“washcloth” by Heather Chamberlain

With a wet washcloth you wash your face.

Then the pure white cloth is forever stained,

and you foolishly believe your face is clean.

 

In the mirror you primp, and you preen,

but just because salt revives the skin

doesn’t make it blemish free.

 

Every night when you remove the base,

you stare hard and cold at the path you’ve traced;

squeezing the washcloth, in your hand restrained.

 

And every morning you conceal your sin.

And it works,

‘cause it does hide the darkness within.

 

And every night,

once again,

with a wet washcloth you wash your face.

 

Photograph made available by Brian Patrick Tagalong via Unsplash.

“Progression” Written and Read by Kobe Krehbiel, Performed by Morgan Smith

“Progression”

Fast cars blazing by
Warm breeze intoxication
Something still missing
Running from the truth
Everything seems foreign here
Fake smiles today
Searching for answers
Aimlessly walking around
I’ll figure it out
Always lost in thought
Finding answers in wrong spots
Not all is lost though
There is a constant
Nature is my own escape
Beauty never stops
An escape that exists
Never have to look too far
True radiance shines
Never a worry
Everything works out just fine
Hope is now restored

This dance and poem were a collaboration for the 2019 event “Changement: Self in Motion”.

“A Rosebud That Blooms Begins to Die” by Heather Chamberlain

A rosebud that blooms begins to die,

But there’s still hope in the petals restrained.

 

There’s intensity—a swelling energy.

There’s friction, but it rubs deliciously.

The bud is aching to unfold—

It’s story to be told—

Exposed for all the world to behold.

 

It desires to be noticed—

Time demands the next stage of life;

Nature compels the floret to open.

But if it complies,

The spirit within amplified—

On the surface, fatigues in a moment.

 

There’s still hope in the petals restrained,

But a rosebud that blooms begins to die.

 

Photo made available by Vanessa Serpas via Unsplash

“A King Amongst Men” by Jonathan Pettyjohn

Dying in the tall rain,
a monarch stands among them all.

His eyes are red,
his brain is fogged,
and in it forms this crying thrall, dying in the tall rain.

Of course,
in his brain,
This all is false to him,
Dying in the tall rain.

The world begins to set,
Of course,
in this drain.

To him is all,
peaceful one.

To him is all a golden sun.

 

Photograph made available by O12 via Unsplash

“The Boy in Search of His Mother” by Dalton Palmer

Every foggy morning on my way to work, there’s a little boy standing on the sidewalk right outside of my apartment door, his head looking up while his eyes were lost in the clouds. Almost every day that I catch sight of him, I want to stop and talk to him to make sure he is alright, but I’m constantly running late to work. Tomorrow I plan to wake up early so I can talk to the boy, but sitting in a narrow blank gray cubical at a computer covered in years of dust on it for 12 hours straight turns me into a salty snail. On the bright side, the memories I don’t want to remember start to blur. When I get home at six at night, I usually watch reruns of whatever is on. Tonight, I plan on going straight to bed, so I can talk to that little boy in the morning.

 

 

As I wake up, I make my way to the unkempt kitchen, open the blue dusty curtain with my index finger just enough to see if the little boy is on the sidewalk. As I suspected, the little boy stood in the exact spot with a similar look from the day before and the day before that. I slip on my black house slippers, put on my wedding ring, look at the picture of my wife on the wall, and make my way toward my front door. The door’s white paint is starting to fade and there’s a screech that could make a monk lose his mind coming from the rusted door hinges: metal grinding together with metal. I mentioned this to the landlord, but he most likely won’t repair it. As I walk down the rickety wooden stairs outside of my apartment, I approach the little boy. He mumbles the word “mommy.” The boy looks up out of the corner of his eyes at me. His eyes are blue like the sky right before the day expires.
“Hello, young man.”
I can barely hear his response as he replies.
“Hello, mister.”
“Ya know, every day I go to work I see you in that exact spot looking up into the sky with your mind lost within it. Do you care to tell me why?”
“My daddy told me that my mommy was going to always be in the sky watching me, but every time I look into the sky and ask my mommy to talk to me, she don’t answer.”
Clinching my fist, I swallow the storm, drop to one knee, and look into his eyes. My mouth opens, but my throat tries to swallow the words.
“My wife and your mommy are both in the sky watching us. They can watch us, but they cannot talk to us.”
The little boy’s eye lids separate from each other, with one eyebrow slightly raised higher than the other, as his face begins to turn the color of a strawberry.
“WHY?! WHY NOT? I WANT TO TALK TO MY MOMMY!”
“They can’t talk to us because then they wouldn’t be able to protect us any longer.”
“But I don’t want my mommy to protect me any longer. I want to show her what I made for her in class.”
“I know how you feel bud, but we both have to learn to accept it for now. One day you will get to see your mommy and I will get to see my wife; then we can show them everything that we have done for them.”
Every day, I think about ending all the memories. I’m a 30-year-old man whose 29-year-old wife passed away, whole weeks going by as if I wasn’t even there because I’m stuck in memories, yet I am sitting here, telling a child, whose mind hasn’t even developed yet, to accept the death of his mother.
The little boy lets out a short breath from out of his mouth, looks down at the ground, then looks back at me.
“I hope one day you get to see your wife, and I get to see my mommy.”
“Me too, buddy; me to.”

 

Photo made available by Xavier Mouton Photographie via Unsplash

 

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