A Place of Love

e.e.cummings

I sit in silent contemplation and awe of the direction my life has taken. Where I’ve been. Where I’m headed. I am amazed by the change that has manifested in my life because of my persistent dedication to my intentions but if I allow it, and I do allow it, I feel a pressure in my chest, a tightening of my throat.

It is anxiety. Stress. Worry.

It is a reminder of those things that brought me to this point; hard memories of hard times that led to hard decisions that brought me to who and where I am now.

I allow those feelings to express themselves completely. The disappointments. Failures. Shame. Guilt. They are the voice of my soul asking for my attention and tender affection. I listen.

I don’t ever want to forget those things. They keep me grounded. On my path. But I never allow them to control me. My past has no place here. Now. Except to keep me on course by reminding me who not to be.

I have allowed those hard times to make me soft. Vulnerable. I am ever grateful for that. There is strength in that softness.

With eyes closed, I breathe deep and slow, acknowledge those feelings, then treat myself with the same loving compassion I would treat anyone else who was suffering.

I lay one hand on my belly, the other on my heart, and, with honest sympathy, I repeat those same words to my Self that I would tell anyone I care about;

“I love you.
I am listening.
I am here.”

In doing so I release those feelings and love rushes in to replace them.

I keep a place in my heart
for my Beloved.
I keep her heart in my heart.
For it to be a place
where she feels the care
and compassion
and passionate love
I keep there for her
it must be a place of love.
For it to be that place
I must first love myself.
In loving myself
I love her.

This is what it means to love myself and why it is so important.

So I sit in quiet contemplation and awe of the direction my life has taken and in that quiet contemplation I find gratitude, even for the reminders of the past that led me here.

Beyond here be Monsters

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A little piece I wrote this seveal years ago when I was facing the necessity of rejoining “civilized society” after being off-grid and pretty much off the map for a time.

It’s interesting to go back in time and find these little sparks that encouraged the flame within that burns so bright today and to recognize the dark places they came from.

The lesson for me is clear; embrace my past and be grateful for what I learned. But never go back.

___________________________

Here, at the edge of the world, I find contentment and chaos. Old friends, both. Neither expected nor warranted.

I find myself frozen in this pivotal moment. Momentum gathers with the clouds that seem determined to follow.

Not long ago I sent them back to spread their seed of malcontent upon the shoulders of those who manipulated. The cries of their masters, now quelled by the wind that always lives in the canyons where I take refuge, were never heard. I cry instead for them.

Here, where the Universe Herself sings with such beauty that my soul aches to touch Her just once again. Such things may not exist.

Here, I am at peace.

Here, standing at the brink, I wonder; Stand or Fall.

Beyond here lay the rest of the Pack, ferocious and cunning and ready. I will join them for now, but they will know; I do not belong.

My guise will last, my purpose will be fulfilled, and I will flee to the Refuge of Love with Life renewed and Balance, at long last, achieved.

I will stand.

Light within.
Love and Life beside.

The view at the edge really is not so bad.

 

Image by J.M.Greff

In this field of dreams

 

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Though I walk alone in this golden field I feel you occupy the spaces I have created for you in my heart. I reach out to you with my soul and find you waiting. Always there. Always ready.

As the sun rises I see you revealed in front of me, a play of light on the morning mist transformed by the magic of this day and this place into you. There and not there. A welcome vision that begs me “follow.”

You dance playfully ahead of me, leading me through this field of gold that sways in the light breeze as if to an unheard song. It is the song of the Universe. A song in which we play a line of perfect harmony.

You wear sandles to protect your feet as you skip and run ahead of me but you are dressed as you were before we made love last night. Panties that cling to your beckoning moisture. A sleeveless top that exposes your soft belly that invites my kisses and celebrates the curve of your soft breasts. You are more beautiful than the rising sun, more alluring than a cool spring on a hot day, more graceful than the birds that sing your name, more inspiring than this field of dreams I follow you through.

You turn your head to me and smile or hop backwards as you laugh and call out to me then dance ahead again as you sing songs with outrageous lyrics and laugh with innocence at the filthy words that conjure sensual delight. You are drunk on passion. Filled with an enticing energy that can not be ignored. Why would even consider ignoring you? Never!

You are a nymph sent by the goddess intent on seducing me with song and dance. You are goddess possessed. You are playful sprite. Your laughter is a siren call that I am bound by.

But in this mystic island caught outside time, there are no shores to crash upon. No hidden pond to drown in. No tricks of delight.

Here I become satyr to your nymph as I follow you. I long to take you here, now and forever in this sacred place. Though there is no mythical altar to offer my devotion I worship upon the altar of your heart which I carry always with me and where a blazing fire always rages.

You reach the highest point then slow, your song now turned to a sweet lull, a hum, you turn to me, head lowered with a knowing smile, lips parting, eyes locked on mine, arms raised slightly from your sides, palms facing me, fingers spread, welcoming my tender embrace as I step into you, pull you close, and whisper the words, “Soon, My Love.”

I stand there for an eternity. Not wanting to leave this place. Wanting only to feel your skin against mine, our lips brushing, hands touching and tracing each other, hearts beating as one, souls joined, but the morning grows late.

I open my eyes and the field, though just a field, is now something more. Something truly magic. Though you were never here your presence remains. I can feel the warmth of you even now and hear those words you said as I watched you fade away as if they were a spell, “Yes, Darling. Soon.”

 

 

 

Image by J.M.Greff

While I Wait for You

 

bed empty room

 

I don’t know you
not yet
but while I wait for you
alone
not abandoned
not incomplete
not unworthy
but deserving
hopeful
prepared
I will love myself
like I want to be loved

it is in my desire to be loved
that I have learned to love
so I will embrace my desire
to be loved by you

I will build my home
my life
my work
around your arrival
knowing that you
will one day join me

I will sing my song
at the top of my voice
from the highest perch I can find
like a solitary bird
in the highest limb
of the most dead tree
in an empty field
trebles its enticing
and inviting song
in search of harmony
hoping
you will hear

I will touch myself
in those places that need healing
through those cracks
and crevices
in my armor
that protect the deep wounds
and empower my Self
and in doing so
I will become the best
Me
that complete body
and soul
and mind
that I can possibly become
knowing that you
are doing the same
while you wait for me

I will write of my passion
and fury
and great love of you
because in doing so
I will remind you that I am here
waiting
knowing that you will see my will in my words
my strength
my courage
my love
and you
my Beloved
will have so many stories to share
that Our Book
that divinely inspired chorus
written over the years
is but an introduction to volumes

I will practice Love on myself
until the day you arrive
knowing that you
will need me to love myself
as much as I
will need you to love yourself
only through loving ourselves
can we ever love another completely

if that day never comes
if I spend the rest of my time
writing about the passion
and unconditional love
I have for you
a love that threatens
to devour me
from inside
should it never find release
it will yet shine so brightly
that it shames the sun
should it never find a home in your heart
I will know
that I have loved you
as best I can
and I will still have spent my life
loving you

 

 

You don’t know me

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You don’t know me.

Maybe we’ve met or spoken. Maybe you have read what I write. Maybe you only know what it is that I do for you, that I love you, that I care.

But you don’t know me.

You know the man determined to live by the simple and incredibly difficult intentions of love and gratitude, but you don’t know why he loves so deeply or what it is that he is ever so grateful for.

You know the man who shares his heart openly. Who is unafraid to admit that he cries as much as he laughs, but you don’t know what it is that would make him happy or why it is he cries at night.

You know the man who is generous to a fault, but you don’t know that his son tells him, “Dad, focus on yourself. You seem to focus on everyone except yourself.” You don’t know why you come first. Even his son doesn’t.

You know the man determined to change himself and his world, but you don’t know why he is so determined. Who he was before the change and why it’s so important for him to change.

You know this man only because of what he does for you.

I could tell you that he goes without food for weeks in order to be sure that you don’t. That he falls four months behind on rent to be sure you have what you need or why his landlord is okay with this.

You know the man who will always be there for you, no matter what, but you don’t know how he cries for you when you are afraid
or when you feel as alone as he does.

You don’t know where or when I was born, what towns I grew up in, my favorite foods or colors. You don’t even know my middle name.

I could tell you these things but you still wouldn’t know me.

It’s okay. I don’t know you either.

You know what you need to know.

You know that you are loved.
~
~
Almost as published in Elephant Journal (except they tried to turn it into a poem)
~
Author: J.M. Greff
Image: Jake Davies/Unsplash
Editor: Taia Butler
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron
Social Editor: Khara-Jade Wa

 

Why the cold walks – from 12/30/2014

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This enemy forged from ice threatens the meager armor I wear to protect myself from its invasive presence. It creeps in wherever I let my guard down and assumes control of the warmth that gives me life. It spreads across the inside of my goggles like a virus in an attempt to blind my steps and makes a wall of my own warm breath against thin shield of cloth that covers my face.

It is the greatest adversary I can imagine. An assassin of the highest caliber. The cold has always been my greatest weakness.

Yet in it I find my greatest strength.

Through the frost that limits my vision I see, clearly, the path that I am on. In every stiffened step I feel the world spin beneath me in the syrupy chaos of space. In each labored breath I receive a promise of life.

It has become my ally, and though my trust does not extend beyond the knowledge that it will crush me on my first mistake, I embrace it as friend.

 


Image by J.M.Greff

For my brother, Steven, so he knows my winters aren’t all “stogies and computers”.

I am Yours

Mariel.Milan.Cruz.meme

Beloved,

I love you
Completely
Entirely
With every cell in my body
With every atom that makes up every cell
With the nucleus and nucleotides that make up those atoms
With the strange, quarks, and I forget what comes after that in my body

I love you with my soul,
that instrument of the Divine
which,
on it’s own,
is but a note in the song of the Universe,
but which plays a melody so sweet,
so ethereal,
so in harmony with yours
that my body,
this vessel,
this prison,
howls with the venom of monsters only witnessed in movies,
for release and blessed union with you,
My Beloved,
to endlessly play
an ever evolving song

I long to taste you in my mouth
and when I do
your taste lingers like a chemical burn,
like frost bite,
like that fucking numbing you get when you push too hard,
when you extend yourself so far,
so much,
that the energy that normally flows
with ebbs and tides
like an infinite ocean within Our Being,
for certainly we are now
and always will be
a single entity with distinctly separate bodies,
evaporates and leaves us both
so nearly breathlessly spent
and soft
and willing
and hard
and passionate
and wanting for more.
Oh, please, more!

I want to lay you in the grass by the pond
and gaze in quiet contemplation
until my soul is satisfied
and my body aches
and admire your beauty
in the same way that I adore the songs
of the hundreds of birds,
the swallow and loon,
crow and robin,
the hawk,
that ever present watcher of my soul,
and the black bird that is it’s sworn enemy,
and I want to add our song to theirs.

I want to write great love songs and poems
that proclaim your poise
your strength
your beauty
even when you are ninety
because when you are ninety
you will be even more beautiful
for having spent your life
loving and being loved
until there are so many
that I could spend all day
every day
for a year
reading the poems
and playing the songs
and still have not gotten through them all.

I would carry you across a burning desert
to protect your delicate feet
I would call down a wind
and command a rain
to keep you cool
and I would build a home
from the sand
and mud
to keep you out of the sun
and we would live there forever
because it doesn’t matter where we live
as long as we are together.

I want to make your life better than you ever imagined
and in doing so
make my own life better
and thus create
an infinitely building loop of betterness
for us both
and I want it to overflow from us
and spill into the world
so that it becomes better.
I want us to be the example
that people point to and say
“I want us to be like them.”

I want us to grow old together
and hold your hand as you pass
because I promise
I won’t ever leave you alone
and after you have taken your last breath
I will join you,
there,
in infinite grace for eternity.

I am yours

Always

 

Image by Mariel Milan Cruz

As published in Elephant Journal

Author: J.M. Greff
Editor: Taia Butler
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron