From the Healers

I am a bucket in the well,

holding links of twisted hemp

between me and the source,

bathed in darkness, the fall too far –

I know you’re frightened.

You don’t know you’re held

because the grip is so gentle.

Till you can trust the lengths of rope

you’re wrapped in so safely,

the rigging of this ship,

let me fall into black for you.

Let me strengthen my arms

so I can pull myself back

to the surface,

filled with all you need.

More than enough to share.

Until you learn the way,

may I fetch all I can carry,

so we can begin to quench our thirst.

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In the Depths of Despair

In the depths of despair,

as the dagger twists,

I pause to say thank you.

Thank you because a look into another’s eyes

now reveals the moment the fire seared their skin,

and there is no separation between us.

Thank you because each new familiar hurt

feels less like my pain

and more like the pain that unites,

that sends us running to the arms of strangers

who are our mothers.

Thank you because always, inevitably,

the ice melts, the buds of spring return,

and the soil of my being is made

soft and fertile from the harsh cold months.

Angels’ Request

I’ve got angels at my elbows

tapping on my shoulder

with such reserved delicacy

it’s no surprise I almost never know they’re there.

There’s an ache in the chambers

of the seraphim,

an urgency in their auras –

they have no fingers to reach out

with the tenderness of heaven,

no lips to kiss bruised and confused faces,

no voices to encourage others

to speak, and to listen.

They’re asking all day long,

with nervous benevolence,

if we’d please be alright with holding

messengers in our fingertips?

If, perhaps, it’d be possible

for us to crack open our souls

to let love run like honey over them?

Whether, provided we’re not too busy,

we’d allow Connection’s emissaries

to treat our flesh and bone

as a boarding house for the jolts

and pulsing waves of unbridled compassion

that push out into the sunshine,

where we’ve all been looking for it

so desperately.

Jailer’s Lament

Imagine a castle far away from here,

where they can’t come in.

I’ll build red fleshy bricks from the muscles

of my arms, my shoulders, my back, my legs.

I’ll sacrifice movement for a

quivering image of safety.

Lock me in here with bolts

carved from my spine,

and as your hammer lands

each heavy beat sends a jolt through my blood.

What held me up now holds me in.

It wasn’t for us this world of sin,

where goodness bends to die

and hope mutters incantations

behind the bars of its golden cage.

May her whispers open doors to a garden

where cowering is needless,

and all threats are vanquished

under a flaming sword.

Until then we whisper of laziness

and chosen despair,

pull the instruments of change from our bones

to erect walls and barbed wire,

cut off our lips to stuff into our ears.

 

Poor dears,

our world has become a pit of jailers

holding ourselves at gunpoint

wondering why no one speaks up.

A Mosaic of Sparks

Kept away from our perfection

by the shell that maintains our selves.

Why break up what is whole,

mutilate what is shining?

Why on earth would you take down the sun

and slice it into shards,

send them out to roam and find themselves,

remember the wholeness that once was?

And by so doing leave the whole world

in darkness, disarray.

Why fool them into believing they are many

when they have always been one?

Why present the enlightened

with a false idol?

 

But is the sun one as it appears,

or scores of twisting flames –

and either way does it not

give out light that stretches over infinity

and heat that lets emerald-green life bud

endless stretches of nothing away?

Might the sun be really

a mosaic of sparks,

side by side,

believing themselves alone?

Would they recognize what we see,

that blinding ball we’re birthed through?

Or would they see only a face in a crowd,

begging for company

and purpose?

Letter to My Little Brother

Little Brother,

I know you’re scared.

I know the world has handed you

an outline of the life

you’re expected to live,

placed stickers shaped like

black footprints on the floor

in front of you and declared,

March.

And you, Little Brother,

with wide eyes and sweaty palms,

still stand looking at the floor.

When was it our feet became glued

and stapled to the things we know for sure?

The bigger we became,

the bigger the world,

in sync with us, grew,

till it towered over our tiny blonde heads,

that just yesterday

were bobbing in rock pools

and bent over acrylic paints

and blank pieces of paper.

 

I know, Little Brother,

we haven’t been getting along.

But the truth is

your fear is a mirror,

and I’m too ashamed to look

for long in your reflective gaze.

I, too, am clutching the checklist

I never asked for,

still hesitant to throw it away.

Fear, like a double-headed snake

keeps us hiding in the shadows,

crippled by what we’re told we must do,

yet desperate not to disappoint.

We never even thought to don armour together,

walk into battle side by side.

When the villain has two faces,

why wouldn’t it take two heroes to finish him?

 

Maybe the problem isn’t that

we don’t know how to move,

but that in a time where the lines

between “you” and “I”

mix into each other like vapour,

we’ve simply forgotten how to do it alone.

So Little Brother, can you try one more time

to pick up your sword?

I’ll help defend your heart,

if you help defend mine.

And perhaps with alternating

strikes and feints,

we might best the beast together

and find above what we thought

was a wreckage,

a spot to stand as one

and tell in a smile

the worries we couldn’t put aside for ourselves,

that were so easy to shed for each other.

 

 

 

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