Eyes and the Unsaid

as if the light blue marbles I’d toss around as a child 

were used to make the eyes of the man sitting beside me

the hues of the sea staring back at him, a mirror

a cold, wet wanting nears and retracts in the ebb and flow 

waves creep slowly onto moist sand

new sensation, same old desire

want. yes. all of it.

I soften my tongue to let the words loose, to

deliver an ancient scroll made of persimmon 

and saltwater berries

a practiced reveal shudders around in the heart valves

words crafted in silver

sweet, sweet but I still don’t speak 

a chew of raw attempt 

the outlining of letters in the mouth 

how a woman once a girl manifested a high seas man out of marble

and lost her words to the sea

Photo by Georgina Marie – Mendocino, California

“U’i (Beautiful)

My brother

on top of Koko Head peak today

any other day

he may be lost

or just on other mountaintops

Diamond Head

Lanikai Pillbox 

Some days he is small 

in his head

bible in hands

pain, remembrance of

days lost as a kid

We all had to grow up

a little too fast

we all had to survive

a little too much

to make it through days

as skeletons floating

like piñatas 

above winery land

We were hot air balloons 

in Calistoga

on days our childhood house

was always in mode

of lights out and violence

Now you walk outside to see 

colorful fabrics high in the air

flames giving way to

speed and light to

fly away from this life

to be bigger than this life

Brother

you and I

they and us

we aren’t kids anymore

it’s like we took those shades off and

see this new panorama

see this scenery

see these murals with messages

broadcasting how we don’t belong

to our skeletons of sad children

We can be anywhere

like you are now

in the Honolulu hills

Oahu beaches

pineapple mountains 

and palm trees

There is nothing bigger than your grace

bigger than you

e kūlia i ka nu’u

Photo by Georgina Marie, Tropical Flowers in Rural Country, Ukiah, California

e kūlia i ka nu’u” is a Hawaiian proverb meaning “strive to reach the highest”.

-Georgina Marie, Poet in Residence

“Seaside Obituary” A Poem by Poet in Residence Georgina Marie

I remember it exactly as the day it was:

gray, overcast, the air salty

from pounding waves the coastal winds learned to master 

To get there, you had to enter a winding road

where each side of the concrete pathway 

was lined with standing gods in the shapes of redwoods

the scent of the air pungent with pine and petrichor 

as it entered the pickup truck windows

rolled down just enough to feel the chill 

I was his daughter, once 

This day may have been the last day it was apparent

 

A drive to the ocean side

A walk through old settlement grounds of Jenner

Place of original windmills, place of migration

He bought me an abalone hairclip

He ripped seaweed from rocks to humor his daughter 

to feed his grumbling hunter stomach

How I long to remember how gentle this day was

how softly he tore the long, dirty green leaves from rugged rocks

contrasting how often his hands and words hit harder 

than the ocean hits sea stacks that have existed 

long before the sand we once stood on ever contained memory

  

How strange, what is revealed when remembrance 

chooses to reveals itself to you

how a sense of lonely becomes an unraveling tide

controlled not by the moon but by memory that pushes and pulls

opening neurological seascapes of muted recollections

that still call my name 

The ocean will always outlive us

I have outlived him

Photo by Georgina Marie, Limantour Beach, Point Reyes, California

This is my first post with Karma Compass! You will see poems from me on grief, trauma, healing, and more.

-Georgina Marie, Poet in Residence

excerpt from “The Will to Change” by Adrienne Rich

PART I

11/69-2/70

1.

We were bound on the wheel of an endless conversation.

Inside this shell, a tide waiting for someone to enter.

A monologue waiting for you to interrupt it.

A man wading into the surf. The dialogue of the rock with the breaker.

The wave changed instantly by the rock; the rock changed by the wave returning over and over.

The dialogue that lasts all night or a whole lifetime.

A conversation of sounds melting constantly into rhythms.

A shell waiting for you to listen.

A tide that ebbs and flows against a deserted continent.

A cycle whose rhythm begins to change the meanings of words.

A wheel of blinding waves of light, the spokes pulsing out from where we hang together in the turning of an endless conversation.

The meaning that searches for its word like a hermit crab.

A monologue that waits for one listener.

An ear filled with one sound only.

A shell penetrated by meaning.

For all the fallen angels of the Black Lives Matter Civil and Human Rights Movement of 2020, your life has meaning. You are not forgotten.

“Heart Parts” a poem by Kelechi Ubozoh

This thing inside me beats again

Size of a closed fist

Strained muscle

Pink insides

Awake Aorta

Vulnerable

Artic exposed

I can’t control it.

Years of being buried under another’s name

tattoo across closed tricuspid valves.

See, he wants lazy phone calls and holding hands.

He wants sky gazing on a blanket.

He wants to ask me all the questions.

This Chicago kid with a chipped tooth smile.

Honey brown eyes, full lips…

He wants conversations about books.

He wants soft whispers.

He wants time.

I want to devour him and drown in this feeling.

Who knows if I’ll ever feel it again?

Contracting heart

Blood flowing

Pumping

Woke up from a death like sleep.

Oh precious heart, I thought you perished in the fire.

Awakening hurts.

Fleshy pink, so raw and open

No fresh dew softness

Jarring sharp

Numb breaking

Band-Aid ripped off a cool scabbed wound.

Missing film around my heart.

I lean in.

He leans back.

Don’t turn me crazy with your silence.

You woke up

all my heart parts.

FullSizeRender
Elliott C. Nathan in collaboration with Living Artist Project

“Invitation” by Mary Oliver

 

img_7118

 

Oh do you have time

to linger

for just a little while

out of you busy

 

and very important day

for the goldfinches

that have gathered

in the field of thistles

 

for a musical battle,

to see who can sing

the highest note,

or the lowest,

 

or the most expressive of mirth,

or the most tender?

Their strong, blunt beaks

drink the air

 

as they strive

melodiously

not for your sake

and not for mine

 

and not for the sake of winning

but for sheer delight and gratitude—

believe us, they say,

it is a serious thing

 

just to be alive

on this fresh morning

in this broken world.

I beg of you,

 

do not walk by

without pausing

to attend to this

rather ridiculous performance.

 

It could mean something.

It could mean everything.

It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:

          You must change your life.

“To Rich Givers” by Walt Whitman

 

What you give me I cheerfully accept,

A little sustenance, a hut and garden, a little money,

as I rendezvous with my poems,

A traveler’s lodging and breakfast as I journey through the States,-

why should I be ashamed to own such gifts? why to advertise for

them?

For I myself am not one who bestows nothing upon man and woman,

For I bestow upon any man or woman the entrance

to all the gifts of the universe.

 

And Because Love Battles by Pablo Neruda

 

 

And because love battles

not only in its burning agricultures

but also in the mouth of men and women,

I will finish off by taking the path away

to those who between my chest and your fragrance

want to interpose their obscure plant.

 

About me, nothing worse

they will tell you, my love,

than what I told you.

 

I lived in the prairies

before I got to know you

and I did not wait love but I was

laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose.

 

What more can they tell you?

I am neither good nor bad but a man,

and they will then associate the danger

of my life, which you know

and which with your passion you shared.

 

And good, this danger

is danger of love, of complete love

for all life,

for all lives,

and if this love brings us

the death and the prisons,

I am sure that your big eyes,

as when I kiss them,

will then close with pride,

into double pride, love,

with your pride and my pride.

 

But to my ears they will come before

to wear down the tour

of the sweet and hard love which binds us,

and they will say: “The one

you love,

is not a woman for you,

Why do you love her? I think

you could find one more beautiful,

more serious, more deep,

more other, you understand me, look how she’s light,

and what a head she has,

and look at how she dresses,

and etcetera and etcetera”.

 

And I in these lines say:

Like this I want you, love,

love, Like this I love you,

as you dress

and how your hair lifts up

and how your mouth smiles,

light as the water

of the spring upon the pure stones,

Like this I love you, beloved.

 

To bread I do not ask to teach me

but only not to lack during every day of life.

I don’t know anything about light, from where

it comes nor where it goes,

I only want the light to light up,

I do not ask to the night

explanations,

I wait for it and it envelops me,

And so you, bread and light

And shadow are.

 

You came to my life

with what you were bringing,

made

of light and bread and shadow I expected you,

and Like this I need you,

Like this I love you,

and to those who want to hear tomorrow

that which I will not tell them, let them read it here,

and let them back off today because it is early

for these arguments.

 

Tomorrow we will only give them

a leaf of the tree of our love, a leaf

which will fall on the earth

like if it had been made by our lips

like a kiss which falls

from our invincible heights

to show the fire and the tenderness

of a true love.

 

~Pablo Neruda