Legion

It’s not you.
It’s the world.
It placed one more unnecessary straw
on your already-straining back
and you’ve fallen to your knees
in the sneering dust.
Anyone would.

It’s not you.
It’s the vampyrs.
They drank you dry
oblivious of their greed
leaving you
like a spent cicada shell
at season’s end
frozen on a branch
nothing left to give
waiting for the wind
to free your bones.

It’s not you.
It’s the Earth.
She wearies
of our practiced ignorance.
She turns
in her omnipotence
leaving us
to our consequence.

It’s not you.
Those tears are justified.
They announce your humanity.
They proclaim your sanity.
They say:
you’ve carried far more than your share
far longer
than was fair.
You cry
because no one else
is listening.
This empathic holding
is our birthright
yet now so rare
like a verdant island
in an ocean of flame
that once teemed
with life.

It’s not you.
The mobs froze like Mars
while you followed
your natural arc
like Venus.
You were the one that changed
while they flailed
in place.

It’s not you.
This cocooning
– this hiding away –
is your Spirit
yearning
for that which you
utterly need
but too long denied.
You can bear its absence
no longer.

It’s not you.
There’s only so much
one skin
can hold.
Your soul’s trajectory
bursts
at its seams.
But it’s not you.
You are no
solitary aviator.

I mean –
it’s not just you.
You are not crazy.
You are not alone.
We
are waking legion.

© S. Rinderle, October 2021

Most Best Lessons

Tonight
amidst the smoke and flowers
the primal beat and
boozy showers
I ached to tell you
to never doubt
I loved you, and
I love you still
just the way you are:
perfect.

I yearn to connect across the miles
and distance of our goodbye –
I think
maybe
my words might matter,
might make you reconsider.
But if my daily devotion
over hundreds of days
weren’t enough
to make you stay
forsake
those unfinished tatters
that get in our way
surely one call
won’t change
your stubborn mind
or wobbling heart.
I just hate
this you-shaped hollow
between my ribs
that makes all other men
thin paper –
a pale mockery
of our many best moments.

Oh
how do I survive
these whispers and shadows
of what could have been?
This time
I did not imagine
your possibilities –
they teetered on the cusp
of incarnation
but you could find
neither breath nor courage
to lean into the wind
instead
you fell backwards.

I am powerless
against your story.
I cannot
make you see,
cannot make you see
me
and so I cannot see
you.
I see myself
instead.

I cannot face time.
Most best lessons must be learned
the hard way.

© S. Rinderle, October 2021

Fixed & Free Anthology book release! Live reading this Saturday…

Hello Poetry Fans and Fam! Two live readings in one year? I’m on a roll!

Fixed&FreeCover2021_front_smallThe Fixed & Free Poetry Anthology 2021 is out, and we’re having a book release party! I’ll be joining over 80 of the 135 authors (yes, you read those stats correctly!) for a five-hour poetry-a-thon. It will run from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Pacific time this Saturday, October 16th, and I read at 2:45 p.m. Pacific. Held monthly since 2008, Fixed and Free is a love child of poet, Renaissance man, and fellow seeker Billy Brown.

Last week I got to visit Billy when I spent a few days back “home” in Albuquerque. It was really delicious to stand in his sunny living room, with this weighty tome in my hand, basking in Billy’s obvious pride in the book, and love for all things poetry and poet community. He has long been a kind and enthusiastic supporter of my work, and as I left, he said my work is “important.” I hope you agree, and I hope you will be inspired to drink up the imagery, emotion and humanity present in my fellow poets’ work — whether at the party, or in the book itself.Billy Brown

For more information, check out the Facebook event, or register on Zoom to join us live.

See you there!