NPM: Our Finest Dreams

Our finest dreams 

Are kept high on the top shelf

Like the china we dare not use

Or the liquor too pricy to drink

Our finest dreams

Are covered in a thin layer of dust

They’ve not been handled in so long

For fear of breaking them

I have many dreams

Of various kinds

Some grand, some simple

But my deepest dreams 

Are still mysteries to me

I don’t know what they are

I’m not sure I want to know

Because once you know

You are beholden to them

Bound to them

And your world cannot be the same

Colors cannot be as vivid

Nights cannot be as restful

As long as your new-found dreams

Go unrealized

I avoid my very finest dreams

So I cannot be too disappointed

If they don’t come true

I don’t look at them too closely

Up there on the highest shelf

I only glimpse them sideways

Like glancing into the fiery sun

And blinded, looking back down

NPM: Garden of Fear

We all live in a garden
Tended and cultivated by a specialized class
Of gardener—the media
Tells us everything about everything
Or at least something about everything
If not the entire truth
And for some reason
In these last days
The gardeners have decided
To cultivate fear
To sink its roots deep into our soil
Its tendrils to cling to every structure
To climb its way up the lattices of our homes
And of our hearts
Fed and watered by the daily reports
Of violence and terror
Nourished by the idea of those who are Other
That anyone who is not Us is Them
And They should not be tolerated or trusted
We smell the fragrance of those flowers
We breathe it deep
Until we no longer recognize the heady perfume
Of paranoia and hate
But I swear to you
That I will sow a new seed
Among the fear-flowers
Clandestinely scattering here and there
The small mustard-seeds of faith
And from them will sprout the tiny bell-like
Flowers of hope, that when crushed
Release an aroma stronger than fear
Lovelier than hate
Because I will no longer live in a garden
Where I have forgotten all that is good
And pure and true. We have not lost it.
I will not lose it.
Hope is rooted deep in the soil of my soul.
I will not let that flower wither.
I will not.

NPM: Stage of Life

Our hostas haven’t sprouted yet 

They lie dormant beneath the topsoil

But the neighbor’s hostas

Are poking their tender green heads

Up from their cool, dark slumber

In fact, all around the block

I see them growing

And feel affronted

How dare they?

I crouch down along the row of dirt

Where last year’s hostas flourished

Running my fingers through the mulch

Searching with fingertips for a sign of life

I find nothing but dry soil

And the memory of verdant summers past

Perhaps mine are just late bloomers

Perhaps they are just slow starters

Waiting in stasis for life to begin

Or perhaps I am waiting in vain

For a resurrection that will never come

Still Searching

In knowing him
My heart is satisfied
My soul is justified
There is nothing more I need
And still I’m searching for something
If I really knew him
I would know peace
Would know content
But all I see of him
is a blurry silhouette

Every glimpse I’ve had of him
stirs my heart
But glimpses aren’t enough
to sustain deep, abiding love
I need to stare, to watch,
to study long and hard
this one whose beauty
captivates and mesmerizes
if only looked at truly

NPM: Feet on the Floor

The hardwood floors of my bedroom creak
each morning as I put my feet down
to rise out of bed and start a new day.
Sometimes I groan along with them,
wanting only to turn around,
crawl into my bed,
and stay there.
But day after day,
my feet hit the floor,
the grain rough and solid beneath them.
Because feet are meant to cover ground:
to walk, to leap, to run,
chasing after the setting sun.
But there are days when it feels like the sun won’t rise.
There are days when I’d rather not try.
On those mornings, as I have before,
I convince myself, for one day more,
to put my feet on the bedroom floor.

NPM: Girl in the Tower

Little Songbird,
In your tower-cage,
How sweetly you sing
with no one to hear you.
How brightly you burn
with no one to see you.
You are isolated
because you are unique.
You are protected
because you are dangerous.
Do not be led astray
by books, or false shepherds,
or hope.
Do not dream of worlds beyond
your own.
Do not turn those fervent dreams
into reality
by ripping tears in space
and time
and pulling those worlds to where you are.
Stay here, Little Bird,
Stay safe.