The Drought

August 10, 2017

It’s been fifty days since
High clouds congregated to
Bless us with new rainfall,
Gone are the days where we
Used to sit and listen to drips
Coming down off the gutter.

The time of year is right for
Sun-scorched grass and the
Peculiar smell of pavement
Sizzling in the sun’s glare,
Heat waves distorting any
Semblance of comfort.

Droughts never last forever.
Eventually, we shall see
The grey clouds accumulate
And release our tensions in
The form of warm sheets
Of summertime rain.

MSBQ

The Facade

May 8, 2017

She said something odd
Into his ear as they moved
Together, blissfully silent
In the darkest of hours.

He stopped, abruptly,
Confusion across his face.
Her breathy whisper was
Quiet, but very clear:

“With wounds as old
As original sin, we prey
Upon the weaker flesh.”

In the morning, she lay
Amongst the silences of
Her own wrongdoing…
He’d never be seen again.

MSBQ

Crystallize

May 2, 2017

April seems to take
Whatever it pleases
Each year, leaving
Nothing but a long
Empty space where
You used to live.

Thinking back, I see
All the phone calls at
Seven o’clock before
Wheel of Fortune,
Thank you cards, and
Photographs of times
Not to be forgotten.

These images remain.
Memories crystallize
Like golden honey
(And just as sweet)
And pool in the space
Between my lungs.

More than anything,
I know that you loved me.
And we love you back.

MSBQ

Mina el Hosn

April 5, 2017

Endless waves collide
Against the sea-wall along
The promenade, each row
Of palm trees swaying in
The breathy wind coming
In off the Mediterranean.

Though Cyprus lies only
A few miles off-shore, it’s
Shrouded in the haze from
The forgotten ships that
Once lined these docks,
Trading goods from afar.

Beirut stands as it always
Has: ancient and modern,
A thousand languages and
Too many stories to count.
Now, it has become home
For those who have fled.

It may seem a paradise
Steeped in sunlight’s rays,
But these streets will speak
If you are willing to listen.
Voices as old as the waves
Always yearn for the sea.

MSBQ

I’ve been told, though never seen,
That once each month in moonlight
Can be found some other beings
With eyes like gems in sunlight.

Though they seem to want to play,
Their goal remains each spring:
Go trick some children out in day
To catch in faerie rings.

The aos sí will keep their mounds
Free of mortal wandering;
At night you might just hear the sound
Of pixie folk a’ pondering.

If you listen to the sidhe,
Then hope may never find you.
Mischief is what’s in their creed
Like white-thorn bush in late June.

The Celts know not to dare disturb
These faerie circles’ kind,
‘Lest they find that deadly herb
Within their blood entwined.

MSBQ

The Magpie

January 3, 2017

High aloft in his tree
Sits the clever magpie.
He has lived a long life,
For he knows the keys
To making your way in
This wicked world- or
At least so he says.

He will go on for days
On problems abroad,
Issues in Spain or France,
Knowing which province
Of Canada has the best
Varieties of shortbread.
But, in truth, he has
Never once left his tree.
He’s not been beyond
The edge of the woods
He was born within.

There is only so much
A bird can learn from
Dusty books and titles,
You must get out and
Spread your own wings
In order to ever truly
Understand our world.

MSBQ

2016, A Year of Losses

December 31, 2016

This may be one of the shortest resolutions posts, and that’s because in a lot of ways 2016 needs no explanation. It has been a pretty toxic year both here in the States and elsewhere, and we have lost people (both personally and otherwise) that make it all much more difficult. For many, the end of 2016 can be summed up in two words: good riddance. 

However it was not without its good things, and as we march forward into a very uncertain new year, it is important to reflect. Here were my resolutions for 2016:

1. Enjoy the last year of my twenties. I think I have done about as much of this as possible, and we capitalized on our summer being open. Seeing the baseball hall of fame and going to see Griffey retire his number at Safeco Field were definitely high points. 

2. Try to eat a little better/work out a little more. Such a simple goal, and yet it winds up being one of the hardest. After Christine’s car accident in April, I no longer had a workout buddy, and it makes it harder to keep motivated. Instead of repeating this one again, I think I will make it a default concern. 

3. Don’t be afraid to branch out (school-wise). This was a tough one for me because my second year of teaching was such a challenge. I am still open to suggestion, but a major change of attitude in my building’s admin team have me thinking I might stick around a while longer. Still want to work on that Masters degree though!

4. Continue to write poetry (and think about prose). As you can tell, I did indeed keep writing but as I look forward to turning thirty (three weeks away now) I hope that this slowdown in frequency of poems just means the quality will get better and better. I did finish my zodiac series of poems, and I’m proud that I managed to cap that off. I like them, and that doesn’t always happen with my work.

5. Get married. While it hasn’t happened yet, the engagement was bound to be a long one. You wait six years to get engaged, it doesn’t seem so bad to wait two more to get married. The plan is to finally tie the knot in a small ceremony in July 2017. 🙂

 
Now that we have that done, I can think about the resolutions I have for the new year… And some of them may surprise you. 

 
1. Get published again, preferably in print. I have been published online, but it is such an industry that just getting your work out there can seem insurmountable. I want to see my name on paper, damn it.

2. Get more involved politically. With the environment in crisis and the rights of others in the balance, it has never been more important to stand up for what I believe in. I can’t just sit there and let it happen. 

3. Start a Masters program (or at least get accepted). In the next year, I want to really actually get the ball rolling on this. It will help me financially in the long run but also I miss reading for class. (Sad, I know)

4. Spend more time with the people that I love. This includes family and the family who aren’t related. Getting so sucked into work can mean I might miss out on being with the people in my life who matter. 

5. Take more interest in my health. I’m going to be thirty, and despite Fitzgerald calling it a decade of loneliness, I want to make sure I can keep myself healthy enough to get through my thirties unscathed… even if that means going to the dentist. Ugh. 

 
That’s about it, folks. My focus has never changed, but the people around me have. 2016 has been a pretty weird year, and I’m glad to put it in the rearview. But I want all of you who put up with me to know that I love you and I hope we get to hang out in person again soon. Have a happy and safe New Year’s and I’ll see you on the other side. 

MSBQ