On Holding My Tongue (Again)

Will there still be time for talking
When I am not afraid?
When my voice is no more meek or fraught
And my shame is unlade?

Will I still have breath for speaking
When worrying is past?
When I’m done fearing how I’m thought
Or how my thoughts are cast?

Will I still have words worth saying
When I worry not what’s said?
I suppose it really matters naught–
I shan’t speak when I’m dead.

Now I Have Grown

When I was a child we would walk
through the dusk-warm breezes, down the street;
always parking in the same place,
by the magnolia tree, with its too-sweet smell,
so strong it filled my throat.
And I would bend down,
and pick the petals up, and run my fingers over them,
like feeling something from a place
that the world had forgotten to touch. Back then the evenings
took a magic air, and the sidewalk which we walked was holy ground.
And we would go to the temple, with her heavy
steps, and high and slanting thrones to either side,
where I and other children climbed like lions made of stone.
We would make our way into her embrace,
the temple, with her long windows and high ceilings,
curves and arches meeting like
the harmonies of a song,
her sanctuary just the right size
for a child’s heart.

Now time has passed, and I have grown.
My womanhood I am finding in her sanctuary,
sitting beneath her ceilings, with my cane in my hand.
And the songs we sing sound like lullabies, but my voice is deeper now;
I sing with old women, and I am a woman.
I sing with old women, and I am a child.
I see the people who I knew, but never knew their names.
I look at them and see their backs are bent, their hair is grey.
I sing with old men, and I look at my father.
I sing with old men, and I look at my father.
There are new children now, as children are;
a little girl is jumping in the aisles.
I watch her while she laughs and climbs the stairs,
each step carefully, as I did once.
Each step carefully, as I do now.
I watch the little girl, and smile;
I watch the little girl and see myself.
I watch the little girl, and smile,
and know I am a woman now, because she is a child.

The Lover’s Turn

The sun is shining high and clear,
In the east and far from here,
The sun is shining high and clear–
Love me, love me, won’t you dear?

The moon is shining, cool and bright,
Westward far and cloaked in night,
The moon is shining, cool and bright–
I will, I will, till morning’s light.

And every sunset shall we meet,
When I in passing pause to greet,
And every sunrise meet again–
Will you, in dying, love me then?

I’ll love you clear across the sky,
And yes, I’ll love you when I die,
And since my light you happ’ly give,
I’ll love you all the time I live.

I’ll love you too, from rise to set,
From when we meet to when we’ve met,
And while this place is yours to see,
I trust you’ll hold the light for me?

Each night I rise and each day die,
As you are born unto the sky,
I’ll hold the light until once more
You rise to keep the hour’s score.

The sun is shining, high and clear,
In the east and far from here,
The sun is shining, high and clear–
Love me, love me, won’t you dear?

The moon is shining, cool and bright,
Westward far and cloaked in night,
The moon is shining, cool and bright–
I will, I will, till morning’s light.

On Dragons

Greed and gold are pretty words for shadows of ourselves,
Bound twixt dusty covers waiting long on dusty shelves.
Shrieking serpents steal your gems and fall by swords of knights,
And tongues of flame lick pages to make quickly dying lights.
But fire mars your shining coins and melts the marks of kings,
And the wind that blows down kingdoms is stirred up by ancient wings.
We are older than the menfolk and the sins that they decide,
We were born before the avarice that rots them from inside.
We were there when Earth was screaming in her loneliness and pain,
And when no more stars are gleaming, still then shall we remain.

Tick, The Clock is Chiming

Tick, the clocks are chiming,
Tock the clocks fall down,
Tick the time is passing
As the forest turns to town.
Tick, the fairies beckon,
Tock the moonlight wanes,
Tick, your time is running
And the child, down the lane.
Where does she go? You ask her;
The child only skips.
The child does not answer,
But she laughs and runs and trips.
Watch, the fairies mock you,
Watch, they take her hand,
And she will follow happily
To the far off fairy land.

Scribbling on Seashells

Trigger warning: Though not the intent of the poem, portions of this could potentially hit on a suicide trigger.

I scribble out words on
fragments of my seashell skin, like
Cracked jars of peach cream currency, like
Shards of broken homes washed up on
white sand beaches.

Searching fingers pry at my insides
fitted in my seashell skin, and
I dance on rocks until I
shatter.
I tap out whispers to sit in my shell like
sea songs.

I am turning my breasts into
tablets,
My thighs are too-smooth pages for
soliloquies.
I scratch out sonnets on the shell of my smile.

I am seeping from the seashell cracks like
seawater,
This makeshift house and I must part.
Let the sea snails slip in to be marked
by ephemeral markings,
Let the sea sounds wash away my songs.