I am my own gravity.
night Moon is my kin.
stars nest in my palms. I know each by name.
same as water does.
morning Sun sees summer when it finds my face.
rivers tell me all they hear.
I drink their listening. following.
birds call out my real name.
wind carries breath farther than my arms.
you breathe me, even if you don’t know.
I breathe your sky across far broad seas.
trees, they don’t change my path.
rivers, I can wade them all.
landscape measures itself by my strides.
I lean into blue sky, trusting as you would
trust rivers to seek their grace in stone.
trails in wilderness follow my feet.
birds sing to me how they die. I carry
these hymns home to their nest.
here, boats sewn to the shore by threads.
I make waves that bring them fish.
of this realm what doing is most dear to me?
I’ll follow you.
follow till you see I am loving you.
do you hear? one wall plus more than three and a roof within.
that’s how it arrives. inside first.
many voices offer names. none are taken home. instead,
willow cloud petal thirst. bright and bright.
meaning less. more free.
these received are your face in all the shades of light and sleep.
oh stillness beside. here, these hands.
two palms will rend the drought. and you, you within.
no one is following.
where there’s no echo there’s no shoe.
footprints act circular as viewed from below.
here the bowl. here a spoon.
since when mother was the shadow of falling leaves.
I am that river too, inside myself.
empty never is. six walls, you see?
brush in hand. paint to begin.
the answer to joy is life
the answer to sadness is being
the answer to promise is spirit
the answer to pain is love
for Sadie, 2016 november
taller people are not necessarily smarter. (although they may feel it’s true) the yogurt in your bowl don’t see any difference, tall from not. all it sees is your spoon.
some might wager taller is closer to heaven, or at least closer to the stars. but that just depends whether you’re looking up or looking down. who’s closer then! so, no.
a mountain may be very tall, but mostly what they see to appreciate is looking at their feet. feet are important to mountains. it’s where they came from and where they’re headed next. gravity is the smile they contain. my daddy was once a Southern mountain, but then he was gone.
mother’s family, they were rocks, big ones. but there was nobody to tend their opened fields, so they left. they moved to a land that harvested fewer hard stones than before. grandmother fed the cats, no matter their size. it was exactly the way she spoke goodbye to me.
words are shells where someone else used to live. now we put them in pockets, toss them far as our arms willingly reach on the Water’s face, or, collect them sorted by Color and Shape as if they still belong to someone else other than us. sometimes we eat them. but only rarely.
when eaten we become another life. another life. another star. but we’re still the same. the same as the first thought we thought. like stars will do. thoughts shimmer, do you see?
other eyes see us from far far away. more than ten toes, more than my nose. I am the I who is looking from here, and this is the sea and where we swim.
chuck said, our Father did not make the world to be a mystery, for the parent to be unknowable.
earl said, you can’t convince anyone of anything. don’t try.
earl said, love don’t belong to you. all you can do is attempt to make it unseen.
chuck said, about creation all you need know is woof, woof. (the rest is gravy.)
chuck said, the world isn’t neutral. the world includes affection.
earl said, experience is about process, not substance.
william said, threads are necessary to get anywhere.
mother said, please, take me home.
anna madrigal said, dear, I don’t object to much of anything.
shannon said, if there were more men like you, there’d be more women like me.
chuck said, when they say we’re made in god’s image, image means imagining. get it?
william said, to his child – and as I spoke, I swam.
chuck said, you are but a whisper on the lips of god.
chuck said, be with me. whatever you need of me, I will give to you. ask.
earl said, everyone, everyone, is doing their best to express love as best they understand.
william said, to listen you must first be silent inside.
earl said, the true nature of existence is poetry.
judith said, don’t stop seeing how you see, a needle and thread.
chuck said, there is no such thing as vacation.
god said, just one word to me. write.
chuck said, faith includes doubt.
william said, mostly listen. but when you do have something to say, trust it.
god said, you are the creature in the garden who doth teach me the most. you are my beauty-fly.
I said, the true nature of a thing is in everything you don’t see of it.
I say, this right here, right now, is heaven. literally.
what is your imagining willing to embrace?
neil reid © 2016
read footnotes about this poem
I’m largely and less disconnected from most things here.
Thoughts ramble & callous like they own the space.
Mostly I believe in all my mistakes. I am the opposite
of what I might become. All because it was thought.
One writers vanity is to think I am what I write.
Or worse, if writing nothing at all, then so am I.
I don’t believe in can’t say words, only unwillingness.
Maybe I’m right about that.
Brush your teeth. Tell the truth. Keep open
wounds clean. Wash your hands.
Still, I favor using random blemished words.
A fortune of omens found. Maybe go fish.
All the best ideas turned to be only best ideas.
Old feelings get written in ink. No matter how,
we mistake years of wear as wisdom’s bark.
Whispers say, first – break the rules you own,
no keys, no locks, no thirsty cheshire grace.
See trees as faces, faces trees. Look for clues.
Simple is the shorter thread. No hiding,
Except by the imagined rules of circumference.
No speak, being the genuine lie.
neil reid © 2016 february
for This is Not A Literary Journal, prompt, The rules