Barely knowing

Spring and summer come with a lush layer of foliage over reality, but when things start falling away in the autumn and get bare and stark in the winter we’re forced to look at things more as they really are, including ourselves.

—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

Battles

If your armor against the world is laziness and excuses, you’re not protecting yourself from battle and injury — you’ve trapped yourself inside with them.

—Terri Guillemets

Fantastic shores

In bed at night his mind had a ferocious imagination
reality and unreality haunted his turbulent brain
the years ticked, an infinite clock of destiny
searching moonlight for the promise of a future
his reveries of heart were coasting on a fairy’s wing
as the world and universe drifted by fantastic shores.
But the sea, work, and women — physical outlets —
were his anchor — something old, hard, and soft.

—Terri Guillemets

scrambled blackout poetry created from F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, 1925, Scribner 2004 trade paperback, pages 98–99

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