Be Brave

Spencer and the dolphin

Be Brave

And now that you are here be brave
When you say it as an imperative,
You strip away choice
Courage comes like a crouching tiger
Across the page
Laying in wait for his cowardly prey
He seeks fear, that warrior, Bold
Even the B stands tall, puffed out chest
Posture and stance are more than half of it anyway
Oh, be brave
Your choices are weak

The words birth emotion
Hot breathes seep through the cracks in your teeth as you say it several times
Sizzling heat
Builds up steam as you build strength,
As you inhale the words

Cowardice leaves through the cracks in your armor
At the very sound of the phrase
Power and strength begin as you state it
Again and again
Repetition doubles your chances for a win
And now that you are here be brave
Second cousin to let there be light
The genesis of new life

Ready now to bury fear like you cover me
Gently, as I lay dormant in the night
With your body’s heat
Night after frigid night
We wait
Hoping it into existence
Watering the miniscule seeds

Have you seen the size of a radish seed?
Promise is buried in our own backyard.
Red is the color of brave.

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Writing in community with Tweetspeak Poetry.
Using a line from Peter Gizzi’s poem “Tiny Blast” as a poetry prompt.
Gizzi is author of In Defense of Nothing

Through The Screen Door: A Poetic Parable

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Through The Screen Door

She sat
Legs crossed
Hopes dashed
World tumbling, hunched over peering into the pool of liquid salt
Bruised a bit by the news
Uncrossed her legs
Stood and rose
Rose and walked
No it was more of a march
One step into the dark and she began to dash
No sprint
Her ambivalent speed
Mirrored her ambivalent hope
But the screen, ripped and torn, worked as a sieve
And the more she pressed her nose into the ragged and rough, pressed not into glass but mesh
The clearer she saw the what was to be seen
Past the fog
Into
Revealed truth
The veil of truth through the rough and ragged rust. No Windex could wipe the dirt and bring a shine. Not with the screen.
No cleansing or scrubbing or grit and might. Power and grease from the elbow of her hand could wipe it till it squeaks a perfectly polished squeak.

So she resolved to see through the filter of filth and pain. Past the crosshairs of the wire that warped the view.
And so it was.
She befriended the screen. And grew to love the protection it brought. The shield it was in its role as screen. And she loved the screen and the view from its other side.
No longer did she long for the polish and pristine lens of a clear view through glass.
She saw the door made of screen as a portal of hope.
Hope lead to hope on hope.
And that lead her to see the cross in her hunched and leaning stance
As the cross of hope, seated at the threshold of Mercy.
New.
And she loved the screen and her view from right here. And she put to rest her longing for more.
And grew to love her view through the ragged screen door.

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By The Vine

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By The Vine


The image is haunting
Fresh ghosts, no old ghosts or past demons
More of a grey entanglement
Never was there a more perfect physical picture
Eerily beautiful
Twisted with potential
You, wrestling the old, welcoming the new
I, an admirer of your work
You, artist, sculpting out of brittle death
A place
For new life

The work is daunting
Man fighting nature, on the cusp of Spring, you take charge
More of a knight in shining armor
Never was there a more perfect image of you saving us
Brashly handsome
Plucked from a fairy tale
You, saving the day, battling the old enemies, ours and theirs
I, the princess, receiving the fruits of your labor
You, the warrior, slaying the dragons of what was before
A place
For new life

We had no choice in this tale of ours
Happily ever after
Comes to those
Who cut back

The vines that choke a life
You went in
Guns ablazing
And we ended up on top


Round and Round We Went

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Round And Round We Went

It looks like lunacy
This repeating of mistakes
And words, in the ditch, in the gutter, stuck in the groove of
Well intended emphasis
Pounding it out and dancing ’round

Peace comes in the dancing in circles like a spinning top only
If you are two in a tulle skirt
In the kitchen, giddy young
Drunk on air and youth

But we know it all and this and that and
A thing or two of circling round like fighters in the ring
Someone always gets bloodied up
Black eyes, the mark of the warrior who fought hard
No need for
White flags or olive branches, doves
Nothing stops us until we are down for the count
We lick out wounds, healing hidden in the tongue
The same one which spoke the wounds

But now the circle has been broken
I released you at last
You flew off straight and strong, headlong into the unknowing, surely you knew
Freedom came in the unfurling of my weary white knuckled boney hands

Now we dance, we are new and two again
Walking in a straight line, side by side

And I stand alone now
Circling the cross
Quiet warrior, retired from the ring

It looks like lunacy
To those who never knew

A quiet warrior, retired from the ring