Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ponder the Words of Charlie!

Spiritual: Quiet Fall

A treasure I found in my missionary journal-- dated Oct 27, 1989, Arequipa Peru


I guess I’m a little pressure prone.
I don’t want to be.
I want to scream with joy when I feel happy—
That is, when I’m supposed to be happy.

But it seems that mine is a quiet world these days.
I want to laugh from my guts when it’s funny
I want to have fun.

But I guess my world’s a quiet world right now.

How I want to run and skip
alone with the flowers—
Tell my secrets to God out loud—
Sing at the top of my lungs—
Enjoy life—
Appreciate nature.

But I guess my world’s
A little shallow now—
Cold and wet and quiet.

I reserve my words for thee alone.
Tesoro--para los que intienden.

I know I don’t—
Neither does my swift companion.

I am a fall
and a held-back flood
drowning—drowning in my calmness.

At the sides of my banks,
The little flowers whisper beauties of encouragement.
They want to hear.
They understand.
Their world’s a little quiet too.

What shall I do?

Shall I grab hold of their beautiful stems
To hold me back?
I think I shall.

A rapid little stream beside me
Is full of little pebbles—shallow,
boisterous and clean—
too busy to see the shower of petals
fall with me into that spray of white—
bathing,
dancing,
rolling for joy in my cascades

A-huh.
Ya comprendo

That it is below the fall
That makes the noise,
Not the dam,
Not the flowers,
For ours is a quiet world.

It’s below the falls
That hollers
And laughs the belly laughs
That roars to God for crushed things
That have fallen

And there’s a hollow there
Below the falls,
And a whirlpool of despair.

Y por fin yo intiendo…
That I am a fall that has not fallen—
a shallow stream made deeper by the dammed.
Down below, are secrets spilled and broken.
But mine is a quiet world just now,
banked with Godly stems of beauty…

~~~

Childhood: Broken Ballade...

I Just Wanted To Be Normal

My first widely-published poem: Poetry in Public Places, 1991. The poem was printed on posters and displayed in school libraries across the country.

Please note that I hold no animosity for my parents, who were good and decent people who always expected the best from me.


They’ve told me since I was seven that I
was a “special” child. Years later I learned
it was just a euphemistic lie.
I told my parents it really burned
me to be called that – that it could upturn
a few problems between us. Yet inside,
I knew they didn’t really mean to lie.

It’s just that I was theirs, and in their pride
they pictured me better than how I’d turned
out to be. They bragged to their friends about
my experiences in Paraguay
and Peru, as if it really concerned
them. (They just said it because of their pride.)
Now, I know that they didn’t mean to lie,

but it bugs me anyway. All that I
ever wanted was to be normal—earn
a decent income, joke around with my
friends, wear cute clothes—you know, date the cool guys.
I am not some miracle child who yearns
to be the best—to make her parents sigh.
Oh, I know that they didn’t mean to lie

about me, but I don’t want them to turn
me into some special side-show freak. I
warned them, how I hated their sweet concern.
but they knew that I didn’t mean to lie.

~~~

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Foyer de Sion
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