Love after Love-Derek Walcott

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The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

God’s Poem

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I recite literature to God. He likes the ones I can’t get through without tears, mainly because He knows I’m offering my soul and not just steering words with autopilot.

Sometimes I use my own, other times someone says it better than I ever could and I trust that God accepts it the same. So this one Thursday night, Sylvia Plath said my prayer,

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”

Silence

As I sat under Plath’s fig tree God remained tied tongued- tongue tied, I wondered if He too was trying to borrow just the right words.

After laying in that awful silence for over a week God spoke, “I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou [me]? Thou shalt see great things than these.” Luke 1:50.

The silence was broken to remind me God has always been the best of Poets..

x
Katie

Art Courtesy of Carlo Mattioli

Trust the Hours- Galway Kinnell

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Trust the Hours- Galway Kinnell

Wait, for now.
Distrust everything if you have to.
But trust the hours. Haven’t they
carried you everywhere, up to now?
Personal events will become interesting again.
Hair will become interesting.
Pain will become interesting.
Buds that open out of season will become interesting.
Second-hand gloves will become lovely again;
their memories are what give them
the need for other hands. The desolation
of lovers is the same: that enormous emptiness
carved out of such tiny beings as we are
asks to be filled; the need
for the new love is faithfulness to the old.

Wait.
Don’t go too early.
You’re tired. But everyone’s tired.
But no one is tired enough.
Only wait a little and listen:
music of hair, music of pain,
music of looms weaving our loves again.
Be there to hear it, it will be the only time,
most of all to hear your whole existence,
rehearsed by the sorrows, play itself into total exhaustion.

Misfits

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We are the misfits. The Gay Makeup Artist in a Mormon town who hides his lip glosses like stolen candy. The Theater Guy who has a more extensive emotional vocabulary than Dickinson and Plath combined. The Hippie Girl with waves of hair down to her Sanskrit spray-on tattoo who recites Deepak Chopra like scripture. And me, The Wanna-be Poet, who got us all together every Monday night hoping to make a home out of a place we all feel so lost in.

Together we feel real, like our words can exit the script. We can say the things we maybe shouldn’t say but have kept lodged in our brains next to all our gathered shame. From the first time we met together over my gourmet canned spaghetti and cheezits, I distinctly remember feeling like God was smiling.

There is something serendipitous about meeting people you never have to preface your thoughts with “Excuse my blasphemy,” or “I know I shouldn’t feel this but…” That freedom we feel together in our openness gives us room to mend each other’s wounds. It feels a lot like love.. It feels a lot like God.

I once learned understanding God comes through understanding his children. I know that takes a lifetime. For us it will take many more Monday nights sitting around my rundown beach-house table sharing stories of the times we feared we would never find people who love us the way we feel loved now.

x
Katie
Art by: Ben Giles 

Reinvention

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I value incompatibilities, disagreements and uncertainties that break up reality into fragments of truth and illusion and open the door to invention. When Humpty Dumpty falls off a wall and smashes his egg-shell into little pieces, there is an alternative to just gluing those pieces together again. It is also possible to make an omelette out of the mess, combined with many other ingredients and not only with ones to which one is accustomed. The future is an endless series of experiments.

– Theodore Zeldin

Art Courtesy of Christopher Chiappa

Transitions- faith and doubt

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I’ve been so afraid to say it. it. say it. it. it.. Say IT. I’ve heard other’s say it, cry it, whisper it, yell it, and all I’ve wanted to do is save them from their words. “Take it back” I wish to say to them, “You don’t mean it, you’re just lost, confused, you haven’t prayed hard enough. SHHHHH don’t say it. It. It.. Don’t say it!”

But really those pleadings have never really been for them. No, they’ve been for me. “Katie, you don’t mean it, you’re just lost, confused, you just haven’t prayed hard enough, SHHHH just wait a little longer, it will be okay if you just forget it. Just don’t you dare say it.”

Then one completely unspectacular morning it fell out of me like gravity stole it from my clenched teeth. I waited squeezed fists, eyes closed, in silence hoping somehow I could clean the wreckage and the splatter when it reached the ground. But as it fell through the air, echoing, dancing and twirling in its newfound freedom I realized I didn’t want it cleaned.

Instead, I wanted to give it room or a canvas even. I wanted to see what could be made from this spill, this mess, this truth and all its untogetherness.

I don’t know anymore. I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW. I DON’T KNOW!! There, I said it! I’m sure sometimes I’ll cry it, sometimes whisper it but right now I can’t help but yell it so I can hear my own voice for what feels like the first time, “I don’t know!”

And finally, that’s okay.

x
Katie

“Whatever inspiration is, it’s born from a continuous ‘I don’t know.”

-Wislawa Szymborkska 

Art: Jerome Lawrence

Hawaii

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I moved back to Hawaii this week. My friends have been gone for a while now and I’ve had time to bask in my radiant solitude.

I’ve made space for poetry again. For barefoot sandy morning runs. For acai bowls while feeling the receding tide tickling my sunburn. I feel joy.. Today I feel far from lost.

Lost

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

— David Wagoner