings
lies that love, small and private
between you and I.
Touch it . . .
reach beyond shallow fears,
with critical demands for perfection
and petty stabs of insecurity
to find, nestled in the hollows
of raw, aching need
that one fragment of emotion,
pure, untainted by abuse
and draw strength . . .
to search further than cruel torture
and bridge that yawning gap
so we might meet once again
in that private world of caring
found one night in the past,
and begin to renew our faith
in the love we have found
to search for peace,
a common ground of surrender
to love’s cautious ways.

Love is . . .

Love isn’t the brassy blare of a band, marching down the avenue on July 4th’s celebration. Oh, to be sure – that is part of it – loud jangles, crash of cymbals, heartbeat of drums. But love has many faces, some apparent, some quite deceptive.

Love is the gentle stirrings evoked by a walk after a thunderstorm’s power, smelling the earth, watching lightening flitter over the New York skyline, curled up on a rock, and telling each other of your pasts, and peoples – speaking in reverence and caring tones.

Love is the sharp pain of betrayal and the shooting stabs of hurt inflicted upon sensitive, fragile egos that make one near in anger and rage – defending yourself at risk of rejection – yet believing, nonetheless, first in your own sense of worth.  Being able to say “fuck you” to the one you love.

Love is the despair and confusion and insecurity brought forth in opening yourself up to another person.  Of being aware of his frailties and still wanting him more than ever – because of those faults not in spite of them. Of seeing the flaws yet not running away.  Of opening yourself , baring your soul when trust is just a mirage, still to become real from knowing your love, facing it and not walking away, and of having to tell that other person that love is there – whether or not he chooses to respond in kind.  Of wanting so much to hear the words “I Love You”, yet not pressing but allowing them to come of their on accord at a time of his choosing – if at all.

Love is passion and the exploration of a body found wildly exciting – seeking those hidden sources of pleasure, being sexually vulnerable.  And love is those quiet ripples that float through your body as you see the one you love or think of him during the course of your day.  Love is giving and taking- together or apart – the stillness of soul touching – the fire of lust, the knowledge that this is something different than any before or any after, but that a part of you, larger than ever before, rests in the hands of another, and you are content, or largely so, to have it that way.  Love is a gift from God to be savored, enjoyed revered, for each moment it is a part of you.

Love is encouraging the strengths in the other, urging him to grow and explore facets of himself.  Being a source of strength rather than drowning him in your need.  Love is knowing the relationship may end yet moving forward in self-determination, with trust and belief gathering your courage about you, a mantle of strength in the storm of emotion.  Love is knowing that love may change in form and substance, devolving into a well of despair, fragmenting, feathering away into a manifestation of a different making – yet Love still.  Love is holding still the trembling of the soul.

Love is the bringing into the world two children to bless this union. Children precious, deserving of all that is good.  Physical manifestations of love and passion.  Children who bear witness of good and ill. Who bear the scars of devastation.

Love is the torture of knowing your love was always far greater than his. Of sustaining emotional scars, physical bondage, inquisitions, blasphemies, of running and hiding to escape his wrath. Of finally, running away, knowing not to do so would mean your death, be it emotional or physical.

Love is the PTSD moments after the Fall. Twenty years later.  The choosing aloneness rather than taking the risk of opening yourself up again.  Of the nightmares that continue, again and again, of what it turned out to be.  Of the ending, cruel, painful, devastating in consequences not just for the two of you, but for the children brought forth from the union of those souls.  Of the never ending trauma that follows in your wake, curling in sadness and despair deep within.

Intertwined

Twins under the skin,
we blend and merge
only to separate, redefine,
and begin again.
Clones in many ways
yet strangers when glimpsing
sides not seen before within
our own beings –
high intensity  and gentle understanding
mark our progress
into this strange dimension
of loving communion –
an affirmation of ourselves
through the eyes of each other;
registering new strengths
and frightening weaknesses
through continual interweaving
of complexity and analysis.
When final comprehension
begins to dawn,
the picture changes,
as new sides emerge
and twins begin combat
with equal strength –
only to flair again
into fiery, playful passion
and a quiet linking of souls
in an osmosis of emotion –
ebbing and flowing –
attraction and repulsion
by that seen within
and viewed in each other,
companions in a duet of desire.

His special essence

Reflecting sides of a prism,
full of light and diversity . . .
each time those eyes
burn with that special
brand of intensity
I want you more
than days before.
As layers peel, dimensions surface,
complexity interweaving
in subtle variations
of themes my own, yet
seen within your mind –
the pull between
your essence and mine
binds, grows, strengthens
and that certain allure
only you possess
comes into increasingly
sharp focus.
A unity of spirit exists
as we spin tales of days past
or speak in reverent tones
of a future misty and vague –
and a tiny voice
growing in strength
says I want to be there
to see the person
as he unfolds.

Flowers and Toys

Is the pattern
instilled within so long ago
to begin again –
running, constantly running
from one wild flower to another
longing for a sweeter scent
or more vivid, delicate petals?
And who, this time,
is the fleer to be –
you or I?
Each fear entrapment,
a seeping of the soul
subtly transferred to the possession
of the other.
Both have sought through
countless meadows,
seeking that rare blossom,
headier in fragrance
than all the rest.
Like children at Christmas
we grab one toy to our breasts,
proclaiming it our favorite,
our most precious treasure,
only to cast it aside
in favor of another –
stuffing memories into small places
squeezing stuffing from edges frayed
only to leave a soiled vestige
of childhood fancy
lying half off the shelf,
to tumble down forgotten.
Is the pattern to begin again –
if so, which of us is the toy?