New Civilization News: Poetry Collection for the World Poets Society    
 Poetry Collection for the World Poets Society1 comment
22 Jul 2006 @ 16:34, by N Marion Hage

In your shadow

He grew into a shade tree set by a beautiful hill. His limbs filled with flittering birds and squirrels nested in his trunk. A giver of life was he until the hill grew ever bigger, exploding into a mountain. His thoughts grew less important as her needs and agendas enlarged, eclipsing his own. He became small, a withered seedling that finally crumpled and crawled back into the earth to remain unseen.


Awakened from fertile womb, you both crawled into my life. Before you walked, I slipped into your rooms at night to listen to you breathe, pressing my ear to your hearts, saying a swift prayer. Your perpetual-motion-bodies stilled by exhaustion, I could finally hold you and whisper my dreams in your ears.

You both sprouted wheels for legs and wings for imaginations, zooming in and out of the forests to climb, find, and build your precious forts. From a nearby hill I looked down on your play, listening to your banter, forever watchful for your safety. I enjoyed the madness of your youthful bounding.

Then your friends grew up and got cars, whisking you away to this or that magical place, exploring the world with renewed wonderment. I watched from the window curtain, curious if this or that young woman would be “the one”. Your mother and I would laugh, wondering who would gather at the Thanksgiving table.

Soon your diapers turned to diplomas, and you both walked the isles to receive your licenses to work, to become adults, and you disappeared without warning. I miss you both, but I’ve got a workroom now.

Abiding in Stale Air

Exhaust fumes, sweltering heat cause asthmatics to gasp for air. Fragrant flowers are gone, replaced by many concrete overpasses, crumbling mortar, and rusting steel roadways lined with graffiti. Still a butterfly alights on a flowerpot by the intersection, seemingly content to be alive.


Disrespectful looks and terse commentaries crush these brittle bones. Wagging fingers swung by malicious gossipers pronounce my premature eulogy. Some days I lick my wounds and walk away. Other days I become a contentious beast that replies to their accusations with words of fury. Still, life goes on within and without; and the backyard still needs mowing.


If I pour out my life for you, will that elevate me in your sight or make me seem a pathetic fool, weak and stupid? If I lay down my body as your bridge to elevation, so that you can reach your pinnacle, will you respect me as being kind; or will you wonder if I’ve grown impotent, becoming a passé conversation piece? Love as I express it and as you see it may not align. Communication is the most difficult art; and I have no idea how to fashion my feelings into words and actions that translate. I can only try and hope my heart’s attempt will become an arrow that finds its target. Perhaps God alone sees and the rest of the world misunderstands me or thinks I’m a dimwitted loser. Or are they right and I’m wrong?

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1 comment

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