Monday, June 30, 2014

Ode to his Sideways Smile

I wrote this in London.. Proof that when you fall for someone, you carry them wherever you go, no matter how far away :)

He has this way
When he smiles
He tilts his head slightly to the side
And looks inquiringly into my eyes
And thinking of it now
I can barely stay inside this car
I want to run into the sunlit street
Fling my hands in the air and
Dance for the joy of knowing him,
For the joy of being the one
He is trying to figure out.

Where We Said Goodbye

The final night
Of your voice echoing
In the melting rays of twilight
Spilling lazily under the hills and valleys
I watched the colors grow
From pale gold to deep indigo
I searched for you within the stars
A last flare to light up a long-lonely sky

But I didn't find anything
Just a quiet ache between my heart and my stomach
I haven't quite digested your absence yet
But maybe when I wake up
The birds will sing louder
The sun will bathe me in her radiant light
And within the beauty around me
Sprinkled generously with a warmth like melted gold

You'll be gone

And I'll drive the miles back to my home
Leaving you in the hills where we said goodbye.


Words are my
Unconscious process
The awkward arrangements sticking out like
Light in a darkened room
Flowing freely,
Steady like a savior
I pile them, shape them, coax them, soothe them
They are my good friends
The trust is mutual
The creations are beautiful
We understand that what we share is
An unbreakable bond
A place free from judgment
Just me and my soldiers, my partners
They are graceful and flexible
Allowing me to arrange them fluidly
To pour out pain onto an innocent page
They receive me,
Happy to be useful
Happy to be set free
From the dust of my hamster-wheel brain
I whisper them from the ink stand of my fragile heart
And, in my vulnerability
I am free.
It's all thanks to you,
My bright and brave soldiers-
Thank you for being there for me.


Three months.

Three months.

It wasn't long.

I can't say it meant much, just your average
Hopes soaring, hopes crushed
A handsome face with a shy smile and deep brown eyes
I thought he was going to be
I thought he was going to give me a
I thought he wanted to know who I was
Underneath the outer layers,
Peeled back to the raw soul

If only, if only

Those three months are simply wind-chimes now-
An ancient, wistful song
Trickling through
The noise of busy days and stuffed calendar pages
I can't hear his voice in my ears so much anymore
I can't say that I've shed tears
I can' say that I put my whole heart into him

He said to me,
"Depth over distance,"
But he never showed me the depths of what his heart contained
And the distance grew each day,
Silence stacked
A thousand and seventy
Miles high

Except for-
The one night
The one night I could write songs about
The one night I will remember forever

He came just before eight
It was cold that night and he was nervous
We went outside by a small fire
He sat so far from me and
Into the quiet flames he gazed
He opened up his heart
And trusted me with a glimpse into
The struggles he faced,
The people who have hurt him,
The girl who broke his heart

I sat, breathless, eyes wide at the fragile truths he breathed into my honored eardrums

I showed him little pieces of my heart, too,
And for a silent second
In the April air
I felt our souls lift
Out of our bodies
And meet, mid-air

He looked at his watch and
We were late
We ran to his car
My teeth chattered in the cold
Like silly nutcrackers
And he offered me his scarf to stay warm

In the car we drove,
We talked about country music
He teased me
And my cheeks burned
When he used my first name,

"Oh, Katherine,"
He said
And I sucked in my breath, heart pounding like a runaway horse
Staring out the window in his car at empty, nighttime city streets
Feeling perfectly placed
Next to him

At the church
We stood side by side
Silence so thick
You could taste it
Glorious, gold candlelight
Glowing through the impending darkness

I looked up to the Lord
And I thanked Him with all the thankfulness
In my toes and arms and teeth and shoes

Thank you, thank you, thank you

And we stood solitary
Until he turned and embraced me
With that innocent smiled
And a warm touch

My heart melted
Months of icy snow-caps
All in a single embrace

That night I could have sworn
We were onto something
For when he walked me to my door
He said,
"Until next time,"
And I thought I saw something flicker in his eyes
Something that made my knees weak
As I closed the door, breathed out a deep sigh, smiling like a naïve child,
All I could say was,
"Oh my, oh my."

Two weeks.

It isn't long
Until the person you were falling for
Starts to forget about you
And you can feel it in the air, all around you
In your silent phone that refuses to ring

Then it feels like two years.

Hopes compressed
Into a now-tight chest
I close my eyes and let plans and people and poems and pretty moments swallow me
I practice the art of letting go
I pretend not to care
That you are gone
I try not to feel stupid
That I got so excited

I refuse to dwell on nagging questions
Such as

What happened?

Did I do something wrong?

I'll never have the answers to my questions
For only you hold the key
And my pride keeps me silent
My common sense keeps me from reaching out,
From searching for a way to start a fire
In a drenching rainstorm

But even in the monsoon,
I can't help but wonder

How is it
That you don't care
After that night?

He came from up north

I finally wrote a poem about this.

He came from up north
He was the last thing I expected
He was utterly different
From anyone who had ever noticed me before
And he fell deep in love with my image
Like a man staring at a sprawling painting
He climbed a lengthy ladder, knit with dreams of
Who he thought I might be

He gave me a nickname,
He called me
No one around my hometown
Called me that
But how could he know
From up north?
And we spoke every night
He told me so many things about who he was
He said,
"You look nice with glasses."
He sent me two letters
One with a drawing, written on paper from his favorite notebook
And, because of that, he said,
"You should feel special."
I laughed at his witty words
I smiled shyly at his many
I believed solemnly that
We were growing a friendship-
Something deep,
Something that would last.

And then, one day

He was gone.

I never understood why,
Although he offered many excuses
But at seventeen I blamed it on my own imagined inadequacies

Two years later,
I laid on the grass outside of my home
I looked up at the perfect blue sky
And I cried
Then I gently laid those letters to rest
Inside of a black, bottomless trash can

But he would never know that,
In his mind I was just a dream girl and
Dream girls can't get hurt.

Dream girls can't get hurt by
Idealized, witty and confusing boys
Who come from up north
And then leave, without a word of truth
To answer the endless, haunting questions.

The Ballad of the Sanguine

You like girls like her
She's shy and dark and oh so deep
And I fall hard for boys like you
Who don't like girls like me
I'm wild like the whistling blades of
Tall grass in the summertime
Simple, smiling, silly
My arms out wide like endless skies
A burst of sunlight beaming
Inside a clear as daytime glass
I tried to wear a grimace but
It came out as a laugh
And I tried to sit still quietly
But instead I leapt and danced
I tried to win you over but
You looked through me instead.

your word

your word has been bent and broken and twisted and ruined
so many times before
you break promises like
flimsy shards of fragile glass
falling effortlessly onto
cold, unfeeling tile

i hate to say it but
you should know

your word means nothing now.

My sweet, little loneliness

My sweet, little loneliness
I know you so well
I slip noiselessly
Into your open arms
And I found you outside tonight
In the beautiful, cold starlight
I let you hold me
On the emptiness of the deserted deck
At the tip top of my home
Behind the secret door
Looking out at misty waves
As the sea air kissed my dark hair
It was just you and I
Looking up at a vast, indigo sky

I heard the song
That sang my story
And I listened carefully
Wrapped up in
The way you fit me
So perfectly

Will we always be companions?
Or will I say goodbye to you someday?
We have become such good friends,
Yet, I don't want you to stay.

the difference

on a night where the june stars were hidden behind a thick layer of clouds

i stopped trying so hard.

i let my hair fall
i didn't force a smile but
it came easily

i stopped trying and
that made the difference.

On being a Poet

Being a poet is simply this:

Choosing to see
The magic in this world and
Believing that you must
Write down what you see.

He came quickly

He came quickly
On a February night
To teach me a prayer
And break my heart softly.


Though we love to place people
In neatly-titled boxes
Labeled "villain" and "victim"

It's not that simple.

Monday, April 28, 2014

full heart.

"thank You for making me who i am."

she whispered up

into the clouds

her heart finally full

healing on some approaching horizon

she felt love spilling down

into the tips of her toes

electric in her every limb.

Light Will Come

To let in this light,
This glorious and giving
This light that feeds
The dark coldness
Plaguing a wilted, heavy soul

One must break

And through the cracks
The light will reach in
Usually falling upon a tongue
In a mouth in a body in a soul
That tastes honesty, quietly,
Seeking something
And laboring to keep
Two feet
Touching earth

In the silence
That sometimes sounds like
A painful cacophony

Light will come,
Tears will fall
And beauty will sing
Words that a mouth cannot comprehend
But a soul knows by heart.

side by side

side by side

in a crowded car

our arms touched and

i felt it in every inch of my silent soul

smiling out the window

voices fading into the background

just you and me, barely touching

my eyes on the horizon,

my heart aflame.


I was inspired to write this by three hitchhikers I saw throughout the course of a day, but truly, I wrote this about myself, about the time when I was a runner.

Do you even know where you're going,
Thumb pressed to the sky
Belongings scattered clumsily
On the road beneath your feet?
Always leaving, always searching
Restless for the next destination
Happy for a fleeting moment,
Glancing lustily
At the newest town
Coming up over the mountains
In the passenger seat
Of a stranger's car
Your pulse may quicken
For a fragment of a second
But in a few days
The streets will seem tight and suffocating
The residents, uninspiring
The scenery dull and
Maybe even sinister
Until you bow to that silent urge,
The merciless master that is
Fingers twitching and toes, yet again,
Carried away
Feet blistering with too-quick movements and
Eyes shining wildly
As you leave

Never, ever
Opening a rusty and dented, nailed-shut heart
Long enough to call anywhere

Gentle soul.

I wrote this half-asleep one morning, in a moment of deep self-love.

I love my gentle soul
Lying in the dark
Just murmuring herself awake
Opening eyes with slanted cracks
To the bells of an alarm
The morning starts
In a hazy mist
And I sit up slowly
To embrace the dawn

Good morning, gentle soul
How peaceful you look
As you breathe softly
In a musical rest.


Somewhere along the way
I forgot about you
And I gained a trust in myself
Something that told me that I was worth infinitely more than
A hazy infatuation and your leftover thoughts and halfhearted affections
And on a sun-soaked day I looked out at the people around me
And I saw that I was a misfit
But I raised my flag anyway
Walking down a narrow way
With my fists held high,
Hair blown back in the wind
Feet barely touching the ground
As I wondered,
Is this what freedom tastes like?

Written in my dad's truck

i trace this neighborhood
with the wheels of this truck
like the back of a well-worn shell
the streets curving
in gentle rhythms
the road feels fast
the night is heavy
my heart, light
and when the melodies are high enough

i can drown out your name.


With you
There is no definite
The end result is always altered
Day to day
The light changes
Ever so slightly
I am constantly perched
On stiff, cramping toes
Wondering if
You are impressed
By my circus show
Did I make you laugh
With the joke I constructed?
Did I make you smile
With my subtle compliments?
I laugh at myself
For trying so hard
And I smile at the moment
When I will let this go.


I won't admit to you
That I thought about you tonight
My mom almost hit three cars
On the way back from the recording studio
And the sea of red car lights seemed
Unnecessary and unimportant
All I could think of
Were the airplane lights
Cutting into moody clouds
On an April night
That would witness your departure
From the state of California
Maybe no one else noticed
As well as I did
That you're gone

My heart sinking,
My breath, wistful
And ironically,
My car got broken into today
They smashed the windows and took my purse
And even though I cried
Like a little child
It didn't hurt like
It hurts to know that
You left and didn't car enough
To tell me goodbye
You didn't say goodbye

Well, here it is-
Wishing you the best
Wishing you all the great things
That the state of Ohio has to offer.

last night

i was unsuspecting last night
and secretly, i even said to myself
that i would never fall
not for him, not for him
i drove slowly
through the city traffic
relaxed, laughing, not really knowing
that when i saw him
my heart would twist into a startled knot
i couldn't even focus on his outer
when his soul shone like the stage lights that night
i saw right through
to his bright, pure heart
he looked at me lightly
and then looked away
his soft, green eyes
locking with mine
for split-second increments
and then fading into the dimension
between time and space
when he spoke to me,
his voice carried like a perfect lullaby
my knees began to tremble
when he smiled out of the corners of his mouth
and looked straight into
my unsuspecting brown eyes
i swallowed the lump in my throat,
heart quickening, thoughts racing
and hastily i stuttered that
i had to go

for the rainfall has been heavy on this heart of mine
for quite some time
and i fearfully question her strength
if i were to allow her to be soaked through once again
so i have her wrapped tightly
in these strips of fear and self-protection
the very cloth pieces that began to tremble
seeing those soft green eyes set above sincere words and
his nervous smile
i looked back into the city lights
as i drove away and left him behind

i sighed
leaving him
in last night.

The Cure

Come into my spirit and
Make me fresh
I've grown so tired and
I don't know why
Come into my heart and
Make me new
I know that I am sick and
The cure lies in You.


I will look at you
With a look of pure Love
For I've come to the conclusion
That you tried your best
And even when I shivered in
The basement
Of the coldest places of your
Wrecked soul
I know you loved me
I know you tried
And I will always be yours
And you will be mine

I just realized that
I couldn't rest
In anger and deep sadness
And the only place I could rest
Was in forgiveness.

Part Of Us

Part of us works;
Peals of laughter
Sprinkling the chandelier
And spilling over our uncertain hearts
Sitting side by side
On the floor in your room
You showed me a box
Of your favorite things
And you opened up to me
Things that only a few others know
I felt privileged
Hanging on your words
You looked at me like a little sister
And I smiled up at you
Blushing and looking away
Like a week-old bouquet of roses
I held out my hand and
You pulled away
Which brings me to
The part that doesn't-
The words I say
That you beat black and blue
With misunderstanding
The awkward silences
The collected moments in which
You turned from me, colder than the winter nights on which I used to
Say goodbye to you, close the door and
Wish you were mine but
That part doesn't work.

We're unfinished and
It frustrates me like
Smoke rising from a chimney

For I see if
One part doesn't work
The rest will surely die.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


I spoke to you today
And my heart collapsed
Into a puddle of relief
My soul sang out
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I felt in some way
That I had risen

For I used to be hopelessly and devastatingly collapsed
Beneath the weight of your aching sorrows
And my thoughts twisted constantly
Around the thorny rose garden of your heart
I was infatuated, clouded, faded heavily
By your cold demeanor and empty vision
My heart shivered within the periphery of your backwards glances
I was a mess, a hopeless mess
Eaten by anxiety, drenched in doubt
Until I spoke to you today and
The fog was gone
The prayer was answered
The angels joined in as
My heart sang out in a single word


I am free from your entanglement.
I have risen from the depths.



I need to get
Your light brown eyes
Out of my mind
I shake my head
Whenever the fresh cream of your
perfect complexion
Invades on my concentration
As if the vision of you
Staring directly into my
Thirsty soul
Is just marbles
Rattling around my thoughts
A glassy nuisance
I could just let you drop
Out of my eardrums
With a simple tilt of the head

The matter is more serious than that
For it's been two hours since I awoke
And your smile is a constant.


There is something about
Wrapping up in a white sweater
Slowly eating
Chicken-noodle soup
From a wide, white bowl
Slowly sipping
Herbal tea
With raw honey and
Drops of juice from a
Fresh, golden lemon

It's something that makes
My body vibrate
With a deep sense of something
I can't define
But it sounds like

I love you,
So I will let you rest.


I will not be the one
To follow you around, waiting;
Which is why
I left the party early
Marching into the winter night like a soldier,
Head held high, heart sinking.

Beautifully Fragile

We used to drive around
In your red car
I can remember
The blue of your shoes
The pale sunlight of your hair
And the faded ivory
Of your teeth when you smiled
I could tell when you looked at me
That I was every color to you

But everything we had is faded now
Just busted-up canvases
Stashed away
In quiet attics
I'm a lost collection of
Careful brush strokes
As you got to know me
Eyes looking into mine,
Sparkling blue meeting melting brown

I guess some things
Are too beautifully fragile
Not to break.

Freezing Waters

His heart was a frozen pond
Slick, glossy, shivering ice
For miles upon miles
With a tiny, single hot-spring
Directly in the center

But one small slip or misstep
And one would be plunged into the
freezing waters-
Isolated and alone.

You are my only Hope

Like a single house
Lit up with Christmas lights
The only one for miles and miles
Down a darkened, lonely highway
On a shivering winter's night
Please, be the Home I am looking for
And light a fire inside of me
To thaw that which has been frozen
For decades past
I've grown so cold
And You are my only hope.


I understand
That you've been hurt
I understand
You're scared
But how that makes it okay
For you to run silently
Precisely when you said
You would be there
I don't understand
And when you called last night
Please understand
I didn't pick up
For exactly that reason;
I don't have a never-ending supply
Of blind sympathy-
The line ends when you begin
Leaving scars upon my heart
I guess you did not know
And I guess it's time you knew
That I'm not disposable,
I'm not going to wait
While you trample me underfoot
The torrent of your unstable emotions.

Where you belong.

Running towards

The glittering ocean

I left you in the shadows

Where you belong.


A girl sat alone
On a hill
On a cold, autumn night
Her face was wet with the tears of
A thousand and one long, lonely nights

No one came,
No one called,
No one cared

And yet- everything was alright
For she wrapped her hands around her knees
And faced herself in the reflection of the stars
She consoled herself,
Pressing her hands to her chest
And feeling her heart beat steadily

Three words rang out
Through her tears
through her chest


I am alive.