Handwritten Pages #20 Sunlight

He grasped the early morning shafts of sunlight striking through the gaps in the curtains. Strips of sunbeams speckled with diamonds of dust. Harvested like shards of honeycomb, stored in jars and placed around the house as lanterns. He spooned mouthfuls of amber twilight from the jars and ate the light to satiate the darkness.

 

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Handwritten Pages #19 The Baptismal Slough

Under the shelter of the summer storms clouds he waited, held within a womb of humidity, his body slick with sweat.

As he drew breaths, held deeply then exhaled slowly, the skies rippled and pulsed, heaved and held back their waves before splitting above him in a gushing of waters.

The tackiness of his sweat sloughed off like old skin beneath the baptism of new rain.

A midwife to his own rebirth.

Renewed skin, perfect in its newest gloss, dressed in the lifetime of variables: family, work, love, pain, futility, faith, doubt, hope and sex, until worn threadbare, stained and tattered. 

And he would wait for the next storm, for another baptism, another cleansing, seed to impregnate the soil with his vision of himself.

 

with acknowledgement to Bruce Dawe and Shakespeare

Handwritten Pages #18 The Kiss

Their kiss was a reintroduction to joy; the passionate self-belief everything would be ok in a screwed up world when the screwed-uppedness manifested in a constant shit-storm that threatened to drown them and salt the earth in the aftermath.
To get there, invitations slipped in as ordinary moments as the antithesis to pain’s physical form: meals in Tupperware containers reheated in microwaves and eaten with grief and gratitude; cups of tea with phones ignored and flowers as prayers for healing.
And in the end, the scraping away and the shovelling of shit to make manure for a broken soil leading to the kiss of forgiveness and the parched desert of intimacy soaked with rain awaiting the bloom of wild flowers.

Handwritten Pages #17

 

Standing inside the phone booth, its panes of glass crumbled to hail stones on the concrete floor, with the receiver cradled against my ear, I pretend to put coins in the slot while listening to the dial tone. The static drone a soundtrack to the anonymity of pain. Stabbing the numbers in a sequence I have never forgotten, hoping to call the ghosts of the future to tell them not to wait up for me.

Handwritten Pages #16

 

Autumn of Cheeseburgers

I walk through the autumn of cheeseburger wrappers drifting on the updraft of car exhaust with only enough change in my pocket to buy you and me an ice cream cone.

I Am… a poem

I am…
husband
father
brother

I am…
teacher
writer
drummer

I am…
pen
paper

tabula rasa

I am…
a mirror
a window
a picture frame

I am…
a magpie
an orchid
the creek

I am…
afraid of dying,
spiders
failure as a definition

I am…
teaching
learning
enquiring

I am…
lost
searching
finding

I am…
hoping
hopeful
hopeless

I am…
random notes
an unfinished manuscript
a story untold

I am…
a dog-eared page
a folded corner
a bookmark

I am…
a comma
a semi-colon
a question mark

I am…
The Joshua Tree
Vivid
Dogman

I am…
Genesis
The Psalms
Lamentations

I am…
a believer with doubt
doubt disguised as faith
faith seeking understanding

 

I was tagged by a friend to explore this statement, “I am…” and to compose a poem based on it.
It reminds me of YHWH’s declaration to Moses, “I am.” It’s a name, and with a name comes a declarative  statement of intention, purpose, identity.
And this poem explores aspects of my own identity, how I see myself, or how I want to see myself. I think I could have go on for quite some time with triplets of statements but I stopped myself.

Try it for yourself and see what you come up with. There is no form you have to follow; I choose triplets but you could use couplets or quatrains. Nor do you have to start each section with “I am…”. I chose to separate the individual triplets as independent images/ideas/thoughts. You may want to simply compile a single list. It’s up to you.

Tissue Paper Frailty

 

your tissue paper frailty
folded seven times
a simple origami of valleys
turned into mountains
tucked into your breast pocket
a shield over your heart

– tissue paper frailty