Ashlee Craft – Dancing in the Sunlight – Poetry Book Sample

Dancing in the Sunlight copy

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Suddenly

suddenly it all seems so clear

how to face the things I’ve feared

how to understand that life

is about happiness

not misery & strife

& any of us can live in the light

if it is the sky we seek to kiss

suddenly it all makes sense

how to break down the binding fence

climbing it is a street we must cross

how to understand that freedom

is not something that has a cost

but without it, we’re lost

free is something you must become

suddenly I see & understand

the shooting stars of dreams in my hand

free yourself if you’re confined

learn to break the iron bars

& I’ll always be here to remind

you that nothing can ever define you

you must soar amongst the stars

Epiphany / Sudden Understanding

eleven thirty one & nine fourteen / night time & darkness & the familiar comforts of music caressing of a soft hand in my own & looking around at the darkened room with the purple glow surrounding all of it / looking looking looking around & suddenly the understanding I’ve sought for years hits me right then & there

I had stood with my back to the wind & my face to the sun, basked in the light on decks of ships & hid amongst paperwork in the office / I’d painted the silver canvases & played the golden harps & stood & tried to make friends (not succeeding yet but still trying, there just doesn’t seem to be many opportunities in this field) & tried to find love & realizing a variety of things & discovering what I truly needed / I thought I needed certain people for certain things but when I looked around I didn’t see any that fit / I thought I needed a job / but then I looked around at the metaphorical hamster wheels with rat-race runners dancing upon them & gazed into their monotonous monotonous monosyllabic eyes & watched them numbly completing their work with their dead dreams & wasted wasted time & I knew I could never be happy there / I thought I needed transportation to find these people & these monotones but I soon realized that wasn’t for me either / I tried all the glory & everything but no matter how far I ran, it seemed like I was always standing in the same place

but suddenly it occurred to me what I needed

what I truly wanted

I wanted to be big

I wanted to do something big

something above & beyond what everyone else I knew was doing

in their daily monotone routines

in their simplistic boundaries

I wanted to do something amazing

above & beyond that

above & beyond what others expected I’d do

above & beyond my own expectations for myself

I wanted to prove to the world

& to myself

just what I could do if I tried

Simple / Dance on the Triangle

maniacal magistrates striking midnight beneath the mottled cover of mistaken streetlamps & the forbidden alleyways & itching for the plastic click clack keyboards & gesturing towards the aisles of seaweed wrought with the irons of tomorrow / the speaker stands on the beat box podium & speaks into the opinionated ministrations & the clocks going backwards in shock & showing me the darkness & the lightness of the past & looking into the yarn stories of old apartment tenements & the tenants of new & different illustrations embossed in gold ink with the silver suppleness of the sparkling cloth mango & peach & lime tree slips of paper & plastic numbers blinking & flashing / the car street lights reflecting on greasy pavement & photos in newspapers protesting the use of copy written sonatas & serenading the text box smiles & the flimsy paper masks & marks of pride worn deep upon their breasts bearing the sign signifying that they too have fallen into monochromatic tones & they’ve been absorbed by airplane annoyances & angry flashes of fire & flames meeting & illuminated by the conference calling the trespassers that will soon be arrested for carrying gallon jugs of water of pastures of gold & the fastest & the obsessive points fraternizing with the dancers upon the floor & being thrown into the cold snow false realities & machine marginal camera stand photocopies of stereographic lexicon metropolis palindrome metamorphosis of the metaphorical butterflies golden & yellow & shining landing on top of the majestic purple mountains & rows of sunflower tents, arrowhead dancers drinking up the silver silence & returning returning returning safely home

You’ll Never Change the Way I Feel

for so long I hid away & never said all the things I wanted to say / things would come to my mind but I’d fear if I let them out thru the iron gates you’d only say something that would make me regret it / I just feared that you’d disagree or say something that would embarrass me, like asking how could I like such a thing or how you always disliked it / & I’d feel bad about it / my instant reaction to any opinion formed in my mind was thick scrutiny of what others would think / what would everyone I know think about it / what would the world think / what would I think / & I just couldn’t accept the fact that I liked what I liked & believed what I believed / so I lived a lie & tried to convince myself that I thought otherwise

you’ll like it once you try it, you claim / once you learn, once you get out there & start doing it / but I knew otherwise / it’ll be fun / you said / I wanted to say no but instead I kept to myself & just agreed with you & pretended that I wanted to & that I agreed with their disillusions of reality they’d planned for me

but one day it occurred to me that I didn’t want all those things / I just wanted to like what I liked & feel how I felt & believe what I believed / I didn’t want to worry about what you’d think / no / I wasn’t going to worry about what you thought or what another person thought or they or them or anyone else / why should I let other’s opinions define my own?

& with that sudden burst of freedom it occurred to me that I was my own person & I would no longer be defined by others / I would define myself

The Small Things

I realized / while sitting in the sunlight feeling it warming my back & feeling the warmth of it on my face & the breeze blowing thru my hair & watching my dog roll around in pure happiness / that perhaps there was something more / something I had been missing / sometimes I’d see a glimpse or a ghost shadow of it but I never truly saw it

I was too busy looking straight ahead, looking towards the big picture that I didn’t see that the big picture was made up of tiny dots of color painted by fairy bristles, didn’t see that the big joys were all made up of little joys

I could sit there looking at the big picture & seeing what I wanted to be & seeing the big things that I was really looking forwards to, or I could look at the little things – the little joys / & realize that I was successful / & realize that I’d always had everything I thought I lacked

I could open my eyes / & see all the little beautiful things / I could open my eyes / & see myself reflecting back in the green triangle / the smallest things / make up the bigger things / each moment / completes up my dreams

Never Give Up

never give up

you never know just how close

you may be

to your dreams

once I read a story

about a man

who hunted for treasure

so he went out

& found a treasure map

& an island where gold was said to be found

he searched & searched

& dug & dug

& still he couldn’t find the gold

so he gave up

& moved on, declaring the island a failure

& gave his treasure map up

well, the next man who ended up with the map

continued on the search

& three feet from where the first man stopped

digging

& gave up

the gold was found

lots of gold

more than he could ever have imagined

& I remind myself of this story

whenever I fear that nothing is happening

& that nothing will happen

or that my dreams won’t work out

I think about this man

& know I must never give up

for I know that if I ever quit

ever said goodbye to my dreams

my dreams may have been only feet away

I could have been that close

my dreams could be that close right now

& so I will always persevere

I will never give up

Desert Rose

pink & gold & orange & red like a sunset & holding onto the sun as it sets & swirls round the world for another go tomorrow & the last glow of the moon remaining in the early morning skies & wondering why as we drive thru the countrysides & deserts & over rickety bridges & under canyons of golden poetry & words struck by the flint of lightning & sparking into the skies & lighting the stars at night & flashing flares into the foaming form of desert desirous designs / designated by the floatation furnishing of fern-leaf formations, flooding out into the floodgate tapestries / trying / trying / & blooming despite the lack of rain

blooming blooming blooming blooming

oh, rose of the desert

how you shine

(c) 2012 Ashlee Craft

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