Stand Still

Just stay still
until your feet know
the next step.
Stand still on the trail
until the fog clears,
until the words that must be spoken
take shape in your throat.
Speak too soon
and they may be true
but neither necessary nor kind.
Until you’re sure
stay silent.

Met needs embolden reckless risks.
Full bank accounts fool us
into spending more
than we can afford
long term.
Remember how it was
before you got here,
how hungry and spent
your days filled with longing
your nights of doubt and despair
you have ground under your feet
just stay still.

The wind is blowing stronger,
but what these gusts reveal about your roots
is that they are strong
you have watered well
you have used the time given.
Be the tree.
Bend, but stand still.

Pause but don’t freeze.
Relax your shoulders.
You are a lake, not a glacier.
You are a comma,
a semi-colon;
not a period.

Righteousness, control and fear
will have plenty to say
as always, in loud voices.
Listen
as a kind, wise mother
hear all the facts and feelings.
Discern the best course
for all your younglings.

Most choices
aren’t a commitment
to eternity.
Today’s yes
may be no, tomorrow
be agile with integrity.
Just stand still
trust your knowing and your limbs.

Just stay still.
Remember your heart thumps
and your lungs fill
on their own
they will sustain you
until you’re certain it’s time
to move.

© S. Rinderle, May 2020

Love letter to the audience

Do you tire of pain?
Are you weary of suffering?

Once I found healing
my pen ran dry
And what does it say of a poet
if she has nothing to write when she’s happy?

Is this why we artists are so tortured?
Our souls bleed and weep onto the page
the pen like a needle in our arm
feeding our addiction to venom
the sweet, sweet pleasure
of our own suffering
mainlining our rage and grief
into our audiences
getting you hooked
on the ejaculation
of our shame and secrets
leaving you sticky
and needing a hot shower

Was it good for you?
Are you satisfied?
Or would you prefer to make out for a while?
Spoon and snuggle?
Gaze up at the stars from a blanket?
Find awe in all the beauty,
marvel at all the good?

Would you hear me if I didn’t shout?
Believe me I didn’t spit?
Love me if I were unmiserable?

Poets are not just truth tellers
calling out the sins of the past
but visionkeepers, harbingers
of possible futures
We’re not starving for lack of dreams
but in spite of them

Whitman said, “to have great poets
there must be great audiences”

So let us both be great

Let us feast
on a more diverse diet of human story
and make lovewords
alongside our painbodies
creating the world we fantasize
with our breath.

© S. Rinderle, 2014