08/10/13

Adventure

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Photo (c) 2013 Jolene OBrien

Unless your bucket list is in pencil
Unless you’re content in front of your television
And your eyes see better than your heart does
If you heard on the radio that intellect killed hope
And read on the message board that we never needed hope in the first place
Unless you see unfiltered
And the light in your eyes is not a reflection of anywhere you’ve been
If there is nothing out there
And you’ve seen it before anyway
Take note:

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06/17/13

Inventoree (Inventory)

 
 
 
Take a deep breath inventory
Of yourself
Do not count your hands or feet
Not your wandering legs or
Wavering arms

Do not take inventory of your clothes
Not of your favorite shoes or
Your special hat—not even your
Coat that you save for those cold,
Cold nights
Ignore your car—payments or paid off
Your home—apartment, trailer, mansion
Your work uniform—whatever that may be

Make emergency stops only
You are still several miles from
The intersection of contentment and identity
And you have not been there
In far too long
Do not take inventory of how you look
In a summer dress or a tuxedo and bowtie
Don’t count your history with
Drugs and alcohol
Don’t count your computer, your television
Or that collection of movies
Or albums
Or books that you’ve been working on
Don’t take account of your ability to curl
Dead weight
It’s just curling dead weight
Don’t count the number of visible abs
You have
Or your BMI

You are so much more than a body
You are so much more than possessions
Your body and belongings have not
Done you well to feel like you belong

Instead take inventory of your joy
You have some joy don’t you?

Count your friends
Count your love letters
Count the moments when it rains
And you have an umbrella
Count the last time you had strawberries
Count the start of every kiss
Count the paid off credit cards
Actually, count those twice
Because freedom counts for twice as much
Account for all of your freedoms
Take inventory of playing catch with your dad
Your last home-cooked meal
Account for the last time you rode a bike
When you didn’t think about exercise, you just felt the wind
Count the times you wrapped birthday presents
Count the smell of the last bouquet of flowers you were given
Count the last time you went to the zoo
And you swore, nobody ever fell in love with the
Animals quite like you did
Cause you have an eye for beauty
And you’re seeing it everywhere
Take a deep breath inventory of the beauty you have seen

And when you can’t seem to find anything that matters
To take inventory of
Count those dark moments where you still
Have the hope to rack your brain
To try to find a memory where you had joy
If you still have hope to try to find it
That is joyful
All on its own
Because I know they can be hard to find sometimes
Those things worth taking inventory of
But I have found the greatest of these things is love
Not the way I love Pulp Fiction and Casablanca
But the way I love my wife
And my father and my mother
And a good rescue
Cause that is what I’ve had—a good rescue
And life is sweet like honey
Not because it’s easy
And certainly not because I feel good all the time
But because I have found joy in a rescued life that I can hope in
When I take a deep breath inventory
I have to realize all I have is love
And I love the love
The rest will go away someday
But I will always count on love
And that is joyful all on its own
 
 
 

03/10/13

The Onings (The Awnings)

it’s not Paris, exactly
but the warm glow of
street lanterns
beholders of a language that
doesn’t need an interpreter–
a kiss on the lips and
a gentle rain on
statues in the park,
umbrellas unfolding in
unison down the shimmering
stairwell still wet with
the water-drops of romance

I’m not blaming Chicago for
not holding hands with
enchantment the same way that
Paris plays puppeteer to my
marionette heart, I am
only blaming Chicago for
being so close and interactive

for being on my
side of the ocean
if it rains in Old Town
no one stays outside
we just wish they spoke French
under the awnings