Unravelling and weaving, sometimes simultaneously

Archive for the ‘grief’ Category

Poets, Prophets, & Healers

The poets, the prophets, the healers.
So many have left us, it’s time to arise;
to dance in the streets
and to pull back the curtains,
to follow the dove where she flies.
If our hearts are broken, then love is the mending,
the way out of darkness is light…
come out from the shadows, and bring all your candles,
we’ve got work to do on this night.
Fling wide your eyes, and your minds, and your lips,
be the change, be the peace, be the goals…
for everyone’s longing for poets and prophets
and healers to speak to their souls.
(c) 2016 RCGAbigstock-candle-in-a-hand-19600874


Girl-Looking-At-The-Sun-At-SunriseLet me tell you something, people
Let me tell you something

You may think that it is trite to say
that you reap what you sow
because in this life you don’t always
get what you deserve
for good or ill…
yes, that is true

such a truth

Yet, let me tell you something
something important

Every time you send out hate
every time you act on that hate
with your mind, with your words
with your hands

you destroy a little piece of the world
and your soul

Someday there will be nothing left
of the former
someday you will be dust
and your soul

your soul will mourn

because you didn’t choose love
because you chose the straight path
that was easy and indulgent
because you turned your back on forgiveness
and wallowed in your righteousness
poisoning the well
we all have to drink from

Let me tell you something, people
Let me tell you something

It is not easy to sow kindness in this world
but it is the only harvest
you should want to reap and share
so plant it
plant it everywhere
some of it will grow
some of it will

RCGA 2016


I started sketching you
but couldn’t finish

as if your spirit
is still too restless to hold still
and I can’t capture it
with the scraping of graphite

can’t trap it
on the flat plane of Bristol
while it convolutes
with some stuttering spark
pencil wood and paper

You always were
like the wind
no matter how solid you seemed
now you are in it

and I can’t draw you


(c) RCGA 2016

Μή μου ἅπτου (Noli me tangere)

Early in the morning
on the day after the sabbath
I went to where you lay
in a garden sepulchre
cold wet with dew

but you weren’t there
the tomb was open
the scent of myrrh still sharp
wafting from the stones

I couldn’t comprehend
why after all that had happened
this simple thing
all that I asked for
to be by your side a while
before that long forever
of separation

was taken away

why you were taken away
or by whom

Perhaps I had jumped to conclusions
maybe my faith was, after all
too small
but I had seen you gasp your last
release your spirit
lie pale in your mother’s arms

I had stood by your body
and bathed the blood and dirt away
anointed you a final time
as I’d poured the spikenard on your feet
brushed your hair back from your still features
wrapped you in linen

Those men, so bright
asked me why I was weeping
asked me who I was seeking
asked me…
didn’t they understand?

It wasn’t until I saw you
and even then, I didn’t dare believe

No, I couldn’t grasp the wholeness of it
until you said my name

You were as bright as they were

and I couldn’t stop crying


In every conversation we ever had
you reminded me this would happen
and yet somewhere in my heart
I didn’t know the truth of it
that your death
was not the end of the story

and I shouldn’t cling to you
in that way

Instead you sent me off
from the city of the dead
to the places of the living
to tell the others
the prophecies
were fulfilled in full

I am just a woman
who has followed you
basking in your wisdom

I am just a woman
who has been blessed beyond measure
to testify that one morning
I went to visit you in your grave
and instead saw you risen from it
by angels


Alonso Cano: Noli me tangere

3-27-16 (Easter) (c) RCGA

El Faro

The lighthouse
has sunk
beneath the waves


taking with it
all hands

their glow extinguished
in the storm

(c) RCGA 2015

Peaceful rest to the crew of the cargo ship El Faro, lost in Hurricane Joaquin.elfaro

White Clock Revisited

First Man

I took down the clock
that you hung last year

it had lost a half hour

I kept watching it slow
but didn’t want
to touch it

Today I changed the battery
and reset the time
so now it’s a minute
in the future

instead of dragging
its hands
and fooling me
when I glance at it
into forgetting
how insidious
how easy
it is
to slide backward
to lose time

(c) RCGA 2015


When I was little
she was a demigoddess
the breast I fed from
the teacher
the healer of skinned knees
with kisses and songs

When she broke
I didn’t understand
what breaking meant
but I learned
that it meant
pieces scatter
and take people with them
that it meant
lines are drawn
sides taken
and if you don’t choose
your choice is taken

even if you choose
you don’t get
what you wanted

I was the only one there
so she projected
every bit of everything
upon me

all her fears
became mine
by default

I did not own them
but forced into
the indentured servitude
of blood and proximity
I carried them
heavy and foreign
around my neck
her millstone
she was too weak
to bear

He told me that
she needed me
and she did

she needed someone
to hold all the things
she didn’t have room for
as she flew apart

she needed someone
to stand guard at the door
while she disintegrated
curled into a ball
salting the earth
I struggled to grow in

she needed someone
who would never leave her
and ultimately
I was the one
who never did

with the baggage
of years between us
I reached over it
and held her hand
wiped her face
changed the channel
told her stories
as if
she were
my child
of the other way

The morning they called
I knew when the phone rang
because I could feel it

the layers of her
overlaying me
slid away
as gently as her hands
had been
when things were
innocent and good
and no one took sides
or looked into someone else’s eyes
and said

You never loved me

(c) RCGA 2015

Mattie Belle 1931-2010

A little note… she was named for her grandmother, who was known by her nickname, but the name on her birth certificate was Amanda, a name that means “worthy of being loved”. She always wished that had been her name; perhaps she never understood that she was not only worthy, but always loved.

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