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Holy in the Infinite

Month

August 2014

Hot with Grateful

Hot with Grateful (5.15.14)

 

I catch myself

catching

a memory

of things

that just don’t

matter anymore

 

I’ll feel the breeze

damp with ocean

on my face

through a doorway

I no longer

stand in

and close my eyes

with it

 

the heat

of another human

long gone

even though

these days

my bed isn’t exactly

cold

 

The sound

The scratch

of the needle

on a record

long buried

in a cardboard box

in a forlorn

and forgotten basement

 

So, now,

at night

when it’s hot like this

I remember

the cold

the crunching

of snow

but upon closer

examination

find that the snow

has been replaced with

tired weary dust

that cakes to the soles

of my bare feet

 

I remember

the rain that freed me

from the chain of memory

the blood that slips

with each tricky beat

of my chest

reminding me that

everything

in the fullness of time

turns to a simple nothing

 

And for that emptiness

that stands

with the rails

cleared of snow,

for the space in rooms

the belongings sent away,

the forgetfulness

my mind seeks

for self-preservation

as the memories

slip back where they belong.

For all these emptinesses,

as my heart reminds me,

I am hot with grateful.

 

I Meant to Tell You

I Meant to Tell You (6.25.14) (But Nothing Came – Version 1)

 

I meant to tell you

sometimes

when I walk the ocean

I think of you

but the wrong words

always find their way

instead

 

I meant to tell you

sometimes

when I can smell the earth

tangling with pines

and rain

that I really did love you

things just no longer make sense

 

I meant to tell you

sometimes

when I hear the flutter of wings

outside my window

that despite our absence

your heart is still

so tender and sacred and strong

to me

 

I meant to tell you,

secretly

I hope you think of me

sometimes and smile

secretly

as if you knew me

still

Cameron’s Poem

Cameron’s Poem (3.26.14)

 

I walked amid a grove of aspen trees

the skin as pale as mine as chalk

their branches reaching out to claim

what was left

while the sky fumed hot pink

against the grey of my melancholy

 

I stood among the stacks of books

in the library of fate

counting the names of people

that had gone

and my jealousy for their sleep

made me uncomfortably anxious

 

When I least expected,

I caught myself admitting defeat

My heart was closed and

You had changed into a stranger

It was about 8:30 tonight

When I realized you were really gone

A different poem halfway out

To be finished later

 

Was it relief or sadness

that I felt take over my chest

In that unanticipated minute

As I felt you rush out of me.

I Can Still Feel the Weight

I Can Still Feel the Weight (6.21.14)

 

Did you know

that it’s been

five years

five months

and 22 days

since you left us?

That’s

1,999 days.

not that I’ve been counting.

 

And I can still feel the weight

of each one.

 

I can still feel the weight

You and I,

we were in the womb

at the same time

Our fathers, brothers,

and after I was born,

my mother wept tears of joy

knowing you were coming too.

And we grew together

on those same dirt paths

our ankles scratched

and berry-bloodied,

so similar that the laughter of one

would reverberate

in the eyelashes of the other.

And in the backwoods of Ithaca,

we boiled lobsters with John,

none expecting it was the last time

we’d all be together.

 

I can still feel the weight,

the blankets,

crushing me

(nothing like yours)

and the early morning phone call,

too early, too anxious, too dark

to be any good

and the knock on my door,

already wary,

and then silence

(nothing like yours).

 

For who I could I ever show

what it was like to lose you

to that icy silence

that abyss from which no one fully recovered

and now your name is whispered

hushed,

no one with the audacity

to acknowledge you’re truly gone

 

I can still feel the weight

of the empty box in the palm of my hands,

how they found you beneath the trees

on that darkened eve

while we sat

hushed,

expectant,

with the advent of your arrival

hoping for a Christmas miracle.

 

I can still feel the weight

of you and me

finally old enough

drinking,

and you telling me,

“I want to climb the world.”

neither of us expecting

it would be the last time

and I believed you would.

 

Could you hear us

calling your name,

calling you?

Could you hear our footsteps

above you,

packing the snow?

Today, I still wonder,

if you knew

if you were scared

what you thought about,

if you could hear us?

I can still feel the weight

of wondering,

could you hear us

beneath all that snow?

 

I can still feel the weight

that dark stirring emptiness

of where your voice should be

I remember how, unexpectedly,

you had changed into a man,

bold,

strong like your father,

adventurous and unafraid.

 

I can still feel the weight

of missing you

as if I still lay frozen

under the snow with you,

forever stilled

in my memory,

Sometimes I see your mountain,

so strong and true,

rising in my rearview,

and cry

remembering you,

so strong and true.

 

It’s been

1,999 days

since you’ve been gone

and I wonder what that really means

and how I’ll feel tomorrow.

Holy in the Infinite

Holy in the Infinite (finished 8.11.14)

For Ian

 

Infinity only reveals itself

because we can sense

limitations of the finite

Just as we only know

we are ourselves

because we recognize

the other

ever lonely and separate

oh so endearingly foreign.

And perhaps

only through coming to know

another that challenges

my faltering heartbeat

would I come to discover myself

again

and need no introduction.

 

For years, I wept in silence

walking in shadows

wandering in deserts of myself

lost in lamentations

rending my clothes

rubbing dirt through my hair.

I screamed soundlessly

desperate to hear answers

a quiet voice in the night

to assuage my fears.

But all I heard

floorboards creaking

under the weight of absence

and the drift of rose petals

falling to the table

in the other room.

 

I feel temporary

and infinite at the same time

as this night is passing

and some red hope

comes across the mourning sky,

lighting all I can see.

I give name to that passing darkness

and the sun turns hot

burning my sin

turning my skin

to ash,

but isn’t this where I came from?

 

And

with some anthemic swelling

of my heart

suddenly

 

hallelujah

halle

halle

hallelujah

 

I turn

not to chase the wind

but to feel it

wild

shaking the dust

of this war

from my hair

shaking this world

off my back

and loosing the ash

from my soul

ever-singing

your songs

spinning in infinity

feeling the hot wind

blowing away doubts

leaving me joyful

alive at the center

holy in the infinite

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