Beyond the Horizon
There is a dark spot on the horizon, growing,
hungry, surrounded by a collapsing hue of blue,
cataract in the sky, while the eye of the unknown,
on the other side, its vision blurry to blind.
The lone observer of stars and setting suns trapped,
as if an arrow unable to slow, jettisoned with the
power of a dying light, on a final journey to oblivion,
mesmerized by the horizontal abyss, he falls.
Swimming a fast crawl between parallel lines of walls,
impalpable solids, bright as the power of many suns,
he cannot escape in this vertiginous endeavor,
prisoner of will and want, excited by the ultimate fear.
But the dark spot is no closer with eons passing,
the alchemist of his self is a plaything in the hands of
a mystery larger, and certainty a constant ignorance;
his fate is sealed, to remain a traveler to a destination too far.
A Blustery Day
There is a force–invisible
that dances through the air
it tiptoes over blades of grass
and flings far out my hair
There is a force as sweet as fall
before it fades away
and in this force we place our hopes
and fears for all our days
There is a force surrounding me
as I wander my ponderous path
and it is the force that picks me up
and carefully puts me back down
And as the days depress me
as days are wont to do
I feel the force surrounding me,
the old becoming new
That Fateful Day
Standing, listening, not saying a word
On the fateful day everything changed
Three years old, a little girl
Weeps for her country
She understood everything
Yet did not at all
She pulls out her blocks
The horror that just happened
Fifteen years later
The girl is now a woman
And her heart still cries out for those lost
On that fateful day
She climbs on a plane, and says a prayer
Hoping she will see another day
When the morning comes, her eyes open
And she gets ready
To go to the spot where everything happened
A saddening stillness comes over her
As she walks, only a yard
Away from where so many lives were lost
Red, yellow, black, and white
Lost on that fateful day
She stands steady, strong, feet planted
Shoulders shaking, eyes leaking
Her lungs filling with air
A peace, an overwhelming peace comes over her
As she stands in front of the wall
Knowing that this is the reason why her country is so strong.
En Pointe in the Living Room
Their hands rest softly as dust
on the hope chest.
My girls, two and four, practice
ballet to a video, “I’m a Ballerina Now,”
bending their knees, twisting outward feet
that seem to have only now been released
from the curl of my womb.
For sixty hours of volunteer work, they could go
to classes at the forum free, a friend tells me,
as I watch my girls in borrowed leotards extend
their arms, point toes, first position, second.
When my pastor’s daughter was two,
she lived in the slums of Latvia.
His wife says everyday she relives that little girl’s
nightmare of six years, the unforgivable providence.
Even here, there is evidence of brokenness. The elm limbs
in our yard, bare still in March, fragment the sky. I try
to point out spring to my daughters, where I can see
the early signs, buds on plants I was never taught
the names of. My mother worked long hours.
But I can point to this: next door, in the yard of the widow,
the tulip tree, the one the chainsaw guys keep telling her
is dead, bloomed this morning in a shock
of petal, ballet pink.
An overwhelming darkness—
so cold and so vast.
But, there are cracks along the walls.
Slight streams of sanity—
a faint white light,
visible only for a little while
The old madness returns
as the sun sets
and night is over me once more.
I’m straining for the light.
The cracks are widening.
Red pain and blackening skin…
There are now cracks on me;
but, the wall is free.
New clarity floods in.
Moonlight and darkness together,
opposites sharing the sky.
I’ve learned I’m like the sky—
Pain is what kept me hostage
and yet, Pain is what also set me free.
Storm Clouds and Safety Ships
Her spirit is a storm cloud
as she stands beside the bay
the roaring crash of clashing waves
outdoes her searing pain.
Her dreams lay shattered on the rocks;
hope has drowned out in the tide
a tortured trench is now her heart
and she has no place left to hide.
Alone, alone is all she knows
and she does not know why
the ache she feels has grown so strong
that she’s come here to die.
A lightning flash, a silver slash
divides the amber sky
and hope like an eternal flame
is lit inside her eyes.
For in the distance sails a ship
tossed by all the tide
an anchor for a shipwrecked soul
a secret place to hide.
The captain pulls her from the tide
and her loneliness is killed
for one touch from those weathered hands
has her forever healed.