It does not appear that this sun shall set
nor the melody in my mind to cease;
I do not feel I shall ever be hungry
nor recollect that feeling of cold.
The sky mirrors my mind—
empty and warm and without agenda—
I find, in having no destination,
I have come to where I should be.
as I contemplate the complexity.
When I grow up, I will settle down near the last train station on the line.
It’s where I live now, a five-minute bike ride from the last station on the Western Line. My e-bike whirls as I ride up a long concrete pathway lined with rails.
Sometimes the train whooshes right past me, hurtling towards the station faster than I. Inviting me for a race, urging me on.
Sometimes, there is nothing there yet. An empty, echoing train station. The orange-vested man, sweep sweep sweeping the concrete in front of the bench. The rare passenger pacing along the platform.
But often, I see the train. Sitting. Watching my efforts with its buggy eyes. Beckoning.
My skin sits soft upon my hands
hugs so gentle at the wrists
dances clever at the collarbone
up and up skin pours.
On my winding staircase
chin nose cheek bones
drapes my sweetheart skin.
The sun and my skin are friends.
I and my skin are
I am building my self-esteem around a sentence:
I can learn anything.
I’m not great with kids? Not a great runner? Not all that social? Not a published writer? Doesn’t matter, I remind myself (over and over again) being “great” is not my self-worth.
I’m not great with kids yet. I’m not a great runner yet. I am learning the balance between Just Josie and being social. I am learning the skills to become a great writer.
This sort of self-esteem is powerful for me; it’s less fragile than whipping up a self-esteem based on being good at anything.
It’s not, however, anti-fragile.
As I discovered, recently, after a full-dose of body-wracking misery and raging emotions.
I see the sea lap the rocks
the streaky current pulsing sinuous but
my breath is still
& the wind is still—
the wind is
My cross-legged legs are streaky pulsing currents
the spine shaped by carpenters with bendy rulers
I count on one hand
all the thoughts I think—
Cloudless skies in full dominion tempt forth
on all sides
one hand only presence
I see the streaky sea lap the rocks.
By the hair that rises upon my forearms
midst the long sips of water I guzzle at night,
in the way that my eyelids feel
soupy in light afternoon sun—
swaying down on silken webs
soliciting no answers.
Opening car doors and bus doors and train station cafes
clearing a table—that table—
announcing the arrival at platform seven—
hard to believe there are so many of us.
Our humanity depends
on more than sanity.
You asked me, once, what I thought
and I told you a lie.
I see them now—
I smell Vick’s vapor rub and think
of my granny— dabbing at her chapped lips
the other hand stirring mashed potatoes her mind
ever reeling on child rearing and perfect
peanut butter cookies.
Her hug was a cavern my body the sea
I splash against her and take pieces home with me.
When spending a day in aimless enjoyment of the surrounding scenery, of the sounds a soul makes when it hears all those birds, of the capital position of being, I get this remarkable lightness in my heels and begin to bound more than walk.
Sometimes, in between long conversations with myself, I opt for a spot of heel clicked and random dancing.
Christchurch was much this way. Lots of intermittent heel clicking, physical and metaphorical, in between long bouts of singing and self-talking.
In the sunshine sits a softened soul,
still but breathing
Look here! Feel here!
Do you feel this beating heart
the coursing blood?
You sing along to the sea gulls
tho’ your eyes be dry—
the spring inside!
It is simply enough to be here
and be breathing;
Her gift to you is reverence
and a sense of proportion.
There is no perfect way to express
no finite way to be.
We are free—
don’t you feel it?! We’re free!
All around me are circles
the breeze is slow and yielding
my skin is soft the air
In my sweater I am whole
The fire that warms me is my own
and long has gone unnoticed.