Tendrils creep over coarse and jagged knobs
with modest stealth, claim purchase
in every hidden crevice
Slow, imperceptible growth, persistent,
sensing surface weaknesses
there pressing in, holding on
Over time a web is formed, an anchor
holding fast amidst the storm
your living net of comfort
I want to be strong, mask this need with calm
I want to be real, an open book of truth
The tension leaves me trembling, hungry
Daring you to see
Fall fields, golden brown and getting sleepy
River, sparkling, cold and clear
Branches silhouette, strong and silent
Coopers watch and then take flight
Prey easily seen
without summer’s blanket of green
Majestic eagle discerns a moving shadow
I see the outline of your frame
Will you carry me tonight?
Take me to the quiet of the trees?
Stand watch while I rest?
I could really use a friend tonight.
You and me, in that tiny cabin, washing dishes, looking out over a weedy field to the pond. A simple human chore, made easier when shared. The truth in you stirred the long dead truth in me. I can still feel your hand brush against mine. I want to stay here in this space, so that feeling never fades.
We all went to the pond, you swam, I watched. My eyes never left you, and after, we sat in the grass and talked of nothing that I remember. We talked on the phone, reached for speeding trains through our emails. I sent you flowers, you fed me a picnic. On the lakeshore, we watched the boats and willows blowing in the breeze.
You kept stirring those ashes, till you found the coal. Hard, smelly, dirty, ugly coal. “Hold still,” you said, before you kissed that coal with softest lips, holding my face in your hands. A spark and combustion that frightened us both, two lonely souls, too lost for love. You were much braver than I.
I betrayed you with my fear, and then you were gone, air sucked from my chest, no longer a fire, just the emptiness of guilt. Your Celtic, pagan seed birthed a raven and a shield, inked into my arm. Freshly aware of fragile life, I returned to the land that feeds my soul.
You sent them, didn’t you? …our seven sisters who lifted me from my selfish mourning to look into the sky. They and the other guides, especially the wind, singing in the trees, roaring across the canyons, have brought your heart back to me, teaching me what I must do, who I must serve.
You can see now, can’t you? Finally, the vacuum has expanded into a space worthy of your memory.
I will try, my friend, to be a worthy vessel for that space.
I’m not sure if I can say this right, but I’m going to try.
There are lot of folks who hate everything to do with war, who believe we should never have stuck our nose where it didn’t belong, who believe we were duped into fighting for democracy when the asset protected was only oil. You are the folks I hope to reach with these words. You see, it doesn’t matter.
Every nation needs a defense. Sure, it would be nice to live in a world where everyone played nice in the same sand box. We don’t. Just look at your family, your co-workers, your neighbors, at any group of humans, including your spiritual community. We don’t always behave. Take that fact and crank it up to the international level, and the bad behavior gets seriously dangerous.
Humans need rules, boundaries, and those who are willing to enforce them. We are not so evolved that we can walk away from that system. Maybe someday, but not now. So we need those soldiers who are willing to follow orders and be the enforcers.
My son is one of those soldiers. There were many years of tracking his unit’s location on maps and worrying over stories from those regions. I did not see my son for five years and wondered if I would even know whether something happened to him. He’s safe now, stationed on US soil for the first time since he graduated high school, other than basic training and a very brief stint as a civilian, before he re-enlisted. The Army and the life he’s led have changed him, because you’re right, it’s not a pretty world out there.
It’s not a pretty world here in our own country, either. Just like every police officer and every soldier, my son has had to do things he’d rather not talk about. But he is still my son. And we still need those willing to be the enforcers. Do you remember when we called them peacekeepers? I don’t think we saw them as the enemy then. I am forever proud of my son and his service. I’m grateful for him and all those who serve in our military and as law enforcement. Whether you want to admit it or not, we need them.
So,thank you to all of you who’ve served.
I love getting new art. I love that a significant dream is now part of my skin; I can never forget its message.