A Kind of Heaven

I meditate on the quiet elegance of the cool breeze on this rainy day

while I drink spicy ginger tea.

I listen to the cacophonous symphony of raindrops

whose lineage stems back to the omnipresent sky

and the vast, eternal sea from which I was also born.

Across the street are empty lots, now inhabited by trees

that seem to reach for nourishment.

With a guttural demand, Zeus sends down the rain

and soon the street is a river,

my car an empty boat,

my roof an unrelenting waterfall

and my porch a small shore.

I remove my glasses that are at best redundant,

and descend the cement steps.

My blurry vision reminds me of a soft focus photograph,

immortalized and forever slightly out of focus.

But I can still see lightning strike

as my grandma speeds by in her blue car, honking the horn.

I jump into a large puddle

just because.

The earthy, metallic smell, petrichor, proves intoxicating as eager mud

wedges itself between my toes, adapting and changing form.

Rain falls into my eyes like

tenacious raindrops on a windshield

covered in permanent smudge marks.

The large, haunting trees across the street

remind me of the trees that surrounded our apartment in Georgia.

Tall, imposing things shaped like humans, the size of giants,

that would inspire fear and awe if they were

to rub the sleep from their eyes

and notice you.

I sometimes stare at those trees

and imagine what unknown creatures,

disgruntled by my exploration, would come crawling out.

I won’t take any chances today.

Instead I spin like a dervish.

Sort of.

Unsuccessfully, I admit.

But I’m sure Mother Nature will forgive

my clumsy attempt to impersonate Turkish monks.

Suddenly, I notice the faint smell of garlic bread as it passes through

the lousy screen of our front door.

Despite my ecstasy, mom’s spaghetti is becoming an increasingly

more tempting endeavor and now the thunder of Zeus

resides in my empty stomach.

I pray the rain continues throughout the night as I ascend the cement steps.

I put on my glasses, sight returned, and say a silent prayer:

When my candle burns out, my final goodbye a wisp of smoke,

grant me a sanctuary that exceeds the dreams of every solitary pluviophile.

Give me a library, vast and infinite.

Rainy days, surrounded by warm blankets and kitchen shelves filled

with every flavor of tea you can find.

Surround me with friends who will hold me close everyday

and an ocean of mermaids who will teach me every song they know.

And, oh yeah! Mom’s spaghetti, too!

Give me this, and I promise that when I have learned my final lesson

on this three-dimensional plane,

and you extend your hand to me in the coming dawn,

I will go willingly.

 

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It’s That Simple (Not Really, But, Yeah, It Is)

The Universe is a like an everlasting stream

whose roots stretch back to the moments when God

built this theater with gentle and comical hands,

and called it Life.

Step forward in spite of fear,

everything you want and need exists just above

the frequency of uncertainty and self-doubt.

You came from God,

which means the gift of alchemy runs through your spirit

like a fearless and carefree child,

wild and unemcumbered,

turning words and water into gold.

The universe has a timing that is unmatched,

 

so, no, don’t worry if you don’t achieve it in this life,

or the next,

or ten lifetimes from now.

Mastery awaits.

Mastery is expected.

Mastery is inevitable.

Step forward, anyway.

Wade into the quiet of the stream.

 

 

Pep Talk from Sekmet

Stop giving that damn false grin to those who laugh at you,

because they know your smile is some saccharine attempt

to avoid saying anything that might wake them up,

shake them up and maybe lift them up

out of their arrogant haze of ridicule and back-handed compliments.

If you need to say it, say it.

If they need to hear it, open your damn mouth and speak.

Do it.

Do it now.

Stop splitting yourself between who you are

and some worn out impression that would make the members of Stepford proud.

You don’t owe it to the world to be a “good girl” or sweet.

You owe it to yourself to be human.

You owe it to yourself to embrace this brief moment on earth

in this temporary earthbound vehicle

with the tenacity of a maenad dancing with delirium in her tribute to Dionysus.

Do it!

Don’t be torn.

Let self-love burn with a flame that could

destroy every layer of insecurity that has kept you barely hanging on.

Embrace the challenges of life.

Deal with blatant disrespect and malice like a woman preparing for war.

Live this short life with a passion that would make

Charon himself hesitate to take you on your final ferry ride.

Because there are beings out there far more menacing than meddling relatives,

dissatisfied coworkers, hostile strangers, and hateful friends.

And they seek you out with gnashing teeth and possess a hatred

that could eclipse the sun for a thousand years.

You will meet them.

This day will come.

I won’t tolerate you acquiescing to fear.

I need you strong.

 

 

My Condolences, Opaque Reptile

I noticed something brush my lip as I was taking a sip from my favorite cup,

and saw a small, dead lizard.

He was floating in the fetal position, his pale, green body in the shape

of the crescent moon outside my window.

Although it was dead, it took forever for me to pick up the cup,

convinced he was playing possum and waiting for the moment

to lunge at my timid hand.

It’s happened before.

Eventually, I released him from his watery grave

when I poured him out onto the ground outside.

But I felt a twinge of remorse leaving it

to fester outside without a proper goodbye.

Surely, he must of thought he was taking a nice swim

in a cool, black lake when he crawled in,

unaware that emerging would prove more difficult,

and that the cup contained quite an acidic combination

of lime and water which I’m sure was overwhelming

for his reptilian constitution.

I descended the stairs, and used my foot to bury him under an inch of dirt.

But as I made my way inside, my curious cat, Jack, took his inquisitive paw

and excavated the burial place of the lime soaked creature.

And with an arrogant disregard for rituals beyond his own,

as cats are prone to do,

he ate it.

 

 

When You’re Ready

via Daily Prompt: One-Way

My cousin asked me how long I would be in school,

using the judgmental tone that implies a backhanded complimented

was well under way.

“I thought you’d be in New York, working for some major magazine by now.” she said.

This is the moment when I usually sit there with some synthetic smile,

engineered through years of programming and being told,

“It’s better to go along to get along.” and “Don’t rock the boat.”

But where there is usually some sinking feeling of failure,

there was a small, burning ember of something I hadn’t felt in a while.

I had been ignited.

My destination may not be in some big, glamorous city as you imagined, dear cousin.

Or maybe it is.

I may not have taken the path that’s worn down with the steps

of those who found some immortal purpose long before I.

But, now, I finally believe!

I no longer awake to gentle rays peeking through my curtains,

afraid of all I might not accomplish.

I’m no longer beaten down by anxiety over judgmental implications

that I didn’t do it “the right way” as if there is only one way.

But not unlike the petals of the tenacious dandelion,

my head is filled with ideas that take root in the earth’s hot belly.

and then bud, bloom, soar, and stretch to the farthest ends of the planet.

I don’t need you to have faith in me.

I don’t need you to understand the journey I take,

which has sometimes made me feel like I was a lonesome sailor at sea.

Do not enter these vast waters with doubt and criticism.

Don’t tell me “what I should have done by now.”

Don’t tempt the God that was always at my side

when you left it without hesitation or remorse.

I am learning how to steer this ship,

and the winds of Zephyros are in now in my favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Voice Of God is Not Always The Thunder of Zeus

Standing in the breezeway

trying to avoid getting wet

as the rain hits the pavement

with playful abandon

uncaring of its inevitable destiny

of rejoining the collective.

My nocturnal struggle with anxiety

has a hold on me that predicts future victory…

until I step out into the rain.

I make a dash for the back door

but the closer I get, the harder it rains

and I slip and slide in my sandals

like a horse in stilettos

surrounded by meddlesome children.

Eventually I let go

and accept the gentle reprieve from my nightly tango with sorrow

that I can only assume has been granted by God himself.

I laugh with an abandon that I thought had been lost to me

as each drop of rain weaves its way

into the fabric of my clothes.

“Are you happy now, anxious child of mine?”

“Yes, I am.”

I AM

Communication is a lot like drowning nowadays.

via Daily Prompt: Distant

Sitting in front of a future former friend,

watching her read several dire text messages

she feels she must read lest her life ends before the setting sun,

suddenly less depressed, less stressed after dumping her troubles

in your lap that equals the weight of the emotional baggage you already carry.

Stuck in that strange limbo of patience and nakedness,

waiting for the moment she looks up to acknowledges you exist,

but feeling isolated when she says, “it won’t take long”

before returning to a conversation she seems exponentially more interested in.

Anxiety grabs hold and you wonder if she even wants to be there with you,

or if she is making plans to spend time with them and how long it will take

after her phone call before she creates some transparent excuse to go.

Leave.

Your intuition magnifies the fear as she finally hangs up and you can

already see the epilogue in her eyes that carry that translucent excuse

you know too well and have heard too many times before.

You sit there, feeling the way you always feel after these one-sided exchanges.

Used. Raw. Exposed.

Like some carcass split open by the front end of a Toyota truck

and left to lay open and bleeding in the Texas heat.

I had as much to say

I had as much to cry, scream, complain and rant about.

In that moment I needed you too.

But the annoying chime on your phone seems to cast some technological spell

that keeps you enamored and unaware that your so-called friend is drowning

in  sorrow that an open ear could assuage.

If only for a while.