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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Abandoning The Box

I wake to the quiet—a split of time held in smoky purity …but then a thought imposes--a heavy tsk-tsk that makes my head bow and my stomach curl. It’s a call to suffering, a shift towards fear…
”you’re too old to change."
"You’ve wasted your life."

Such were my thoughts while living in the box.
It was a tight and toxic environment,
where tainted truths were dished out in little doses.

And why did I ingest all the lies?
Because I was told to,
and I wanted to please them,
and it wasn’t their fault,
or mine,
or who knows whose,
because the road to every hood and home has been paved with lies since man's first thought.

I kept imagining what it was like outside of the box—maybe peek and catch a glimpse of something new, but the fear that there might be something better out there kept me from looking. After all, what would I do? Nearly everyone I loved lived in the box so I couldn't leave.

I stayed in the box in my twenties, when youth beckoned me “explore”.

I stayed in the box in my thirties, preaching with grave conviction on the apocalyptic consequences awaiting all who abandoned their boxes.

I stayed in the box in my forties, when the days turned stale and life became as unproductive as a dry heave.

Then I turned 50, and I said to myself, “Enough! My life is more than half over and all I’ve seen is the inside of this box.”

In that instant five decades worth of boxy convictions toppled, inspiring me to peek outside of the box.

Yes, I did.

And what did I see?

I saw myself smiling
right back at me.

So I lifted my skirt
and climbed on outside,
where the sun in its brightness
shone as my guide.

I saw paintings and theaters,
dancers and drunks,
buildings and alleyways
sprayed on by punks.

Some things were so frightening,
I wanted to run
straight back to the box
and hide from the sun,

but I knew in my heart
I had something to do,
so I thought till a thought
bubbled up from true-blue.

I could write a book.
I could
and I did.
I wrote one about
my life as a kid.

It took all my breath
to say stuff out loud,
to recycle myself
back into the crowd.

But now I’m connected
to me and to you
to all of the people
in search of true-blue.

And life is much bigger
for it’s being lived
by someone who’s free!

Listen to life.
It is wise.
It is generous.
It is speaking.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Temple's Spire

Temple's Spire
Leah Griffith

I thought I’d live a bigger life
of sweeping landscapes speeding by,
and neon wonders twinkling bright
against a starless urban sky.

An up-close view of all that is
a searching of the sea and more,
each grain of sand,
each polished shell,
whose chambers whisper to the shore.

I thought I'd climb a castle’s tower,
and punctuate through guarded clouds,
favored with the highest views,
through secret doors concealed from crowds.

All this I’d hoped and much much more,
for words cannot justice give,
the longings of a woman’s heart,
where limits part and hope begins.

Three score and ten—little more,
the gods have counted out our days,
pursued by dragons spewing fire,
and warmed by love’s contented blaze.

The best of years now lag behind,
when muscles answered each demand,
and clear minds snapped with fresh ideas,
ready with a perfect hand.

But now the needle’s eye has closed,
the hand unsteady takes its time,
The castle on the hill afar,
stands flawless in my shrouded mind.

And what remains
is mine to own,
the gold, the dross, the love, the dire;
the journey inward has outrun,
the swiftest feet to temple’s spire.