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

Grieving to the marrow

GRIEF  twists the heart
and contorts the mind
carves the spirit hollow
wrings the past to tears
torrentially obscuring future
LOVE  saturates memory
until sorrow overflows
into every pore of present
ALL  you can feel is emptiness
and a lump in the throat
platitudes no consolation
but living on nonetheless

—Terri Guillemets