hope, living

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

 

 

 

 

hope, letting go, living

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

living

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”

hope, letting go, living

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

 

 

letting go, living

Slant

“Tell all truth but tell it slant”-Emily Dickinson

Slant

by Carmen H Gray

Life is not defined by a straight path

A neat and perfect bow fastened fascinates

Because of its obliqueness

Sharp angles and diagonal descent

Rising action leaning into soft, unexplored regions

Create curiosity for finding folded treasure

Hidden in the hugs of a line

Are Truths woven exactly

One degree more than its parallel below

Inviting you to unbind it

 

 

 

letting go, nature

Me, Too

Me, Too

by Carmen H Gray

My great grandmother somehow had to make a living

After her husband died and she had children to feed

She was quite exquisite

Even as she washed wealthy people’s clothes

And took on other unsavory tasks

Like all women have done

Like all powerless people do

Do not think you are above it

The Me, Too’s

Or that you would have done anything differently

This land was built by Me, Too’s

Your house was cleaned by Me, Too’s

Your children have been nursed by Me, Too’s

Our history is wrought with Me, Too’s

Shut your gaping mouth

At the false display of surprise

Me, Too’s are unearthing a truth

Held sickly sweet inside

Rooted in depths of darkness

Time to birth it

The water breaks

The earth quakes

The fires blaze

As we raise

From the long forgotten past

The Me, Too’s

Me and You

 

 

 

 

hope, letting go

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

 

living

Fire and Roses

file-1 (7)

*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

 

 

 

letting go

Ethereal

Ethereal

by Carmen H Gray

I know what it is to lift

And dissipate into the great Nothingness

Where zero is Nothing and Everything

The Light that never goes out

I have spun in that void

With absolute fearlessness

All sense of gravity gone

As if in one tiny profound moment

I escaped the man made time dimension

To see that we knew death

Before we knew life

Absolute nothing encompassing everything