too much in the grief for my heart by Ellen Sorensen

too much is the grief for my heart 

i loved him, i loved her

she left, he passed on

i questioned my strength to continue 

 

"if anyone else leaves me, i will shatter," i said. 

"it's too much to bear, this unrelenting sadness."

six deaths in six months

burying him, falling out with her

 

the sadness never leaves

it only gets fewer and farther between

with time, i'm comforted by my tears

because it means i cared with all my heart

 

and to have your heart hurt 

means your heart fully loved

time will show you it's grace

and you will love again

one day things were different by Ellen Sorensen

one day things were different 

schedules get all turned about

new patterns of sleep are being formed 

change has occurred 

 

and i find myself engaging in

the art of practice 

the exercise of discipline 

the attitude of flexibility

 

creating the new normal

is a bumpy road 

the weight of changes 

casts different shadows you've never seen 

 

and these beautiful images 

live on as memories of the past

little hands and little hearts by Ellen Sorensen

little hands and little hearts

sit in a circle around me 

eyes focused, listening intently 

and here i am, their teacher

 

there's this beautiful contrast 

between reality and fantasy 

which has not quite been defined

and the in-between is quite sweet

 

when you have a couple decades

black and white are starkly praised

so these little hands and little hearts

remind me to remain unfazed 

swaddled in a hull by Ellen Sorensen

swaddled in a hull

lullabies of the sea

swish and rock me to sleep

as the stars dangle overhead 

 

too long have i been on replay

my tune is scratchy and prone to skips

but here there is a new melody

one that sings currents and waves 

 

i feast on new fruits

and mix them with golden rum

letting the sun and salt water

soak into these layers of melanin 

 

i am convinced that this is life for me

goddess of the sun and slave to the sea

hands in the earth by Ellen Sorensen

i put my hands in the earth

and she provided for me

rivers, mountains, and trees

she gives abundantly 

 

my mother taught me to respect the ocean

and my father taught me to respect the woods 

and since i live between land and sea

i bow to them both, equally 

 

and as i thank them, i raise a toast 

to the one who deserves the most 

 

who saw the ground, the plants, the food

and said at the end that "this is good."

inhaling in slow motion by Ellen Sorensen

waking up when it's still quiet outside

the sky hasn't bloomed into bright blue 

air so crisp you could bite into it with a crunch

and buds that haven't opened to search for the sun

 

there is a lull, a small break before feet start to creak and patter 

where i am content and warm before the day winds up and passes by 

my thoughts can wander and my dreams can slowly come to an end

it's the magical silence before the noise reaches peak in this city life 

 

so i'll wonder a little bit more

i'll expand one moment as long as i can

pushing to describe it

stretching it out until it goes flat 

until the moment is sufficiently captured

 

these are the moments that make life sweet

the ones that you can't live in for very many breathes before it's gone forever

so i'll inhale in slow motion and pretend i can make time slow down

like a little kid that puts his hands over his eyes

and believes that he can't be seen

another and another and another by Ellen Sorensen

another and another and another 

day passes by 

things accomplished 

keeping things organized and tidy

preparing meals with my own two hands 

setting myself up for an easier tomorrow 

giving more than i take

thanking the sun for rising 

closing my tired eyes

and letting a contented smile 

slowly drift across my lips 

look at me through you by Ellen Sorensen

i like to look at me through you

try to see what you see in me

because when i look at you

i see my challenger, my leader 

my lover and the keeper of all my hopes

 

you shower me so sweetly 

with your thoughtfulness 

with your sacrifice 

with your wit and your love

 

you show me curious things 

you are my personal encyclopedia

i want to understand the things you love

i want to know how your brain works 

 

you create a sense of purpose for me

you inspire knowledge

you teach me the love of persistence.

 

you are mine. 

and when i look at you, 

i see a better version of me.

bright, fall the waves by Ellen Sorensen

bright fall the waves

sparkling in the sun rays 

you, ever near

the wind that i need

to keep me in the air 

 

free

i can't be tamed 

i'm not meant to be domesticated

and yet

you believe

in the magic

that i can take you places

places no one knows

a mysterious narrative by Ellen Sorensen

a mysterious narrative 

spans years in my story

a mind so elaborate, so complex

 

every day i work to solve, to understand 

but things unfold in their own time 

always leaving me wanting more 

 

how can one mind be such an enigma?

how can two so contrary

make the best pairing? 

 

logical rationale eludes me 

so i find peace in the truth 

that not everything needs an explanation 

 

in the midst of the mystery 

my soul finds contentment 

he and i have escaped reason

 

and the more days that come and go

the less often 

i can fall asleep alone

hello little green wisps by Ellen Sorensen

hello little green whisps 

pushing through to see the light

i've been buried too these months

waiting for signs of warmth 

sprouts significantly contribute to new

to ostara, to the beginning of everything 

and here I wait, ready to bloom

ready to bask in the early days of sunlight 

unafraid of the crisp, the may showers, 

because the sphere has shifted 

and longer days falls upon us

rise in the early morning, dear daffodils

the sunrise calls to us behind the mountain peaks

the moon rests its head in the beyond 

and springtime emerges 

from inside the womb, we listened by Ellen Sorensen

beneath the amber stratus

shadows dim the grass under my toes

i pull Wordsworth from my pack 

and eat the feast of poetic ecstasy

 

desires and hope explicitly told

fears and failures written in depth 

this is the story that binds us

this is the humanity that resonates within

 

storytellers, poets, and minstrels 

the art that paints every encountered soul

and the meter, the feet, are the beats

the vibrations that survive in us

 

patterns and melodies that we know

from inside the womb, we listened 

we were born into the music of our tribes

we didn't know dance, but there it was

 

bursting forth from our souls 

feet moving on the bones and dust 

the earth sings with us in harmony 

praising the circle of life

moments when the rain pours by Ellen Sorensen

there are these moments when the rain pours 

and the sky stays grey for days

that the restlessness in my soul and in my bones

threatens to shake this rock foundation 

my quarantined emotions all break loose at once

and the overloaded stimuli fire in all directions

 

it's time to bunker down

sort, shift, find solutions

ask and answer many questions that no one else will ever hear

the secret life of sensitivity:

empathizing with yourself in the darkness of night

 

my own self, the live-in therapist, asking the important questions:

why do you feel that way? where does that idea come from?

and in the midst of this heart helping

i'm just waiting for the sun to come and restore the balance

you can't stop me by Ellen Sorensen

storming out the door and you can't stop me

not because there's fear in my heart 

but because there's no denying her call

i must follow the music in her voice

 

step by step, carefully heeding her call

footsteps quicken, heels barely meeting the ground 

i must go, i must give myself to her 

my eagerness, my ambition, my fire

 

she does not demand, she desires

she sees the best and inspires the chase

her name is obscured by most but i know

her as creativity, inspiration, mother 

 

she is as a part of me, as i am her 

i know her beck and call is never convenient 

but it's always worth it to follow 

because i am whole when we are together 

 

my mother, my ethos, my agape

the enthusiasm and passion to which i live

no one understands me like she does 

because she is i and i am her

kaleidoscope dreamers by Ellen Sorensen

take me to that stony bluff

on the island surrounded by a river

meadows of birch trees and blackberries

where water laps upon the rocky beach

 

hands stained red with sweet juices 

bellies full of berries and summer wine

picking wildflowers and staring at the clouds

fingers entwined as the sun bathes us

 

you keep my heart steady and soft

like warm breezes sweeping over us

we're kaleidoscope dreamers

spinning reality in circles to suit us

 

 we're everything our dreams can see

we're everything we want to be

hands upturned by Ellen Sorensen

days spent on my knees, hands upturned toward the sky

alone after a small eternity

half releasing and half shouting toward the moon

"why have you forsaken me?"

 

night and day passed, summer into winter into spring

hands never faltering, still upturned waiting

for you to heal my broken heart

and give me strength to rise again

 

your faithfulness was poured out, like oil on my head

placing the most sacred treasure in my palm

peace like a river, running through my soul

and love which passes all understanding

the faint heartbeat by Ellen Sorensen

the faint heartbeat of a new love

impossible to ignore, difficult to satiate

a seed determined to bloom

regardless of unlikely conditions

 

let the energy simmer, methodical and slow

engaged but patient, watching carefully

ice melts and gives way to dewy mornings

blooming into springtime romance

worried heart by Ellen Sorensen

worried heart, can i take your burdens?

the last few years have been so unfair

you woke up alone one day. he was gone.

and you gracefully picked up the pieces

 

you didn't ask for these fears

so find my arms and let me hold you 

so you can know what it's like 

to never let go

colorful spectrums wave across the sky by Ellen Sorensen

colorful spectrums wave across the sky

anthems of celebration and resistance

under oppressive skies and a dull sun

voices join to sing the songs of freedom

 

do you hear her? the nightingale in the early evening

the voice of nature wistfully whistling to the moon

a call to arms, a rumbling march of passion

intelligently and intentionally formed

 

and i rise to meet the joyous choruses 

many years of past verses from the depths

"we will not be silenced. will we sing for freedom"

and with those generations, my soul resonates

cast me aside like a bruised fruit by Ellen Sorensen

cast me aside like a bruised fruit

walk over me till i'm flattened

the constant beat of your heel 

pressed into my spine, crushing bone

 

the whites of my eyes eclipse  

and in the black, an ember sparks

i drag my fingers through the coals

and paint my face with the fire

 

a warrior emerges from the soot and ash

unforgotten scars yield a determined mind

this is song of our ancestors, our forefathers

dissonant chords and heavy rhythms of grit and valor

 

[written to torito//rodrigo y gabriela]