real life

local night life

sandwiched between
a starry-eyed dreamer and a level-headed realist,
I cut careful forkfuls of steaming pizza,
biting back snarky comments
in a conversation that doesn’t interest
my narcissistic self.

eventually, our talk weaves its way onto
more common ground.
even so, I’m only half involved;
distracted by the steady stream of young,
oven-browned women,
walking confidently out of this specialty bakery
(get a tan while your pizza bakes! careful, new bulbs!)
into a mid-April evening
and cars with personalized plates.

i imagine that immediately upon arriving home
they each close their respective doors,
stripping off outer clothing,
and admire – or critique –

wish for a little more.

i finish eating,
steer our words into more personal territory-
two of us bypassing the lighter talk
of families (who
have now moved on to
hand-dipped ice cream)

just as in every group conversation:
wishing for a little more.

lily of the valley

NaPoWroMo day 8. Today was an easy prompt, but that doesn’t necessarily make the writing any easier. 

Lily of the Valley

Your rarity is what drew me to you,
along with your monochromatic simplicity,
and your intoxicating scent
thrown out only for the closest observer.

You caught my eye in the age of rolling down hills,
kool-aid popsicles,
and tire swing antics.
I found you first in a shadowed corner,
far from the wild explosions of daffodils,
mums, azaleas, and snapdragons – lovers of the limelight.

You prefer to keep to your dignified self
in secluded nooks,
found only by those who know you are there.

I have always loved lonely corners.

There have been other flowers I have loved since:
lilacs, narcissus, hyacinth-
mostly always because something about them
stirred up a memory of your elusive scent
your delicate flowers,
and a quiet place of refuge on a summer afternoon.

 

I’m liking this poem-a-day writing less every day. It sounded like a great idea at the time, but I’m realizing I’m a perfectionist. I write something quickly, then sit on it awhile, reread it, see if it still rings true.

 

 

little magnificat

My soul glorifies the Lord
(even when my mouth refuses to open
and when I don’t phrase it
the same way that “everyone else”
seems to come to so naturally.)

Even so-
I see the path he brought me along.
Looking back,
I sense the dangers that I walked
safely through – without realizing.
If only the looking back
would serve as a light
on the forward looking path…

If God led me safely this far,
why would he stop?
Maybe he can even be trusted
to bring meaning and purpose
to the rest of my life

My soul does glorify the Lord
as clumsy as my mouth may be,
my soul (worthless? maybe.)
does (without seeing the logic)
glorify (magnify – can I really make him bigger?)
the Lord (who cannot let me down.)

This is a cop-out day. Writing a poem every day is a lot harder than I optimistically expected. I did sit down several times and wrote, but it always came out disjunct. (Spellcheck tells me that’s not a word. That can’t be true. There are times that disjunct is the only word that describes my writing properly.) Technically, I did my part: I wrote poetry today. And, instead of sharing junk, I’m posting something I wrote a few years ago that no one else has ever read.

permanent

there are moments when I look at you
and feel
nothing.

entire days go by
when I share every aspect of life with you,
interact as usual…
but no emotions come into play.
passion, desire- even anger and frustration
have left me: I am passive.

but two decades of being with you
have convinced me that
emotions are as fickle as the phases of the moon
and almost as predictable.

every feeling is temporary.

but always, underneath all of the everyday,
in the space where our hearts are bound together,
there is an unbroken current
that ricochets between the two of us,
constant and growing stronger over time,
leaving in its wake
every shade of satisfaction.
and a deeper, stronger
knowledge:

this permanence-
this is the essence of us.

 

This still feels like wrapping paper being held together by tape that won’t stick. It doesn’t feel finished. There’s still a piece of a thought that isn’t showing up to clarify this thing. But… it’s only an hour until the end of this 6th day of National Poetry Month and I need sleep more than I need a good poem. Here we go- shoving down the pride and throwing the words out into cyberspace. 

Lady, Cleaning

After spending the morning
in long sleeves and fleece pajama pants
scrubbing  mineral deposits off bathtubs,
I feel less critical of French maids
in their small, eye-catching attire
and think instead that maybe
they know a thing or two about
practicality.

Heavy cleaning is best done naked,
wearing only socks
and possibly knee pads
to prevent slipping
in the puddles of sweat
that are bound to accumulate.

free indeed

marriage
head of household
turned by the neck
in a fight for control
in the body of Christ
leader follower passive aggressive fighter for
God’s perfect design
as Christ loved the church lost in
submission rebellion confusion resentment
authority helpmeet stalemate

But isn’t it beautiful how, when my strengths
support your strengths,
and we fill in the cracks left by each other’s weaknesses
together,
we change the world?