Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Can’t see them but there they are:
Up above the world so high

Dreaming suns wandering by
Dancing, singing, near and far,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Atmosphere has filtered out
Night-time lights we think about
So it’s dark, but they’re still there
Outside our blanket of air
Make a wish and they will hear,
Stars outside our atmosphere.

Stars look down upon us all
Seeing that we rise and fall
Tidal forces of our lives
Ebb and flow. From that derives
Strength and hope and things we’ve learned
Joy and beauty gifts and earned

How you twinkle, my friend star
I don’t think you know you are
Such a source of light and grace
Part and parcel of this place
Twinkle on, long as you may
Because you bring light to my day.

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Itchy Feet

The moon gazes down at me from behind a veil of clouds,
Half-sly, half-shy,
enticing me to the road. The wind agrees.
“Come, follow, seek,” an elusive call
that might be song or perfume or caress
or something subtler. I don’t know.
I want to stretch wings wide, create
a silhouette across the moon,
and just go. It’s not my feet that itch
to take a step, it’s my fingers, it’s my skin,
it’s the hair across my cheek, it’s the eyes
that I can’t keep down.
If we are children of the stars, mayhap that urge
for the empty spaces lives in us always.
The scents and warmth and light and noise of others
anchor us here,
but we do not forget that solitude, and it
can be glory.

Pacing

A sonnet comes out better if you walk.
At least, it always has seemed so to me.
The movement and the rhythm of the tread
Gives life to words, and changes “breath” to “be.”
A dancer may speak sonnets with her feet,
A singer with their rests and changing tones,
But always will a sonnet need a beat
Or will the words be still as silent stones.
The movement need not be that you provide:
It can be wind or water or moonshine
Or leaves of trailing trees outside
The windows you are wont to claim for thine.
To give life to a work starts with a hiss
Of indrawn breath, a heartbeat, and a kiss.

Knowing Better, And Yet

All my messages in bottles
are addressed to you.
I daren’t send a one.
I shouldn’t send a one.
You won’t reply.
If I could hope that you would,
I’d fall into a pit of my own making,
Sticky with old regrets and hopes gone wrong.
I know better than that bittersweet well-worn road.
But still there are
so many messages in bottles,
and still
all are addressed to you.

Sweet Words

What words fall sweetest to my ears
Are sung in tongues I do not speak,
From voices fed with foreign spice
And sun and stars not known to me.

What words fall sweetest to my pen,
And pattern from my fingertips,
Those words I learned from my first breath
They flowed, with milk, soft past my lips

What time, what place, I should call home
I do not know, at least not yet.
My feet have yet to lead me there
And never will, I now suspect.

So words I hear, and songs that call
Will lure me on past life or breath.
I haven’t heard the call of home,
But will not give up, not just yet.

Fox, Snoozing

The fox appears to sleep,
but his ears give him away.
Nose buried cozily in tail,
the ears twitch, seeking out sound,
aware that young ones are about.
Maybe an ambush is coming.
Maybe not.
But still, for now, nose buried cozily in tail,
young ones are about,
and life is good.

The Younger Dog

The Elder God
has a Younger Dog
who normally sleeps at his feet
but every so often, the
Younger Dog
wants to play.

So while there are many legends
about why the Elder God
will rise,
one that is never mentioned
is that the Elder God wakes laughing
because the Younger Dog
is licking his facial tentacles with an eldritch tongue,
wagging a fluffy-scaled tail,
and dancing on the Elder God’s stomach.

Please, throw the poor Younger Dog
a soul to fetch back.
He’s waited so patiently, after all.

For Mom

I remember dragonflies and fireflies,
dancing jewels against a backdrop of magnificent commonplace things.
A small pond of green water, frogs no bigger than my thumbnail,
and dragonflies, iridescent in the sun,
flying gems that show how black really does contain all colors.
Twilight, that hint that eyes have their place but ears, oh ears,
sound has richness too, richness that spills over into feeling
like scent spills into memory.
I remember catching fireflies when I was younger,
chasing little stars come to visit.
Sometimes I’d make a wish.
And I remember, deeper than thought or knowing,
that you were there, always there, even when you were elsewhere.
Sound spills into feeling, scent spills into memory,
but touch spills into belief.
You believe in me.
I believe in you.
And in dragonflies.

Asking Stories

Gandalf, as a young child,
was always getting into the cupboards.
He was the one most likely to be found up a tree
or stuck in a bramble patch,
or curled asleep next to the neighbor’s cow hours after dark.
He told stories of his own devising to the birds,
who would listen long after his brothers and sisters and cousins
and neighbors and parents and passing strangers
had lost patience with him.
He asked why, and how many, and how long, and where, and who, and what next.
Always, always, what next? What else? What if?
His mother taught him to read out of desperation,
and finally she got some peace, and her cupboards and larder went undisturbed.
Now, Gandalf is an old man.
His questions led to sore feet, sleeping wet, going hungry.
He read books that tried to read him.
He got some answers, and found that answers lead to more questions, always.
There is always a what next? What else? What if?
He misses, sometimes, telling stories
instead of being part of one or another.

Tomorrow, he will seek out a bird. Perhaps an owlet.

Tomorrow will be time to begin again.
Tonight is for dreaming.

At Last, Sleep

Sauron looks down from his tower across the blasted land.
Looking down is all he can do, now.
When he was younger, he dreamed of looking down
from just such a tower
and watching those who had laughed at him writhe in pain,
or scream and wet themselves in fear,
or run away,
or finally, finally, FINALLY
just
Stop.
Laughing.
At.
Him.
for being scared of the dark.

Everyone had thought he was slow when he was young.
Not sleeping does that, destroys the ability to think.
Things hide in the dark, and they wait for sleep so they can
insinuate through nose ears mouth,
eat you toes and fingers first,
and you know that the blanket isn’t invincible armor but it’s all you’ve got.
The priest said that if you understand something, really truly understand it,
you won’t be as afraid of it.
So Sauron (whose birth name I don’t recall and neither does he) studied as best he could.
He learned about the dark, and about the Dark, and the Dark learned about him.

His favorite spell, then and always, was fire.
A simple spark, to light a candle and hold back the dark.
But not the Dark.

And in the end, it all came true.
The blanket armor wasn’t invincible.
The Dark ate him toes and fingers first.
It bled in through his ears and his nose and mouth, and through the pores in his skin, and it ate him.
Until all that was left was a single flame, cast in his left eye so that he could always see.
One light burning in the Dark.

When that small creature came, and threw away the Ring, at last, at long weary last,
Sauron understood the Dark.
And at long, weary last,
he could sleep.