Cutting Loose

Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from
all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.
Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.
Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path – but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.
~~ William Stafford ~~

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

Pity Me Not

You see them fumbling for change,

There on the city bus, standing alone, feeling strange.

It is hard to adapt in the rain, with hammering foot shuns.

Infectious diseases stream a courage, creating obstacles to the coward who runs.

Color of bland, so as not to disrupt the darkest of egos in the ghetto.

Shed a tear in the crowd of silence as the passers go.

To bleed under scrutiny for a woman to concur.

The absence of thee who blessed of the memory of blur.

You get the old engraved desk, rather than the newly varnished.

Drowning in the shallows, as so many stare astonished.

No roof to cover your head in which you wither.

You walk a thousand miles to a mere sugar simmer.

Mental for people blush in their spheres, for shall they label.

Will you let this endure as it is just to enable?

Point, stare, throw, push, break, weak, meek, low, hurt, bleed, dead.

These you can withstand, you can devour it and care nonetheless, it drowns in your head.

But what shall bury you in your grave, and send you to paranoia, insanity,

Is the knowing of the reaction when you step off the drunkenness, and see the truth that all the world feeds on you, that you’re nothing but a pity.

One shovel to carry the last of the hard, sweet cotton.

Smite me no more, as I shall be forgotten.

~~ Janie Welsh ~~

For The Raindrop

For the raindrop, joy is in entering the river –
Unbearable pain becomes its own cure.
Travel far enough into sorrow, tears turn to sighing;
In this way we learn how water can die into air.

When, after heavy rain, the stormclouds disperse,
Is it not that they’ve wept themselves clear to the end?

If you want to know the miracle, how wind can polish a mirror,
Look: the shining glass grows green in spring.

It’s the rose’s unfolding, Ghalib, that creates the desire to see –
In every color and circumstance, may the eyes be open for what
comes.

~~ Ghalib ~~

Not Yet Mended, But Stronger

I am the quilted sheet that comforts you as you clench it over your head in fright.

It is louder now, as I am the band, just as the Beatles, ever so amusing with their mere sight.

I can be and am the most intricate book on that maple bookcase at the very top mount.

Can’t you see that I am the first star that boomed the universe and shone so brightly lit?

I am not the grass, but the singed hay that sways still in the wind, with ever the most life still blazing in it.

When you see yourself in the mirror, I am the reflector that makes it possible to view.

I am the maze of vines that climb up that withered wall, and as it falls, I still grew.

I am not the bee, but the pollen that forms the sweetness of bittersweet honey.

I am not the blinds, but the spindle that opens them so you can see the horizons clearly.

I am not the duck, but the lubricant that smothers its outer layer, so the water can slide so surely.

I am the determination that breathes in his soul, not the gun that is held in the soldier’s palms.

I am not the thunder, but the rain that helps as it soothes and calms.

It’s broken, it’s not mended, it’s not sewn up, but it is stronger, it beats faster, with no more tears, no more fears.

I can see ahead now. I can walk with two feet and feel it with not just my toes, but my heels, and I don’t care if no one cares.

I am me, I am a woman now, and can withstand all that surpasses me. I am stronger than you or anything.

I am not the mill, but the feet that run on it that make it go, as I now can listen to my heart sing.

~~ Janie Welsh ~~

A Daughter’s Poem

The Ladybug and the Ant

Was it the rays and glory from the halo that shone off the angels when I looked through your eyes that mid morning?

Echoes from the halls, but yet in the embrace of my arms, so quiet, with the look of content and glowing from knowing.

This was your place, from which you will take root and bloom. No other saw, but you raised your head, and seeped through my soul, as I saw the rarest of all two.

It was like when you stumble upon these rigid rocks, and realize deep inside it’s only for you, it would sparkle and shine, the rarest of hue.

To first grasp your head, it felt like a million downy feathers bundled in one. So gentle was your presence, it would make me from that second change.

I was like the oyster that would hold and embrace its pearl deep within, and keep it safe from harm. It would try this for so long, and it would not exchange.

This feeling for no other, your fingers, how they would drown my finger in emotion as it sought to do, with you wrapped around like a yellow ribbon on that old oak tree.

It is so hard to speak of how you came here, how it was possible to make such a being, a new petal on that rose bud, and you came to be.

It seems it was the day before when this all was true. Now I see you play in the gold and burgundy fall, with that smile that makes me weak, my little mister.

I would love to say you were the only thing that climbed my ivy filled fence, but you were just as equal, and yet so far, as the day I met your sister.

Oh, my little blue morning orchid that came to my life. Her eyes were not as loud, silent, yet she knew this was home, like a baby deer drinking in the forest down upon the silvered creek.

She was a girl of any, her hair as soft as the first plucked wish weeds. To know what life was before her, was far too bleak.

Her toes were as small as the minced grains of stones you find in the coral hiding of the beaches of riddance.

She was beyond what I made her up to be. It was like when you would see a red robin fluff its breast up in all its brilliance.

It knew it was radiant and bright, and my love for her grew with every sight.

Her sweetness set you on a trail of a truffle chocolate turbulent delight.

When I would see her, and light stands still, I would lean into those timber bridged eyes.

My son, as the curious ant leaving the pack, and my daughter, as the ladybug resting on the grass blade.

Without these two, I would be nothing. It would come to no surprise, I would most likely shrivel to my demise.

~~ Janie Welsh ~~