soul day

do you know the wonder of your soul?
I can tell you don't by how quickly you nodded, good student.
look and hear, darty eyes and doubtful ears,
you are wondrous.
your heart is intricately woven, with ever deepening multiplying layers,
heights, depths and capacities.
the things you dare to dream and hope--
the daring is art in itself.  your soul holds these now.

because how much does tangible mean anyway?
what are arms and legs, faces and fannies
when such a soul you hold?
is it a gentle bird chirp or a roar for justice?
both? 
you hold secrets we cannot even guess.
no, tangible isn't everything, but since you have them,
we can watch those hands and faces for clues
of the love you are.

from deep in your heart,
the curiosity creeps up through your throat
rises into those eyes
spreads from your chest out over shoulders carrying burdens we don't even know,
gliding down lean arms, tracing lined palms
and beading like drops of water along a thread
into those calloused fingertips.
we will watch those eyes and see them seeing us.
we will track those hands as they flutter and pat,
work and weave their way through the world.

all beautiful parts, but just mentions really,
just hints at that rocking woven filling soul.
who can carry all of that about each day and not be extraordinary?
don't forget.

story

how could he create us too wretched to look upon?
did the artist of the world call us to himself, head turned away in disgust,
feeling for us like a woman searching for the light switch in the dark?
then, once we are "in the light,"
he quickly tosses that righteous robe over us
so his eyes can bear to see us?
are his eyes so righteous they're fragile?
must a fearless creator consider being soiled by association?
and then, in an instant --
ta da, you're clean!
ta da, you're in!
ta da, you're beautiful to him!

is it true?
is it false?
that's not even the point anymore.
some will say "it's true.  you told it wrong."
i say, hmmm...no.
i'm a really good listener,
so maybe you did.

jack london

you think you know someone...
we woke and chatted like best friends.  I told her thanks for letting me spend most of last year with my face in her neck.  took her for morning walk, and for first time in a month, let her off the leash for 45 seconds to chase a squirrel.  she did (yes it was cute) then promptly walked a foot to the left and rolled that same neck in something that can only be described as "innards," then as I was shrieking for her to stop, and scrambling to re-leash her, I guess she remembered she was in a Jack London novel, and walked another foot to the right and ate a pile of hummingbird bones.  you could just tell -  they were that cute.  then I thought, "what would Alexander Supertramp clean off innards with?"  so I rubbed her neck with a big wad of clover and walked her home disgusted.
she looks ashamed now, but I swear she strutted.

gavin



yes, he was bear with a keytar, but he hadn't always been.
at one time, he was only a bear with a flute.

you see, Gavin's mother was all about woodwinds.  she used to tell him, "All you need Son, is the breath within you, and you can make the music of angels.  in the bible, they only use wind instruments."  and for a long time, Gavin tried.  he took lesson after lesson, practiced in his room for hours, listened to the great flautists of his time like - well, we all know who they are - why waste time naming them?  but try as he might, he just couldn't find the joy.  the angels weren't on his side.  the wind wasn't within him. 
plus the flute made him look fat.

one evening, he stood before the full length mirror in his room, his claws scrabbling to cover those buttons on the flute that are called - well, we all know what they're called, why waste time naming them?  that night, he gave up the flute for good.  he thought to himself, "mother, I tried.  the breath within me just isn't enough.  sin or not, I need some fucking electricity."

and the rest is history.
or will be.



love paste

in a time before words,
she hunches and works in the dirt,
gathering the herbs, spitting into the mix in her palm
making the heal-mud
she grunts at the achy one to be patient.

years later a man spits into his calloused hand,
stirs dirt with seeing fingertips 'til the mud
is ready for smearing over blind eyes
no hurry, no rush
because it will work.
trees will be seen,
faces received, colors will shine
when it's time.

the ache runs deep
in crevices dark and jagged.
what's even down those holes and hollows?
an ancient ache in my bones
i carry it in my marrow

rubbing her right index into her left palm
the grandmother of grandmothers stirs not knowing
but hoping the paste works
not a balm, but a poultice
not a covering but a drawing out,
bringing the poison
up from the broken places
the rising up threatens to tear and slash me from the inside out.

sometimes it's a musician's minor note that dredges the ache from places you never knew
or a couplet coaxing pain from the hidden to the seen-
pain you can't name, so rilke named for you

whatever way the ache rises
at the surface it turns
from dark to light,
dank to dry,
from shame to redemption
sometimes you can't name the hurt til it's out
and that's okay.
out is the key.

and when love does the drawing out
it doesn't leave it raw on the surface for long.
the balm comes...
people
words
music
quiet
fat robins on matchstick legs...
all of these and more meet the pain when it emerges to take it in their hands, on their backs, in their beaks.

they carry it for you
sometimes far away,
sometimes just far enough that it isn't forgotten
but can be seen safely.

and one day when a friend aches,
you can take them to visit it.
you can point up to that branch where it rests and say
"see?  see, honey...don't be afraid to let it out and away."

it's okay to say nothing

it's okay to say nothing.

duties, obligations, debts and check lists...
if we don't know how to speak of life, marriage, god, religion without these, it's okay to say nothing.
there's no hurry, Honey. 
sit still.  listen.  look into the faces of people and flowers...wait.  breathe.  ponder.
when it's time for words, say simply:  love.
love.
mercy.
compassion.
they're never wrong.  they're never dangerous.
i believe this more everyday, and this is why:

when you speak of duty, guilt, debt and obligations to god, to spouse, to world, even to self...
one group of people never hear - it rolls off their backs like water off a goose.  no harm done, no help done.
another group of people scoffs and carries on.  maybe no extra harm done, certainly no help done.
but the people who react to words like guilt and duty - Honey, those people already carry more guilt and duties than you can imagine.  sometimes, we are just born that way.  your words and commands soak into our deepest broken places and reinforce all of their aches and burdens.  even when they want to claw up and out of that cave, they will take in more guilt, because they believe they deserve it anyway.

speak of love.
you worry some people believe they are too "good," but stop.
grades like good and bad only change behavior.
no one really cares about being good or bad.  they only care about being loved.
the duty talk will effect change.  you may see it and believe you're on the right path.
but don't be fooled.
people will change behavior to be loved.  they will change, please, work and adapt until you almost don't recognize them and they no longer recognize themselves.
don't make them.  just love them and sit still.
if you need a task, work on learning to receive love, Honey, because if you are using that kind of language, you need it too.

just a day

it's just a day. 
don't make so much of it, honey. 
why you get all bent outta shape tryin' to get ready and prepped?  i'm going to tell you a secret.  you ready?  because you won't like it: 
pssst, come in close...you will never be ready.
i know.
i KNOW.
'tis bullshit, is't not?
what kind of set up is this?  who's in charge here?  i need to speak to the manager of this unmanageable world.
then do.  go speak at him...or her.
but in the meantime, put on real pants, because this day has started already, so you better catch up.
you can let it steamroll you into chewed gum on a sidewalk,
or you can hop on the riffled back of a chubby round robin and coast above it all.
just show up.
p.s. or the bus.  you can also take the bus i guess.