Rosebush

The tiny apparatus beneath my tongue,
The one that forms a phrase,
and gives me strength to speak it,
Disappeared whenever I saw him.
Words – once friends, companions,
Would flee.

His face, so striking,
It rendered me speechless.
His beauty – erased every eloquent phrase
From my memory.

And it wasn’t like he was this crazybeautifulperfection,
It’s just that
He was this crazybeautifulperfection
To me.

Just a regular guy,
Unless…
You caught him looking at you
with love in his eyes,
Or captured sparkles of amusement
Which shone from their fathomless depths.

The smile,
Dear god that smile.

White and inviting,
Broad, generous,
Shining brightly,
A crescent moon formed just for me.
Waiting for a kiss.

His laughter,
I remember the laughter.
Voice soft like velvet is soft
And when he was lost in the mirth,
He was a picture
I ached to paint.

Preserve on paper,
Keep nearby
Always…
But my skills fell short,
Fall short,
Could never…
Capture
That spontaneous image.

Flaws?
Oh yes,
He had them.
But they were the sort that every rose bush has.

Thorns come with beauty, sometimes.
But I don’t know many who forbid the rose bush a home
in their garden.

And I wanted him
In mine.

The face,
The voice,
The laughter,
The heart,
The soul.
The very fragrance of him.

I wanted to wake near him,
and live near him,
And breathe him in,
Forever.

ajp

Evaporate

And he won’t go away
He’s under my skin
A part of my system
That will not give in.

It will not surrender
The memory of touch
The brightness of smile
That I loved so much.

I’d hoped it’d be natural
A slow dissipation
Like water from pavement
An evaporation.

Instead I’m possessed
With faithful affection
Instead of the shallow,
I have saturation.

He won’t fade away
From recesses of me
He is part of my soul now
And so shall it be.

ajp

The 5th Wave – A book review.

I read _The Fifth Wave_ this week;
A book I wanted to complete before seeing the movie.
image

It was prose and science fiction in one book.
I’ve never read a book quite like it.

The characters are developed well and I bonded with a couple of them even while waiting to get a good grasp on a couple of others.

Because it was science-fiction, I struggled to comprehend some facets of the plot,
Necessary facets for space travel and an alien invasion.
So I’d read those spots over again until I caught on.

My mind has always had a hard time comprehending science.
It’s a gift I lament not possessing.

To continue –
Wrapped up in this battle for survival, involving very real gunfire sequences, and wars fought in the mind as one attempts to ascertain who is enemy and who is not,
Is this magical, lyrical, poetic style of writing that soothes your soul,
Even as you allow yourself to think about the unthinkable.

And Rick Yancey is genius;
Mixing terrible with beautiful in one prosey sentence,
slipping past barriers we naturally construct in our minds.

He enters our hearts with this story and life-lessons, and he touches those hearts with love in between necessarily gruesome incidents.

A love story hides within the pages.

It is quiet and soft and surprising, and you accept it,
even as you accept the reality of shrapnel being dug out of bodies with military issued knives,
and heads being blown off by artillery,
And killing in cold blood to live one more day,
Or to preserve the human race against insurmountable odds,
To preserve your own life,
Or what is left of it.

You accept this quiet love story woven in the bloody tapestry because you need to find beauty in the willingness to kill in order to survive,
Or to protect
Someone you love.

Do I recommend the book?
Yes.
Yes.
And Yes, again.
I will read it once more, highlighting the quotes that rung true in my spirit.

Do I recommend it for children?
No.

For teens, and adults,
Yes.

It is beautifully written;
Intelligent and harsh,
ghastly, and magical and wonderful,
All at once.

An adventure
And some lessons
Inhabit its pages
For those who are willing
To find them.

– Leah

Stormy Weather

When I was young, maybe 18, I stood on top of a hill in Manchester, MI, and watched a summer storm come in.

I stood in the rain and wind until my aunt made me come into the house for threat of lightning.

It was thrilling and scary.
I felt so small
And so ALIVE.

After a more recent rainstorm,
I was thinking about how affected the earth was.

The atmosphere was soft with a warm rosy glow.
The leaves on every tree, saturated.
The calm was thick,
And the surface of the world felt clean.

Rinsed,
Helpless to do anything but yield the power of the force that swept over its form.

It reminded me of lovemaking.

The slow beginning,
the softness of the rain’s caress,
Followed by increased intensity,
Thunder, lightning, passionate winds.

The earth, like a woman’s form yielding,
Gladly,
Gratefully,
Receiving,
Much needed attention.
Her body’s thirst, quenched
Every rose bush, lilac, tree.

Then, things grow quiet,
Thunder is distant,
Hushed.

There is peace,
Calm,
And evidence of something having left its mark on the world.
Like a woman’s world.
Now altered,
By her lover.

I wrote this poem of a woman standing in the rain.

The poem does not convey my experience on the day that I stood in the rain as well as I’d like.
Nor does it convey the depth of beauty in being loved by a thoughtful and a giving man.

But it came from the soul.

So I share it here,
Even though it isn’t Poetry Tuesday.
😉

STORM

I can see it coming,
Smell it in the air,
Feel the breeze on my face
Change to wind in my hair.

Soft rain
kisses my arms
Causing goose bumps.
Tenderness.

Wind moving over and around me,
Powerfully,
I welcome
Each caress.

Now thunder,
Darkness,
Lightning,
I endure it all,
Yielding,
The recipient
Of torrential rainfall.

Unafraid.

Storm reaches crescendo
And begins to quiet down.
I linger,
Listening hard,
For the sound
Of Thunder
Rumbling,
Softly now,
Filling corners of the sky.

I shiver.
I am drenched.
Sated,
*sigh…

Exhilarating thing,
The way a storm moves in
Captivating one
With power, light, and noise,
Possessing late night hour
With its presence, touch,
And voice.

Leaving the impressions
Of its moments on my form,
Raindrops on my lips, hair, skin.
Establishing its memory
Next to yours
Deep within.

Feet on pavement
turn toward home.
My mind, toward you.
The way you love me –

Exquisitely,
Thoughtfully.
Powerfully,
Thoroughly.

Darling,
You are storm,
too.

ajp
1/2016

Coals in my Stocking

This holiday season was blessed.

I had a warm glow in my heart nearly every single day.
Nothing could extinguish the joy.
Tiny coals were glowing in the ashes of my heart.

Unexpected gifts,
Tiny mementos
found their way into my home and into my hands.

A bear that my cousin gave my daughter in bags of extra Christmas decorations.

image
Bartholomew

When Sonja saw him, she told Kelly it was made by hand, and that I was partial to them since I, too, made bears by hand.
They both decided to give him to me.

He rode around in the car with me for a while because I do silly things like that.

I would pick him up and stare into his black glittering eyes from time to time, (I have a thing for black glittering eyes – on one person, anyway) and I’d ask myself what this bear’s name was going to be.

I eventually brought him into the house
And have named him Bartholomew.

Another memento, this Santa charm my eldest son gave to me.

image
Santa!

It sits on my wrist among the others, but right beside this snowman, the first charm my children bought me.
The first charm I ever owned.

I wear my son’s regard for me on my wrist just as I harbor our relationship safely within my heart.

And then,
This fountain pen and vial of ink.

image
Exquisite thing.

Not necessarily a Christmas gift, they are certainly gifts that found their way to my home during this holy season.

Bestowed by a respected friend, they are exhibits which point to his understanding in regards to how I feel about writing,
how vital it is for us to record what is invisible to mankind (thoughts and emotions) through the simple mediums of pen and ink.

It is a cherished thing.
Filling its reservoir with inky fluid that stains my fingertips gives me a peculiar satisfaction which I have no words for.
Touching the tip to paper and leaving my mark, strangely fulfilling.

Lastly, this message that came in the first Christmas card of the season.

image
Thoughtfulness.

This brings us back to what I tried to express when I began this blog entry.

This season brought a joy to me that no man could extinguish.
The love of God.
The love of family.
The love of friends.

Gratitude sincerely felt,
For each of those things,
And for tomorrows hoped for
Even though they are not guaranteed.

The four mementos represent thoughtfulness.
But more than that,
They represent affection put into action to create something one can touch.

When Doubt would whisper in my ear his negative unhappy words,
I can reach out and touch these symbols and say to him,
“To someone
I am valuable.
And they did something to make sure I knew it.”

As for you,
Dear Reader,
I wish you joy, the whole year through.
But more than that,
I wish you Love.

I wish you
Coals in your stocking.

Merry Christmas
And Happy New Year!

– leah

I am no bird. No net ensnares me.

This may be one of my favorite quotes in the world.
And it’s so hard to choose just one.

Being in a very authoritarian marriage, where our church preached something called “Spiritual Authority”, a concept backed up by many biblical scriptures,
A woman was to submit to her husband whenever there was an impasse in decision making.

Example, (a benign one)
Man wants to spend 100$ on item A.
Woman wants to spend 100$ on item B.
Conflict.
Man pulls submission card.
The end.

Maybe the woman’s choice was for the family instead of herself.
Maybe it was the wiser choice.

If a man is not humble enough to consider the intelligence of his wife…

If a man is selfish and has lost sight of his mission to be a servant to his family, to follow the example of Christ, who washed the feet of all twelve of his disciples,
Who died for them and for us,

If a man is short-tempered, and full of himself, loving himself before his wife and children,
He could snap at his wife right away, pulling the “I’m the boss around here.” reminder card out of his pocket, and silencing her.

I didn’t do many things I wanted to do because I obeyed.
I didn’t work,
Attend college,
Or Pursue a career.

Grow as a human.
As an intellectual.

I educated myself with Readers Digest Classics and other books I’d check out or purchase.

Mi mente tenia hambre.
My mind was hungry.

What a revelation, to read _Jane Eyre_.
To read of a girl, lost and rejected, mistreated,
Then placed in an orphanage to be mistreated further, but to find a friend who taught her about God.

There, Jane and Helen learned what true godliness was, even as religion in its unyielding granite-like hardness oppressed them.

They created a warm nucleus of friendship and learning of Christ and they existed that way until Helen died.

Jane is plain.
And poor.
But her spirit found expression in her resolve to survive and in her sketches.

And a very strong and stern man fell in love with her.

image

He was married, though, to a mentally-infirmed woman watched over night and day by nurses he hired.
He fell in love with Jane and asked her to run away with him as man and wife where no one would know them.

During this moment of decision, she finds strength to rise up from within, to remain true to her values despite her desperate desire to say yes, and she protects her individuality, preserving her freedom.

Charlotte Brontê, alias Currer Bell,
In the 1800s,
Was setting women free in their hearts through her writing.

She sets people free today.
She lies in a grave but her words remain full of life,
Full of deliverance.

Exhortation to stand.
To not deny one’s self.
To allow the soul to branch out into greatness.
Despite what others, even those loved most, say.

I look back at the history of intermittent  violence in my marriage with a bit of shame.

My cousin (who survived cancer) asked me one night,
She and I were lying in bed together last August, for she’d come up from the Carolinas for a family reunion after her strength returned,
and we slept in the same room…
She asked me, “Why did you stay?”

How do I explain to my cousin, a fighter of, and victor over the invisible clutches of cancer, why I would stay in such a union, when I could have simply got into a car and driven away from it?

I had many answers and zero answers.

There ::is:: a helpless remorse that accompanies regret, and if I allowed it to, it would destroy me.
Like a thick gray cloud of smoke invades the lungs, remorse would invade any man’s senses until they ceased to try anymore.
It’s an ugly emotion and must be taken by the horns and forced to do good in a mind.

Become fuel that drives a body to rise up from ashes and live better.
Stronger.

No net of guilt.
No net of anguish.

Instead,
A Strong-Hearted human being who is NOT a trembling bird,
But a human with…
An independent will
That won’t be bent or twisted into a warped thing ever again.

The only chains I will ever have,
will be the chains that bind my heart to the heart of God,
who loved me ,
who designed me ,
who gave himself for me,
and who saw each tear when they fell.

Golden bonds of love we have,
Holding us together.

And it is He who works in me still,
Both to desire,
And do,
His will.
Even as he’s given me my own,
And the freedom that goes with it.

God Bless Currer Bell.
And Jane.
And Helen Burns who died prematurely,
But not before she shone the light of true Christianity in the freezing corridors where religion cast its shadow.

image

-leah

Fleeting Life

Story.
I remember one of the lessons I learned about the human heart.
I remember when I learned that love didn’t obey rules and regulations.
One form of love, anyway.

We met and it was instantaneous.
The draw, the attraction, the connection.

Neither of us were models of perfection when it came to the human form,
But each mind was a good fit for the other,
And nothing else seemed to matter.

There was no flash of lightning,
But there was electricity.

And impediments.

A great divide separating us,
A chasm,
A breach,
A canyon.

And no bridge.

It doesn’t happen to everyone,
But it does happen to some.

The meeting of someone you know would be a soul mate,
If they didn’t already belong to someone else.

I recall his saying, when we discussed the apparent connection,
that he was afraid we would end up hurting,
And I answered, “It’s inevitable. We will hurt, because we met and we already know we have to say goodbye.”

And we did.

Funny.
We look at monarch butterflies and marvel at their beauty, but forget about their brief life-span.

image
Exquisite Unkind Realities

Delicate wings and vibrant colors of a living thing that faces swift death through no choice of its own,
except that it is the proper order of things.

Noble.
Righteous.
Pure.

In a way, I’m blessed.
I experienced “it”.
The thing people talk about over coffee and gaze upon on silver screens and read about in books.
And in a way, I’m not blessed.
Because I never got to savor or embrace it, or enjoy it.

Just like the monarch.
Hard to catch,
but wonderful to catch a glimpse of
Before it stops its fluttering
For good.

– leah

A Pearl

I knew him long ago, and upon seeing him again after the passage of time,
I saw him as he was,
without filters –
without the preconceived notions that I’d developed during the abusive childhood and teen-aged seasons of my life.

I loved him as half-woman, half-child, barely grown-up,
When men were typically mistrusted.

And now, as an adult,
with a wiser heart and mind,
my devotion has only increased with
each
slow
reveal
of the soul within his body.

His gentleness makes him great,
yet he is a man of steel.
The perfect oyster –
Tough, yet fragile,
and look…
in the very heart of him,
a pearl.

image
The Perfect Combination

Before I slept

As I rested,
My head on my pillow,
Love coursed through my heart.
It must be contained
In my blood,
For as the heart does its job,
The blood passes through
And its passenger,
Love,
Sings its song
So softly
Yet so soulfully,
That it resonated inside of me.
And my heart reverberated
With every note.

So I composed a sonnet
Of sorts
To him.

While I rested
Head on pillow
Waiting for slumber.

Lifting my hand,
In my imagination,
To cup his cheek
Adoringly.

Then I wondered …

Would he allow his head to lean
Just a little
Toward my palm,
Close his eyes,
And rest
Allowing himself to absorb
the warmth
Waiting for him there?

ajp
8-20-15

Seed time and Harvest, and Patience

When I feel impatient,
I picture a person in the middle of a corn field with the stalks half-grown,
Only waist high,
And the person is
Powerless, pouty, and selfish.
They are petulantly commanding stalks to grow,
To give ears of corn.
Because they want corn-on-the-cob,
and they want it now.

Corn Field Ashley K. Photography
Corn Field
Ashley K. Photography

The scenario is ugly.
It challenges me with a valuable silent message.

Life demands that we develop patience,
and much can be learned by nature’s example of seed time and harvest.

Everything has a season...
Everything has a season…

When it comes to what I want,
The moments when I want,
And cannot have, just yet.
I accept the process of growth,
And relax.

There are legitimate wants and needs in all of us.
But everything takes time.

The dream job,
The child,
The new car,
The cabin in the woods,
The vacation in Italy,
The love of an uncommon man,
and his kiss…

If a person is wise,
They will accept the rule of nature,
And hold the lesson of the corn field in their heart.

"September Morn on the Corn" By: jackalope22
“September Morn on the Corn”
By: jackalope22

I lived in a home for one year that had a very large window in its family room,
And if you looked through the window, you could see a huge field of corn that went back as far as you could see at the edge of the property.
I was privileged to observe this field in every season –
And each one had its own claim to beauty;
The season of winter, when snow sugarcoated the world with a sparkling crystal powder,
The season of springtime, when the furrows of earth were cocoa-colored mounds in perfect rows of narrow,

Cocoa in the spring.
Cocoa in the spring.

The season of late summer when the corn grew green and tall and was the perfect place for games,
Or hide-aways for lovers to embrace, surrounded by green sweet-smelling life.

corn field 2

It was a good year.
I never tired of the view through the window.

If a person allows themselves to stop fixating on a desire,
And starts paying attention to the miracle that is happening right in front of them,
Albeit, in slow motion,
They will learn one of the keys to happiness.
To be content in whichever state they find themselves.

My favorite field of corn is imagined.
I am walking through its rows.

Just enjoy the process.
Just enjoy the process.

Enveloped in sunshine, I hear a rustling whisper
My jeans, with the help of a lazy summer breeze, wakens leaves from their quiet sleepy state.

They brush against my legs
Tickling my hands,
And my heart rests inside,
taking pleasure in the fact
that something I planted is growing.

One day it will bear fruit.
But where it is today is enough,
Because it is part of the process.

Can you see me walking there,
in vibrant rows of green?
That is where I go
In my mind,
To remind myself
That something is growing,
That I cannot rush the process,
That Love is long-suffering,
And always always hopes.

And while love hopes it watches
The slow-motion miracle
Knowing
Fruit will come.

I will one day hold it in my hands
Like the perfect ear of corn.
It will be amazingly sweet,
Wholesome,
And Delicious.
I will savor it on my tongue,
And it will be
worth
every moment of the wait.

– leah