Empty Space / Love and Bouldering

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4.10 Empty Space

The empty space inside my head
Is vast, but ever shrinking
I find I bring my focus back
With patient, conscious thinking

Or else I stare at something bland
And let my hands meander
Perhaps they’ll write a shiny phrase
And my brain will take a gander.

I haven’t looked down at the keys
Which I know sounds most outlandish
Would you be kind enough to look
In case there’s something I accomplished?

****

4.11 Love and Bouldering

If I’m a bucket
You’re a crimp
We make an interesting climb
I’ll take your arms
You’ll need my fingers
We’ll make it up just fine
I’ll hold your feet
You take my toes
While we’re both in our prime
And when we’re up
We’ll trace back down
Let’s chalk it up to time

****

Hassan’s Power

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4.7 Hassan’s Power

Atop the granite stone I sit down hard.
The climb up has been long.
Hassan, our guide, smiles and squats down gently near me
“Are you tired?” He asks from his ledge.
I nod with as much honesty as I can muster.
He cups his hands and claps them in front of his face
Pushing the air out through his four strong teeth.
I stare at him, dumbfounded.
He looks at me, confused.
Don’t I understand?
“It’s to give you power!”
He goes back to clapping his hands at me,
his air echoing through the canyon around us.
And I desperately search for whatever power
I’m meant to absorb.
Finally, out of guilt towards a grandfather figure-
“It worked!” I announce, standing.
I cannot disappoint Hassan.
Indulgence is a kind of power.

Tough Feet

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Whenever I touch the tough patches on my feet,
I wonder if I could pass as a lady.
I have soft arches, spots which have rarely touched the earth.
But the balls of my feet are solid.
I can tap on them and they talk back to me.
I remember The Moon Lady, Gone with the Wind,
and that episode of the Simpsons.
A rich girl’s feet, a lady’s hands, a seamstress’ finger.
Where am I on this spectrum of skin?
Am I Girl of the Limberlost solid?
Am I Grapes of Wrath durable?
What do I get to aspire to be,
When my feet are hard from walking on gravel
and my hands are tough from climbing up trees?
I tap my feet and wonder –
Do ladies get to have such fine things as callouses?

In the Stillness / Climb

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In the Stillness

In the stillness of an early morning pre-sun
One eye opens halfway
To ensure you are still there
Resting as you were the night before
Sleep smoothing life’s tensions
Limbs bent and wrapped around the blankets
One eye opens halfway
Ensuring I am still here
Resting next to you
Undiminished and whole
Before the demands of the waking sun
Remove us both
Both eyes shut
In the stillness of an early morning pre-sun

Climb

I told my muscles, “Upward!”
They responded, “Not inclined.”
I chuckled and climbed.

Not far, I promised
When muscles asked for rest
That was just the first crest.

Second ridge was harder
Nothing but stairs into the stone
Muscles took accusing tone.

Pushed us further onward
So close to the peak
Muscles cried out, “We are weak!”

I cheered them “You are strong!”
We hit the top
And had to stop.

Then the horrid moment
Muscles shaking, scared and bent
Contemplating the descent.

Upward, I had cried
Muscles knew from town
What goes up, must come down.

Muscles win the argument
Once I’m soaking in the bath
Facing their knotted wrath

They don’t know my plan
Of going out with a friend
And climbing next weekend.