Words

For words to do what they do best
They cannot state the unexpressed
If language gives the deepest thought
Its greatest part remains untaught
If dreams are spoken, not implied
You can be sure the speaker lied
Or he has been some gift denied
For every human heart is wrought
Through finding what no other sought

© Julia Varnell-Sarjeant 2011

Not about the babies

It’s not about the babies
Although they are compelling
With their tiny fingers
And curling toes
And soft cooing voices

If it was about the babies
They would care what happened
Once they took that first breath
Or at least past
The doctor’s slap and that first cry

If it was about the babies
It would also be about the children
Hungry or homeless or cold or beaten
Until they couldn’t sit
Because their parents were annoyed

If it was about the babies
It would be about the mothers
Carrying those precious souls,
About keeping mothers well
And safe and fed

If it was about the babies
Someone would ask the unaskable question
Is it really less kind to terminate life in the womb
Than to make a child grow up
Unwanted?

© Julia Varnell-Sarjeant 2011

 

Our House

They tore down our yellow frame house today
The bulldozers and wreckers came
And ground their tires where we wanted lilacs.
We never lived there.
As we sat, side by side,
We watched the walls shatter and reveal
The anatomy of the shelter
We had planned to share
The bedroom – we placed it right
But it was blue, not green.
A steel bared the kitchen
Just as we had imagined.  Another blow
And that dream crumpled.
Finally the living room
Just as the we of us went:
The house collapsed.
We gazed at the heap
And watched the old foundation falter, sigh, then fold.
We parted.
They put asphalt where the house had been.
In place of love we put a cool hello
If we spoke at all.

© Julia F. Varnell-Sarjeant 2011

Mother Earth

Ah, mother Earth I see you in your youth so like me
Passion burning, hot, now spewing as ash
Spraying skyward, landing randomly,
Now slowly flowing as lava burning forests
Baking rock, shaking and trembling, now quaking
Creating, forming, thrusting, squeezing
The ranges, the valleys, formed in untouched desire

Now as mid-age mothers
Dependable, strong, quiet snow-capped peaks
Chortling brooks, waves kissing the beach as children
Wise whispering breezes over gentle prairie
Serene to all who look and I wonder
Whether you, like me, in your core
Still seethe?

© Julia Varnell-Sarjeant 2011

I’m Writing Again Farewell

I’m writing again farewell.
I’ve written it before, each word
Burning like your cigarette in the tray
The hours we sat; the syllables tinkle
As ice in a glass as it melts
And is swallowed
Into dark nights leaning on the rail,
Staring at the water slipping under the bridge.
The commas breathe, as our gasping for air
When the musicians paused and we twirled
To a stop, a goodnight kiss, a wave, and a
Closed door.

© Julia Varnell-Sarjeant 2011

I saw the sun come up this morning

Note:  This has not been my experience.  It is the result of conversations I have had with battered women.

I saw the sun come up this morning
And found myself wishing
That things were simple and easy so
Like they used to be

I watched the early light tint the clouds
As litter scattered across the skies
Leaves wrenched from branches thrown randomly on the lawn
Papers, a broken glass hurled around my room

I still felt the storm of last night
The house shaking in the wind’s fury
And in the rage in your voice
The slapping of rain on the window
And your hand against my face
The branch from the spruce beat the roof
While your fists beat my shoulders and arms
And an unknown object hit the outside wall
As I hit the dresser and fell
The thunder did not quite drown out
The slamming of your car door or the tires raking the gravel
As you drove away

I watched the fire-orange-that –hurt-my-eyes slip the skyline
Illuminating the red blotches on my face as reminders of your anger
And Jesus knew I ached and throbbed with all your hurts and empty cups, and missed (oh, god) I missed what used to be

And then the all over blue washed the sky
Saying, hoity-toity like, it always goes this way and drops of water
Don’t care if it’s streets or cheeks they spatter

© Julia F. Varnell-Sarjeant 6/13/2010