I feel like I’m going a bit mad:
Mind practices summersaults
And twirls and ashes, ashes we all
Fall down, and my heartbeat
Beats like a nagado daiko, like
The fury road war drum
Fury and fear and swelling in my ears
Trapped in my rib cage,
Skin a cage, a chain, a grave
Blood pounding sounding like
Smothered screams, silent streams
Capillary caves, claustrophobic cells
Jail celled, spread restless twitches
Pacing, races, fidgets
Right out the front door
But even wasteland space doesn’t
Tame the insane stirring, subdue
The trapped lion staring
The sun in the face, unable to pace
Anything but the paths she
Already knows, the very roads
And steps their own cage, trapped
In the former familiar comfort
Of suffocating tracings, habits
Suddenly crave the snow globe shake
Of the unknown. How can I follow
The siren song? so much distraction
Drowns it deep until brimstone erupts
A fiery cascade
Burning cardboard castles –
Sham havens, shallow joys
Hollow loves – smashing, burning
All to cinders until lo, only the
Glowing ore remains, the slag
Dragged to crust and sealed, the molten
Core of salamander fire revealed
A still beating heart purified to fly
To chase the divine Melody,
The stars’ grace, and dance the sky.
Why are you still here?
Like a dandelion pushing up
From a jagged sunbaked concrete
You show your sunny face
In places least looked for
At times almost unwelcome;
One person’s flower is another’s weed.
What soil gives you root?
What nourishment do you find
That such quick springing growth
Should raise its golden head, its bright eyes
From the very heart of brackish tar
Unyielding as an old man’s grudge?
It’s all he’s known, all that’s sustained him;
To remove it would kill him.
Yet you keep returning
Your death a spray of downy wishes
Whisked away by careless winds
Yet always left behind
In the rich, rare compost of decayed dreams
The seed for more generations
That spend their brief days casting bright shadows
Over the suffocating roadway
Broad with good intentions.
And the dandelion, with its sunshine face
Replied unto me and said,
“Lookest thou unto the hills;
Thou knowest whence thy help comes,
From thence also comes thy hope.
Both come from the Lord,
Thy God and the God of thy heritage,
The Maker of all thine eyes see:
The heavens above, the galaxy beyond,
Maker of me
And Earth’s entirety.”
Carol Edwards is a northern California native transplanted to southern Arizona. She lives and works in relative seclusion with her books, plants, and pets (+ husband). She writes from her imagination, her life, and her faith. Her work has appeared in Space & Time and Opendoor Poetry Magazine.
Photo credit: “closeup dandelion” by Bob Jenkins, via Flickr.com (modified by Veronica McDonald).