Stormy Weather

Inside all of us, storms aplenty
Some predictable, others sudden, without warning
Thunder, lightning, heavy rain—
We survive, all parts of life
Hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, tsunamis—
Always deeper, more devastating
Often more than we can withstand

Watch we must, our inner radar screen
Observing for changes, signs of what’s to come
Never perfect information though
Each moment abides in its own flow
Carrying us to its eye
Where there is peace
But no seeing beyond

Storms come and go
Like the wind—
Sweeping us into surrender
Into places where we must change
To transcend ourselves and survive
To find safe harbor
That place beyond all stormy weather

Stroke

Imagine not knowing
Where you are
Who you are
How you’ll ever get back
To your place of knowing

Imagine the torment
Raw unformed fear
Galloping throughout your being
As your mind races
Leaving you nowhere

Imagine the hell
Of being forever lost
Not just a bad dream
Or even a terrifying nightmare
But an endless state of not knowing

Imagine one day
You are perfectly normal
Everything seems right
Then without warning
The world you knew and loved is gone

All the theories, concepts, diagnoses
Explaining why your brain misfires
Why your consciousness is lost
They don’t matter
You can’t find your way back

Youth’s Butterfly

Our youth
Like some ineffable butterfly
Flits about in our memories, dreams, reflections
At times, as real as any dream can be
Always, midstream between the familiar and unknown

The older faces about us tell stories
Going past the point butterflies can go
Places no words can reach
Spaces outside the universe we’ve grown to love
Placeless realities no eyes can ever see

Somehow, we start over again before we end
Revisiting, remembering our beginnings
Hoping our memories help us hold on
Somehow anchor us in the shifting sand
Trickling through life’s hourglass

We seem to sense the futility
Of holding onto what only visits
Like the sun in summer
Like the butterfly in the garden
That disappears as quickly as it arrived

Sweet Amelia

I thought of Amelia, just this morning
Not long after the sun rose
Setting my heart on fire
I should have felt guilty
Just a tinge of remorse
None came, and so
My memories grew deeper

Plain as day, I saw Amelia
Her beauty lapped at my eyes
Her sweet scent, crushing me
Leaving nothing inside me to hold back
I knew then, as I did upon our first embrace
There’s no forgetting what’s eternal
What’s forever etched in your soul

No flower blooms forever
Yet she flowers deep inside me
But even in her receding waves, there is grace
Even when the sun disappears, leaving her naked
There is no forgetting
God’s own daughter
Only can I think of her—sun-sweet Amelia

Note: A tribute to Amelia Island just north of Jacksonville, Florida