Archives for posts with tag: love

Muse

In dreams she appears,
telling him there is love,
still love, and to find it
for himself once again.

He shuts his mind,
out of eternal loyalty
to the one who claimed
his heart, and to whom
he surrenders it still,
even in her absence.

He will not allow any
alteration. This must be
a false message, a cruel
sprite urging him on
toward some mischief.

He tries to put it out
of his thoughts. This
is not she, he supposes,
and yet as plain as any
cherished snapshot,
she appears, the moon
in her ethereal eyes,
coming to him

night after night,
crossing the celestial
chasm between them,
ever-attendant, bringing
a message he refuses
to consider. Love,

brushing against
his cheek in a manner
he might mistake for
a night breeze—
she implores him to seek,
even as love seeks him,
not yet knowing
his name.

Though she is gone
many years now,
she loves him still,
and so she slips through
the cracks of his spartan
heart, long in need
of love’s repair, gently
inspiring love’s return.

Claire Juno, © 2016

The Mind’s Value

This disembodied love
gently retires to the
spirit-corners of his mind,
the way a grown child
lays her beloved doll to rest
for a seeming eternity
in its little bed,

now a container for love’s
history, a personal context
perfectly preserved,
glass-eyed and unaltered
by the years.

That it is there, waiting
for him, ever-expectant,
was a needed security at first,
then a familiar comfort.

This relic of his heart
remains undisturbed
beneath layers of dust
and seasons, like a truth
even tender children
eventually learn.

Claire Juno, © 2016

The Collector

He surrounds himself
with art, as his way
of bringing her back,
or at least finding ways
to be close to her again.

Free-form sculptures
become a silent homage
to the one who inspired him,
who breathed life into his
once-nascent understanding
of everything.

The halls of his home are full
and empty at the same time,
a solemn procession of tributes
to the very one who cannot
return to see them.

All are cold, smooth,
motionless— just like her pale lips
on the last day she was here.

Claire Juno, © 2016

 

Desolation

I am alone in this garden.
Alone with this pain.

I have told you before
how everyone has left me,
all have turned their backs,
all have chosen blindness
for the immunity it affords.
They are cut off from
their compassion.

There is no one to hide me away
from those who wish me harm,
who hate me without cause,
other than their sickness.

And I come to you with nothing left,
with empty hands, with a heart
weighed down by isolation and dread
and by the darkness itself, which seems
deep enough to snuff out my cries.
I know what is coming.

What I have already borne
is too heartbreaking. Though I am
strong and sturdy, the betrayal has
weakened me, has slowed my feet,
garbled my words.

I am afraid.

I have no one I can trust.
My sweat is tinged the color
of these roses in front of me
as I sit in this garden,
feeling unwell and uncertain
and small; powerless to deter
what must overtake me
to fulfill something greater
than myself.

The pain makes my head feel
as if it would burst, and the tears
that stream down offer no respite.
There is no one coming to aid me,
is there. You can hear me but
you do not help me, as much
as it hurts you to see me in this state.

We both agreed to this once upon a time.
Only we underestimated something.
We had no idea what it would actually
feel like to be here among them,
to become one of them. To nurse
from a breast, to learn to use our legs
and form words with our mouths,
to see blood spring from a scraped knee.

To see the sunrise as one of them,
to know friendship as they give and receive it.
To feel the warmth of a fire, an animal;
of brotherhood, of working side by side
until some work is accomplished.

To feel a fever, a lump in the throat,
our stomachs stirring with hunger.
To know the feeling of cool water on our
bodies. To know how they feel, and
what they feel, when they feel anything
in their world.

And now you’ve had me here,
building a life, an occupation, a purpose,
for some time. Enough context to make
the ending even more exquisitely
painful than we already anticipated
it would be.

This has become too complicated,
too wrought with attachments.
And I am certain now the torment
well under way will be unbearable.
It is too much.

That is all I can say
on this horrible night.
Words are escaping me now,
and my heart won’t stop pounding.
It has brought me little peace
to speak honestly to you, to make
my feelings known, in spite of the forces
already at work against me.

I know I am loved,
I know there will be an end
to my suffering, my fear and despair,
and that is all I have in this dark moment.

Claire Juno, © 2015

 

The intention of this writing is rooted in empathy, wondering what this experience could have been like, to the best that I can understand it.

Love’s Identity

Love is the wonder
that crosses your face
when you gaze
at a blooming vine
in your garden,
under the neapolitan skies
of an evening hour.

Love speaks
through the words
of an advertisement
that catches your notice
on an ordinary evening
as you check your email,
alone.

But Love is bigger than that,
and even you would not deny it—
though it seems an awkward stranger,
like a friend who is gradually lost
to distance of one sort or another.

Love knew you
before you knew Love;
before you knew anything at all.

Reminders such as this
catch your breath in your throat
and you push back your chair
in resistance, tears concealed
behind your beautiful hands.

Love stands sentinel,
only waiting for you.

Claire Juno, © 2017

 

Junebugs

The sun is warming our backs
and we are on top of this giant grape leaf
and I am on top of you and we are
a conjoined lump of gold in this
afternoon light.

How could this be any more perfect
for two such as us, who happened
to come into this world with only
a year’s worth of days to our names
to live out our purpose, which is mainly
to further our kind forward in time
by sitting on this leaf together
one on top of the other,
glinting golden in the sun?

Later, perhaps, we’ll nibble shamelessly
at the deep pink roses in their garden,
spoiling the buds before they can fully bloom.

But they can hardly blame us,
even when they flick us off the flower
right in the middle of our indulgences.
We only have a year together,
and must use our time judiciously.

Claire Juno, © 2014

The Exchange

This bee keeps buzzing,
buzzing, flying rings around me.
It wants me, wants what I have.
And I suppose I was born for this.

Still, my strange little heart
beats faster when that bee comes
around, because I know what
he’s up to, what he’s about.
He is a bee, doing bee things,
doing what bees do well.

I know all of this and yet
I remain still, I make no
attempt to discourage him.
I am watchful and aware.
I know when he is near,
and he always seems
to find ways to be near,
as though he wants to
make sure he stays in
my awareness.

And sooner or later,
he’s bound to make his
move, and when he does,
there will be the pulsing
give and take of an exchange
that has bound us to each other
since the beginning of his sort
and mine, and there is nothing
I could do, or would do,
to stop it.

Claire Juno, © 2013

Sweetheart Redux

There you were.

It was only seventy-two years ago.
You, a mere twenty-two, and he, a mere
twenty-four, and it was all beginning
on that day: the requisite gains and losses
of life, of parents, of children, of jobs
and money, of health and status,
of friends and rivals.

Earth-gardens and heaven-houses,
shoes polished and lined neatly
along the edge of your shared closet floor,
the smart suit and A-line poplin dress,
plum lipstick and late night inventions
of one kind or another.

Playful babies and disinclined cats,
charitable neighbors with their hand-me-down
furniture, church folk and kin folk and
you folks, doing what all good folks do.

Breakfast sausage, wedding punch,
chocolate pies and cotton aprons,
summer parades and overalls and fresh
coats of sage green paint, three stories up
on a wooden ladder with the ease and humor
of a circus performer.

Manicured shrubbery, the studied
country yard: each perennial in its optimal place,
a scientist’s sway over his private landscape.

The briskly swept sidewalk, the rotary
phone with its clumsy charm, the slamming
screen door, the basement ping pong table,
a silent witness to everything but the game.

Ice cream socials and redolent catalpa blooms,
fire-popped corn, the grape arbor’s late summer bounty.

And that shiny red tricycle
you brought home on the city trolley
for your firstborn, your giddy joy amusingly
obvious to fellow passengers on the car,
just as it was to your children and grandchildren,
to acquaintances and strangers, and to God Himself,
winking at the two of you so many decades ago.

Claire Juno, © 2015

…dedicated to the memory of my grandparents on their anniversary.

Melancholy’s Baby

I was a glimmering remnant,
a moon sliver she clung to
in the dark void.

I was all that remained
of her innocence and hope,
of her diaphanous love
seeping through the disrepair
of everything that mattered,
though in the end
it altered nothing—
a useless ether.

I was a bookmark,
a singular point
of goodness and perfection
along a fading timeline
well-worn and stained
with tears and wine.

Every investment in her
tenuous future
seemed to sit squarely
on my shoulders
as I marched—
some heroic ambassador
for her desperate country,
even as she secretly entertained
thoughts of self-exile.

Claire Juno, © 2012

 

…dedicated to my mother