As The Willow Lives

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If I lived
As the willow lives
I’d fling long tresses
Into the wind
And send deep roots
Through all the earth
To touch and embrace
Both love and pain

If I lived
As the willow lives
I’d stretch Moon silvered arms
And pluck the stars
Weaving them with great care
Around each bloom and leaf
And so, adorned with the light
I would wait for you

If I lived
As the willow lives
I’d love you, with a passion
Both deep and high
I’d be your shade and home
Your place of sweet rest
And build cathedrals of my branches
So that, you, may live in the skies.
LM Jones

(Painting by: DorettaBendalin https://goo.gl/images/DPW51V)

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Not About Angels

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“That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.”

Yes, pain demands to be felt
An inferno arising from within
Refuses to be ignored
No point in placation

I have learned to let tears fall
Wherever they may
And I will feel no shame
In my submission
I give myself over to the tidal wave

Total surrender
As up up up…I’m carried
Then, reaching the crest, I’m pushed
Not over, but back
To fall and crash

Churned with the rocks and shells
I become smooth
Refinement in the fire
I’m gold
Made new from the old

And from below calm waters
I see the brilliant dawn
Violently
I break the surface
Breathing life in sobbing gulps

Astonishment! As golden wings unfurl
And I begin to rise
The watchers wait to see
An angel come to life.

-LM Jones
(Quote: The Fault in Our Stars)

The Riverside

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“Down by the water the riverbed
Somebody calls you somebody says
Swim with the current and float away
Down by the river everyday

Oh my God I see how everything is torn in the river deep
And I don’t know why I go the way
Down by the riverside”

Lovely darkness presses against his window
Gently, silken tendrils float toward him
As he thrashes once…
Twice
Then lightning flashes and
Darkness holds her breath as together
They are pulled into a dream
Or vision
They swirl with the wind
Toys in its palm
Through a veil of midnight

And then…

White skin glistens before his eyes
Darkness walks on ahead
Clothed only with the moonlight
That pools on her glowing skin
And a crown of stars at her brow
Sending glistening sparks
Through long fiery hair

Slowly… she glides
Fingers trailing the rough bark
Of the evergreen trees
Her scent like a mountain breeze
Cool and wild
Sweet and frightening

A sound like thunder is rolling
And crashing ahead
A glance over her shoulder
And their eyes meet
He steps back at the green fire
Inside those eyes
Fire that pierces his core
Knows his depths
And does not find him lacking
“Come with me and witness my rebirth”

Suddenly, the thunder is before them
In the form of massive water falls
That stretch up into the clouds
The water roars as it crashes down
Onto the rocks
And a river rushes from it

Darkness continues forward
Pausing only at his gasp behind her
“No! You will be torn apart!”
The embers of her eyes
Flash to his again
Giving no answer but a small smile
And a slight wave of her fingers
Freezing him in place

With slow reverence she steps
Onto a path of glowing stones
Leading to those monstrous falls
Her arms raised in supplication
He thrashes as her fingers reach
And finally touch the water
Then pauses as her joyful laughter
Rings through him,
And truly begins to watch

Darkness she had been
Beautiful as a Lily
deadly as night shade
He watches as, indeed,
She crumples beneath the rush
Watches as darkness begins to crack
Sundering then melting away

The water is washing
Purifying
Every single dark splotch
That he’d never noticed before now
Never understood that as she moved
Through the world
She took on the darkness of others
Cleansing them
Just as the water now cleansed her

Blinding light erupts
from her open mouth and eyes
Tears stream down his cheeks
At the sight of her brilliance
Ivory wings erupt from the falls
And there’s a piercing cry
As the great white falcon
Leaps into the sky.
-LM Jones

Dry Bones

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In the Fall
My dreams burst forth
Mimicking the trees
As they danced and shone
Enrobed, as they were,
In their lustful reds
And happy golds

And I watched
As they too fell
One by one
And turned brown
With decay
Then came a cool wind
And the sound
As they rattled up and away
…like so many dry bones
Clanking with glee

The beauty
That anguish
Will momentarily bring
The impact of every sense
More profound
Like the fire of a star
Burning brightest
With its last breath.

-LM Jones

Leah of The Meadow

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“She slept with wolves
Without fear
For the wolves knew
A lion was among them.”

Leah means weary
A name with a curse
Named for a woman of ancient times
She was always second choice

You may feel pity for her
But the story is happy in the end
Leah is blessed above Rachel
And becomes mother to the nations

Leah, bone-tired
how familiar those depths
Laced with premonition
And yet, a gift to discover

For there’s another meaning
“Of the meadow”
Blessed by nature
Healed by her light

Child of the meadow
This title, I shall claim
Never destined for the shadow
Kissed by the sun and baptized in rain.

-LM Jones
(Quote: RM Drake)

Something True

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The sun is bright today
After an eternity of clouds and rain
A choice, to tuck sadness away
It will keep, this nagging pain

“I forgive you”
That’s so cliche
So I’ll say something true
I don’t. No, not today

Nor tomorrow, as well
But here I stand
A heart longing to swell
Catching light on trembling hands

Open still
Though not for you
So go on, toil and mill
Does old dust reveal anything new?

You’ll discover it’s all the same, I’m afraid
But don’t come looking for me
You go twist in the bed you’ve made
I intend to waltz with this breeze

And so I’m called away
The wind is tugging my hair
I won’t miss you as I play
Won’t hear your laughter in the air.

-LM Jones

The Story of My Tree

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I know what you must think
When you see my barren limbs.
You see an old tree that looks dry and wasted.
It’s true that my leaves had fallen, seemingly, never to return
And the bloom of my youth is a fuzzy dream that
Floats on the edges of memory.

Aw, but you are wrong! I am far from dead!
And I’m not just any tree, I was chosen for a special purpose!
I know that somewhere out there I have not been forgotten.
So sit awhile with me and if you listen,
With more than ears, I will tell you a story.
I will tell you about my girl.

I remember it was a bright spring morning,
And my friends, the birds, were just stirring from my branches.
When, suddenly, they leapt to the air in a flurry of fright
As a man climbed onto one of my great arms.
He shimmied to the center just above an elbow
And began to fasten something there.

In that moment I wanted nothing more than to buck him to the ground!
The man jumped down when he had finished
And stood there admiring his handiwork with pride.
The new weight was strange and unbalanced.
In a furry I wondered why this man had tread upon me
And ruined my beauty with this thing!

The air around me filled with the most horrifying shrieks.
It was as if banshies flew around my head.
I felt a tug and my limb began to sway.
Oh, I could see them then, not banshies at all
But little girls with halos of golden hair.
My furry melted away to joy, as I realized, I had been chosen!

We don’t like the older ones so much.
For they come to tear and hack and take.
But, I had heard stories of the joy little ones bring
When they come to play.
As I watched the happiness on their tipped little faces
I stood straighter and more firm and felt tremendous pride.

Then, one morning I spotted the oldest of the girls.
She walked slowly down the path toward me.
She was focused on a treat in her hands,
But as she neared she licked the last of the ice-cream
From her fingers and smiled up at me.
I knew then that I was her’s and she was mine.

She would swing with her head back and eyes closed.
Her bare feet carelessly brushed the red southern ground,
And she hummed tunelessly along with the birds and cicadas.
I knew she was dreaming dreams.
I could almost see them
Floating up and up into my highest branches.
I imagined I could catch them there for safe keeping.

Once, she ran to me, tears falling to trail behind her.
She sat on the swing with her face pressed to the rubber of the tire.
I couldn’t bear the sorrow that rolled from her in waves.
So, I called to my friends, the breeze and birds,
And we conspired to comfort her.
As I gently rocked her the birds sang and the breeze dried her tears.

As time passed her visits grew fewer and fewer.
Until one day she never came at all.
I seemed to drift then into a kind of slumber.
Without the ringing laughter and spontaneous joy of the girls
My focus became blurred and my mind began to wander.
No one came to visit me anymore.

Once, I returned from drifting with a shock as I felt a tug!
“My little ones have returned!” I thought with a thrill!
How wonderful it would be to hear their sweet voices as they swing.
Then, to my horror I realized it wasn’t them at all.
A man with a saw stood below me!
I cringed as I thought that this must be my time,
but he began to cut at my rope instead.

I tried to tell him to stop, how sad my girl would be,
but he didn’t hear and steadily he continued until he carried it away.
I think I cried then, not saltwater tears like my girl,
But my branches hung low and my leaves fell.
I remained bare then, for I had been forgotten.
Not even the birds or the breeze could lift me from my sorrow.

Sometime later, it could have been days or years,
I felt a light touch upon my trunk and I stirred.
It was a cheek pressed there and I heard a tuneless hum.
It was her! She looked up at me, tears in her eyes, and smiled.
That look I knew so well.
She was older, and I could tell she’d overcome much.

In that moment I felt pride to see how strong she’d become
Like the strength of a tree.
She was sturdy and could weather the storms.
I could tell she had roots that had gone deep.
Suddenly, I wasn’t sad anymore.
She hadn’t forgotten me.
I knew that wherever she went she would carry me in her heart.
I would always be her anchor, her dream weaver, her guide, and her comfort.
I felt joy again, and began to bloom.
-LM Jones
-picture by me. This is my tree.