Monday, April 29, 2013

long exposure , two poems

Night sky and Lake:

As above,
so below
two washes of color
indigo tinged with 
sunset's golden gleam
one rippled
as though a stone were tossed
into the heart of still water
but the lake is the still
serene as my heart
it is the sky
rippled infinity
streaked with stars
ring around ring 
of endless light
that reaches to the edge of my sight
and continues on.


streaks of light like arrows
raining down
on dim rocks
and gleaming eyes
they last forever in mind's eye
remaining burned into retinas
a flash of silver-gold
on a dome of diamond dusted velvet

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Skipping Stones

Skipping Stones 
She skipped stones
across the sun-stared river
and each stone was a prayer
for the stream and the sun
and the sand,
warm under bare feet.
She sent out stones like
letters in a bottle
to some unseen being
in whom she puts all her trust
and love.

She grew, and clouds came
sticks and jagged rocks clogged the stream.
Her tears made ripples on the surface
Murky water.

She returns, or perhaps
never left
but all the same she picks up a stone
feeling its weight
the cold against her palm
and tosses it 
half heartedly 
into the water

Splash. Another and another
until her stones are shouts, begging
answer, please, I can’t-
I’m no small child skipping stars
I need more than a dead stream
and sinking stones
I need, I need- You. Please.

This stones sinks
quiet as her whispered prayer
slips out to the sea, slips into the sky.

Her fingers, red and white
blotchy with cold
scrabble in the sand
find another stone, the last
and desperately she sinks to her knees
flicks her wrist. Skip
And then the stone
warm, sitting in her palm
blazing with a word.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Note: these are real quotes from people when I tell them I'm Bipolar.

I still like you anyway.
I never would have known.
Really, but you don’t seem-
These are things that ring in my ears
comforts you offer unthinkingly
as if who I am
what I’m telling you like I tell anyone
is something to be ashamed of-
I still like you anyway
and unspoken,
I like you even though you’re broken,
a freak just like the play yard bullies said.
because I’m supposed to hide and deny the light-dark inside me
that rules me day and night
which will it be, hope or despair?
I never would have known
or cared to know,
not really.
All those tears and fits of running, begging to be alone
not normal
no, you did and still
try to fix with words  
what cannot be fixed by anything
but miracles of modern medicine
really? but you don’t seem-
Seem like what, the thing that media says I am
violent, flick a switch to peace
and then in a heartbeat, craving the blade
then sunshine?
you think you know so much, from the word you use
to describe erratic weather
that is not who I am
I am bipolar
a constant struggle that lasts with winners for days 
and then an upset
I’m the flag stolen by the other team
a no kill battle between mania and sorrow
and I don’t know who I want to win
because in the light I crave shadow
get away from blinding bright
and in the night I need
a star,
just one,
light my way
but no
denied that by biology
and by society deny the whole of it
pretend that it’s not pills that keep me 
from imploding and exploding
in a shower of dark fire
I still like you anyway
is what you said when I told you the whys of my life
I never would have known
because you seem so normal
so sane,
not like the killers on late night television
or in bad novels
the change your mood with a remote control 
they aren’t reality.
I am.
see me as I am, the dark light inside me
both the condition and the soul.
really, but you seem
I seem like me
the hyper happy drowning in despair girl I’ve always been
now you know there’s just a name to it
not just too much sugar
or a bad day
I am Bipolar
keep your pity in your own heart
I don’t need it.
This is not something I am ashamed 
to call a part of me
not something to hide 
I don’t need you to keep me from
 the stigma you see my diagnosis as.
Why should putting a name to my condition
change your heart about me
or my heart
about itself?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Nearer My God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me.
Not a cross but a mountain
Melissa Corey Peak.
This is what I climb
What brings me nearer.
Nearer to Thee
Still all my song shall be, 
nearer my God to Thee!
Up we walked, pulling all our worldly
for the weekend, anyway
behind us in creaking wood
rutted wheels
Though like the wanderer;
the sun gone down.
Only not, the sun beats at us
not black and blue but pink
sticking white gold shirts to our backs
caked with trail dust.
Darkness be over me,
 my rest a stone.
I am stone, only
stone wouldn’t hurt so much
aching fingers as I pull
Yet in my dreams I’d be 
Nearer my God, to thee.
No waking dreams, no distractions.
Beside me, a girl lets go of the cart
moaning about hurting hands.
Throat dry, I try to tell a story
but the words run out of my head
like water from my empty bottle.
There let the way appear
steps unto Heaven.
Steeper than before, dust so thick
my feet have no purchase
we slide back two steps for every three.
All that Thou sendest me, 
in mercy given.
Peppermint candy from one hand-made pouch
sets my mouth on fire
I need the sweet, something to rinse
the dust from my mouth.
Angels to beckon me
nearer my God, to Thee.
We are separated, Pa leaves
And the brothers.
So sisters lean forward on the bar
on the backboard
with all their loosing strength
Women’s pull.
I am weaker than I have ever been
Weaker than flu or fever ever left me
Or if on joyful wing
Cleaving the sky;
I am so stooped that hemline
and bonnet strings both reach 
the dust.
I am breathing it, part of me
but still the sky seems to near.
If I could reach one hand  away
from my burden
I could feel its silk.
Sun, moon, and stars forgot
upwards I fly.
Around me, we ache
each leg and arm straining
so weak
but never in my life have I felt
I am made of thin bones and strands of muscle
small and low
but my feet keep skidding forward
through dust and stone.
Still all my song shall be
nearer my God, to Thee.
It is not a song, really
but a cough, choking words
with some faint tune
We are not a choir of angels
but dust covered girls
weak and strong
breathing out and in-
Nearer my God, To thee-
nearer, to Thee!