To Have and Not to Hold


In between your coming and your going I struggle

To be kind to myself,

And recall at which point precisely did I open the

Unguarded gates of my heart

To your impermanent but decidedly charming affections.

 

Was it the jokes, the banter,

The immediate exchange of thoughts and pasts,

As if we had known each other for years?

Did I know before I actually saw you that

You would disturb my already cluttered mind?

 

Were you playing one of your games

And did I lose again, unaware of the rules,

Or of the fact that I was taking part in it?

I want to go back and talk to myself

And warn her against you.

 

For what I found irresistible I now

Doubt as mere generic kindness

And an occasional exercise of your flirting muscles.

My only wish is that you do not deny

Any part that you took in this whole mess.

 

There must be a room somewhere

Where I can review not the events but your thoughts,

Your motivations, your real reactions.

For I heard what I wanted to hear,

And it was that you liked what you saw in me.

 

Now, fogged still by emotions stirred

That were long thought dead or protected,

I hear soundbites that pierce rather than comfort.

I remember the ending, the cold distancing,

And the washing of the hands.

 

You who wooed but insisted it was part of the plan,

To whom I acquiesced, too naïve to resist,

You swept me off my feet then put me down.

Such actions should be criminalized, and your punishment:

Severe and permanent solitary confinement.

 

If you were surprised how fast I developed

A liking for our uninterrupted conversations and our

Seemingly mutual joy at each discovery about the other,

Let me assure you that it struck me as odd too.

I watched myself fall as if I had never been vigilant of such madness before.

 

It is up to me I know to uplift my spirits

And believe that you had genuine care and concern for my feelings,

But I have not as yet developed the wings for such freedom.

We acted the way we said men and women often do:

Women feel. Men flee.

 

I will not apologize for not knowing

That I would be this vulnerable,

And I should accept your refusal to participate anymore.

But give me the space to remember

That once, you found me beautiful.

Alone

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Disparity


Disparity

There is a huge imbalance between our time together

And the depth of my reaction;

It surprised me.

 

There is a massive disproportion between my letter

And your reply.

It hurt me.

 

There is a great inconsistency between your words

And your actions-

It confused me.

 

There is a mammoth mistake that I owned

And you did not,

It left me cold.

 

There is a mountain of truths I must climb

And you refuse to-

It seems unfair.

 

There is a terrifying distance

Between you and me.

It emptied me.

 

Image

Smooth Talker


Smooth Talker

There and not there
In the space where I thought I had met you,
I have found a pebble.
All my love reduced to a pebble.
Unlike some people, I refuse to talk to a pebble.

Sometimes I see shadows moving,
hear voices whispering,
and think, My rescuers have come.
With tools and spectacles, they study the pebble,
which I insist is not mine, and they leave.

I have memories in chaos.
Words, songs, scenes, moments:
All mishandled; best forgotten.
I look for recognition, and ask
If you have left the key with me.

You made me see beyond this space and time,
Challenged me to reach,
Encouraged me to leap,
And left me in the air.
I should not be so surprised.

With teetering faith and questions upon questions,
I walk back and forth.
Your pebble is a smooth pendant I hang on my neck,
A rock weighing me down,
The universe outside of me.

I am at once a feeling being,
Exposed for the world to see,
And I am free.
What can a pebble do to me?
Nothing.

— Ella,  July 29, 2009

Not in Vain


I couldn’t have said it better.

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain:
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

— Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

i carry your heart with me


This wowed me. Why reinvent the wheel?


I carry your heart with me
e.e. cummings

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in
my heart) I am never without it (anywhere
I go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
I fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet ) I want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart)

Smooth Talker


There and not there
In the space where I thought I had met you,
I have found a pebble.
All my love reduced to a pebble.
Unlike some people, I refuse to talk to a pebble.
Sometimes I see shadows moving,
hear voices whispering,
and think, My rescuers have come.
With tools and spectacles, they study the pebble,
which I insist is not mine, and they leave.
I have memories in chaos.
Words, songs, scenes, moments:
All mishandled; best forgotten.
I look for recognition, and ask
If you have left the key with me.
You made me see beyond this space and time,
Challenged me to reach,
Encouraged me to leap,
And left me in the air.
I should not be so surprised.
With teetering faith and questions upon questions,
I walk back and forth.
Your pebble is a smooth pendant I hang on my neck,
A rock weighing me down,
The universe outside of me.
I am at once a feeling being,
Exposed for the world to see,
And I am free.
What can a pebble do to me?
Nothing.

The Marriage of True Minds


I’m drinking more coffee and reading more poetry.  I’m glad they exist to help me live more fully.

In this blog, I’m moving from Beethoven to Shakespeare. There is greatness to drink in and greatness to contain. But greatness to express? I don’t know. It remains to be seen.

I have loved this sonnet since high school.  Its cadence is perfect.  Its words are classic, almost biblical.  You should here it read out loud.  I cannot find a link that works tonight (perhaps because it’s close to 1 a.m.) but you may want to look up the soundtrack of the TV show Beauty and the Beast: Of Love and Hope, where great poems that became my favorites are featured.

I will not attempt to interpret this.  I should go back to school to be able to do that.  Well, someday who knows I just might stop dreaming and start living.  That’s what my RDL is for – discernment.  Again.

I will stop because I don’t want to write about a retreat that I’m not fully taking yet.  Let’s go back to the sonnet, and end with these words:
Let me not to the marriage of true minds (Sonnet CXVI)

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove: 

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark 
That looks on tempests and is never shaken; 
It is the star to every wandering bark, 
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken. 
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks 
Within his bending sickle’s compass come: 
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, 
But bears it out even to the edge of doom. 
If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

— William Shakespeare

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