All That Is

All That Is

by Carmen H Gray

When you were a tiny baby

And bad things happened to good people

My heart ached

I closed my eyes and prayed to whomever

And your soft face was conjured in my mind

It gave me unadulterated peace

Separateness is an illusion

Even the photons know this

Whispering to our future selves

Planting seeds in our faraway past

So that we can arrive together

Outside of time and space

Remembering who we are again

 

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Tenderness

Tenderness

by Carmen H Gray

Tender darkness with tendrils

That reach deep into the aching

Kissing our self-pity, rocking our illnesses

So sweet and comfortable in our cocoons

Tender silence from broken parts

Of mauled noises that struck our ears

Leaving us thrashing about

But you have to be still to hear the softness again

Tender wounds that weep with pus

But are covered ever and anon

Does it hurt more to extricate the poison?

Is tender just a state of mind?

Like a word that can be changed

With one letter

Tinder sparks that spread

Cauterizing the damage

Ushering in light, passion, heat, sound

Opening up to a new

Tenderness

 

The Climb

The Climb

by Carmen H Gray

 

I went there again

That cliff with the rocks jutting out

And others were still there

Perched on the rocks

As I pulled myself up

Saying to me, “Keep Going”

When I wanted to give up

But this time, a hooded woman

Smiled at me as she guided me to the top

I surveyed the world below

And she pushed me

Into mid-air

What kind of woman does that?

I felt the quickening of wings on my back

As I looked back

She turned around and her face

Had the familiar gentle curve

Of my own

Dreamers

Dreamers

By Carmen H Gray

“Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.”-Langston Hughes

I cannot stop thinking

About Leon, aptly named thus

For he was proud as a lion

And fierce, too

Or Daisy or Rosa, both like flowers

With minds blossoming into perfection

I cannot stop thinking of how they came back to me

Years later

As teenagers and humbly asked me

“Maestra, will you vouch for me?”

I helped grow those beautiful souls

They are part of me and I am part of them

Some of them are going to be scientists

Or already are

And have discovered how ill we are

That we did not know what fortune fell upon us

When they came to us

As Dreamers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fire and Roses

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*Art by Pierce Gray

Fire and Roses

by Carmen Gray

God is a Woman

-Why?

Because women give birth to life

-Goodnight, my child

I love you

-I love you more

Why is it taking so long to get there?

-I made a wrong turn

It’s okay, even mommies make mistakes

-It doesn’t matter if you win the competition

I don’t want to beat him. He’s my friend

-I love you

I love you more

-Is everything okay?

Time goes so fast, I want it to slow down

-Everything will be alright. We’ll get through it

It hurts. Fuck this life

-It does. I’m sorry

Sometimes I don’t want to wake up

-Sometimes I don’t, either

I’m so mad at you. I hate you

-I’m so mad at you, too.

I’m not going to finish school for anyone else

-Don’t do it for me. Do it for yourself

I will

-Is that a tattoo?

I want to be a tattoo artist

-Put one on me

I want to head West

-I bought you a ticket

I’m scared

-Keep going. I believe in you

I love you

-I love you more

I got a job here!

-I knew you would

I’m sorry if I said mean things to you before

-I’m sorry if I didn’t do everything right

Mom? You’re the gardener, tell me which is best?

-So glad you called me! I like the Ladybug fertilizer

Did you know the female plant is the one with the power? Makes sense, right?

-Yeah, it does

I love you

-I love you more

 

 

 

beautiful

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“Not knowing when the Dawn will come,
I open every Door”-Emily Dickinson

beautiful

by Carmen H Gray

Have I ever told you

That your curls are currents of cordial light?

Or that your eyes are the stars themselves captured

From an abundantly dark sky night?

Your smile has sent a comforting diversion

To many a friend in need

The sweetest bow shaped lips give way

To processions to yet proceed

And still, the greatest allure lies

Beyond these fair favors

Gifted to you by heaven itself

Beautiful you, creations and creators

 

 

Primitive

file-1 (6).jpegPrimitive

by Carmen H Gray

On the hot concrete of the parking lot

I saw the remains of once was

Its shimmering iridescence

Laid bare, unguarded

On display to indifferent automatons

Much too distracted by manufactured movements

An ancient keepsake in a modern world

Of discarded plastic