Nocturne’s Spell

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Daytimers don’t know

how the night

becomes a magical place

how the meadow shines

in its secret way

when the moon traces

her fingers on the snow

They’ve never stood

grinning up in delight

at scattered stars

gazing back from deepest skies,

nor watched the

world

become

a faery place

with silver leaves

and lucent boughs

and creatures stirring

in the shadows

They don’t long for

Luna’s sweet caress, nor

for Selene’s gentle breeze,

never fall yielding to

the allure of the gloaming’s

whispered mysteries

They don’t feel

the cool hand of eve

touch their cheeks

nor hear the songs of galaxies

drifting down in chimes

of star beams and moon shine

and Aurora’s dancing

luminosity

Daytimers don’t know

how the night

becomes a wondrous place

They don’t know

the adoration of

the beauty

of the night

-KJ Roe

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For the Lost

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Hey you.
Yes, you. The one hiding behind a façade of laughter and everything’s fine.
You, too exhausted to get out of bed.
You, crouched in anxious trepidation behind walls of independence and strength.
You, who are busy, busy, always moving, always going.
You.
You’re not alone.

Look around. There are others near you, fighting the same fight, scared to let it show. Others who are lonely, and frightened, and lost. Who feel the air suffocating them and the darkness of the unknown looming. People you see, probably even people you talk to, who wonder if anybody cares. Just like you.

I’ve been there.
Been so worn down I fell asleep standing up.
So scared, I couldn’t see a way out.
So wrapped up in murky despair that I had to consciously name reasons to be here. Some of them seemed ridiculous (chocolate? really?), but when you’re down, anything can be a lifeline.

Others are oh, so worthwhile. Family, or friends, or the way you feel when you hear a beautiful piece of music. The sunlight, the raindrops, the stars, the shapes in the clouds. The first time you mastered – anything: Catching the ball, turning a screwdriver, beating that game. Being held, or the touch of a hand. Simply making someone smile.

Whatever your lifeline is, grab ahold and don’t let go. When it seems to get dim, hold the light it brings right in front of you. Make that decision to keep it in your sight, even if you have to consciously force it to be there. When the voice in your head speaks darkness and negativity, fight it with words of brightness and positivity and self-affirmation. You are unique. You glow. You deserve the good that you long for. You are worth it.

You are a beautiful soul.

It’s okay.
You’re not alone.
Take my hand.

We’ll get through this together.

-KJ Roe

*If you or anyone you know is feeling alone, feeling that their light is fading, please reach out. Talk to a friend, talk to a counselor, talk to a pastor, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8755. Don’t give up. YOU ARE IMPORTANT AND THE WORLD NEEDS YOU.

*This first appeared here April 4, 2017.

Bounty

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Tiny worlds in rainbow hues

hide in depths of jewel-

toned leaves, in the

burning shades of frost-

seared fall, the damp

air a near-welcome

touch, the rustle of breeze-

tossed foliage interrupted

by the crunch of steps

on fallen brethren, the

scent of their released breath

a sweet prelude inhaled,

skins bursting as their

nectar fills eager mouth

slides down tongue

and chin and stained

kaleidoscope fingers

-KJ Roe

Fais de beaux rêves

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Blaze across the sky

   orange blinding in its brilliance

Shout your closing remarks

   in unmistakable vibrance

Let your departure be known

   by your legacy of beauty

As the hues of your goodbye

   blend softly into pinks

That glide blushing into

   a waiting bed of violet

The gentle touch of

   your whispered affections

Wraps close around a

   drowsy earth’s  shoulders

And you take your leave

   with echoes of peace

-KJ Roe

Hush

lake-moon

Lying in my bed
Listening to loons calling
Their love songs
Across waters where
Moonbeams tap dance
A sparkling cadence
Of hushed affairs,
Windblown waves
Embracing one another
In tumultuous kisses
Hastily given under
Cover of night
Before slipping back
In an endless refrain
Of restless love.
– KJ Roe

“Hush” first appeared here on December 16, 2017.

 

Ascent

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She paused, raising her eyes to the crest of the hill above her. You’re almost there, she told herself as she reached for her water bottle and took a swig. You got this. Her legs had already traversed several stages on this hike – stretching, tired, sore, shaky, ready to collapse, and finally, stronger. She could almost feel the muscles tearing and healing and building as she went. It made her feel tough, as if she could handle anything. As though it didn’t matter if she was the last person on earth, or the only person on the mountain.

Her heart was another matter. It pounded in her chest like she’d just run a marathon while being chased by a bear. Too fast, too hard, but what worried her was the erratic unsteadiness of it. As far as a rhythm, she was pretty sure it was skittering between a bouncy reggae tune, a pounding rap, and the wild pulse of thrash metal. All fine for listening to; maybe not such a good thing for a heart rate.

She took a deep breath. Another one. In-two-three, out-two-three. Willed her body to calm, heart to slow. Practiced some learned-long-ago relaxation techniques. Tried not to think how ridiculous it was that this little hike was so difficult for her. The important thing was that she was doing it. She was facing the challenges she set for herself, overcoming all of the excuses and reasons for holding back.

She had spent too many years in the shadows. Too many days watching from the sidelines, being the cheerleader. She loved the encouraging, the guiding, the helping. She was good at it. But what she’d only partially grasped was that when you constantly encourage others to follow their dreams, eventually you get left behind.

But now.

This was her time. Her turn to explore. To grow, find her horizons. Most of all, to stop holding back.

She turned to look back at the trail she’d been following. The mountain dropped away before her, river cutting a valley through the hills. Trees danced in the breeze that cooled her skin. Snow blazed the tops of the range. A blue sky caressed the horizon, greens and grays and browns of the forest mixing in a grand palette of wild, untamable, glorious nature.

Where she had been was breathtaking.

Tears watered the landscape for a moment, and she grinned in exultation at the sheer magnificence of life and the world. Yes, the trail had been hard sometimes. Life had been hard. There were moments that she wondered what had possessed her to take it at all. But this – this majestic view of her journey so far was definitely worth it. It was more incredible than anything she could have imagined.

A prayer of thanks rose within her.

She took another deep breath, another swig of water, trying to hold the picture in her mind to look back on later. Holding onto the satisfaction of love feely given and obstacles overcome. So many memories to cherish.

She turned back up the trail. Her heart was steady now. She was ready.

There was further to go, and the view would be even better up ahead.

-KJ Roe