In It

Once I am in it

It is an ocean

And I am in it

Glowing, unboned, light unfiltered,

An alien weightless in the deep.

 

But before I am in it

I must drown

And it is a violence I

Visit upon myself;

I am my own current,

A rip tide pulling

Unraveling threads – these yarns –

A life unfinished

That

Stitch me together.

There is no peace in surrender

When to surrender means

Lungs full of water

Cracking

Into the sea shot through by light

 

I’m not saving myself

I am only

In it.

 

©K Paige Medina | 17 May 2018

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March

Today as you are marching,
propelled by winds of change,
your crucible behind you,
your lives made strong and strange,
you may hear ugly, hateful words,
or be told you aren’t enough
to withstand the grind of apathy
that blunts, scorns, and rebuffs.
But you are mighty, though yet young,
bearing the weight of history’s sins,
baptized by fire, stubborn and strong,
crying “Enough is enough! Never again!”

When your hearts are swelling, and your feet
find themselves in rhythmic beat,
look and marvel at your power,
that you forged from your darkest hour –
remember, but don’t be seduced
into surrender, war, or truce;
a longer night ahead awaits,
but you are worthy of your fates.

©K Paige Medina | 24 March 2018

How Does Empathy Feel?

Do you ever suddenly realize that
beneath the shields our brains project over us,
there is skin,
and beneath that skin is blood,
and muscle, and then, deeper still is
bone, and then beneath that is
a heart?
A wet heart, a red heart,
beating and mute?

Do you ever feel suddenly human,
that impermanence and flaw,
when you read the words of another person and find
yourself in them
and it makes your knees ache a little
and your elbows,
(maybe that’s really where we’re connected after all,
in the bony fragile places,
in the hot wet tissues,
in the tendons and nerve endings –
maybe that’s where a human lives,

and dies)
?

©K Paige Medina | 06 March 2018

Love Poem

If I had watched every sunset,

Light coiled ravenously upon the diminishing

Curves of an earth old and yet

Constantly, effervescently new,

 

If I had seen sunrises from each continent,

Starlight dripping through night’s

Blue blankets, like firelight through a desert tent,

 

If I had witnessed stars being born,

Their imperfect figures expanding in a rush

Of trillions of fireworks, explosions

Befitting new gods,

 

If I had watched the ocean breathe her tides

Like the sumptuous monster,

Hiding her own starry depths beneath painted waves,

 

Then, perhaps,

I would have learned the words

To capture the incomparable magic

Of your smile.

 

©K Paige Medina 21 December 2017

Gorge

It’s a rocky cliff to overlook
when evening’s still so glum,
when the darkness whispers that this life
is too much to overcome.
That precipice may scare you
when you’re tired and poorly shod,
though throughout the day you cling
steadfastly to your god –
I’ve seen your withered, beating heart
ascend these fearful heights
and bravely keep a lookout through
the storms of these long nights.
Stay true to what the daylight speaks
into your quiet soul,
for though the night feels long and dark,
time still takes its toll –
be patient with eyes skyward,
for this night will soon have passed,
and you’ll find yourself across this gorge
and continue on at last.

©K Paige Medina 7 December 2017

via Daily Prompt: Gorge

Rain

When I dream of water, I never dream of rain. That
insistent monsoon music has no place in
the soul of this siren – no,
only a sea blanketed by clouds,
or the fog of a morning seeping like secrets between
evergreens and swirling amid the twirling arms
of wind turbines – or the impatience of rivers, hustling
like businessmen or soldiers, confined within the
Earth’s fences, soil slowly yielding to the force of another nature,
another mother, whose sharp tongue froths and whips,
bearing new fruit from old loins – or,
cakes of ice, glassy and heavy and melting loudly,
bobbing like birds among the warmer waters of choppy seas.
Yes, it always returns to the seas.

Rain – that moody, weeping thing, gleaming like a veil
over a sky too full for words – or turning night streets to mirrors,
reflecting in its selfless way the lights of a species
hunched against its gifts, chilled through from wet—
I’ve never seen you quite right,
and I’ve never dreamt of rain falling into oceans,
only in the backyards of my memories, but
I suppose even the ocean must drink somehow,
and even rain must be welcome somewhere.

©K Paige Medina 28 November 2017

Cellos

Wrap me in a shroud of cello music—

Let me pay my boatman with

Close and heathery melodies –

What sphere’s music exists that is so fine,

So wise and yet so impossibly human? –

Lay me to rest to the tree’s lullabies,

The music of plants, who remember

And do not speak.

 

Place me in the house of strings,

And let the chapel be hung with the low

And whole notes of a mournful instrument,

And speak only with bow-kissed strings,

Let the only tremor be in fingers

Pressed, calloused, along the smooth cords –

 

For if I am bound up to death like Persephone,

Let it be to the sound of wind

And moors, furred with lavender,

Feathered with this fairy music,

For then I will not perish in death,

But come again into myself –

Like a butterfly or a bear,

Awakening into daylight

Unblurred, undrowsy, unashamed of sleep.

 

©K Paige Medina 20 November 2017

Waking

I wake alone in foggy lands,
untouched anew by lonely hands,
and whisper into earless nights
the secrets of my fitful geist–

(and speaking now with wand’ring tongues
from unfamiliar depths have sprung
these fathomless and foreign springs
that breathe their mists o’er ev’rything)

–and back they hiss in slyer tones,
to sleep and not to wish for home,
for home is but a distant Waking–
an upheaval of thund’rous shaking–
and lonesomeness, like starry skies,
is full to bursting with goodbyes.

Heady silence strangles thoughts
and twists my dreams all into knots
but when dawn breaks I shield my head
from the shattering of words unsaid–

(spiderwebs burdened with morning’s tears–
but mornings catch whispers and expose them as fears)

–and steel myself for the Waking hour
when silence holds a different power.

 

©K Paige Medina 09 October 2017

Medusa in a Mirror

Female anger sanitized by a male expression
The undulating danger of the monstrous made feminine,
Medusa in a mirror,
The gorgon in the blood,
The nefarious banal,
The shimmering echo of the demon in the throat,
Choked once more into sobriety
By Adam—
Giver of Names,
Arbiter of Shame,
Blameless Judas,
Are you still the only one who can tame
The witch in the woman,
Bottle the marid,
Set fire to the madwoman’s ghost,
And tell her to sit still?

That lick of insolence when you take a woman’s anger into your mouth –
Speaking a spell you don’t believe in –
Boy of flesh,
You have never understood the femininity of ragnarok
But I have.

Beneath the half-lit gas lamps of living in your world,
I, Woman, have bound myself to what is true,
Learning to distrust the light,
I have welcomed only stars, only moon,

Only the way my own eyes glint in mirrors,
When, once again,
You have come for my head.

 

©K Paige Medina 15 September 2017

Glass

Could once it have been perfect,
a moment yet to spend,
astride a sleeping, peaceful hill,
unfamiliar still with ends?
Is ignorance so peaceful,
that storms must stay so far away
that even unperturbed tranquility
should these flimsy hearts assay?

I have not long been walking here,
though fond yet have I found
the world of pain and calumny,
and hearts too often flayed and ground.
Is it blissful then to sit alone,
untouched by loss or love,
and still to breathe, though fearfully,
lest one from this gentle perch be shoved,

And tumble down to rougher scapes, where fire and fury find
as plentiful a purchase as in calmer, simpler minds.

 

©K Paige Medina 26 August 2017