Rendering of Fat

Painting by Gregory Summers

Painting by Gregory Summers


The first stages were huge rents and gashes in my inner landscape. Hurricanes that tore away known shores and earthquakes that ripped open the well-tended lawns and careful cities I’d built to hold in, both what worked and what didn’t. Just in nature where such events alter the courses of rivers, so too, they altered the course of my deepest waters. Changing direction caused dams to crack open and field breaks to give way, no more than twigs. Tributaries formed for miles filled with mud, fertile and rich that would be ready for life. But in the beginning I only saw snapped off moorings, crushed homes, barren lakes and sandy shoals with little more of life than minnows.

Hundreds of suns, snow and autumn leaves have passed hence. New sprouts have broken through, green and lush. Like tree buds hungry for life, I turn toward the sun. It warms and stirs long forgotten pools of energy, but it’s impact has nurtured more change, subtler and more curious than the first. As shorelines ravaged by storms reshape and build new dunes and forests spring up on land once scorched and burned, I am someone else strange and new, yet never wholly stable. I am melting, it would seem, as rendered fat, strained for impurities without seeking perfection. An alchemical mix of old stories retold, cleaned of sorrow and guilt. Still more floats to the surface to be skimmed off, detritus of costumes torched and gone. Each round less to find and the oil grows more golden and clear. There is a tension, but less struggle. Resistance half hearted that dissolves more quickly to surrender. Each day more leaves me with little fanfare or grief. Even as I weep comes joy and welcomed release. I ponder how easily I have come to the ocean, nearly naked and with so little in my hands. It seems odd how much we carry to define who we are, when what we are can never be defined.

The Caress

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Leaving work it started to rain. I turned, intending to go back in and take the causeway to the parking garage. Save myself a drenching, I thought. As I turned, I felt the coolness of the air that was ushering in the rain caress my cheek. Just a second, really. It lingered upon my face, before my hand touched the door handle and I stopped to turn back into it. Fresh and full of that summer rain, which now dropped in big, slow drops upon my head.

Surely, I’ll get wet walking to the car, I told myself. Hair will be a mess and you’ll ruin this leather bag, said the always cautious, always organized part of my brain. Still, I couldn’t resist the feeling. A curious intimacy of being touched by the weather, for it was a caress, of that I’m sure. A delicious taunting of a lover to come back to bed. The wind was begging me to stay. So I left the door closed and walked out into that summer rain and let myself fall in love.

Continent of Mud: Photo Poem 37

The story of mud: Photo by Noelle

A story in mud: Photo by Noelle

When I was young everything had to have order. I liked symmetry and balance. If there was a block of blue on the left, than there must be a block of blue on the right. A proper picture of my family home had a sun and green grass. Beauty was related to this curious and predictable pattern of things. I have left that land and wandered into a story of randomness and chaos. What completely lacks symmetry and order possesses the most exquisite beauty to me. A sense of inner balance discovered that clearly was lacking when my outer world was perfectly planned.

Mud over flowers. I am deeply happy here.

Pour

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I wait to empty as all of me pours out
Big rivers and sewer streams
Grass dew and leaky faucets
Gushing forth in love and
Madness, and still
On and on it falls
Draining darkly
Until I feel
My vastness
Running as
Clear as
A deep
Blue
Sea

Spirit Water

Urban Flow: Photography

Urban Flow: Photography by Noelle

My spirit moves as water.
Fluid and full at a trickle as a gush.
Evaporating in the hot sun, yet frozen as the lake I stand on in muddied boots.
Permeable while demanding as a slap.
Softly infiltrating the skin and wearing my mind round as sea stones.
I pull nutrients from life as the salt water robs the drift wood white.
There is weight in my thoughts.
The settling of sediment of a thousand lifetimes on the reef of gray matter entrenched to the floor of my skull.
And still, I seep into the crevices of dams built long ago. Working steadily and freeing it all a duck feather swirling round in the eddy.
My spirit moves as water, influenced by a divine moon.

Above piece inspired from “New Organism” by Andrea Rexilius