Martin was a selfishly made man and viewed his success in life as an extension of the fact that he was awesome. He believed that he had attained greatness simply because he was great. He cared deeply for no one but himself, and spent most of his time tending his own soul, warming his own heart, and cultivating his own mind.
People often avoided him on the street.
Most evenings Martin could be found in the garden of his soul, working up the soil and planting seeds of self in tidy manicured rows. When the planting was done he would root out the things that didn’t belong, weeding out that which didn’t fit his mood, his scene, or his place in life. In the far corner of his soul he kept a large tank of water which he used regularly to water that which he had planted. At the end of each evening Martin could often be found standing with proud admiration at the work he had done.
Until the day the tank ran dry.
On that day Martin, confident as usual, picked up two buckets and walked the long winding path to the river that gracefully encircled his soul, filled each one to the brim, and carried them back to pour onto the soil around his plants. It was a long and strenuous job, and the first day Martin worked long into the night. After a number of days of carrying buckets, Martin began to realize that he would never be able to carry enough water to nourish all that he had planted.
He needed a new plan.
If he could not carry enough of the river with his buckets, he would instead bring the entire river to the centre of his soul. He would bend the river to his will. Grabbing his shovel, Martin began to dig at the spot where the river and his soul met, throwing shovelfuls of soil to his left and right. He started with vigor, but after three days of hard labour he had only created a crude ditch about 5 metres long and came to the realization that the task was too ambitious. He would never be able to change the flow of the river.
As Martin struggled to carry buckets, and then attempted to dig a ditch, the plants of his soul began to change from a rich green to yellow, and the soil beneath his feet became dusty ground.
Martin began to despair.
Turning to the sky he lamented, “Where is the rain? Why is my soul turned to dry ground? Why must I watch all that I love decay around me?”
As he looked up and railed at the heavens, a raindrop hit his nose, and then another, and soon all around the water fell from the sky and turned the dust to moist rich soil. But the rain was too late for Martin’s plants, and over the next few days what had been green, and then yellow, turned to brown.
Sitting in the middle of his soul Martin looked around at all that he had lost. Exhausted and knowing he could not summon the energy to begin again, he lay back to the ground, and once again faced the heavens.
With his last ounce of strength he whispered, “Help me,” and then drifted off to sleep.
Some time later, when he opened his eyes, he turned and noticed a seedling a few inches away that had just broken ground. Sitting up, he noticed seedlings all around him, but not the seeds of his past, these were a new thing, and they were definitely not in rows, and they were majestic and beautiful.
Martin smiled, and surrendered his soul to the new wilderness.
And at the end of his long life, as Martin walked the forest of his soul, he sighed with deep satisfaction at the shade and comfort he found there.
i want to be like her
the young rebel
with fire in her eyes
and a torch held high
defiant fist in the air
as she shouts down the sins of the world
i want to be like her
the bright light
the anger burning bright
the righteous flame
running from one cause to the next
sparks flying as she ignites revolution
but I am not her
i am me
and i too know fire
but of a different sort
and as she moves on
i look down at the fire she has left behind
and i forage for bits of wood and twig
that which she has abandoned
Author’s Note: Just a short simple one for today. I’ll get back to the long words next week.
I once knew a man who would bite down on his words, cracking them in half with his teeth to extract the sweet bits. With a huffing sound he would spit the rinds of false hope at my feet.
I could be that man, but instead I will whisper wisdom.
I once knew a woman who would ruminate thoughts into wads of hate and bind them together with misunderstanding. She would use her tongue to hurl them at anyone who was within range.
I could be that woman, but instead I will speak joy.
I once knew a man who would exhale gossip like puffs of second hand smoke without a care as to where its stench or malignancy would fall. In between each breath he would spew acidic undigested half truths never aware of the corrosion and decay that they caused.
I could be that man, but instead I will pray.
I will not use my words to grind.
I will not use my words to chisel.
I will not use my words to to whittle away the last connections between souls.
I will speak the dove.
I will speak the olive branch.
I will speak the spring rain and the morning sun.
I will speak the cool water and the song unsung,
…and of love.
Author’s Note: A quick wit should always be tempered with a thoughtful soul, which is the journey I’ve been on for the last decade. This poem reflects me more than anyone else, so if you see yourself in the top three verses I’m just going to let that rest on your own conscience. :)
The prompt over at Imperfect Prose today is Joy so I dug this one out of the cellar and couldn’t help but rewrite it again with a bit more hope then the original.
He danced without knowing…
…that music could be more than rhythm.
He spoke unaware…
…that words could be more than prose.
All his flavors were sweet.
All his cares were his own.
All his dreams featured him alone.
And he thought he was complete.
Until one day, from an unexpected corner, she said, “Hello.”
On a motorcycle ride in the fall, holding onto him, she sang melody, and the fallen leaves held their breath.
On a winter walk in the snow, one hand in the other, she spoke sonnets, while the snowflakes fell all around in magical silence.
On a spring evening, amongst the steam and bubble on an old kitchen stove, she laughed and flavoured his world with the exotic.
His cares and dreams…
And by summer they were complete.
Author’s Note: Here is my piece for Valentine’s Day. In a departure from the norm, some of this one is actually true, I’ll let you figure out which parts. If you are interested, my piece from last year is here: Not Quite Night.
head down to the wind
she speaks her thoughts
one word at a time
letting them go
they are swept
past cheek to ear
where softly they die
as a whisper
no louder than this
no louder than this
The prompt over at dVerse today is “The Art of Letting Go”. Thought I’d try my hand.