Full Circle

Spinning like leaves
loose falling and slow
and scurrying brownly
to nowhere…no when…
fast flakes flying, fleeing
the huffy long Storm
of The Great Tree of Life
abandoned indifferent
for the dim tree of EGO
dried out, lacking relevance
and fading, and fading
disconnected and done
just a leaf…just a me
and lost in the pile

And the stormings of Autumn
turn cold here, outside,
clammy and indifferent
to everything else
but the deep dark long job
of laying down still
in the cold cooling earth
and The Long Sighing slower
and slower.

I have lost my True North
and grown cold and weary
in my mission to Grace:

to be Grace remaining
in roots, to drink Grace
clean raining so free
to walk on Grace quick
in the wind, to swim deep
in Grace beneath the vision
to fall like Grace landing
like swans white and dolorous
to crash…to settle, to touch
like Grace.

The fallen brown flakes
they smolder and smoke
as skies above tense
and bunch and blow white
and acrid smells clench
all around me and promises
piles disappeared…
into ashes…and yet…

I can’t find a flame
and can’t feel the fire
on my skin, in my bones
and real tears on my cheeks

and I find
I have come
Full Circle

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

People…CONSTANCE!!! (“Constance” is a moniker for “Constant Reader”, btw…)

So what is UP??  Why is this gem getting so little attention?  Is it because I use Pig as a metaphor for Someone?  Is this a bridge too far??  HAHAHAHAHA!!!  If that is true, it misses the heart of both the pig and the Someone.

Give it a go…I rather love this poem, with its little oinky rhythm and pace…
It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)…

Source: Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina) | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Hearth of Empty Ashes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is the first poem after…not after the FIRST cut…but after the last.  Autumn 2014…The Great Reduction began…resulting in the Phoenix Fires.

“our cottage is still,
today…empty.

oh, I see the flotsam and jetsam
that jumped from the garage sales
on life’s oceans, my knick·knacks
strewn round about jousting
with your bibelots and baubles

our lace tablecloth
crawling in intricate pattern
on our lil table like a web
sprung from Oh Smart Charlotte
and laid down for our delight,
and our kettle like a bird
flown into its window-nemesis
and broken.

our hearth lays there, still…silent
and sorry ash too listless to even
puff and rise for flights of fancy
with dust motes and sunbeams.

our mittens and scarves
lay over there, forlorn,
bereft of body and they listen
to the music of clothes
piled beside railways to hell.
they are thankful for tiny tragedy,
small in scope and easily buried.

but i am still in me,
like the ashes in the hearth,
and I know that tragedy is a hologram,
from the smallest piece to the greatest
and I miss your quick warm movements
that sing without saying a word.

cottages, tables and mittens…
all hearths of sorts,
and full of empty ashes.”

Source: Hearth of Empty Ashes | Charissa’s Grace Notes

My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Shudder.  SHUDDER.  SHUDDER!!!!!  This was written moments before that event, that seminal event that was the deepest violation, betrayal, and opportunity all rolled into one.  I forgive the ones who did this seminal penetration…but I will never ever be around them, ever again.

**********

“Pray that I hit the hole
when I am hurled violently,

that I roll like cats
and land soft on paddy feet,
that I swim like otters free
and surf like Icarus of the sea
and waterproof

i dangle now
stuck in and out
and bleeding
upside down
and reeling
eyes throbbing red
red red red darktoday will be a birth
or an abortion
a hand or
a sharp knife
and liberty
or lambasting
and sentenced
to Kafka penitentiary”

Source: My Only Way Out Today: an Anti-Poem | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I think this is among the handful of poems that I really feel good about, from the point of view of technical craft…I think I really hit the sweet spot and was risen above a mere hack or journeyman kind of poetess…

I wrote this, pretty much the first true poem I wrote after a seminal crushing happened to me and I was worried that my creative fonts had been polluted forever…thank God this worry was unfounded, as this beautiful little creature shows.

“…You were a wordless humming song
and tidal in my veins you moved
in rhythm, rhyme, in time to that
strumming music tidal
joyous humming in the dancing of the waves
and sand and wind and sky.
We walked each day steady
across those shores ever reaching
to the sea and the sea ever running
back to sands and sunset ever blessing
everyday each moment with its many colored kiss
in hues of pinks and purples, oranges, yellows, hues of bliss
in reds and blues, and greys… you…
always grey lining blue of mine with you,
in silver shot straight thru
with grey shot thru my blue.
We knew each sunset,
whiled away another day
closer to that sunset last
and that final mystic gateway
at the end thru which we enter
Lone and sundered, hoping that we yet may
walk together on a new shore
where there are no sunsets because
there is only sunrise
sunrise
sunrise
yet again
and yet again…”

 

Source: Our Little Hut | Charissa’s Grace Notes

On Seas So Grey | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A couple of years ago…and utterly slipped from my mind, but oh how I remember it now…what a beautiful word, Re-member…
What’s it like, on the grey seas
in the silver wind, with sails
so green and full and billowing?

Skimming swift and dangerous, light
on the waters while the crew scrambles
‘neath that Captain loud and bellowing?

Stinging spray by facefuls founting
up from waves slosh-frothing, faithful
and fateful leading cross the edge

to horizons promising much more
of the same and something different,
something different, too.

Source: On Seas So Grey | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Used Pig: Of Toads and Truffles (dedicated to Tina)

It is clouds…just clouds, hanging nowhere,
in nothing, like smoke curling quick
in Blue extending here and there
(and Here to There too…yeah)

and then pulling, parting, LO!  Beyond the blue It Comes, it comes,
The Pig steps forth majestic, shaggy, Wild with Wonder,
Pig of Power Looming larger than the sky from which it bursts
in sounding sniffing grunting thunder hooves a rumble tumble tango
striking sparks in their first touch so terrible and taut with cracking
sound of sizzle snap and clacking tap-dance Prince Pig prances slapping
touching earth, made into holy place, and touching down in France
and also somehow, every other place as well…
‘Tis red and ruddy, bristles stiff like forests, thick like brambles tangled
heaving bunching with each lurching hidden graceful step…

Mille Chiens!!!

What is this Thing, this Scion stepped down from Beyond and then stepped in,
this Archetype, this Power pulsing reddish brown totemic wonder
of an Uncreated Creature Come to sniffle, root the earth
and dig the children of the clay out of their seedbeds into day
where they will grow in deep delight of our Delight and Love and Grace

pig…Pig?

deliberate it shrinks, so slow and funny, so intentional,
soon become short, ordinary, just a snuffle huffle snorting
porcine pot of piggy, trotting almost dainty, dancing
deep connected to the wonder hidden in this ancient dirt
so new and old and full of life just waiting to be sniffed out, found
discovered there deep in the wombs and be drawn out from earthy tombs…

look quick and see it…hiding there…beneath that “used pig” thin veneer
and human truffles laugh and jeer yet if you listen you can hear
the Pig inside the pig just laughing as it shuffles, snorts and sniffles
each and every human soul (human truffles if you really wanna dig deep into Truth)
the Pig roots rough and ragged thru the forest, sniffing, grunting, rooting
sloughing with its trowel snout deep thru the red red red rich dirt
running deep down to the core and in the middle of the deepest
scents of mother earth the scents of birth, the scents of womb,
oh, NOT a trifle, scent of truffle waiting to be sent from tomb and tussle…Image result for sheep grazing in a vineyard
the sheep are walking gracelessly, unaware and grazing in among the vines
and looking down their noses at the rumbly Pig
deep in the fields and forests pregnant…

sheep so sleepy, unaware that buried there are toads both dead and yet alive
and full of death and parasite that’s also camouflaged, disguised
to look like truffles…sheep cannot discern, distinguish which is which
and what is dead, relationship of death and just a rancid bond…
and what is still just waiting, still, to be uncovered in its shell and be delivered here…no trifle!

But the Pig, it knows the secret of what really happened in the forest…
that smells like roadkill lacking graces to just let go and return, that tastes
like tin foil soaked in vinegar, metal, and electric acid anti-truth
the Pig, it knows those puffy toads so poisonous…but leaves them buried
deep entombed where they belong…to root out truth found deep in dirt
so red, so rich and truffly and toothsome to the soul…

Toads or truffles, that is what
The Pig came down to give to us, a choice…our choice…
but we must be rooted out and snuffled deep
and ripped into our very bones and breathe so deep
the earthy scents of just becoming

Just…Becoming…

as blood like liquid dirt that pulses,
courses thru our veins like rivers,
rivers in our noses

just like truffles…
rooted out…
by that disguised
and worn out
old Used Pig

That Rock…There | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Ohhhhh…I really really  love this poem!  It is quite similar to “In The Edges“, in that it contrasts the various realities swirling around me but not really mine…but that poem had a more insistent message to tell.

This one is painting a picture, using words on the canvas of your heart…
Clouds overhead, grey, full,
breaking, gathering can’t decide
which direction they are going,
whether they are hunkering down
thick and juicy or simply socializing
in a vaporous convocation that is all
twisty twaddle and no rushing rainfall.

It doesn’t matter, really.  No, really.
It doesn’t matter, because in either case
the sky is constant behind them,
skimming the tops of mountains
and the troughs of wishy-waves
briny and stretching to the spines of stars,
The story of clouds is just pages turning
in The Big Blue-Black Book of Sky…

Source: That Rock…There | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Convenience of Giving Up | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It was my knees that began to ache
from bending over, my hands that
occasionally encountered some
stinging or biting insect of one
kind or another, my muscles
that would cramp my
fingers and hands
from relentless
weeding and
digging…

Source: The Convenience of Giving Up | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This Place Bleeding | Charissa’s Grace Notes


really…REALLY?

we are here, this place bleeding out arterially
black blood cells fused from antique plants
and dainty dinosaurs and precious people
deemed damned

and all we care about is our artesan chocolates
and our tan designer bedrooms that match
our pocketbooks in fashion and depth
damned dumb…

Source: This Place Bleeding | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Beneath Blood And Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes


we simply must face it,
we are on the brink
of loss blind as wind
and empty as death.

but loss is a gift
when you think about it
it gives us some space
and cleansing tears too

it gives sacred questions
pathways to the center
and old maps long lost
to ancient deep wells…

Source: Beneath Blood And Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Jacob’s Half-Sister | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is written in recognition of all that culminated in the legal name change I obtained three years ago today.  I am very happy with this poem, rich in allusions and metaphorical double-backs…

It will reward the diligent who read it and then meditate on it.  Resonances emerge like poetic harmonics and sing of many strange and holy waters.


“…the stone under my head grows soft
and i think about my long ago
half-brother, and his ladder.
i search the brooding night sky
for mine, my eyes
pleading like puppies
hungry for milk

but my ladder is my heart.
i know that, finally,
and the skies will open
only as my heart pries open
to spit the pearls formed
within this shell-shocked soul

the stone under my head becomes flesh
and i think about how jacob named
that stone, that ebenezer memory
of open skies and accessible heavens…
bethel…and it echoes in the dark,
rings midst the stars and
chimes in cloudy choruses.

that stone,
that living stone had legs
to wander, God’s house sojourning
from place to place and time to time
ever wandering…
the stone of Scone
stone of destiny
stone of coronation
old, red, sandstone

the stone under my head becomes red
and throbs and thrums and thrills
my soul open and searching the skies,
and i sense it will speak
as it spoke so long ago
and whisper my name,
my new name from heaven.
but it pushes me to listen elsewhere,
my answers not from
rock and sand and ruin
but from the Cornerstone Rock
and its bloody open hand
red and throbbing and thrumming…”

Source: Jacob’s Half-Sister | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is the sister poem to another one I wrote on the exact same day, several minutes earlier.

It was three years ago, and it was the day of my court hearing which would change my name legally…it was a huge day of excitement and anxiety…and it led to my professional execution less than 2 weeks later.

Ohh, but even in the loss of so much, it is worth it…for in it were the seeds of becoming.

I hope you enjoy one of my own personal faves

…and me…spit up and emptied
and waiting for You
to fill the silent spaces
that ate grace and jeered
while feasting on my food.
me emptied, waiting …
and my heart,
ego-stained and washed clean,
captured
by Your face,
Your gift,
Your grace…

waiting…for that one grain of sand
to start an avalanche within me
of hope, nay!
of Hope…

Source: Mama You Told Me | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Your Own Private Viet Nam War

This goes out to all evangelical christians who also support ttaf, salute the flag in blind obedience, and equate “The American Way” with “godliness”.

You are in a quagmire of your own making.  You have assumed and misunderstood who and what the enemy is.  You are fighting a war you have never ever been called to…and doing so in the Name of God thus taking that Name vainly in service to your own ideas.

Like the generals and politicians of that day, you are now committed and do not want to lose face…so you double and triple your efforts.  You are creating havoc with these misplaced commitments and actually causing the very ones you purport to love and wish to save to perish and lose their livelihoods and lives.

You lack the humility to repent, and you have become exactly like the idols you have fashioned and worship.

You are exposed…naked, wretched, infected and blind.

You are in the quagmire…of your own private Viet Nam war.

Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

It was a couple years ago that the rage was the coming “Super Moon”…

This was my heart poem for that event…

“i sat in peace, calm and still
while whirling around me
excited and thrilled

the people stirred, woke up
and looked outside at the moon
hanging serene in the sky and unchanged

pictures were snapped…”

Source: Eclipse of the Super Moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Sound of The Name of Your Kiss | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This is written to my Beloved…I really like this lil poem
last night
i heard your kiss calling me.
in the night it sang,
flutes forlorn in fog, i think,
in mist it sang of
how your heart has missed me.

i think
i’m the only one who knows
the name of your true kiss.
it’s on my salty lips and in my utterance
it takes wing in song and then flies past me.

i breathed
out of my heart, into my throat,
your kiss’s secret song.
on my tongue it sat and pushed
with pepper palms, it tapped
its fudgy fingers on my teeth
in code to thus release me…

(Continued at Source: The Sound of The Name of Your Kiss | Charissa’s Grace Notes)

this knowing in my heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

 


“…for words to sing, we must
somehow be entered into them,
so that we are not watching them,
we must become the word incarnate
for they are us

our essence

in squiggles and symbols,
and when we have the faith
to possess them bodily
(and be possessed by them)
they become contagious,
we become contagious
beyond the most virulent virus!

our words replicate themselves
in the heart and soul of the hearer
and then…
mutate
into something else
if guided by love something grander
if guided by hate something murderous
if guided by indifference something monstrous…”

Source: this knowing in my heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I really like the moon metaphors…

*****

“…and i am the moon
growing in silence
fattening on gentleness
increasing with time
and in finding myself…”

Source: i am the moon | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Another older poem…based on an overheard conversation, and then what I “saw” as I looked up…

I saw her, hair caught,
transfixed on dancing
wild breezes that lifted,
poofed, primped and pinched
braids and bangs and barettes and her eyes
lit with that autumn afternoon fading fire
gleaming from behind the clouds
carrying water for Miss Autumn in Her sudden rush and approach.

Source: Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Of Rain On Rooftops | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This lil poem is a year old…

**************

and it is in night…
tumblr_n73dnpuPxz1rbl5n4o1_1280
like a babe in fresh blankets
snuggled and seeing,
quiet and jumping

in jammies with footies
singing of safety,
hot chocolate and nibbles,
tumblr_o47z33a0aK1uvues3o1_1280
then raindrops on rooftops
tingtingtingthrumthrumthrum
silver tin foil lightning…

(entire poem at Source: Of Rain On Rooftops | Charissa’s Grace Notes)

Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This was written the same day as “For JD” which I just told of my horrified discovery regarding how it was defiled and twisted.

Catch the irony that on the same day that I wrote that poem, I also wrote this one, which describes the very deepest desire of my heart.

and i must find the courage
to smear me on the world
like oranges on the morning
smeared on the fingertips
that pry with nails sharp

 

i must be resolved
to be spread thick and creamy
on hearts so dry and crumbly
and tasteless in their leaven
like butter sweet and salty

Source: Like Mama | Charissa’s Grace Notes

For JD | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this for a friend who occupies a very distinct and unique place in my life and history.  She is a woman that I have never met, exchange conversation with “occasionally”, or at least compared to other friends…she is of similar spiritual ilk and call, and is cut from the same cloth as me.  My beloved one and only knows about her, knows her…and we have never been anything other than what we are:  “Litter-mates”.

If you have ever had a dog who had puppies, then you know what litter-mates are…pups born at the same time from the same conception…and they are together until around 8 weeks when they all blast off to their families where they live…litter-mates are more than close…they are simply litter-mates…siblings.

My friend is like that to me, and when I first encountered her, I flashed on so many more things than I can write about, but HAVE written about here, and here, and a few other “here“s too…

This poem was written in that blissful innocence and joy that two people have when they meet and just know they are fast friends and sisters forever…it is my heart, flowing and pouring forth such beauty that it is capable of retaining from the Beauty That Comes With Poetry…it was in the moment and will always be my pure commitment to her, my sister.

And then I discovered to my horror and defilement that it has been used to accuse…that JD and I are accused of being “lesbian lovers”!!  Remember, we have never met…and that I myself am accused of being a “predator” who was “grooming” my incredible friend (whom I have never met, and whom my one and only till death we do part beloved knows about and rejoices in)…that I was grooming her for…this part I still do not really comprehend.

It is two years later…and my poem is now covered in shit and filth…from a literal whore-monger and thief and also from a religious dementor who is so deranged she makes the Pharisees look like the blessed meek.  One of them is sex addicted…and both of them are self-addicted…and I find out that they violate this poem, they violate JD, and they violate me…and I feel so sick and nauseous at this…this absolute shit.

Maybe it is the picture that did it in their minds…which is stupid because each woman has on her swimming suit, and even if they did not it would STILL not necessarily say anything!!  The picture represents the utter joy and abandon that comes when one is cleansed of all extraneous distraction and burden.  The water is the Divine Flow…the exhilaration is freedom.

Asshole Pervert:  I will never ever talk to you or have any contact with you ever.
Religious Dementor:  YOU I will give a chance if you ever find the One that you doll up in your shitty clothes and filthy rags imported in from the Law so you can feel like you are adding your work to the work of the One who said “It is FULL” which is usually translated “It is finished” and it means “It is totally summed up and completed”.

Sadly, for me?  This poem will ever be shit-stained by a monster and poisoned by a daughter of the slithering viper of poison tooth…but I know Mama will cleanse it, and those stains will at last be the colors which make JD and my friendship even more close, and even more surrendered to the Holy…to the good.

JD…Jennifer…I love you with my whole and true and innocent heart, dear Litter-Mate and fellow prophetess.
i clothe myself in wonder
for you, i wrap myself in night
i am your pirate plunder
you can have without a fight

the milky way my shining sash
the moon my pendant true
and cricket song my lingerie
i give myself to you

you there, so strong, so brilliant
straightforward as blazing suns
your ready laugh, your brewing storms
the way your rivers run

from mountains high, jagged austere
you flow into the sea
for you i wait, indigo here
for you to give you me

we…night and day bonded and true
and joy our wonder-fates
you wrapping me, me inside you
Mama’s happy litter-mates

Source: For JD | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Lil Mama’s Run | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this two years ago for a dear friend I have never met.  I call her “Lil Mama” cus she has helped be a Mama with skin on.

*******************

i don’t run so well these days,
what with clouds of unbecoming
filtered thru rejection
inhaled into my heart
asthma my constant partner

i suck air in like water
and splutter to get breath
a leaky bellows creaky
and riddled with these tears
that steal away my power

but i like you so much
i follow here, behind you
and see the place your feet
left rainbows in the rocks
and fuzzy from your socks

so i just trot along
me, gretel in this stone
but looking not for witches
but for your heart, my friend
and your smile leads me home

and just when i despair,
and my way seems so blocked
i find your evidences
that you want me to follow
and I can face tomorrow
4e537cbd22a97a49c605d85cda797f30

Source: Lil Mama’s Run | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Keepers (For JD, my keeper)

The keepers are all that remain, the ones
with both feet anchored to Earth
and their hair being pulled by the stars
to the Milky Way and Beyond

They’ve learned how to swallow it all, it all,
the medicine of ghostly tragedy
they can hear the high keening stories
the stories of tender hearts’ piercings

The keepers, the ones that remain, remain
they keep the connections to meaning
they keep the transitions so sacred
and they bridge life and death with their bodies

they become that bridge, graceful, suspended, suspended
unseen and constructed from blood
and composed in the song of the blood and the sweat
and revealed in the sacred teardrops

and they stretch over oceans with skin, with their skin
they anoint with the oil so sacred
of trauma endure-ed and conquered
by outlasting its flailing last gasps

and they hold in the dark, in the still dark
like an armor that never needs donning
and that never need be taken off
they are Mama’s Heart in skin and bone

The keepers are all that remain, the ones,
The ones too stubborn to leave
the ones too persistent to wipe out
The keepers alive in Her flame

“Scars”, the Illustrated Version

Sometimes I am asked if I illustrate my poems…but please PLEASE note this:

All images are found online unless I specifically state otherwise that they are either pics taken by me or drawings done by me.

This particular illustration is from a major book I am working on for my friend.  It is unique and one of a kind.  It will be the only one, and were I to illustrate it all over again, the exact same poetry, it would look completely different.

I am really really happy with Scars though…I think I might never attempt it again, as it feels like it captured it. Oh…and for you who need a lil help mining for the diamonds, here is a lil “key” to the poem.

Like Sunlight, Like Fog | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am so enjoying posting old work for a while…
certainly so many things rushed out of me in the trauma flow that
many nuggets got carried further downstream than where people stand to pan for the gold.
I’m often told I’m confident
(like the march of blazing sun
across the hills of night
awakening each day)

I’m told I look like rushing waves
that roll in from the sea
and pounce upon the sand
in joyful swelling sounds

This makes me laugh inside my heart
because I’m more like fog
that silent moves unsure
which way it wants to go

But still committed to the march
inexorable and slow
to be true to myself
in soft embrace sold out

to be completely there
and wrapped around all things
I cherish in the hug
of insubstantial presence

there, and yet untouched.

Source: Like Sunlight, Like Fog | Charissa’s Grace Notes

When The Whole World Howls

what did you see there,
on that road when setting sun
began to blink again, again
and turned into a threatening heart
beating so slow and pumping out
the blood of stars and planet-scars?

How did it feel when phantom friends
just went on walking, on and on
oblivious to open wounds
in skies above, your breast below
and the railing reached and grabbed your hand
and tired death grinned madly dull?

You heard a noise, a scream of sun?
A scream of clouds, of blood or heart?
A scream that slashed thru everything
so real, so loud, so everlasting
What to make of that?  That sound
When the whole world howls and howls

and howls?

“I was walking along the road with two of my friends. Then the sun set. The sky suddenly turned into blood, and I felt something akin to a touch of melancholy…My friends went on and again I stood, frightened with an open wound in my breast I stood still, leaned against the railing, dead tired. Above the blue black fjord and city hung clouds of dripping, rippling blood. My friends went on and again I stood, frightened with an open wound in my breast. A great scream pierced through nature.”
Edvard Munch

The Holiness Of Empire | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Last year there was some sort of change that occurred within me…the events of 16 years ago, horrendous as they are, began to appear to me as a boil, a corpuscle, a pimple deeply infected…a symptom.

I decided that I was not gunna write anymore tribute poems, because been there done that.

Nothing else really can be said about the ones faced with horror thrust upon them in the land of ease and plenty.

But what of those, millions rather than thousands, who have had empire shoved down their throats and up their ____ …?  I started thinking about things differently.

Becoming the fuck toy of Empire never ends well.  Supporters of ttaf are soon gunna discover this.

One year ago…I think I began to nail it a bit.

“…and what of empire…
or is it Empire
and how
it sanctifies itself
in the blood
of many martyrs
in the tears
of all the saints
and quenches
every thirst
in the wailings
of the haints…”

Source: The Holiness Of Empire | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Ahhhh…last year I wrote this to try and express how closely the ecstatic and the erotic dance in me as I connect to poetry and the words enter, flow and exit…

I’m asked sometimes if I write erotic poetry, and I allus laff and ask “Why?”

The question is like asking someone if they are eating McDonald’s french fries during the best feast of their life…

So anyway…this poem is about Poetry, about connection with the Divine, and yes, it can be about connection with the person you love to…connect with.

PS:  this selection is towards the end of the poem…there is a staircase that gets you there, but you have to decide whether you ascend these steps, or descend them…either one is wow!!
…I am buried living-forward
I’m resurrected dying-backward
I am stained forever always after
with that pungent glory,
with Her Glory running down
my chin and from my lips so wet
and thus I shiver deep within
all the way from my down-low throb
to the very roots of my
ecstatic shining hair…

Source: Singing In My Holy Heart | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Three years ago…
Are ashes ever really dead?
Or just a different form of life?

When you see that I have died,
when you look into that place
where my odd, quirky connections
once melded resonant
and found resonant splendour
in heart…and in hearts too

and you see the ashes, chilled,
overlaying stone cold coals,
become grey overcoats
covering what I finally learned
to be so ashamed of?

Scrape those cinders up
shovel and shoe them,
trowel and trough the grits,
find a yearn to place them in,
decorative and strange,
intricate and engraved
and singing,
like me back then…

and carry that vase back
across the silent square,
and toss my ashes high,
yes toss them in the air

Let them fly across the sky
in one last kiss, then wave goodbye,
and falling, floating, snowing what made
me special and vibey…

I will let go gently…and slip away,
away…

Source: Across the Aching Blue Sky | Charissa’s Grace Notes

That Awkward Moment… | Charissa’s Grace Notes

We have all experienced this, haven’t we?  Everyone?
That moment when our head goes from Bugs Bunny’s smug smile
to a jack-ass head because we feel so foolish and dumb?
Or is it just me who feels this…

it lays there, bloated
in between when you
and the other person
connected and laughed
(or that’s what you thought)

and when you speak
and your heart falls
out and open
on the floor
with the inscription

would you like
to come over
for dinner and wine?

eyes narrow,
furrowing brows
and glance off
to the side
and it shifts

and it’s game over
flowers fade
the smell of smoke
and burnt cookies
lingering

Source: That Awkward Moment… | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Center of All Things | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I am reposting a lot of old poetry…not because there is nothing new…but because these are some very nice lil poems that few eyes ever noticed…and they deserve a moment.

I sat down by the fire
in the middle of the roses
planted all around
and fragrant with buzzy bees
so busy in the dusk.

The air shimmered
as you approached
skimming across the grass
like a clipper ship
under full sail and
high on the sea.

And when you sat down,
beside me there in
the crackling fragrant
breezy busy air
it was like the entire
universe had come home
and I was at the center
of all things.

Source: The Center of All Things | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This Place of Living Bliss | Charissa’s Grace Notes


a foggy night in late summer
seems like such a strange thing,
seeping up from the ground
like bathwater draining in reverse

we go walking in this cool
clammy oddly warm chill
orange under streetlights…

Source: This Place of Living Bliss | Charissa’s Grace Notes

On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this for the first human other than my dearest darling to really see me, Charissa…she has never not seen me.  She has never seen him, even though she knows all about him, and I have told her everything about him that matters and also that she has asked…

I would tell her everything without reservation…but sometimes, she simply is bored by him, because he is an absent caterpillar and she loves the butterfly.

By the way…where do caterpillars go when the enter the chrysalis?

I love you Dani…you are my first friend and my dearest heart of friendship…special and distinct from the many friends and sisters I now have.  ❤

PS:  Pay attention to the line length…just a hint

Listen…
you can hear
my words in waves
breaking on your beach
and celebrating…

lament at long last left limp
in clammy depths
‘neath the surface of seas
of blessed forgetfulness
and chuckling…

midst the shells and sand swirling,
rejoicing surf returning resurrected,
remembered, sanctified by sorrows
faced and sorted…yielding
wholeness certain, sure…

on this shore I break,
we break,
on this shore gently
and joyfully too
we break…

on that shore
that someday shore
we will unbroken break
on that shore and in that circle
by and by…in that circle

by and by…

Source: On This Shore I Break,We Break | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Come, My Love | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Related image

Come, my love…
walk out in the river with me on waters
still and soft beneath our souls
and slightly giving underneath our feet

the surface dips and we will sink
but never past our ankles, just deep
enough to get our hearts wet, soaked
in mysteries of our journey-dance

and underneath the Moon-Glow Glance…

Source: Come, My Love | Charissa’s Grace Notes

no melody down here in sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this a couple of years ago…about being othered by dull insensate humans…or did I write it about supporters of ttaf…or likely I wrote it about evangelical so-called christians whose blood sport is the judgement and death of anything that sings, that moves in beauty…

or did I write it about you?

There is still time to influence who it is about, with your true song and love.


it was eyes,
everywhere each one
attached to a beak, each beak
trilling so shrilly, chattering
in clakkety chirp-chirruping
in brackish raucous screams

loserloserloserloserloser

this forest was once a place
of wonder and the night
so full of promise but now,
it’s like the stars have fallen
from the sky and become
these birds, these birds with eyes
and beaks and nothing to sing,

just screams in a trackless forest
with a past turned out to be a dream
and a future that’s just a strip mine
yet unzipped, yet undug yet torn open
and a present consisting of merely
the sound of these eyes so sharp
and beaks blunt just like red clubs

and no melody down here in sight

Source: no melody down here in sight | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Reflections | Charissa’s Grace Notes

SO loving this old one…”old”…HAH!  Just a few years, very early on in transition…and a word play via homophone leads the way in this one.


The scent of our home,
funky quaint and riddled
with books and bikes,
and the long laid scent of family.
The scent of the kitchen,
yesterday’s dinner
and the overlay of croissants
like fierce french washer women
scrubbing away all other scents.

…the scent of our clothes,
and our laundry soap…
the scent of the air cooler,
that of the soft night air
waltzing in,
slow and sleepy
from her night out
amongst the stars,
and carried in drowsy
on cricket wings…

…the scent of popcorn
shared on the couch,
of our wine wafting
from bottles possessed
by only the last 12 drops,
our lil garden outside,
and the auto sprinkler
which has come on to water
in the dark and the cool…

the scent of your currents,
your deep distant observing soul
that hangs back and watches,
even in the midst…

i do go on…

from here…from now…
in the sweltering heat,
where you and I lay,
you sleeping,
me watching you sleeping,
soft face limpid and languid…here…
listening to tides of eternity
race round and round
inside our veins, our universe…

i do go on…

Source: Reflections | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Dark’s Strange Light

While everyone is looking
directly where they cannot look
and seeing silver rings around
the black and gaping mouth of nothing

I am gunna look around
and underneath and over at
the stuff that isn’t visible
because of sunlight blasting

(like Mercury, visible at last
and heaving sighs of dark relief
in being seen for what he is
and seen for what he’s not)

Counterintuitive, I know…
typical ditzy move, Charissa
that’s what will be said, and I
will drolly nod my head and sigh

and look around in dark’s strange light
at what can only be seen then
that moment, neither day nor night
not time that was…but time again

Ahh, Dark’s Strange Light revealing all
that can be seen by one who’s small

Have A Care (Ode To Eclipses)

I speak in faith and deep knowing
that this monstrosity, this asshole manifested
in-human flesh and somehow flying
in the fair and tender skies so blue

just gibbers deep in ravings mad
derived from sucking his own soul
dry, vampire of his diseased self
his narcissistic empty self

and though he floats, he’s counterfeit
he is no poem, he is no moon
so take heart even while he sets
his sights on devouring the sun

and moves and gobbles greedily
and here beneath his blighted run
the darkness grows so threatening
he ultimately simply falls

pulled grave-ward by futility
imploding…that monstrosity
of incoherent hubris mating
with such ignorance towering

and as the sun is wont to do
it beams and scours dark away
and dries the eyes of every tree
that monster vile will just dead be

and us left waiting in the moment
wondering what just happened here
oh…that dark floating shade up there
was just a mirror………..have a care.

 

Maybe So, Maybe Not

I think prophetesses are cray cray,
sometimes cackling, always peering
deeply into foggy noggins
past the eggy soggy boggins
at the slick silver toboggans
shimmering in dancing air
to run the ride down truth’s face fair

and standing in the circle broken
hearing profound wholeness calling
symphonies of glory sounding
Mama all around in Wonder
spilling, splashing peeling thunder!

All the while the people slumber
neath the broken blankets lumber
over shards and nails and thorns
while Wonder blows her Golden Horns
and wholeness plays that glory

oh that glory

Yeah, we cray cray,
looking at this shattered world
blemishes and ugly cuts
just like punches to the gut
so why do we think differently
and call out so instictively
that this is not the “Supposed to Be?”

Why do we think we were fashioned
made for wholeness, transformation
by a beauty big enough to
embrace life as well as death
that gurgles in the swamps of dazed
and drunken creature comforts crazed?

It’s seen, a fleeting flashing glimpse
in roaring subways rumbling
a quiet act of kindness given
a cup of water cool and sweet
to quell the fires and cool the heat
of hurt and hate and slaughtered meat

just dim glimpses, visions dark, muddled
when we see the face of God
and recognize what we have yet
to see, and know we always knew it…

Cray cray?

Maybe so
maybe not

Bone On Bone


hidden skeletons
in the closets
of our bodies
clicking, clanking

jumping here
in muffled squeaks
and stifled squeals
of bone on bone

that living song
when bone is drawn
across soft flesh
so low, so long

that drumming thrum
when chuckling bones
are rubbed together
…firesticks, or

matches potent…
like secrets pushing
at our lips
between our hips

because we all
have secrets living
in our bodies
in our bones

that wanna shout
louder than life
but were they heard
t’would break our hearts

 

There, Brown And Small

I am not
the only one
here, brown and small
wearing a mask

so fearsome, fell
created from
conflicted heart
streaked red and blue

colliding with
my resting soul
green on those hills
those tumbled hills

there, brown and small

Sleeping Skin to Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Three years old and holding up VERY well!!

Somewhere in the dark,
in the warmth of black-red
before we woke up swimming,
surfing sultry heartbeats and
waves of new bones growing
green and rooty-fibrous,
we navigated bold our
seas secure and buoyant,
our universe and listened…

Source: Sleeping Skin to Skin | Charissa’s Grace Notes

An Eclipse Of Grace

we are down to it now
here in the land where dragons
have forgotten their names
and deny their children
who loved them

Puff and Jackie are no more
it is now all sturm und drang.

A monster has arisen
and graves quiver and tremble
as fingers long thought dead
scritch scritch scritch
on those coffins so
recently buried

and show that they live
and gibber in glee
with prospects of release

scritch scritch scritch

but the moon has not forgotten
does not forget her beloved
now hot and baking in the
disjointed unhitched sunlight
called not-Puff (Sturm) not-Jackie (Drang)

called alt-
and hate
and patriotism

the moon has made her move
and soon will shed her grace
a respite from unrelenting baking light

An eclipse of Grace is coming
to save from the eclipse of Grace
found in this screaming perpetual
day without softness
without tender coolness
and velvet still…

I hear the moon move
in the dry drumbeat of bramble
as I pass by, smelling their
desperate intense perfume

the canes of thistles move
in the wind like bones
and sing to me

sooon  soooon…
beneath the croon
of probing beams
that are definitely
way more than they seem

the sky will bend and yield
as moon she rides in day
and comes to eat, to take within
her belly all the taint
of poison so-called light

our moment of escape will then present!
a moment, chains can break and curses rent!
in dark while others fall upon their face
we who watch well an eclipse of Grace…

can learn there at her knee, her royal knee
and small eclipses everywhere we’ll be
from our burnt courage burnished bronze in heat
as we the moon and grace together greet
and mercy kisses truth…at last they meet

may things be healed by our eclipsing feet.

The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is the antidote to “The 25 Hour Yesterday”…and it is attempting to write about redemption, and how it is only relational and never NEVER legal.  You want to see changes in this world?  Then change your relational dynamics…with yourself…with others…with the Divine…

“…It is the Valley of Dry Bones,
the charnal parched and bony strand
with bone-dust laying down for sand
that walking comes The One Who Knows
and singing re-creation songs
and the truths we tell make harmonies
to reach the very stars…”

Source: The One Who Knows | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Twenty-Five Hour Yesterday | Charissa’s Grace Notes

I wrote this poem in 2015…taking on the topic of privilege, and how it devalues everything it touches…like entropy works…especially erasing the humanity of those who serve privilege to the same degree that they exercise it over their fellow human beings.

Supporters of trump the absolute fucker, I am taking DEAD AIM at YOU.

Some of you ttaf supporters think I am mean…but you are wrong.  If you were to wake up, there will come a day that you will thank me for keeping you from a fate FAR worse than death.

In the poem, there are italicized lines.  They signify to the reader that the reader is to “sing them in their mind” with the tune that corresponds…

“…We stand before God today
even though entropy
deferred yesterday
we stand before God
as Their Potter’s clay

the urgency
of the present moment,
shaped not by nostalgia
for what once was,
but remembrance
for who God was,
and is,
and ever will be.

that fierce urgency of the now
within a world in need
not of more pointing fingers
and dividing speeches, but of
people willing to rise up
and work as if we now already
are God’s people willing
and surrendered.

I deferred entropy yesterday
It was the least I could do.”

Source: The Twenty-Five Hour Yesterday | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Tears Of Grace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is from 2015, and a deep immersion in that wonderful book Women Who Run With Wolves

it was the tale of Bluebeard that chilled me the most.  Indeed, it is the one MOST applicable to a transwoman.

I really like some of the images in this poem, some of the phrases…”shuttering houses and shuddering hearts”…

I hope you enjoy it, and end up being able to flow as your own tears of grace.This time of day…“l’heure bleue.”
I know it as “the gloaming” and was conceived
in it’s glimmer glisten and was born
in its radiant dark glitter-glamouring.

It’s the glamouring that the earth casts
when she hides from the hunters who roam the world
and gobble up the quiet dark and then rough-belch
their choking smothering counterfeit-communion

*non-light*…

Source: Tears Of Grace | Charissa’s Grace Notes

The Poem You Write | Charissa’s Grace Notes

From a couple of years ago,
the notion is that humans are meaning makers,
whether on purpose or accidentally…we cannot escape being Poets.

*********************

It’s in the spaces between the words,
in the moments you do not do,
it hides in the silent sound of what you say
*that would be what you utter not*

When I describe it, it twists a bit
and stands akimbo and aloof
and sings of itself above your ears
it’s there…the poem you write yourself.

To set your pen to page and speak
your “Let There Be”, it gives a shape
but that leaves so much shaped behind
*the space your body takes in water*

when you dive in and swim, and the space moves and disappears…
Source: The Poem You Write | Charissa’s Grace Notes

A Hot Summer Day And A Deck | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Two years ago…a very nice lil poem about the poems walking around in skin…
and it works on the gender dysphoria level too…as a poem to self.

Try it, see if it reads to your you?


a hot summer day and a deck
the sun it glints off of my glass
the sweet-tea ginger peach muddle
the mint wafting from sweaty ice cubes
floating, cooling, melting, disappearing

my peach is sweet, tart, it’s just right
fuzzy-firm against longing loved lips
I turn perfumed pages so eager
the story unfolds right before me
on a hot summer day and a deck

the book of you writes itself page at a time
it expands in my hands and the cover
wanes old/new, it waxes familiar
to my touch then *gasp* “I never knew you”
every turning page snatches my breath

because I’m not sure if the next one
will be there, it could be blank or worse
it might write itself while I am reading
words forming from nowhere, just scrawling
in the high summer light on that deck

I can’t put it down for the life of me
I smell you in air as I fan those thin pages
flipping backwards but not ever reading ahead
(there is no ahead to be read in this book)
I miss you this hot summer day…

Source: A Hot Summer Day And A Deck | Charissa’s Grace Notes

We Lords of Tuscany, We Ladies Of The Meadow | Charissa’s Grace Notes

This poem is a tender special one to me.
The imagery involves a person who is on the gallows,
and staring off down the valley as the wind whispers thru their hair…
remembering their life.

Anyone who loves poetry will adequately apply the metaphors…and if you are new to poetry, try to remember that so often times the best way to talk about stuff is to talk “beside it” and “around it”…so the real Truth can leap up on you when your heart and soul is ready, and not before…you cannot wrench it up unto yourself without murdering it…it must “tumble” to you easily and all in a moment.

It’s why it is so difficult to talk about it…
breaking it down kills it, and not breaking it down
leaves it too big to describe well.

At last we finally
have come down to it,
perched here on this edge
of sun-bleached splintery white planks
and darkly stained with shadows and blood.

I hear the wind winding
thru the distant trees wistful,
insistent and full of desire for
golden times long past and golden
songs sung oh so long ago.

It saws its way, the wind, it saws.
Forth and back, across again
that one long thin strand fixed just so
to that grey ancient, heavy beam
that I can barely see because

history’s speck embedded
in my eyes and clawing,
scratching them
and clouding my ocular
true blue vision…

Source: We Lords of Tuscany, We Ladies Of The Meadow | Charissa’s Grace Notes