Becoming

-Gina

I marvel at these old cottonwoods
Some with gold and brown leaves
Few still with green
Branches misshapen
Broken
Scorched
Age has only made this Bosque
More engrossed, tangled, wise
Small shoots regrow, becoming
Reaching for bird and sun

I cannot filter the trees into perfection
I can only wonder at their time in history
The chipmunks and squirrels who have
Made their home in the hollows
Of these old tree bones
Worn with time

My feet walk the path unseen
Comforted by this space in nature
This Bosque along the timeless Rio Grande
I stop to feel the grooves of a downed tree
I too am as worn
Wrinkled
An age spot on my right cheek
Gray hairs have rooted
I am fortunate to have reached this age
Still standing
Still becoming
Reaching for bird and sun

(C) 2022


Photo by my daughter, M.J.M. | “Becoming” | Taken in the Bosque

Everyone has a Summer

Katrina Kaye

Mine involved boys and alcohol,
late nights, loud music and bonfires,
a little red dress I bought on sale.

I balanced on platform shoes,
etched black eyeliner around lashes,
eager to be a little more than what I was.

I used to smoke cigarettes.
It was an excuse to make
eye contact, slip away with someone,

discuss poetry — or was it
philosophy? — share a strawberry flavored
kiss, and whisper a secret or two.

There was a summer I danced
on a block at the Pulse nightclub
to Siouxsie and the Banshees

almost every Thursday night
in that little red dress with the open back
and side slit, neon light and billowing smoke.

Everyone has a summer,
but there is no reason to be dismayed
when the fall comes.

Even in autumn months,
a night or two may recapture me
to a place of little consequence.

There are still late nights
when I have a drink too many,
kiss the boys on the patio,

kiss the girls on the neck.
Smoke a cigarette from
the brand I quit years ago.

But then I watch myself in mirrors
shadowed with soot, see my city lie in dust,
wondering who else feels the chill in the air.

I’ve grown past the green of my prime,
and, although I wilt, there is a young woman
with a too loud laugh wearing a red dress

who still exists somewhere in the pit of me,
because giving in to the animal
until the sun rises can be so breathtaking.

 

More Trees Than Stars…

poem & photographs by Gina Marselle

What I love about birds

is that sometimes they travel alone on a Path

and sometimes

there’s a whole flock.

What I admire most about the bird–

it’s singular.

To survive:

  • food
  • water
  • shelter
  • hope.

Each morning he begins with his Song.

Sometimes only heard

inside the whisper of God’s tender breath.

By each evening,

the golden hour

comes flooding with light upon the earth.

More quiet than a bird of prey hunting.

Or a mother bird nestling before the night comes;

she hides her chicks and song from all to hear.

Perhaps, it is is I who is lonely,

perhaps, it is I who is depressed,

perhaps, it is me who fights–

it’s me without song,

without flight,

alone.

I envy the bird when he’s high above

floating between clouds and rays and stars.

Stillness on this earth as it moves around the sun.

Wind in my hair.

Stealing breath and time.

There are more fish than birds,

more trees than stars,

more tears than laughter,

more hope than despair.      

The Sunset in Black and White at USS Bullhead Park in Albuquerque, NM |(C) 10.13.2022
The Sunset in Color at USS Bullhead Park in Albuquerque, NM | (C) 10.13.2022

Did you know: “It may surprise you, but there are more trees on Earth than there are stars in the Milky Way. According to a study published in Nature there are about 3 trillion trees on our planet. This far outpaces the “measly” 100-400 billion stars estimated to exist in the Milky Way.”

https://spaceandbeyondbox.com/four-things-you-probably-didnt-know-about-space/#:~:text=Trees%20outnumber%20the%20stars&text=It%20may%20surprise%20you%2C%20but,exist%20in%20the%20Milky%20Way.

Another Poem About Grief

Katrina Kaye

Stop trying  to be strong.
You do not have to make vows or resolutions or promises.
You do not have to put on a brave face.
You do not have to be patient or kind or tough.
All you have to do is allow the reality of the events to wash over you.

You will have the rest of your life
to learn how to live again,
to become the person you used to be,
or a new stronger version of your former self,
for now, survive, in any way you can.

The days won’t stop,
no matter how you may wish them to do so.
Time doesn’t stop for a broken heart,
although we wish it would,
although it feels like it might.

You do not have to listen to their
sympathies if it does do not suit you.
Be silent. Be alone.
If conversation doesn’t provide comfort,
let the calls go unanswered.
You have nothing to prove.

Let the coffee grow cold in the mug.
Look for him in the familiar places.
Reach out to his side of the bed.
Collect the pictures, all of them you can find.
Leave the television on so that you can chase off the silence.
So you feel less alone. So it can lull you to sleep.

Your armor and shield have been taken from you.
Feel shock, feel helpless, feel overwhelmed.
Feel nothing at all, if that is what it takes.

Your world will not be rebuilt in a day,
A week, a year. It will not be rebuilt the same.
It will never be the same. Nothing will.

Learn how to breathe without him beside you.
Learn how to speak to a man who will not be able to answer.
Learn to walk on your own.
There is no rush. The world will wait.
There is time.

For now,
grieve in whatever way suits you.
Survive the day, hour by hour,
survive the hour, minute by minute,
second by second.
The world will continue.
All you must do is survive,
survive, survive, survive.

Goodnight, Sun

Miraculous
colors crashed
into the horizon.
Fire ablazed
and the sun burned.
The air was silent.
It’s stillness
perfectly
held my heartbeat
between God’s hands.

Goodnight, Sun.

Until next time.


I have been inspired by the sunsets lately and inspired to write
tiny odes to each.


Remembering 9.11, then on Monday, 9.12.2022, I learned of a colleague’s sudden death. On 9.13.2022, it was my mom’s one year anniversary of her death from a battle with breast cancer. I also learned my cousin is battling cancer this week.

Today, I wonder why I am so tired. Grief is exhausting.

Goodnight, Sun.

Be kind to yourself, and today is precious.

Poem and photograph by Gina Marselle

Published, September 17, 2022

Silence

Katrina Kaye

Silence sat
still on the
corner of
cheekbone
and 12th street.

It goes unnoticed,
defies the wind,
flits the skin,
begging recognition.

It is the same
silence that
barricades the
veins with oversized
platelets causing
the heart
to cease a beat.

Creating a moment
of complete
stillness between
our bodies until

with the tip of finger
eyelash is removed
and with pursed lips,
blown away.

Sunset

by Gina Marselle

The beauty of a sunset
is that it doesn’t wait for you.
If you wait a minute too long—
poof, gone.
Then you have to hope
for another chance, another day.
So don’t delay.
Take the time now.
Tomorrow isn’t promised.

Photo of the sunset taken by the poet on 8.6.2022 around 8:10 PM

Follow me on Instagram @musings_by_gina

Hot

Katrina Kaye

It’s a hot night.

A walk around in bra
and cut off jeans night.

A what I wouldn’t give
for refrigerated air night.

The kind that leaves
sweat on abdomen.

Beads of moisture
around hairline.

The kind of night
that makes me crave

a cold beer to press
on heated flesh,

a swirl of cigarette smoke
over my head.

It would be a good night
for honest conversation,

for philosophy and poetry
and genuine laughter,

for being close to the
heat of another body,

but far enough to not
burn from the touch.

I lick my teeth
and raise my chin.

I transform
animal, untamed, restless.

I am eager
to turn off the lights,

certain I will
glow in the dark.

Some Kind of Hero

Without a cape,
he flies.
Boundless love,
holding my heart
in his eyes.
He waits for my cue.
And he walks beside,
or follows with humbleness.
A gentle nudge or hug—
exactly what I need.
While he breathes,
I’ll never be alone.
My German Shepherd Dog,
never one more brave.
While I sleep, he guards.
Loving and loyal, his lifelong love
selflessly gifted to me.

~gina marselle

Follow my service dog in training, Beowulf, on Instagram: @be_like_wulf_gsd.

Beowulf. 6.5 months old #servicedogintraining

On days like this

Katrina Kaye

One days like this
I feel like the pills
stopped working, that
I need a higher
dose and I consider
calling my doctor,
saying I can’t
get out of bed, saying
there is nothing
here for me.

On days like this,
I hug friends for no
reason and don’t let go.
My dog’s brown eyes make
me cry when I have no time
to take him for a walk,
and I think I need a
new prescription,
to call someone,
to disappear for a while.

On days like this,
on days like this,
I think of my mother
and how she has made it
through days like this.
I must make it too.

On days like this,
on days like this,
I think of the clever words
I should have written
in bathroom stalls
in big, black sharpie marker.
I think about what
I should have be said
the last time we met
and how that moment is
forever gone.

On days like this,
On days like this,
I think of the woman driving
the bus the same age as me
and wonder if she’s happy.
I think of all the little
lost marbles and pens
that never had a chance
to run out of ink.
I think about the rock
not pretty or special enough
to be collected and
the way the world ends
when you die.
I think of the promises
I made to myself and
the silence that came
when I broke them.

On days like this,
on days like this,
on days like this,
I don’t know if I can
make another day
like this.