Lyrical Musings an emotional journey via train of thought

The Gap

April 27th, 2018

Mind the gap

the distance between you and what you want

but don’t obsess

don’t fall in and get stuck

as though it’s a moat or a well that can swallow you up

take stock of that distance, measure it and make a note

of the materials you’ll need to build the bridge

that will take you right over that gap

and don’t let yourself forget

that building a bridge to cross that gap will cost you

in time

and effort

and money

and sometimes there will be setbacks, do-overs that increase those costs

but you’ll have planned for this

so you won’t give up

and eventually, you’ll see

the light at the end of the tunnel

your goal on the horizon

and you’ll know that you made it happen

you’re making it happen

you will continue to do so

and somewhere along the line

when you take the time to look behind you

you’ll realize that no longer do you

mind that gap

Until Next Time

December 29th, 2017

It comes


Or none

a t a l l

there is no in between

and nothing we can do

feast or famine.

Personally, I prefer a feast,

that is, until I have gorged,

reached such gluttony

that I feel sick — to my stomach and of the sight

of the plate or, in this case,

the words

that I have eaten or writ or swallowed (like my pride).


I would scream if it weren’t so damned impolite

Instead, I push away

the plate or the screen.

I excuse myself from the venue

and swear off the glut.

Until next time.

Next time, when I cannot control myself,

or is it that I will not?

Perhaps I’d rather regret indulgence

than experience nothing at all.

Find X (Greater Than One)

December 29th, 2017

Once wasn’t enough, I see that now

I had to have you a second time, then

athirdafourthafifth and more

Once is never enough because

you don’t know if the first time was

mediocre and awkward

because you didn’t know my rhythm

and I couldn’t find my voice

Nor can we know if it was a fluke

that cannot be repeated,

no matter how hard

or how many times

we try

So I had to have you again,

and I have — some of you

Some of you elude me

I wanted you more,

and you gave me less.

And the less you gave,

the more I wanted of you

A vicious cycle to be sure

Sometimes, just sometimes

once is enough

more often than not,

once is too much

it threatens to pull me

every which way

and I cannot

Ironic, I suppose,

that I’ve felt this

compulsion for more,

knowing that once will never be enough,

more than once.


The only time when

once would be


The Easy Way Out

December 28th, 2017

I know I’m not in love with you

And do you know how I can tell?

Because I haven’t written you into a poem, used words to craft your homage

I’m not doing that now, in case anyone asks

and if they ask, I could not tell them why

why I am not in love with you

by this time, I normally am

if this were my first or second or, hell, seventh, heartbreak

I’d be sure of how I feel and what I want

I’m always so sure

ironic, then, how it never works out

maybe the difference is doubt

and I will proceed with caution

and just a bit of trepidation

maybe it will not be incendiary, and that’s okay

or maybe you’re just another not-the-one

that’s the most likely scenario

whether I cannot stop my heart from escaping my chest

or the tsunami of thoughts from overwhelming me

is not the measure of success

just another trip down lover’s lane

a fall that’s all too easy for me

so if I am not in love with you, maybe

maybe I am finally learning not to take

the easy way out

I Don’t Write Year-Ends Letters

December 9th, 2017

I do not write year-end letters. Yes, I receive them. I read them and smile. I send off a quick email to let the sender know that I’ve seen and appreciated their words. But I am never the sender.

If I were to write a year-end letter, I suppose I would have a lot to say about this year. I might comment on all the big plans that were brewing in my mind and how it took me months to finally bite the bullet and act on them. I would start with a mention of my trip to California, which included my first American train ride (and three more to boot), a journey across the country and days spent connecting with family members and touring a state I had never before visited.

But I do not write year-end letters.

Still, I cannot help but think that if I did, if I did, I would mention the many smaller trips within the state and without. The overnights to see concerts and movies, share laughter with friends and family and visit museums, cemeteries, and zoos. I might comment on lamentations over dessert and on walks with friends and family members who shared my same frustration at the current political climate.

Remember, I am not the type of person to write a year-end letter.

Though were I to consider such a feat, I would be remiss to mention another trip: one to view the full eclipse, a trip for which I was so excited but woefully unprepared. Yet, somehow, it still happened, and while I spent my time with viewing the solar eclipse with different company than I imagined, I was still fraught with excitement and managed to shed a tear.

You will recall that I will never write a year-end letter, of course.

Perhaps, had I such an inclination to write a letter, I might mention the joy that I experienced walking many miles, playing various games, listening to multiple podcasts, researching myriad topics, and reading more books than in any single of the previous 31 years of my life. I could recount the countless meals partaken or discuss new friends made, memories shared, and weddings participated in.

This is not a year-end letter, you will notice, but those are the types of things I would write in one.

If I sat down to type a year-end letter to mail to my loved ones, I would undoubtedly find myself struggling not to mention the difficulties that the year had lobbed in my direction, namely the passing of a dear friend and an injury that plagued me for much of the year in an attempt to further keep me down. Both succeeded, for a short while. I might pontificate on the ensuing struggles, you know, if I was doing that sort of thing.

A year-end letter from me would also have to include mention of the story that I had published at the Radvocate as I ramped up efforts to write more and publish. I might also have mentioned how I toiled (okay, perhaps not toiled) on my novel, wrote other stories (one of which took me most of a year to title), brainstormed a graphic novel, and began to plan a more serious future as a writer.

The type of writer who doesn’t pen end-of-year letters, you see.

This isn’t a year-end letter, no matter what you might think. I don’t know what the hell it is. But it’s certainly not the type of letter you write at the end of the year to recap the previous twelve months.

I wouldn’t do that.

Originally posted on Her Realm.

Anum of the Picea Glauca

November 14th, 2016

This was it; this was the year! She could feel it in her bones or if you wanted to be so semantic (although, that wasn’t typically a characteristic sported by most trees), branches. She had been waiting for this year all her life despite her family members warning her that she would never be the prized holiday tree to overlook thousands of onlookers during the winter season. Still, she persisted in belief and in growth.

Year after year, she had crept up, slowly surpassing her other brothers and sisters, even her parents in height. She was a white spruce, and while most people found her kind to be perfectly good to decorate a small city square, no one believed a white spruce would once again grace the world-renowned Rockefeller Center.

For the last decade or so, her growth had slowed. She was over 70 feet tall, an impressive feat for any tree, let alone a white spruce. But it wasn’t enough to be chosen for Rockefeller Center, not when a Norway spruce could be tens of feet taller!

While she would previously have spurted two feet higher annually, the recent years saw only a fraction of that growth. Her neighbors thought her growth was done, and she should accept her fate as the tallest tree in the forest.

But she wasn’t happy with that, and she willed herself to grow taller, her trunk to grow wider. Her needles had a blue hue that she was positive would reflect twinkling strands of lights in a way that passersby would “Ooh” and “Aah” over if only they were given a chance. She just knew it!

So she hoped, and she grew, little by little. And the miraculous happened: she grew a lot by a lot. Suddenly, she was growing an extra inch a month. In the past year’s time, she had shot up three feet to a whopping 76 feet tall. Any taller, and she would have been too tall to squeeze into the New York city streets she would need to navigate to reach her destination. Like that, her growth slowed.

This was why she knew that her time had come. At her final height, she towered above the other white spruces in the forest and even some of the Norways, too! She could see for miles, and she stood contentedly for weeks, her trunk full of the quiet self-assurance one possesses once they finally see the goal in sight.

She was among the first trees in the thicket to see the helicopter coming. She saw it well before she heard it hovering en route and long before she felt the vibrations-turned-gusts overhead. She watched in determined silence at it approached, without a peep to her friends or family. It had been years since she mentioned her heart’s quest to anyone. Not her mother, now brittle with age, nor her best friend, a beautiful fir over whom she now towered, knew her truest desires until the people approached.

And as a representative surveyed the crowd, focusing on the Norway spruces, she didn’t discourage. Instead, she puffed out her needles and gently shook her branches as though a breeze had appeared. There was none. But her preening was enough to get him to glance in her direction, and the tree knew she had succeeded.

The man walked closer, and the tree did her best to send welcoming waves in his direction. She straightened her posture and extended her branches like a carefully-trained ballerina. This was her year.

So she wasn’t surprised when the man picked up his device and spoke.

“’Ey boss, we’ve got a looker over here.”

Still, she couldn’t hold back her excitement. He liked her!

So did the “boss,” who nodded his approval and made a notation on his sheet of paper (some trees liked the utilitarian nature of becoming paper, but that was never in the books for this tree).

The boss man carefully looped a ribbon around one of her lower branches, and she shivered with anticipation. He looked up as she did, seeing a ripple of blue-green needles amid an otherwise still forest.

And then he left. That’s when her panic set in. Didn’t he like her? She was so tall, so blue, so strong! She’d done everything she could, and more than anyone thought she was able to! This was supposed to be her year.

If a tree could brood, this one did. She sulked, her branches dipping toward the ground as the sun fell lower in the sky. This was her year, damn it!

Her anxiety grew throughout the evening; her panic became nearly palpable as the moon rose and set, then the sun returned once more. But with the sun returned the man with the clipboard and the helicopter. This time he brought with him an entourage in hard hats with tools at their sides. A massive machine was driving toward her.

This really was her year! She practically beamed; although, trees have no face, so that’s fairly improbable.

The men approaching the tree did so carefully with a sort of reverence. This was the one tree that was good enough to be transported to Rockefeller Center, and it had to be treated with care so that it wouldn’t be damaged during the moving process.

The men carefully pulled her upper branches upward and bound them with help from the vehicle that lifted them to her uppermost branches. The lift allowed removing some of her lowermost branches, the tree’s first experience with a saw. At first, it tickled. The pain followed. But she gritted herself. This was her year, she reminded herself.

The men wrapped the lowest remaining branches protectively and secured her with the assistance of the machine, which she heard them call a “crane,” before getting down to the real sawing. This was more painful, the most painful thing she’d ever experienced, and it took much longer than removing a few branches.

Still, she knew it was necessary for her to become the holiday tree that would adorn Rockefeller Center, so she bore it with grace.

Eventually, it was over, and she barely rested on her stump. The tree could no longer feel her roots; it was so foreign. She wished she had relished the feeling for the last time, but she was so overwhelmed with the entire process. Before long, she was being carefully lowered, then placed atop the trailer that would haul her to Rockefeller Center.

It was disconcerting to be on her side. She no longer could see for miles. The truck rumbled, and she felt helpless the way she was bound, yet she knew it was for her protection.

Trees don’t have a sense of time the same way that people do, but this tree’s final destination couldn’t come soon enough. Long after the truck’s engine had been cut, the tree remained shaking with anticipation. But the process of lifting the tree from the trailer and standing her upright was as least as long and arduous as the process of getting her on there in the first place.

The excited tree was finally at Rockefeller Center! And as she was raised, she could look on with awe at Manhattan sprawled around her. The tree had never seen a city before and certainly not one of this magnitude. There were people everywhere, already hustling and bustling to and fro. Cars filled the streets.

The tree had grown accustomed to the dulcet tones of the man who was in charge, the one who had taken note when he had seen this tree for the first time. But there was nothing that could truly prepare this tree for the sights and sounds surrounding her.

There was so much light and even more noise. It was deafening, but the tree found it exhilarating. She could not have imagined what it would really be like to live in Rockefeller Center, even if it was the last part of her life.

And she was already feeling a disconnect with the living world she had previously known. The tree had lost her roots, literally. She had shed more needles at one time than ever before in her long life. She was cut and scratched. But she was ready. After all, this was her year!

The white spruce was distracted by the thriving city around her, so she didn’t realize when she was finally hoisted and secured into place. The truck and trailer that had carted her in had departed, and the crowd of workmen had thinned.

Finally, no wires were holding her branches up. The tree stretched her stiff limbs and unfurled her boughs for the last time. She extended outward toward buildings, happy to finally be free and standing at Rockefeller Center.

The beautiful tree gazed around her, spreading her branches like open and loving arms and towering like a friendly giant above the people far below her. They glanced up in awe, just like the tree knew they would. She preened once again for anyone who would look in her direction.

This year might be her last but, finally and triumphantly, it was her year.

I Miss Him

September 27th, 2016

I miss him
with the strong jaw, the smiling eyes and the tousled hair
I miss him
with the childlike grin and long, lithe fingers
I miss him
all 6-foot-3 and gangly arms
I miss him
with his perfect wordplay and youthfulness
I miss him
with his high cheekbones

I miss the way
he made me feel kind
I miss the way
I felt truly loved for the first time
I miss the way
we fell into bed together
I miss the way
we had to pry away from one another
I miss the way
he slipped his arm around me so easily

I miss all of those hims
and I will miss another again
and again

There will always be a him
and I will always miss him

Or Does It?

March 15th, 2016

It didn’t really matter, did it

That you were seven years my junior

It didn’t really matter, did it

The distance between us

And it didn’t matter

I hadn’t heard your voice

or touched your skin

or hadn’t yet saw the way you rolled your eyes when you laughed

you roll your eyes when you laugh

None of that mattered to my heart

Because it knew you

before I knew any of those things

And I needed to sadly for you to know me, too

It didn’t really matter, did it

that none of that would happen

It didn’t really matter did it,

that fate had a different plan

And it didn’t matter

that I was getting ahead of myself

counting all my chicks before they hatched

imagining impossible futures

and setting myself up for inevitable failure

Because I wanted so much for it to be true

for you to be the one

and for my wait to finally be done

It didn’t really matter, did it

And it doesn’t really matter now

Old Age

February 25th, 2016

My bones creak
they haven’t always
and they feel just fine in between
the squeaking
and the pain
but I don’t think my bones will ever be silent again
Because I am getting older
and you are getting older even as you read this
Maybe you creak too
Perhaps you can’t hear it
over the sound of your own thoughts
My brain used to be that loud
but now it’s quieter
and my bones creak

Deja Vu

February 25th, 2016

I remembered you today
For the first time in months
or has it been years?
I can’t recall
but I remembered you today
and then I remembered
the person I used to be
at the time when
I would never be able to
forget you
And now I’ve forgotten you long enough
to remember you today

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