Clutching to Things Loved—The Art of Looking Forward

Reading about what
Other people look forward to—
Fascinating
And makes me smile
Especially when lists go beyond
The usual and expected
Things and rituals
We lovingly clutch—

Like strong hot morning coffee
(Definitely relatable)
Or getting into a warm bed
With fresh sheets (also true)

And extend to things like
Having a weekly
Horseback riding lesson
(Yay, good for you..
I need to get myself there toooo)

Making a familiar,
Tried and true favorite recipe
(Refreshing to see because
Most published lists
Mention trying out
Brand new recipes.
While trying new cooking
Is worthwhile,
There’s comfort in
Revisiting and remaking
An “oldie but goodie.”)

Keeping a list of release dates
For upcoming interesting
Movies to see
(I’ve never done that and
Miss many movies because
I didn’t get around to seeing them
and then forget about them)

Now, here’s a few of my own:

– Unwrapping and putting out
A new, large cake of
Lightly scented soap that
Smells of fresh and
Promising new beginnings

– “Lacing up” which
Begins my “getting it done”
Routine stretches
Followed by a morning run
(Oddly, I feel a degree of
Masculinity coursing through me
As an expression of increasing
Strength and good health)

– Remembering and then adding
Songs to my ever growing
Spotify running playlist—
Currently 403 songs

– A clean, empty kitchen sink
Free of any used glasses,
Stemware, silverware or plates
(I feel “together” and
More successful when I see
Uninterrupted stainless steel
Gleaming up at me)

– Flexible mental muscles
To develop my personal
Written Word
(In the form of regular,
Witty and unique texts
I create that I know
Make friends laugh,
Or life expression elaborated
Through writing prompts)

– Walking to get where
I need to be
Be it the bus stop,
The gym, shopping or
To get downtown—
There is something peaceful
Found in that slower pace
During which geese floating
On the park’s still lake
Beneath an emerging sunrise
Poking through lush clouds
Can be noted and appreciated.

Clutch

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Unmasking Favors For Mercy—Sexuality Reconsidered

Sores
Gaping, oozing.
Gauze to dab and absorb
Putrid pus,
Scarring and puffy stiffness,
A degree of
Hardening over
In the aftermath.

“I want to be
A source of peace for you,”
You tell me.

The ridiculous nature
Of that comment
Made me laugh.

Exhilaration,
Joint participation
Life elaboration,
Yes.
Calm, relaxing serenity?
No.

My strong suspicion is that
Peace giving has never been
A regular gift
You’ve bestowed upon anyone
Including yourself…

Hovering over me
Raw desire
Crackling sparks
Burning skin and hair
At the edges of
Consensual violence
You hold me down tightly
Arms pinned over my head
Unmasking favors
For mercy.
Lost in brambled wilderness,
Grabbing for rooted tree trunks
As I fly by,
Limbs flailing,
I can’t move.
There is
Nowhere to go anyway.

My body
So firm and developed with
Tense, rigid motions
Becomes an open sea under you
Flowing a salted essence
In our togetherness
Carving rocked canyon passageways
In foamy roaring rush.

Under paddles of
An ever turning fan,
I forget about
All our mixed blessings—
Fulfilled emotion
Delayed longing
Betrayal
Twisted fury amid
Bankruptcy of past choices
Enough to impoverish
An entire continent
Between the two of us.

All this
Becomes a trickle
Through misshapen deserts
Ebbing to a half halt
Into watery finger tips
Creeping up flat smooth shores.

Time and place cease.

Mercy

Sludging Through the Grit of Human Essence

This Thanksgiving will be different.
Perhaps the first time ever
That at least some portion
Of family will be absent
From the table.

We will be in town
Convening with friends instead—
Something I’ve always wanted
To be able to experience.

Years past, while we
Juggled car seats and strollers
At crowded gates
Waiting to board planes
To sit crammed among
The coughing and the
“Big-boned” spilling elbows
Over tiny armrests into my ribs,
Sister has often related
How she is bringing over
These sides and
Even the turkey, once,
To her neighbor’s
Across the street.

I’d like to wake up,
Be able to
Roll out of my own bed,
Celebrate good health
And a day off from regular life
To run a 4-mile race
With 10,000 other people
Under a cool but bright and dry
Colorado sky and then
Walk over to my neighbor’s house
Bringing sides and wine to share
Like we are going to do,
This one year, at least.

Parents don’t live
Forever, of course, so
Making a point of
Spending holidays with them
In addition to making other visits
Must occur most years.

One day,
Parents won’t be around
To have to travel to see,
So…

But this year,
With Daughter making the
Day-long trek from Maine,
We will all be together at home.

After all,
Daughter, then Son too,
Will one day have a job
And be involved in
Relationship(s) that may prove
More compelling and
Thus won’t always be
Available to spend this holiday
With us either,
So…

Such is spending days
Moving through this planet—
Kids growing up,
Everyone getting older and
Wiser, hopefully

Sludging through joyful and
Painful passages alike,
For there will be both
With varying lengths, intensity
And some occurring simultaneously
Or overlapping
And mixed together

To form the grit
Of human essence.

Sludge

Particular Musings From an Emotional Cusp…

Sifting through
The security line at
The Boston airport,
I consider my trip to Maine
For Parents Weekend,
About a month ago now.

Seems like a lifetime ago
When I was “young”
Before certain key events
Aged me
Light force warp speed
Into a wiser, elderly framework
Caning betrayal and heartache
Followed by resulting complex,
Confusing romantic arrangements
Previously not known to me and
Whose dicey edges
Prove difficult for me
To stomach and digest
Leaving me feeling limp
And bogged down mentally and thus
Not particularly
Emotionally present
During the visit.

I recognize
I wasn’t much of a parent, really,
For Daughter and
Am sorry for that.

Still, I’m glad to have
Made the 2100+ mile trek
To see and support Daughter
In her new east coast
Collegiate world.
Showing up, even if unengaged,
For important events
Must be
Way better than nothing….?

Heading to wherever,
People stand quietly
Within stanchioned boundaries
Waiting their turn
To be considered safe enough
To board aircrafts.

“Did you run the
Yosemite half marathon?”

I overhear a woman
From the next aisle
Asking a tall slender man
Right behind me.
Glancing back, I notice
He is wearing a sweatshirt
That indicates
His participation in that race.
Through long pants,
I am still able to
Discern massive,
Developed quads underneath.

“Yes I did. It was brutal but amazing,” he said.

“There is a whole national park
Half marathon series,”
He tells her
And the man she is with.

“Awesome. We both
Just ran a half
Along the coastline
This past weekend,”
She responds.

As I had just run
My first half marathon
10 days prior as well,
I listen intently
Without participating,
Fascinated by the coincidental
Shared experience of
Four strangers
In such close proximity

And start to ponder
The potential benefits
Gained from wearing
Race branded gear, now and then,
When out and about.
Maybe I’ll wear my race shirts
More often out in public too.

Maybe someone will notice
And ask me about my race.
Maybe I can meet
Other athletic healthy people
That way,
Find some common interests
And possibly even become friends.

Mind whirling,
Maybe I can eventually find
Another person to run with
And who wants to even travel with me
To a destination race….?

Maybe not—
By developing such a
Full arc of events and wishes
All from a
Hypothetical trajectory,
I’m aware that
I may be expecting too much—
But the ideas began forming
And hold my interest
As possible future goals and desires
To look forward to.

To the extent I am able
To turn those ideas
Into reality
Remains to be seen.
I have miles left to go
And “Promises to keep,”
First.

Still, the concepts
Gave my possible future life
A degree of
Structure
Purpose,
Optimism
Making me smile
As I turn towards
The approaching unknown…

Particular

Atmospheric Head Spaces Cleaned Out and Reconsidered

My atmospheric climate
Still shrouded in clouded pain
About things done and over
Makes me cringe and
Want to run away from myself.
How can I become
More well again?

“I love my life moments”—
An exercise to shift focus
To lighten mental load
To look forward
To surface from
Swampy bog heaviness
Drowning despair
To leave mental deserts
Filled with land mines
Unleashing anger shrapnel
Ambush cutting through
Tender skin,
Maiming,

I consider listing ways
Of my being in love…

Cognac—dusted cherry
Cheery finish pepping up
Any glass of red wine
Already lustrous in
Varietal swirls housed in
Oak and dried dark berries
Makes me smile in
My newer discovery
Of coloring an evening’s success.

Just a small pour, now,
A wee wine spike
To respect the unexpected
And often sudden slamming
Power
Spirits can wield…

Masculine “play”
Fleeting, meaningless and harmless
Makes long hours
Standing on concrete floors
Under bright lights at
International trade shows
Highly entertaining—
Bringing me
More in touch with
The sheen of my internal beauty
And any lightness of being
My soul possesses.

“I’m a student at
Colorado School of Mines
Studying super computing,”
A dashing, dark haired
Man with olive toned skin
Tells me.
Locking eyes, we smile.
I feel feminine attraction inklings
Moving within me
Immediately dissipating
As he moves on to the next booth.
I didn’t even know
This person’s name and
Knowing wouldn’t matter anyway.

“I’ve developed and
Programmed database processes
And now am head of
Texas A & M’s campus computer
Administration,” another
Nameless man lets me know—
His cocky, confident
Self promotion and
Blatant male preening
Warm my insides, momentarily,
Regardless of his short stature,
Barely my own five foot height.

I retain a soft spot
In my heart for males
Possessing strong quantitative
Analytical abilities
Making good money—
What can I say?

Thanksgiving holiday approaching,
I seek friendship and family building
Here at home, for once,
Not wading though airport lines
Crammed into tight flight seats
Breathing questionable
Controlled air.

We have, in our situation,
What I consider a luxury this year
Of not having to travel anywhere
During the holiday season.

Those are a few
Of my favorite life moments
That come to mind that
Bring me slices of joy
Right now…

Atmospheric

Black Fear Keeps Me Living

At times I still fret
Over your whereabouts
Even when in town
An oblong fluttering
Tapping on glass walls of
Sanity and wellness
Fragile and see-through.

I want to be different
More settled into my own projects,
Busy being my own person
Delighted with
Resourceful ways of learning
And being.

So I gather up my reins,
Roll my shoulders back
And sit tall
To harness personal energy—
I seek work, execute events,
Cook dinner, do laundry,
Bake, write and
Try to listen intently
When my children talk
To engross myself,
Genuinely.

I need to get there

But still…
In the back of my mind
I’m waiting.

Waiting

While sipping hot tea
Alongside vegan
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
Packed dense with
Whole wheat flour and oats,
Yet, recently from the oven,
Are soft with supple warmness.

Annoying.

I have no interest in
Living through and
For anyone else.
Anger creeps.
A dank well out of which
Knotted gas wafts
Filtering the color
Of life’s appetite.

I hate myself for worrying
To this degree
Wondering
And at times,
I wish we were both dead
So that both of our souls,

Equally tortured with
Twisted visions of
Wanting to be loved,
Striving be a Good person
Under the backdrop
Of needing approval from others,
Searching for safety, security
While determined to stay alive
And engaged as, at least,
A somewhat productive society member

Shot down from life’s sky,
Could finally crash
In a forced rest
And bleak peace.

But then,
Deadness is so final
Cold black
Coffin of nothing.
An afterlife?
That’s for another post.

To be dead means that
Children, the budding adults
They are becoming,
Out of necessity,
Would continue living
Will find career paths,
Friends
Loves,
Have children of their own
Experience rich joys
And deep sorrows
A portion of which
I would have created.

Sister and parents,
My primary link to heritage,
Would grieve
While they too
Would proceed through life’s journey
Navigating through
Aging and health issues
And everything else
Without me.

The need to be included
In their futures,
The fear of being outside
Looking in from the sidelines
Behind death’s unforgiving barrier
As a faint and distant observer
Versus vibrant participant,
Left out from
Key people’s glass raising
During life’s monumental moments,

All moving on without me,

Keeps my will to live fueled
Impressing upon me to
Use my limited time well while
Living on this planet
By finding and seeing joy
And meaning
In fractured minutes.

Black