At the Fault Line

At the Fault Line

If you get the chance to spend time with a group of talented writers – do it

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THOUGH I WASN’T ALWAYS

Why do I keep trying to understand

the list of many things that I do

 

not? I carry around a fifty-

one-year-old weathered scroll

 

inked with a variety of unknowns.

Some, once understood—now

 

not. Many new, others ever-

changing. The list

 

grows. If “life is what happens when you are making

other plans,” why plan?

 

Why do traits that attract

turn into reasons to leave?

 

Is life alone settling,

fate, or just giving up

 

on the game? Why use the word

forever when nothing is?

 

How can a lifestyle choice threaten

others? How is walking in rain

 

therapy to some, yet loathed by many?

How do crows know I am

 

a friend, though I wasn’t always?

How does a special animal change

 

a person’s life? What do you do

when they go? Why do tough

 

people sometimes betray the code

and cry? Why do some become monsters

 

instead of protecting

their children? Can the kindness

 

of an outsider make enough

difference? Why does the pain remain

 

when the damage is long

gone? How do butterflies

 

know to show up when you need

them? If writing can be an antidote

 

for depression, can it lead

to understanding? Is philosophy

 

a gift, or an over-thought

burden? Destiny, obligation

 

calling (words that are larger

than life) can you really

 

see them coming?

Herman Hesse wrote:

 

I have been and still am a seeker,

but I have ceased to question

stars and books; I have begun

to listen to the teaching my blood

whispers to me.

 

Was there an event that opened

his eyes to this

 

realization or is it the wisdom

of a tired traveler?

 

When is it okay to let go

of questions and simply embrace?

 

The surprises never

end. Perhaps it’d be healthier to lean

 

back: let the bad be curses

and the good, magic.

 

This poem started with my piece Why from the “Write to Understand” writing workshop taught by friend Matt Love  on December 10th 2016 in Astoria, Oregon and evolved over time thanks to the help from another writer friend of mine Tara Hardy .

 

Why

Why do I keep trying to understand the list of many things that I do not.  I carry around a fifty-one year old scroll of weathered paper inked with a variety of unknowns.  Some once understood – now not.  Many new, others ever-changing.  The list grows…

If “Life is what happens when you are making other plans” – why plan

Why do traits that attract – become reasons to leave

How is walking in rain therapy to some – yet loathed by many

How does a special animal change a person’s life – what do you do when they go

Why does pain remain when the damage is long gone

How do butterflies know to show up when you need them

If writing can be an antidote for Depression – can it help with Understanding

Destiny, Obligation, Calling (words that are larger than life) – can you really see them coming

Herman Hesse wrote, “I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”

Was there an event that opened his eyes to this realization or is it the wisdom of a tired traveler?  When is it okay to let go of questions and simply embrace?

The surprises never end.  Perhaps it’d be healthier to lean back: let the bad be curses and the good magic.

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As always I learned while enjoying my day at the “Write to Understand” writing workshop on December 10th 2016.

Matt Love lives and teaches in Astoria, Oregon.

Phone Ghosts

My phone has traces of acquaintances, pets, friends and family who are no longer living.
No longer living here with us.

Their birthday’s pop-up as if to remind and say “Don’t forget me.”
Photos in the memory mix float around and surface at times, blending in with new experiences.

It is hard enough to say “Goodbye” in this life,
making [Delete] impossible.

So, My Collection Grows…

Collective Lie

We were off to explore a college.

Jeff and I acquired the correct paperwork, our parents approved it.

Being seniors in high school this accepted right of passage allowed for a few additional days of absence.

All of our individual teachers initialed the forms and counselors filed them with praises.

It was the best ski trip of the season!

Missing my Friend

Hardly any Focus

Breathing seems Difficult

 

Oddly the mind makes Time seem slower…

while trying to Absorb the Surreal

 

Feels like my Heart no longer fits in my chest

as if somehow Bigger, but actually probably Smaller, having another piece …Broken off

 

an all too familiar Mental Time-Out Torture Chamber

 

The Monster we Simply call Loss is Beating me again

 

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Cheers to you John Kelly

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I heard that John gave someone the gift of sight.  How awesome is that?!

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The Holiday Season

As the year winds down, festivities compress what time remains.  The usual events, rituals and traditions combine to make the last couple of months blur into a final season.  I am grateful that Sarrah was able to be here for ‘The Holiday Season’, one more time.

Sarrah was part of my increasingly favored holiday and our recent annual tradition of gathering at The Beach House for a few days around Thanksgiving joining; us, my parents Esther and Stan, Nissa’s mom Gail, the cats and our beach neighbor friends Mike, Lori and Jessica for another extended weekend of giving Thanks.  We individually gather and stay there for a few days, making the holiday more about being with family and friends than just an over planned annual meal.  It seems the added time in this place allows the traditional stress to dissolve and the true flavor of giving thanks takes over.  Sarrah was part of it all; inhaling all the smells of the cooking feast, scoring human food snacks, walking with her toes in the sand, barking orders at cats, collecting affectionate pats from all and constantly reminded me to be thankful.  This year the quiet moments were a bit heavier and at times a little saddening, but moments like these helped me remember and define others.

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