Posts tagged Aging
May 19, 2013 * Dominique Larntz
Dedicated to the Rights of Nature Movement
Nature purchased me early.
At 3 months old, the sun
scorched my skin
across the side of a mountain
like it thought I might be
an agent of photosynthesis.
I am owned by nature
and fail to fathom the delusion
that man owns land.
Like a long-running movie
with dramatic courtroom scenes
where everyone’s malnourished,
I’ve stepped out to get some air
and seen the scenes are two dimensional,
and the script’s someone’s trip to make money.
When I was young, the fingers of reality
found me for that mountain moment but now
I am old and nature finds me everywhere.
I refuse conversations about who-owns-what
and I silently grow thyme on my back porch
as the plants call forth their right to flourish.
I hear it like the thrum of my heartbeat,
a song so much fuller than the noise of commerce—
the verdant cadence of reality
trickling through fantasy as the ice melts
around schemes of domination and colonization—
old ragged frozen prehistoric fish rhymes.
Instead the letters of real things start to appear.
Lexicons that interweave breath making and breath taking,
water ways and solar rays, until I can walk up that mountain
at a time near my last breath making friends
with the sun, with technology, with my fellow man,
with the landscape, with the whole of the day.
We don’t own land like
I don’t perform photosynthesis—
which the planet needs to make air—
the air I depend on for every breath of life;
breath I gulp as the plants move me.
Dominique Larntz * October 23, 2012
Doors keep falling away;
The back screen door slid right off
the track—night before company came.
The front door keeps opening
as the wind signals a change in weather.
I left the back door open all day,
let the sunlight slither in like a snake
I’ll find under the table and need to battle
or avoid later by hoping it belly-slides back out.
I Let the wind carry in flying gnats
that Chuck will likely notice.
Made a mess because I didn’t fix that
broken, leaning door I have been using
like a divine barrier between me
and the dust
and the bugs
and the soil.
This is what gods do—turn
once proud barriers
into nothing but caves.
Dominique Larntz * October 16, 2012
Knots surround me
and knots and fibers surround
these tears that somehow
reincarnated all over my face and
my wire form from this week’s
vessels class when I turned on
Native America Calling
and heard they wanted to celebrate
especially by hearing IAIA’s
I thought, maybe if I had more
indigenous blood I would
deserve to be an artist.
Maybe if I could draw like
Donita Grimm could sketch
those Palominos in the 5th grade
or maybe I would deserve to be
an artist if I had not colored
those shoes so black so black
and then colored over the lines
in the 3rd grade—like I was
trying to make a foundation
where I had nothing but wind.
When my eyes clear and the tears
steer into their own infinity,
age’s newest warrior whispers
from within wisdom’s hood
words that weave family
into every orphan’s knots.
She licks my heart with a wolf’s tongue
to tell me to howl my poems
for the moon to hear,
and when that queen moon
gives rise to tides,
oceans will respond.
She runs with me
around the basket
I form in spirals
like she is traveling
across a midnight mesa
with nocturnal eyes
that declare me an artist, finally,
a poet at twilight.
Dominique Larntz * September 2, 2012
A New Habit
I think I did it first:
he asked me if I liked the shelf he finished
And in my mind I said,
are you kidding, it’s fantastic!
In my heart, I sang of the way a shelf
we carve into our lives to set a book upon
was made from a tree that reached as deeply into the dirt
as its branches stretched toward the sun.
He asked me again, a little perturbed this time.
“Do you like the new shelf?”
I shook myself and said aloud, “Yes, yes. I love it.”
I noticed this new habit we have—
assuming we have heard the other respond.
When we were younger and first in love,
we spoke together fast and secretly—so fast
that we would finish the others’ sentence
before listening and laughing in the joy of it.
Now our love life is ecstatic with age
and I can report back in time
that there is nothing more beautiful
than love well lived.
The love well lived requires both sides
to mature, both sides sometimes to be wrong,
a song of sacrifice lived behind the curtain
of deep desires to do something different than
is being done—requires abandoning the place of want
and its unending possibilities—those are ceded
with wonder and awe for the roots and depth
where we have best blossomed instead,
like two bookends slid securely into place
holding up stories on a shelf that will last for a while.
For twenty years, we have said and not said
so many wonderful things to each other; it seems
like sunshine to be around him.
Our relationship sustains this living landscape
and our daily lives are finally slow enough to feel it.
The other day, I asked him a question—
I can’t even remember what it was—
and he didn’t answer,
so I answered yes for him.
When you ask your next question,
only to wait and wait for its answer,
perhaps your spouse or child
or aging parent or God
is so ecstatic with you
they have this sense
you have already heard.
Dominique Larntz * June 7, 2012
I was walking down steep dirt in the desert
with the same hurt hip that visits daily
in my forties, and each next step became
the uncertain place that pain makes
its bed frame since the accident.
For a few steps, I relied exclusively on the right,
placing my left only momentarily where I knew
its sole would not slide amongst altitude’s tiny granules,
and landed gracelessly with several hard gaits on its companion.
There’s a shooting pain in this sort of imbalance
that no poem can soothe, because it is outside the words
and inside the music of movement in the space
surrounding what I call myself and my body.
I stopped moving halfway down that hill
and I started to meditate instead of hike.
I took my eyes from the bottom of the crest
and focused on the rock right in front of me.
I changed my mind’s calculation
from counting the steps to get to my car
to noticing that I am in this step.
I told my left hip, I am here for you now.
I sustained a simple, humble change
of awareness in each step,
and the pain dissolved quickly
in an unexpected surprise.
Surprise because I was just
trying to finish the walk without falling down
and I had no eyes for easy steps
where each side supported the other.
Wherever else uncertain,
I am sure to take this walk again,
and I may not always find such easy relief,
but I can dig my heel firmly into faith
in the restoration of balance
over an uneasy terrain.
(With kudos to Thich Nhat Hanh For his Walking Meditation which inspired my walking meditation today.)
Dominique Larntz * May 25, 2012
It’s questionable to go through my kid’s stuff
but Twitter and Facebook matured
right along with him
and when I found his pixelated picture
on the Internet after 16 years
of indirect mothering,
my heart started walking into rooms,
forgetting what it walked into them for.
I found out I kept trying to make him proud
through things like salary leaps
and being kind to complete strangers
because I didn’t cradle him
against my chest with the permanence
to reassure us both that life longs for us
to spend our days peacefully,
in deep union with one another
and in a spirit of compassion
for ourselves and others
and any space between.
Dominique Larntz * May 24, 2012
My Summer’s just arriving
and I’ve read Emily’s poem
on letting go of hers
I keep the secret of seasons
like a rising loaf of bread
on my kitchen counter.
I use the knowledge
of the middle of life like
you pump air toward embers.
Dominique Larntz * May 10, 2012
They propped up his vein
and I keep wondering how that would be–
to have the most tender pathways
inside me opened up by doctors and devices.
I trace a line along my sternum with my finger
when he is not here and when he is beside me,
run my fingers along his chest, trying to feel it.
I place my right ear against his heart,
feeling the gallop of it inside him,
grateful for his life, grateful for mine,
feeling him as intimately
as I feel the inside of my eyelids.
He is the resolution of my life’s projections
and almost losing him to a heart attack
helps me know love the way you see space
only by the things that fill that space.
Dominique Larntz * April 12, 2012
On this birthday, death exhales his musings
into my carotid pattern and I wonder
if it is as stable as ever. I am in the middle–
this precipice point where I have let go
of the potentials of birth and I have begun
to embrace the vague details of death.
I care less and less about celebrating
the day of my entrance into this body,
but the fact remains that it is still marked.
I know the date, the time, the year
and the desert place in which my small fist
leaked out into this mortal blossom.
The date of my demise is unclear.
I might celebrate it in some sort of heaven,
dancing between layers of golden scarves
in a semblance of whatever my spirit
will know to be naked abandon in the afterlife.
There may be appreciation
for this sort of visceral joy.
We may gasp ourselves
into death with a breath
we do not yet know.
We might work ourselves to death
because we are in some sort of
reaching to grow into something spectacular
so that death is another birth.
In the womb of death’s wooing of me,
I am comfortable with the outlines of my mortality today,
stretching into the sky with fingers
that are large to my pupil but tiny to the moon’s eye;
exploring with legs that are huge
compared to the models of my culture
but small compared to the waves of an ocean;
kicking with hips that rotate open
to uncover a chakra base
tunneled into an earth
to sustain me for a long curious life
that for the sun is only the time span
it takes to glance around at its planets
and assure itself they are still there.
Today, I am thinking about people I care for,
primarily the people in my blood family.
I can feel them in the pulse at my neck as I breath.
They are as close to me as my carotid artery
and as far from me as the nearest stars.
I have been writing them secret love letters,
knowing I may leave first.
I hope they arrive.
Dominique Larntz * February 9, 2012
Take your hand
and the rest of yourself
and hold me here
where I am mortal.
Tell me again
that you know
the same truth as I.
In youth, we have glimpses
of our singularities.
However, these injuries of age
engage a handsome brake
in our soul’s engine, giving us
our own acceleration rate
and there is no speed limit
I can finally slow down,
ignore the lines,
get off the road.
Dominique Jones * January 20, 2012 * “Love Letters To My Body”
From Pond to Wind
My pond heart
reflects on the effects
will have upon it.
Rings from the stories of
hitting stones have
expanded and shallowed
and slowly eased.
Sure the silt could get
stirred up again;
But the wettest heart faces,
in its later years,
a change in state,
its turning from pool to sky.
And I wonder as I merge
with the air, how it will feel
for each drop to let go of a tide
and become the atmosphere.