Dont Ask Dont Tell

Blood pounding in the ears
clawing, scratching, waiting for the scream to rise.
Wake up, wake up! I am awake in mid-nightmare.
Violence jettisons the consciousness to safe harbor
somewhere unknown – brutality against resisting flesh.
Hands grip so hard, lingering bruises are in the shape of hand prints
around the neck, across the breasts, on the thighs.
Unending pain, softness and beauty once so tender are violated, bleeding
sullied in no explicable way.
I cannot tell you. face judgement, the inquiry.
I cant tell you what I will not own as history.
Please don’t ask why I cant talk about
the mattress carrying girl anymore. You can’t know
the word “rape” fires up my brain, heart-rate and the need to flee
and the word makes me not able see you anymore or hear your words.
Please don’t ask. Don’t tell.

I Missed What You Said

I perhaps didn’t hear.
There was so much said.
Maybe I missed a nuance,
A gesture, a glance.
But it changed the tenor
Of this conversation we were sharing
Or what we were sharing
Perhaps was only in my head.
I might have gleamed over an important word or
Stopped listening as I was pondering a response.
Maybe i just didn’t want to hear
Because sometimes I dont.
Its too much at times
And at times not enough.
Its always a dance, you of many words, me of few who loves my silence.
But I must have missed something.
For there is only silence.
Usually I assume its me.
But this time I think its you.
For someone of many words,
Something is missing.
There is a gap between what I heard
And what you meant me to understand. Trust me. I will listen now.
This silence, has my attention.

Where the Grass is Singing

It’s the unspoken moment
in its silent way, that presents the whole story.
It’s the glance between friends across a
distance that lets you know
they have been friends a long long time.
Maybe its a glance of a mother towards her child, with tears
in the eyes expressing both love, exhaustion
exasperation and torment.
Or a moment between strangers
that echoes all the hidden possibilities and
hidden agendas. Even a scowl that could enrage
or cut to the quick a sensitive creature.

I find the passage – its always there.
Then I lean back and take my leave
of the day,
I sink into the lush grass and hear its singing
because she brought me the knowledge
that in a far off place that is what waits for me.

for Doris Lessing

Say It

Words burn in my veins.
I cannot say them out loud.
Afraid of the sound,
the portent,
the reality.
A swell starts in my solar plexus.
In my throat the words expand,
press at my voice box,
bring tears to my eyes.
In my head, “say it”
but I cant. And then the moment passes.
And no one knows
I had something to say
or why I am standing so still.


Settling into the quietness of longer evenings,
The long shadows of Fall and Winter.
Life is both muted and enhanced by silence.
In the quiet, gestures are noticed more,
the glances are watched more acutely.
Nesting brings intimacy desired or not.
Our close proximity brings scents closer to each other
stirring pheromones.
Passions are enlivened – both positive and negative.
And so the desire arises to hibernate alone,
away from the intimacy
to a protected and private sphere
in which we can recharge, ruminate
restore ourselves
to ourselves
so that we may emerge anew in the spring.