Dare I raise my young, taut head
when winter still slinks round, pounce-ready—sneaky like that?
There is sun and wind and water and will,
and my face yearns to breathe it all in.
Dare I expose my defenseless self
when life is short-lived, petals weary—fragile like that?
There is wood and sap and strength and stretch,
and I can’t help but drink it in before the dark call—
the long fall that cuts my splendor short.
In the absence, I feel longing.
The longing cannot be explained away, dissected, bisected, and catalogued.
It is blood deep, bone deep,
and the waiting hurts.
The absence wants filling—the rising of this sunken sap, the swelling of these hidden buds on their spindly wood.
The absence reminds me of what is lost, but will be again. And that is a frail frost-bitten hope, but it is hope.
And the absence leans away from the clipped cold winter,
anticipates and prays, hanging on in spite of,
and waits for spring.
Not much rain here, but we got the cloud show.
People don’t care—
They care if there is a bloated belly,
a bloody newsreel,
a dirty, tear-stained cherub staring them in the face.
It’s a moment of light,
the dryer dings,
the tire goes flat,
the to-dos mount.
Staring them in the face,
it’s a blinding blur,
need succumbs to the big, gigantic self
while someone suffers.
I saw you on Youtube—
and controlled. (Notice my alliteration to stress the point!)
So sure, Mr. Skeptic, you seem to be–
but of course,with the absence of a fact checker to catch you up
in your rapid fire propaganda!
You pollute the airwaves (Or is it web waves?)
with your poisonous words,
your articulate particulates—breeding cancer for the soul, Mr. Septic Skeptic.
(Okay, I know the metaphors are a little strong.)
Your rehearsed rationale, your belittling barbs
are amazingly entertaining through your sardonic smile—
entertaining if you don’t stop to think
and just suck in all that
we are the world,
evolutionary morality drivel,
well-framed comebacks and proud propositions,
hell-bent on disfiguring the face of the God you don’t believe in.
Crafty, your well-turned phrases and arrogant arguments.
Is this it then?
Not content with eating the fruit yourself, you must push it…
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I was raised to believe that three plus four equals seven. And even six plus one, and two plus five. As I got older and studied more, it became clear to me that not only did twenty-eight divided by four equal seven, but I was amazed at the depth of my understanding when I learned that seventy divided by ten equals seven, and even more so that two hundred and eighty-one point four divided by forty point two equals, you guessed it, seven!
Then I met a man, an erudite man, an articulate man. He told me that seven was equal to one plus thirty. He told me that sometimes three plus three equals seven, and in some parts of the world, if you wear robes and hum, even negative ten times two equals seven. After all, all roads lead to seven.
He was very convincing, and I could see…
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As I made the important decision this morning between Frosted Mini-wheats and egg and toast, you sobbed quietly in your hospital bed. Your tiny wisp of a child died in the night—born early. Your arms were empty.
While I perused the early morning aisles comparing prices, checking off my list, mentally mapping out the week’s menu, you hid in the rocks and bushes from rebel troops. Desperate mother hands tried to shush little mouths as men with guns threw your meager treasures about.
At lunch, I fixed my special fresh vegetable salad and diet soda, intent on being faithful to my weight-loss plan. You sifted through the dumpster in the alley for that one morsel that might relieve the silent gnawing—even for a moment.
I filled up with regular unleaded at 2:00, complaining all the while at the ridiculously high price of gasoline. I thought about writing a letter to the…
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