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necessary whispers

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Month

January 2016

Spoken Word: Hope Is a Bird

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Emily Dickinson says, “Hope is the thing that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.”

Hope.

If hope were so constant why does it often feel so elusive?

If hope were so constant why must it be

Fragile, like a bird?

Why must it molt and

Give away its feathers to the changing of seasons,

To the pains of growth,

To the tides of purpose and

Un-purpose?

 

 

Why must Hope be so near and feel so far

Like a jar

Holding gold that sits tightly closed

While my failing muscles

Drip like gas from a leaking tank

On the ground?

A car without gas has no purpose.

Purpose.

 

Purpose.

 

Does anyone else wonder about their purpose?

Does anyone else feel like a drifter,

A tumbleweed

Blowing quickly with the direction of the wind,

Sometimes far out to the east and

Sometimes

In a circle,

Round and round in a dizzying dance of looking toward

But not seeing

And running and

Gasping and

Stopping and

Breathing hard

Heavy like a prisoner broken out of jail

Without a crime but only time—

How have I spent it?

Where am I going?

Why am I here?

Purpose.

 

Purpose.

 

There is a definition of hope that fails.

It flails in the wind

Blown through a flame on top of a candle and then

Lingers

In the smoke.

This pointless hope is a wish.

Only a wish

Wandering while I

Wonder what to grab on to.

What to hold.

How to mold my lips into a circle meant to whisper into the smoky darkness,

“What next?”

This definition of hope is a lingering mess,

Like the pile left

After the raccoons have eaten what is left

And the opossums have rolled their wiggly bodies through the smell left behind by the

Spoils of the theft.

 

 

Hope is just a wish,

A dream,

A word some say but Emily Dickinson says,

“A word that is spoken begins to live that day”

And hope is eternal so it isn’t right,

This definition.

 

 

What does God say?

 

 

It’s unpopular,

A menace to society that stalks the hearts of men

Wherever they go,

Never knowing—these words, this God, and

That man

Cloistered in the shadows of Sunday.

 

 

Day

Day light,

Day time,

Time to find,

Remember the anchor.

The pavement below our feet,

The dirt below the street,

The mud, the dust, the worms,

The bugs all the way to the center,

The heartbeat,

The core.

There is hope that erupts like a volcano from which we run,

We are stunned and

Stop and

Look back and see the blaze and count our days and wonder,

“What have I done?”

What am I doing to light a fire under my own purpose?

 

Purpose.

 

My flame is nothing without His breath.

His volcano breathes like a dragon from the depths of victory.

He was

And is

And is to come.

To go

To look to the left and to the right is a fight with no victor.

The victor is a head nod up,

A hand flying toward the sky,

A knee bent

A heart rendered useless without Him who

Lifts your head,

Who brings life to the dead.

 

 

He did not come to make bad men good

He came to make dead men live,

So live.

And live,

Like a thing that flies, that never dies

That soars like a bird

A bird that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and

Never stops

Never stops

Never stops

At all.

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: German painter Heiko Müller’s painting, Biofeld.  http://www.heikomueller.de)

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Those Things

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There is no way

To say the words

That never form

But burn

Inside my head

In colors and

In melodies inside of songs

And photographs—

Images

Dropping down like bass

To the pit of

Me

Playing trios in my

Stomach—

The blues.

 

Notes of Billie Holiday

Flying up from my center

Like smoke up a

Chimney’s flue

And turning my mind

Churning my time

Breaking it down and

Making me forget

Where I am in the day

Sunrise or sunset

It doesn’t matter

Because the day

Can’t be through

Until I know

How to say it

To you.

 

Cymbals softly tapping

The rhythm has begun

Gets trapped

In the middle of my chest

Right between my breasts

So I feel it

Hear it

But I cannot sing the tune

Because it’s stuck—

Stuck like

A bug on the window of

My lungs

Splat

And then rat-a-tat

The cymbal grows

In its presence and its

Sound.

 

What if I simply said

With dread

Of not being understood

That I am filled with

Yellow

When I see your face

Hear wind chimes blowing

In the breeze

On a hot summer day

When your cadence comes

To play

In my mind

Not even your words

Just your hows

And your whys

And your

You.

 

What if I simply drew

A landscape

Bright with green

Like new

The way the world looks

When you

Choose a fork in the road

Turn a corner

Suddenly see

Vibrant artistry

In nature

And gasp

With awe

When awes gets stuck

In your throat

Like a word

Like a note

And all you can think

Is emotion.

 

There is no way to say

The words

So instead

I’ll venture this:

A bouquet of

Thoughts

The thoughts themselves

The gestures wrought

To tell you

That thing

Like a bird with

Vibrant blue wings

That thing

That makes

Music sing

Moonlight glow

Roses red

Peace and kindness spread . . .

 

Or maybe

I could

Simply

Look at you

And you

would know.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: A brush drawing by Heiko Müller, Untitled.  http://www.heikomueller.de)

 

 

 

 

 

Moonlight We

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The sun grows hours

Then burns them dry

Like

Tumbleweeds

Blow by the days

And we

The cattle drivers

Saddle the minutes

And ride them,

Guide them from atop

Their prickly backs.

 

 

The Sunlight We

Strap on our shoes

Tattered at the soles

To tread

A line

Publicly defined by

The rules of

Marketplace

And who the other

We’s expect us all

To be.

 

 

Astride atop

Rolling ticks and tocks

And traveling

Through noon time

Crowds of We

Is She—

An explorer whose eyes

Are lifted

Toward the sky

Inside a sea of eyes

Seeing same.

 

 

The busy pavement

Vibrates with progress

As defined

By hand held devices

That shine

In daytime rays

And ricochet

Blinding

The gaze

Of the masked We

Stumbling at a gallop’s pace.

 

 

But she—

She sees.

 

 

She sees what is real

In the moment defined

Not confined by

What she should

Why she ought or

Questioning

Why she would

She rides the time

And feels the warmth

Of the sun instead of

Using it for light.

 

 

Reflection of the sun can be seen everywhere.

 

 

Embracing now

A give and take

Of new and ideas

And what does it mean

She offers herself

To the questions

That rise

Dwells in the

Wonder

Of wandering

Free.

 

 

And he—

He sees.

 

 

Along the trail

Sprawling on every side

Is one—

A He—

Who rides his own

Tumbleweed time

Carrying boredom

Wrapped in

Discontent

Searching for what

Is relevant.

 

 

His eyes wide open

Heart behind a shield

He journeys

With a purpose

Gone cold

Like a campfire

Dwindling—

He rubs his hands together

Above reasons

That fail

To keep him warm.

 

 

Until the moment

Just one moment

He

Amidst a thousand eyes

Sees

She

The only she

In a sea of

We

Whose awareness

Pierces the shield of his own.

 

 

No words exchanged—

Not yet—

But the moment is frozen still

The sun holds its place

And reveals

Details of her face

As though

The opulent

Fiery star above

Is painting

Something new.

 

 

“Hello,”

Says she and

“Hello,”

Says he and the sea of

We begins to roar

Once again.

He asks,

“Can you travel

This way?

If only

Today?”

 

 

He smiles—

Not only his lips

But eyes brightly

Joining as

His hands begin to warm.

She accepts

His invitation,

“I will come

Your way

Let’s not delay

The sun will set into night.”

 

 

Two journeys become

One moonlight We

As the day stumbles

Behind the moon—

The moon that stops

The growth of time

Replacing stars

For minutes

And silence for sound

When all around

Disappears

Into a single

You.

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: Heiko Müller‘s painting, Antares.  http://www.heikomueller.de)

Monument To The Dead

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(Photo credit: This story was inspired by German painter Heiko Müller’s painting, Sun In The Park.  http://www.heikomueller.de)

 

Monuments to the dead

Are erected for

Windows

Open to the souls

Of those who

Wish to remember

Those who have

Lived and died and

Continue to live.

 

Stone, brick or cement

Though they be

And empty

They remain

But for the meaning

Thus imbued by

Recollections

Of those who live and

Continue to live.

 

The moment each shrine

Is complete

A silent door is hinged

Wherein

Transfer from beyond

To now

Dwells in possibility

And the honored ghost

Continues to live.

 

Once, three figures born

Of one mother the same

In the identical hour

Released from a

A fragile frame

Walked the earth

Together

Until the day two

Continued to live.

 

Snow filled the sky

It flew and then danced

Down

Muffled were the sounds

Of voices and steps

Covered was the ground

Invisible were

The dirt and lake to those who

Continued to live.

 

Three walked together

And then there were two

Four feet tread trails

Already trodden

And two feet

Fell through

Ice that was cold

But thin to the touch of those who

Continued to live.

 

The third of three

Kicked and thrashed

Her icey eyes looked

For the hole

The whole of her

Goal was to find the shaft

Of light defining

Entrance to the world of those who

Continue to live.

 

The two above and

The one below

Extended their hands

Reaching for connection

Hoping for protection

Fighting for collection

Until silence filled the

Place below the feet of those who

Continued to live.

 

The snow fell with fury

Painting the place

With a peaceful scene

Covering

Tragedy

With serenity and

Swallowing the

Evidence of she who could not

Continue to live.

 

The two left behind

Erected a shrine

Of flakes that dropped down

And those on the ground

With frost-bitten hands

Stiffened by tears

Fallen and petrified

From the eyes of those who

Continue to live.

 

Inside the creation

Devised of snow

When final touches of

Eyes and nose

Were placed in honor

Of she who was gone

A door was hinged

Between the dead and those who

Continue to live.

 

When two journey into the woods

To embrace the one who fell

She opens the door

Through the visage of snow

And enters the world

Once more

Invisible to most

But fully present with the two who

Continue to live.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

 

 

 

Givers and Takers

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“Do not ask me when I came

To this place,”

Said the woman with no face.

“I was sent here,

I had no choice but to

slide,

well,

to glide

and still I descend.”

 

Tucked within the folds

Of society there are

Givers and Takers

Masked

In creases too deep

To iron straight

The fabric is

No bigger

Nor is it new

Than the day the

First snow fell

When the earth was a child,

Cooing into the

Star-dotted

Expanse.

 

“I gave him my money,”

She said as she pressed

Her handkerchief

To her lips.

“His chest puffed out

large

and his fists

were in charge

of my perception

of who he was.”

 

They took what they wanted

These gave what they could

When the giving was

Gone

These too

Followed the way

Of no more.

 

“We gave him

our trust

wrapped in small hands

and hugs

tight

meant to squeeze

the dark from his heart.”

Said she. And he,

“I wanted his insides

to fall

on the floor

and to mend the tears

that were

bleeding him dry.”

 

The little ones

Wrapped up their hope

Attached it to a rope

And threw it over the side

They watched

As the ocean

Of their innocence

Sucked it away

But they could not

Stay

And were dropped

Into the fray.

 

“He took my heart,

well,

I offered it first

in the palm of my hand

in the center of my glove,”

Her words are

Heard through

Lips of wood

Dried up

From kissing

He

Who sucked the

Softness from her

Face,

“I stood in the shadows

and lifted him high

like a marionette

hanging from the sky

above his frame

until the day

he bundled his life

and tiptoed away

and I like a cat

well,

a stray.”

 

Each Giver

Cascading down

With souls like

Waterfalls

Beautiful and

Giving life

To the bodies above

And will again

To the bodies below

Upon their arrival.

 

The Takers

Whose hands press

Hard against the Givers’ backs

Are milling about at the top

Of the hill

Wallowing about and

Will be there still

Taking and taking and

Taking

Until . . .

 

“We journey with

hearts that are heavy,

it’s true,

but we do not regret

the debt we’ve accrued.

To give

is to abundantly live

and the magic of

living

is to be filled

anew

with all that we have

given away.”

 

If you wander through

An open place and

Hear behind you

The gliding of

The Givers

Stop and

Turn around and

Bear witness

To their

Grace.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

(Photo credit: German painter Heiko Müller’s piece, Snow Daze.  http://www.heikomueller.de )

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