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

 

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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

 

Uncover the Sun

Transitions

 

When I was young, I had a hard time switching from a creative dreamy state to a linear, homework mode, and vice versa. I needed quite a bit of transition time between different kinds of tasks. Reading books helped calm down my brain and make the shift back and forth easier. Certain times of the day, like morning, were easier for me to focus my mind on left brain activities like math, and I loved having unscheduled hours from late afternoon into nighttime in which to ponder and create.

 

After learning to write analytical essays in 9th grade, it became more difficult for me to write creatively. My head actually hurt trying to make myself conform to school work. I got the same kinds of headaches in college while moving between right to left brain activities and back. Years later,  a woman hooked me up to a biofeedback machine. Apparently, I spend a great deal of time in dreamy states of mind similar to small children between the ages of three and five, which explained a lot.

 

As an adult, I still need transition time between right and left-brain activities. While doing bookkeeping for example, I put music on  and start in the morning. For right-brained activities like art, I start later in the evening after the mundane tasks are finished. It remains difficult for me to shift from doing art to linear activities, for example, but after left brain activities, right brain ones seem like I escaped from jail and made a break for freedom. It is important for creative folks to figure out how to transition back and forth between such different kinds of tasks effectively.

 

Since I’m self-employed, I am able to establish my own hours and have a lot of freedom to organize my day in the way in which my brain works best. When I tried the traditional, 40 hour per week job, of which I lasted exactly three years out of my entire life, I experienced increased ill health, not to mention frustration creatively.

 

Many of our societal structures work well for people who can make their brains operate a certain way. But for those who cannot, it is awful. They may be the artists, writers, musicians, and creative folks that don’t conform, not because they don’t want to, but because they can’t. Some may call it a lifestyle choice, but for many creative types, it’s the only way their brains function properly. Unfortunately, this isn’t a friendly society for nonconformist brains. Or as a woman from another country told me, “Your society is soul crushing for artists.”Continue reading

Uncover the Sun

No-fig Days

 

Some days

are no-fig days,

no fat fruit

plumply waiting

to be picked

 

No sweetness

hanging

lushly among the leaves,

the pulp juicy

around the seeds

 

No surprises

beckoning in the garden

to delight the eyes

and pique

the palate

 

Some days

are no-fig days,

undistinguished

from other ordinary days

except by anticipation

 

Of fig days,

full of flavor and devourings

and the glory of nature

bearing and sharing

most fruitfully

Uncover the Sun

Rituals

 

For the dead,

we swallow past

the lump in our throats

 

We stand up to speak

in the face of those

whose misery matches ours

 

We struggle for words

to share our hearts

and our loss

 

Birth and death dates

are inscribed in newspaper articles

or etched on stone

 

to become part of a story

of a life that no one

wholly knows

 

Most of us only meet

in the middle, missing

the birth or maybe the final moment

 

And every day

and some day

each person here

 

will have to grieve

the dead or be grieved

by the living

 

Year after decade

we mourn

and remember

 

Our rituals for the dead

become love

honoring love

Uncover the Sun

The Third Death

 

The first death is the physical,

the shock of the person gone,

no longer there to hold

or see or hear,

all of their possessions

no longer theirs

 

The second death is the realization

that they will not be here

for the rest of your life;

at any occasion of family and friends,

through further losses and celebrations,

they will be missing

 

The third death

is how they disappear

from most conversation

into the realm of thought and feeling only,

as if being alive is a requirement

for inclusion

 

The third death

includes the awareness

that most of the living shun the dead

and that someday, we too

will be an occasional thought or feeling

unspoken

Uncover the Sun

Dreams

 

There’s a dream country

unfamiliar, unknown

only reached when imagination

leaps from now

to someday

 

Like words that send

sentences careening

into paragraphs

and lift an old plot

into something novel

 

Some dreams vanish

into never,

while others take time,

love, and courage

to create

 

Such dreams

move us past the loss

of what once was

to fascinating places

we could not imagine

Uncover the Sun

Great Measure

 

Every soul wants to breathe

in the rich round sound

of true voice

curling up inside the chest

and spilling out of the throat

like the coolest clearest water

drunk on life and love

 

Every heart wants to beat

more closely

to that first melody

that danced every babe

out the womb into the world,

singing a welcome

to be

 

Every thought wants to touch

the tune

that keeps open

wonder and hope

and putting the best song forward

into creation’s soft longing

for itself

 

Every foot wants to dance

in great measure

with the music of the world,

the essence of beauty

in rock and tree

plant and creature,

you and me

 

Uncover the Sun

Look Up

 

Look up

through tree branches

to sky patterns

of angels opening to flight

and chubby pears dancing

out of still-life bowls

and rounded clouds resembling

anything mind allows

 

Look up

through leafy possibilities

high above

any human here

and imagine

the top of your own head,

hair parted and scalp smiling

right into the sun

 

Look up

past airplane trails

and azure sky

to see every person

you have ever loved

gazing right back at you

wherever you are

right now