Levity in the Wake

a-flower-for-you

Laughter’s pealing through the spaces
hollowed by the weight of loss,
filling cracks in broken places
where distress and mercy cross.
Open hearts attend the healing
with the balm of fellow feeling
softening misfortune’s traces.
Laughter’s pealing.

 

cc-by-nc-nd Mary Boren, 2015

Public Domain Image

 

Through Time and Space

pia18293_full

(After James Elroy Flecker’s concluding lines in “To a Poet a Thousand Years Hence“)

“Since I can never see your face,
And never shake you by the hand,
I send my soul through time and space
To greet you. You will understand.”

Since I can never see your face
illuminated with the glow
of happiness on seeing mine,
I’ll hold the image as a sign
of ultimate simpatico.
Since I can never see your face
and never shake you by the hand
or wrap you in a warm embrace
this mortal side of paradise,
I’ll hold another human twice
as close to keep the bond in place
and never shake you by the hand.

I send my soul through time and space
on wings of faith that countermand
degrees of gravity. The guise
of distance drops when spirits rise.
Beyond the elemental strand,
I send my soul through time and space
to greet you. You will understand
without a single word — you’ll know
that love has come along to guide
my message from the other side
and circled back through long ago
to greet you. You will understand.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2013

Knock Need

door

“Go often to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’m waiting, fidgeting with doubt, between
your door and the familiar country road
that points the way back home. I felt I owed
an olive branch at last. Beyond the screen,
I see you darkly now — an awkward scene
looms imminent. Where hearts once overflowed
with easy conversation, seeds we sowed
lie dormant in a fathomless ravine.

I never knew the reason. Twenty years
ago, I’d meet you if I had to crawl.
What stifled camaraderie? Illusion?
Perhaps, if puffed resentment disappears,
we’ll stand on common ground. Along the hall
your shadow nears. Reunion or intrusion?

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2006

Moving On

cold-shoulder

Loving, laughing, idling engines …
friendship pivots with a vengeance.
Dodging darts from one you’ve trusted,
speed is carefully adjusted.

Mustn’t buy into the game —
stirring doubt, assigning blame.
Words are weapons, cocked and loaded.
Silence cannot be misquoted.

Confidants with whom you’ve tarried
know where all the bones are buried.
Pushing buttons, poking, picking —
let your ego take the licking.

If the fence cannot be mended,
disengage with posts upended.
Damned no matter what you say now,
raise your head and walk away now.

Save your energy, you’ll need it.
listen to your heart and heed it.
In the void that cries for filling,
steps another friend … God willing.

———

cc-by-nc-ndMary Boren,  2001

Twice Blessed

 

sunflowers

When Leslie cries, the hosts of heaven borrow
each other’s handkerchiefs to dry her eyes
today, because they realize tomorrow
will bring another marvelous surprise.
Her teardrops are a healthy vent for sorrow
to cleanse the mind and body. Hopes arise
when Leslie cries.

When Leslie laughs, the heavens swoop to hear it
because it gives the cherubs such a lift,
and any lucky soul who’s standing near it
is favored with an unexpected gift —
a double blessing born of joyful spirit
and brushed by angel wings. Perspectives shift
when Leslie laughs.

The truest friends will witness with discretion
our tears and laughter, treating each the same,
allowing us to be the full expression
of what’s inside — the essence, not the frame.
I celebrate the mutual progression
of understanding shared as we became
the truest friends.

cc-by-nc-ndMary Boren, 2012

Public Domain Photo

Confidant

dog-resting

How often can we truly claim a friend
who’ll give, without embarrassment or pride,
immeasurable love, and take in stride
our failures, overlooking ways we’ve sinned
against the name of friendship; one who’ll spend
each moment in our shadows satisfied
to simply listen, watch, and gently guide
in loving ways few humans comprehend?

Anticipating need, the Maker chose
to set aside from claw and hoof and horn
the nobler elements in pure repose
with greed, conceit, and jealousy forsworn.
Unbridled gusto, muddy paws, cold nose;
Devoted Dog, of such is legend born.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2001

Public Domain Photo

Paul

paul

He had curly brown hair
and a wooden leg.
I was tall and straight,
untouched by adversity.
We were seven.

Children called him Paulio
without a whiff of malice,
lining up for the novelty
of knocking wood —
playing knick-knack on one small knee.

I called him Paul
and carried his books,
always setting my pace to his.

We mapped music together
after school,
priming piano keys
with chocolate crowns
raided from Mama’s secret stash.
Chip for note, one for each.
Gobble – plink – giggle,
giggle – gobble – plink …

In the half-dappled shade of time,
instrumental memories
blink and fade like fireflies,
as moments relived
run the full scale of emotion.

Unflappable Paul —
boundless blue eyes, crooked grin.
Every feature lingers
in clear  focus —
each scene replays
to the tune of tenderness.

One muddy afternoon
I saw him fall in the ditch.
and ran to him … crying.
The woman driving by
saw only that he was down
and I was up.

She screeched to the curb,
blasting, lambasting me
through an open window
with her closed mind.

Push him?
I would have carried Paul
through flying bullets
on bloody feet.

My shoulders drooped all the way home,
but not from the weight of his books.

———

cc-by-nc-nd Mary,  2011

 

Refined

gold-mine

I offer only words — a tribute owed
with love as, year on year, your friendship flanks
my closely guarded self, where dark and dank’s
the atmosphere at times, and sharp’s the goad
that challenges a friend to dig. Bestowed
on me are gifts for which my soul gives thanks
with peaceful joy. Your golden presence ranks
front/center in its deepest motherlode.

Dear honorary sister mine, you’ve mined
the secret tunnels of my life with sure
and sweeping strokes; unselfish, ever kind,
insightful, patient. Gently, you endure.
I celebrate the Maker who designed
the miracle within your heart. It’s pure.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 1999

Uneven Distribution

pack-mule

When a friend is sad and hurting
all my efforts seem in vain,
futile in the quest for wording
to alleviate the pain.

Seeing how your load is weighted
more than one can bear alone,
it seems only fair to trade it
for the lighter one I own.

Friend, if I could offer more to
ease your burden, don’t you know
I would gladly tote it for you,
alternating as we go?

———

cc-by-nc-ndMary Boren,  2003

What If?

handshake

If I were you and you were me
I wonder if our selves would be
as predisposed to this degree
of enmity, our enmity.

And if the pair of us should find
a union of divided mind,
together might we be inclined
to lead the blind? We’d lead the blind.

Soon everyone could be immersed
in friendship, evenly dispersed
across the globe with roles reversed:
Each other first, all others first.

Imagine such esprit de corps
resulting from two hearts’ rapport:
a world where selfishness and war
would be no more, would be no more.

———

cc-by-nc-nd  Mary Boren, 2010

The verse form is called monotetra.