The mermaid dreamed of dancing And daring, she dove high Eyes cast to the canopy sunlight Heart extending its reach to heaven on earth She was promised legs For a price:
Then, with a knife, She tasted death.
But that longing soul Survived She washed up awake Sitting on the silver sands Shivering when asked to stand Shoulders squared Eyes hardened with distrust For the truth is always Too good to be true Right?
Oh darling of the deep, I understand Take my hand only when you’re ready again Because learning how to walk Is all about the baby steps Do not fear For here, my hands are empty Here, there is no trick, Only time Only time
Note: First appeared in CLU’s the Morning Glory, 2018 issue, vol. 47.
EDIT 03/22: Most changes have been successfully made! Further updates to follow in the future!
Hey guys, just a heads up: you might start to see a bunch of stuff shifting around significantly on my blog! I’m readjusting to make it easier to navigate and more accessible for readers with disabilities.
What you can expect to see specifically is a lot of changes in font and text appearance to make it easier on anyone who was having visual difficulties with my work. This might result in a total site theme change, just to get the poems to look the way I’m hoping. And in the meantime, my search bar will be down temporarily, until I can, you know, get it to work right!
I’m hoping this won’t take too long, but if it does, that might mean a hiatus for the next weekly poem. Accessibility is super, super important to me, so thanks for your patience and understanding while I tidy this place up!
Happy International Women’s Day! Here’s a poem about women in love!
In my childhood I had tea parties with bears and dolls in my parents’ minivan And occasionally I watched the new girl my age run down the road Giddy with excitement As she threw petals over the pavement Almost as if she were gladly celebrating a wedding Everyday Whether it was between the unions of two trees Or two squirrels Or two cars parked on the wrong side of the road that day
And I would peer through my window Wondering exactly what kinds of words she could form with her lips What kind of colors her world must’ve been painted in Because, one afternoon, she painted my world in Carnations And sunflowers Tulips And lavenders A wave And a sly smile As she passed me by to run onto my porch
She left flowers on my front steps And an imprint on my childlike heart: I never wanted to stop believing in magic from that day onward
~ In my adolescence I studied at the library five blocks from my high school And sometimes I saw that girl my age biking down the road Singing or humming to herself With only one earphone in her left ear Merrily As she made her way back home after a long day in the classroom Or at soccer practice Or in tutoring for her AP English class
And she would stop by for me sometimes Showing me exactly what kinds of words she could form with her lips What kinds of colors her world must’ve been painted in And then, one afternoon, she painted my world again in Carnations And sunflowers Tulips And lavenders A giggle And a sly smile As she leaned in close enough to steal my breath away midsentence
She left flowers on my work book And an imprint on my adolescent heart: I never wanted to stop believing in love from that day onward
~ In my adulthood I worked in a small faraway bookstore, filled to the brim with classical fiction And every night I watched the woman my age roll up to the curbside Smiling wearily As she leaned over from the driver’s seat to open the door on my side So that I could get in and sit beside her Reaching for the hand that held a wedding ring of Three years and counting at the stoplight Or the stop sign Or during traffic on the freeway in those late, busy hours
And I would lean over from my seat Showing her what kinds of vows we could renew with our lips What kinds of colors our world had been painted in Because, every anniversary, she painted my world in Carnations And sunflowers Tulips And lavenders A kiss And a sly smile As she sat there quietly but proudly twining her fingers with my own
She left flowers on my dashboard And an imprint on my aged heart: I never wanted to stop believing in fate from that day onward
~ In my senescence We lived in a retirement home too many cities away from where our children lived And every morning I helped the woman my age get out of bed Laughing hoarsely As she repressed a cough for fear that I would fall ill as well Not that I would’ve quite cared so much anymore If it hadn’t been for the fact that nobody else would take care of her if I couldn’t Not our sons who had who had become busy fathers Nor our daughter who had flown to farther shores Nor her parents who had long since died
And I would help her into her rocking chair Repeating what kinds of memories I could articulate with my lips What kinds of colors she had painted my world in Because, even as she withers, she paints my world in Carnations And sunflowers Tulips And lavenders A teardrop And a sly smile As she sat there smiling and breathing her last breath
I left flowers on her tombstone And she an imprint on my elderly heart: I never wanted to stop believing in heaven from that day onward
There’s a hope of a stable home that I’m curling my fingers around And even if I’m clutching empty air right now Just you wait I’ve tucked that space away in my pocket Waiting for the day I can use it To put you right next to us for good It will happen
And it’s okay if you don’t know where you’re headed now Because these eyes can’t see into the future either I only act like I know what I’m doing No map, just nebulous directions that I keep forgetting Did they say turn left or right? Either way, I’m taking you there with us Even if it takes years of tears I’m going to make sure for centuries on end You know what overwhelming joy tastes like It will happen It will happen
I’m going to hit the jackpot with these shaky fists Bite into gold one restless night with chattering teeth And be able to spit it back out at everyone who chained us down I’ll be able to buy every apartment in this city But of course I only want the one place where all five of us can fit Where the air will be filled with sweet songs and smells And every seat at the table full for dinner It will happen It will happen It will happen
And every wonderful fantasy we’ve ever entertained of being together It will happen This fairytale I hold in my head is tangible in my soul Because even while we’re miles apart I can feel your embrace more than its absence I see our home better than I can the empty bed Because this current set-up is passing And I absolutely refuse to let some mental parasite convince me That emptiness is a permanent and undefeatable fate You belong with us It will happen You have a home with us It will happen I promise It will happen
Note: First appeared with slight adjustments in CLU’s the Morning Glory, 2017 issue, vol. 46. This is the unedited original, written in 2015.
Sèphera’s back today, talking about earning a living as a writer and specifically about Patreon and how it works.
One of the things that help people like me, single people who don’t have a partner to support me financially or emotionally or even with posting a tweet and trying to figure out how to earn a living and keep all the balls in the air and get the work flowing again, is a Patreon.
Nowadays, a lot of people can turn to fund-raising events like a Go Fund Me or a Kick Starter for a specific project and things like that. I myself had a very successful Go Fund Me a few years ago. I had hoped to go to the Stanley hotel for a writers’ retreat to try and get back on track with my writing and I wanted to pay my own way, but the recession was huge…
Yes, I know. That title contradicts every single piece of writing advice I have ever been given, or heard. In fact, it’s probably the number one advice most give about writing–to put writing first, and do it every day. And perhaps for many that’s what they need–to put writing first, and do it every single day. But I’ve been doing just that for years, and it’s been having a very negative effect on all the other parts of my life.
I need balance. And when I put writing first, I can’t achieve balance, no matter how hard I try (and believe me, I have tried).
So I’m trying something new. I have reprioritized my life and made a new list of how things with happen and it goes something like this…