Subway Woman

She looks into the subway car

like a criminal looks into their jail cell

with contempt, with bitterness,

with acceptance.

 

It’s 1AM, car a quarter full,

faint summer air conditioning filling

the air along with her grievances.

 

She resigns, lays back in her seat

after picking some lint out of her hair

she doesn’t know how she got here, either.

 

 

Why this city? Why that man

that made you so tired you didn’t care

to go back to the love you found

beneath the stairs, hand in hand,

balancing the acts of dependance and diplomacy.

 

Plastic bag full on the lap,

eyes closed now, keeping still–

maybe that will make everything less real:

 

“I belong in the subway, now.

This orange chair may backdrop

to a life of longing,

I’ll sit here and nap

until I reach my destination unknown

(probably 145th street).

 

Perm fixed upon me with slight pride

I thought maybe that would help free me

but I guess adding more layers, more chemicals,

more time and energy doesn’t make up

for the enthusiasm my story has stolen from me.

 

How fun it was to lay in the sun at high noon,

park bench, husband waiting. How full the moon

felt when I first read his lips, his eyes, his kiss.

 

The kids will understand;

they are older now.

 

I can sleep in peace.”

 

based on a woman I saw in the NYC subway 

 

July 31, 2016

 

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Love is Now

I do not have to save the world.

I do not have to solve every problem.

I do not have to be perfect.

 

I only have to be here, now.

 

The only way I disrupt the now

is by focusing on the pain of the past

or the uncertainty of the future.

 

They do no exist, here.

 

In the now,

my skin lives,

my mind grows

and stills…

my breath settles and flies

inward, upward.

 

Now is perfect.

Now is calm.

Now is peaceful.

Love is now.

 

And now,

well, now…

is always.

 

April 4, 2016

at the ocean

my intention,

my desire,

my secret wish

is to simplify life.

 

many men

have tried It;

we heard about it.

 

It didn’t work.

 

many women

have tried It;

we didn’t hear about it.

 

(proof enough) It didn’t work.

 

we searched for It

in churches and mosques,

temples and tall, gray shopping malls.

 

we listened for It

at TED talks, college lecture halls

and sports stadiums with 80,000 seats.

 

when fate

grants you power,

what do you do with It?

 

men decided to seek It only in themselves,

simplicity and peace and glory

owned by one hand, one heart, one tear.

 

I ask: where does the tear come from?

Where does the water come from?

I’ll start by listening there.

 

March 18, 2016.

Flowers

These flowers are growing again

in my head

and like a vine

they neither swoop nor swing–

they cling

to each side of my brain,

try to determine what type of learner I am

but either way, thoughts can’t be pushed

out of the way

so I’ll plan out another day to pluck and prune.

 

For now,

let me sit, lay down my head and rest

let nature have its way

before I run and play, amidst the gardens

outside these walls; in each season

they grow flowers, all their pinks and blacks

and greens– they look familiar to me.

 

In my mind I see a mirror,

one I can’t protest:

an image of you, an image of me

and sweet, pink, spring flowers,

scattered at my feet.

 

Each petal falls so slowly;

I do not stand in their way.

 

I watch in perfect silence;

I pray for peace today.

 

February 28, 2016

Something Worth Fighting For

Do you

have something

worth fighting for?

 

Under the depths

of a powerful river

do you think,

“I wish I could tell you,

‘I love you,'”

then yes–

you have someone worth fighting for.

 

In the next snowpocalypse

do you go drifting off to your bed at noon,

arms full of magazines,

gin on ice

and a mad idea of hope–

you,

yes, you,

have something worth fighting for.

 

Last week,

the last one in class,

sweat dripping down your neck

and pair of unfortunate yoga pants,

determined to be in the now–

oh, you dear–

you have something worth fighting for.

 

The way things are these days, we all do.

 

All terminology aside, cutting

the “fight” off “ing”

allowing Being

to simply be

the one thing worth illuminating:

there is no fighting to be done.

 

I am not the only one.

 

We are all, deep in our bones,

careful risk takers,

taking empathy by the hand,

showing them a good time,

and then, with a faint smile,

letting them go.

Yesterday I watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on a whim (and it was totally worth it, naturally).  The final scene really got to me.  Dumbledoor tells Harry that he has one thing that Voldemort does not have: “something worth fighting for.”  Sadly, I couldn’t find any good clips of this part on good ol’ YouTube, but here is one nostalgia filled video, ending with the classic line, for any of you fellow HP lovers.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNhHqLYEMVU  

 

February 12, 2016

Anxiety

When you open up about it

I’m not promising it will be easy.

.

When the air becomes thick

like white cream cheese

and you can’t simply scrape off the edges

with a knife you wonder

who else is feeling this way?

.

I thought my mother did;

but she said, “What I’m feeling is physical,”

I thought the government did;

but they said, “She’s a terrorist

and he has a mental health problem,”

I thought a suicide every thirteen minutes

would be enough to prove

our grasp on this epidemic is not tight enough.

.

I want to say,

“This is physical,”

when it crashes over me

like a war-torn tide,

daily sabotage not unlike your migraine

I wish I could go swallow an Aspirin

but one pill in the middle of an ocean

will not magically make the water calmer.

.

It is when we realize that we are

the water,

the tide,

each speck of sand we trickle onto

they are sprinkled in our bones–

not unlike the stars

the heavens will always be there,

waiting.

.

For even at your worst,

peace is always flowing;

anxiety

is not you,

it is just a word

you may not feel it now

but feel your breath–

it has not left you yet

the beauty found in nature

is found in your own skin,

still waters under roaring currents

just as Love sits

under pain,

patiently.

.

When you open up about it

I’m not promising it will be easy.

.

I’m promising it will be worth it.

.

December 20th, 2015

spread some love today and speak your truth– you are worth it

The First Day

The day I sat

and looked in the mirror

I stared:

I was looking at me.

 

But it was not me

that I saw.

 

My pupils rounded,

black trench coats

preparing for summer rain

my skin relaxed

after the ebb and flow of the day

I dared not move

for there I swear I saw

the light of a soul.

 

Inside my body,

beyond my mind

there lays a spirit so vast

that it does not know me by name

it stands tall and strong,

not with pride,

but not without it, either.

 

When you are Light,

I suppose you need no one

to tell you just how brightly you shine

 

I felt confused;

I felt at peace–

as if I had known this feeling all along

 

It was the first day of my spiritual practice.

 

It seems so clear now

but with fall leaves promising signs of winter

at 18 years

all I wanted was a pair of mittens and a safe

place to stay, away from the cold.

 

Listening to Spirit

is not always easy–

but it’s always needed

 

to quench a thirst deeper

than Jesus felt in the desert,

Buddha under the tree

when

compounded

together

we have every star, every Being

right here beside

me stood a mirror,

and in the mirror, a face

searching its own lines and faded chords

for lyrics one sang long ago…

there were mountains in my eyes,

an echo on each peak.

 

A sudden wave of peace

rushes from my pores, into the night’s sky

and asks you to grant its wish–

to look at yourself

not as you,

nor me,

but as One

 

a single universe united in song.

 

December 16, 2015