Winter

flowers fallen
songbirds gone
frozen toes
the door no longer open
to breathe the morning air

shorts and t-shirt changed
for jacket and cap
shoes for sandals
daily rambles become urgent
fast paced walks

blue skies buried
by marching clouds
dark wetness
pouring down

winter is creeping
cold
into my heart

huddling
in the long night
wrapped in the warmth of memories
my soul shudders

seeds lie dormant
dreams unborn

and I hope for Spring

tio stib

You might also enjoy: If; Inspiration

Come Out, Come Play

cold, naked, hard,
it shrieks
piercing down the empty streets
the wind beats on every door
you can hide from death no more

the restless souls stir in their beds
haunted by an ancient dread
the walls cannot keep out the fear
the truth that fate is always near

far beyond where wrong knows right
the sun peeks past the edge of night
and streaking ‘cross the stage of day
light calls to life

come out
come play

tio stib
2015, 2021

You might also enjoy: The Crossing, Sometimes They Smile

Rajani Radhakrishnan, a Poet worth visiting

One of the joys of blogging is connecting with other bloggers and it is a special pleasure to connect with those whose words resonate in deeper ways. Rajani RadhaKrishnan is a poet from Bangalore, India whose writing strikes such a chord.

First, although I enjoy poetry in many of its forms, I make no pretense of being any sort of authority on the subject. I simply know what I like. I came across Rajani’s work as I searched WordPress for other world views I could relate to. Rajani’s poetry of intimate immediacy and alluring metaphors, captivated me. In part, this is because the intricate complexities of  her Indian culture push me to stretch my mental horizons. In part because the subjects she writes about are universal, simply one poet’s view of a different side of the same life mountain we all struggle to climb.

Rajani’s poetry is richly colored, sublimely sensual, and always thought provoking. Here is a passage from her recent chapbook, “The Night is My Mirror.”

Things that may not end 

The unfinished poem is my safe place. The map I was

given had no home or river or road — just a cloud-masked

sky hiding stars in frenzied kinesis. Whoever said it was all

about the journey, did not frame love as a destination. Or

as a beginning. But an incomplete poem neither travels nor

waits. Its flaws are not bound by linear time or karmic

causality. The final words will come in random sequence,

one unremarkable morning between the mundane and the

rain. The poem-to-be is the circumference of hope, hope that

the rainbow is the impulsive confession of the wettest light.

-Rajani Radhakrishnan 2020
You can enjoy Rajani’s poetry and find her books on her WordPress website, “ThotPurge, Incomplete Thoughts” –  https://thotpurge.wordpress.com/

tio stib

Hope

what pulls us back to life each day 

is it duty 
a job to do 
commitments 
responsibilities 

or is there something more 
something beyond routine
beyond the mundane 
beyond “just another day” 

beyond “should” 

beyond “have to” 

what is it that gets us up in spite
of stormy thoughts
in spite of 
frenzied fears
clouds of tears that drown the sun
tragic memories that drag us down 

struggling to assure my mind 
a new day will be better 
I can only answer for myself 

somehow 
something 
will make the effort of living worthwhile 

in this purgatory moment
it is hope that feeds my hungry heart 
it is hope that soothes my aching soul 

it is my hope
that love will show the way

tio stib 

You might also enjoy: Inspiration; If 

Seekers

I pause
high above the world of human strife
to look about the mountain I call life
and in the air where breath is rare and clear
I notice other seekers venture near
A wave, a smile, a moment’s eye
and then their journeys pass me by
but in the silence that ensues
I find my heart has been renewed.

tio stib
2015, 2019, 2021

You might also enjoy: A Mirrored Smile, Flavors of Friends

Be Still and Know

Be Still and Know

veiled in mindless mystery
the new year starts with fog
a wind of chilled uncertainty
a silent shroud of doubt

there are no sounds of distant trains
no birds, no passersby
no dreamy thoughts of far off Springs

just loneliness
just me
just I

but as I hear my trembling heart
craving love’s sweet warmth

whisper words from long ago

be still

be still and know

tio stib

You might also enjoy: If; Inspiration

Lumpy Gravy, Thoughts on Writing Well

I’m working on the rewrite of a chapter in a new book and in spite of hours of effort, when I pause to listen to what I’ve written, it sounds like lumpy gravy.

Yes, I realize that gravy doesn’t talk, sing, or make any other noise, but it still seems the perfect metaphor for my imperfect words. In case you’re not familiar with gravy and, in particular, lumpy gravy, a brief description-

Gravy is a sauce made from cooked meat juices, stock, and other ingredients. One ingredient is flour, which is used to thicken the sauce. When the flour is added incorrectly, the result is lumpy gravy, little balls of unmixed flour in the sauce, a culinary no-no. Like good writing, I believe creating good gravy, a sumptuously smooth sauce, is a combination of rigorous practicality and delicate art.

My own experience is that lumpy gravy usually results from hurrying, compromising time and care because of impatience, setting an unrealistic timeline for creating something that simply cannot be rushed. There is a proper order and way to add and mix ingredients. don’t do this and you get lumps.

what are the lumps in my writing? Words and phrases that don’t sound right, feel out of place, don’t fit the desired style, don’t truly support the theme. Adverbs and adjectives that were easy to insert but, upon reflection, don’t add anything. 

What I write seldom comes out smooth and lump free the first time. Admittedly, I rarely succeed at creating lump free gravy either. In cooking, there are two ways to fix this, stir or whisk much more, or, something few will admit to, strain the gravy through a sieve to remove the lumps. 

This is what rewriting is all about, the writer’s process of removing the lumps from his work through careful consideration, in my case, listening as I can’t see what I’ve written. Often I brainstorm words, sentences, even paragraphs. with the magic power of today’s word processing technology and my text reader friend, Alex voiceOver, I can quickly try and listen to many options, until I hear something that is smooth and feels right. And on I move to the next paragraph.

Ultimately, I’m the cook in my word kitchen and I know, that unless what I’ve written passes my taste test, unless I’ve taken the time, done the work, to make perfect, lump free, gravy, those words can’t leave the kitchen.

tio stib
2018, 2019, 2021

You might also enjoy: Writing Well

Burning Dreams

today
I burned our dreams

all the visions
all the goals
all the plans we’d made together

I placed them on a funeral pyre

lit them up

let them go

watched them melt in flames
felt them float away in smoke

and I smiled

for together
we lived those dreams
walking hand in hand

in the heart of God

tio stib

You might also enjoy: The Memory of a Single Rose; Inspiration

Good Humans Being

there is a dream
that I hold dear
of times when men
have grown past fear

when lies and hate
have blown away
when hope and love
guide each new day

yes
this may be fantasy
something that can never be
but I need this dream
to feed my soul
to guide me places
I need go

I dream of one day seeing
a world filled with
good humans being

tio stib
2017, 2020

You might also enjoy: “Desert of Dreams,” “First Snow

Shape Shifting

the mirror of life stares back at me
a history of those times once free
the many men I’d tried to be
the many worlds I’d longed to see
so many new realities
I lived in hopes of finding me

some were good and some were bad
there were happy times and sad
joyful moments and some quite mad
questing for the dreams I had

some lasted days, some only hours
some grew from seeds to lovely flowers
but then the moment finally came
when each went up in spirit’s flame

was I born a vagabond
to never settle down for long
to never truly quite belong
heart pulled on by distant song

lovers, friends, and passersby
I’ve known them all
said my goodbyes
but now, as I face the end
I wonder if I’ll fly again

the caterpillar exists to eat
the pupa then goes off to sleep
and in its sacred, silky place
transforms into a different face

and so I build my new cocoon
as life within me starts to swoon
in hopes that with the coming moon
I will stretch my wings once more
and fly away to distant shores

so begins my every day
shape shifting in the cosmic play

tio stib
2016, 2018, 2019, 2020

You might also enjoy: Paddling a Submarine vs. Living an Authentic Life, A Friend Passes