Natural Disasters

I remember peak levels of anxiety as a hurricane
swirled through a month ago
A public show of wind
and rain
and strength
that echoed a private show of
and fear
and weakness
both of them equally
destructive creations
of circumstance
I slept soundly through the storm
a sign of exhaustion
not of peace

Clear clean air
and debris
greeted me the following day
a lightness in my heart
a mess in my mind
But it was clear:
what survived was here to stay

The clean up was slow and arduous
so many dead and useless things to sift through
that the work seemed endless
I was cut and bruised
but there was progress
There was peace in silence
company in alonedom
clarity in the havoc

The debris was put into neat little piles as
they were picked up
until suddenly
without warning
or gesture
they were all gone
alternating patches of dead grass
and wild greens
the only proof
that what passed through
was real


A Softer Grip

No mysteries
no fears
no doubts
stand a chance
when you’re sitting under a tree
facing the sunset
and maybe
in the haziness of the moment
in the soft focus that fringes the view
this act of deliberate stillness
where the sounds of life layer
one on
top of
the other
brings to light everything I’ve ever held onto

Misery loves company
but so does anxiety
I’v fanned the flames to
and fear
for so long that
like a desperately drowning person
I almost brought down those who tried to help me
Like watercolor
the pain that I’ve kept alive
has bled into my story and my identity
but it was far from beautiful
And never once did it occur to me
until now
that a stooped frame deserves to stand tall again

I’ve done so much holding
I think it’s time I start letting go

A Year of Falls

Last fall
parts of me died along with the leaves
What was once green and vibrant
abruptly turned brown and dull
I can say with certainty
that parts of me continue to die everyday
But now
in the throws of autumn
there is a transition that wasn’t there before
I am full of shade of
and orange
and gold
life has managed to start all over again
as it got crisp in the fall


I remember a childhood surrounded by water
trips to a small beach
and plastic cups full
of salt water with milk
teeth next to them
I was fearless and bold in the way that children are
I was happiest underwater and in the depths
And now
with my milk teeth
lost to time and the
victories and losses
of my life scarring
my skin
I’m remembering how to plunge again
how to find that sense of home
and of self
in the silence
with only blue light for company


I am human
a finite being in
an infinite universe
but no less a part
of the cosmic order
I am riddled with fissures
but I am also no different than
the waves that scallop
sand and sculpt
or the redwoods
that tower over man
and bend under god
or the heat that
radiates from a fire
as it destroys to

I am more than the words
others have thrown at me
or the words that I have
thrown at myself
I am a composition of
elements and
I am more than this
devil inside of me

A Note for the Anxious

Regardless of what does or doesn’t happen
time will continue to move
the sun will speed through the sky
the moon will cycle through her phases
Whether you resist or accept it
you’re on an ever-moving projection
that only knows forward
So when your heart drums wildly during the peak
or when you’re drained after the crash
know that the real sense of peace arrives
the following day
when the dawn breaks through
and you see that
you survived


This inability to see myself
as others do has me at a loss
like grasping at air
or opening my mouth
to having nothing but
silence spill out
When it seems like there is
how do you look yourself
in the eye and confirm
that there is