while sitting in a bar or was it a restaurant? yes, and it was Italian because he was eating the linguini con vongole Billy Collins my favorite poet you know, the poet laureate said that death is the magnetic north of poetry he said this to me while he was sipping his Campari and soda at his table and i was eating my sandwich at my table half a world away and i took the opportunity to disagree with him rather vehemently if you had asked me a number of years ago, I would have told you that fear is the magnetic north of poetry or fast-forward a few years after that and it would have been desperation and a few years after that loneliness or isolation or a year later, that winter is the magnetic north of poetry and i may find myself in agreement with Mr. Collins a few years hence maybe five or ten or twenty who's to say? i may tip my glass to him and agree that death is the magnetic north of poetry but i can't help but believe that right here, right now in this time and place in this car on this couch in this bed that the truth is that love love love is the magnetic north of poetry
up and up and up.
There are days when the words flow freely There are days when the well is dry There are times when I am full of fire There are times when I am cold There are instances of love and grace Beautiful sunrises and sunsets There are instances of disappointment Tiny pinpricks of bitter loss But there has never been a day In the past three hundred sixty-five When I haven’t known Precisely where we stand Always going Always growing Always exploring Always moving forward Up and up and up Able to see the past for what it was Able to dream of the future for what it could be Able to see the now for precisely what it is Alive to the restorative power of caring of being of allowing of space of time of lust of love.
I don't recall if I ever told you how the sunrise reminds me of you as it breaks through the clouds signaling a new start signaling a new day just as you are the start of something wonderful the dawning of a new day as it warms the brisk morning air waking the songbirds who sing to their lovers just as I am awakened by beauty and seduction, and grace as it shines into the darkness illuminating hidden corners returning color to the world just as we illuminate each other one coloring the other but in this very moment as I write these words I realize that all along I have had it wrong for it is not that the sunrise reminds me of you but rather that you are my sunrise
c’est comme ça.
tu as beaucoup souffert, comme nous tous, et je prends ce que tu as à donner, gracieusement et avec gratitude. pleinement conscient que je ne suis pas le seul, mais plutôt celui en ce moment. j'ai été à ta place, où tu en es dans la vie, alors, j'accepte pleinement mon rôle dans votre vie comme votre rebond. c'est comme ça.
sentir les roses.
je suis à nouveau sur quelque chose de nouveau et je me dépêche de le faire fonctionner quand je devrais prendre mon temps Rome n'a pas été construite en un jour mais me voilà avec mon marteau et une poignée de clous j'essaie de construire le Colisée quand je devrais m'arrêter pour sentir les roses mais je m'arrête pour penser à ce que tu viens de dire et prends-le à cœur je pas confondre vitesse et précipitation la construction continue à son rythme en son temps et je m'arrêterai pour sentir les roses
En aglais (In English):
I'm onto something new again and I hurry to make it work when I should take my time Rome wasn't built in a day but here I am with my hammer and a handful of nails I try to build the Colosseum when I should stop to smell the roses but I stop to think about what you just said and take it to heart I do not confuse speed and haste construction continues at its own pace and I'll stop to smell the roses
this silence is deafening your presence in your absence the heaviness in the clouds the whispering in the trees your name written across the sky this silence is awakening your absence in the present sunlight just over the hill illuminates the cold morning bringing warmth to a new day this silence is transformative this daybreak in the evening like a thousand voices singing like a thousand bodies dancing like a thousand words unspoken this silence is transfixed time frozen in this moment anticipation of movement where no movement exists only stillness, only turmoil this silence is burgeoning demon unleashed in this barren forest no hope of rescue no hope of escape no hope of salvation this silence is beginning and ending and beginning again
not wanting to get burned.
to say that I couldn't live without you is certainly an overstatement is definitely crossing a line is 100% true even as I close my eyes to sleep I know I will wake up to you I will feel you and taste you and that makes me smile do I dream of you? who's to say? it is no one's concern it is nobody's business but mine, yours, ours to say that you are my only reason for living sounds odd, in a way but like you and all you are it is strangely satisfying your scent awakens me in the morning the aroma of you beckoning the longing to taste you on my lips hands warmed by your very being and while I am still half asleep and groggy you are already downstairs getting ready for the day and you call to me feeling my way in the morning half-light into the kitchen following your siren song to where I want to be I can't help but smile once again you are sitting on the counter ready to be taken and so I do reaching out for your warmth your beautiful scent hitting my nostrils my eyes widen my mouth waters your warmth a deception for you are burning hot and so I very carefully tenderly and gingerly pour you into my cup and we sit together on the back porch watching the dogs play listening to the morning birds you in my hands, against my chest and touching you to my lips gently blowing wanting you in me but, as with everything not wanting to get burned.
Great minds speak of ideas average minds, of events small minds, of people and things But me? I speak of the idea of us two people and what we did and what we had Blatantly ignoring the signs I assumed it was me and I was wrong But on the drive home that February afternoon you asked for forgiveness that wasn't mine to give I gave it anyway Trending always away from what I thought we meant of what it meant to be us But I was confused there was no us how could there be? there was only me there was only you We played at 'us' as best we could never breaking character always saving face But when it was time to leave there was always someone else waiting for you waiting on me And looking back now on it it shouldn't surprise me although it always does But if I had it to do all over I know in my soul that my heart would be yours to break again forever and ever You will always come first you will always be the one yes, that surprises me, too But the past does not lie nor does it tell the truth it just is and continues to be never changing Trending always towards what I thought we meant which was nothing But I am confused and to tell the truth you never chose me it was always someone else it was always somewhere else So I should pour another drink cheers to us and what we never were But the bottle is empty and it's far too late for me to brave the cold of this Autumn night for another drink.
Another Day by Debbie Vandenberg
A good friend of mine, Debbie Vandenberg, shared with me this beautiful poem she wrote this morning as she was enjoying the sunrise from her porch, and has given me her permission to share it with you...
Another Day Sunset gently waking me Kissing away the night before Wiping sadness out of my eyes Then teasing me To play some more I take a sip hot strong creamy I can taste the opportunity In the warmth Cup to my mouth Toying with me As I hold it in my hands To make the best of this day That is all it knows And this, too, I understand
My clothes hit the floor I need to be ready in an hour So the shower takes me in Washed away Every ounce of sorrow Then like a mad man I let the water go cold As the shower Boldly reminds me It is up to me to decide Hold on, or let go My chair wants to be one with me It is the softest Space I have So I bring my legs up from the floor And relax every muscle that I have My breath I begin to watch Breathing in, then I release A sweet sense of joy surrounds me My chair shows me how to find peace It is time now for the mirror Without the above I could not face In there I see lines of wisdom And eyes that have seen What it is to find grace Now I am walking out the door The world is mine to Explore I thank the sun shower chair mirror For waking me, Cleaning me, Holding me, And letting me see the truth Now I have the power To face another day. -Debbie Vandenberg, October 2021
©2021 Debbie Vandenberg
and I've battened down all of the hatches and I'm sailing too close to the wind and at times I've been dead in the water and at times I've held fast on the right tack at times I've feel her shot across my bow as it screamed and it tore through my decks and at times I've trimmed my sails eastward in pursuit of the leeway lost to the west a loose cannon that meters deep waters given a wide berth to pummel the shoals three sheets to the wind, maybe four, maybe five in dead water it is always sink or swim and from atop the lofty crow's nest yet again I hear the cry of land-ho! and I trim to the aft just to find the mirage of the sea once again and so by the board all at sea and sailing toward that distant horizon the shimmering sea that beckons the brave and equally the cowards like me the salt air and a sail steady is all I can ask as I search for the source of this call a siren in red who gestures from close quarters as the crow flies it is unimaginably far as the storms whips my sails thunder clamps down and the wind is brutally, caustically fierce but I dare not set sail for the safety of home there is nothing for me in that lonely port better to batten down all of the hatches better to sail too close to the wind and ignore what it is that I am becoming ignoring what I might have been
I remain a prisoner my own jailer trapped in a tapestry of my own tastes and my own desires and my own self a self that doesn't exist I have freedom, to be sure free to act how I wish free from constraints free to think to act to believe but I am still a prisoner and left to my own devices my own preconceived view of right and wrong of good and bad of black and white of shades of gray I remain imprisoned victim of my own thoughts my own fears my own dreams prisoner to my own view absent of clarity absent of context chained to my day while freedom is just a breath away I reject the notion that I can just let go as hard as I try, my attempts end in vain and move forward for even in the letting go there is expectation that does not dissipate it eats at the fringes of my restful mind questioning all doubting everything never reaching that blissful, settled state that promises relief from doubt fear anger angst busy, monkey-mind won't release its grip on the banana whirling around in circles on to the next stop when this one is incomplete always starting never finishing.
awaken to the sound the gentle swell and release of the ocean just outside my window of the ocean just inside my phone smell the coffee brewing thank god for timers the scent of vanilla wafting up the stairs the scent of cinnamon filling the house log in and grimace so much to do take a deep breath but the stress remains shut the laptop drink the coffee randomly chosen mug I watch the words resolve to a sentence and I think me too, mug, me too - I'm definitely going back to bed after this.