PeN-2-pApEr

OLD HABITS: 

In spite of everything, I still

Cry when you cry, still wait for your

Cue before taking my own…

Before I dance for the entire world, or

Wear my prettiest dress; I still look your way

Because no one speaks as honest to me as you still do.

In spite of everything, I still

Close my eyes in the dark and walk

With the lights off; arms stretched and strained

To feel every bump, every heart-stopping

Gut-wrenching rise and fall of this rollercoaster

Ride I’m on—just like you taught me

Even now,  I still

Wait for you to be the first to appreciate

The way my braided hair falls, to notice when I pay

Particular attention to the style of my dress, the colour

Of my shoes, the sound of my voice when I sing that just-right song;

I still wait for you

To speak first in a crowd, when too much is expected of me

I still depend on you to turn the attention away

But your words are hard to hear

Too weighed down to reach me and the few that do

Can’t hide the way you sway from side to side to

Blurred edges; burnt pages, these dreams of mine.

And it’s strange, how these try-hard but die-hard

Old habits will stick around when nothing else will

And in spite of everything, you still wake me up for

Goodnight kisses though it’s two in the morning,

Still buy me kit-Kat chocolates just to surprise me,

Even tell me that I inspire you to be better as you

Walk away…

And my eyes have never been shut so tight

Arms outstretched to hold fast, every inch of skin on my

Hands connected to feel every bump, every heart-stopping

Gut-wrenching rise and fall, just like you’re teaching me.

And I find that I miss you in the silence

The half formed breathe

That reminds me of the pressing in of your image

When it curved out our lives and shaped who we were.

I miss the heavy weight

Of my heart when it carried you.

I miss whispering secrets

To you, I miss the place where

You and I were who we were and our world

Was a nest made of sunshine and laughter

And inner gales of faithfulness that overwhelmed my fears.

I miss the way we were; the way you held it all so well

And only caved in when my peace was at stake;

I am waiting for the day when we can return to the round table

Where we held our counsel, where we sat in fierce opposition

As you tried to convince me that you truly were the perfect form of the man

And I scoffed at the arrogance of your words,

All the time knowing that in this world that we inhabit

There are no shadows or caves

No questions of reality, this world is made of sunshine,

And promises that never get broken

Light that never stops shining;

This world…is a dream world

Still, in spite of everything, I have more faith in this world

Than all the disbelief in history, I have looked past the glazed

Over light in your eye and beheld the mystery, I have

Confidence in these words:

“That faith is the substance of things hoped for”,

That a dichotomy between dreams and reality is an

Exercise for your imagination,

That there is a reason for every trial and every situation is

A lesson in character formation;

So yes, I cry when you cry;

But I’ve also walked the length of this road

You’ve brought us to, with my eyes closed; arms outstretched

To hold fast, every inch of skin on my hands connected to feel

Every bump, every heart stopping gut wrenching rise and fall of this rollercoaster

Ride we’re on, just like you’ve taught me

In spite of everything, I’m going to teach you that destitution is

A license to dream, my dreaming is the result of faith,

And that maybe you were right, you just might be the perfect form of the man.

Innate Melody:

At the core of my being

Curled up beside the sweetest

Story you will ever lay your eyes on

Tangled in the web of the purest heart

That I have had the fortune to hide inside the cavity

Of my own lies the loudest song that you will ever hear me sing

Like a diamond mine in the middle of a field

This obvious secret hushed up within

The core of my being…

On the outside there’s a beam

Stretched across the length of my arms

Extending and changing my capacity to adore

Showing me how stillness is the very heartbeat of love

On the outside there’s a shaft of light searching out

The shadows that have found their home in my form

Exposing the fearful druids that have governed my life

But pause and hold that thought;

We first met when I was five,

Kneeling face down on the edge of

Not believing you, listening to the

Voices of my mothers

Praying fervently into the night, their faith so tangible I

Found myself swinging in it, back and forth and back again till

I could no more remember not knowing you

And somewhere between the moving neither here nor there

I remember hearing you speak soft in my ear that:

“This nowhere place is a finer dwelling for one such as I

Than there or here will ever be; and music, so much sweeter if I’ll

Dance with you; the colour of life will be sky dawn; fire blaze warm

If I choose you”

When I was ten, you came knocking on my door

The touch of your hand on the panel case of my heart

So familiar I rushed to welcome you in, arms outstretched

And ready to leap into your arms forsake all logic and trust

Your invincible arms to hold me.

When I was nineteen you took on a different form;

Almost didn’t recognise you till you stretched out my arms

Extending and changing my capacity to love;

Would have walked away but you tugged at the core of

My being; playfully stretched my imagination to understand

That you are the song that no one ever taught me how to sing

That the wonder of it all is knowing it still;

At the core of my being curled up beside the sweetest story

I’ve ever told, lies this song.

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