Expedition

This journey is unlike anything I could’ve imagined ( good thing this whole thing isn’t my daydream). Because I didn’t think I had it in me, this thing that everyone else saw in me. This thing that earned me the honor of teaching twenty-two blossoming minds.

I was only substituting for about a month and a half before this kindergarten class was tossed into my lap.

I’m considered a long-term substitute; these babies are mine for the rest of the year. I don’t have a teaching certification. My BA didn’t have anything to do with education. I didn’t even want this responsibility. But anyone who is a writer knows about the call to adventure, when the protagonist’s world turns upside down, random people start coming out of no where and the protagonists begins to learn things they wouldn’t have thought to ask about.

And it’s funny because when I prayed, all I asked for was a little push in the right direction. I want to teach college level one day and all I wanted was to be shown the way…

And I think I’ve hit that first conflict. I haven’t been able to write or read or do anything like that for me. I wasn’t able to finish the first draft of my novel for Nanowrimo and I’m only six chapters away. Honestly, I’m crying on the inside, trying to figure out what’s going to come next because I know where my heart really lies; it’s in my writing.

I don’t know where I’m going with this – with this career shift or this blog post. I guess this is me just trying to figure it out, coming to terms with what I’ve asked for.

It just feels strange, knowing that I was heard.

And answered so swiftly.

What does this mean?

– B. Brown

(art by Randall David Tipton: Logjam)

Dance With Me

I skip to the rustle

of emerald leaves,

dandelions

riverfronts

in the bustleing breeze

kicking to the sun

and it’s holy choir

singing to my skin

and humming

within the safety

of serrated mountains

keeping tempo

above the earths momento

a trail of tears and hopes

worn in by my foregoers

can’t you hear it?

quiet and listen

this symphony

is our only theme

hold my hand, please

pull me close

careen with me

please

will you

dance with me?

B. Brown

(image courtesy of Pinterest)

Poem: Good Bones by Maggie Smith

Good Bones

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

– Maggie Smith

(art by Jaanika Talts)

It’s Time

nothing but heaven
where she once thought
there would be doom
after leaping
from a weeping chrysalis
upon first gasp of morning
for letting the tears congeal
thereafter hands peel
and unfold bones
fixated for so long
via breaking tendons
following lungs expanding
eyes opening
awareness
there is something
out there

I cannot live here

– B. Brown

(art: Unexpected Change by Doris Tesarkova Oplova)

Gitanjali 35 – Rabindranath Tagore, (1861 – 1941)

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action—
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

– Rabindranath Tagore

(image by Alex DeForest)

In 2018, we’re going to stay woke, driven and kind to ourselves. And eat more veggies. Happy New Years!

Stake

don’t weaken yourself
for someone
with something to prove,
they’ll jump
to make an example out of you,
no matter the record,
no matter the truth

their ego
will always
outweigh you

– B. Brown

(art by: Antony Gormley, CAPACITOR)

Bound

you didn’t figure
my short leash
into the picture

my shackle sores
I love to live to endure

rope lines
I’m embroidered
it is the texture
you’ve grown
so fond of

as delirious as
I am from suspension

my submission
to a grander
commission

my raw knees
from crawling
every morning

a twisted tongue
from begging

a relentless scissor
by hazing
from pledging
to the desolate revelry

my soul tearing
bearing spree
that jerks me
by the collar
when I grow weak

and damn,
did you weaken me…

– B. Brown

(image courtesy of Pinterest)

I Believed She’d Always Be

I Believed She’d Always Be

youthfully drowsy, I believed she’d always be

but I felt it, the fragility, the fatigue

the trauma racking mentally, frequently

allowed for it to creep silently, to fester

to make her air thick and her words slick

still, I couldn’t fathom such a stealthy killer

such an intimate thriller for the soul to behold

even behind the scenes, the illusions eased

until the rooms grew dimmer, and they withered

right before my untrusting, denying eyes,

until I was exposed, the smallest one out

stumbling in the dark, no merciful moon

to temper the shock so soon

– B. Brown

This is a poem from my first book, Amnesia. It was a struggle to write the first part because I tore into a lot of dark spaces in my mind. I had to explore and confront that year that poses as only yesterday, when my world distorted and contorted into something unrecognizable. I managed to survive it, though, and come out stronger. But even today, I still wonder how different my life would be if it wasn’t for that plot twist.

(fantasy art: The Drowning Eyes by Cynthia Sheppard)

The Last Mile

she was anxious, excited
upset that she had to come,
that the drive had taken longer,
that the sun was shining brighter
as if it were the proper
time to climb
from the four seater
with a beautiful face
turned dreadful
and grim, with limbs
and whims to struggle composure,
reluctantly entering
a room lit for no reason
morning already consumed,
looking around bemusedly
at two solemn faces greeting,
petitioning courage to smile
she sweeps over and smiles,
I haven’t seen you in a while

and her friend, she smiles
still with years
backed by heavy care,
road of kinship
backed my the miles
of laughter
of shared pain
of still living again
loving again
puffing again, they walk again
memory lane unearthed again
to part again
but towards a final destination,
they weep again

before she goes,
eyeballing the shine
through the window
the green grass
across the road,
leaves flying for show
as if they didn’t know
who withstood
the most loss,
who was famed
through loss,
as she passed
through the door frame
into her world
that would never be
the same
again

– B. Brown

…heart’s been a little heavy this week

(art by Donna Downey (new favorite artist omg))

To Walk on Water…

the single cell amoeba
sends out it’s distress signal
in the form of a secretion
that attracts other
single cells…

safety in numbers,
fish maintain
a closed distance
from one another,
constantly keeping tabs,
not too close, not too far
just enough to up
the odds of survival
should nature decide
to rush it’s course…

and it’s the same
for our famed avian,
collectively riding
magnetic winds,
formations reforming
according to the shift
in elements,
highly efficient
as one…

and what are the bees
without their queen?
what is the pride
without their king?
what are the packs
without their alpha?

these, algorithms,
these rules of life,
of survival, of existence
of community, of society
are prevalent everywhere

even with our kind

but the funny thing is,
for some reason,
one way or another,
we can generate
new algorithms,
new ways of life

we have options

we don’t need
secretions
to provoke a congregation
(did I push a button?)

we don’t need
to keep others
just within our reach
for detection,
for protection
(is the shoe starting to fit?)

we don’t need
formations
and patterns
to really feel,
to get where
we need to be
(did you forget
you’re a spiritual
being?)

we have autonomy,
individuality,
in a universe
constantly conspiring

we have
an unmatched form
of navigating
for survival,
through community
throughout society,
of our existence

that’s right,
we can navigate
our own existence

so there’s no need
to be a part
of a sluggish consciousness,
there’s no need
to swim blindly
with the purely surviving,
there’s no need
to clutter the horizon
with the rest of ’em,
you don’t necessarily
need a queen,
or to carry a king
or be ruled
by an alpha…

unless that’s your place,
and that’s just fine,
in a way,
it isn’t any less divine

but what if you could be
a multi-celled anomaly?
what if you were
destined to walk on land?
what if you could
survive the flight
to holy heights?

what if you need no form?
what if you could walk on water?
what if you could make it to the sun?

what if,
my darling,
what if?

– B. Brown

(painting by Linda Olsen)