Repetition

 

A young and silly child, my mother asked me to wash the dishes

I stood on the ladder and scrubbed them clean, toweled them dry and placed them away

She ran her finger along the brim of a glass, her eagle eyes not dismissive

Without sparing me a glance she said “Do it again. Do again until you get it right.”

I traced my letters carefully and tried to get them in the lines

But I was always rather clumsy, I could never get my words upright

My father was there with his critical stare as he couldn’t make out the words

So he said ‘Do it again. Do it again until you get it right.”

When I got older, I began to run – from many things, if I’m honest

And I was somewhat fast, a bit impressive if I refrain from being modest

But my coach would never cheer when he watched me dive through the finish line

He’d just say “Do it again. Do it again until you get it right.”

I never was one to strive for perfection, I truly appreciated the arts

I painted, I wrote and I loved to sketch – the passion burned brightly in my heart

I’d stay up for hours, for days even, painting in low light

Until the instructor critiqued me, said to “Do it again. Do it again until you get it right”.

When I was somewhere between a girl and a woman,

I somehow found my way on the fight for freedom

In combat boots and camouflage, I had never felt quite so lost

A man with a red ribbon across his chest watched me doing push ups all night

I always found myself crying on the floor after pushing with all of my might

And every day, he’d seek me out and make sure he saw my eyes filled with fright

And every day he’d tell me to “Do it again. Do it again until you get it right.”

Years later, I found myself working a job, a standard nine-to-five

I never imagined I’d be in an office filling out invoices in my life

But I was awful with numbers, and someone’s paycheck wouldn’t be  quite right

Until my manager told me to “Do it again. Do it again until you get it right.”

It wasn’t the place for me, and I meandered from place to place

But there was one thing that I could never escape

No matter where I went, I would make a mistake

And I’d be forced to correct it no matter how late

Yes, I hid away and I ran from my flaws

I avoided the mirror, I ignored the missed calls

How could I live in a world where I’m so imperfect?

Who could possibly accept me when I constantly fall?

But although people lie, mirrors don’t, and I can’t deny my face

I’m only human, and I’m not one of the few who keep a constant pace

I face my worst foe, my critical reflection and how she glowers in the light

And I don’t flinch the slightest bit when she says “Do it again until you get it right”.

Just a Bunch of Words or Phrases in no Particular Order.

Precious silver succumbs to rust and crumbles to dust

In the palm of my hand, I remember what it used to be and I miss your touch

Life stages change over incremental ages

The awkward sprouting of a tree on the face of a mountainside

Lost and humbled, my strong façade has crumbled

I never knew that I needed you this much

Excuses and silly reasons, lies and treason

Back and forth within our own minds all of the time

I speak for myself, and for everyone else

Who has ever had drunken words occupy a sober mind

Can you empathize? Sympathize?

Anything to seem more kind?

I think of you, I dream of you

I hate you and I miss you at the same time

I wonder who really holds my heart?

The thought of being loved, I know

But the moment you embody hope

You become the one I need to hold

Nicotine and liquor make long nights go by quicker

And my patience that had run so thin can run a tad bit thicker

My weakness is my weakness for glimmering eyes and seductive smiles

And for a glimpse at a lustful gaze, I’d travel for many miles

But I won’t malinger on my pen, I’ve exhausted malformed sentences

I had no reason to write this, but I suppose if I was sober

I’d say the same thing in less words –

And also, in less honesty.

 

My Theology.

I believe in an attentive ear that seeks the somber sound of crying in a dark and sightless night. The truth in hearing and believing a life beyond one’s own beating heart is a religion of its own. If faith is mandatory, I’d rather believe in the pensive mind that yearns for justice; a law not written by man, but inherited millennia ago from the sky.

As you believe in God, I believe in a love for life so strong that no small flower be set to a flame. My deity is the beauty of an unkempt green valley, and the dandelion seeds that form clouds upon the horizon in a hot summer gust. As you believe in angels, I believe in the mindless creatures that roam the world with hope in their hearts of falling in love – those silly things are so romantic, they brim with more hope than could ever be discovered in a mine filled with diamonds.

Your belief in heaven is comparable to my belief of a sunny afternoon under a pale blue sky, somewhere far away from the city where I can hear the cicadas and the bullfrogs. There are no gates here, just a noisy silence that raptures me in a way that no psalm ever has. I can read catharsis from the cumulus clouds, or hear a chorus in the little things that live in the loam. What we have in common? We both call our heaven our home.

But what about hell? Well, I don’t believe that exists as long as there is another day. For there are days, nights, weeks and months that I lie awake with teary eyes. There are days that I wish I could simply stop my heart-beat on demand. The heat under my skin is comparable to the literature that describes the underworld, I suppose, when I feel this insatiable need for something, for anything to bring a chill to my fiery anger, or my branding sorrow.

Although I know that it won’t be for ever. Each time I watch the clock, and the arrow hits one minute prior midnight, I know that shortly there will be another day. As the seasons shift their way around the cyclical conundrum that life is made of, one spring day I’ll see my deity, one summer day I’ll fill my heart with hope.

Even in the season of the dead things, the fallen leaves remind me of the hearth of a cozy home. Though I may brood alone, I know that 11:59 is the truest worship time. Idle and fatigued I bide the time, the sixty seconds that always drags my atheist heart out and gives it a moment to practice religion – one second at a time.

Ghost in the Wall

Like a ghost in the wall, I long for your voice. I’m starving to hear your echo through the halls; to feel vibrations from miles away.

I long for the day that I can hear you say again all of the phrases and all of the words that made me shudder – that made me happy to be heard by your eager ears.

I held you dear. I miss you, dear.

And I miss your bright eyes, and your words so wise they sometimes brought me to tears in being all of the things that I have always been so afraid to hear.

But when delivered to me in your peaceful tone, even my greatest fears made me feel at home while swaddled in your arms.

The distance hasn’t made the sound fade at all even in my memory that waivers as I age….

Oh, I age, and like wine the years only make me a little bit more bitter but more or less worth my own weight in gold.

Still, I love to be your ghost. To never see you and yet to ravenously seek the bits of you you’ll never know, your many facets that you never showed;

You hid from me even in the bright lights of day.

Your voice echos over the ages, over many seasons and over many stages in which our lives play on like staged shows where no one knows what the ending will be,

Not for you, or me. Yet like a ghost in the wall, I watch you.

I yearn for your call to bring me back to life, or your silence to let me haunt you with my aching desire.

I wish to light a spark underneath your skin so intense and burning that when you touch me,

I have no choice but to breathe again – the way you did before I became the ghost in your walls.

Things We Do with Our Hands

We touch, and thus by assumption we feel

We mold things to life, we fix or we heal

Broken homes or broken bones; wounded hearts or scattered shards

Of glass, like glass houses or fragile minds

We use them to be cruel or capriciously kind

We cover our eyes, we lead the blind

Or we feel our way around with fingertips for eyes

We touch, and thus by assumption we feel pleasure

Or pain, or both in a masochistic way

Skin on skin, fingers over lips or over whips

We hope that in the end we’re satisfied at least a bit

We break things, like paper wings on folded paper planes

That we fold the way we fold our tales, our sheets at night, our wishful mail

Written with careful fingers under candlelight as nocturnal birds take flight

We write ‘I miss you so…’ then fold the plane and let it go

We lie, by proxy I suppose when we write falsities or sins

We apologize with the things we buy, most commonly being roses

We hurt each other, for pleasure perhaps in a sadistic way

But the worst we do is say good-bye

With something as callous as a quick and airy wave.

The Valley

No one search for me, for though I am lost I have no desire to be found again.

I long for the blaring sounds of cicadas over the overbearing silence in the dryness of the valley,

The rolling meadow with cascading blankets of green grass and yellow dandelions a map freckled in gold.

Wrapped in this dry and sweet-smelling blanket, my dreams of ebbing pain will never grow old,

They’ll only echo through satin blue dawn as loudly as the other sounds that never reach the air.

No one looks for me, no one knows I’m gone. Am I hiding, or have I been forgotten?

I don’t know; I don’t care.

There is nowhere else I’d rather go than this place so deep in my memories.

I can still hear the trickling of a stream over worn pebbles, I can still smell smoke so distantly.

As I tuck myself away in my warm reverie, I wait so patiently for the gold to turn to ivory.

The dandelions are so binary – white or yellow, I never witness them as both, though I delight at the tiny clouds.

Only in the brightest of the sun rays as the most ambitious seeds hop up and float away,

I hold my breath for the right one to wish upon beneath the blaring sun.

In burning heat and beading sweat, still so patient, I hold my breath.

This dream won’t last forever, but this memory will never fade as I remember my feet wade through the valley,

Time and time again, I’ll never forget about this place that I’m not sure I’ve ever been.

The way it holds me softly when the tears won’t leave my eyes, the way it holds me softly when I idly fantasize

Of somewhere that no one will ever find me, were they to even remember my face

And since no one looks for me, I can pretend that I don’t exist as I hold my flower and close my eyes to make my wish.

The sun hot on my face and glowing through my shut eyelids, I’ll make my wish.

And thus I release my breath, but it’s been so long since I inhaled… it’s been so long that I’ve been gone so far away –

I’ve forgotten what I hoped to wish!

So I watch the seeds drift off in a scattered cloud, into the pale forever blue in a quickly dispersing shroud

Next dream, they’ll bloom again and I can return once more to the valley in which I will never be found.