By Miracle, She Lived

The roots of a tree’s shadows are hard to see because they are dark and hidden and run beneath the leaves. But they are few compared to upon whom they have fallen.

It was the most uncanny of seeds, the one a child found,
the one she planted, raindrops falling upon her ground,
and of course not upon a happy day was this fateful act,
but in pain of heart, was where she sealed this contract,

as the years passed by she could feel it growing inside
one root becoming many running hidden in the twilight
for shadows spindly spiders glisten by winks of the moon
and she’d see them spirited to corners of her every room

great fear of these things she learned to pretend none,
ever excited for sunshine when they’d leave her alone,
day and night, fear and joy formed the cycle of her life,
everywhere she’d look were circles spinning in her sight

for the pain of heart seemed lost to days gone by
and she never considered that this healing was a lie,
and so she gave all her time to tending to what she signed,
forgetting herself, the child, a poem in a lighter rhyme.

instead, spheres of webs twisting from feet to crown,
no cell untouched, no strand ever dared to be unwound,
spider shadows coming and going as she’d always expect,
she called her knowledge wisdom; but the rest was ever suspect

for everywhere she’d go, she’d bring that tiny binding seed,
to give it all water, all food, every sip of air she breathed;
giving so much to it, that you’d wonder how she lived,
a miracle indeed that by the light of God she did.

Let Go the Shadows (Purgatory)

Who are you—who, against the hidden river,
were able to escape the eternal prison?”
he said, moving those venerable plumes.

Then he replied: “I do not come through my
own self. There was a lady sent from Heaven;
her pleas led me to help and guide this man.

Dante, Pugatorio, Canto 1, 40-42, 52-54

my love,
I saw you standing midst those who in purgatory dwell
singing makeshift words of another’s conjured rhymes
lies that evaporate before entangling hearts and minds
what you still pretend to be yesterday and tomorrow
as a child clinging to hopes from mommy borrowed
the thin shades cannot survive your heavenly skies,
not a million could survive the power of your light
to lead you to where you know you are called to go
to be brave enough to pass through your own shadows;
for the reflections of others will never keep you close
the shadows that follow others when they leave you
what you mistake for love just ’cause it hurts the most.

Shadows of Mighty Sunlight

the world will never reflect the truth about you;
not even its delicious praise will closer reach,

the flattering confections they refuse to give you,
until you’ve digested the derision that they teach;

for there are two kinds of comedy: one of salty wit
and one of vicious jealousy, the mother of resentment

who’ll feed you till your body’s too heavy, too dense
for feeling love or knowing joy in every circumstance.

for the devil only deals with those who love to need,
and those who need anything make love only with devil

such cheap and easy rewards you will willingly accept
as long as your surrender seems a step above the rest

still, you were born not of this world, but into it
as low shadows are born and grow in surface sunshine

they ebb and they flow in temporal aspect and petty slight
till dissolved when clouds gives rest to mighty sunlight.

Forgotten Way

have you never noticed the sunlight struggling to reach your eyes?
whatever you stand behind, it shimmers openings betwixt the sides
rocks burning, skyscrapers steaming, sun’s dragon fire breathing
trees soaking in the noontime sun as you seek safety in the shade
for why would you want to feel the hot desire of youth once again?
so many sunny days have fallen quickly into disappointing rains
and love, O Love!, burned too much of your heart that summer’s day
swift train passing you by disappearing into your lost forgotten way.