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Who Fell First

Memory is tricky

Fading tricks of light

Remembering what we thought we knew

Obscure

Slightly askew

Summer days of honey

Golden light and blue blue skies

Buzzing bees o’er fields of clover

Thunderstorms blew up from the past

Roiling clouds come rolling in from distant places

Pink heat lighting flickers long before the booming sounds

A charge is in the air

The temperature is dropping

Darkening sky and quickening heart

We were just fourteen when all time stopped

A crack of lighting lashed the sky

Large slow drops began to hit the warm concrete

Sidewalks curbs and suburban streets

Manicured grass soft to barefeet

Low rumblings growing closer

The light then sound and count it out

How far the storm we wonder

Every minute stronger power

We mark the moment that all changes

From comfortable skin to something new

A glance

A brush of bare arms

We are crackling like lightning

Our hearts are thunderous

Treacherous beasts

At the loudest sudden sound we shudder

Laughing just a beat too late

The sky is fissured

Cracked by light and split by sound

Here comes the rain now pouring down

We run out in the wind arms wide

We spin in storms outside of time

Tumble together in the sodden grass

We laugh with gods and goddesses

We made it here at last

This refuge from the past

Collapsed

I guess it never mattered

Who fell first

We help each other up

The storm has left a promise

We collect it every day

Every breath

Every beat of passion

Every gentle glance of love

We walk away still holding hands

The path calling us home awaits

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I Dreamt of You Again

We were effortless and new

Out of the corner of my eye

I watched you looking around

As we walked

Buildings of brick and learning

Flanked us

Windows glowing softly warm and bright

We had been here before this night

In another dream

Another time

Would you meet me there again

I wonder

Are we students of this life

Through sacred halls we wander

Our bodies are slumbering far apart

Our spirits light

We didn’t need to speak

We understand each other

Other places other dreams

We’ve met there too it seems

Running though the forests

Bending back the beams

Of time and distance

I look up into your eyes

A beautiful disguise

My heart is caught just for a moment

When you smile

Sleep comes easy to me now

I’m not afraid to fall

You’re out there somewhere waiting

By the lamppost in the hall

Pillars rise above us

The dome is crowned with stars

Tiles are laid before us

There’s an alter growing larger

Where we walk we’re leaving foliage

How the forest grows

With each step we take

Behind us a blooming woodland

Unfolding from the ground

In these dreams we’re never touching

We are walking side by side

Your secret smile is saving

My heart and soul behaving

I know this love is true

Connecting me and you

And if all we ever have

Are midnight dreaming strolls

I will keep the door wide open

I will meet you there each

Time we’re called

Climbing winding stairways

Through the galaxies and halls

Where the books are not yet written

Here in the world we live

Our spirits reading pages

And the writings on the walls

Sleep well my favorite slumber

May your heart rest and be at ease

I will meet you on the shores

Of the ocean made of dreams

Whisper my name when you are tired

When drowsiness evades

I will find you there and bring you with me

We will walk the dreams again

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A Thousand Ways

I am still counting moments

A thousand ways the water sloshed the boat

A thousand ways the stars shone there above

A thousand reflections cast across the surface

A thousand moons shimmering in the night

I am savoring each connection

Every step upon the path

Every leaf upon the trees

Our canopy as we wandered

I am still counting moments

A thousand ways I felt understood

And seen

A thousand times I reached

To find you there

Beside me

Walking in this wildness

A mad world

A wilderness

With each new step I take

I count a thousand ways

The light within you shines

A beacon for my heart

Let my light rise too

Let my shine be bright enough

To help you find your way

If you are lost and hurting

Look for my starry sky

Look for the shining sun

Feel the gentle breeze

Warm and plucky

To tease the sorrows from your soul

Release the worries from your brow

For a moment here and now

Be safe and whole

Peaceful in a thousand ways

Know you are loved

A thousand ways

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Things People Say

She says I’ve lost weight again

I tell her I’ve been lovelorn

We both know it is a lie

I’ve gained two pounds since I saw her last

Tears no longer roll down these cheeks

It’s Lady Gaga I reply

What does she sing about

About relationships between people

She watches the neighborhood rolling through the window

As she says: It is very difficult to accept sweet love after abuse, I think

That might be true I tell her

The Lady sings

He says people who love are duped

That passive people are easily controlled

God is an asshole

Love is a scam to keep people

To keep people from success and whatever

I watch him drift away in clouds of thoughts

I show up daily in love

The grand illusion

He says that he would drive me crazy

I could never put up with him

We agreed

Made room for a friendship

Where romance could not take hold

She said I don’t need to be put down

Or treated badly

I wondered how much room to make

For bad days and trying times

Where and how to draw healthy lines

There are no answers outside

Of this heart

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Circles and Cycles

Sharing

Isn’t always easy

She’d eat my food

I didn’t know at first

Or understand

A community mind

First trip to the grocery with her

Loading up with things I’d like

It’s been decades now

Sharing time

A place to shelter into

Sharing friends

They started sharing too

Filling my home with replacements

For much of what I’d left behind

Filling my circle with love

I give and give back and give away

Everything I need within reach

A call away

A text

We cycle gratitude

We circle around the debts we owe

Which do not cancel each other out

Life for life

Blood for blood

Soul for soul

This giving and receiving

Endless circle

Material things or wise words

Or simple presence

Gratitude rises

Gratitude overflows like a fountain

Gratitude streams over the edges

Softer

Smoother

Until we are luminescent rivers

Until we are the shimmering ocean

And you reading this

Are now caught up in an eddy

Maybe you will understand in a year

This vortex which has swept you upside down

Shaken you firmly

Stretched you out longer

Wound and unwound you

Until you are dizzy

Will place your feet firmly

On the path invisible

You walk on water

Miraculous

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Keep Warm

There is the cold void of space

Expanding through your heart

Temperatures dropping

Daily

Every slight, every ding, every pain

We numb and withdraw

Our sap dropping from limbs to root

Our leaves fall beautiful

Into piles of decay

How to continue

Why go on

When it hurts

Grief overtaking

And spring is so far away

Don’t stay there in the heart of winter

Rest and repair and rise again

Capture each ray of sunshine

Be soothed by the songs of the birds

Revel in the blue, blue sky

Wrap the grey clouds around you

Sprout

Grow

Fly

The heart of summer is always within you

A blooming meadow

Paradise of butterflies and bumblebees

Keep warm

With the kind word of a friend

Laughter

A good book

Keep warm deep into the restless night

Keep warm kindled sparks in reserve

Until you become the star

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Best Friends

There’s the surface, and then the truth

Skipping rocks on water

With the daughter of my parents’ friends

Vacations

Celebrations

Backyard Barbecues

Barbies sprinklers

Long walks

Swimming and bike rides to nowhere

Superficial

Convenient

Allowed

We were best friends because there was no

Other words to describe a dynamic

For the most part

Beyond our control

She would not show up for me

And there’s the truth then

Of how I grew up

With with unnamed group of friends

Who did show up for me

Regularly

Three guys on BMX bikes

My true best friend, in retrospect

Always in the midst of the others

Or by himself

I still see you

Days full of skateboards

Basketball

BMX tricks

Blaring the music as the balls bounced

And the wheels rolled

Doorbell ringing with the group asking me

“Can you play, there’s a pick up game at the courts?”

My game was solid

Daily shooting

Free throw

3-pointer

Half court

Layup

I’m on my way

We couldn’t say

Back then

With so much skin in the game

That we were best friends

We never had to say it

This was written on the court

Written in the music

Written on the pavement

Written in skinned knees

Written on scraped shoulders

Written on wheelies

Written on sweet passes

Scored on backboards

Written into the sum of who I was

The acceptance of the group

The truth of it

Under the surface

Those guys saved me over and over

When they showed up

And showed up

And showed up

Swish

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Beyond Sorry

“I’m sorry…” she begins

Trailing off down the path of

Self recrimination

“There’s no sorry.” I tell her

It’s about the dishes maybe

It’s about expectations I don’t have

That she fears I might

It’s how the past gnaws her legs

Inhibiting movement

We are way beyond sorry

I wash the dishes

It’s a gift not a chore

So small I barely notice

I vacuum and mop the floor

Wipe down the baseboards

Clean the doors

She’s sorry and she’s not sorry

She thinks I think she ought to do

Different

It takes time to rewrite the story

We are way beyond sorry

There’s no judgment when I’m cleaning

There’s celebration

What to give the person who has everything

But time

Who gives to others without holding back

Who creates space, and opportunity

Supports, and lends a hand

It’s only temporary

This life

This moment

This situation in situ

The history is long and tangled

The friendship well established

She says “Thank you,”

Without an apology this time

Reacquainted

We are beyond sorry

No regrets

I survey the next room

And pick up the cloth

It’s not enough, but it’s something

She found a way to leave me afternoon Chai

I detail cleaned the coffee grinder

She gave me a beautiful bowl and a wooden elephant

I vacuumed the cobwebs from the corners of each room

I am sorry and not sorry

We are beyond it

Way beyond sorry

Full of gratitude for chosen family

I say “Thank you”

Without apology this time