Uncover the Sun

The Fog

 

The fog has slept all night

upon the ground,

barely waking to sit up

and climb the sky

with chill fingers

 

It clings to trees

and ghosts the houses,

thickening the air

with all the words

we cannot say

 

The words that would make

this world real,

real as the fires

that turn acres

into kindling

 

Real as the bodies

curled in sleep

in doorways of despair

town after town,

city after city

 

The fog finally reaches

right into daylight

and takes the long sentences

filled with all the words we cannot say

and says them, says them all

 

Uncover the Sun

Tell You

 

No one wants to tell you

it may always hurt,

your heart, pummeled by death

and swollen and bruised

by years of loss later

 

No one wants to tell you

that as you age

you will meet death suddenly

in hospital corridors

and on roadways

 

No one wants to tell you

that there will be other phone calls

that plunge your stomach down

and bend your knees

in disbelief

 

No one wants to tell you

that you’ve become part of a group

others don’t want to know,

those that have been seared

to the soul

 

No one wants to tell you

that time only blunts the pain

but does not remove it,

and that the missing doesn’t disappear,

only migrates

 

No one wants to tell you

that to be fully alive

you have to look death in the face

again and again, even your own,

until you no longer fear it

 

No one wants to tell you

that accepting

loss as a part of love

is what it truly means

to be human

 

10/6/19

Uncover the Sun

Impossible

 

We think we know

what will come

and then

something unheard

or unthought

or never experienced

plummets us

out of our minds

and into our small bodies

 

This human wear is wearying

and humbling

because just when we think

we are powerful

life fells us with a bold ask

to see more deeply

to feel more fully

to be more than we ever thought

impossible

Uncover the Sun

Past Any Season

 

Autumn is everything-colored

except black and white,

magenta, dark purple,

orange and red and gold,

every shade ever seen in gardens

 

If we were leaves

would we love each other

far past youthful green

into the fallen months

of rusty brown?

 

Would we remember each other

long after we lay

on mossy ground,

slowly darkening

into earth again?

 

Every autumn I picture you

playing in the fallen leaf piles,

throwing them sky high

and laughing

past any season

 

Uncover the Sun

Not Broken

I’ve heard therapists say it about their clients, friends say it about their friends, casual acquaintances mention it regarding someone who’s going through a hard time. And every time I hear, “He’s broken, she’s broken, they’re broken,” I wince. Why? Because broken is a label that dehumanizes, that treats people as if they are machines. Every time I hear this phrase, I picture a person broken down by the side of the road with others walking by glad that it’s not them. And yes, there is a patronizing quality in, “She’s broken,” as if the person saying it is better, more whole, not as prone to the dings and pains of being human.

Being “broken,” implies that we need fixing, usually by something or someone else. And we all do need help sometimes. But if you go out there and break a leg, usually the doctor puts it in a cast, recommends rest and elevation, and tells you it will heal in about six weeks. Your leg may be broken, but no one suggests that you are. We humans have this amazing innate ability to heal, given the right support, education, and encouragement.

Being broken also implies that something doesn’t work, that you don’t work, and in a capitalist society, not working is the ultimate sin. We categorize people by whether they have a “good job,” or not, usually one that pays well, rather than one that brings joy and a sense of service and purpose. People who are not working for money at all, like stay-at-home parents, are considered less powerful in this society. If your life is “not working,” if you are unable to conform, you are considered less valuable as a human being.

Labeling someone, “broken,” puts them in a category of “the other,” and it’s a lot easier to ignore, dismiss, and incarcerate “broken others.” So, no, you’re not broken. You may be going through utter hell, you may have scars from physical injury, emotional trauma, or be grieving the fate of mankind, but you’re not broken, you’re human.

Uncover the Sun

Your Metal

 

Test your metal,

let it sing to you

under the tap tap hammer

of everyday life

 

The instrument of air

will play tunes

upon that windchime

of yours

 

Enough fire will form

any tool you’ll ever need

to dig or till,

sew or bejewel

 

Your metal will serve you well

as weapons sing

through the air

in fierce metallic cries

 

Your metal-

perfectly balanced

between life and death,

love and loss

 

Someday,

every bit of your metal

will fall down

into earth’s veins again

 

Death, that metallurgist,

will render you

forge ready

once more

 

And

who knows what

you will then

become?

 

Uncover the Sun

Five Minutes

 

In five minutes

you can change your mind

or your life,

write a poem,

end a relationship,

answer the phone,

drink a cup of coffee,

win a prize,

count three hundred seconds,

forgive yourself or another,

laugh uproariously,

listen carefully,

quit a job.

 

In five minutes

you can change your mind

or your life,

stand up to injustice

start a relationship,

give a speech,

read a book,

donate to a cause,

start a new job,

appreciate yourself or another,

weep many tears,

help a stranger.

 

In five minutes

you can change your life

or not.

Uncover the Sun

Feast of Stars

 

Through the rocky crags

we can see a whole feast of stars

laid out against the sky

in an infinite banquet

of sound

 

That kind of music

only comes in the night

when the last crescendo of day

fades into dark

with a savoring pause

 

The moon rises,

singing her light arias,

while the stars dance

sweetly with the sky

and the earth smiles in wonder

 

It is then that our minds remember

ourselves, each other,

and the bountiful concert

that no human instrument

ever played so well

 

Uncover the Sun

 

Neck

 

This long column holds

up a head full of brains,

ideas, imagination,

the power of remembrance,

a scull clothed in flesh, nerves, and skin,

and openings orbiting

random thoughts

 

This tube of sound and swallow

constricts around sorrow,

gulps past the bit of apple

Adam once ate

but blamed on Eve,

and sings life

one note at a time

 

This gusty windpipe

develops from conception

right from the heart

to nod, bend, and swivel,

to express self,

sense, nonsense,

and sometimes silence

 

This long slender holder

of every flowering mind

often grows tired

of lifting up

the whole human

world, one small brain

at a time

 

Uncover the Sun

Travel

 

If you travel past the fallen sunset

into the blue heaven

of not knowing what

lies ahead,

you may find music there

and a moving still life

painted by fate in broad strokes

with marvelous detail

that changes

the closer you arrive

 

If you travel beyond the trees

rooted in every weather

and follow

the curved trunk up

into the branching future,

you may find home there,

where liberty

nests

at the top of the highest reach

of any living creature

 

If you travel beyond the death

of dreams, and loves

and wishes,

you may find a gift there

waiting for you

not to be opened

only held

and known

and accepted,

wrappings and all