UNBREAKABLE

Feeling this always this time of year.

The Heart of Sassy Lassie

If you find the pieces of the mosaic that is me too bold, too bright, and too brash – put on your rose-colored glasses and do us both a favor and just walk away. Don’t come close to me if you cannot handle what each piece of me reflects back at you. There isn’t one piece of that mosaic that isn’t in its proper place. It took a lifetime of raw emotion, endurance and determination to assemble and I’m not rearranging the pieces for anyone.

If you knew me well, you would know that the most beautiful part of the mosaic is not the multi-colored stones but the dusky, gritty grout that holds all the pieces together and makes me unbreakable. I love all the broken pieces of me and how strong and beautiful they are all mixed together – sharp edges, soft curves, rough surfaces, smooth stones – beautifully…

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And The Sunflowers Bow Their Heads

I was a lonely, broken girl of 12 when I met him.

He was everything the whimsical imagination of a young girl could dream of; strong, enchanting and deep brown eyes full of mischief. When the sun’s rays would shine upon his fiery chestnut locks, they glistened like a new copper penny.

That butterflies-in-a-bottle feeling that arose with the very thought of him never left me. Just the sound of his footfalls moving eagerly toward me set my head and heart reeling.

Billy and I became the best of friends and I soon felt I could share my darkest secrets with him. Unfortunately, by the tender age of 12 I already had far too many to share. My father’s sexual, verbal and physical abuse began at age 2 and only stopped at 5 when he realized I had the verbal skills to expose him for the monster he was.

During that time, my father took complete control of each and every bit of me, tormenting me every chance he got. Although the sexual abuse stopped, his soul-shattering words and crushing blows to my self-esteem and confidence continued to haunt my dreams.

Now there was Billy and his patient love transformed my nightmares into daydreams. We became inseparable and although he was two years older, our connection was profound.  He opened the doors to a world unfamiliar to me, a world where trust and fear were not synonymous. I learned from my father early in life that living in fear was the norm and trust was never given, it was only taken. It was in that threshold moment I realized I trusted Billy from the first time our eyes met. His world was now our world and in it, for the first time in my life, I was happy.

Our favorite destination was the sunflower fields, where each noble stalk stood like a happy warrior, bravely embracing Mother Nature’s unpredictable moods. We soaked up the summer sun right along with the happiness each yellow-petalled face bestowed upon us.  I sometimes felt intrusive, as if Billy and I were trespassing on hallowed ground, witnessing them staring up to the skies, thanking God for this time to bloom into their perfect selves. Surely, if thousands of these wondrous flowers could be their perfect selves, there was hope for a broken 12 year-old girl.

We whiled away the long summer days meandering through the woods and exploring old trails long forgotten. He loved to stop and rest under the stand of big oaks we passed on our way to the creek. I could always feel his eyes smiling as he watched me search the sprinkles of wildflowers for the perfect blue aster to tuck behind my ear.

Once rested, we’d continue our journey and perpetual game of tag; my heart grateful for a taste of the childhood I had never known.  As we neared the creek, our pace would quicken with anticipation of the sweet relief the cool water would offer from summer’s oppressive heat. Without hesitation we’d launch ourselves in, splashing and carrying on like the young, happy creatures we were.

I had no way of knowing that blissful day frolicking in the creek would be my last one with Billy.

As he rose from the water, a break in the clouds allowed a single beam of sunlight through to set his copper-penny mane ablaze.  I climbed onto his back and gathered up a handful of that magical mane and together we galloped back to the sunflower fields.  My heart tells me now he knew this would be our final race to beat the sunset.

On May 15, 1975, my horse Billy suffered a brain aneurysm and died.

He healed my wounds in some mystical, magical way. It was there, in our secret realm, my heart healed, my scars faded and my faith was restored. His blanket acceptance of all my jagged, broken pieces had provided me safe haven to bloom into my perfect self, freeing my soul of anger and bitterness.

I can vividly recall my first visit to the field of yellow-petalled flowers without him.  What I beheld dropped me to my knees. The thousands of once happy, uplifted faces that so joyously reached their gaze toward God now drooped, downturned toward the very earth they rose up from.

Were they mourning his death as I was? Were their heads bowed in silent prayer for him?

My spirit withered and drooped as they did and my tears flowed. When my eyes finally focused I saw it – the imprint of Billy’s hoof in the earth. I sat in silent reverence and traced the crevice of his hoof print with my fingers as a blind person would a loved one’s face, drawing from it not only an image, but his soft and mighty presence.

As I raised my head toward the heavens, I saw the sunflower faces staring down at me and realized they were not wilted and drooping, they were bowing; bowing in gratitude for sun, wind and rain, for all were part of living and all made them stronger. They humbly bowed to ensure their seeds would bring forth another sea of happy yellow beauties to behold when summer returned once again.

Like the yellow sunflowers, the time to bow my head in gratitude and return to the earth will come.

Once departed, my children will know where to find me. They need only return to the sunflower fields, quiet their hearts and lift their faces toward the sun. If they silence their minds and listen closely, they will hear Billy’s hooves galloping past as we once again race to beat the sunset, leaving in our wake a soft, lingering breeze with the sound of my laughter floating upon it.

 

And the sunflowers bow their heads….

 

 

 

 

 

Migration

Oh say that you’re wanting to go and relive it
Your life in a dizzy, chaotic, sweet swivet
Spinning and twirling through a quicksand of pain
Trying to drink sunshine from droplets of rain

Mount up your steed on the merry-go-round
You always hated remaining earthbound
You said that the ties were too tight to endure
And your feet were cemented like stones in the floor 

You summoned and asked me to free you from pain
And I flew to your side with the key to your chains
I took on the task and removed your constraints
And you thanked me with whining and insipid complaints 

Get up, stand tall, spread your wings and take flight
Can’t you see out this dungeon to bright yonder light
I pushed and I nudged and slapped your blank face
But you wanted to stay in this retched dank place

Come with me now to the sweet by and by
Unfurl your wings, spread them and fly
You only need courage for the first step toward glory
Unburden yourself, speak up, tell your story 

And so it will be you will soar like an arrow
With the strength of an eagle and heart of a sparrow
Lean long, reach far, and grab the gold ring
Ride on the song my pleading heart sings 

Let me whisk you away on a wing and a prayer
One kiss on the lips and we’ll dance our way there
Traipsing and tumbling down curves of cloud nine
Lap up that potion and join the Divine

Why do you linger and tremble in fear
Magic is whispering in twilight’s piqued ear
But love waits for no one unwilling to bleed
And this girl will never bend knee and plead 

I must away from this place of despair
But I’ll leave a piece of my heart in your care
So rouse now and muster the strength to ascend
And bring me that piece so my heart it can mend 

Come down from that cross I’ll show you salvation
Feel all the thunder of your wondrous creation
Let go of your useless self-induced heartache
And run to my arms which so patiently wait 

I’ll love you forever if you don’t clip my wings
I’ll open your heart to the most glorious things
But the minute you ground me or rob me of worth
I’ll open my talons and you’ll careen to the Earth 

So tread wisely, and happily, and all will be well
Or wallow in misery in your crazy-train Hell
Make a choice, raise your voice, jump off the train
There’s sunshine to drink from droplets of rain

BLACK IS THE COLOR OF FEAR

You are the poison vine
Slowly, patiently unfurling
your grappling tentacles
and climbing my bed rails

You are the darkness in my closet
Licking your lips
groping your pathetic
Excuse of manhood
traps set

You are the back alley stench
The rancid spoilt garbage
The dark shadow
Even the moon cannot light

You are that shiver
That warning adrenaline
rocketing through my veins
the red light flashing
something horrid is near
Too close
A step away
A breath away

You are the noise I hear
That lifts the hair on my neck
You are the seed of doubt in my
Logical brain
Trying to discern if you are real
Cowering somewhere nearby
or if it’s my imagination
jaded by the conjuring of you

You are the retched squeak in
my floorboard
And the pain in my feet
from tip-toeing out from your
Peripheral vision

So I can run for my life

You are the venom
paralyzing my limbs with fear
Collapsing my lungs
Stealing my breath
Punching my gut

And you live in my world
I look for you everywhere
Anywhere
Even when I’m laughing
Even when I’m fucking
Even when I’m surrounded
By love and light

You are always there

Burning Joy

Fallen warrior soldier

Petals and stems strewn and littered

No mercy from disingenuous, mocking skies

Torched umber and saddened dirty browns, clinging to life

Once taut and lengthy now waning and submissive

The last of their posture sucked dry

They weep, pucker, and wither

Scorched
Blistered
Begging

Cells clamor for evening’s dew

If only a solitary, swollen bead

Their silent struggle claims no pity

From tattered soles lumbering by and by and by

Shuffling suffocating tornado swirls

Atop and around their parched battlefield

Only a fool’s eye deems them forever gone

Downtrodden equates not with hopelessness and despair

But musters mighty strength

Inward they march

Tending to the wounded

Knowing an escape from swelter

No luxurious joy manifests

Their rise-up shall be swift and remarkable

No one the wiser to their quiet plight

Lest they who fought and won

This Me, This My, This She, This I

This me, this my, this she, this I
My coronation came as quite a surprise
Tis where the Queen of Spades resides
But we call it Crazy Eight’s

I never filed an application
But I’d love the form for abdication
But please not too much arbitration
I possess no Queenly traits

Royal blood flows through my veins
Prancing horses, collected reins
The King is gone, no one explains
The Kingdom all debates

Round and round and round we go
My crown lopsided, to and fro
I’m dressed in gold from head to toe
But how my body aches

I think I’m entitled to explanation
My queries end in misdirection
I am quickly losing all affection
This foundation trembles and shakes

Come Prince, Come Duke, Come Princesses all
We must bare witness to what will befall
It’s not my position, after all
I command those horns abate

And whence they came from near and far
Peasants, paupers, the acutely bazaar
They gathered under the moon and stars
In search of their children’s fate

I grasp my sceptre and self-esteem
Put on the face of reigning Queen
Fulfilled each beggar’s every dream
At address: Crazy Eight’s

I shed my gown of green and gold
Tossed the crown to Prince Leopold
He sat the throne and did behold
A crowd below irate

I fled the scene and hopped a train
Fate tapped my shoulder in Key Biscayne
My fortune found in whiskey’s pain
In a place I can’t escape

So I bought that place and call it mine
Threw out my bait and dropped a line
Now it’s crowded all the time
At my bar called Crazy Eight’s

This me, this my, this she, this I
Escaped the palace flying high
The Queen of Spades did slowly die
My crown sits tall and straight

Furious Rapture

O black night, unhappy space

Why no stars nor Heaven’s grace?

Mine eyes do strain to find thy bounds

Where earthly plain meets hallowed ground

 

And crawling my skin warns of truthful risk

Beseeching my feet be firm and brisk

Alas, my heart doth beckon me

Toward this darkened mystery

 

For in its mystery a lustful rapture

I stand and quake in painless capture

Come forth you demons, trolls and fae

Envelop me in Satan’s fray

 

The Lord Almighty, Hosanna on High

Did leave this babe to suffer and die

At the fists and force of a father’s rage

I spit on every Bible’s page

 

Mother Mary begged His grace

But Jesus deemed me a disgrace

Angels joined in loud applause

N’er doubting the great King’s cause

 

The Holy Ghost did wail and choke

As this child bled and broke

But God helps those who are deserving

Sinners like me aren’t worth preserving

 

This child shall never fall to knee

And honor His hypocrisy

So leave me now in Satan’s lair

It’s he who utters sacred prayer

 

Worry not, I’m now baptized

By scars burned deep into my eyes

Christ chose His death on bloody cross

I never asked Him to take the loss

 

We dance by fire burning bright

We writhe and twist in sin’s delight

So leave me now, in Satan’s hands

I delight in the pain of his commands

 

He spread his wings and took me under

Burned my soul with wicked wonder

Smitten, spellbound, I decease

His pain doth grace me sweet release

 

It’s all I know, the pain and fear

It’s what I’ve learned to hold fast and dear

So drink from chalices gold and garish

Cheering God and His holy parish

 

I shall revel in my Master’s Hell

Heaven’s gates did slam me well

Eternity is just forever

This soul shant kneel, not now,

Not ever

PRESERVATION

Are you thrilled with your new found sobriety
Hobnobbing with high society
Spouting all  your hot-white-bright revelations
Waving your wand with sincere indignation

Did you stumble and bleed when you opened your heart
Did they cheer you profoundly for your shiny new start
Or did you just check your heart at the door
And pour your drunk guts right onto the floor

Where did you put all that beautiful magic
Before you decided your life was so tragic
In a mason jar you keep high up on the shelf
Each day its unopened so proud of yourself

Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad you are well
That you pulled yourself out of your self-imposed hell
Pulse beating so strong and stature so tall
Who would have guessed you had such a long fall

Now you and your magic can stare at each other
And vie for attention like two jealous brothers
It’s best to conform and do as they say
God knows you’re too crazy when you have your own way

What if I told you you weren’t ever crazy
That all those around you have vision so hazy
And that the magic of you is in no pill or bottle
It’s a runaway train still going full throttle

And you think if you keep the lid on that jar
It will serve as a leash so you don’t stray too far
So sit there and stay, be a good little boy
You know if you’re good you’ll get a new toy

But nothing compares to snapping that tether
Like watching the sun and the moon dance together
When we rocked the Casbah there was no night or day
Two hearts, one spirit in the bed where we lay

I sit back and applaud your climb up twelve steps
The ones strewn and littered with tears and regrets
Buck up, be a man, no more make-up and dresses
Black suit and striped tie prove all your successes

No talking to those who might rattle your cage
You’re far too fragile to see the next page
So long, fare thee well, I bid you adieu
Our time it was brief, but at least it was true

Now you and the friends who live in your head
Can all sleep together in one king-size bed
Keep them rested and quiet and all to yourself
And the best part of you in the jar on the shelf

And were I to see you at that bar on this day
Would I spark that magic that once made you play
Would the lid on that jar turn on its own
And free all your magic to venture and roam

Would you want me to come take that crown off your brow
And bring back what was to the here and the now
Or would you have love’s fate left to chance
Like the sun and the moon just waiting to dance