Sacred Vessel

Magdalene, Memorial Gallery Rochester, NY
Magdalene, Memorial Gallery Rochester, NY

 

Am I looking in the right places?
Fragments of you scattered
across blank pages
and left in empty rooms.

I’m searching for you
in the shelves of libraries,
and in the silent shadows
of abandoned cemeteries.

I swear I hear you,
when I’m walking away
quickly from the crowd,
and in the dark of my room.

At times I feel you,
lovesick and tender;
broken by the plot line or
made full by the act of kindness.

I’m alone with you now
in the quiet galleries,
beneath the goddess
showing me the way.

Weathered finger pointing
to the seat of your throne,
close to my core and
surrounding all I am.

~JL©2015

The quietest breeze

“How strange a thing is death, bringing to his knees, bringing to his antlers
The buck in the snow.”

~Edna St. Vincent Millay

The quietest breeze
was caressing my face,
trying to lovingly erase
sudden tears from my warm,
sodden skin.

His voice was echoing
your words into the wind.

The wounded buck,
dead seventy-plus years
in winters snow,
overlay the idyllic green pasture;
his blood stained my sight.

Your words were shattering
my heart on the hill.

There was a breach in time
surrounding the hemlocks,
and grey rain clouds carried me
back into your world
with my own fractured pain.

I was walking through poetry
into your vision.

Too soon the skies opened,
and the waking dream
was broken
by the mists of rain falling
and the knowledge of the hour.

And your words will ever find me
haunting your gardens at twilight.

~JL©2015

Written after visiting Steepletop, the final home of Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Steepletop_mcpeck_bw_gallery

 

 

Storm’s Embrace

Winds rage,
and rain lashes window frames.
You stand enveloped by the grey.
Peonies crash to the grass
like bloodstains on a page;
bursting like hearts
in the emptiness of space.
You can taste the ozone
like the storm’s breath
after a warm embrace.
It’s currents hold you,
but even you can escape.
You just have no desire to give chase.

But, Storms do not stay,
and the remnants of the flowers
leave behind red stains.
You’re left empty handed
with the sun in your face,
and the steamy scent of asphalt
ruining the taste
of the rain that fell into your
open mouth and
tore your mask away.

JL©2015

Imminent Flight

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Wingless and alone,
walking blindly
into the unknown.
Mute and missing
the music of birdsong.

Staring into the storm,
there is alluring space
between the rain clouds
and the mist, and
the darkness on your face.

No place left to go,
you walk corridors
of forgotten institutions;
archaic knowledge littering
walls that resemble your flesh.

Your true journey
is within the scarred chambers
of a tenacious heart
that beats in time
with your anxious mind.

You stand quaking,
ancient memories beckon.
No one guards the open doors,
but you feel the heat
of a dragon’s tongue.

The air burns brighter,
dryer than the storm’s grey face;
flaying your skin
as you shift into shadow,
moving towards grace.

Cocooned and shrouded,
closer to your truth,
wrapped up in darkness
it’s impossible to see
your imminent flight.

~JL©2015

 

Prayers for the Open Road

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At dawn’s light,
I rose to the aching.
Distinct and familiar,
it’s like an old friend.
I took to the road
to sit with it’s company;
a co-pilot in the seat beside me,
it needed to be heard.

Music and backroads,
rolling clouds and solace.
There are promises
and breakdowns
not meant for other’s ears.
So I talk to god and myself;
constantly being undone
by the green of new leaves
and the persistent  blue sky
reminding me I’m alive.

My passenger is now silent,
knowing I’ve listened.
Aware that I grasp
for that which I cannot have;
falling in love
with the impossible outcome.
I know this ache
like I know the touch
of her skin
when it’s warmed
by my palm;
like I know the pattern
of the river
that winds through the city
in my dreams.

I know all of the prayers
I have offered
on the open road;
shining stones and coins,
offerings left
in place of my own blood.
It’s a conversation that
will never be enough,
even when balance is maintained.
My passenger sits,
a still reminder
of the silent dreams
I carry every day.

~JL©2015

Release

“And in the spring I shed my skin
And it blows away with the changing winds
The waters turn from blue to red
As towards the sky I offer it”
~Florence and the Machine, Rabbit Heart

I’m ridding myself
of everything.
I’m done
with the trinkets
and spider-web connections
to the past.
These old letters
don’t serve me
and dust collects
on crystal glass.

There are volumes
of memories
fading to powder
in my hands,
and time erases
the places in my head.
Words echo,
but never touch ground,
so I move forward
and let them all
evanish.

I will slice open
my own skin
to find my heart;
to find the places
I hid deep
in the dark.
My sacrifice
will be my own start,
and only I
can set me free.

~JL©2015