A Walk With Time

 

Laughter.
Galloping between warming rays
it echoes through the still
of a quiet afternoon.
Child unburdened, mind untamed,
curiosity insatiable that feeds
her wandering thoughts.

Spring arrives,
ripened with verdant green,

like blossoms unfurling with the breeze
she spreads her timid wings.
Each hour reveals, each day a new age,
boundless fields before her,
pirouettes on a promised stage.

Then you hasten,
remain ahead of her strides.

She pleas for you to turn for her
as she chases each moment elusive.
Years rush like seconds,
seasons shrink to days,

what once sprightly pranced upon tender leaves
now slow to a staggering gait.

Standing alone under winter sun
where golden days fade to rust,
she reminisces of ages past
and of lives come and gone.
Through aches of tears nostalgic
she sees you turn for her.
You take her hand, “It’s alright” you say,
“for a new season now has come.”

Then you guide her tenderly
one final time down the road.
Out of the frost, away from the cold,
and into the mists
of tomorrow.

Lines penned two decades ago never felt more true.
May we treasure every day.

 

A Bitter Thanksgiving.

Many of you may recall having read these lines from past Thanksgivings; it is a retelling of a visit I had with one of my patients during this time of year—a woman whose life and struggles were unlike mine in many ways, but who nevertheless taught me many things about courage and integrity.

I hope you enjoy these words, and have a blessed Thanksgiving week.

•      •      •

Allow me to spin upon the spindle
a tale of an encounter true.
A patient once, a homeless mum,
her words now shared with you:

The hour of autumn arrives anew
when mirth and feasts abound.
But let me confess my days to you,
true gifts which have been found…

The steady cadence of my heart,
voice to praise when souls fall dark,
vision to behold each fresh day’s start-
For this, I am thankful.

The assured exhale of every breath,
joys gone by, its memories kept,
cloth to shield from winter’s death-
For this, I am thankful

Days when I can veil my cries,
days I look you in the eyes,

to know on night lies brighter skies-
For this, I am thankful.

So for this…I am thankful.

Salvation.

 

Moistened rivulets upon flushed cheeks
sculpt betrayal of a shrouded scar.
A heart immured, a spirit stilled,
ladened fetters from afar.

Free her from these vines that bind,
renew her with each embrace.
Let the wounds that scathed of yesterday
become kindling for a love engraced.

 

Storm.

 

A yearning
as sirens of
autumn’s breath
whisper words
of anticipation.
A rhythmic contralto
an echo to the soul
a welcomed unrest
as the valley chants 
its familiar tune.

Mesmerized
is she as gleams
of heaven incensed
unveil a sight divine.
A prelude
as skies yield to
nature’s command–
a foretaste of the
promised cleansing
of her deliverance.

Absolution.

 

Raindrops
quivering upon cheeks
warmed by the throb
of an ancient wound,
a love unknown,
their rivulets
meandered 
across flesh
marked by a
wisdom
reaped through
the fissures
of time.

Glistening
are her tears
with the scars
of yesterday,
the joys of today,
and the promise
of tomorrow
as she dances,
at last unbound,
beneath the slice

of half moon’s glow.

 

Departure.

Liberated
into the haven
of a mausoleum
lies a dove deceived-
its tattered pinions
a reminder of
a pledge riven,
a reverie tainted,

an innocence
betrayed.

Save her.
Let the shadows
of her present
console with
saccharine lies,
warm her with
tinned caresses
of boughs
freshly severed-
a revival of 
splintered promises 
of a new day–
as verdant hues
decay to dust.

Restored.

Immortalized
within counterfeit fibers
of a petrified forest
are your sorrows
weighed with silt,
swallowed by shadows
of its own valley,
silenced beneath
the porcelain surface
of a visage pristine.

Banish them.
Let your tears cathartic
burn
these cheeks of mine.
Scour them with scars
of an ancient past
of an ache relived.
Let me bear the dusk
until from the womb,
emerged pure as
the morning dew,
is a love renewed.

Crossroads.

Standing before the haze
beckoned by the lull
of a path familiar
an alkaline warmth
of regrets relinquished
of a naivete stripped
of moments dimmed
to budding flames
and conquered fears.
Swathed by memories,
to familiar grounds
she longs to return.

Standing before a precipice
caressed by a breeze
laced with mist
its etheric kiss
a betrayal to the
trepidation within-
a reminder of
today’s treasures
tomorrow’s storms
and eternity’s promise.
Shed of leaden sheath,
she lifts her wings
and departs.

crossroads.jpg

To Let Go.

Despair.

Asphyxiated by the device
meant to grant you life

you pleaded to be released.

Lines running
through your veins
fighting to give you strength-

they only imprisoned you.

You-
always present
aware of the
commotion about you.

Bustling nurses
weeping children

through it all
your eyes were
locked onto mine.

“Help me let go” was your plea.

You grabbed my hand
shook your head

as if you knew this act
had been playing
long enough.

As if someone had
interrupted your journey
toward the place

you were meant to go.

So we released you.
Withdrew your tube
diminished your drips.

Severed the chains that bound you.

We comforted you.

You turned
toward your children.

Through a surge of strength
you assured them

it would be okay-
that through your going on
they would go on.

Then you turned back to me.

Though undeserving
of your last moments

you entrusted them to me.
You held my hand
held my gaze.

“Thank you,” was what you said.

And then you took your last breath.

And let us go.

 •       •       •

This patient has been in my heart lately. This post is a re-sharing of an account of our last encounter. A gentle reminder to treasure each moment given. 

 •       •       •

The Background Story

Canvas.

Imprisoned
to the depths
of turbid waters
long submerged
is the weight of
a bruised heart
its flesh marred
by the beating
of a tide’s unrest.

Numbed
are her fists upon
splintered walls

the scarlet flow
of secrets divulged
onto a tapestry-
a living portrait
unveiled
for all to see.

Healer.

Dedicated to all whose compassion serves as a light in this world…

 

Shattered
like a vessel of alabaster
rent for its salve
she is an ointment
poured forth
upon bleeding souls
and wounded flesh
a river of compassion
forged with an oath
fueled by a vision
those hands of clay
guided by light
skillfully molded
with a wisdom
paid with a price.

Tendered
is this touch that
saves and soothes
comforts and mends
strength sustained
by the pulse of
a heart constrained
by its own calling
the candle within
softened by flame
its waxen tributary
a remembrance to
the joys and sorrows
gains and losses
moments treasured
in the care for mankind.

Deliverance.

deliverance

Caressed
by the hush
of a wayward tear
emerged
from flames
that once
scalded her eyes
is an innocence lost
a wistfulness retained
a longing diffused
within the brine
of memories.

Weighted
like the dew
upon a thorn
to the force
of an ethereal call
she surrenders.
With strengthened hope
through moistened gaze
down meandered path
she searches
until finally
upon her lips
does she taste
the bittersweetness
of her deliverance.

Symphony.

Curtains raised
upon this stage
lifted shadows
one new day.
Encores played
familiar piece
kindred players
different key.
Life’s gavotte
a gleeful tune
every third beat
ends all too soon.

So what is left
now but to live
moments to take
and those to give.
To learn to love
and risk to lose
each turn a jewel
the heart will prove.
So let us grow
as rhythms flow
this one new day
for us to know.

Metamorphosis.

Swathed
within the confines
of her tendrils
Cocooned
by the veins
of trepidation

the constraint
of knowledge

of an image
of that which
she was meant to be.

Achingly
she fights
sinews stretched
tendons taut
‘tween flesh and bone
Shattered
is her strength
Dissolved
are her fears
and the form
she once knew.
She awakens.

With wings spread, she flies away…

…and does not look back.

The Waning.

You already knew.
Gaze unflinching, 

you told us to say the words.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

A. L. S.

Despite sparse questions,
your eyes revealed
an understanding far deeper
than our answers-

that with one moment,
robbed were you

of the years ahead,
of memories awaiting,
of stories belonging to you.
Now lost.

Strength dissolving,
your conviction remains
unscathed.

You savor
each passing sunrise.

Each caress, each step.
For you know.
As your legs cease to support,
arms stop to comply,
you still feel
your child’s touch.

Absorbing her love.
Pretending
you don’t care the roles
have been reversed

as you yearn
to return her embrace.

As its hunger ascends,
You treasure
the remaining days.

Every word, every smile.
For you know.
Soon it
consumes your voice,

drains your visage,
until all that is left is
the silence
of a vacant mask.

Unable to reflect
your thought’s grin,

your heart’s laugh,
your soul tears
as you blink away the moisture.

As your breaths
increasingly betray you,

you are not defeated,
for the flames
of your bruised spirit
are not quenched,

and you give thanks
for the time you had,

even as your body dims
and you fade away.

A Letter to Grandma.

Fragments of moons past
sketch silhouettes of
a scenery divine.

A daytime reverie.
Fond memory.
A granddaughter missing you.

Do you recall, grandma?
Long ago, a grandbaby born
into an era of bitter lack,
that enriched by your presence,
comforting embrace,
renewed to an age of precious worth?

Do you suffer, grandma?
Parted by spanning seas,
my tears diffuse beneath the rain.
Had I a wish and a dove I became,
my wings would span,
sealing the distance between us.

Do you remember me, grandma?
Though the crook of time
has stolen your sight,
stripped your mind,
blunted your strength,
with a heavy heart
I still see you as before-

with beauty so simple,
love so pure
to inspire
a nightingale’s lament.

So fear not the season’s change, grandma,
nor the graying sun,
the silvering stream-
as at the end of the road
will glisten a rainbow,
and the mists of tomorrow
will clear away your fog.

And then I will again be your grandbaby.

 

Embraced.

His heart unveiled before me,
descended from fields above,
let him free me with eternal songs
and constrain me with his love.

Lilacs amidst the autumn green,
like lilies among the thorns,
let him hold me up in blossom tides
in whose haven I am reborn.

If come the dawn which want of rain,
the hours of trial and drouth,
let him kiss me now as he kissed me then–
nectared kisses of his mouth.

When moistened rivulets meander down
my cheeks onto my neck,
let him dry the tears and calm my soul
with words of sweet caress.

As cashmere skies dissolve in mist
to lower eve’s curtain from above,
let them come; I fear it not–
for I am sick with love.


A Search Within.

How do I know
the pill won’t seem
bitter to your tongue
through your teeth?

How do I wear
a once white coat
stained with tears
of memories?

How do I compel
my pen to write
scripts to fight
a dimming light?

How do I know
 which waters will flow
to unearth the strength
within me?

How do I persuade
a heart to let go
when it’s my hand
that sets you free?

How do I ensure
my smile won’t be
one of the last
that you’ll see?

How do I force
my ears to hear
a song I fear
of dusk so near?

How do I know
which waters will come
to enshroud the doubts
within me?


Assurance.

Frosted stars
proclaimed by breeze,
a dance of farewell
before their queen.
Revealed by moon’s
glow in misted eyes
a wish reflected.
A longing…seeking
to be found.

Thread of secrets,
thrum of time,
silvered braids upon
wounded soul.
A queen
before her horizon
heeds the echoed promise
of a rising sun.
She smiles.

Dawning.

Snowflakes.
Fading upon blushed flesh,
its rivulets a frame
sketched
for the captive soul.
Gaze glimmering, hope dissolving,
an echo to the void of twilight’s end.
She longs to be released.

A breath divine.
An oasis to a threadbare wish
sculpts bittersweetness
into frosted air.
Embraced by light,
she follows the seraph’s call
and is freed.

 

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