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Before I took you there

I just knew it was the place

We had to travel together

A steep and rocky path

Crowded with ferns and lichen

And a few old trees

But you pointed out

All of the new growth

As we spoke of Trachtenberg math

And you told me how

He created this system

To keep his mind occupied while locked away in misery

And how his book fascinated you as a young boy

Probably the Old Ones

Like the old trees

Telling the new growth

Number secrets

We rested against the old trees

And sat on rocks that served as splendid suspensions

The trees gave way to open sky

And I knew this moment was magical

The candy colored sky agreed

A father and daughter’s journey

Up

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life Twice, Again

Life Twice, Again

by Carmen H Gray

Life twice, by and by

The want, the wonder, the frivolous why

The comings and goings of faraway ships

Silvery musings forming inside of my lips

Lips that once whispered youthful utterings

While inside my belly where once there were flutterings

A light has broken and shapes appeared in its whiteness

The child, the maiden, the wistful ripeness

And their shadows, no doubt, holding space in the stillness

Therein is where I find myself inhabiting realness

All of the cuts and the sharp words that wished to be said

Rose up to greet my heart gently, without fear or dread

And, I, having lived a singular moment twice

Embraced those shadows in my paradise

 

 

 

 

Rain

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Rain

by Carmen H Gray

This morning’s misty rain

Reminded me

That in these last two new days of the year

So much has been gently cleansed

The kind of purification that you might not even notice

Like walking down that same hallway

In that once familiar building

That housed so many hopes and fears and tears

But this time

It was a singular experience

In the extraordinary world

Today’s rain on the bamboo

Greeted me like an old friend

On my porch

Unlike the day before

Parallel Lines

parallel lines

by Carmen H Gray

 

I saw those lines

running across your

soft arms

arms that had formed inside my womb

arms I bathed

arms that glistened in the summer sun

arms that were cut and poked and prodded, too

I gently placed aloe on those lines

and whispered prayers to each of them

”let the pain leave” I said

and only beauty reside here

Hope paralleled

within a tiny freckle found

Between those lines

 

 

 

 

Speechless

“But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. How few of us ever emerge from such beginning! How many souls perish in its tumult!”-from The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Speechless

by Carmen H Gray

 

why didn’t you say anything?

what froze your tongue?

was it fear, sucking your mouth

stuck, in the murky muck

struck, like backs of our

ancestral sisters

we have struggled

to return to ourselves

to remunerate our homecoming

tumbling from centuries

of tongues tied through the ages

 

 

 

 

Rose Colored Glasses

Rose Colored Glasses

By Carmen H Gray

 

The truck with the tools

And the hole in the eaves

My view of the sunrise obscured by the trees

The cigarette butts

The plants dying of thirst

A Wold War II veteran nursed

In this unassuming place

And no, I never saw the ugliness

In you or you or you

I only saw what light you brought

Even in an afterthought

Even after the storms have passed

And sunlight shines its golden cast

I still see possibility in my line of sight

Sometimes I slip and take them off

Those rose-colored glasses you tossed

But if life is the way you think it is

It’s all for nought

We are absurd

Are we succored, our thoughts?

By the gentle palette?

For we can paint our world

Anyway we want

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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”