DO NOT LOSE ME
Do not lose me
In the shallow waters
Outside your heart.
My ship requires
The deep harbor channel
Of your soul
Where the bottom is deep,
The sides wide
And the current strong.
BECAUSE THE FEELING EXISTS
Laughter, joy, pain and sorrow
Are all emotions that seduce my pen
And inspire it to act as scribe for my heart.
I must feel; therefor, I must write.
This is no mean task
Which my heart must perform.
It is an obligation incurred in my childhood
And renewed at each milestone I encounter.
Like magic, my pen moves.
Like water, the words flow.
My head becomes the computer, my heart the programmer,
My hand the tool.
And the message is set down on paper
As proof that the feeling existed somewhere.
TO DECLARE ORDER
I AM AN ARTIST;
I MUST DISTURB THE APPARENT PEACE,
WORDS ARE MY WEAPONS,
TO INTRUDE UPON
WITH RATIONAL ORDER.
Wait for me
While I try my new wings.
But they are so new and so light.
I must see how fast they can carry me
And how much weight they can bear.
I awoke one morning
I had never seen anything like them.
They were so light and pretty
When I found that they could lift me
From the ground to heaven's heights,
They were mine and could do those things.
I'm gonna ride the surf
Feel the waves upon my back
And hear the sun sing in my brain.
I have decided...
No more will I fear the heights
Or dread the fall
Or keep lead weights on my feet.
I will be as free as a glider
Caught on the tail end of the Gulf Stream.
I will travel as far as Time
And as slowly as infinity passes
Realizing the absurdity
Of a weighted existence,
Relishing the enchantment of free flight.
Rang my doorbell
And asked for me by name.
Invited me to come outside.
Bid me leave indoors
My woolen coat,
High boots, gloves
And winter worries.
Kissed me softly
On both cheeks,
My sleeping mind,
Grabbed me by the hand
Come play with me
Have you ever watched a rainstorm
Coming 'cross a hill at sunset
Arrayed in early evening splendor,
Moving slow and sultry,
Smelling hot and earthy
Caressing the ground tenderly?
Have you ever watched lightning
Flash across a mid-day sky
Slice through the clouds
And open the way for quick
Piercing bullets of wetness
To strike the ground
In rapid succession?
Have you ever watched it pour
Satiny smooth curtains
Down your window pane
Filtering what little light
Was left outside
Making ruffles on the glass
Like the memory of the tide
Upon the seashore?
I feel like that rain
In all its many forms
For I too come in many guises,
Be it gently, fierce or piercing
I will find a way to live
Neither at your command
Or under your control
But always for your growth.
FOR SYLVIA WOINGUST BRANCHCOMB
Without being called.
Your strong vibrations
Reach out across the miles
And beckon them closer...
Closer to the source of their strength
And their peace.
And they remember
All the happy times you've shared.
The laughter and the tears...
The steadfastness of your love
That never changes
Even though the miles spread wider
Your past surprises for them
Form the giving of their present.
Your lessons spoken in abbreviated design
Form the backdrop of their present lives.
It is with awe that I watch you
Command their attention
With the movement of an eye,
An inflection of your breath
Or the humor of your laughter.
Ah, it is the value of a life well lived
To see its reflection in the young ones
Whose lives you have touched.
And yours has been a life well lived.
Reflected in the eyes of all the youngsters
Who love you ever so dearly.
FRIENDSHIP STILL LIVES
Two people get to be so close
Then circumstances separate their lives.
Their interaction lessens
And soon the joys
That they so frequently shared
Are no more.
So they independently seek other people
To share their daily lives
And the fire of their friendship wanes.
No it is not dead,
It only slumbers
And flames so softly
That it loses its once brilliant glow.
And yet, in time of need
It can still burn brightly
With only one small puff of breath.
MY BIG SISTER
When I was thirteen, she was seventeen
I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world
Prettier than all the movie stars on the silver screen.
She was chosen “the most popular girl” in her senior class
And I agreed...I adored her.
I’d sneak to the store and buy her cigarettes
So the owner wouldn't know they were for her
And tell our Mama.
You see, she was my big sister
And I would have done anything for her.
All I ever wanted was to grow up
And look just like her.
A boy I knew kept asking me
"You gonna look like your sister when you grow up?
If so, I'm gonna wait for you."
She finished school and went away to college.
I didn't see her often after that.
One of the few times I did,
I lent her my entire week's allowance.
We've both grown up now
And gone our separate ways.
She recently sent me an office newsletter
With her picture in it.
As I looked at the picture,
The old familiar feeling
Snaked around my heart
And all the years slipped away.
Once again I was thirteen
And she was seventeen
And I still thought she was the prettiest girl I knew.
A life begins with you.
Ever so tiny
Ever so defenseless
Ever so dependent
But, oh so powerful.
It is able to change your walk,
Influence your spirit,
Improve your outlook,
Imprint upon your life
A sense of purpose,
And soothe your minor fears.
So take this life
And share its joys...
Contemplate its development,
Contribute to its independence
And cherish your part in it all.
Motherhood is a gift to tomorrow
Bestowed upon many,
Welcomed by most
And cherished by a few.
Welcome to this world
Small, sweet child.
"Kali" they have named you
Love we shall give to you
And joy you bring to us.
You are but two days old;
Still you have great power
In your small seven pound body.
You can see, you can hear, you can feel
And you can know. So know this:
We shall love you,
We shall guide you,
We shall watch you grow
And we shall pass on to you
Those things we hold most precious.
You, Kali, child of love
Our hope for tomorrow
Welcome to our world.
A new face dances on your stage of life.
Her name is ablaze across the lighted marquee
And the spotlight focuses on her tiny, perfect form.
Your baby is here! A brand new person
Who has yet to see the sun rise
Or feel the wind blow upon her body.
Through you, she will see, hear, feel and touch this world.
She will open your eyes to the newness of the old
As she discovers your "present."
Hold her close, but let her grow
Into the marvelous creature that God means for her to be.
Congratulations for your contribution
To the world of tomorrow.
May the three of you continually please one another.
I've been watching Mamas,
Mamas and their babies...
Not Mama-mamas, but Baby-mamas
Near eighteen years old
With barrettes holding
The latest hairstyles,
The latest fads
On their slender bodies
And their three year olds
Holding their hands.
Yes, I've been watching Mamas
And wondering how
Can teach their babies
To survive intact
While they're still trying to learn
How to survive at all.
I've been watching Mamas
While they made eyes
At eighteen year old boys
And played the games
Eighteen year old children play
While holding their three-year-olds
By the hand.
I've been watching Mamas
With their innocence and youth
Chained in the responsibility
Of caring for a three-year-old
Who calls Them Mama.
I've watched these Baby-mamas
Proud when a passer-by
Say, "what a cute baby!"
But shy when a boy catches their eye
Then looks past them
At that same cute baby
Holding their hand.
Life is hard enough
For a Mama-mama.
But for a Baby-mama all alone
What is she gonna do
With a baby-child?
I used to say that maybe I ought to have a baby
Because I had so much to give a child.
and because I had seen so many of the mistakes
Other people made with their children.
And finally, I felt an innate ability
To relate to, guide and understand children.
Even those reasons were not strong enough
To impel me to give life to another human being.
Now, it is too late, I no longer can choose.
Yet, I am not sorry that I did not take that fateful step.
There are children in my life.
They are simply not my children.
But then I wonder
Would or could even a child from my own body be mine?
You cannot make a child love you.
Either they do or they don't.
They will only be with you in body, not spirit.
It is their will that prevails, not their biological parents'.
Perhaps I have not lost anything at all.
I may even be ahead of the game.
I REMEMBER YOU
You know, You look familiar
I don't recognize your name
But your face is a part of my past
My college days.
Oh, so you're a lawyer now?
Long way from the young college guy
I used to see.
I remember you because you never had anything to say,
To me that is
But I heard your crude remarks
About my skinny legs and nappy hair
And narrow hips...and your snickering.
I remember you, and it still brings a bitter taste
To my mouth.
My, my. . . how things change.
You condescend to speak to me now.
To ask my help?
You say you only ask because
You've got a difficult case coming up in court
And you need some vital information fast
And I come highly recommended, huh?
And you're willing to pay?
I'm not surprised somebody recommended me,
I know how good I am.
Too good to be wasting my time on a brand new lawyer
Who doesn't know a damn thing.
Go ask your political favors elsewhere, man.
Ask one of the girls you talked to a long time ago
Maybe one of them will be in a position to help you.
Ask them...not me.
I'm too busy.
I give my favors to those who took the time to care
Otherwise, get in line
Behind all the others out there.
There are lots of folks who need my help today.
Lots of folks, who are better than you.
TO THE RESCUE
I have been rescuing folks
From too-soon deadlines,
Fast arriving holidays
Lack of ready cash
Shortness of time
And loss of temper
But never myself...
Never do I rescue me
From the perils of life
I am far too busy.
But I am not every man's Messiah
Put here to ease the road ahead.
I must stop smashing the rocks
In other's paths
And crush those in my own.
I must come to my own rescue
'Cause I am surely
In need of rescue.
You want to be my "friend"
So you do and say all of the right things.
You praise my good ideas
And steer me away from the not so good.
You encourage me to try harder,
You listen to me
You talk to me
Your share my secrets
And you help me plan ways to accomplish my dreams.
You seek out the vehicle for my travel
And you travel with me.
You are no longer simply my "friend"
Your description means more.
You have set foot in a private domain.
Your title now is "lover."
Now the role steps in.
I expect you to be all to me.
I no longer feel that your attention
Is a cherished favor,
But a possession to be clutched and treasured.
But love grows not in cramped quarters
It must be free to flourish.
Yet I am jealous and want all of you.
You rebel, I pout and say,
"If you loved me, you wouldn't want anything else."
You respond with, "yes, I love you,
But you cannot be everything to me."
I cry. You have rejected me, I feel.
So I cut all ties.
Reject you as both friend and lover.
We are both losers to the "role."
Your title now is "ex."
WHAT WILL YOU DO...WHEN?
What will you do with me
when I am old?
When my skin is no longer smooth,
But wrinkled and dry.
When my dancing eyes
No longer dance...
And my lilting voice
Grows cracked and weary.
When the thick dark hair
Your fingers love to touch
Grows first gray and then thin.
When my bouncing walk
Becomes only aged locomotion.
What will you do with me
When my firm high breasts
Are only a memory in your mind
The mementos sagging on my chest...
When my strong, supple thighs
Can no longer easily entwine your own?
When my long, slender fingers
Grow twisted, becoming arthritic reminders
Of what once moved so elegantly?
When your questions go unanswered
Because their meanings escape me
As will have so many of my dead brain cells?
What will you do with me
When I am no longer young,
And no longer beautiful?
We ar not compatible, you and I
My Dear, Sweet Gemini
For the stars have decreed it so.
My watery brand of warmth and closeness
Overcomes both your selves
And make you so very uneasy.
You only want me when I am gone
And gone, I do not need you.
So in our separate worlds
We search for ideal lovers
Ordained by the stars and planets.
But I am truly sorry,
For I loved you ever so dearly
In spite of the stars.
I AM GONE
You don't even realize it,
But I have left you.
My body is still here
And so are my eyes, my smile and my voice.
It is my soul that is gone.
That part of me that makes me ME
Found it impossible to stay
And endure the pain
You crammed time and again
Into the tine space that held my SELF
I never begged you to stop the hurt
I always thought that love would stay
A hurting hand.
But I have found that this is not so.
The hand still strikes in spite of love
And because of love,
The pain is doubled.
So now I live in dreams.
A world where love is true
And pain is not.
My friends think I have gone crazy.
I do not know.
For I am no longer here
And your pain cannot touch ME.
I saw your smile as sunshine
In a room so filled with gloom.
I heard your voice as music
In the stillness of a tomb.
I felt your arms about me
Giving warmth in bitter cold.
I knew your dreams as legends
Sung by troubadours of old.
In time, you became distant
Like the clouds o'er yonder hill.
You smiled, but where not with me
And you look did make me chill.
Now by candles, stars and moonbeams
Shining in my room each night,
I sit and clutch your mem'ry
As a thing do dear and bright.
And I hope that you'll remember
That I sit and wait for thee
Beside the chair that held you
When you came to visit me.
LEAVE SOME BEHIND
We came together and we loved
You took all I gave, then left me.
Still, I do not hate you.
To do that would mean
All the time we spent together was wasted
I cannot do that...there were good times.
There were things we experienced, shared and enjoyed,
I loved you...
I gave a part of me to you
And I still carry a part of you inside me.
I force myself to remember the good parts
To salvage from the relationship all that I can
And not let the bad ending be an explosion
That destroys the entirety.
In order to hate you
I must destroy that part of me that you carry
And each time I destroy another part of myself
I leave less to love once more.
PAST, BUT PRESENT
You filled her yesterdays,
Now you watch her tomorrows
Like just so many images
Flashed upon a darkened screen.
She has moved on to newer things,
Still, she cares for you...
You are a distant memory
Nibbling gently at her brain,
A flashing light
Illuminating her heart
A remembered pressure
Upon her soul.
Wise, but distant man
Sole witness to her pain...
To her book of pleasure
She thanks you.
What could her life be
Without your warming memory
To thaw her on cold mornings?
WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL HER?
Why didn't someone tell that young girl
When she designed her room
That there would be no man to share it. . .
To hang his cares upon the corner rack
Or dream his dreams
Upon her high, soft bed
Or brush his feelings
Before her wide eyed mirrors.
No man would ever see
The multitude of jewels
Splashed upon her bedside table
Brilliant in her love light...
Why didn't someone tell her
So she could have made her room
Dark...and barren...and joyless,
Like her life would become?
IN HER EYES
She shows it in her eyes
As she watches her man;
Love, because the mere sight of him
Makes her heart sing again.
Disillusionment, because he didn't keep
Any of the promises he made on their wedding day.
Sadness, brought on by the realization
That he'll never be any different than he is.
Anger, from knowing that he'll always have
Another woman on the side.
Fear, that one day he'll leave her
For newer pleasures.
Disgust, with herself for loving him so
And wanting him to stay.
IN THE SILENCE
Hourly I am surprised to find
That another number has fallen into place
On the stark-faced digital clock
Sitting sullenly upon the wall.
Signifying that I have at least momentarily
Pushed YOU out of my mind
And let another hour pass softly from my life.
I consciously do not let myself
Dwell upon your past words...
Or actions, or inclinations, or absence.
Bur suddenly, a memory will sneak up,
Grab me by the mind, and twist a tear
From the corner of a darkened room
Where laughter once reigned supreme,
But now lies cloaked
In the silence of loneliness.
I no longer cry
The salty pearls of sadness
Nor sing a plaintive song of woe.
I no longer feel
The pain of your farewell
Nor wear the look
Of sad depression,
For I have gotten over you.
My face is now a mask
Of clear illusion,
Marked by just another smile
That reaches no further
Than the corners of my mouth,
And warms neither my heart
Nor that of any other.
But I have gotten over you.
My eyes are now one-way windows
No longer revealing
What I'm feeling in my heart
Or dreaming for my future.
Just windows looking outward,
Allowing me to move about the world
Without stumbling over sidewalk cracks...
Now that I have gotten over you.
Resignation is the only rouge I wear, and
Stark disillusion colors my eyelids.
The darkest shade of pain
Outlines the tragic droop
Of my no longer blooming lips
And paints a matching hue
Upon my bleeding fingernails.
But I have gotten over you,
Or so I tell myself.
ONE WHOLE YEAR
Twelve months have come and gone
Since this madness first began,
I have silently watched four season
Caress the ground where my feet walk.
My heart has been turned to stone
And that stone is washed by pain.
I have seen the trees change
From bare to buds to lush greens...
To dying browns.
And now they grow bare again,
To remind me of the pain that first I felt
Twelve months ago...
When I first learned
another ruled your soul,
And teased your mind
And made you laugh,
Instead of me...
I've stopped crying, but still I hurt.
I cannot seem to forget
I do not want to forget.
I hold onto the pain as a memento
Of how love can victimize the unsuspecting...
And one thoughtless act
Can spoil an eternity of happiness.
It cannot be erased, so it is remembered
One year later.
TO MY MOTHER
I watched you only through my child's eye
For you left me long before I grew to womanhood.
All your values were imprinted upon me
As were your fears and your dreams.
You even taught me to see with blinders on.
No wasted moments of leisurely love passed between us.
We had so much ground to cover, and so little time left.
You loaded my mind, cocked the trigger with morals
And aimed the barrel at high achievements.
But always the blinders were there.
When you left me, I took them off
And found myself alone . . .
With so many unanswered questions ringing in my brain.
But you were gone...who could I turn to find your answers?
So I put my blinders back on and kept randomly shooting.
Always aiming where you last pointed.
Oh, my long dead mother, I still call out your name
In dire need.
So speak to me...answer these many questions
So that your child, now grown in body, can also grow in truth.
Nothing is as sure as change
Little is as painful as accepting it.
Once more I have reached a rocky spot
In the road I travel.
Rough stones tear at my bare feet
As I try to cross them lightly.
For even stones know
That you cannot tread lightly over them.
But cross them I must
If I am to reach those smooth spots
In my path yet to come.
I try to cast my mind
Either ahead or behind me
And think of the good times.
Hoping that these bad times will not hurt me so.
But past or future joys
Bring little ease to present pain.
So I set my mind each time
On taking just one more step
And trying not to think
On how badly I hurt.
I cannot change the stones in my path
I can only pass over them
And heal once more.
I'm going away
Leaving behind all those things
That never meant anything to me anyway
Carrying with me bits and pieces
Of all the people who have touched my life
And the person I love
Hoping to find a place where I can breathe
And grow stringer in self
Contribute something to tomorrow
Leave a bit of me on the pages of history
Sleep in a familiar bed, safe, sound and peaceful.
Wonder where this place is...and wonder who controls it?
Let me find the self I lost so long a time ago.
Let me discover who I am and swiftly come to know,
That in my body beats a heart a soft and tender thing.
Now ready to accept the warmth that only love can bring.
Oh let me learn to trust again and recognize the feel
Of love when given tenderly, so genuine and real.
Let me touch the child in me and calm her troubled fears.
Replace her cool protectiveness with love, and dry her tears.
Oh let me share the beauty of the love I have to give.
Let me discover life with you and make our hearts to live.
She rejoices...She adores...She dreams...She hopes...
She likes...She rejects...She endures...She protects...
She accepts...She remembers...She hurts...She loves...
I AM WOMAN-BLACK
I am Woman-Black
By history I am: strong like iron,
Smooth and taunt like steel,
Straight and true like an arrow.
I do not cry or whine,
For I am Woman-Black.
I flutter not in the wind,
I don not break in the storm,
I do not melt in the rain.
Neither do I swoon in the noonday sun
Nor cry out in the darkest night.
For I am Woman-Black.
My life is not like your life.
No spangle adorn my dress
Or diamonds my fingers.
No summer sun darkens my skin
My father's genes did that long before I was born.
For I am Woman-Black.
My children differ like jewels of the earth.
One is the color of her father,
Another is the color of me.
And the other two?
They are colors barely dreamed of by gifted artists.
For I am Woman-Black.
I carry a tradition of strength
Deep within my being.
Work is a thing I do
Because my family needs the pay.
My Mother did the same,
And her Mother before her.
I am Woman-Black
Within my soul and on my lips
Is a prayer that the man I love
Will save me from this iron prison.
Remove my mask of steel
And see the softness here within.
Touch my heart with his kindness
And heal my wounds with his kiss.
Share the pleasure and ease the pain
For we are both people-people Black.
HOW SHE DIFFERS
She is not stirred by mid-evening breezes
Or softly twinkling stars in the nighttime sky.
She is not content to travel the outer borders
Of this jungle world called life,
Or view the mountains' glory
From the stillness of the valley below.
She is not satisfied to pluck a single grape
And tease her tongue with its moisture
Or content to dip her hand in the well of life
And rub it coolly across the warmth of a fevered brow.
No picture postcard lover is she
No idle observer of the flashing lights
That shine upon another's stage.
Her desire is to quaff the thirst of ages
And bathe her weary heart in life's soothing springs.
Hers is a joy from fearsome coastal gales
Fiery thunderstorms, swiftly falling stars
Noonday eclipses...rumbling volcanoes
And deafening waterfalls.
She is the eighty mile gale, the electric current
The rumbling earthquake and the raging flood
All beneath the placid contours
Of one thin layer of harvest brown veneer
She is your woman...every woman
Vibrant in her self discovery.
In a country marked by malice
And a nation moved by might
There exists a special people
Separated by their plight.
By their colors do you know them
That determines their distress
Not the workings of their minds
Or their willingness to "yes."
Give them not a job to feed them
And ignore their natural drive
Then sit back and count their numbers
While they struggle to survive.
Daily curse them while they hunger
'Neath your cold inhuman gaze.
Separate them from their past, then
Fill their minds with useless haze.
'Tis a paradox to see them
Fight the odds and reach new heights
While the powerful declare them
To be void of all insight.
Take their hopefulness and candor
Turn their lovingness to hate
Fill their hearts with righteous anger
Watch their smiles disintegrate.
Think not that your mighty power
Will avert my peoples' wrath
For no price will be too mighty
And no sacrifice too vast.
'Neath their skins of many colors
Beats one heart and brain alike
They will one day rise in union
To destroy their victor's might.
A MEETING OF THE MINDS
A sigh across a noisy room
A look behind a shielded eye
A smile upon a stony face
Implies a meeting of the minds.
You rise and walk between the pairs
Then stand before me, take my hand
Into your arms I slowly glide
To share meeting of the minds.
The music speeds, my heart keeps time
Your closeness takes my breath away.
I cannot think, I only feel
This sudden meeting of the minds.
Without a word, you lead the way
My body follows silently
You pull me closer, press me near
Insure this meeting of the minds.
The music stops, my heart beats on
My feet no longer touch the ground
And then you speak and guarantee
A lasting meeting of the minds.
No voice is heard, no visions seen
No people share this dancing room
For you and I alone exist
To know this meeting of the minds.
I leave my body, merge with yours
We move beyond the confines of
A world where so few know the way
To marry both the flesh and mind.
When first my eyes touched you
I felt a movement beneath my stomach
Like the faint stirrings of an unborn child.
Yet, never had I been with child.
The verbal introductions were mere words
Acquainting my new outer self with yours.
My inner self already knew you,
From the time before...
When we were man and wife
And shared a thousand days in one.
Still you charm my mind
And unleash my urgent need for you
With the unseen movement
Of your thundering heartbeat
Against your chest.
I grip with my mind
The memory of what you wear
So that I may relive this 'dream'
In vivid refrain
Tomorrow...when I awaken.
I know it must be a dream
And we both must be actors
For I have never seen you before,
And your familiarity must be an old lie
That I tell myself each night I dream
This old familiar dream.
I AM LOVE
I liked his eyes
And the sound of his voice,
So I stayed for a while and listened.
One by one, my shells were shed
And my secrets left my tongue.
I told him of my dreams and fears,
No stones were left unturned.
Ours became an intellectual friendship
Marked by laughter and sharing...and
Based on mutual admiration.
He fed my ego and I his.
But underneath our egos
Lay a creature seldom seen
Who thrived on our truth and honesty
And quickly outgrew the confines of our restrictions.
Soon he became a dominant factor in each our lives.
Without success, we tried to subdue him.
He would not let us ignore him,
He demanded to be heard.
So finally, we listened. This he said:
"You have denied my existence with your over exercised minds.
You no longer feel with your hearts;
Instead, you lead blindly with your heads.
It has only brought you to the brink of self delusion.
You don not even recognize me.
ME! Who gives meaning to your lives
And directs your very being.
ME! The inner core that lifts your lives
From the mundane to the sublime.
You have mistakenly labeled me lust
And have treated me accordingly.
To label me does not alter my being,
I am LOVE, the center of all you are and ever shall be.
Treat me accordingly!"
It is not just a sexual arousal that I feel.
It is as if my very soul is stirring,
Coming alive from its season of rest.
It is neither love nor passion that stirs within me.
I cannot call its name,
I can only experience its awakening.
I feel it begin to breathe and take life.
Its heartbeat is mine...I know its sound;
And yet, it is a stranger to me,
A stranger within.
He makes me want to shed my clothes
And climb into bed with him
Not for sex...
But for the sheer joy of our bodies together
Breathing, sharing, touching and talking.
He treats me special,
He makes me feel special.
With him, I am special.
It seems our paths only cross at night
When our faces are lit either by the moon
Or some man-made light.
I know not the true color of your eyes,
For never have I seen them by daylight.
They seem to be a dusty smoke,
Not the sparkling dancing brown
That I know sunlight must make them.
I have felt the curl and thickness
Of the hair that caresses your skin.
I know that it grows in plush abundance
Everywhere my hands have touched.
Beneath it, your skin is but a velvet texture
Imprinted on my fingertips.
Your smell invades my brain like warm acid.
I recognize the fragrance
Of newly washed skin,
Touched with the essence of some earthly spice,
Whose name I do not know.
I once wondered if you were real
Or only a fantasy of the night
Dreamed up by my desires, to fulfill my wishes.
I feel like a blind person who once could see,
And noticed everything.
I want to see again...
I want to see your breath
Against the winter's coldness.
I want to see the shape of your fingers
And your mouth...
Your soft lovely inviting mouth.
And the way it must move
When you speak and laugh and smile,
And how your eyes change when they fall upon me
Let the sights of you be mine too,
And put in harmony my universe
Of touch, smell and sound.
The hour is two a.m.
And here I sit in another city.
Yet, the memory of a time twenty four hours ago
Rules my mind with a sensuous hand.
It compels me to remember a touch, a word, a sound.
As brilliant as the taste of ripe wine
Is the memory of your lips touching mine -
The feel of your body beside me, above me and beneath me -
Still lingers on my skin.
Suddenly a frightening thought assaults my brain.
How can I ever embrace his life
When it is set upon a course so different from my own?
My inner self provides a simple answer.
"You have both charted courses for your lives
That travel steadily across the heavens.
Neither is exclusive, neither is wrong.
They simply run parallel to each other.
Continue on your course,
But reach out to that person who travels nearby.
Share the joys, and halve the troubles.
You can both reach your goals, alone...but together."
Our lives merged at a special moment in time.
Each touched the other with a special magic
That transforms the ordinary affairs of everyday life
Into the sublime treasures of fantastic ecstasy.
There is no end to the pleasures we can share,
Only the promise of fulfillment
Within the realm of each new dream we dare to dream.
With my mind's eye and heart's passion
I see you beside the path I travel.
I offer you my hand so that together
We may make happiness as we strive to reach our dreams.
How did we chance to meet
You with your thick armor
And me with my virgin coat
Wrapped tightly about me?
How did we ever see the people underneath
Or even know that they were there?
Yet, you found my sizzling heart
Capable of thawing ice cubes
On a zero degree morning.
I, in turn, found your little-boy joy
And together we put roller skates
On the word love.
You were the only one
Who ever took the time
To look behind the stone facade
I used to wear.
You lifted back the gates
That hid the inner me
And loosed upon my soul
A certain ecstacy,
And so I wrote this song
To tell you how I feel.
I see your smiling face
Somehow I know it's real.
No longer need I hide
Behind a stone facade;
Instead I wear a smile
No longer need I guard
For I'm protected by
The strength of your sweet love
And I can live my life
And show the inner me.
FOR COMFORT ONLY
I called you baby
A twelve year old child in disguise.
How very right I was.
I hear you calling out in the night
And reaching for feelings
Hoping that they're there,
But fearful that they aren't.
Your mind is adept at making it seem
That you are not hurt by rejection.
I can almost see you gather your mantle about you
To shield you from the wind.
But, the wind seeps through
Its loosely woven threads.
It provides no protection and little comfort.
True, the winter wind blows most fiercely,
And even love cannot stay its sting.
But I am not the winter wind.
I am the gentle summer's breeze
That caresses your soul
And carries it softly across the meadows of my life.
My love I give you as a banner.
Wear it around your heart.
It will sustain you,
It will comfort you,
And it will please you
Child that you are.
You have been gone so long
That the song in my heart took a vacation.
Come sing it to me again.
I remember the music
It is the words that have grown vague.
When I have not seen you for a long, long time
And have not touched your heart through sound,
You seem to be only a distant sweet memory
In the back of my mind.
I remember what you look like,
Faintly how you smell,
Vividly how you feel
And very well how you kiss.
But the reality of you existence escapes me,
And I clutch at my dream.
Hurry back, My Darling,
How long have I been sittin' waitin'?
Perhaps a lifetime
Maybe years or only just hours.
I only know that it feels so familiar
As if I have always done it.
I have learned how to pass the hours
To take myself from one period of time to another
Markin' time until you...
Until you called,
Until you returned.
Until I could put my arms around you once again.
I've grown dependent on your face,
Dependent on your touch.
So, I sit and wait...
And curse myself for needin' you so.
MY RELEASE FROM HELL
Being in love is a real high;
But it can also be a haunting, humiliating
State of affairs.
We purposely put ourselves
Through the tortures of the damned
And pray that things stay that way.
All the while, we do not want to be released
From that self-imposed hell.
For even at its worse,
We fear its alternative-
With fear in my heart
I faced the monster
And demanded my release from his hell.
No longer did I wait
For a situation to present itself
And let me react accordingly.
I set the stage for the confrontation
And made the first move.
"I am unhappy with things the way they are...
I am angry."
My words...my words.
I actually said how I was feeling.
It was as if I were a stranger
Listening to me talk for the first time.
I did not run away
I did not hide.
I said to him what I was feeling
In my heart.
And I felt the better for saying it.
And from hearing him respond.
I had been playing the game
With men all before.
Yet, I had never had a part
In setting up the rules.
So always I was the silent loser.
Now perhaps I too can win.
IF I AM TO BE THINE
Not because thy jewels call my name
And need my parts
To complete their splendor.
Come because thy heart is lonely
And need to speak with mine
If only for a moment.
As I am flesh and blood
I also am emotions
And that part must be touched
If I am to be thine.
There is such an ease about him
Just soft, gentle touches.
He kisses my fingertips
And strokes the hair on my arms.
He touches my ears, and my nose,
With his warm, soft lips.
He seems to anticipate my need
And aims to meet them at their inception.
So different, so sweet, so sure.
I like the way he kisses me,
Gently, yet firmly and with vigor.
Softly he probes the interiors of my mouth
With his sweet tongue.
All the while, his hands
Are giving sweet salutations to my body.
I feel as if I am an ember in a fireplace
And someone in gently blowing on me
To awaken my fire and make it flame.
Something pleasurable just flitted through my mind
And brought a smile to my lips.
I tracked it down
And found it to be the memory of your body
As I first saw it unclothed.
My eyes embraced your skin
And traced the broadness of your shoulders,
Following the line of your back
Down to the tapering of your hips and thighs.
It brought joy to my eyes then
And the memory still brings equal pleasure.
I watched you move so very sensuously that day.
I followed you with my eyes
As you turned full circle before me,
Exposing yourself fully to my view.
I wanted to reach out and touch each place
That caught my eye
And made me marvel at the wonder of it.
You are truly a magnificent creature.
Your skin is like new honey
With the sun shining through it.
The distance between your shoulders
Allows a lover an endless expanse
Upon which to plant small, sweet kisses of adoration.
Your hands carry a protective strength
Gloved in the softness of caring.
Unencumbered by clothing,
Your loins give tribute to their maker
For his ability to combine beauty with utility.
Just enough hair to decorate without obscuring,
Enough initial size to titillate the imagination
And give promise of infinite pleasure,
And enough strength of character
To live up to the promise of it all.
OUR PRIVATE WORLD
Let's lie a-bed
And watch the misting rain
Outside the bedroom window...
And listen top the wind
Gently shape each droplet
Before it kisses the ground.
Come, let's press our bodies
Ever so close together
That even the air
Will not pass between us
As we breathe.
Let's lie a-bed
Where language grows too bold
And must succumb to touch
To tell the store
Of the joy we share
Inside this private world
Surrounded by the rain.
TO EXPRESS THIS FEELING
For oh so many months
I have wanted to create something.
Something of flesh and blood
To feel growing beneath my heart.
I have wanted you to leave me fruited...
Carrying your unborn child
After our lovemaking was over.
A thing of flesh and blood
To prove that you touched me
And loved me...
And to make me yours and you mine.
I have wanted to see you morning brown eyes
Duplicated in our baby's face.
And your tender moving mouth
Suckled gently at my breast
I have wanted to see your rich skin color
Stretched smoothly over an eight pound baby's frame...
And your wonderful name repeated on a birth certificate.
You, and you alone, give me the urge to reproduce...
To reproduce and celebrate this joyous love I feel
That so surely needs a new life
To fulfill its expression.
If I could, I would void your past
Deny your future
And keep you in a now of my own making.
I would possess you like a thought
And keep all life at arm's distance from you.
I would preserve you like new fruitcake in old wine.
I would send them all away.
Let your laughter be heard only by my ears
Share your beauty only with the sun and moon.
Have you touch reach out to me alone.
I would deny you any other contact.
I would be selfish and hoarding with you, my Darling,
But I know all too well
That then, I would only have a beautiful
Preserved in cold but loving glass.
And I prefer my butterflies flying free.
Sometimes when I think of you
I want to expand this relationship of ours
The whole sense of magic
That encompasses our meetings
Flashes upon my brain
And time is crystallized into solidity.
Our meetings are never real
Always they seem too bright, too vivid
Too arousing to be the stuff that mere humans experience.
When I am with you, neither of us is human...
Time is not measured by clocks
Words and feelings are not exchanged
By breath across vocal chords
And need is something I know nothing of.
I am surrounded by all that ordinary life
Pretends to offer the masses.
Your hands are not bones and muscles and skin,
Your tongue is not tissue and nerve endings and moisture.
You become an extension
Of the unspoken romantic make-believe in me
That the harsh realities in life
Tuck into the inner recesses of my soul.
You become the velvet energies
That twinkle in and out of my mind
And arouse me beyond the restraints of should or ought
You become the teasing wind that carries me
To heaven's door and hovers with me there
While my spirit ponders whether to enter or die...
For both would bring equal joy.
You, My Dear, are a blessing to my romantic heart.
No further expansion is needed.
I do not blindly rave
At the originality
Of each breath you take
Nor randomly applaud
Every utterance you make.
Mine is the approval
Of a critical mind and ear
For a truly beautiful, intelligent,
Sensitive, yet irrational, human being
With love to share
With all who need.
In my silence,
I am loving you most.
You waited while I tried my wings
Rode high on my self and
Tested all my senses.
You never squeezed me
Only prodded me to fly even higher and
Touch the sky with my little finger...
Paint my name in fluffy clouds
Visible only to me.
And you were always there
Holding the string
That kept me in contact with reality
but ever so gently...
Ever so securely.
I found it lonely out there by myself
And wanted company.
Your freedom let my ego fly
So very far out
It could explore from sense-to-sense
And rise outside myself
Allowing me to see its non-necessity
For my survival.
I found it all because you held the string
And let me fly free, but secure
And waited to draw me back
Take my hand and hold me close
When I was ready to be held
After I met my id,
Miles from here
And only wanted to come home
To where you were waiting.
I used to promise each one
That I would love forever,
Never would I stray
Always would I stay
True and faithful
Till the end of time.
Then I found life changes so.
Each day brings something different.
Old things are transformed,
New things bloom,
Undying love becomes a tomb.
A cherished love withers
On the vine of supervision.
So now, I only say I love...
You, my life...today, tomorrow
It leaves me free
Unfettered by restraints.
And now, I find
That my life flourishes
In this new virgin ground.
Its length, depth and endurance
I do not even question.
I only know that I love freedom
Outside the boundaries set by my mind.
My heart rejoices and flies free...
But each evening, I come home
And lay my head beside his
To share the joys that my freedom brings
To both of us.
A SUCCESSFUL INVESTMENT
Invested my love at the prime interest rate
Compounded the dividends to increase my security,
Contributed to the principle at every occasion.
Made no demands upon the banking institution;
Yet, graciously received each and every advance
While the economic value of my equity assets
Declared a glowing return on a successful investment.
I touched life
Dared to reach out
To all its many passions.
Shed my insulation,
For as surely as it kept out the cold
It also kept out life's warmth.
Extended myself to share my talents
With those around me.
Received in return
The fulfillment of human contact.
Rested secure in knowledge of my self.
Acknowledge the self of others.
Watered the buds of truth and growth.
Cherished the gift of love
In all its many forms.
Chose a loved one worthy of my love,
True in spirit
And compatible in design.
Set my sights on God,
Spread my arms around my fellow man,
Embraced the promise of life eternal
And lived my life that all might see.
THE WILL OF GOD PREVAILS
Watch the pain in someone else's eyes
Hear the need in their voice
And know that you are helpless
To alter either in anyone else's life.
All that you can do
Is offer words, deeds and prayers.
For pain is both given and received
Outside the realm of earthly direction.
No shelter is strong enough,
No person so mighty
To allay the hand of God
That moves so swiftly
To impose His will at will.
DEAR RENAISSANCE MAN
So easily do I capture on paper the nuances of people I meet.
Yet, with you, My Love, I have so much difficulty
giving depth, width and height.
I think of you and my mind sees no visual parameters,
no stark, definitive lines, no beginning, no end.
I close my eyes and can only conjure your brown eyes
and their seriousness behind those rimless glasses,
or their sensuousness as they greet me on rising.
I see your hands so definite and sure
as they move to accomplish a given task.
They carry no lingering caress, only a purposeful touch.
brief, strong, quick. Yet thorough.
I see your mouth as a blind man would,
and I hear your voice as a deaf man would.
And yet, none of that is you. The you I see
is a mass of energy, moving unseen
behind a whirling shield of condensation.
The you I see needs no mouth to communicate,
or hands to touch, or eyes to see.
The you I see, I do not see . . . I only feel.
You are a radiance that jolts me into contemplation.
You are the answer that provokes the question...
You are the idea that seduces the thinker...
You truly are the child who precedes the embryo.
You are my contact with another world
where I selfishly seek to dwell at all times.
I can only get there through your doorway
and you insist upon cluttering it
with the ordinary affairs of mortal man.
Despite it all, you are of this world . . .
I am not.
My life has been an endless search
for the inner space connection to my outer space self.
Are you that connection?
Have I finally found my Nirvana?
A Meeting of the Minds
A Successful Investment
Because the Feeling Exists
Dear Renaissance Man
Do Not Lose Me
For Comfort Only
For Sylvia Woingust Branchcomb
Friendship Still Lives
How She Differs
I Am Gone
I Am Love
I am Woman-Black
I Remember You
If I am to be Thine
In Her Eyes
In The Silence
Leave Some Behind
My Big Sister
My Release From Hell
One Whole Year
Our Private World
Past, but Present
The Will of God Prevails
To Declare Order
To Express This Feeling
To My Mother
To the Rescue
What Will You Do...When?
Why Didn't Someone Tell Her?