Leaves: A Leaf

A dead, green leaf drifting

Through sunshine waterfalls

Falling

From the brazen branch

 

 

[This is a quickie imagist poem I wrote  a long time ago, hope you’ve enjoyed it! I primarily just wanted to make a quick post to say I’ve re-categorized all my poetry to fit the theme of my blog and there’s now a dedicated section called Leaves to differentiate it from my Roots & Branches series. Updates for all are coming very soon!]

Leaves: The Shack

We know the pen is mightier than the sword, but is the voice mightier than the gun? For what it’s worth, I hope so.

A boy and his gun

Were having some fun

When his dad got home from the army

He took him out back

They shot at his shack

And his dad went back in the morning

They repeated like that

Every year

Every time

A new piece of gear

 

His father was his hero of course

Three tours in Iraq

But more than that

A fourth one he feared

A fourth one to take his dad from his years

 

But he taught him how to respect his guns

And how to shoot and how to have fun

He taught him how to shoot at that shack

Just like his dad had shot in Iraq

 

And then when his parents divorced

And his dad left them

Alone for the course

He had to support his mom

And he said, “I’ll get a gun to protect you mom.”

“I swear.”

 

He struggled as he worked

From store to store

Longing for a weapon

To fight his own wars

But he never got one

He couldn’t afford

Because his mom needed surgery

And there was this girl, who worked at the store…

 

He wanted to provide for them

To control his own ward

Where he’d keep and protect them

And guard from the porch

When they came

He’d pull out his gun

And ward off his ward

To protect his sons

 

But he couldn’t afford one

And so he lost his girl at the store

And a few years later

His mother died too poor

 

His family gone

He now lived alone

Money problems over

He could finally afford

A gun like his father

Had taught him to sport

He’d finally be able

To fight his own wars

 

He got his gun

And he took it back

To where he’d learned to shoot

To shoot like in Iraq

He learned to fire

To care for and clean

His brand new, fully featured AR-15

Collapsible stock and quick magazine release

So he could shoot and protect his streets

And keep on shooting..

 

Modified to repeat repeat repeat

He shot that old shack ’til nothing was left but concrete

 

finally after the deed was done

on that same foundation

where he was cleaning his gun

he thought of his father

and remembered the fun

but his father was gone now

sixteen years weighed a ton

 

he wanted to cry then

but he held back his tears

his father had taught him

“real men don’t cry”

“their fire dries tears”

“they never give up:

they set fire to the world

and enchant the girls with

diamonds and pearls”

 

it was a valuable lesson

he held to its truth

though try

though he might

he cried like a fool

“my father was wrong..”

he thought

“…or might I not be a man?”

 

he stood up and shouldered his tool

to prove

his own truth in this war

to make things like they were before

 

he’d lost his father

and family to (((SJWs)))

who’d taken over his pews

and kept him their tool

he knew what to do

he’d strike at the source

he’d take his country back

and he’d take it by force

he’d stop all the marxists

their ideology

he’d take it all back

with his AR-15

 

and so he marched

with it strapped to his back

ready to shoot it

like he’d been taught by the shack

he took it over to district 67

and marched in the school at 11

 

he shot 7 teachers there dead

and fired 16 more shots

all of which missed

12 ricocheted and tore through the door

where a group of kids hid

twenty and

four

who were shot in cold blood

no way to escape

 

when he saw them lying there he felt

the tears come again

and the lies overcame him

like a bullet to the head

Leaves: Cipher

go about your business–

there’s nothing to see here–

just a girl in a corner

looking for words–

words to teach of a new way

to see– and define things for

what they truly may be–

 

she’s so close to

meaning

but so far away–

maybe she’ll find it

some sane day

when she takes the time

to find the right rhyme

and the rest of the song

falls into place

 

but the rhyme doesn’t

matter– it only gets in the way

of the rest of the message

she’s grasping to say– to you–

you who she already told

to just go away–

watch some television

or some other thing–

get on Facebook–

look up some porn–

whatever you do

when you find yourself bored–

that’s what life’s about

for you– nothing greater–

nothing more

 

what have you done

to learn how to know

what’s happening– here and now–

what do you know about

the girl in the corner–

who’s writing these lies

about you down– nothing–

nothing, nothing she’d say–

there’s nothing to see here–

just go away

 

[Originally written, 2008]

Leaves: The Paint

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here’s a poem I wrote with a broken heart.

you were the paint

in my blue, blue sky

the green of my trees

that green from my eyes

a brush stroke passed

and washed away

the blue, blue blends

and turned into gray

you were the paint

that made my world blend

the mix and the hue

that made my blood red

a dead dry brush

hardened by the paint

put to rest in water

soaked up the cup

you were the paint

yellow and scraped

across intangible lines

drawn around and draped

a drip drop dripped

tears down the canvas face

ruining the rhythm

purposing the pace

building down to nothing

the paint devoured all

and rolled up the color

into fat violet balls

you were the paint

that covered my world in fire

the all consuming orange

that blazed my desire

a dancing flame flickered

caught concocted copse

flirted with flesh

and licked the last drop

 

[Originally written, 2012]

Roots and Leaves: The Devil’s Shape

A mix of prose and poetry describing psychological abuse and sexual assault. Not for the faint of heart.

The Bible is not meant to be read literally.

Nor is the title of this article.

This isn’t an article about the big red-horned fallen angel who supposedly hates God and rules over Hell.

Well, that’s a lie, it is.

But not literally.

This is an article about my own personal Satan.

In biblical sources, the Hebrew term satan describes an adversarial role. It is not the name of a particular character. Although Hebrew storytellers as early as he sixth century B.C.E. occasionally introduced a supernatural character whom they called the satan, what they meant was any one of the angels sent by God for the specific purpose of blocking or obstructing human activity.
– Elaine Pagels, “The Origin of Satan,” 1995

It was then,

As I was a woman

All drawn out of shape,

That the Devil appeared

With his devlish smirk.

He took me up by the mind

And told me his name

I’ve since forgotten it.

But I’ll never forget what it means.

The Devil came up from Kentucky.

I drove him here myself.

We met online.

We’d spent the several weeks previous texting and calling one another every day.

It was going so well.

I’d gone through a divorce about a year and a half  prior and I finally felt ready to date again. I’d dated one other guy briefly. He was nice, but not for me. We’ve maintained a friendship at least.

This time, it felt right.

We met for lunch and then I drove him up tour my hometown.

All throughout the day, everything was perfect. We got along every bit as well in person as we had electronically.

I decided to invite him back to my place.

He sat down, legs spread in my easy chair.

And then, his shape changed.

He became someone else.

Satan revealed himself to me.

He said he was in love

With another woman,

drawn in his shape.

No one could ever love me

But as a waif.

He brought me to

The other side of the veil.

Showed me the void,

and took me to Hell.

He wanted to be called “daddy”

and called me his whore.

If I was a good girl

Maybe I could be more

Maybe he would take me down

For a spin upon his cock

And maybe he would unravel me

From this knitted sock.

The Devil took my shape that day,

And twisted its already twisted form.

Then twisted

and twisted

and twisted it more

And that’s the last thing I can tell you about that. The rest is one big blank I have ripped out of my mind. I honestly can’t tell you what followed.

I can only remember the terror of it.

Complete subversion. Total bewilderment. Utter disorientation.

What did I do? What choice did I have?

I like to think I stood up to him and overcame my adversary right then and there and threw him out of my house.

But I know that’s not what happened.

The nearest memory I have, I was driving again, on the road back to Kentucky.

He seemed pleased.

His shape wasn’t twisted anymore.

He was the same as before.

I thought about driving my car into the Ohio River.

The world would have been a better place if I did.

He haunted me for years after.

My mind was filled with monsters. The world was on fire.

Once you meet the Devil, he’s always with you.

He’ll never stop trying to rip you from Heaven and condemn you to Hell.

But, like any adversary, he can be overcome.

Like God, and like me, I hope you have angels to help if you ever meet him.

It was a long road to calling myself a survivor, but I’m lucky in that I had a very strong social support network in my life at the time. So many wonderful wounded women who had been through similar events helped me to overcome him.

They are all like sisters to me.

Their support taught me an important lesson. The devil can’t catch you if you’re smarter than him. And so that’s what I did, I became smarter than him. I poured myself into my work. I studied and worked harder than I’d ever known I was capable of and became crafty enough that he couldn’t catch me anymore.

In a weird way, I’d like to thank him.

I’m a much better person because of what he did.

But that would require forgiveness, and that’s not mine to give…

The devil almost had me fooled.

He knew the weaknesses of my shape

And exploited every one.

His tricks twisted me

To his own twisted shape.

But I learned from his tricks

Some tricks of the trade.

I learned how to spin

To twist who I am

And I learned how to do it

Better than him

I learned how to shape

my words,

my body,

my thoughts,

my actions,

my movements,

my soul

To be impenetrable by the Devil

I’ve cast from my Throne.

Condemned,

to eternal shaplessness.

He taught me to shape

And how to forget.

He taught me survival

And the pain of it.

He taught me forgiveness…

and the truth therein:

Sometimes, it’s best left to God.

I hope he’s somewhere praying.

He can arrive at any moment

You don’t always hear his chime

He will try to change your shape

He will try it every time

And sometimes, if you let him

While you’re not watching your shape

He will take and take and take from it

And take,

and take,

and take..

The foolish thing in all this is

This twisted

twisted

twisted shape

This shape the Devil’s made of you

Is his own devilish shape

The only shape that matters is

The shape you make alone

The shape that you take with you

That pattern you follow

The shape you make is better

This shape is your own

It’s knitted

and drawn

And painted

and sewn

It’s battered

and bruised

and berated

and honed

It’s in the music you make

It’s in the sound of your voice

It tastes just like the taste of your tears

It’s woven into choice

It overcomes the worst you fear

It can bring your thoughts to cheer

It’s in the burden on your back

It’s the plan when you attack

It’s your guide

when nothing’s clear.

 

It’s written into the presence you have

And the way you make your way.

 

Next time Satan tries to twist it:

Overcome the meaning of his name.

Leaves: The Splits

I want to write it

I know what wonders it can do

To paint with words

That flow fresh into rainless rifts

Becoming resplendent rivers

Like before…

Before

the splits

the splits

the splits

If I could I would fill them with water

I know what wonders it can do

But erasure is a measure

For not just one but two

Water can only fill the rifts,

Beneath, they will remain

Eroded by worded beauty

Only deepening the pain

What’s left on the surface

Is prettier, it’s true

But what true beauty can be left

When the splits have become you?

 

[Originally written, 2011]

Leaves: Playground

A poem exploring the genderization of an old man at a playground.

The Old Man sits and

ponders all

The little girls play with

little dolls

 

The boys play of

guns and war

The Old Man watches

chapter and verse

 

“Bang, bang,” a boy falls

to the ground

The girls roll their eyes and

begin playing House

 

The Old Man rises

and purses his lips

Children come running

and cling to his hip

 

[Originally written, 2009]