Posts tagged Recovery
November 25, 2012 * Dominique Larntz
We could build a wall, you and I,
and see it fall back into the particles
and pieces that all physical things turn into,
like Legos in earth’s generous toy chest.
You could write a cypher and make it cyber,
wed a hacker and the two of you could spend
your life staring at screens as your bellies quicken to text
and procedures instead of the bend of a baby’s elbow.
I could serve the neighborhood watch each night, my flashlight
joining the neighbor’s flashlight, repeating until the night yields
and the watch has to watch itself, being over-crowded
with people who need to turn the light on themselves.
You and I could amass a pile of nuts like a squirrel
or a pile of anything else that seems valuable now—funny
money that keeps changing forms—when I was young it was
cash and now it is a credit score or an abstract number on a card.
But we know, you and I, that nothing secures us to life,
not even our bodies, because we give them back too,
when destiny points directly to us and tells us it’s time
for the most courageous of human moments.
The only system that works for the human spirit is love,
life’s animating storyteller whose songs keep us fed, who meets
us at every grief and joy equally not as a fragile parent
but as an entire ocean for us to dissolve into as ice.
Dominique Larntz * November 21, 2012
As I peer through the cattails
of the competition
to see another situation
where I was left holding
a saddle I crafted
heavy enough to fit the buffalo
that I watched turn into a monarch butterfly,
here is how I cared for myself.
I reminded myself of the seeds inside me
that grow wild when watered,
that take over plots of my soul
like spilled ink takes over
a poem on a page.
Perhaps one day I will be able
to compete skillfully but for now
I can retreat from society’s
mechanisms of disappointment
and appointment—oh keep me away
from winning, too—those of us who
lose attachingly win with the same animal.
I will put these seeds back
into the rock tumbler of my journey.
I’ll wait for the smooth reflection to form.
When I am ready, those seeds will not be
quivers I can use in some Olympic feat
but worry stones in my pockets.
November 8, 2012 * Dominique Larntz
Be with me without thinking
through what I should do.
Be quiet about your
From your judgments,
icy stalactites and stalagmites arise
where moments ago
breath and water flowed.
I am surrounded by a society of judges
that turn conversations into caves
instead of skies.
People judge because they are
only one step removed
from the subject of their sentences.
Would it be too close
to say you are afraid to look
as vulnerable as I appear?
Be still, create space—
for as ugly as you think I am,
you with your unkind eyebrows
and the knots in your fists,
my heart is filled with love for you
as weak as you perceive that to be
it connects with you like nature
eventually overturns destruction
when you judge her irrelevant.
Dominique Larntz * October 22, 2012
Even the earth has caves
that inhale in Winter
and exhale in Summer
but they must have
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 * August 10, 2012
(how do I find myself here again?)
I saw the spirit of the bird rise above the blacktop
as its body took another tire pattern like paper welcoming ink
while I watched cross traffic pour over its broken form.
softer than pavement,
and the things we forge into smooth surfaces
(its final chirp whispered into the eternity of that red light)
is the death that brings
the fortunes of civilizations to tears
no matter how we pave our roads,
if we drive over our birds,
blind our songs,
stifle our softness,
lay tire tracks to our heart’s coherence,
the paved roads lead away
from our true nature.
Dominique Larntz * July 2, 2012
Her body cradles the sorrow
in a canyon so deep
you can’t hear a quarter drop
when you let it go over the edge.
She’s been saying it’s fine
for you spin words of delusion
that swaddle her up to her throat
like a spider’s web.
Her body can’t heal any more
unless she follows the path
of rest and peace and joy,
taking every nap she desires.
Her nerves need a bath of love
and the culture is a river polluted
by overstimulation, by addicts
rushing to destruction.
Her cells weep in blood, the only
language they have, calling for life
to be lived, enjoyed, cherished,
preserved, flowed, balanced, loved.
Dominique Larntz * June 17, 2012
After this time of feeling
bruised by judgments,
it is enough that the woman
on the front porch of Kellers Farm Store
slouching on the plastic chair,
muttering into her cell phone,
maybe talking to her dad
on this father’s day morning,
paying no attention to me,
saw me return the cart
on my frail hip,
in my complete way,
pushing it into the others
as if I had never used it—
instead of leave it as a guidepost
to the ghost of my car.
It’s enough that she saw–
and not my husband
or mother or step-kids
and especially not
my unknown father
whom I’ll never shop for
and who will never know
if I have character or integrity or
if I do any small thing
to make the world more
navigable for others.
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 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 29, 2012
Crater Lake Blue could be bottled
and then I could hold onto stillness with them—
my grandfather and my uncle.
When I talk to my grandfather now
through the gauze of Alzheimer’s,
I am no longer asking him if the travel
trinket I am buying is too expensive.
When I talk to my uncle through
the twisted lips of drug arrests
we don’t mention when we see
each other once per decade,
I can only thank him for teaching
me how to drive stick-shift
in South Dakota parking lots
when I was sixteen.
My moment with them was at Crater Lake,
swirling my sweaty hair up into
a knot at the center of my skull
and I felt safe with them on the road north
through California for a few days
in the middle of a chaotic childhood
but I was probably bored
and I had no idea it was important
to the forty-two year old woman I would become
who needed to know that at the heart
of each fractured person—
of each person who falls beyond cliffs
from which they can no longer send us
words we can decipher—there is a deep crater
of being that is as alive as the earth.
We don’t have to communicate in language
to love our families; we can sit together or
if we can’t sit together we can use their
illness as an opportunity to ask for help
or to help others whose faces remind us of theirs—to
widen the very concept of family
until we learn that there will be no saving
ourselves or each other. There will only be
a deeper, an ever deepening, cratering, caring
that pools in our spirits for us to gaze into
when we need space.
Dominique Jones * January 19, 2012 * “Love Letters To My Body”
It doesn’t come as a shock to me
that I keep getting visits–
from panic and the visage of pain.
Dressed up still
in their Sunday bests,
I have learned to preach
from them and to them less.
I’ve discovered I am not
descendents of theirs;
they just stop by from time to time.
Since they exist, however,
they are as welcome
in the holy structures of my soul
as any other entity.
I imagine grief sitting there
stiffly on a wooden pew,
smelling a little dampness
from my pond heart outside
and staring through the complicated
stained glass of my eyes,
trying to be silent
as a Summer afternoon,
to hear my
higher self tell it
all is well.