A lesson

Death teaches us meaning
      of the word sudden —
one minute there, one minute
            not —
the blackness, the blankness,
the emptiness, the silence, the void —
the most palpable, oppressing nothing
      there ever was.

—Terri Guillemets

Couch

I long to be close to
where your beating heart
was among its last beats.
I sit on the couch where
we spent your last night —
but cannot bring myself
to sit on the cushion where
life was fading from you
and you laid against me.
I didn’t sleep, for vigilance
you didn’t sleep, for pain —
so tired, so dazed, so lucid,
so knowing, so loved, —
            so gone.

—Terri Guillemets

Afloat on hope

A viral magic act —
making all disappear
but essentials
and our souls are tore down,
emotions tested
communities spread thin
but never so together —
fear and negative mindsets
purpose and positive actions
our generosity unmasked
inspiration is contagious.
We live, we die;
we survive, but barely —
It’s been so long,
we are getting sick of this, but
it’s gotten us closer to ourselves
even as we distance from others.
A year of stern warning from
mother nature that some won’t heed
suffering, separation, and need
a year of gratitude and pain
a year of disorder, loss and gain
yes, many gifts too — science, love,
veiled blessings, principle, perspective;
months were lost but not the lessons.
We have homework: wrest the energy
to begin our rock-bottom rebuilding.

—Terri Guillemets
#covid-19  #coronavirus  #2020

Vanished

i hurt every day remembering
that i wasn’t there for you
the hardest day of suffering
— i left you painfully alone
when you needed me most
so damn close, but not there
which is the farthest away —
i was a fool, oblivious numbskull,
a frozen hearted ragdoll zombie.

—Terri Guillemets

My heart sees all the better

My eyes can’t see as well anymore,
      but my heart sees all the better.
My ears have begun to fail me,
      but I hear the quiet budding of success.
I move more slowly now
      but have learned to be still with myself.
I ache and hurt, I’m stiff and sore,
      but my spirit’s never felt so fine.
My memory is slipping,
      but I’ve got a firm grip on what it is to live.
My head is going gray,
      but I’ve found all my true colors.
I get out of bed earlier,
      but still I have plenty of dreams.
I live more softly
      but don’t back down from doing hard things.
My teeth are artificially getting replaced,
      but my soul is real and all my own.
My bones are brittle,
      but my resolve is strong.
I no longer bounce back,
      but I still look forward.
I tell the same stories over and again,
      but still I’m new every day.
I’m nearer to the end,
      yet I’ve only just begun.

—Terri Guillemets

Battery

my youth is caked over
with heartache and pains
regrets and inflammations
and sudden calcifications
of ligaments and spirit
not-bothers and defeats
that went to my head
and bruises that take
too long to heal
cracked teeth and
why-tries and i’m-tireds—
that which galloped
now rolls in ruts
my blonde has passed
to mousy and gray—
everyone i know
looks tired and frayed
sagging from the weight
of time and overbusy
and too much stuff
in too-big houses—
it’s too much life
and too little living —
no vitamines will fix this

—Terri Guillemets

Flux

cracks in poetry
are not ruins
but gaps to let
meaning breathe

—Terri Guillemets

Transforming

I translate stars into daydreams
I make rain and rainbows into
      freshly squeezed joy
I breathe the air of possibility
I swim deep in rivers of passion
I use my loneliness as
      a stepping stone to love
I am on the march to freedom
I tend to my blossoming soul

—Terri Guillemets

Glows & blossoms

The glow of the moon is poetry
The blossoming of flowers is poetry
The blossoming of woman is poetry
The glow of woman is poetry—
      and even more so, because
      the light comes from within.

—Terri Guillemets