Distant

Distant…

Hands long for the warmth of flesh
to touch
to hold
to love

The torn social fabric

Covers our mouths

Shielding us

From

Each

Other

This day, too, shall pass—
it always does—
not fast enough for most,
far too quickly for some…

We Mourn

Like doves, tossed in the storm,
Like sheep, led to the slaughter,
Like lone wolves…

Distant…

We howl at the insensitive moon.

It waxes.

It wanes.

It cycles.

We will sort through the carnage—
we always do—
and comfort each other
touch
hold
love
And mend the social fabric
Breathe the fresh air
And Celebrate…

a

…pandemic, DISTANT

©️2020 Tanya Cliff

Pedal On

We were supposed to turn our swords into plowshares
our spears into pruning hooks,
I thought, as the bombs fell,
as the city fell,
as the dream fell,
through miles of explosions, carnage, blood
This was the wrong stuff haunting my dreams
Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on
Pedal on
for miles through the end of nightmare streams
flowing like toxic sludge,
clogging the living artery
where hope
in heart-attacked, arrhythmic disturbance
beats on
Don’t stop in this dystopian flow
I never want that again
Don’t end it here
Beat on
Dream on
Pedal on
a road less traveled, rarely journeyed on
few find it
Pedal on
Take up the garden hoe, put down the gun
LOVE your neighbor
LOVE mine
Pedal on
Pedal on, pedal on
Pedal on
to clearly streaming consciousness,
visions stellar
Peace
Take up the garden hoe
and plant
Pedal on
through miles of mountains, valleys, stream
This is the right stuff filling my dreams

~

My response to the prompts from the following wonderful bloggers, taken collectively in Stephen’s Level UP Challenge:

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge: Tuesday, 25, 2020

Eugi's Weekly Prompt – Stellar – February 24, 2020

https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/category/what-do-you-see/

(New!) Wednesday’s Level UP Challenge, 2/26/20 and Tuesday’ Writing Prompt Challenge Round UP

~

It is also my cry out after yet another mass shooting, this time in Milwaukee, not far from my home.

~

©2020 Tanya Cliff

~

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The Playlist

Back from the dead
The tomb did not consume
I am being dramatic
It was just an MRI
It felt like a tomb,
except for the meditation music
I could have selected Alternative Rock
Is there a Spotify playlist across the River Styx?
What tunes comfort that lonely sail?
I don’t know; it was just an MRI
You enter an MRI breast scan face-down,
midsection supported by a narrow bar, breasts—
one still bruised from biopsy—dangling,
Don’t move, for 45 minutes
It is uncomfortable
I am not being dramatic
Technicians cover your eyes with a warm cloth before you enter,
pipe music through headphones
to distract you
from the loud bangs, clicks, whirs
of the mechanical tomb
You choose the tune,
The playlist, so you don’t forget
This isn’t a tomb
Don’t move
It felt like a tomb—
cramped, ill-fitted, distressing, dark
I am back
I am not being dramatic
I am struck by the light at the end of the MRI tunnel
Comforted by the playlist

~

©2020 Tanya Cliff

~

The Glen

Impenetrable
or so it seemed
‘till the creek
by persistent motion
carved a path through hard rock
Now, the waterfalls
pool far below the ridge
light pierces the narrow gap above
and dances
in reflected ribbons
mingling like threads
that weave hope in ripples
illuminating the cool, moss-filled shade
highlighting the brook
no longer trapped
as it flows gently
down the valley’s earthen bed
filling soft crevices
completely–
a thorough lover,
penetrating
in currents
deep in the glen

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff

Posted in poetry & free verse.

Gossamer Threads

the gossamer threads unwound
like a bodice unlaced
or a shell cracked
or a brittle paper torn
skin so delicate
that the lightest touch
along the curvature of the neck
more whispered than felt
like a warm spring breeze
created such a tremor within
the old garment was undone
it couldn’t resist the fluttering
what chrysalis can?
the bondage fell away
in tatters, like late snow falling
melting into verdant ground
and new existence
in scales incandescent
a life with wings
resplendent
found

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

Journey (revision)

the world extends its frozen branches to you
adorned
with the decadence
of greedy, icy-jeweled, cruel hearts
your wandering self shivers

you hold out a lonely hand
to feel something
but the frigid limbs burn
branding exposed skin with red-marked scars
you’re numb with bitten touch

you open your hungry mouth
to taste
but the frozen berries stick
you strip them off your tongue
your words come out stained with blood

you brush against this plant, trying to flee
leaves crackle
in mocking laughter
but you, instead, remember love’s warm fires
you sigh homesick desires

you gaze in troubled wonder
to see anything
but the ice reflects the winter sun
blinding your eyes in dazzling sparkle
you squint and tears fall

you inhale, longing for life’s fragrance
and smell nothing
the flowers are all hiding in buds
leaving your nostrils dripping
you sneeze the cold of rejection

you turn and journey home
steps quicken
weary traveler, you know the way
come near, sparks awaken all your senses
at home’s hearth, rekindle your soul’s flame

~

You can read the original version of Journey here.

Words and Photography ©2017 & 2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry & free verse.

Grateful

grateful
for the holding
for this time-worn fabric
for the rough and frayed of life lived
that caught the edges of unraveled scarf
violently tossed by tempest’s wind
calming the storm within
for this sticking
grateful

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Entry posted in poetry & Rictameter Verse.

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A Little…

a little lost
a little hurt
a little crushed by life
I am
a little…
hope a little
laugh a little

thrive

~

Selfie from the edge.
#nofilter

~

Words and Photography ©2019 Tanya Cliff ~ to contact me

Posted in poetry , healing, & free verse.