A Way to Live

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

When I am old, I wish to say
in truthfulness and peace:
“I have lived a life of love.”

Let me live in such a way
that I can say:

I have lived with strength and passion,
fully with compassion,
connection and awareness.

I have sat with pain and loss,
the poignant pang of the world;
a container for myself,
a container for others’ truths,
to hear
to touch
to see.

I have danced joy and magic
to the songs of all humanity
and beyond.

I have loved
and loved myself as well as others.

Let me say
I have not slept through life
or wasted my days on work I loathe.
I have spent my hours on that which feeds my soul,
which nourishes,
which fulfills.

I have tasted the fullness of my meals
and truly experienced each day
however mundane,
finding the remarkable in the ordinary.

I have truly lived,
and noticed life around me,
felt the kiss of sky
and sun, and starlight
on my skin.

I have lived a story worth telling,
mythical and beautiful,
richly textured.

Let me live in this way,
that I may say at the end of my days,
“Yes, oh yes,
I have lived.

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She Contains Infinity

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

If I were to open up my love’s skin
with teeth and tongue and hands,
a thousand searing kisses,
I would not find flesh and blood.

Stars would spill out in a river of light:
glittering planets
tiny suns
pinpoints of heat in the vastness of her soul.

In place of a heart-muscle shines the light of the universe,
the aurora burst of a star
dying and being reborn again and again,
incandescent,
the primal forgefires of creation.

I see evidence of her starspun soul
in freckled constellations scattered across her white gold skin,
in the luminosity of her nebula eyes,
in the solar flare of her smile.

I kiss her curving mouth
and taste infinity.

Meanderings of Love

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written in February 2007.

1. Risk

I’ve played Risk with love
laying out pieces of my heart on the map
but I am a lousy tactician
and refuse to gamble
keeping all the little red figures of me/you/us
in the places easily defended
like Australia, with only one way in
or out.

I’m one for three
A victory for me and you and love, somehow,
and two games lost to loss and fear.
(It’s a big board.)

There’s a new game now
Me and you and love and her
And there’s a player in Australia
with one way in or out
and for once
it isn’t me

which scares the fuck out of me.
See? fear chews at my scattered pieces
backs me into corners
till there’s nowhere to go but
you
and
her
and I’m frightened of Australia
with its one way out –
It doesn’t look so safe anymore
with her pieces hiding in its ocean-walls.

It is my turn
and I am afraid
to move.

————

2. Change

is the Wheel of Fortune
all sun and starlight
a breath before the plummet.
“L _ V E”
what could it be
take a spin
bankruptcy
screwed again by

Change

is Death
with its ending and beginning
transformative
necessary . . .
but I hate it and I fear it
and Love is just Death
disguised so it can
sneak up on you
court you with a smile
and ivory kisses
before the scythe blow
of

Change

is the Tower
crumbling tumbling pain
making room for growth
(but that hurts too)
and I’m the
falling
crumpling
shadow
crashing into

Change

————

3. Taming

I keep falling for the wild ones
gypsy rovers with tangled manes
legs chalked in travel-dust
slaves to the next horizon
enthralled by roadsong.

It’s the wild in their eyes
and souls
felinity purring through heated veins
prancing horse-pride
wolf stalking through movement
wary glitterings in the eyes
fang and shadow refusing
to be
tamed.

Somehow I fall in love
with this wilderness embodied
and this scent of deep pine woods
and this autumn leaf-must
and this wind of storm and freedom
it calls me close
to reach
to touch
to own . . .

but this is humanity whispering in my blood
tweaking startled neurons
with that age-old need to
possess
tame
defend
make it yours and yours alone
not enough to watch or
content myself with the gift
of a wildling’s trust.

But to possess and turn the wild
to my hand turns it to
dust and ash and
makes it tame
and a dog is not a wolf
and a cat is not a lion
and a rover tied
is a spirit broken.

I
must not –
cannot –
possess
the wild things I love
for that turns all
into that which
I
cannot
respect.

————

4. Skydiving

she is
not safe
to love

but love is not safe
and that which I love
is never
safe.

I’m learning this game
– slowly, slowly –
risk is change and
opening up to pain
and loss.
(I hate to lose.)

Love is a choice,
he said:
you do not fall into it
but chase it
choose it
leap
into that infernal flame
and be transformed.

How can you leap into your life,
she sang,
if you never jump
at all?

The fire burns
The height terrifies
and I do not trust
these fragile wings –
I haven’t tested them
not yet.

Fear of love and fear of loss
sabotages love itself
that’s me – the saboteur
of my happiness
– Not anymore.

no limits and no fear

let go

think phoenix
and fly.

That Strange Madness

November 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Written in November 2006

“I love you.”

Those three words terrify me. I use them only sparingly at first, with utmost care; once said several times, the phrase loses its potency and becomes a comfort, a soft whiff of warmth on the breeze of breath.

I love you.

Powerful words for a powerful state. I wouldn’t call it an emotion – it’s more of a deep psychological drive, too complex to be mere feeling. Some say it readily, caught in the rush of passion mingled with intimacy, that high of infatuation; I don’t trust an early “I love you”. It’s too quick. Too easy. Too little thought. You can’t know yet, I say, agonized sometimes because I feel it too but I know it could just be hormones and the in-love high. Don’t say it. Not yet.

I love you.

I bite back the words for the first months of a relationship. I love you means commitment; I love you means there’s no turning back. Once I admit it, I can’t stop it. Once I say it, I’m open; I’m vulnerable; I’ve given over a part of myself. It’s dangerous. It’s difficult. It’s a rush.

But I have to make sure it’s not just infatuation. Have to make sure it’s going to last. Have to make sure I’m really willing to commit to it. So I wait, and probe at the feeling/state, and question it, and run it through a hundred analyzations, and wait some more – wait until I’m as certain as I can be. Until it batters against the cage of clenched teeth, tightens chest and throat and tongue with the strain of caging it, until I can’t restrain it any longer and it breaks free in a naked trembling revelation:

I love you.

That’s the process I go through with a romantic relationship, anyway. The courting, the circling, drawing near and shying away until I’m certain of safety.

There are other types of relationships too, though, and the only difference is the expression of love. I firmly maintain that there is only one kind of love, but that there are many different expressions of that love. To me, a romantic relationship is just a close friendship with sexual contact; there’s little emotional difference except in sociocultural conditioning and hormonal passion.

Maybe this way of looking at things is why it’s easy for me to be polyamorous. I love certain friends as deeply as any lover; I’d just never have sex with them. I’m as committed to them and have as intimate a connection with them as with a lover, but there’s little to no physical passion. And while physical passion is nice, and even desirable… it’s not high on my list of Necessary Things for a relationship.

So – I don’t make much of a distinction between close friend and lover. I do make some distinction, obviously; the phrase “I love you” comes into play more with lovers, and gets agonized over more – but that’s mostly because passion confuses the issue so much, and I have to make sure I’m not mistaking passion for complete, companionate love. I do not say “I love you” to friends, either – not in a serious, sincere manner, anyway – unless I am very close to them.

Here is the difference between “I care about you” and “I love you”. Caring is safer; loving is threatening. Love requires care, but care is not as complete as love. I can care about a person without committing to them; I can care deeply about a person without giving them access to the soft vulnerable parts beneath skin and shell and word-distance.

When I say I love you, I mean that I trust you. When I say I love you, I mean that I will stay as long as it is healthy, and likely a bit longer. When I say I love you, I mean that you may enter my dusty closets, touch my skeletons and scars, taste my shadows, hear my song and scream and taloned shriek.

I love you means I am laid bare and open and raw before you, a split carcass with the organs still beating within, and trust you not to consume me into nothing. Because to me, there is no love without trust; no relationship without closeness; no closeness without vulnerability.

I don’t stop loving. But I can lock it away, if you bite and cut and tear too hard. Love is honest, too; and love means I will hurt you if you need it. I love you does not make me a doormat; if this gift is abused, rejected, misused – it can be boxed up again, hidden in the wound you left and sealed within the scab. If you strike even the softest place enough times, it will callous and toughen and scar; there is no need for that. I have enough armor to protect the places between skin and soul.

This is what I love you means to me. It is as much a burden as it is a gift.

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