LAST DAY OF THE YEAR

You spin

In the panorama

Opening inward

To see yourself

Blessing and curse

Better or worse

A spectacular horizon of potential

Inverse

You are tiny

You are giant

You are resistant

You are compliant

You are a coward

You are defiant

You are the grand poobah

Of nothing

You are the stream rushing

To be still

You are a creature without power

Imagination or will

You are a god

In human form

Mortal vessel

You must kill

To be free

You are you

You are me

You are the cup of coffee

That wishes it were a cup of tea

You are the one

Who is grateful

You are the one

Mired in spite

You are the last blush of the day

You are the first dark fingers of the night

Opening your hand

You are ridiculous

You are a divine command

You are quick to judge

Slow to forgive

Desperate to understand

I know

I know who you are

Because I meet you there

Where I am also

All and none of these things

Those things

Those prisons

Those castles

Those smoke rings

We appear

In consciousness

Rising

To fall

All things that come

Must also go

Must also crawl

We can only suspect

We can never know

We close our eyes

We breathe

We trust

We are stars

We are darkness

We are fire

We are dust

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THE WIZARD

Wise in names

He frames

A maze of mirror-words

To bind what lies in shadows

To itself

Wings folded

The past sleeps at last

As daylight creeps

To peek out slow-fast

At its own birth

Inhaling the scent of the earth

We sing the old tongue

No words

Only the dark hum

Of ghost birds

Calling deeper forces

To come

From unseen sources

The boundaries melt

What is lost is felt

And lost again

The stars awaken

For living men to see

Before they pass beyond this world

Through this broken looking glass

To the other side

© 2022 Julie Flanders

Image: Melissa Nucera

(https://www.etsy.com/people/ThisYearsGirl)

April is Poetry Month Day 29

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INDELIBLE PANCAKE

Our time here is about to be

Invisible

And yet we believe

Ours are indelible marks

In the registers of the universe

What would you bring with you

If you could

A scent of pancakes, butter and syrup

Music

Flowering trees

From the woods behind the house

The memory of the mouse

That made your son jump

And run from the kitchen

Would you remember the power of itching

The power of feeling horny

In eighth grade

Would you remember the school bus

Your bed unmade

That one terrible grade

From the teacher with the weird skin

Would you remember the way you were taught

The concept of sin

And then had to unlearn

The idea that you would burn forever

In some dim place

So far from God’s face

That you would not remember

Your own grace

Or would you remember

Laughing so hard

Once in Jamaica

In a pool

That you felt yourself unspool

Into the absurd

Self-perpetuating ‘yes’

That comes in the middle, sometimes

Of a mess

Like your brother’s spastic sneeze

At a funeral

Which made the whole family burst

Into the wrong emotion

As if cursed by mirth

Will you remember Colin Firth

Playing Darcy

Or will you remember the book

Will you remember how once

Your husband gave you that look

And made you think

Ah, that man is about to make me

Feel that Jane-Austen feeling

Will you remember the angels

On the ceiling

Of that place in Paris

You stepped into

Out of the cold rain

To drink champagne

And eat escargots

It’s hard to know

Which thoughts, feelings, dreams

And random happenings

Will make the trip

Maybe none of it

Will slip past the veil

Maybe we have to leave it all behind

An epic fail

To keep the entire contents

Of the seemingly so important mind

All of it

Wiped clean

Or maybe even the feeling

Of a whole new machine

Nothing to keep

Or port over

Just the expanse of the ‘I Am’

With none of the ‘I Was’

All of the ‘to be’

And none of the ‘because’

Because we really don’t know

How it will go

How it will stop

How it will end

Or continue

It’s a lottery

That gets to win you back from yourself

A golden ticket

You just stick it in your pocket

Until you rocket out of your body

Slow or fast

Into something that has no past

No memory

No pain

And if you’re asking

When do I get to do it again

Who could be that clever

Live now

Or live never

Before you cease

And start to un-live

Forever

© 2022 Julie Flanders

April is Poetry Month Day 28

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SAINT la

I set out in a boat

Of leaves

To find a man

Who silently grieved

On an island

The waves came

Up and over my skin

The boat disappeared

I began to swim

Into the unknown

I fell asleep

In the frozen waves

Where the ghosts were

Rising

From watery graves

Embracing each other

In silence

Drowning

For centuries

Breathing the waves

I lived in the ocean

In fearful caves

For love is a power

That kills

As it saves

Love is a dreadful teacher

I lay down

On the loneliest beach

Beneath broken cliffs

That I could not reach

Where a man could die

Or a woman could perish

In search of something to love

Or to cherish

And there on the shore

Was my boat made of leaves

And a note

From the man who had left it

For the seas

Where the heart is

So full of itself

It deceives and cheats

Death

With an ace up its sleeve

Some things you have to believe

To see

Some things you have to let go of

To be

I left what I had

And you left what you grieved

So what

We could risk everything now

To retrieve our soul

No angels arriving

Just will for surviving

To emerge

From the ocean

Simple

And whole

The life you were mourning

Torn open

So that you could

Be born

So that you could re-

Form your life

Into love

© 2022 Julie Flanders

April is Poetry Month Day 27

Image by: Jeremy Bishop

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We Chase Dinosaurs

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I KNOW YOU BY HEART

First snow fell last night

Light, soft, bright, white

Surprise

The morning changes our eyes

From fall

Falling to sleep

To winter’s deep

Surfacing

To hold us in a dream

Of the last season of the year

I wish you were here

It is almost the day you were born

Your birthday

I still mourn

I still miss you

Home

Christmas

This year I will bring a tree

Bring it home

Drink whisky and tea

And stare out

From my warm house

Into the beautiful

Cold world

The snow is a gift

The snow is a warning

The snow has gathered

And swirled

Danced and landed

Each flake an angel’s curl

Forsaking its unique shape

To fall

A pearl among pearls

To earth

A blanket finding berth

For a moment

Or a day

A bed of beauty

That appears

So real

Before it disappears

I return to you

I go back years

To where you still dance

And swirl

You are young

We laugh like girls

We jump into a sky

Where the future unfurls

Before us

As we plunge

Into a bright, summer lake

Feel the water break

As our bodies disappear

The memory melts

The memory freezes

In time

Returning to snow

My mind frozen

And unfrozen again

As this day opens

And then

A cardinal lands

Like a blood sign

A red heart

An evergreen pine

This moment winds

And unwinds

Before it declares itself

Mine

The symbols align

You arrive

You depart

I find you

I lose you

I forget where to start

There is no ending

I know you by heart

© 2022 Julie Flanders

April is Poetry Month Day 25

Image by: Marina Belica

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CORNER STONES

The good and the painful

Are not enemies

They are lost brothers

Holding hands

After the war throws itself across geographies

Into foreign lands

Where strangers speak in strange tongues

And suddenly a face in the crowd

Recognizes what you cannot ever say

Out loud

Silence is a harsh brand

That scars the future

With the past

If we last

If we are lost

Remember

A number is not a name

And you will never be sorry

For what you claim from the ashes

Or the fiery sparks of shame

You are my brother

You are my blood

You are my partner

In this terrifying flood of change

The only danger is to forget

The only comfort

Is what hasn’t happened

Yet

Grief is not the ending

We are still the same

Grief is just the pain that cuts away

What we are carrying

And must lay down

To live again

© 2022 Julie Flanders

April is Poetry Month Day 24

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RED GIANT

You erupt

In a bright and final way

I do not expect you to conform

To anything

You are a solar storm

Of yourself

Igniting the world

Caesar too had a dream

But did not notice

The dark edges moving

Like an army

To the center

Of nothing

He could not help

But enter the shadows

You cannot help

But enter the light

You spill the cup of flame

And let it burn you

Blind

Into a wild

Cosmic sight

Calm this whole thing down

Let’s return

To the ordinary

The half-glass

Of juice on the table

The promise

To call me when you’re able

The genie-dream in the empty bottle

You left behind

I have to go now

I have things to do

Out in the sunshine

That reminds me so much

Of you

© 2022 Julie Flanders

April is Poetry Month Day 22

Image by: Timothy Dykes

#julieflanderspoetry#octoberprojectmusic#love#poetry#poetryfoundation#dream#goals#divine#divinityWithin#BeYou#beauty

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LOVE’S ECHO

You hold me

Close as you can

I suppose

I still feel

A million miles

From nowhere

Near you

I can hear you

Hear you hear

Your heartbeat

I hold a rose exposed

By the thorns

The sting of beauty

Leaving

A mark where I close

And open

My fingers

And dare to linger

In hope

You hang

By your own rope

And I can’t save you

From yourself

To execute

My love

For yours

I lay this flower

At your feet

One day

I’ll laugh again

For hours

Somehow

Someone else

Will bring me flowers

I can keep

But today

I weep

© 2022 Julie Flanders

April is Poetry Month Day 21

Image by: Gaspar Uhas

#julieflanderspoetry#octoberprojectmusic#love#poetry#poetryfoundation#grief#loss#heartbreak#dreams

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Can We Remember

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