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Necessary Whispers

Inevitable Séance

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She drags her pencil at an angle

Lead falls against the page

It breaks apart

Slowly reaching the edge—

Splintered wood above

Paper below

Something new

Never before

It could be anything, or nothing,

She wipes dusted shrapnel

To the floor.

 

 

Touching but separate

Never one and always two

Like sky and horizon until

A tornado vacuums through

Pulling down and lifting

The edges

From above to below—

A little like chaos

A little like science

They meet in the middle,

Inevitable séance.

 

 

The ocean and the shore

Knew the game before

On the other side of yesterday

When rain poured

Through a sieve of clouds

First drenching

Then drowning

The ones whose eyes refused their faith

“Head up, above the chin,”

Soaked through and buried among

Unheard teeth shaped in hasty goodbyes.

 

 

One and one

A Daisy in a pot

One nourished by the sun

The other fed by the holding of

The purpose in

His shape made for

The shape within—

Holding side by side

Because the boundaries were set

Until shattered around,

Fragility amplified.

 

 

A single flame pierces the night—

Over there a cigarette

Held between the lips of one

Whose ambition dwindles in darkness

His soul furnished in sparseness

And holding hope for a single release

From the day

From the night

He holds the light

Smells it ignite

Burns through to midnight.

 

 

She drags her pencil at an angle

Creating something new

Still

Her one

And the one she draws

Will always be two—

Unless,

A tornado combines

The ocean pours right through

His muddy boot smashes

Or flames creep up the sides.

 

 

“It cannot be forced,”

She says to herself,

Words released on a familiar sigh

Echoing from the past

Swirling above the present

Atmosphere heavy with questions

Treading lightly but fast—

She stops her hand

Examines the line

Puts her pencil down

And looks at the time.

 

–copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: Alessandro Sicioldr‘s piece entitled, “La Stanza Rossa.”  60x70cm – oil on wood.  If you would like to see more of Alessandro’s work, please visit his website and his Facebook page:  Alessandro’s Website , Alessandro’s Facebook Page .

 

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Knowing Is the Only Knowing

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She put her hands above her face—

Fingers long and slender—

Extended her neck so she could see

Behind the shadow and under the moonlight

As though a longer neck would help her eyes

To focus.

 

 

It is funny the things we do

When we want to

See

What is real.

We stand up taller

Use a cloth to clean our glasses

Rub our eyelids and

Open them wide.

Perhaps

We are the only animals

To do such things

And the only animals that

Lie.

We have to make concessions.

 

 

He cupped his hands to the back of his ears—

Strands of hair got in the way—

Hid behind a tree so he could hear

The songs she sang to herself

As though his hands were gathering

The sound.

 

 

It is desperate the things we do

When we want to

Hear

What is real.

We bend at the waist

And strain our backs

We twist our necks and

Close our eyes to block out

The rest.

When we want to hear

A voice and

Presence of another

It is a choice.

We cannot rely on chance.

 

 

She lifted her nose toward the winter branches—

Her neck lay all the way back—

From inside the crook of an Oak

She could vaguely smell the cigar he smoked

The dampened mud rose to

Camouflage the scent.

 

 

It is urgent the things we do

When we want to

Smell

What is real.

We close our eyes

Soften our lips

Lift our nostrils

Like wisps of smoke

To conjure the

Air floating in invisible wafts

Around us

Brought down by

A spell wrought by the will

To discover the whole instead of a sliver.

 

 

He touched the soggy leaves under his shoes—

Buried his fingers all the way through—

To ask the earth if she was near

His fear was that he would not feel

Her footsteps

So he crawled until an indentation appeared.

 

 

It is passionate the things we do

When we want to

Feel

What is real.

We bend our knees

Put our faces to the ground

Cover the backs of our heads

With our hands

And roll our bodies down

As low as we

Can go

Because the

Earth will tell the truth

About how to lay ourselves low.

 

 

She kissed the back of his head—

He was kneeling in the mud—

Told him without words

That he was found

And to the ground

She sank beside him.

 

 

It is magnificent the things we do

When we want to

Taste

What is real.

We open our mouths

Let the edge of our

Tongues

Invite the textures

And the taste

The sweet

The sour

The bitter

The salt—

Nourished by the whole.

 

 

For a moment each of them broke

Like a glass

And their senses spilled

On the ground

Gravity let them fall around—

Sight and hearing,

Smells

Touch and

Taste

No longer necessary

Because when a thing is real

Knowing is the only knowing.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: This poem was inspired by a sculpture created by German artist Isabell Kamp.  The sculpture is entitled, Past d.  If you would like to see more of her work, please visit her Facebook page and/or website: Isabella Facebook Page ,Isabell’s Website

Unencumbered

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She collected recollections

From the past

As though they were

Trinkets from a shop

Where antiques—

Roughly used and rusting—

Lay waiting,

Lay trusting

Their time would come again.

 

Again yesterday came

But with a different name

“Today”

So she sat with her

Treasures

Stoic and measured

With a grip not to lose

For if she loosened her hold

They may drip away.

 

Away from the darkness

Of her previous losses

She looked toward the light

Lost her sight

At the brilliance it held

Shuttered with fear

Melted with doubt

Stifled her silent shout

With a thought.

 

The thought

A question

Singed with intention

Smoking

Like the barrel of a gun

Prompting her

To run

Instead of stay—

But she stayed.

 

Stayed in the place

Where she planted the seeds

Grass to grow

To overthrow

The things it seemed

She could not let go

Like a patient

Patiently awaiting

Death.

 

Death that rides

On the back of loss

That stabs at the fear

Of drawing near

“Don’t move from here”

She whispered out loud

And hoped the desire to move

Would evaporate

Like a cloud.

 

Clouds of then

Filled the present

A fog in this room

Invaded by the presence

Of shadows—

Not men—

Only places

They may have been

Had they stayed.

 

Staying threatened her breath

As the air turned white

The longing for safety

Compromised

By this encroaching night

The fear of losing

Being lost from her sight

As a struggle to gain

Awoke to the fight.

 

Fighting for air

She stood to her feet

Considered her options:

Victory / Defeat—

Destruction seemed easy

To fail is so clean

Triumph unknown

Invites mystery:

Shrapnel of

The unforeseen.

 

Unforeseen was the way

Mighty was the day

When the roots that held

Were cut away

When her voice

Unvoiced

Found the breath to say,

“Tomorrow

is where my future—

unencumbered—

lay.”

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: This beautiful piece is by German artist Justine Otto.  Titled: Fourth Corner, 130 x 180 cm, oil on linen, 2013.  To view more of Justine’s work, please visit her website and Facebook page: Justine’s Website , Justine’s Facebook Page .

 

I Will Tell You What to See

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I will tell you what to see—

Everything but me—

A variety:

First, the shape my lips take

When I smile

Then, only aspects of my style—

The ones that deceive the senses

Lower your defenses

Make you wonder

Confidence thrown asunder

A breeze

Whizzing by your certainty

A tornado—

Or a reverie—

Where the facts

Are art-i-facts

Designed to twist

To burrow in your mind

Then to grow

Into trees of truth

Where flowers of falsified youth

And branches that carry the load

Explode into blossoms and

Inspire.

 

 

Time evaporates into years

My collection has piled

Your recollection defiled

Melted

Reshaped

Into unknown

Unsuspected, unsuspecting

Wisdom flown

From your mind

And into my hands

Like clay

Shaped, reshaped

The size of the holes

On either side of your nose

Where what you see

Is only dreams—

The ones I dare to

Echo

Deflected from the truth

Reflected onto the marquee

Like a refugee memory

No longer sure

Which way

Is home.

 

 

I will choose the color,

You will trust my hand

Not because your will is irrelevant

Only because

You cannot understand—

And—

You trust

The choices

I make

Wait for the plans

The paths

That I take

Like a child—

Hope outstretched

Faith recklessly displaced—

Still you smile

And wait to see

What you will be-come

When the operation in done

Your vision restored

To my point of view

The illusion of Truth

Wrapped inside

Like a film reel

Reflecting

My cinematic lies.

 

 

The seed is sown

The deed is done

Now water it with your tears

Blink until you make it your own

Follow my finger

First up and then

Down

First left and then

Right,

“Don’t fight

let it be

trust me

I know the plans

I have for you:

to kill the boredom

to steal the dream

to destroy the blinding vision

to replace it with soothing

fabrication and

elation

for today.

Today is all that matters.

One more spin

Your view will be new—

you will thank me

when I am through.”

 

 

“I can see”

said she who trusted.

“Thanks for your selection.

How can I repay your

close attention,

touch easing apprehension,

voice soothing

the searing dissonance of

incomprehension?”

She wiped a tear

From the corner

Of her newly installed

Perception.

 

 

She who answered

Leaned in

Close

Low

Bestowed the wages

To be collected on

Another day,

“Only three things I pray:

go further than you intended to go

stay longer than you intended to stay

pay more than you were willing to pay.”

 

 

I will tell you what to see—

Everything but me—

I will whisper in the breeze

Rolling from the sea,

Caress your lips

From a hot cup of tea,

Sing in your ear

On the notes of a melody,

Just as long

As you agree

Never

To set me free.

 

-copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

Photo Credit: this poem was inspired by German painter Justine Otto‘s piece, New Shine. 120 x 100 cm, oil on canvas, 2015.  Please explore this amazing artist’s work at her website or on her Facebook page: Justine’s Website , Justine’s Facebook.

Café of Islands

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A brick wall

Falling down

Not down and around

Only down

Crumbling toward the ground

The way crumbs

Tumble from scones.

 

The drone of the machine

Espresso ground

Milk being steamed

Coins dropping

Into a glass mug

Tips for a job well done.

 

Each table is a life

Unto itself

Every person an objective

Reaching

Breaching other island-tables

Not an option

For

We are all alone

In this crowd.

 

Unique and new

And yet,

All seen before

The way Carl Jung

Said that even our dreams

Are shared—

The archetypes of those

Who have gone before

Sit now

Working, stoic,

Talking

Sipping

Fiddling with their pens

All

In an effort to find the right words

Or look right

While writing

The words meant to fill

The page and the time.

 

A woman wearing

North Face,

Facing the window

Speaks loudly about her travels

Every sentence

Some new place

Every description

Some old face

She talks and talks and I wonder

Who she wishes to hear

Her—

The her she shares

With those at the table

Addresses

Filled with he’s

Who listen—

They have no other choice,

To share stories of their own

Is not afforded—

An audience of many

To a line-up

Of one.

 

A quilted vest across the room

Turquoise in color

Hugs the center of a woman

Gray and wrinkled

Smiling as she gives and takes

With a she whose hair is blond—

Old and young

Combine to share the moment

With a muffin at the center

Polite picking apart

Not too much taken

At any one time

By any one woman—

The art of give and take:

Smiles

Conversation

Chocolate chips and

Careful sips.

 

A man just walked in

He met a girl

She fixed her collar

Flipped her hair—

Her secret is simple:

She was waiting

But made it seem

Like not—

Her waiting there

Anticipating there

Was filled with the papers in front of her hands

But only doodles,

Nothing but google searches

Social media and

Watching the clock on her phone—

A carefully timed dance of

Looking busy and

Hair flipping

And the kind of hello

That projects

Emotional control.

 

A gentleman with glasses

At the tip of his nose

Two cups of coffee

But he sits alone

Well, not alone,

He is surrounded by Us

Who he cannot hear

Because his earbuds

Sing close

Like a hug around his ears—

His eyes focus down

Never around

He did not come to socialize

He did not come to share his mind

But maybe the space—

Better than being alone.

 

The brick walls crumble

As this intersection of lives—

The communion of me and the others—

Breathes through the coffee-filled air

Together but

Separate and alone—

Until one of Us says,

“Hello.”

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

Photo Credit: This piece by German artist Miriam Vlaming is entitled, Subground.  160 x 130 cm, Egg tempera on canvas.  Please feel free to further explore Valming’s art at her website and Facebook page: Miriam’s Website , Miriam’s Facebook.

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