A Lifelong Course

Hanging onto your every word
like an eager student at my teacher’s feet
You don’t need a lecture hall and an overhead projector
or a coffee stain on your corduroys
Your textbook stretches out over thousands of years
with scarlet thread running through the pages
In between worn leather binding
your words are truth preserved
And even though your hall is packed with
students young and old seeking answers
you still take time out from your lecture
to smile right at me
‘Cause it’s a lifelong course
and I’m happy to spend it
listening at your feet

 

***

 

It Hurts to Look at Him

Sometimes
it hurts to look at him
He’s falling down a black hole
of his own creation
Falling
to the end
(if there is an end)
And I want to reach out my hand
and save him
but I can’t
I’m afraid
For though it may seem like
there are hundreds of miles between us
he’s still close enough
that if he should somehow grab hold
of my hand
I might fall in next to him
and we’d both be stuck
waiting for another
to come rescue the two of us

There’s so much I want to tell him
I want to say
“Don’t give up!”
for only he can help himself out
And when he looks up at me
his eyes pleading
I know he’s hurting
because I can feel his pain
rushing through me
But I’m powerless
I can’t save him
He has to save himself

Every day
I watch him
slipping further and further away from me
into the black hole
of his own creation
And sometimes
it hurts to look at him

 

***

 

Your eyes too soon were blinded by the sun,
And thus you lost your way among the light.
A path as such is oft the chosen one—
For who would want a star that isn’t bright?

Instead try seeking comfort in the moon.
Within her lies a soft reflecting glow.
She carries in her heart a joyful tune—
Search in her depths, you’ll find it’s one you know.

For though the sun is fair as fair—it’s true!
You know her love has burned your heart before.
The moon will share her light only for you—
She sits and waits for you at darkness’s door

The careless sun turns many heads a day,
But your loving moon will not turn you away.

 

***

 

Sad Blue Eyes

Sad blue eyes
and a heart that called to mine
like a beacon.
Just a boy—
long hair curling against the collar
of your stonewashed jean jacket.
Earring in one ear,
mad at the world,
and sometimes at me.
We hardly dared to touch
but you touched me all the same.
You didn’t know that
I never cared about
the trash-strewn streets you had to tread through
to share even half of your smile.
Because I thought you were made of stars,
shining in the darkness,
full of life.
I had nothing to give you except my laugh,
and even that wasn’t enough
to keep you.
When I was a girl,
I didn’t understand
why the smile stopped short
of your sad blue eyes.

 

***

 

Someday in heaven
when the worries of this world
are but a washed out memory
and your eyes are forever filled with light
you’ll take my hand
and whirl me into the wilderness
We’ll be young again
because that’s how I remember you best
Maybe you’ll even have your trumpet box with you
and I’ll be clutching an ancient stuffed monkey
for old times’ sake
And I’ll chase you through the woods
your grin daring me on
like a bonfire drawing me to you
But instead of burning we’ll be free
and your hand in mine will heal
without all the pain lurking behind
Because here on Earth
we’re just two broken people
who never quite got a chance
to mend each other’s hearts
But heaven’s forest is where our hearts will fly
And I for one can’t wait to see you soar
running through the endless trees
without the sting of shadows in your soul

You’ll skid to a stop and that’s when I’ll see
a massive tree
spreading over the fields
like a king’s castle calling us to glory
A tree this majestic never existed on Earth
but I think God must have made it just for us
Because He wanted to see your grin
sliding into mischief as you start to make the climb
And He wanted to hear my laugh
echoing through the branches as I follow you
You’ll insist on the branch with the best view
whatever that means
and I’ll indulge you
even though the limbs are thick and tangled
and we’re so high the ground looks imaginary
But when we stop you’ll draw in a breath like you’re home
and I’ll settle beside you in the sunlight
resting my head on your shoulder ’cause I’m home too
and your breath will catch again
while your arms wrap around me
and this time neither one of us will pull away

We’ll watch the sunbeams drift through the leaves
and taunt anyone who’s fool enough to disturb us
raining acorns down on their heads until they retreat
And you’ll laugh like you’ve never laughed on Earth
not even on those bus rides with me
all those years ago
And maybe far below us
leaning against the trunk of our tree
will be your trumpet box
and my stuffed monkey
for old times’ sake

 

***

 

Just Another Pet Horse

There’s a look in your eyes
like you once knew more
than your safe little pen
Because all I see is a stallion
pawing the ground
yearning to break free
But you can’t
(Or maybe you won’t)
And I can’t figure out what’s keeping you there
when out here in the wild
I’m waiting for you
The wind is whipping through my mane
as I call to you from over the ridge
hoping you’ll join me in the meadow
where the grass is sweet
and the freedom is even sweeter
And I wonder
is it worth it?
Will you ever jump over that fence?
Or will you pace and fret in your pen
until the day she comes
saddle and harness in her hand to tame you?
The day she rides you
my hooves will beat upon the grass
so fierce you’ll feel them echoing through you
And the wilderness will weep
as a magnificent stallion becomes
just another pet horse

 

***

 

Dark Unicorn

Dark unicorn
riding through the shadows between
all your contradictions
Do you know me?
Sometimes you look at me and I think
maybe you do
If nothing else, I know you
I’d recognize you anywhere
Even though your horn is broken
and your magic has faded
you’re still a unicorn
and I’ve always been drawn to the dark ones
Especially when I can still see
some of your starlight
peeking through the night
Someone rode you hard
like maybe she couldn’t see the rainbows
you were chasing in your heart
And those rainbows became the tears
that streaked your mane with gray
and the shadows in you deepened into disbelief
Because what good is magic
when you’re just an old horse
put out to pasture?
But you aren’t a horse
and I’d never presume to ride you
because unicorns need to be free
And maybe you’d want to climb the clouds again
and chase the rainbows with me
like you did when you were new
I wish I could have met you
when your dreams burned inside you
hotter than your coldest doubt
And the darkness didn’t matter so much
because you had all the time in the world
to subdue it
Before you became this
dark unicorn
standing in front of me lost in the shadows
between all your contradictions
In the night you look at me and I think
maybe you do know me
the way I know you
after all…

 

 

 

 

 

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