“vocalise”

November 29, 2011

my heart is a violin
it sings one sound, fluttering
and gliding in the wind
like a leaf

this sweet music is tension
applied to my heart’s strings–
how nimbly your fingers press them

how we trip through
minor falls and major lifts
and still the sound
floats up to the throne of God
(an unbroken hallelujah)

my heart sings
it is a violin
and it sings

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what i fear to say.

November 15, 2011

when i’m with you i want
to be the best version of myself
the best variation on the theme
(you make me want to be better)

but there’s this other side of me
(not sinister–just sad)
(the shadow side)
and no matter how many sweet evenings
spent sitting across tables talking
i still fear that this other me
will make you second-guess
will make you walk away

i want to be the strong one
the hero, the fearless holy soldier,
but these dark humours creep up
like black vines entangling
tripping me up and threatening to
drag me into the slough of despair
self-doubt
self-reproach

i don’t know how to communicate this to you–
that on my best days I am strong in faith and hope
and i can share my strength with others
but there are other days when I rub my battle-scars
and stare warily up into darkening clouds
expecting the worst to come.

on those days, lady, i will need a kind heart
to take my hand and rub my back
to lean her head into my chest and hum softly
and remind me of the truth i know:
that i will not be abandoned
and i don’t have to be afraid.

drinking age

November 7, 2011

i keep waiting for The Feeling–
you know, the one from the movies,
the drunk-on-Cupid’s-sweet-elixir,
stumbling-around-smiling-like-an-idiot,
Gene-Kelly-swinging-on-a-lamppost Feeling–
but The Feeling hasn’t taken hold

maybe it’s because i’m getting older
maybe it’s because i’m so used to being afraid

maybe for too long i tried to rush into The Feeling
like a teenager, falsely identified, scoring
a six-pack of Natty Light with friends
getting wasted and bitterly sick on it, dreading the
inevitable hangover and regret
too soon forgotten

or maybe it has taken me this long to learn that
to be drunk on Love is not something to be rushed into,
but for the patient, the willing, the old-enough,
it is a gift best saved and savored
not to be awakened before its time
(listen well, daughters of Jerusalem)

so i wait, as i grow more intrigued by
her intricacies, more bold and timid
simultaneously in her presence,

having to remind myself to hold firm
the reins of my too-eager heart
and wait until the time is right to drink.