God Poems, Nature Poem, Photo Poetry, Photography, Poetry

Photo Poetry: God Flower

Shadow at the tips and
Shadow at the center like
A god who is honest about
What it means to be a god.

Absence
Presence

Glory
Absence

-M.

I am legally blind so I know—photography is a weird sport for me. What I am finding so lovely about it though is that I am often capturing with the camera things I would have never seen with my naked eye. To me, in the bright day, this gazania looked like a simple white blur on a field of messy green. It wasn’t until I got home and started working with the picture that I saw all it’s beautiful purple and that soft explosion of orange at the center. I look forward to many more visual surprises the camera is bound to catch for m.

Creative Nonfiction, Memoir, Photography, Writing Life

Two Ouija Boards Under the Bed

Photo Prompt: What game are you playing in life? Learn the rules. Win the game.

Some people have monsters under their beds. Some people have shoes and extra blankets. Some people have porn. Some very lucky people have money. I have two Ouija boards—one made by my best friend—the beautiful one, board and friend—and one made by Hasbro—the glow-in-the-dark one, the one covered in dust and almost crushed by my ancient, broke-down box spring.

This is the game I am playing with life. I talk to spirits constantly. I’m sure they all put the Michelle-specific ear plugs in long ago. I have nightmares that are backwards prophecies. Life seems to be moving without me touching it—though really I must be touching it. I’m so white, I glow in the dark. The best parts of me were made by love.

Once, I wondered if sleeping with two Ouija boards under my bed was the reason I have nightmares every night, but then I realized only I can give them that power, and I only would give them that power if I moved them elsewhere in fear. I left them where they were and although I still have nightmares, I am winning this game.

-M.

God Poems, Poetry

All Dizzy Things

The Star is the center. All
Things revolve around it—the
Room, dimly lit—the flashing
Optics—gilded mirrors that
Turn on time—doors pulling
Themselves open and closed—
Gears, wheels, sprockets,
Springs—gods, humanity—
All dizzy things.

-M.

God Poems, Poetry

The Star

Is he the black dog in the night when
it’s noon and all the lights are on,
or is he the star around which
noon and all the light revolves. To know
him with bare eyes is blindness. We see
him once, poorly, and never anything again
but the flash burned into our corneas—
the red, the lightening purple, the terrible
white. The half memory our only light.
And he would still not be
black dog in the night,
nor black dog at noon.
He would still be the light itself
and we irreversible, starless, dying.

-M.

Creative Nonfiction, Personal Essay, Prose, Writing Exercises

Natively Unquiet

Tell me about silence.

If you threw the Empire State Building into a raging sea, no one would know the difference. Deepak Chopra said something like that, advocating for meditation. I bet the people of New York would know the difference–their skyline sadly quieter again.

But not silent.

There is no such thing. Like time and god, it’s something we conceptualize, track our lives by, aspire to. But there is always some sound. There is always some imperfection. Our own breath. Our own heartbeat. The mortal body regulating itself as it slowly, calmly perishes.

And that’s not a bad thing. Humans will never be gods and humans will also never know silence or be silent. We are the creatures we are, natively, and we are an unsubtle, noisy lot.

When I try to be silent, movies related to the logistics of eternity flicker across the insides of my eyelids. I’ve learned (sometimes) to watch and not participate, like seekers of silence and stillness are supposed to do, but even when the films are silent films, there is still the sound of the flickering, still the hum of electricity to projector that bolts through the physical brain. The slapstick of memory and trauma and dream and inspiration plays itself out and I laugh. As silent as I am, as unmoving as my belly and throat are–still there is the laugh.

That’s probably the foundational sound of the universe–the breath and heartbeat sound even she can’t get away from when she curves back into herself to resettle before birthing herself, from herself, again.

-M.

66 Day Poetry Habit, God Poems, Poetry

Mending

A baby blanket the size of
A grown woman’s
Bed—the grown woman
Lying in her god’s lap in
Pain

They go to the bathroom
Together one of those
Weird couples who go to
The bathroom together
Because

She cannot walk or stand on
Her own

Or sit or lie or do
Any other thing on
Her own when that
Pain comes to take
Its tax

Oh my god I’m in
Agony

The Great Destroyer we
Don’t believe in together has
Wrapped me skin and
Bone in thick veils of
Agony

Her god offers her a bit of
Cookie and promises her
This bit of cookie the
First food she’s eaten in
A day

Will be the pleasure of
A prayer

And not make her
Sick it’s a big promise—a
Promise only a great god
Has the heart to make
And keep

-M.
(Day 21 of my 66 Day Poetry Habit. Three weeks! Three weeks on a bit of a sad note, but three weeks nonetheless. I wasn’t going to write today. I thought I needed another P day, but I’m glad I sat down with my book and did it anyway. It’s always better to write than not to write. How often we need that reminder.)