I Love October

Dark chocolate, melted,

Mixed with coffee and cream.

Grey skies, cold wind,

And blankets of orange leaves.

Jazzy lo-fi with my morning tea,

Earth & spice in the air I breathe

Death of summer, sweet relief

Apple cider and marshmallow treats

Afternoon walks in long dark sleeves

Reaquaintences with the old silver screen

Gothic novels and scary dreams

A celebration for all macabre things.

October is the month I like to savor;

Its bitterness, sweetness, strength, and mystery.

It reminds me what makes me feel alive,

Being sensitive enough to take pleasure in little things.

It’s like kisses under a thick comforter

And shivers from a well placed touch,

A chill that sweeps over your entire body.

A gentle shock that opens you to your reality.

Dear October, I love you,

Sincerely, Sanya Elswyth Walma

Grandfather

You had a lot to say,

A lot locked behind all the walls of your losses,

Heavy half-truths, unexhumed feelings, and prejudices.

A doomsday prophet, razor-focused on the end.

So absorbed with abstract death, present miseries eluded you,

That was, until they burdened you, and wore you down.

The last eight years of your life were some of the strangest of mine.

We needed each other, but I couldn’t always depend on you.

You were the last person I would trust with anything personal,

And in my lowest moments, I hate to say, your words only hurt.

I couldn’t be your grandson, though I pretended to the end,

Hiding everything about myself as I tended to your needs.

And when you were afraid to die, I stayed beside you,

Comforting you with the same love you had for me,

The unconditional, but seperated from real empathy.

The truth is that we could never accept each other

For who I am and what you believed.

For all the years we spent together, just ourselves,

Every day was a little painful, with all the tension I concealed.

It was all for you, and now you’re finally burned and buried.

It hit me hard, knowing our interactions are done.

Your voice is embedded in my mind, your words and persona.

I miss you, and it’s bitter, even though I’m glad you’re gone.

Goodbye Grandfather, I’ll remember all you taught me.

I’ll remember because I’m unable to forget.

You taught so much and still learned so little.

The end of the world is surely coming, even though you missed it.

Goodbye.

Sixteen Hours

It’s over and begun again

Before I was awake to contemplate my place therein

And now there’s decisions to make before another day is wasted;

Time to get out of bed and make the most of who I am.

Sixteen hours to occupy.

There’s money I need to make,

Feelings I need to hold at bay,

Friends I ought to engage with

Dreams of mine to explain;

I know I should write another poem,

I know I should do more for myself,

I should work harder to realize my potential,

To help others and bring more beauty into the world,

Oppose oppression and lift up the beaten down,

Make new memories and new connections into love,

Write meaningful stories as impactful as I am able,

Speak truth to power and lead others to something more.

Sixteen hours.

A day’s weight to carry and divide

With all the urgency of our dwindling time.

My God, I need a release and space to hide,

Some poison to feel temporarily satisfied,

A window to the make believe, to live a life that isn’t mine,

Immediate pleasure, to be ok alone and pacified.

A day’s tension and relief , begun again, immobilized,

Consistent as death with all the awareness of being alive.

It needs to end, this state of being that leaves my paralyzed,

Because all the stress within a day hurts less

Than witnessing your life go by unrealized.

Identifying A Woman

Far be it from me to tell you

What a woman is or isn’t

Because even the act of living it

Leaves ambiguities.

 

Do you believe identities

Are something we experience internally

Or something we’re assigned

By nature or how we’re perceived?

 

There are hormones and chromosomes,

Patriarchial structures and feminine superstitions,

Poems and stories devoted to Goddesses,

And those who break away from all traditions.

 

Desire, lust, and expectation,

Something defining or something latent?

A human being entrenched in Image

Or a depth of feeling you simply experience?

 

That which is not man

Or that which is only artificial,

A culture, a gender, a sexual character,

Someone you recognize but can’t quite decipher.

 

Style, substance, intuition,

A history of subversion and subjugation,

A relationship with words like “beautiful” or “pretty,”

The feeling of being prized or hunted.

 

A mystery, a darkness,

A power not delicate but malleable at the edges,

A subject that either fits you or doesn’t

But not a thing that can ever be taken or given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’re Not The Same

There are characters and stories I’d always imagined growing old with,

Looking back on forever as formative to my being,

But while growing up changes a person and our worldly understanding,

Stories often remain undeveloped and unchanged.

There are moments in books that once thrilled or astounded me,

That were once profound, insightful, or full of mood,

And while many of those words still make me feel something,

Their meaning seems to change as often as I do.

Themes that represented the concepts I believed so perfectly

Have revealed themselves to be shallower over time,

And writers whose minds seemed so beautifully percipient

Have fallen behind perceiving the experiences of life.

It’s sad to watch something beautiful be diminished

When circumstances change how it reflects in our gaze,

And characters that fell so easily into our hearts

Transform into beings from which we’ve become estranged,

But, if there are stories we’ve grown away from

It means that we’re growing all the same,

And becoming new and better people will always alter

Our understanding of what the past means.

Sentences and ideals that mattered then can still matter

With new understanding settled into the narratives we’re making,

And the stories we’ve left behind can still inspire us

As we renew our loves and troubles into characters worth creating.

 

 

 

 

 

A Place Away

There was a house in the woods

Bordered by a ring of brambles and thickets

Encircling lush ambrosial gardens

Fed from a narrow cascading stream.

It was concealed by enchantment

From the designs of outside eyes,

Untouched and immoveable,

Unfazed by the works of time.

There, knowledge distilled to one question,

That of pleasure between souls,

The unfurling of tangled psyches

Like fine beaded twine softly pulled.

It was home to several dozen

Who stole away from haunted homes,

Caught lost inside the darkest forest

And running from the world.

In place of statuses and structures,

There are faces always warm to you

And hearts always open

Never asking for or taking dues.

Nothing you thought you were

Or what others did to hurt you

Need go unspoken or lamented,

There’s time to attend your wounds,

And ambitions have all died

As did the barriers between minds.

The house that’s in the woods

Holds space for passions to spring alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fear From Complacency

People who deny

You the chance to act honestly

Often undercut empathy

With the fear of being erased.

To be oneself

Has almost always proved risky,

But it gets frustratingly

Arduous when one’s identities are retraced.

It tears at the nerve

Between confidence and sympathy,

Criticism from complacency

Cutting crosses in your face.

She says she’s afraid

Because her very being is threatened,

She who’s being

By that standard subjugates.

Equally communing

Past your deliberate segregating

Proves tryingly absurd

As you blocked yourself from seeing.

Look at me

Without holding back your feelings

And tell everyone listening

What your posture really means.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buried Tension Still Bleeds

When it takes volumes

Of vehement talk and effort

To express a single truth,

 

Singed by rejection,

Denial, the negation of being,

Choking on what’s unexpressed,

 

With desperate passions

Unbound against callus walls

Of corroded empathy,

 

The need for action,

Reclaiming vital recognition,

Becomes irrepressible.

 

Buried tension still bleeds

As the unmoved try to move on.

When words and reasons fail,

How can you make them feel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trinkets

We belong

Like miscellaneous trinkets tossed

Into an unlabeled jar.

Without a splendid wrapping,

We search out our commonalities and raise them

As a standard to be adored.

Screaming in unison

We demand our due affection

From behind the congealed lace of neglected projections.

For our beauty’s recognition

We chose to betray the odds and ends

Whose identities unveiled our jar’s lack of meaning.

 

Field Of Eternal Sunset

Magic black and silver Cadillacs

Carry us effortlessly out of the city

In singing groups of five and six

Towards the field of endless sunset.

 

Barefooted, we saunter the soft grass,

As cool as the humid air that’s ambling

Through the bushes of lavender, sage, and chamomile

Surrounding the bonfires and fountains in odd corners.

 

The fires are hazy but bright,

And the waters seem to play a melody.

Keeping our eyes open causes the faintest strain

That intoxicates us evenly through every moment.

 

The crowds continue gathering

And soon the fairies are hovering between us,

Fluttering and dancing in silent revelry

To the beat of wings, water, and flame.

 

Wherever you move it stays the same

But the faces and voices endlessly change.

Every action you make costs nothing to take

And each weightless breath draws you in further.

 

There’s a time but no age,

No history and no needs,

It opens up only a sconed

And invites us to escape eternity.