On the eve of each new year I reluctantly don a necklace
of melancholic nostalgia
the significance of which envelops me.
Strung from pearls of wisdom gathered by my former selves.
One per year.
Each radiant globe a diamond of priceless memories
compressed by me into a diminuve crystal ball.
Offering up reflections of immense happiness
tempered by devastang tragedy.
Each precious gem a hard-worn, hard-won epiphany
of the ebbs and flows of life.
Midnight revelry trumpets
auditory triggers of inescapable images.
With each mind’s eye vision comes anew
the heartbreak of loved ones lost forever.
The chain grows heavier and heavier,
constraining tighter and tighter.
Joy and pain, light and dark
intermingle to murky fog.
Come dawn, a fresh new day’s light pierces the gray numb
clarifying each orb until only lightness remains.
The warm beads now comfort me with their familiarity.
Carefully I remove the gossamer strand.
Once disturbed, the tenuous connection evaporates scattering mirrored circles of life to places unknown.
Hidden here. Tucked there.
Only to return in their circuitous configuration in 364 nights
to be worn hesitatingly, reluctantly once again,
yet with honor and thankfully
one pearl longer.
You dance within the twilight of my dreams
Whimsical and lithe
A firefly in the dark
A flickering spark
A shimmering vapor drifting through shadow
Your heart beating in pyrophoric frenzy
A strobing cannon
A beacon in the cavern of my soul
Always just out of reach
So I climb and scramble and hazard these frozen depths
Careless of rope or harness or blaze
Because where you go
Returns us to the surface
And once in the light of day
Will mock the sun
“The shortness of our lives prevents us from undertaking long hopes.”
To make it through another day with a smile
To lay down with gratitude
To laugh as often as possible
To share whatever I have
With whoever I can
Are held aloft
Against the crushing weight of time
Against the relentless tide of life
That creeps like a hidden assassin
Just out of view
They are held up by faith
Learned in patience
They are the air I breath
The blood in my veins
The whisper I offer to the wind
The never fading kiss I press against your lips
I have no enduring hopes
But to love
and be loved
To hope for more than that
For more than I can experience in this moment
To hope for more than this moment
To lose hope
Is to give in to the ceaseless tide
Is to be crushed by time
To live with hope
Is what makes my short time here
So long ago now
So long ago I hardly remember
I stood in the tall grass
For the first time
That the world was so large
So large that I could barely see my toes above the sharp blades
That housed the hopping
So large that it could encompass my every dream
Dreams that altered space and time
Dreams that excited me
Now the world is small
Infinitesimal in comparison
And nearly meaningless
Except for those dreams
Of so long ago
Note: I think I will rewrite the end. I was probably not feeling terribly optimistic at that time. If written now it might end something like: