“If I keep still enough inside this shadow, it is as if I am not here. If I keep still enough, there is no proof you are not here with me.” ~ Conchitina Cruz, from “Disappear”

Pacific Grey Blue by Russel Tomlin flickr
Pacific | Grey Blue
by Russell Tomlin (Flickr)

“As my mind tries to settle on it, it flutters away, like ashes caught in a breeze, and I realize that in my life there is a then, a before, though before what I cannot say, and there is a now, and there is nothing between the two but a long, silent emptiness that has led me here.” ~ S.J. Watson, from Before I Go to Sleep

I came across a new poet (new for me) whose words speak to the numbness that controls my body today. I am hollow, all played out from yesterday’s break. I want to do nothing more than nothing. I have not had such a bad break since my father died. It’s not all about Jennifer. It’s about all of them, all of the losses, all of the unspeakable losses that I am constantly trying to speak of. People lost. Dreams lost. Friendships lost.

I Will be Silent by augenweide deviantART
“I Will be Silent”
by augenweide (deviantART)

Sometimes, I live in a shadow world, one filled with grey clouds and white mists, and I hide myself there, the better to protect my heart, yet once I am within, my heart becomes laid bare, so much easier to pierce with pain again and again. There is no place I can hide. I should not want to hide. I should be stronger. I am not strong.

I feel like the French Lieutenant’s woman, standing on that spit in the middle of a gale, the wind buffeting my body from all sides, and all I have is a thin cloak about me, and it offers so little protection. If the wrong gust hits me, I will fall off, yet I do not attempt to move back from the edge.

“Nothing has an unlikely quality. It is heavy.” ~ Jeanette Winterson, from Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles

My body aches from the inside all the way to the tips of my fingers. The wracking sobs left me with a fierce migraine and sore eyes. The only thing piercing the numbness is the physical pain. The emotional pain is flat, a straight plane, extending into infinity from all directions. It is an exacting lassitude, a profound stupor, a dull torpor of the body and soul.

Yet there is no cave in which I can find shelter, no bulwark behind which I can find protection. I am alone out there on the rocks, slick from the water of waves and rain.

It may take a while to recover from this. I will write my way through . . .

Samuel Barber, “Adagio for Strings”

                   

Morning

You never know when somebody will walk away from you on a bright day on a busy street, never looking back and

you cannot believe the slow disappearance, cannot believe what is moving away from your reach until the busy street no longer needs its presence to look the same, because it is the same.

And the city offers you its fruits and fish, and the churchgoers life their veils as they step out in the open

and you know the picture is incomplete but it can stand for itself

and who are you to ask for more, who are you to insist on hunger?

~ Conchitina R. Cruz

Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.” ~ Linda Hogan, Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

Solace at Sunset
by the blindalley (deviantART)

                   

“I wanted silence. My daydreams were full of places I longed to be, shelters and solitudes. I wanted a room apart from others, a hidden cabin to rest in. I wanted to be in a redwood forest with trees so tall the owls called out in the daytime. I daydreamed of living in a vapor cave a few hours away from here. Underground, warm, and moist, I thought it would be the perfect world for staying out of cold winter, for escaping the noise of living.

And how often I’ve wanted to escape to a wilderness where a human hand has not been in everything. But those were only dreams of peace, of comfort, of a nest inside stone or woods, a sanctuary where a dream or life wouldn’t be invaded.”

~ Linda Hogan, Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World

                   

The Way In

Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
and beauty.
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.

~ Linda Hogan

                   

Music by Vienna Teng, “The Last Snowfall”

“I flee from those who are gifted with understanding, fearing that all their great and illuminating invasions of my being still won’t satisfy me.” ~ Robert Walser, ”The One of Fairy Tales”

“Swoosh”
by markus43 on DeviantArt (link is broken)

                   

“As a blind man, lifting a curtain, knows it is morning,
I know this change:
On one side of silence there is no smile;
But when I breathe with the birds,
The spirit of wrath becomes the spirit of blessing,
And the dead begin from their dark to sing in my sleep.” ~ Theodore Roethke, from “Journey to the Interior”

I have posted a poem by Olena Kalytiak Davis before, but I came across a few lines of the following one on my tumblr dash, so of course, I went in search of the entire poem. I found it on a lovely site that I’ve recently added to my blogroll: Dragonfly’s Poetry and Prolixity. If you love poetry (and dragonflies, which I do), you might enjoy this new gem.

                    

The Panic of Birds

The moon is sick
of pulling at the river, and the river
fed up with swallowing the rain,
So, in my lukewarm coffee, in the bathroom
mirror, there’s a restlessness
as black as a raven.
Landing heavily on the quiet lines of this house.
Again, the sun takes cover
and the morning is dead
tired of itself, already, it’s pelting and windy
as I lean into the pane
that proves this world is a cold smooth place.

Wind against window—let the words fight it out—
as I try to remember: What is it
that’s so late in coming? What was it
I understood so well last night, so well it kissed me,
sweetly on the forehead?

Wind against window and my late flowering brain,
heavy, gone to seed. Pacing
from room to room and in each window
a different version of a framed woman
unable to rest, set against a sky
full of beating wings and abandoned
directions. Her five chambered heart
filling with the panic of birds, asking: What?

What if not this?

~ Olena Kalytiak Davis