Arise thankful

a new day doesn’t mean
forgetting yesterday
but simply letting it go
not to dwell in memories
but to cherish each one
as it pops up and surprises us
and then release it with a smile

the birds are singing of now
our hearts beat of the present
the past is a muted background
enhancing our carpe-diem lives
dawn paints the scene of today
and invites us to live beautifully
to be the artists of our own souls

—Terri Guillemets

Afloat on hope

a viral magic act
making all disappear
except essentials —
our souls are ailing
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 austere warning from
mother nature, which many won’t heed —
suffering, separation, and need
a year of gratitude and pain
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

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 freaking plan —
and even if I did — nothing
ever actually goes
                           according
      to
                      plan
anyway

—Terri Guillemets

Enclosed

Our bodies are 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 birds sing
or feel invigorating breezes —
how are we to be refreshed
to heal, to know the world
beyond the borders
      of our bodies?

—Terri Guillemets

October-blood

come scarlet leaves and falling light
this time of year — October-blood
runs through the veins of autumn —
slowing heartbeat and longer breaths
shorter daytimes and chilling nights
warm hearts and sanguine thoughts

—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

my aching body is stiff and sore
but my spirit has 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 have found all my true colors

I get out of bed earlier
but still have plenty of dreams

I live more softly
but don’t back down from doing hard things

my teeth are getting artificially 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 continue to look forward

I tell the same stories over and again
but become a new me every day

I’m nearer to the end
yet I have only just begun

—Terri Guillemets

Death lights heavy

Hummingbird mama —
abandons her nonviable eggs
but keeps checking back
a few more times, just to be sure.

Nested arms fall off a saguaro,
break open on the ground
like fragile eggshells —
after decades of desert still-life
a few seconds of death-motion.

But the night breeze is so beautiful
those breezes are — so beautiful,
it’s hard not to get swept away.

—Terri Guillemets

Oh amazing desert, let’s rejoice together!

entire continents of grey-white clouds
hovering serenely in an enormous spring-blue sky
a soaring raven calls, out of its element
why are you this far south, beautiful bird?
then all is quiet but for a distant plane
heading to who-knows-where —
what a gorgeous afternoon!
way too beautiful for negative thoughts —
listening to subtle sounds of nature’s energies
oooh, sudden chilly-breeze goosebumps
coolness swirling through sunlit seventy degrees
a day of sensation and eerily silent excitement —
winter and spring overlapping at the seams

—Terri Guillemets

A thousand choices

Transform  FEAR  into —

curiosity, love, kindness, humor, hope, joy, knowledge, focus, laughter, awareness, wonder, willpower, wings, experience, faith, fervor, challenge, gratitude, encouragement, enlightenment, goodwill, action, learning, beginnings, opportunity, aim, determination, adventure, character, smiles, hard work, independence, letting go, peace, patience, perspective, calmness, confidence, effort, insight, energy, light, movement, living, overcoming, mindfulness, healing, grace, generosity, acceptance, reflection, remedies, truth-seeking, self-reliance, desire, fight, fortitude, freedom, intention, lessons, journeys, poise, positivity, art, poetry, singing, dancing, words, wisdom, wellness, trust, respect, compassion, affirmation, friendship, fun, fresh starts, stepping stones, goals, dreams, drive, duty, empathy, grit, cheer, excitement, apologies, forgiveness, plans, prayers, purpose, life, questions, answers, coping, daring, helping, morale, moxie, nerve, heart, guts, resolve, self-discipline, spirit, tenacity, understanding, research, enthusiasm, valor, caution, courage, boldness, ability, zeal, readiness, information, meditation, mettle, options, decisions, protest, change, education, volition, carpe diem, honesty, introspection, usefulness, appreciation, blessings, delight, dignity, hugs, deep breathing, doing, vantage, U-turns, exploration, growth, invitations, value, virtue, venture

—Terri Guillemets

Tools for writing

awareness, audacity, awe
authenticity, acumen, angels
coffee, curiosity, cats
dreams, decision, desire, direction, devils
erasers, endurance, experiments
fearlessness, flexibility
grit, guts, goals
honesty, hyperbole, hunger
ink, ingenuity, insanity, insomnia, insecurity
intention, intellect, insight, intuition
purpose, pain, passion, perspective, personality
rawness, reverie, reference
soul, style, spunk, solitude, silence
substance, stubbornness, struggle, sweat
sagacity, sense, skepticism
typewriter, tea, time
wit, wisdom, what-ifs
wistfulness, window, wings

—Terri Guillemets