Dead Beauty

Dead Leaf Beauty: Photo by Noelle

Dead Leaf Beauty: Photo by Noelle

Crumbled, even moldy
Long dead
Yet delicately beautiful
As an old woman’s hands
Rubbing a rosary
At morning mass

Dry with crackles
At the grace of a finger
No more than paper
Of Earth stories
Telling now of last season

Take to hand
And it vanishes into
Pieces caught on the wind
And gone
Springs robust leaf
Now Winter’s palsied hand

Yet the scent of leaf lingers
Fecundity remembered
And growth to come
All born of this life’s passing

Doors open, green
Then to another closing, dark
The sprout and the
Discarded shell at once
Infuse a molasses mulch

Fertile is the soil of my life
And my passing
Is neither ending
Nor beginning
Just the leaf transforming
On a winter’s wind
Calling the land to Spring

Exiting

Lone Leaf Beached: photography by Noelle

Lone Leaf Beached: photography by Noelle

It felt good as done at the start. Bound, lost, no exit. Pressure to make a diamond lays on my mind. After all these years have I nothing? No smooth finish, but a stumbling out the door. Denial isn’t a river in Cairo, the old joke trails, but it is an immense watercourse in my mind. With Titan effort I withdraw and hibernate the winter. At first waiting for Godot. Then like driftwood, I surface upon a lone beach. No place to go. No direction suggests itself and after a bit, I can no longer sit. Crying. No warmth or comfort. I walk. Crying. Then walk with the most outrageous and worrisome yelling, before walking with no sound at all. First aimlessly, then with a longer stride. More determined, yet aware of what floats by me. Breath in, breath out. I no longer appear to be in any hurry. Anticipation taps at my heart. Single and free, alone on the beach. The expanse a welcome blanket and the endless sea it’s own serenade of the lover yet to come.

Inspired by The New York Times crossword puzzle: 3/11/2012. An exercise in creativity from Front Range Writers Room hosted by Marj Hahne

Kintsukuroi

Dead leaf beauty. Photography by Noelle

Dead leaf beauty. Photography by Noelle

Engulfed by grief I am driven to my knees, until back bent I am little more than a sapling in a hurricane.

Raging, fists to the sky with hunger for death in my heart I pace the hours certain of Divine betrayal. I am Shiva, Goddess of death. Blindly I plot tales of woe poor sirens must be calling to me from the deep. What wretchedness creeps into my soul as I tediously survey my faults, mistakes and missteps; no less a miser at his ledgers. There is no light. I am crawling in gravel up a mountain with no visible peak, but miles of trails that lead no where. I am confused. I am deluded. I am lost.

Still. Still. Time moves grief as a plowman’s mule. Bloodied knees always heal.

All wisps of smoke curling up into the ether now. Formless fog fading down the river of my life. The moment the last breath left my lungs it was already dead and gone, buried as my ancestors in dirt holes. Air fills the vacuum of my fading past, sweet and new.

When did I leave the bridge? What was the step that took me to the other side?

Kneeling to my sorrow now I dance to my joy. Swirling round and round free as the leaf floating on the current. The sorrow has ripped out my moorings it would seem. I drift with the river and worry not where it goes. I have already been where I could not go. With the hunger and vigor I gave freely to my rage I embrace the beauty of my life. I run with pounding heart captured by the power of my body no longer weighed by death and dark shadows. The mountain has gained no peak, but a fool’s laughter is heard along the trails.

Life, anyone’s life, is an endless sea of choices. Sing my hardy voice of love or hear it crack in the silence to a whisper.

Spit and shine, tarnish be gone. I am liquid silver, glinting in the sunlight.