A Scratch Poem

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Wedding planning is interesting. Things come up while you are planning and working out all the details. Things like, family skeletons, drama, and of course you think of the people who can’t be there. While formulating how to properly honor our family that has passed. I have been working on this scratch poem.

What is a scratch poem? Well, its something I made up. It’s a poem you write down in a hurry on scrap paper, or whatever is near you before you forget. Then as you write it down you edit it right there real time. Unlike previous poems, I have written which require several editing sessions later. Scratch poems are poems that become the original work in one sitting. So without further introduction, I bring you my poem:  Late RSVP

I saw you yesterday

Staring at me

With clear crystal blue eyes

I heard you last night

Laughing loud like tinkling glass

Unbridled and joyous

I felt you this morning

As I put on my wedding dress

Standing behind me proud

I missed you today

When I walked down the aisle

I stared at your empty chair

Walking into the hall

I found you… at last

Swaying to the music

In my mind’s eye, we danced

I’m glad you could make it.

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Copyright The Phoenix Rises.

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Measurement and Scales

And I was weighed that day silently. I could tell from the look in your eyes that there was something wanting. That among all my freckles and hair, my graces, you had segmented me out into black and red lines. I was missing the parts that mattered most to you. I was absent of the things that you had hoped for. The things I did have, were… just…not enough. I was at a loss of course, because that phantom invisible scale had found me again. The one that everyone uses but doesn’t like to talk about at parties. I was ranked in each category unbeknownst to me, while dinner was being served. I was given a grade next to each on the list. But those numbers, they just didn’t add up for me. I had a remainder you see, I didn’t fit in those clean cut boxes. I spilled over and out of some and I barely filled the box on others. I was a recipe all gone wrong, and you were expecting a culinary masterpiece. I was a disappointment. The weights were heavy and not in my favor. The saddest part, the scales you use and those boxes you fill will never really equal the happiness you seek. But, yours truly with my remainders, my frizz, and my half full boxes will be all the better for it. Thats a sum you can’t figure with numbers and scales.

I apologize for my hiatus. Sometimes it is important to reflect and I needed time to do that.

Phoenix Rises

The phoenix is probably one of my favorite mythical creatures. I can not say it is my top favorite because the mermaid is still number one in my book. In life we can see examples of phoenix everywhere. I admit probably not the bird you have pictured in your mind’s eye, but a rising from the ashes if you will of someone or something. A person who comes back from the brink of death perhaps, or the person you know who under terrible strain overcomes something most thought insurmountable. Nature in its own right can be a phoenix. Fires that rage and eat forests reducing them to ashes, lay the groundwork for nature to be reborn. Perhaps the thing I like the most about the phoenix is this symbolic creature can represent anything but the message always remains the same ” From the ashes I will rise. ”

Phoenix Rises

Grey ash floats to the floor

The once brilliant colors

Have faded into dullness

Wilting and weak

Sad eyes reflect tragedy

One last effort produces

A brilliant spark of light

Slate molts to charcoal black

Charred ashes gather

Collecting in neat piles

A gentle refreshing breeze

Starts to blow–

Specks carried on the air

Begin to change

Black ash turns to white

Whirling in funnels 

A miniature tornado

White dots form an oval

Producing a shiny egg

Out of darkness comes

A pillar of strength

The translucent orb vibrates

Forcing a zig zag crack

Between the fracture

A tiny beak emerges

Forcefully it pushes through

With brilliant turquoise eyes

A head of iridescent shades

Red, rose, orange, feathers

Drape her frame

A glint of gold shines in the light

Blue talons with onyx scales

She is a rare beauty

Forged from fire and ash

Once more she is reborn

But never the same as before.

 

Copyright. Phoenix Rises.

 

Merman Poem

Mermaids have fascinated me since I was a little girl. This is a twist on the traditional story. The photos are from trips I took to local beaches near me.

Merman

Reflections cast in a mirror

But, it’s not me I see

A girl with hair of gold

Eyes like the sea

Darkness, shadows in my eyes

As storms rage and then subside

Waves crash on the rocks of my heart

Pale as the sand the ocean wears

I search for him I call with eyes closed

 

Praying for him

He is the other half of me

He belongs to me as does the sea

He caresses me like the rain

Soft gentle kisses to numb my pain

On the rock where we met

I wait for him

 

In the strongest storms

I can feel him near

I taste him on the air

I run to the water

Hoping he’s still there

 

But, as I reach where he might have been

The calm of the water says

I’ve missed him again

And just like before

A white shell as promised,

I find 
 On the shore —

 

My rescuer has swam off again

Where he commands all that share his ocean den

His subjects do not reveal his place

On a bed of seaweed sleeping

He waits …for me.

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Ghost of She

This poem is meant to pose the question to the reader.. In the face of loss and despair over the death of a loved one do we become ghosts? What I mean by that is emotionally does the living become trapped in the past?  As ghosts haunt and revisit the places they once left and never move on does the living in its own reality plane do the same? Can both be ghosts? This poem is meant to challenge the ideal that to be a ghost you must be dead… I don’t think you have to be dead to be a ghost.

Ghost of She

My ritual walk begins
Down the path we used to travel
Blustery winds blow the tricolored leaves
I march on past the old fence gate
Creaking it swings to and fro
Loud crunching of leaves
Begins to cancel out my thoughts
Reaching the end of the road
Street lights flicker and hum
Turning to the right, from memory
Pavement old from wear
Crumbles and crunches under my boots
Seeing my mark
I slow to a stop
The house is vacant
Full of dark emptiness
Standing under the elm tree
Leaning on its branches
I wait patiently —
Chimes from the church begin
Ringing in the hour
A soft light appears
Glowing the once bedroom window
The light travels slowly, dutifully
Down the long hallway
Spilling into the void living room
That’s when I see her
Brilliant and white
A delicate face stares out the window
I watch her a moment
Resist the urge to wave
Slowly her features fade
Luminosity dims and vanishes
My walk back is long
Contemplating the reasons why
We both are ghosts
One living and one dead
But of the two —
Who is haunting who?

Alzheimer’s (My Homage to The Wasteland)

   One of my favorite writers is T.S. Eliot. When I first read his classic The Waste Land I was stunned by the imagery and creativity that he used. The poem was like no other, and in my opinion it still is. His ability to collect thoughts, ideas, music, and memory in a written work made the piece a fascinating mosaic. In my personal experience, watching someone go through the maze of Alzheimer’s Disease is very much like The Waste Land. At first there is confusion and then a sense of clarity and understanding emerges.                            

   Part I

    She is scared

    She doesn’t know why

    So am I

    What lies in the shadows?

    I remember when she wasn’t so lost

    I wasn’t lost then

    I hold her hand in the dark

    But she can’t remember..

    

    “Did you get your money? I was always worried that you wouldn’t?”

     “Sometimes you just have to let them stew in their own juices,

     If that doesn’t take, then let them go.”

     I wonder if she will remember me?

     She forgets the names, faces, and places

     We are a collaboration of colors in her masterpiece

      I hope I am in green

      She is a shell of her former self

     And I grab on to her coat tails and go for the ride

    “How much is that doggy in the window? The one with the wagging tail?”

     “Maybe you should write a story about it, and then read it to me?

       I said “I don’t want to, it will take forever.”

       “We all don’t have forever.”

       “I love the holidays it’s the only time that I feel my family is together, whatever family I have left that is.”

        I watched her in the doorway

        Eyes lit with unshed tears

        The tree was up and lit like always

        The ornaments her children had made

        And her children’s children

Part II

“Christmas in Killarney where all the folks are home…..”

      “I am dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones we used to know

     Where the tree tops glisten and children listen….”

        She has her hand against her chest in a sigh

         It is the tree of strength

          It is grandpa

         It is a monument to our family

         It reminds me of the years past

          She exclaims at last

         “It is the most beautiful tree I have ever seen, Kaite.”

        Continue reading

Devil Came to Tea Poem

The devil came on a passer by

I invited him in for tea

He said the choice is yours

The choice for what?

To come follow me

If the world has been cruel and the future bleak

Then perhaps what I offer you can seek

With a spry smile and a twitch of his lips

He announced why I may enlist

For every hardship that has broken your soul

I will give you the tools to take control

If ever the garden flowers wilted to you

I will provide forever warmth and comfort for you

If ever the hearts of others have left a scar

I will show you how to truly mar

If the truths others have spoken, made you a fool

I will lead you to a drowning pool

If the nights are dark and full of sorrow

I will speed it up to tomorrow

But devil surely payment would be due?

His pigment bright and full of flush

He laughed loudly as if it was too much

Oh child what I ask is simple you see

Just follow my instructions to the T

When a kind person greets you

Turn yourself away

When the world needs you

Go off on your own and play

If a loving heart does touch you

Burn it slow and deep

For those sentiments are weak

If a truthful word be spoken

Twist those yarns into lies

If a caring touch reaches you

Learn to despise

And if an angel comes calling

Turn that fellow out

For what else can he talk to you about?

Continue reading