One Touch

person holding a flower

~June 2020, for my friend Peter

 

One touch.
Handshake a million years ago
meaning — only
the imprinted energy remained
your signature
written
in the palm of my hand.

One touch.
Brushstroke upon the canvas
meaning — only
that memory would keep you
vivid bright color stroke
painted
in the memory of synapses.

One touch.
Melody rolling across deprived days
meaning — only
that you sang the hours
a song of calming
solace
in a soft whispered breathing.

One touch.
Illusion and Truth and Seeker
meaning — only
that variegated thread of being
runs through us all
weaving
a tapestry of disjointed discovery.

One touch.
Heartbeat tapping ka-thump
meaning — only
we are living moving flowing life
blood body spirit soul
one
essence divided into many.

One touch.
Begging arms reach out
meaning — only
the tears we cry dream dreams
of yearning and growing then
disappear
into a deeper realm.

One touch.
We have this gift
meaning — only
we are this gift
of chance chaos beauty
expanding
to touch one another.

~Photo Credit:

Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m lost. Can you help me find my way?

man s hand in shallow focus and grayscale photography

It is 4:27 pm on Sunday afternoon. The small convenience store at the corner of Hwy 17 and Ocean Boulevard is packed with customers two lines deep waiting on a single cashier to ring them up and send them on their way. She is a sweet black woman near my age that I chat with every time I visit the store.

I am third in line behind an older white man wearing a scraggly beard and walking with a slight bent limp, and a Hispanic father with two teenage girls wearing shorts, smiles, and sunburns. A young black man and his friend are behind me. The line on the other side of the store has an older white couple, a Hispanic woman talking on her cell phone, an older black lady wearing jeans, a God Saves T-shirt and a ball-cap, and a well-dressed younger couple speaking quietly in Russian.

Two miles away, in the center of downtown Myrtle Beach, SC a protest ends without major violence or rioting after arrests and releases, a few hours of tense stand-off and news reports, and a slow push forward by a police line that encourages dispersion. I watch the local Facebook news feed for hours. Then, make this quick run to the nearest convenience store for cigarettes before the 6 pm curfew takes effect.

I am in line. We are all in line. Each of us trying to observe social-distancing rules and patiently wait our turn in the tiny overcrowded store. My mind is trying to sort the images and realities of the day. I’m looking for a way to make sense of the deep emotions of anger and pain I’ve seen and heard. The questions of meaning and how to address these issues and help heal them in my community float across my consciousness.

How it is possible that we are still battling these issues of race, prejudice, and inequality in the year 2020 my mind asks. I cannot fathom an answer. The sad pain over the reality of these deep, ingrained wounds and behavior our nation and its’ people are suffering is too overwhelming. I am floating between rational thought and simple prayer as I stand in the line, waiting my turn.

A young black man in his 30’s walks in the store and steps in front of everyone, seemingly oblivious to the lines of people standing there. He asks the cashier a question:

I’m lost. Can you help me find my way?

My breath catches in my throat as I feel everyone tense around me. From behind him, the older white man with the limp and scraggly beard, reaches and puts his hand on the mans shoulder. In a deep Southern accent he says, “I’ve lived here all my life son. Maybe I can help. Where are you trying to get to?”

The whole store seems to breathe one long sigh of relief as they talk and the man is soon on his way to his destination. Both men show nothing but respect and kindness to one another during the interaction. I am almost in tears at the gift of this moment. Hope comes back into my heart. I believe we can somehow find our way through this … one person-to-person interaction at a time.

I think about the question, “I’m lost. Can you help me find my way?” It sums up the surreal place the people, our nation, and the world seems to be at in this moment. We are all lost and needing a little help to find our way. It starts within each of us and moves outward. It is the simple truth of Gandhi’s words, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

man person people old

 

Photo One: Photo by lalesh aldarwish on Pexels.com
Photo Two: Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

like the wave loves the ocean

ocean wave

You sing me songs through the air.
You say every word I’ve cried to hear.
You run to me when I long for you.
You put your normal life on a platter
Toss it into the sky, Turn
And hold out your arms to me.
Your circling spiral of energy
Tornado and whirlwind breeze
Heat, turning calm, knowing
All at once in my soul
You hold me, meet me
In the space of vast seeing
A place both foreign and home
In this instance (we are flowing)
Like the way we breathe —
Sometimes with knowing focus
Other times    Naturally-unaware
That life pulses through us
With us — Is us.

I love the way you love me
Like the wave loves the ocean
and the ocean loves the wave.

 

~Photo by Simon Clayton on Pexels.com

Pain of War & Living

flight sky sunset men

~VA Hospital, October 2019 (Thank you for your service)

 

These halls, these chairs, these walls
encasing whispered moans
and memories of wars
and those gone soldiers
that never made it home
to America, to sit here, to wait
on the doctor to see them
at the VA Hospital in Charleston.

I sit feeling, hearing the tones
of pain play like the keys
of a piano, dark and light —
Some pain a deep recessed dark.
Some pain a bright hard gash
of bright light open wound oozing
under the cover of wrinkled flesh
pale aged splotched skin
that holds the soldier of twenty
wrapped deep beneath the disguise
of age and time.

The waiting room of marbled browns
deep wood tone trim and calm colors
built to settle the mind and remove
the pain of war and living.

 

~Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

You take my hand

silhouette of newly wedded couple

You take my hand and we go out
into the world.
You are my dearest playmate, companion.

Sometimes,
the Mind says to me
“Are you crazy?”

“Who are you to speak of God this way?”

But, I am learning
to listen only to Your laughter,
to relax into the giggles we share,
to take Your hand in mine,
to trust You —

And then,
I smile at my Mind, all his babbling,
like a jealous, drunk friend!
Because
the Heart sees differently —

And I know that this romping about,
playing with mischief, roaring in laughter and joy,
through these life-days of shimmer and shine
with You
is the only reason I came.

 

~Photo by Thái Huỳnh on Pexels.com

the love that is Home

Gateway

It is as if
Somehow — Someone
opened the gate and let me back in
to the Garden of Eden —

while the world still sees me
and keeps calling, calling
to come back out and play.

I can’t find words
that work to explain
I am happier here
than ever, anywhere —

How does one explain
the love that is Home?

 

~Photo Credit: Gateway; (c)2019 Marissa Mullins

you were always becoming poems

time lapse photography of flame

~For Joey, April 2019

 

Oh, that sparkle of mischief
and laughter and child
that jumped out of your eyes
and decked me,
knocking the breath from me
as I sat across the room!

Boy that I loved
with deep heat longing,
held close to my breast, a child-man
I could not help heal save reach trust.

“Beautiful”
and you were the most beautiful boy
on earth to me —

your eyes your lips your face your hair
your heart
your hands your chest your belly your legs
your manhood
your fight your laughter your demons your smile
your soul

“Beautiful Destruction”
running through my heart – life – soul.

“I ruined you,”
you used to say.

“No, Beautiful,”
you were the match I used for flame.

To love beyond all aspects of self
brings the burning of purification.

You were always becoming poems
in the Seeing Eyes of a Poet.

“I ruined you.”

“No, Beautiful.”
You were my chosen suicide.

 

 

~Photo by Igor Haritanovich on Pexels.com

 

Teach Me

woman s face with light reflections

What has been taken from me — only illusion!
This vast fountain-spring, life giving water,
knows no lacking, loss, diminishment.

THIS living flow cannot be left —
only momentarily forgotten.   It rises
again and again, THIS powerful water!

I will allow myself this floating; Drowning
in a mystic bliss of Other, One, Only.
Where will you take me, Jewel of my Heart?

I will not fear the journey of Unbecoming!
Loosen the chords, rip the ties that bind me,
Strip the person-flesh mind-voice away —

Breathe me into You; Breathe me into Life.
Let your Breath of Love sustain my heart!
Teach me this Dying Surrender into Home.

 

Photo by Eugene Golovesov on Pexels.com

Soul-Seed

 

The longing intensifies

and I am certain

I am growing —

more insane.

 

How to tell them

this Love of You,

this Mystic Ether

that floats me to You,

like a rose petal on water —

 

How to tell them

that Here in You is Heaven

and if this is Dying

I am unafraid.

 

But this Living —

with one foot in the Earth

and one foot in God’s Heart —

 

Straddling Eternity

is growing difficult.

 

Where would you plant me,

Soul-seed longing for Union;

where, Beloved, will this Flower bloom?

 

 

do you See?

 

All that God wants

is to be Seen —

 

Like that distant adoring Lover

seeks a glance from the adored Beloved.

 

Look! Here I Am in a bluebird sitting on a branch!

Look! Here I Am in the ocean wave roaring in your ear!

Look! Here I Am in the sand caressing your feet!

Look! Here I Am in the sweet-voiced song of a friend!

Do you See me? All around you in this Living

my Joy and Love for you pours forth —

 

You are Dreaming — Condemnation is a child’s nightmare.

Wake Up!   Look!   Do you See me …

your Beloved always trying to get your Attention.

Do you See?