Category Archives: Poetry

The farmer and the viper

Aesop’s fables told us everything we needed to know as children.

I read a large volume, hard covered copy in the library many times as a child.

It was thick and heavy and felt full. I felt full holding it on that old library floor.

That old library used to be a church and the knowledge I found within continues to be sacred to me.

Aesop told a story of a farmer and a viper. For a class project in the 6th grade I acted it out in a play.

I picked that fable to act out because it struck me as important then. I dressed in a heavy flannel shirt and wore jeans and my dad’s old hat. I had a silk snake stuffed with sand as my antagonist. I used to collect those at craft fairs because they felt so real.

It all felt real that day in Mr. Moser’s class.

I was terrified. But I did my best to tell the tale.

Here is what I learned about the farmer and the viper…

It may be easiest to bite the hand that feeds you. After all, their hand is so near your fang. But, in the end, you stand to lose every ounce of sustenance that you have ever known. You will undoubtedly starve. Worse yet, you’ll live a life of shame thereafter. Shame you’ll never rid yourself of.

So, I beg you, reconsider your hasty reactions to words and actions that may displease you.

Please, do not bite the hand that feeds you.

WE will be damned every time for “pitying the scoundrel” and we can NOT expect a reward from the wicked.

Darker than the darkness

Silence woke me today.  The darkness became even darker and jolted me from my sleep. I looked outward, pillow in my peripheral, still and silent.  Afraid to move.

The feeling of oppression lingers.  Heaviness that labors my breathing lays atop my chest.  It feels like my heart is barely beating at times, then it begins thumping wildly. It’s about to burst.  I can hear it pounding in my ear drums.  I can feel it’s frightened rhythm banging on my brain.

There’s a shadow in the pitch black and it stares at me. I feel it and wonder when she’ll leave me as I lay petrified there, in shock.

I recognize her essence, lonely-dark and angry.  She’s fearful, lost, and worthless.  Broken without bandage.

Her eyes, they never open, though they’ve seen it all.  All terrifying, awful-dark. Like a black hole absorbing light.

She’s trapped within her memories. Too afraid to peer past the lids of her eyes. Afraid to make any more.

So much evil from out there has entered her. Her hatred can’t be contained.  She doesn’t want to hurt anyone but unfathomable cruelty left ugly stains on her, inside of her tiny soul.

She’s confused and locked inside that space. Desperate for freedom but unfamiliar with it. She wonders if what she is used to might be safer than the new place.

I’d like to tell her what sunshine feels like when it rests upon her shoulders but I can’t explain her out of there. She’s hiding for a reason.  We’re all liars who can’t be trusted. We’re dangerous and she’s afraid.

We need to stay away from her so she can learn to break the shadows that swallowed her. They’ve been chewing her up but she’s one to savor.  There’s no gulping her down as she keeps changing flavors.  She won’t give up her fight.

I could never leave her there, but over time she’s needed less of me.  As I grew she used my energy. She stepped back and further away. Wishing me the best as the distance grew between us.  I’ll never say goodbye.  I refuse to chase her away.

Her presence still alarms me as she appears inside these desperate nights.  But, now her visits are brief and haunting, meant to remind me of things inside of me that I left behind and despise.

She’s going to be hiding in that corner, in my shadow as I walk away.  But, I’ve outgrown the need for her company, and she sees her future in what I have become while she’s visiting from that other plane.  Her view of me now may be the only reason that I never did give up.

I’m sad when I see her over there. I’m afraid I’ll let her in. But she doesn’t claw at my feet anymore or beg for me to hold her.  She doesn’t cry when I won’t pick her up and allow her to cling to my skin.

I think she’s here tonight so I’ll remember.  A warning. A memory.  A ghost that lives beside me.

Beside me, outside of me, resides with me, alongside of me.  No longer inside of me where she doesn’t belong.

That shadow, darker than black, that used to rush toward me.  She stands still now sending me forceful feelings but no longer impresses, only refreshes the stalwart soul we share.

I still want her to open her eyes so that I can see the gray and green in them, but history and this story would change completely if she did. We like how it is here now.

Even with her lingering there, longing, lonely, and lost.  We like it here, with her sightless gaze upon me, wordless.  She’s too sleepy for those but her exhaustion never applied to her emotions.  They are effortlessly expressed between the two of us.

She’s quiet.  My aura silenced her.  My eyes closed as I felt hers opening.  We smile together as I rock us both to sleep using the hope that we divide.

There she goes.  Here I am. Neither of us know where we are headed.  Only one of us knows where we’ve been.  Both glean necessary strength from the other in weakness.  Both living parallel and separate lives.  Completely connected.  Absolutely independent.

Now, I slip back into the space between awake and asleep where I am able to clearly see every part of me.  I wish I could hold a pen in this place. I wish I could remember all I see before I fall in too far.  But the feelings I gather while visiting there, they leave a lasting mark.

The dark little me in the corner and I, we’ll meet again, another day. She always sensed she was needed though she never knew by whom. Now she realizes clearly, though, as she falls back to sleep, here, in her room.


Daytime moon

I sometimes feel like the daytime moon, out of place but brilliant in the big blue sky.

Causing wonder and curiosity in those who notice me. Rare and unusual. Deeply marred with scars.

They’re used to seeing me in darkness, mournful and weeping, brooding. Or perhaps I’ve been lighting their way.

There I am, hung above, always present, though sometimes unseen.

There I am dented and dusty, damaged and ignored, but shining on anyway.


Just like me

Words with no relative importance to me fall through the ears of my tilted head while those I relate to have a chance to grab hold.

Experience burrows into my logic while lessons learned burn themselves through to my soul and become an actual part of me.

It’s just like me to realize this and continually let things of benefit pass on through until it’s too late and I have to gather the dirty pieces that have fallen on the floor, clean them off and fix them before I can use them.

It’s just like me to have to learn the hard way.

I wish I could grab onto it all.  I want every piece of knowledge, every face I see, every new part of the Universe that I haven’t seen.

I want to hold it before I besmudge it with my carelessness and neglect and thick skulled stubbornness that refuses it at the door when it sees it.

It’s just like me to know that I need something and yet I walk on by waving, saying, “I’ll see you later, if you’re still here when I need you. Boy, I hope you stay put.”

It’s just like me to be mad at myself when it doesn’t, always kicking myself and cussing the mirror with past tense attitude and present tense regrets.

It’s just like me to get better, though.  To move forward and improve.

It’s just like me to apply a lesson learned.

I’ll arrive in that state of acceptance and wisdom if I choose to put forth the effort.

It’s just like me to be certain.

Just like me to have faith. To know myself enough to be aware that it’s just like me to get there someday.