Little

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“I wish I had never got manic depression. When I was in junior high, I didn’t know what was the matter with me. It was as if I’d died or something.”-Daniel Johnston

Little

by Carmen H Gray

Do you know how much I love you so?

Your sweet black curls and those dimpled cheeks

Thank you for letting me dress you up like the little sister I never had

When you were toddling around me in our innocent years

Thank you for shooting that hurt little dying bird

In our backyard and we both wanted to put it out of its misery

I knew it was hard for you and I saw that tear

And later still, in that 14th year

I’m sorry I couldn’t save you from your mind

Do you know how much I cried?

Do you know how hard I tried?

Do you know how much laughter you gave me, too?

All of the ways you saw the world were new

Thank you for breaking open that elevator door when my baby girl was stuck inside 

You didn’t stop to think about the rules of property damage

All you knew was that my little girl was crying and stuck

And you knew how that felt and didn’t give a fuck

About the consumeristic things in this world

You wanted her to be free

Just like I want you to be

 

 

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Lexicon

Lexicon

by Carmen H Gray

“Do I dare 
Disturb the universe? 
In a minute there is time 
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.” 
-T.S. Eliot

I asked him, “do you think it was love?”

“Yes”, he answered, with substantial confirmation

“Do you?” he asked

I paused

And I stretched that moment to span a thousand years

To scan my rolodex of lexicon:

Love, Amor, Eros flashed their pretty letters my way

Sometimes language puts a burden on a thing

Rather than defining

It constricts

Confining

This or that

Or his or hers

Or us or them

And I saw so many faces and places

Where I had strangely traveled

That could not and would not be filed

Time came to a standstill at last

“Yes”

Today

Today

by Carmen H Gray

 

It’s Easter Sunday and April Fool’s

I came across an old birthday card

A token of a time when I was the perfect mother

In my daughter’s eyes

Before the cancer and the heavy stuff

Before the hormones and the teen angst

Now it’s all eye rolling and pfftsss

You Fool

And families are a funny thing

All those egos parading with divided perspectives

We thought we had already traded them in for prizes

From the fortune cookie wisdom

“You will make great advances in life”

But time is a funny thing, too

One shift in our clutched-tightly-guarding-it-nightly story

And suddenly we are that little child again

From 40 years ago

Finding our footing

Can I just say even if it’s all a joke

I’m so glad to have laughed and cried

And lived and sighed

With you today

 

 

Trees

29541103_10211931240896488_1072177643454275493_nphoto by Ann Barnes The Dreamery

Trees

by Carmen H Gray


A place to sit

A spot to rest

To climb

To nest

Your canopy

Inspires me

To be like you

To transmute

The residue

Into something essential

Your ancient knowledge

Speaks to me

You watch the things

That live and be

In non-judgment

The wars

The violence

The shouts

Amid the startling silence

All the players

Will act their piece

While in the forest

Stand steadfast trees

Love In The Time of Everything

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Love In The Time of Everything

by Carmen H Gray

When I was little

I wrote about a heroine

In one of my silly chapter books

Writing and writing

My favorite escape

She had auburn hair

And striking green eyes

I didn’t know

She would materialize

That one day she would

Come to be

And how this little sprite

Would change me so

I did not know

It was not all sugar and spice

It was laughter

But also tears

And tumors and fears

Inward reflection

Rejecting affection

I knew

Love

In the time of the highs

That’s the easy part

But my heroine

Showed me how to find

Love

In the time of the lows

And how the cracks

Are certain signs

Of wholeness

Being born

Life Aquatic

Life Aquatic

by Carmen H Gray

Look into their eyes

See we are each other

The wound of alienation

Instability of isolation

Needs a balm

Something to inhibit

Something to calm

The heat, the pressure

Our stories are singular

Within our limited sight

Until we see each other

As combined, voluminous light

Everything external initiates within

And returns there, too

Fear, love, shame, grace

The things outside reflect

The soul’s birthplace

Can it be subdued?

Can it be unbound?

Can we overcome the things

That keep us deeply drowned?

We were once aquatic

Can we go there again?

To that vulnerable state?

Of symbiotic harmony

An encased vertebrate

Exchanging cells

And tissue growth

Can we come back to this life

And see one another

For who we are

Without the violent strife?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Billows

file-5 (1)Billows

by Carmen H Gray

Today I looked up and saw

Ribbons of white summoning my eyes

They reminded me how the time is now

My hot breath the engine

Forming billows of momentary exhaust

In my own expansive sky

For the ants beneath my feet

Today I caught that second when

His eyes met with yours

I saw the electricity flowing

Like those captivating contrails

Saturation Vapor Pressure

Over Ice

A mixture of luck and presence

And gratitude for being here in this now