Burning

for love’s rewards we stick our necks out
vulnerability a’pulse, blissful anticipation —
and love kisses our risk and nuzzles our napes
but after a time — short or long or in between —
we lose our heads to his swift sharp guillotine
our foolish blind hearts beat on nonetheless
and carry a torch right up to the inquest

—Terri Guillemets

Afloat on hope

a viral magic act —
making all disappear
except 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

some have perspective
others have only anger

a year of stern warning from
mother nature that many 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, priorities
months were lost but not the lessons

we have homework: wrest the energy
to begin our rock-bottom rebuilding

—Terri Guillemets

A January day that lives forever

In my mind —
      I’ve tried a million
      times to go back
      to that day —
tried to change
      my choices
begged a do-over
      from the universe
I’ve crippled myself with
      guilt
      sorrow
thrashing the quicksand
      sinking in
      layers of grief
fighting a sticky web
      trapped in
      regret-regret-regret
I don’t even care about
      my own
      broken heart
I’m sorry
      I broke yours

—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

Memorial

grieving makes us stronger —
it gives us a spirit of grace
      and the grace of spirit
our hearts feel weaker
      but living past loss is
      the ultimate courage
we honor our loved ones
      by living on despite —
      and all the more because

—Terri Guillemets