Phoenix Rising

red handAround here, they tell my stories around campfires
To little children who listen with rapt attention
Hanging on every last word like a lowly branch
Mesmerized by the natural twists and turns
And wistful for more as they cling to the bark
In these woods, my people speak in plain language
And remember the past tenderly
Rich and vibrant like a ruby
Their memories are multi-faceted
And sparkles brilliantly in all its glory
Even with the obvious flaws
Around here, we turn corners all day long
Leaving the insolvent parts behind in the dust
Sorry for nothing
And grateful for everything we’re born with
We hold no grudge
Taking our bindings willingly into our palms
And waiting for a wink to do it all over again
In these parts, I’m the brave custodian of the realm
My skin darker and polished like cool copper
Encasing many scars in plain view
Yet, they shine like medals under the desert sun
Here, I am always touched by someone’s hand
And loved by somebody’s open heart
I’m the sum of all their good, bad and ugly parts
And in their smile lives my truth

4 things every 24 hours?

This blog serves not only as an outlet for my stream of consciousness, but, also as a reminder of the things I strive for. I’m stitched together entirely of good intentions. I watch in others for those things that strike me as kind and generous and try to emulate them in my life. And, every now and then, I’m reminded of my own awesomeness from those who know me best. Lately, I’ve been percolating about my life and as a result, here’s a short list of things I’ve decided to do every day. Care to join me?

1. Smile more.
I was on the train today and this little girl in front of me caught my eye and instead of averting her gaze, I flashed her a big smile. At first, she didn’t know what to do. She looked up at her mom and then looked back at me and started grinning from ear to ear. In fact, she wouldn’t stop smiling until I got off the train. And then, I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of my walk home. Watch out, those of you in my way… you are getting smiled at from here on out!

2. Be genuine.
Say something nice about the people in your life. Why not start each conversations with a compliment? When you see a friend or a coworker in a flattering dress or a nice tie, tell them how good they look. It’s such a little thing really and it can make someone’s day. The other day, my niece randomly put her arms around my neck and said, auntie Sena, you smell soooooo good. It was so spontaneous and honest that it just melted my heart. Kids have a way of speaking their mind, don’t they? They are blessed in that way and they don’t harbor any malice even when they are inadvertently being rude. We can all take a page out of their book and learn to be more authentic. The old adage still rings true, if you don’t have anything nice to say, just be quiet. Hey, but you can still smile!

3. Get outside.
I spend all day at my desk. I even eat lunch at my desk. By the time I leave it’s dark outside and I feel like I’ve missed out on a beautiful day. Today I had to mail a letter so I was forced to walk outside in the afternoon and I instantly felt a surge of energy. The weather wasn’t particularly nice, but when I got back to my desk and once again cooped up under the fluorescent lights, I realized my cells crave something natural and free. Maybe the smokers in my office are on to something, not that I’m advocating that you pick up a bad habit. Smoking is very bad for you! But, like clockwork these addicts walk outside, rain or shine and I can’t help but wonder if perhaps, just maybe, there is a take away here. Find time for yourself! Find a park bench or some shade and simply enjoy the moment.

4. Treat yourself!
This is a continuation of my previous point. While one is physically motivated, the other is purely emotional. It’s no secret that our lives have become a rat races and everyone is running a hundred miles an hour all the time. We are bound by outlook calendars and phone alarms and train schedules all pulling us in different directions. Once in a while, just stop the madness and treat yourself to a proper breakfast in the morning or some frozen yogurt in the evening. Take a bubble bath, have a glass of wine with your meal or buy yourself some fresh cut flowers. You deserve it! It’ll all be here when you’re done, I promise.

I heard a quote the other day which made me pause… To be able to love yourself, you have to first be willing to love those around you. I never thought of it that way! You are always told that in order to love others, you have to love yourself first. Nothing wrong with that except, it’s all about you again and kind of misses the point entirely. A simple smile, a silent gesture of acceptance, a nod of the head in understanding, a silly little wink, a sincere hug and a few minutes of quiet reflection… these little moments are what life is all about and I need to remember to keep finding them each and every day!

Salmon

salmon
I’ve been swimming without knowing how
My arms flapping and flaying to a pre-programmed rhythm
My feet kicking frenetically like a dolphin’s tail
Unsynchronized, yet poised in a symphony
I’m moving with a renewed passion towards something
But, look closely… I’m no dolphin
I’m only a salmon pretending to be a mammal
And, the truth is, I’ve been swimming upstream without fins
In pursuit of an ancient memory
In search of the calm and shallow of your lifegiving waters
In the tiny hope of you, my beloved
Wedged somewhere deep inside the congress of my psyche
And nudged by the current of your soothing temperance
I’m being urged to keep wiggling furiously like a fish
To keep swimming even without knowing how
My body against your waves
For as long as it takes
Until I’m deep within your bosom again

P.O.W

redheart
It is the last hold of the enemy
And the heart is a prisoner of war
It dredges up the brutality vividly
Reliving the memory of being shackled
To the catacombs of your organism
No matter how hot the temperature
It adamantly chooses to remain frigid
Inside these cast iron bones
Fear of the known is sometimes scarier
Than the unknown
Unwilling to surrender to the liberties
It has rightfully deserved all this time
It lingers in the same neutral spots
Where life has leisurely paused to breathe again
Go ahead; kick it with your heels until it moves again
Shove it with your palms until it stirs again
Scream into its portal until it raises its voice again
And remembers its own name
Because the heart is a prisoner of war
And, this is the last hold of the vicious enemy
Like a wild animal no longer bound by a rope
It must leave this shelter on its own
In search of the jungle
Where it can be safe again

Rip Tide

crashing wave
The butterflies arrive some time after midnight
And stay active in the confines of my pit
Until daybreak.
Fluttering around gracefully, they create
Countless ripples in varying degrees
Of a memory I’ve been trying to replace
But, all night I feel them dip and dive
Oddly making me think of a prickly fruit
Which was deftly dissected from its flesh
And its pink fibers torn and left rotting
Under the island sun.
Concentric circles form in the frontal cortex
Urging my brain to quietly follow its retreat
To a place where time feels vaguely familiar
Yet, absolutely abnormal
There, I’m haunted by a lingering melody
Drawn into the innermost sanctum of my being
I’m powerless where your vibration is the most powerful
I feel it rattling like a snake just beneath the surface
Hissing me back into life.
I have laid my head on this exact spot here, with you
Where rock crystals have begun to form
And this feeling which used to crash into my ribs
Has gradually lost its meaning
Looping around my sternum like a riptide
It hungrily swallows my desire in its bloat
With little resistance.

Mango Tree

mangotree
Here, I’m colored in cinnamon sticks
From head to toe
Drenched in the evening rays of the sun
Here, in the goose bumps of her red clay
I see the earth as she proudly flaunts herself
Puckering up to the shade of the mango tree
Lush, yet tolerant of the overt intrusion
Anticipating the immersion of seeds in her breast
I’m waiting to sow them one by one
Yes, right here
Under this curious canopy of purple clouds
Where the air is equidistant from each other
Sweetened with desire from the butterflies
Locking lips with petals and scattering yellow pollen
Sugarcoating the atmosphere with a natural buzz
Here, the mood feels perfectly suspended
Like the gardens of Babylon
And here, I’m ready to carry a pot with both arms
In an embrace
I’m willing to till the soil with bare hands
And finally find brown dirt waiting for me
Under my fingernails

Mother

mother
She rained on pavements for hours
Pitter pattering as she dropped in thick layers
All around his scurrying little feet
Like a mermaid she spread her shimmering scales
All across the ocean floor in a trail of crumbs
Leading him back to her sunken treasure
Each and every time
She swam in ripples twisting her body into a bubble
Lovingly blowing in his face until he broke into a brilliant smile
Waving his chubby hands up to the heavens
Beckoning warmly to greet her shine
She took to the wind like smoke billowing in the air
Covering vast acres with her lightened hair
Until she came face to face with the golden sun’s ray
She drenched him in her aura
Hovering over him like a cloud of rainbows
Blowing his nose on her classic color palate
All the while, waiting for his yellow eyes to widen
With stir crazed wonder
But just as he started to cry
She quickly rained on pavements, wooden floors, carpets
Kitchen sinks, car seats and even on the brand new lazyboy sofa
Pitter pattering for hours as she dropped in thick layers
Soaking everything in sight with her liquid
All around his scurrying little feet