I Loved You Simply

Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

I loved you without knowing how,
or when or from where.
I loved you simply.
I love you still.

Such child-like innocence we had,
such purity of need and emotion.
In truth, we were leechers, not lovers.
One would give, one would take,
one was crumbs to the other man’s cake.

As time marched on,
our splinters began to show,
our poison began to flow,
our hearts turned harder,
our paths veered farther
and farther

“Love” is the loftiest of illusions.
One glimpse and,
like a drug,
we want more.
But love needs faithful legs to stand on, too.
Without them, the illusion disappears,
and all we have left are fears.

The heart aches,
the mirror breaks,
the shards draw blood,
we drag each other through mud.
It hurts,
it hurts,
it hurts,
the pain a reminder of “love”‘s dictate.
“Breathe,” it cries, “breathe and you will awake”
Learn to discern, what is real, what is fake.

It was True Love’s kiss that broke the curse, however slight,
however gentle.
We had two choices –
reblossom or burn.
I fell to the earth, digging,
even as the fire held firm.

Love is Wise, Love is Patient.
It waits lifetime upon lifetime
for us to find it,
for us to feel it.

I loved you without knowing how,
or when or from where.
I loved you simply.
I love you still.

And that, in truth,
is Love’s will.

Love Letter to the Beloved

You are always there
even when You’re not,
to hold my hand,
to cradle my heart,
to soothe the sting of our separation.
I long for You
like a child eyeing an ice cream cone
on a sweltering summer’s day,
like my first crush,
all beetroot and tongue-tied,
like the lips of my lover
lingering, tingling,
like a mother holding her child
for the first time,
pleading for his protection.
My longing
is torture,
is ecstasy.
Each time we meet,
Your nur pulls me closer.
Impatient for our union,
this waiting is like a fever,
confusing my mind,
mixing dreams with reality,
coursing through my veins,
creating aches in corners of my heart
I never knew existed.
My Love,
do You feel it, too?
You always exude such grace and composure.
Your smile makes me forget myself.
Oh, to be that smile,
to be that soul.
You make me want to be
everything possible.
You show me warmth and hope,
promises of Paradise.
Your absence
casts a despairing shadow.
I am nothing,
if not Yours.
I want nothing,
if not You.

Impossible to Love

I see you, child,
with your dimpled smile,
your tubby legs,
your first stumbling steps,
a complete trust in the universe
that nothing will harm you,
even as your harried mother
calculates all potential risks.
I see you grow suddenly
into a self-conscious girl,
with your quiet demeanor,
wide eyes studying the world,
and the slowly unfurling belief
that, surely,
you are impossible to love.
Do not listen to that voice, my dear.
It is not the voice of your friend.
It erupted out of thin air
with one simple mission in life:
to persuade you of this tragic lie.
This voice will say anything
to get your attention.
It will create fear
where once there was only joy,
shame, where there was self-acceptance,
doubt, where there was trust, divine.
Don’t listen to that voice, my dear.
You’re not impossible to love.
Your mother is just too busy
dealing with her own emotions
to register yours,
your father, too preoccupied providing you
the life he always desired.

As you grow into a most well-mannered lady,
with your caring ways
and bookish behavior,
don’t let the lie fester.
Don’t let it solidify.
You are not impossible to love.
Your teacher is just overwhelmed
by the rowdier kids in class,
your friends, navigating their own
positions of popularity,
that boy you like, oblivious
of your affection.
The love you seek from everyone else,
can only be found in One.
That is the One you must search for.
Pay no heed to the lies echoing
daily, inside your mind.

As you grow to develop a false veneer
of self-assuredness,
with your radiant energy
and analytical approach,
you make choices that will dictate
the direction of your life –
what to study,
where to live,
who to marry.
Always remember,
you are not impossible to love.
Your husband just never learned how to love, himself,
your siblings, exhausted from caring for their own families,
your mentors, quietly dealing with their own inadequacies.
You are so busy pleasing everyone else,
you’ve forgotten the One
Who’s always there.

As you enter the daunting world
of motherhood,
you will finally realize,
you are not impossible to love.
Because this tiny being looks up at you
as if you were the moon and the stars.
This child’s love is pure and untainted,
This child will love you,
but also,
antagonize you,
challenge you,
taunt you,
harass you.
Stay the course, no matter what.
Teach this child to love,
to listen,
to laugh,
to live.
Teach this child he is loved, inside and out,
not just by you,
but by the Artist
Who molded him to life
with One Breath.

As your hair turns silver
and your skin softens to the touch,
take a hammer to the lie that grew unchecked
within you.
Ignite a fire,
smoke out the debris
and finally see the truth for what it is.
You are loved beyond compare,
beyond measure,
beyond doubt.
Every single trial you faced
was proof of that love.
Every single tear you shed
was a gift from above.
Silence the liar in your head
who wanted only to control you.
And while you’re at it,
proclaim to the world,
to every single boy and girl,
every human, in every corner:
they are deeply and magnificently loved.
Uncover their eyes,
break down their walls,
pull them back from the precipice.
You are not impossible to love, my dears.
That’s the greatest lie ever told.
To you, belongs a Lover
Who has gifted you the world,
the oceans,
the forests,
the mountains,
the meadows.
To you, belongs a Lover
Who asks only for one thing,
and that is to remember Him.
Remember Him,
and He will remember you.
Forget Him,
and He will still remember you.
That is the depth of His love.
Because even though, for Him,
nothing is impossible,
all He ever wanted
was to love you.

The Future

The future used to play in my mind
like a movie reel.
One month the story would unfold one way,
the next month, another.
The future felt limitless,
but always bright.

Now the movie reel’s stopped playing.
I see my future
through a blurry window after a hurricane,
mud-streaked, dust-covered, rain-soaked,
or driving through a dense fog,
not sure which way the road is turning,
or if I’m headed straight into a ditch.

Everything’s uncertain and scary.
All the things I used to want
no longer matter.
I hold on tightly to this roller-coaster ride,
and remind myself to keep breathing.
If I can just breathe,
this fear might turn into exhilaration,
and this ride might be a hell of a lot more fun.

Letter to My Son

When I look at your beautiful face, son,
I see an ocean of ancestors.
I see my eyes,
the eyes of my father
and his father before him.
I see your dad’s expressions,
his inner child.
I see history and the future
all rolled into one.
I see God’s love and mercy
to have placed your care
into my hands.
When I see you smile and your eyes
it’s like seeing the world through you,
full of wonder and impossible joy.
When you look pensive,
my mind automatically goes
to all the ways I’m failing you.
You see, my son,
I’m a glass half empty kind of person,
and I know, despite my best efforts,
I’ve passed that worldview onto you.
I want to be the one to rise above it,
to show you that it can be done.
As I see you growing older,
your curiosity being leached from within,
your twinkle getting tarnished,
I think of all the ways this world is failing you.
Let’s be part of the solution,
you and I.
Let’s flip the system.
Let’s turn the mirror right way round.
Let’s fill that glass to the very top,
heck, let it overflow.
There’s never any lack of love here,
that is the biggest myth of all.
We just need to stop blocking love’s flow.
It won’t always take the shape we imagined.
It will sometimes be more hardship than hearts,
more resilience than roses,
more patience than passion,
but remember, dear,
tears are Divine kisses, too.
Don’t hold on too tightly to anything,
not even the identity you’ve so carefully constructed.
Let it all flow,
let it all go,
let love be your strength,
not your weakness.
If you’re going to hold on tightly to anything, my son,
let it be the One,
let it be His Rope,
and let it take you where it will.

Stolen Summer

A stolen day at the beach
in exchange for a stolen summer.
I watch from a distance –
always a safe distance –
as families frolic in the sun,
trying to forget for a while
how the world has so irrevocably
I sweat out all the pain of our separation,
but revel in the joy of it, too,
the relief of not having to try so hard
to be heard,
the peace of mind, the lack of pressure,
using this time to reconnect to myself,
indeed, to the very source of myself,
building emotional resilience,
strengthening my boundaries,
not to keep you out,
but to let you know how close
it’s okay to come.
As the ocean waves pummel my delighted child,
I pray he faces all his future challenges
with similar glee,
not the way I have,
with trepidation at every turn.
I wish I knew how to swim,
that I could promise us all safe passage through life.
But the high tide is coming in now,
and it’s every man for himself.

God is Dead

God is dead, they say with certainty.
Shhh! Don’t anyone disclose,
I’m hiding Him here in the cup of my hands.
He’s lying in gentle repose.

I’m pouring Him into my crystal ball,
watching Him swivel and swirl,
bewitched by the magnificent tales,
woven into His colors and curls.

I want Him all to myself, you see.
Every day, I watch His beauty unfold,
I taste the sweetness of His very existence,
I bathe in His bitter and bold.

Slowly, this solo exchange grows lonely.
After all, what’s the point of my knowing
bliss that cannot be openly shared,
union that is felt and free-flowing.

So I release Him
from my crystal ball,
and wait for what will
most surely enthrall.

He flies into people’s eyes,
He veers into people’s ears,
He kisses their lips,
brings to life their gifts.

He’s here! He’s here!
they exclaim,
their hearts suddenly
bursting aflame.

He’s the unchecked joy in children’s laughter,
He’s the love in every parent’s heart,
He’s the contentment of souls in solitude,
the thrill of reunion when we part.

He’s the sting of rejection,
He’s the bottomlessness of loss,
He’s our dancing partner through life,
He’s our grit, but He’s also our gloss.

He is truth and pain and anger and shame
all rolled into One.

God is dead, they say with certainty.
Sure He is.

He’s dead the way that love is dead,
the way that dreams are dead,
the way that dead is dead.

But even things that die
eventually return to life,
and when they finally do,
His presence is divinely rife.

God is dead, they say, with certainty.
That’s just because they’re scared.
‘cause if God were alive, what does that say
‘bout how their faith and fealty have fared.

Their folly is thinking God is only wrath,
not realizing He is kindness, too,
forgiveness, compassion and mercy,
a balm for any bedlam they’ve brewed.

God is more alive than life itself,
He is deader than infinite shrouds,
He is heavier than our collective sorrow,
He is lighter than diaphonous clouds.

He is.
He is.
He is.

And if you know only this,
you know all that matters.
God is not dead,
it’s their faith that’s shattered.

Let us love them and hug them and hold them tight,
let us soothe their wounded hearts,
let us guide them away from God’s gravestone,
t’wards the ease that our oneness imparts.

Each Moment is Longing

Each moment is longing,
quivering impatience,
holding my breath to see,
what You have in store for me.

Each moment is pure desire,
hope bubbling up like dew,
discontent clouding the air,
tears like weapons of despair.

Each moment is full
of my ignorance,
my owned yet disowned arrogance
that I must control the narrative.

In truth, each moment is a gift,
a delicious unwrapping, unravelling
of sign after sign after sign,
all perfectly sensual and divine.

The universe erupted
from Your desire to be known,
our lives a series of cycles
of longing to return.

This being waits with quivering impatience,
avoiding hurdle after hurdle to see,
what exactly it is
You have in store for me.

When will she stop resisting
the floods of love meant to break her,
and surrender to the stillness and storms,
seeing only the light that will take her?

Shout Out to The Sharp Shark Gaming

During the summer of 2020, at the height of the pandemic’s first wave, lockdown life was a daily challenge, especially with a child at home. One of the projects I helped my son set up was his own WordPress blog about video gaming called The Sharp Shark. A few months later, he started his own YouTube channel – The Sharp Shark Gaming.

I am continually amazed by his creativity, level of research and motivation to improve upon each new video and blog post. For those of you with kids interested in games like Animal Crossing and Roblox, or if you’re a gamer yourself, please take a look at his blog and YouTube channel, and “smash that subscribe button”, as the tween influencers say these days. You will really make his day!

Thank you for being a reader! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

A Claim I Will Never Make

It is a claim I will never make,
an accusation I will never deny,
the power I possess scares me,
leaves me too terrified to even try

to make a choice, to take that step,
to find a way to ascend,
releasing all my crutches,
no longer having to pretend.

You are my One,
You are my Only,
How could I think
choosing You’d make me lonely?

The closer I get,
the warmer Your embrace,
the heartbreak I always feared,
suddenly so much easier to face.

My ‘I’ has driven me to torment.
Allow me to fully unpeel and dissolve.
Let my ‘I’ die before dying.
Oh Beloved, please help me evolve.

This pain is a most torturous ally,
a disguise for ecstasy, most sly.
It is a claim I will never make,
an accusation I will never deny.