in that brief, still moment i lost my job no, I didn’t lose it i was holding onto it for dear life and it was taken away from me like a favorite toy from a child who was playing with it for too long 20 dedicated years…some 6000+ days well, yes, I guess, I lost my job because I feel the hurt of work going on without me, i have an empty space inside of me where the people I played with used to rest i miss the sense of purpose that came from being of service there but, in a brief, still moment sitting in silence and the spaciousness that had opened up before me i saw myself soaring like a bird riding the thermals high above the beautiful earth available to live life completely on my terms to fully move my face in the direction of my dreams in that brief, still moment I realized I was free.
He Takes Flight The invitations mount in a pile on the table. One follows him around his house as gentle sighs, exhaling the burden of his duties, the things he was expected to do every day, the littlest of things you wouldn’t think were so heavy, like making the bed or brushing his teeth, day after day, ceaselessly. Another arrives like a warning whistle as he sits at his desk, his screen a streetlight illuminating the tracks ahead, his day a cargo train, car after black car, stretching endlessly into the wild prairie with its hungry harvest, his gut burning like a black coal, and the steam that keeps him chugging can’t move up and out his pipes. The last summons lands at his feet in a crumpled ball, after his partner wonders aloud what they might enjoy for dinner, and he yells back at her, not just testy, but mean and spiteful. Even this tiniest and inconsequential of decisions feels like a billboard shouting. He stares down at the paper, gazes up to her and collapses, not physically into her arms but right there before her, he falls into pieces, broken mirror littering the floor. There, his heart finally stills from the chase of all those invitations, and the soft round world around him catches up. It’s not that he’s given in or given up. It’s not like that. It’s more like he put the barbell back into its rack along the wall so life doesn’t hit him straight on, like he’s open enough so that life moves through him. He discovers that the world did not stop when he let go of his load. The sun still shines gold in the sky and clouds cast shadows on the sidewalk. He takes flight, an eagle gliding on thermals high above the patchwork of earth, unencumbered by life’s demands, no weights to carry. For the moment, free. And that is enough.
This poem is also part of a collection I put together called All the Shapes of Joy.
Get free Get free of what blocks you. Get free by empowering yourself to share your truth – bare, basic, brutal honesty. Get free of your inhibitions and doubts and imposter ideas or second thoughts. Get free by letting what turns up percolate like coffee, deepening their color and flavor, their scent rising and inspiring. Get free of structure, format, rules, protocols, what you think is correct or good or desirable. Get free by letting things be messy, striking things out, or not, squeezing things between words and ideas and along the margins and flowing onto the next page. Get free by opening to what’s deep within you, scratching to get to the surface, whatever that is in there yelling against the walls of your being that no one can hear, although they have their ears pressed there waiting. Get free by creating a safe space where you can roam like a rabbit whose squeezed through someone’s fence into a big flourishing garden. Get free by stepping outside of your comfort zone and onto the big carnival rides that take you high into the sky, offering new perspective, shaking you up, bringing you down. Get free by seizing the real stuff, not the crap your mind tells you to release; no, nothing ordinary or customary or sedentary. Get free by letting go of what you think the world needs or what would be most helpful; no, push out the grimy, grubby, mucky and muddy stuff. Get free by giving birth to what might be dying inside of you.
This poem was inspired by an Anaphora poetry prompt, where you repeat a word or words at the beginning of successive phrases, clauses, or lines to create a sonic effect. It’s also part of a collection I put together called All the Shapes of Joy.