Bittersweet

I was looking through very old journal and found some poems I wrote many years ago. This one is from the summer of 2004, with new edits from today. 

 

 

Let me be weightless

falling away from myself,

and step across

the weeping arms of willows.

The ocean is bittersweet;

I’ll swim the depths in search of me.

 

The fullest moon,

smooth as a field of clay,

disguises the sharpest thorns

My skin is cracking

full of red rust.

I am

a drawing of sand

dispersing into the wind.

 

The petals of forget-me-nots die

to be forgotten.

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It’s Book Quote Time!

From Ocean Sea by Alessandro Barricco

“Where does the end of the sea begin? Or, indeed, what are we saying when we say sea? Do we mean the immense monster capable of devouring absolutely anything, or the wave foaming around our feet? The water you can hold in a cupped hand, or the abyss that none can see? Do we say everything with a single word, or with a single word do we conceal everything? I am here, a stone’s throw from the sea, and I cannot even understand where it is. The sea. The sea.”

 

The plot is a little bit odd. The writing is wonderful.

Eyes Open

Spring is an odd progression. It comes phase after blooming phase, a transition that overlaps so much with winter that it becomes almost impossible to tell when it really begins. Right now, the magnolia trees are full of blossoms and a few other trees here and there show their buds in various shades of bright green. Others are still as bare as ever, with no sign of their seasonal green peeking through yet. The change happens so slowly, it is easy to miss the moments when it first starts to show.

The Seasons

Winter came early that year, covering the month of August with a cold cloak of snow. We all grumblingly dug out our winter coats and boots, warm scarves and thick socks, from their summer lodgings of out-of-the-way closets and boxes shoved into corners. The snow ploughs came out, with great difficulty, from their hibernation, so that the world could continue turning for those with places to be. Salt scattered haphazardly, resentfully across sidewalks and streets made messy coatings on tires and shoes. Snowfall ceased for days of respite, but the cold and the sight of sparkling white remained constant.

There was a certain beauty to the snow-covered blooms and bright green leaves of late summer. A perverse beauty, some said, but even the ones who thought so admitted that the glitter of frost on a dark red rose was enchanting.

Yet even the most snow-enamored of us found it rather unsettling. We had never seen August snow, let alone for the entire month. After a few weeks of speculating conversations, people stopped talking about it, instead sitting silently in cars and buses, on porches, wrapped in blankets, with hot tea, staring with interest, concern, and sometimes annoyance at the scenic wintery vistas.

September brought warmer temperatures and steady, mild rains, flooding the streets with a river of melted snow. We put away the cozy winter clothes in exchange for umbrellas, waterproof outerwear, and knee-high rubbery rain boots.

After the melting, everything looked withered and limp, with a grayish tinge of rot. Clouds consistently plugged up the sky, dulling the world that had recently been so bright. Mid-month, nothing had changed. The leaves did not fall from their branches, nor did they turn the familiar yellow, orange, and red of autumns past. Approaching October, which should have brought anticipation of beautiful colors, leaf-jumping, and (of course) Halloween, we found ourselves asking, Will the leaves ever turn? Will they fall, and make room for the new buds of spring? Or will we be trapped in a colorless world of rain, forever?

If one looked out of an elevated window, all one could see was a sea of decorated umbrellas, the only color we could muster in our dreary world.