Lonely Haiku

Free Bing Photos: 100 images of solitude

Free Bing Photos: 100 images of solitude

The piece below was written by my Insight Timer friend, Roy Mason in New York. I had been working on a poem related to loneliness that just wasn’t coming together. I sent it to Roy and he flipped it, most lovelingly, on its head and produced this beautiful layered haiku. Far better than my original piece. It is an honor to post it here.

Lonely Haiku

Magazines read twice,
Fridge food contains emptiness;
My heart: comfortless.

Mind wheels are spinning,
Sleep is sought but elusive.
The hours go on…

I ask: who am I?
The deafening loneliness!
Waiting for the light.

Outcast and apart,
I hear the chimes of the clock;
Then tick tock, tick tock.

I, disconsolate,
Endless pacing with worry.
Five O’clock: birds sing.

Little Gem: Covered in Shit

Free Bing Photos

Free Bing Photos

This is re-posted from Jeff Foster’s Quotes page on Facebook. Simply beautiful.

“I remember, early one morning several years ago, while working as a home carer, I found myself washing faeces off a man’s giant, swollen testicles. He was dying of cancer which had spread throughout his testicles and prostate, and in the night he had defecated himself and rolled all around in the mess. We laughed a lot together and we chatted about football and the latest news stories as I cleaned him up. He could barely move, he was so sore and swollen everywhere. He was myself in disguise.

He had a few weeks to live, but he was so alive, so in the here-and-now, without a trace of self-pity. There was no loss of dignity there – there was just what was happening in the moment. He had somehow found a way to deeply accept his circumstances, even though his life had not turned out the way he had dreamed when he was younger and he had time to dream. It took over two hours to get him ready for his day, to hoist him out of his dirty bed, to get him toileted and dressed and into his favourite chair. He didn’t live for long after that. But I will always remember him.

Even when covered in our own shit and without a tomorrow, we are nothing less than divine.”

~ Jeff Foster

Leaping

Walking bridge at Clement Park: Photo by Noelle

Walking bridge at Clement Park: Photo by Noelle

Not everyone at the edge is leaping towards death. They aren’t all desperately escaping grief and depression. Some of us come to the edge to see who we are in the air. Then the water. The chance to leap, a joy hungered for. For surely, there is exhilaration in risking everything to become who you truly are. In the quiet corners of our lives we daydream of how water transforms.

Comes the Storm

Storm brewing over the hogbacks: Photo by Noelle

Storm brewing over the hogbacks: Photo by Noelle

As the sun set, it was clear, the beauty was in the clouds, the high winds, and the violence between. They gave the sun something to shine upon, and in that, was the miracle at dusk. This is the path of healing. You are whole again when you can shine the light of your spirit on that which was broken, violent and torn asunder.

Tree and Earth

Dead tree on the bank of the South Platte River: Photo by Noelle

Dead tree on the bank of the South Platte River: Photo by Noelle

And the trunk said “I am alone here. My branches are dead and gone. My many roots are withered or taken by beetles. My leaves have blown far in the wind. No life moves in my bark, accept that which feeds upon me.”

And the earth said, “Come to me. For you have fed me with your leaves and opened me with your roots. You have held me to this bank, for surely the rain would have sent me to the river. Be at peace, my old friend and sink into my soil. Tell me of your years in the sun. For that story given, I will trade of how water rises to the moon.”

Rain House

Free Bing Photos

Free Bing Photos

The dark water, the sky splitting open. Lightening spiking the blood. Such drama to no witness, but myself. All such storms are spent alone anyway. Hugs are offered. Drinks at the pub, but in the end you are alone and the wind whips up your thoughts into gale forces. A fever’s pitch, knocking shuttered eyes that seems to accent the steady ticking of the wall clock in this silent house of darkness. A mourner’s tomb. A sarcophagus of dried up memories.

I’m as dead as the blind mole brought in by the cat, and yet rage percolates below the surface waiting on my sorrow to sleep. The numbness in between feels like an isolated island in a forgotten river. I hunger for my anger, but I am as a thirsty man who sees the oasis, but worries it’s a mirage, thus his legs will not carry him closer.

Is not fire the sign of life still pulsating in the very veins of my loss? The still standing tree left intact after the path of the tornado. The longing to climb into the grave is held back by the very racking sobs that make me want to climb in. The pulse beats to the tree limb banging the gutter. Death haunts the eaves, while life pumps the generator that flicks on the light in the empty kitchen. Dark windows streaked with rain that hide the streams of my face nicely. One cup, not two, but the coffee tastes the same. Oddly, that is what comforts. The familiarity that still lives, waiting on you, as if the dirge never played.

Last Words

Re-posted from Dreamcatcher's Facebook page

Re-posted from The Mind Unleashed Facebook page

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER
By: Erma Bombeck
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the “good” living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching TV – and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”
There would have been more “I love yous”…more “I’m sorrys”…
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it…live it…and never give it back.

Wuthering Heights 1989: Flash Non-Fiction

Re-posted from Art For Ever's Facebook page

Re-posted from Art For Ever’s Facebook page

The receiver is held tight to my ear. I hear him breathing. He’s likely said all he’s going to say, but I haven’t been listening for some moments now. I hang up and stand in the bedroom. I hear the cars moving along Whitman Avenue and the refrigerator shakes it’s cubes into the tray. Mrs Knapps’s dog yaps at a passing bus. I stroke the bedspread as if a cat and become consumed with a bit of lint on the rust-colored, seventies style, shag carpet. I stare at it, as a lost eighteenth century mariner might gape at seeing the Rock of Gibraltar upon the horizon. Unfortunately for me, there is little salvation in the lint.

The crying starts unnoticed until I am in motion and wailing. The pacing is as comforting as a rocker. Back and forth, a lioness stuck in her cage. It goes on like this for sometime, until the sun has set and the furniture have become fat ghosts sharing my miserable company. Whoever I think I am is now gone. I wring my hands, gnash my teeth and Where the Wild Things Are comes alive in my living room. An entire life planned out, suddenly gone from under my feet. I drift in the apartment completely lost at sea and consumed by a sickening, emotional scurvy. My inner map has stretched as far as it’ll go. I am in uncharted waters and it’s depths are pulling at my skin leaving me nearly transparent in the bathroom mirror. A creepy jellyfish woman with mascara streaked cheeks.

A rage is brewing strong and at any moment I will brake the cell of this room and run wild into the street, I think. That’s when I hear the knock. Stopping to listen, the crying held back with Herculean effort it comes again. A small voice.

“You left your lights on”.

What? It makes no sense. A five year old’s shuttering sob racks my limbs. Who the fuck is interrupting my death wail?

“Miss, you left your car lights on”.

Air drifts out of my lungs on the simple reality. My car lights are on. My world is crashing, but in the end it’s a Tuesday night and you’ve got work in the morning. Wiping my nose on my sleeve, I grab the keys. A dead battery would be like insult to injury, and here you are in a curious moment. Opening the door to thank Mrs. Knapp as if for a basket of biscuits on Sunday and pretending you don’t look a horror show. She smiles, and I hope she’s blind and not offering me pity. Jogging down the apartment steps, heart torn out, but remarkably mobile. Spry even. The wind feels cool on my skin. She’s telling me about that time she had a dead battery and I’ve gone from crushed heroine to benign neighbor. Instead of Wuthering Heights your trying to keep her dog from humping your leg.

Sometimes life turns on a dime. No interruption and you spend an evening slipping into depression and misery. A bottle of wine spent, snot-filled tissues littering the floor, maybe a box of Oreos diminished to crumbs. Or get interrupted and lose that momentum to be completely self-absorbed. A lost chance to be fully lost. She wants to talk about why the rose beds aren’t being kept up. “It’s a tragedy,” she says. I realize I’ve got nothing to give the miserable rosebuds, but I suddenly find I’ve never been fonder of them. She pats my hand, but says nothing. Shit, she’s not blind.

The wailing has gone and I am left with ordinary “You’ve been betrayed and dumped” crying. Not nearly as dramatic as the wailing. And in that I feel the most bereft of all. Not even my grieving feels potent. That’s when the mind turns off and you go make your lunch for the next day and lay your clothes out. You put on a rerun of Seinfeld and pretend you’ve never seen this one. It’s odd how quickly being alone again sinks into the bones.

A work in progress from Writer’s Church, hosted by Marj Hahne. Inspired by “This is the Beginning of Time” by Sherrie Flick

Positive and Negative: Photo Poem 33

Kneeling tree at Roxborough State Park: Photo by Noelle

Kneeling tree at Roxborough State Park: Photo by Noelle


Kneeling tree at Roxborough State Park: Photo negative taken by Noelle

Kneeling tree at Roxborough State Park: Photo negative taken by Noelle

Whether positive or negative both images have their own beauty. Such is true of us, as well. If we let go of the concepts of good and bad, and embrace whether the moment we are in has something to offer us, in terms of growth, we would know true freedom. Look closely. Inside your darkest moments, worst behaviors, and sickening fears is a treasure of such beauty it could change your life forever.

The Lake: Flash Non-Fiction, Episode 2

Nevada Ditch: Photo by Noelle

Nevada Ditch: Photo by Noelle

My heart, my mother’s lake. Long and slim. Fresh and dark. Bass and sunnies and tadpoles becoming frogs. She gardened here, but I dug in clay and looked for salamanders and toads. Piles of last year’s tomato plants now plowed under with muck from the lake. Good fertilizer she’d say. Full of leeches and fish poop I’d call back, tossing grasshoppers into the water that snap when the fish catch them. Honeysuckle dangled from my mouth that grows thick as thieves in the field. She chased the Canadian geese while I crawfished the stream feeders, my hand still, my breath held. Her death was like that, too. Me standing ankle deep in her sickness trying to catch her spirit as it leaped into the Great Lake. Now there is only the sunset shimmer on the water rippling in the summer breeze. Geese are gone and grass grows tall. The garden is dead but the fish still leap for water bugs that want for dragonfly wings. Iridescent blues that snap my attention from grave dirt. No lake clay here and I miss it’s pliability and the way that it shaped to my touch. Growing warmer the longer I held it. That is love. Warm the longer you hold it, which is why death beds are so cold. So I let the sun warm me before I dive deep into the murky water, letting the cold spot rack my bones.

Work in progress from the Front Range Writer’s Group: hosted. By Marj Hahne