Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hallelujah for the Discomfort

Prayer is not a language I speak.
My words get tight, jumbled, stilted,
I'm never
too sure who I'm talking to
or if
they're listening.
I get stuck
not knowing how to address
the person to whom I am speaking
-- if it's he, or she, or they --
I know God
is probably that 10-year-old genderqueer kid
who already corrected me once last week
when I used the wrong pronouns, and didn't think to ask first.
I mess up
every prayer I utter
in spite of my best intentions

But I want my heart to be good at blessings.
I want my blood to be made of hallelujahs,
want my cells to form themselves in the shape of active love
till it's the only thing I'm made of.
So even though my bones
tremble when I speak,
may it be only because I took what was broken
and used it to fuel a fire of intensity
and the pieces --
they sometimes rattle when I get going;
there is no place
for shame, disappointment, being small,
this active love is bigger
than my tendency to be
in the face of injustice, so
is the hallelujah.
is the ferocity,
the intensity,
the whole-hearted
being without apology
this active love alliance is
the hallelujah.
So hallelujah.

My love pulls my spine like a rip cord
that parachutes the broken open umbrella of my heart.
My heart prays
on street corners with signs and loud voices
in quiet circles
in conversation
in how do I help
in listening
in standing up
speaking up
showing up
showing up
showing up...
I was not taught pray.
Was not taught to engage this type of love -
I was taught to be quiet.
To look away,
to not speak,
to look for love in all the wrong places -
can't find my own body holy enough
to hold her whole and sacred,
there are so many layers
to stepping in
but  Brave is just what we call
Scared when she's
holding hands.
So let's hold hands.

Hallelujah for the discomfort.
Hallelujah for every time we pull back the covers on our still-sleeping hearts
to feel what we couldn't feel before,
hallelujah for the pain of light entering 
our too-long closed eyes
let's throw open the shades
and bless the uncomfortable
we'll praise the surprise
hear the sadness
the rage
hold the tears
cherish the anger
let's bless this holy voice
turn our anger into movement that breaks
ground on this moment of truth-building.
Let us build ourselves
into promise-beings of active love;
let us break the truth
so when we speak again
our voices shake
and we let them tremble.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Untitled, because this poem makes me anxious

I tried really hard to come up with a title for this poem, and I couldn't, because the poem makes me anxious...and the more I look at it, the more I hate it, and the more I look at it, the more I want to burn it, and I also think this is a really important poem, so I'm not going to burn it...........but I'm not going to title it either.

So there.

This poem needs a title, because it needs context so you can know what the heck I'm talking about.  It doesn't really come from the poem.  It's gotta come from the title.  Soooo....I can't totally back out of the title.  It's also 1AM.  I should really go to bed.  This stupid poem is being a jerkface.


I should REALLY go to bed.  

The possible titles I came up with were:

"Home" or  Family Patterns

The still impossible longing hits and penetrates with bulls-eye accuracy:
this wanting settles damp and chill like winter in these bones.
She enters without question the way winter descends--
expected, yet unbidden, known, surprising and unwanted,
the chill is still dangerous without protection and, 
even now,
I want to believe this body can withstand the cold;
want to believe myself impervious to the
way it enters without asking:
I know I am standing, but cold has a way
of making me
so small.

This is the way it happens:
Like freezing,
but not like the Antarctic,
just like somewhere cold
without a coat, or hat, or mittens
because you thought you had something to prove
or maybe
you just wanted to be able
to feel the warmth
in case it happened.
You know?

Next time, I tell myself, just wear the fucking coat--
but don't we know I like to make her comfortable?
Next time, I will find myself praising the way she is warmer than last year.
Next time, I will emphasize the way she is shining the sun in just the right places, and
next time, I will tell her how those icicles are glistening so nicely and how
the hypothermia is tricking my hands into feeling
so warm.

There are choices we must make
to keep ourselves comfortable and
there are choices we must make
to survive.

My body can count its blizzards
like rings inside a tree--
it recognizes each
as one more choice where there was none
like each year that tree had the choice to grow
or say that's enough now
and stop, but it never did if only because
that's not how trees work --
we know that still in winter, they're growing
even if it's
invisible and
deep and