Lost in thought

We’ve lost, we’re losing,
it’s so much loss, too much.

But the clouds are rolling
and the breeze is blowing
and nature is so beautiful
and the dried delicate leaves
are doing their dance of balance
between hanging on and falling away
amidst their wintry shiverings —

they love the wind
for helping them let go —

they fall to the ground
and the gentle rain comes
and helps them nourish the earth.

A gray bird lands on a bare gray branch
both unadorned, yet so, so beautiful.
And the leaves are drifting
and our lives are drifting
and loss is just another form of beauty.

—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

Value-able

some see treasure in everything,
while others die believing
everyone else struck gold but
never finding any for themselves —
how sad for those lost, bitter beings
who were ever blind of heart

—Terri Guillemets

Rejoice, lament, meander

Black eyes and broken bones
Rainbows and sugared donuts
Overthinking and over-loving
Have gotten me to this point
And still, I’ve never yet made
A five-year plan — and even if
I did, nothing ever goes to plan
Anyway.

—Terri Guillemets

Enclosed

Our bodies were meant
for the sun, the rain,
the gusty winds,
starlight and moon baths,
fresh air and seasons —
so why do we trap ourselves
      in indoor cages?

If we can’t hear the
birds chirp, feel the breezes:
how are we to be refreshed,
to heal, to know the world
beyond the borders
      of our bodies?

—Terri Guillemets

Real eyes

Now that I’m over the hill
I can see it’s just made of
skeletons of dead monsters
that were never really there.
But that past is no less high
and no less there, and I am
no less on the other side of it.

—Terri Guillemets

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