Bittersweet & Light

summer-vine-in-shilhouette-smaller

House vine in silhouette by T. Haney

Two for today, to make up for not posting a poem last week. As suggested above, it ends on a lighter note than it starts.

1.

lemon honey, and other
bittersweet things

We welcome arrivals
with trumpets, strewn flowers,
a red carpet kicking up dust
as it unfurls down the long steps
cake so sweet it makes your teeth ache

but we seldom celebrate leavings
except clandestinely
deep in the shadowed places
of our hearts, the sharp, hard
corners, where we secretly relish
the wounds of our enemies
their petty losses, their private
moments of agony;

it is a fragile triumph, a filigree
of burnt sugar and clouded glass,
shattering at the merest touch
so we hold it close
to our chest, tenderly
licking our lips at the bittersweet taste
until the moment sours, dissolving
to dust and ashes in our mouths

we turn with a blossoming smile
towards the next new arrival,
the next accomplishment of strangers
while quietly wishing for the next
delicious ache, the next precious emptiness
left behind by what we once craved.

– T.H.

II.

Our chain-link fence
has become a glorious jungle
a knot-work of vines
tying the greens together
so it’s impossible to say
where the grapes and silver lace begin
where the euonymous and Virginia creeper end
crickets hide in tall grasses
a beautiful cacophony
fills the night air
people strolling by
do a double-take
as a bolt of chickadees
explodes in an ecstasy of scattered sound
neighbourhood cats prowl
imagining a wild forest
fish swim hidden
amidst rush and lily
I sit under the ancient lilacs
in the periwinkle shade
my toes in the fallen leaves
and imagine the whole world
is just as fine as this.

– T.H. (written back when we still had koi in the backyard pond)

 

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