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

To Feed You Evergreen (For Lil Mama)

you’ve been running canyons
looking for yourself
that beautiful wild girl
who sat there in the dust
and wrestled with that trike

while others just looked on
(they had forgotten joy)
and cursed you with perspective
above and to the right
that made you second guess

and work hard in the night
to be the perfect one
and get them off your back
for good, for evil too
but it just distanced you

and gave you space to run
in canyons made of bones
along your Sangre River
still looking for yourself
alive and free and wild

well, Baby, you have found her
she thrives though she is short
and the sun’s rays are slant
they still can peek down deep
to feed you evergreen

I have always seen you
I see you still, here, strong
and still, delicate, fragile
and still indestructible
growing wild and free

For Lil Mama

I’m so glad I found you
(or did you find me)
here in the ups and the downs

The stairs are the same
the doors lead the same
in heat, in the dust and the brown

you carry those weights
responsibilities
like water jugs, like tambourines

but still find your way
to find where I am
and give me your heart, your heart clean
tumblr_nn098fQC171qa2qxto1_1280

Lil Mama’s Run

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

The Easy Walk-Away

It’s getting so old, so tired,
and it acts so new, so hep
so revolutionary…

It’s mere cold-love
all-dolled up in
cherry chapstik
and cheap mascara.

Nowadays it masquerades
as a mantra, this year’s model
on last year’s red carpet walk
while the fawning gather
and swoon…

while cold love kisses hearts
with curses, vows, orders
to walk away quick at the first sign
of imperfection or humanity.

Well, I like the trees that twist in the moonlight
and scrabble hard on the stones
and grab rocks, not to throw
but to grind into dirt
and eat from!

Joshua, Bristle Cone, Pinyon,
Mesquite, Juniper…

yeah, I’ll take them anyday,
thorns, stingy stubbornness
and faithful all day long
for centuries…

ain’t no walk-away in them
for sure…
ain’t no easy walk-way,
and my kind of people
those bristly-ass trees of
gnarled stubborn stick-to-it.

Big Mamas and lil mama
with a call of wake up
the moon is up
and canyon calling clear

in the night,
away from the easy walk-away
and into the long present
Today

Running Canyons

She runs in the canyons
there beneath the smiles,
hidden in the miles.
Around her she throws gleams,
glints, she strews her favors in winter
like flowers cast by gathered throngs
lining her way, ostensibly cheering her on

but really just hungry for blossoms and blessings

and she looks with stark eye, assessing cost
beneath gleams, glints, under
dazzle-cast clouds hiding
and she’s striding, loping
like the lean wolf taught her
in those early years of lashing
words and cutting looks
and her fire unbreakable

burning in that flood that drowned…tumblr_njpnvaveEQ1qmew7go7_r1_250

it’s canyons for her
when it’s time to tap out.
They are really just the same
as the mountains that she runs
and talks about and paints pictures of
with words and heart brushes
except that no one else knows this,
or sees any difference.

But she
knows, loves
those dry,
clean walls
close and
carved of
living stone
and loving
survival long
wrenched from
the desert’s
clutches.

She’s a true hermit, like those of old,
untouchable in this land and yet such
a product of its austere and strict demands
and she knows she’s a canyon herself,
majestic not in what remains but what is gone.

Sweat runs freely here, and carries toxins back
to their source in the sidewinders and scorpions
and stinging nettles so she doesn’t even bother
for pretty or cute and she has long ago arrived
in beautiful and assessed even that place for what it isn’t,

content with knowing what it is…tumblr_ngvvqwxx801suvylso1_1280

she runs in canyons, while I sit,
staring thru rain-streaked windows,
hunkered down in this Oregon deluge
so grey and green and clammy,
so ham-handed and drizzly
imitating the stony walls she runs between
and I absorb this water and channel it,
stream it, spray it against that unrelenting blue sky
that tears the rainbows right outta the water
and waves them like banners in the wind
so she can see where the pit stop is, pause, drink,
squint, wipe the sweat away

(gawd, that impossibly feminine gesture so implacably tough)

She is grit, she has sand…she runs canyons.wg441_ghost_1

*****
Much love to you this day,
from your true friend
and heart sister
Charissa

 

Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.
Love, Charissa