[Poem] beep

beep.png

Long distance is supposed to be hard

We all know that from media

And yet here we are

Hearts open and missing

Hands cradling phones and computers

Thinking about each other

Commutes and waiting rooms

Processing from afar

 

The sound of messenger

Makes my heart beat faster

It’s suttle bing or beep

Makes me rush, hoping it’s you

Reaching out across state lines

And wanting to connect fleetingly

Pictures of the face I want to touch

And sound bites of your voice

 

Video chats on quiet Sunday mornings

You calling when I’m lonely

So I can listen to you both prepare dinner

Cradled to my ear, eyes closed

Picturing myself in your space

Wishing for the subtle smells

Of your hair, skin, being

The gentle weight of your presence

 

I miss you so much

Beep

I miss you too.

Beep

I love you.

Beep

I

 

Love

 

You.

[Poem] Sound of Birds

In the tradition of Throwback Thursday here is a poem from 2003.

birds.png

The sound of birds

Shatters off the trees

And falls like liquid pebbles

Into concrete pools

Leaving ripples

In the trash

Floating on the surface

Wind rustles the disbarred cans

But the concrete poll

Remains still and silent

‎6-26-03

[Poem] Nightmares

Nightmares.png

You stir in my arms gently rousing me from sleep

Your shoulders shake, your mouth tight

I can tell immediately that you are not awake

Your lips part, slowly and words slip into the night

 

I am sorry I’m not good enough

Your sleeping mouth whispers to the world

I look down to your sullen face

And my head begins to whirl

 

Shhh sweet love, I’m here with you now

You roll into my arms letting out a sigh

My name falls from your lips as you

wake a moment look me in the eye

 

I hold you as long as I dare

As you drift back to sleep

Slowly rolling away

Before from the bed I creep

 

3.28.17

[Poem] Mermaid

In the tradition of Throwback Thursday here is a poem from 2005.

Mermaid.png

Beauty shimmers to the surface

Of the beauty that is your face

Meeting in unexpected places

I know how you feel at a second’s glance

The grace of your understanding

You bring out in me who I wish to be

For your love and repentance

I will remember everything.

Eyes like winter but mouth like rain

Skin like a stretch of perfect sand

Ears that listen and voice that restrains

The thoughts I used to have

Songs that you sung to me

And the things you told me

Never thought I’d seen you still

Voice not sobbing and shaking still

I will remember you.

[Poem] The Moon

In the tradition of throwback Thursday here is a poem from 2006.

The Moon.png

Tonight the moon appears

And tomorrow she will again

Waltzing across the stage of the sky

Slowly she spins

 

Her eyes hidden behind her soft glow

Her body seen from below

She sways softly north to south

In the morning staggers home

 

But at some point with in these days

Her appearance will be none

She will be at home

Cradling the ones she loves

 

Her present brightens my hope

As she saunters across the sky

Her light will guide me too

To the home I miss so dearly

And the love I have too.
2/17/2006 12:26:09 PM

[Poem] When the Street Lamps Turn On

In the tradition of Throw Back Thursday, here is a poem from 2005.

StreetLights.png

The light of the sun

Begins to fade and

the look of sorrow

begin to seep into

all of our eyes. We

know that soon the

street lights will

come on.

Someone’s mother

will start the call

“so-and-so come

inside for supper”

and it will echo

around the

neighborhood in a

chorus of shouts;

each mother more

urgent than the last.

And we sigh taking

the baseball game

back onto the lawn.

We wait for the cars

to pass; someone

shouts ‘play’ as the

last car leaves and

the basemen and

bases

–trashcan lid,

pog board,

circle of hose, recycling bin-

get replaced to their

chalked in space.

The pitcher goes

back to his “mound”

and Sammy takes

up the bat. Mom’s

head sticks out the

door, and I see her

from my position of

shortstop and she

nods softly and

opens her mouth.

“Dinner” she calls

and my heart falls, I

say goodbye to the

guys and sadly walk

inside, where the

delights of the night

are, once again lost.

 

2005

Inspired by Daredevil by Huntress.

Communicating with the Spirits of the City

Let’s get a few things out of the way immediately. These are my beliefs and practices, your mileage may vary.I live in a rich and also rotting city, and it colors my practice pretty directly.

The city streets are littered with garbage, people, birds, leavings, and spirits. It takes some time to notice the spirits around you, but once you see them, they are everywhere. Once you notice them, you can try to talk to them.

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“Portland” by Dale Cruse via Flickr

Portland Oregon is beautiful and flawed and crowned with the twin jewels of bigotry and elitism. It is in the whitest state in the United States. It has an unfortunate (and often overlooked/hidden) long racist past.  The history of this city is all around from the striking architecture of downtown to the sprawling suburban areas around the city. It sprawls and winds and has some beautiful and eerie spaces. It has risen in popularity as a gathering place for the young and middle class. Hipsters and punks who have non-traditional careers. It is full of people living their lives. It does not have enough homes for its residents, and it does not have enough secret places for all of its spirits.

I don’t know how I became aware of them initially. I know that sometimes in the dark of night or the slow haze of foggy morning I see them in the corners of my eyes and in the reflections of pop-up hipster boutiques. Men in suits, human shapes, and figures that are not there. Pigeons that have no eyes and the dead stare of a dog that when I turn my head is gone. It’s possible this is all in my mind.

I know that when I meditate at a bus stop listening to the quiet ambiance of the morning rush of downtown sometimes I hear a young boy trying to sell a newspaper. He is spouting headlines that make no sense to modern day. I’ve heard someone talk about recent violence in the Vanport slums like they were around the corner, using outdated vernacular and pausing to drag on a cigarette I can smell but not see the smoke of when I look around.

It’s in these liminal moments of commute and travel that I know that this city is holding onto those that went before. That I realize that people have walked these roads and sat on these stoops for decades. I know they are all around us, likely they are no more aware of us than we are of them.

There are so many spirits who don’t have the shape of a person or at least are shaped differently enough that they have lost their semblance altogether. Perhaps one eyelash row but the lack of an eye, or one crooked smile set just too far off in their face gives them away. I spy them in alleys and around corners, standing on second story fire escapes with no way up from the street.

I have started seeking them out more. I want to know where they came from, how they lost their shape, or if they started off altogether not person-shaped and have slowly copied us. I have found these things work well for me to engage them. I have had short conversations and some small interactions. I am trying to be safe and not invite too much attention or notice.

Leave a gift

City of Portland - Skyline by night with lights reflecting in the river.
2011-01-16 01-23 Portland, Oregon by Allie_Caulfield via Flickr
  • Like all creatures spirits in the city like treats. I find that sometimes the gift can be hello, but often I leave a full cigarette on the wall near where I smell the unseen smoke or leave a peanut out for the crows where I spied the corvid with no eyes. I leave heels of bread at crossroads and bottles of water where they will do good to humans. I collect rain water in my back yard and dump it into the tree planters near my bus stop. I just move my resources out into the world.
  • Give a quarter to the homeless man you’ve never seen. Spare the bread from your sandwich to the birds in the courtyard. Give some of your chicken to the cat that is sometimes around.

Be Polite

  • Greet them appropriately. Never gender the shapes that appear in the corners of your eyes. “Hello, Friend” and “Good Day there” work well. Be quiet when you say it, do not draw the attention of the people waiting to cross the street.
  • Do not ask for their name, they know it’s power. Ask them what they are called, use that no matter how strange it appears to you.
  • Use your nickname or your first name alone. Never give them a way to find you easily. If you do not have a nickname, create one.
  • Thank them if they speak to you, or look your way.
  • Never take their offered hand, ask the price of the gift they offer you. Decline politely if it is too high.
  • Spirits are like the fair folk, you do not want to be in their debt.

Be Cautious

  • Never approach something that looks like it wants to be left alone. Always be prepared to leave.
  • Do not ask too much. Ask about the weather and the day, never mention that they may have died, or are “not real” or are a “spirit”. Do not call them a creature. That is like pointing out that someone is wrong, it is rude to be direct. Ask about their history or their past, never be too specific.
  • You do not want them to follow you home. Don’t go directly there. Take four lefts to throw them off your path, never take the shortest path. Be prepared with enough time. Never be in a rush or a hurry. Time works differently for them.
  • Make a charm of protection, wear it near your skin. Keep a penny in each pocket. Never leave a seat in your car empty.
  • Put sigils on the bottom of your shoes to not be followed.

(Images under a Creative Commons Liscence Attribution 2.0 Generic)