Stripped Away

It was too much to gaze
upon the glory of God
All left in a reverent daze
Knelt our human skins, awed

But if they gazed instead at me
stunned and blinded, we who fell
surely would speechless be
at the soul inside the human shell

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Rain

The rain on the windowpane
blurs the girl standing out in the lane
or the face in the window of the train
and the poet would sit here and feign
to contemplate the world’s pain, then — halt
look to a raindrop as to a grain of salt.

Is it not a slight madness
that we take this prescription sadness?
Perhaps if we had had less
of this rain we’d be glad — yes
and not mourn the sky’s vastness, as though every cloud
were draping the world in the blackness of a shroud.

– E

Growing Up

Wouldn’t we all stay in Childhood if we could choose?

Instead we are trapped in reminisces, wishing

they hadn’t fooled us with the words they’d used

“growing up” for a person diminishing.

 

Sure, we are wiser, and not all adults are rotten,

but who doesn’t long for some previous self?

like we could step back into them, if only they hadn’t gotten

so maimed through the years

now sitting there

like shrunken skulls on a forgotten shelf

The False Poet

Stories were so much easier to write
when they had nothing to do with me
when sorrows were concocted to cast upon strangers
and I played Deity.

But even that writer god
must become tormented with age
and come to long for the days when she
extracted her pain from another´s page.

Oh for years she prayed and waited
for some occurrence to punctuate her listless days
but when that fateful moment came
she found that there was nothing to say.

How easy it was, that old false despair,
her voice of mimicry as beautiful as a bird´s;
how difficult now to cut a piece from her own self
send it on the wind, never to be heard.

There is no poetic justice in life
but here is a justice for sure:
all those false sorrows which she spawned
have now returned to become hers

And unless you had heard her before
you would not know of this:
that the silence she now devotedly sings
is the saddest sound to touch those lips.

– E

Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Nepenthe

“One swallow.”

“Are you sure about this?”

“Absolutely.”

Leda held the opaque vial filled with milky white potion up to her eyes, examining the contents warily.

“I’m tired Rue,” she murmured softly, almost inaudibly.

“Drink Leda.”

Leda’s eyes flashed away from the vial and found Rue’s pale blue ones, making a desperate plea. Rue was calmer than ever.

“Trust me,” Rue commanded.

Hesitantly at first, and then suddenly boldly Leda lifted the vial to her lips and sipped. Continue reading

Vanquished Glass

All the glass in the world has vanished. The tall grasses thrash against my bare legs, dress pillowing and sucking against me alternately. Shelby is beside me, both feet planted firmly on the ground for the first time in his life.

The moment this strikes me, I can’t help but look over at him and shout over the wind, “How does it feel to stand?”

“A little dizzying,” he says, grinning back. “Lot farther to fall.”

Shelby’s the kind of person who loves the ground too much to realize he was born with wings, says Mr. Mellark. Whenever provided the opportunity, he always chooses to sit on the ground, sit on something, or even just lean.

But today, tonight, he stands with us. We all stand in a line on Cherry Hill, holding hands. Except for Shelby and me. He didn’t offer it, and I don’t feel like taking it, so I just let Aunt Josephine clutch my other hand fervently. I try not to look at her, because she’s the type of person who would notice, but I can tell she’s crying. A lot of people are.

And singing.

It started out as a dull rumble, as we were marching out to the hill.

It was barely dark out when we all left our homes and banded together on the road, in one lumbering mass. Somebody near the front began a song, one of the sweet, melancholy folksongs that were made for campfires and nights of endless chess tournaments and knowing that you were part of something much more immutable than yourself.

“Why are we signing?” little Connie, barely awake, asked, tugging on my hand.

“With the proper high note,” said Mr. Mellark, contemplatively, striding beside us with his smoothly gnarled walking stick, “a signer can shatter glass.”

The Wall lies in the valley below us— or what is left of it. It looks more like a trail left behind by Connie, who didn’t realize she was tipping the salt container upside down. Nothing but a strip of white powder from up here— maybe a few sparkles if you squinted your watering eyes against the wind.

“What does it look like?” comes a croaking cry on the other side of Shelby. Blind, old Addison had, when he was very young, elected Shelby as his favourite. Intricate descriptions of the world he’d lost sight of was his favourite treat, and he was always instructing us children not to tell him that the moon was shining, but to “show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Shelby doesn’t say anything for a long time, and when I turn my face toward him, I see he has his face in his hand.

I swallow, reach out, and pry his wet hand from his wetter face. His April-storm eyes blink at me, red around the edges, scared and hopeful and alive. I wrap my fingers around his hand and squeeze.

“What does it look like, Shelby?” I say.

A shuddering breath rips through his body.

He says, “Freedom.”

“Mr. Addison,” I shout, as wind buffets us, “blue moonlight glints on the winding trail of shattered glass.”

Shelby squeezes my hand back.

I’m waking up.

I feel it in my bones.

We don’t know what lies before us. We never knew what lay beyond the Glass Wall. But it is ours. Whatever the future holds, it belongs to those who sang until the prison glass came crashing down.

The ones who see the glint of light on broken glass, because the moon shines for us tonight.

To a flower I’ve known

The flower reaches for the light
breaks through the dirt and stands upright
holds her head high, continually grows
deep into the soil she sends her toes
she cares not about outward beauty
growing is her only duty
“I will reach the Sun one day
Growing is the only way”
Glittering in her drops of dew
This is how I think of you