LOTS OF LOVE OUT

LOTS OF LOVE OUT

Do you need strength in this moment?
Have you forgotten to love self?
To feel loving kindness?
Are you wandering from room to room?
Or sitting numb on your couch?
Are you cleaning the kitchen, again?
The bathroom, again?
Scrubbing boredom away.
Empty hours stack up—minutes turn into days.
Time is endless.
The only excitement is groceries being delivered
and finally, they had in stock a beautiful, organic tomato.

A prayer of thanks.

In the garden, your seeds just begin.
You pull weeds so seeds have room to grow.
The sun shines today.
The dog carries his ball in his mouth,
his tongue out the side panting.
The birds sing,
a Cooper Hawk flies from tree to tree
building nest.

It is the little things

that bring breath
and calm. Lilacs bloom.
You give some to your daughter
so she can place on her nightstand.
You make her blueberry banana muffins with crumble on top,
plain banana muffins for son.
After a shower and clean hair, the night settles.
Your prayers and wishes
for connection settle the soul.
It is not in others, but in self that prayers are answered

in the little things—

all tremendous blessings hidden in sweet
breaths. Inhale, exhale.
Big breaths in. Lots of love out—
sleep brings peace and tomorrow is a new day.

© Gina Marselle, 2020

Like Me

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you. (44)

~from The Tao Te Ching by Lao-Tzu translation by S. Mitchell

Sometimes, sleep sits empty
on a brick wall.
It doesn’t waver or fall,
it’s thin smoke,
anxiety on a string
swaying in a spring breeze,
more gently than a tire swing—

like me.

I count how many likes on my poem,
posted on social media:
only one today;
six the other day;
zero the day before that–
and the poems sit empty
unread,
unliked,

like me.

Anxiety takes hold of my breath,
holds it hostage,
sucking life,
zipping it up in too tight of jeans
until stomach aches,
and vomit sneaks up the windpipe
never to escape.
But sits there, uncomfortable—

like me.

Even if my life is uneventful,
I still try
to make the day worth something.
I love the sunrise as much as breath,
I love the warmth radiating on my skin,
hands in dirt planting carrot seeds, beets
radishes for their vibrant colors
for their sweet or bitter taste,
hoping they take root—

like me.

My roots are not tied down to place,
but to memory,
to my children,
to poems,
even if unread—
my name ties them to earth
and root.
Showing the universe
I’m here.
Life has meaning
and, maybe, in that moment
that I posted that poem,
bravery stood up—

like me.

Sometimes, anxiety punches me in the gut,
knocks the wind right out of me
and maybe I’ll fall,
and then again, maybe I won’t.

Each morning that I wake up,
grateful for another chance…

© Gina Marselle, April 26, 2020

Take Root | April 2020| Image by Gina Marselle

Fortress

20 days in isolation,

each tally marks
my life inside:
mom,
teacher,
wife,
daughter,
sister,
friend,
photographer,
poet—the same as before,
but different now.

Inside my fortress
capturing images
documenting #life
#istayhomefor—

1. Signs on a business’ door:
We are closed due to COVID-19
2. Empty sunsets—
3. Kano’s endless artwork—
4. Self-portraits, only in black & white,
5. Writing and writing and writing….

Tallies on the wall mark 20 days—
20 days disconnected from the world,
but oddly, connected,
being inside,
just staying home.

© Gina Marselle, April 2, 2020

Photos below are the photographs listed in the poem, Fortress, various times throughout being in isolation, all taken on an iPhone 7 Plus. 

1. Signs on a business’ door: We are closed due to COVID-19
2. Empty sunsets—
3. Kano’s endless artwork—
4. Self portraits, only in black & white,
5. Writing and writing and writing….

Red Is the Color of Breath

 

Red is the color of breath.

Splendid since colors named,

endless as time.

It symbolizes everything

about the past, present and future.

It follows extremes.

It sways in the moonlit breeze.

Flits like a feather toward the Rio—

graceful on the current.

Swaying with the evening stars and winter clouds.

Red covers cold air with warmth.

Passion.

Fire.

Love,

always love.

Red holds sacredness,

places it on heart

strings.

Guitar

plays

one,

quiet note at a time—

like Maria sings

to the children

in Sound of Music

high up where snow blankets mountain tops

like ocean whitecaps.

This is no rescue.

No mediation.

Sand is old.

It knows more stories than

our Sandia and Rio combined.

It mixes with blood of life

with Passion of Christ

from dust to dust.

Red is the color of breath.

It flits south hungrily now on the moonlight

like a rabbit baits coyote, as a red tail hawk hunts.

Winter is ending, an unremarkable taciturn,

an endless blackness—

waiting for spring to release winter

to release depressed thoughts—

anything the mind packed.

Now, Red, flits over the mesa

to the peak of the Sandia’s.

Calls out to black bear—

soft and gentle,

an unhurried request

to release spring.

In its journey finding ways to heal,

Red plunges into sun,

as red tail hawk dives for mouse.

Brilliance born

admiration, worship.

Gratitude as Sun

gives breath to morning sky.

There are no answers—

only forgiveness.

Faith.

Hope.

Love,

always love.

Red mediates in this blessed silence honoring

life as Earth wakes. Soon, Red blends

into all colors so others may revere.

©Gina Marselle, 2020

Self portrait of the poet.

 

March 20, 2020

“…but am small, like the Wren, and my Hair is bold, like the Chestnut bur—

and my eyes, like the Sherry in the Glass, that the guest leaves—…”

~ Emily Dickinson

March 20, 2020

Dear _____,

…petite like an Arabian horse compared to a thoroughbred. My Hair is brunette, frizzy like a Weathered Cloud. Fiery highlights ignite Curls like a Match to Candle. Hazel eyes change color as quick as a sail upon wind during a Gale. My body mimics an hour glass, Sands of Time show a life lived—still hoping to see more. Its roundness comes from childbirth, food, and Italian genetics. My Breasts, like storm waves beneath clavicle, guard heart space. My arms are not long nor graceful like a ballerina, they are strong enough to carry pain, lithe enough to offer a hug to my children. My Eyes are wrinkled from writing and writing and editing as Poets or Teachers do. My ribs shelter breath as a Wren shelters her eggs with wing and song—nestling away from Uncertainty; wish I may hide away from Coronavirus, it’s devouring the world. It’ll Steal my lungs, it’ll Steal my loved ones. My tummy is anxious—rumbles—like soft Aftershocks from a significant Earthquake. My Nether regions aren’t Hell—they’re life and shelter protected by plump legs, muscled, robust enough to ride my horse into battle. Ankles twist like snakes and Connect to feet that carry me wherever I go—in these Uncertain Times—at this moment—a Tremendous Gift!

*This piece is inspired by an excerpt from a letter (L268) written by Emily Dickinson to her friend Thomas Wentworth Higginson (July 1862)

©Gina Marselle, 2020

Sunbeams

Sunbeams break empty
waves undulate into a withered desert
there is one butterfly on a 24 hour adventure
a raven, a rabbit, and a coyote–
all minding their own business
a bee searches for one purple flower
for shade and pollen

the red sun is angry, anxious
heart scorched black   
her resentment explodes into 107 degree days
cacti sweat like silent sentinels

the mountain tries to console her
let her know she is not abandoned
perhaps the universe turned its back upon her
but the stars reach to hold her
she’s not appeased 
alas, her rays

still rise in the East
and set in the West
she reflects,

4.603 billion years is a long time to be alone

© Gina Marselle, 2020

A sunbeam.  

Image by Gina Marselle

April 4, 2020

In a moment of despair, there is always a ray of hope.

Image by Gina Marselle

April 4, 2020

 

Ignite

“…sizzle like moth wings,”

~Naomi Shihab Nye

In Nye’s poem Burning the New Year,
she writes in four stanzas
a poem of beauty, letting go
metaphors and love.
I want to love myself as I love this poem,
so, I let go that I’m not enough.

What if I loved myself like
my life depended on it?
What if doubt waterfall-ed down the Sandia’s
in a year of drought—

impossible?
Never.

I have touched a waterfall once long ago
on a lonely hike to Travertine Falls
where rock, cave, tree, water and desert meet—

impossible?
Never.

Time has hidden this spot
like love in a cottonwood root
ageless and unseen.

This is love I ignite from self
to waterfall as a desert monsoon
spills from all the crevices
into a new year affirmation: I love myself.

©Gina Marselle, January 20, 2020

Day 9

It’s been rainy for days

(or cloudy, or rainy then cloudy, then rainy and so forth).

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

R.E.M.’s song plays in my mind

over

and over

until my head literally aches,

until the news explodes

and anxiety turns to panic.

I can’t breathe!

Stop.

Inhale.

Exhale.

I can’t control this virus, which is infesting

our world like termites in drywall.

It is crumbling, the death toll is massive.

This pandemic is for the ages. History will learn

what to do, what not to do.

We can’t go outside. No parks, no stores, no school. No holding love ones.

My little boy sleeps in my California king size bed,

he is so tiny; his lips are fat. All I see is his newborn self.

In reality, he’s seven and big for his age.

Yesterday, he asked me, “How do I know if I have the virus?”

He says, matter-of-factly, “I asked Google, but she doesn’t know.”

I share, “You will have the worse cough of your life. Fever.”

“Don’t worry,” I say. “We are safe in our home.” (I hope, I say quiet in my mind).   

I remember when I nursed him, protected him in the cradle of my arms and breast.

I have an urge to do that now. Protect him.

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

This pandemic is an apocalypse. It is like a Ray Bradbury sci-fi short story.

Except, it is true. This pandemic. This virus.

Hunting us like night owls chasing mice.

Call it what you will: SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19. Coronavirus.

#corona

#Istayhomefor

#alltogether

#flattenthecurve

#invisibleenemy

In Italy, 4,825 deaths. The world over 10,000, and we are still counting.

From Wuhan, China, to New York City.

Every continent except Antarctic.

Run.

But where?

I pray for so many. Where to begin?

My family, friends, doctors, nurses, the sick, world leaders, the Pope…

I write/pray well into the night. The candle is burning low.

I have to wonder, is it the end of the world?

God, is it?

I wear my blue glass rosary around my neck.

It touches my skin all day. 24 hours a day.

I am in prayer. It gives me strength, comfort.

I pray in between sips of coffee, in the silence

of morning.

In the blackness of 6:45 a.m.

This is no spring.

It has been rainy for days.

When will the sun shine again?

I see the glimpse of rays peeking through the cottonwoods.

I see a rainbow,

in the sky.

In my son’s drawings.

I take solace that my family is home safe.

I see little moments of hope. I watch on the news for

little glimmers of hope of people singing on balconies,

people emerging from lockdowns in China to finally photograph nature again.

When the Sun truly rises, when the virus is defeated

(hopefully), life will still

be here. It will be different. But it will still be here.

Maybe, the world will hold hands again

in peace

and joy

and thanksgiving.

I can only imagine.

But I have to have hope.

We are all in this together.

It’s the end of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it

It’s the end of the world as we know it

and I feel fine…

because I have hope. 

© Gina Marselle, March 22, 2020

9 days and counting…

Image taken by Gina Marselle from her car window using an iPhone 7 Plus, March 19, 2020