Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me of You

20161017_150238.jpg

Even Bob Dylan Reminds Me Of You

I have a frayed quilt, folded
Age frays fiber like a document shredder frays secrets
It lays limp as a reminder
Of reconciliation
Anchored, the weight of redemption holds it
In place
Like black vinyl held his lines for years
Before Pandora gathered the whole collection in a mysterious cyber place

(You’ve never seen it, you loved quilts, but this one you would not)
The yellow squares are a billion one inch pieces
No one will count-check behind me
The yellow squares scream louder than a caution light
The shade is one off of gauche

But it’s the story that marries peace with threads
Storytellers know
Poets do too
Fraying helps the edginess

I love every square inch
Except the polyester fabric
Which is 100 percent of this masterpiece
Sewn by church ladies
Or a grieving widow or an Appalachian blue haired lady, retired from teaching
An educated guess at best

The giver is whom I love
I wish the quilt were cotton
Breathable
Some days the man-made fiber suffocates
But sentiment makes me hold on helpless
To surrender
Hope

I can’t get away from your dying
Even the everywhere’s I used to go
To hide and grieve
Have the hollow feel
Of bristling poly-fibers

Flammable, like my burning grief
It is early
The flame still burns
But I’ve got a head start
Preparing for good-bye
With the covers pulled up to my hairline

I sang Amazing Grace to you
And then I realized
If you could remember
If you could speak

You would have preferred Bob Dylan

The prophet, the poet, the Nobel Prize receiver
You saw his greatness before the committee

Knocking on heaven’s door
Simple twist of fate
I shall be released
The times they are a-changin
Just like a woman

You Are My Sunshine and Amazing Grace
Let’s pretend they were Dylan’s version

(We needed the words of a poet
We still do)
We both know Dylan could rock

You are my sunshine

 

 

In The Middle Of Grief

In The Middle Of Grief

No start here’s demarcated for convenience, clearly
Black and white signage gone missing
Like a crucial stop sign stolen by the juvenile for wall art in their dorm

No lesson plan, well bullet-pointed, yellow Sharpie highlighted
Key points in bold to guide you
Clear as water, bought and paid for

No manual, though plenty of truisms
“Grief shared is grief diminished”
Comes to mind amid the grief

No terra firma
Safe harbors
Ports in the storm for the rocking boat

For the raw time being
In the beginning there is death, and we are parted
Dearly departed, we
Until the healing begins

And you begin to move through the arc of grief
Slow, not steady
Like an 8th grader, in Calculus class
Over their head, up to their mascara heavy, eye-shadow laden eyeballs
In deep

Walking to the grave helps
Just don’t watch me grieve
You told me all I need to know
I was loved
I loved
Well

There is no middle
There is no end
The circle is never broken

Ashes to ashes, dust to dusk
And then the bell rings
Time’s up, pencils down

It is well to remember
You were loved
You loved
Well

The circle of love is never broken, friend
Your bark has made it’s mark on me

 

 

 

 

When Grief Is Like A Runaway Train

mt church

When Grief Is Like A Runaway Train

There is a hole as wide as a manhole cover
Shot through the inside of me
We are tangled up in a web of grief
And darkness cannot hide

The sun is screaming today
There are words behind the rays
Sweat and blood drip
We are hot and tired

The ties that bind
Cords of humanity are stronger than the death grip
I see a cord of three
Still
I know

The web is tangled, connecting us
All
Me to you and you to them and me to them
The those who gathered to pray
When hate walked in

Shot a hole through the insides of the souls
Gathered and huddled round the holy
And darkness cannot hide
For we all shall gather to pray

I want to wipe the tears
And say I love
And say I am sorry
Holy Comforter call us into the healing

My sentences run fast and hard and choppy
The train of grief is slow, then fast and then it runs away
Before it slows and stops
And lets the grieving grieve

Heavy
The past that casts a shadow on the
Now
They chose the nighttime to gather and pray
I met my husband in the city
Love lives there too

Let the grieving grieve
And the healing fill the holes
The ones in the flesh and the bones
Of the ones who ache
With the pain of loss

My child
She learns in this city, and my child
She learns in the middle of this
Tangled web we weave
Holy City, hold your hurting

Love lives here too

Lord, have mercy
cross and sheep at chapel of p

++++++++++++++++++++++++

Of Things That Have Been – Guest Post: Holly Grantham

What an honor to have my friend Holly Grantham visiting today. I invited her to bring her words. And she graciously said yes. Holly and I have enjoyed working as poetry partners in the past. You may recall our project entitled Adagio.

We have plans to collaborate after the first of the new year, writing poetry, sharing the lines and space, creating and word weaving together.

Enjoy now, the words of this beautiful woman..

wpid-img_20140928_151318.jpg

Of Things That Have Been

I finger them mindlessly most days,
These tokens of thanksgiving.
In some familiar corner of my brain I am
aware of their weight and
the anorexic string that
keeps them connected to a well
untended.
But something has shifted
inside of me and
I can’t remember
how to see.

+++++++++++++++++

I have a bowl that sits on my kitchen counter
and in it are the scraps and corners and pieces of
meals prepared and cooked and fed to
the people that I love.
The contents of that bowl get tossed,
mindlessly most days,
into a growling pile of dirt.
Layer upon layer of repasts
Just sitting there
Marinating
Giving themselves over to death.

+++++++++++++++++++

Most days since Spring
I feel a hollow ringing somewhere just
below my rib cage
as if my heart was suddenly deafened by
the weighted silence left in absence’s wake.
I long to be overwhelmed by wonder.
And then, one day, the memory, it returns
Joy, it grows in the humus of things that have been,
in the layers that settle at the bottom of my days.
I remember slowly
how to give thanks.
I remember, friends, how to see.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

wpid-received_10152671504793355.jpeg

Holly Grantham, Bio

Holly is a wife, very relaxed homeschooling mom of three boys, snapper of photos, coming of age writer and a soul drowning in grace.

After years in Atlanta where she attended college, married the love of her life and lived in an intentional community, she found her way back to her home state of Missouri. She now lives in an antebellum stone house, raises chickens (sometimes) and pretends she lives in the country.

Holly may be found at her writing home A Lifetime of Days, on twitter @HollyAGrantham &
on her  facebook  writer page.