Epitaph

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When I die,

Shed tears if you must

Let them wash

The scales from your eyes

Reveal the light

See all the little

Hidden things

That make the world beautiful

 

When I’m gone

Shout and wail if it helps

Let it crescendo

Into songs of life and movement

Raise your arms

Free your feet in

 

Dances

To secret music

That lift the soul

Irresistibly

 

When I pass

Grow though the grief

Let it teach you to

 

Cherish

 

Moments

Lay bare your heart

Act with kindness

 

Let love live as my legacy

 

-KJ Roe

 

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Awakening

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And then the growth
started

No more of the bated
breath, waiting
for something

that never became.
No more of the holding
back, hoping
for rescue

that never came.
It started
with a small
shift, lifting
the heart

from its hiding place;
With a quiet
recognition
the soul

is a precious thing,
A sudden ancient
knowing
the worth of

the person within;
And then,

a raise of
the head, a
straightening of
the shoulders, as
The strength of

one’s being
spread its wings

and took flight

-KJ Roe

Buoyancy

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The fullness in my chest
Swells like the tide
Rising unquenchable,
Unendingly hopeful,
Buoyed by the comraderie
Of my soul mates
And heart guides-
By Beauty, and Grace,
Fair Flora, and Fauna,
And Music, and Poetry,
By the blessings of
A life of Peace,
And the gifts of
The God of Love;
And Hope lives in me.

-KJ Roe

“Buoyancy” first appeared here on March 27, 2017.

Romancing the Soul

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Photo copyright KJ Roe

Trails of adventure
Call to open hearts
Irresistible allure
To wanderer
And poet alike

Mountaintops and canyons
Hidden lakes and
Secret islands
Guarded by
Midnight bruins

Palmed antlers
Throwing shadows
Among white birch and
Gray-green cottonwood
And floating eagle nests

Chimes of dancing ice
On wind-feathered waters
Sing requiem
A melting concerto at
Winter’s last revel

Echoes of ancient glaciers
Reminders of Khione’s
Charming tyranny
Terra’s rumblings
And Creator’s dreams

Vistas of impossible perfection
Glimpses of heaven
Glimpses
of the depths
of our hearts
of our souls

-KJ Roe

Deafening

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When does the war end
The barrage of bullets
Shells filled with words
Full metal jackets
Punched from indignation
Shot from weapons
Forged from hate
Intent to harm
The flag for a
Battlecry of
“We are right!”
And
“At all costs!”
Warpaint of
Self-righteousness

Dripping into our eyes
Like the soul-blood
We spill

Blinded in the fight
Deafened by
Our own wailing

Tripping over bodies
We proclaim to save

So allegiant to the
Cause
That the
Death toll of

Freedom
and
Brotherhood
and
Kindness
rings

Silent

In our ears

-KJ Roe

Tesserae

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Closeup of Mosaic Dragonfly by Susanne Sorogan; full photo from mosaicartsupply.com

Hold my heart
hold it gently and with great care
Hold the pieces
with open grasp
Careful lest the fragments

cut you
with their brokenness
Watch the light glint
off the edges
Glimpses of beauty

in the shards
Recognize
the strength in
the shattering
the hope found in

disrepair
the wisdom in
the cracks
the magnificence of

our remnants
the brilliant mosaic of
our coming together

-KJ Roe

Mis-guided

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Where do we go from here?

Mother returns to an empty house,
the spaces inside crying to be filled
and the quiet scares her

Father closes doors on sleeping angels,
dreading the loneliness of next week
and planning excess to fill the void

Friends debate calls and texts
footing unsure as balance is lost
each tries to find solid ground again

Lovers wait and watch and hold
their hearts within walls,
seeing love slip through their fingers

Anxious, hurting, frightened
we wave false flags of victory
over the ashes of our hope and trust

Families crumble under the weight
of broken promises and kept lies
and injuries never asked to be forgiven

Pain of emotions and thinking
steal color from the sky
and burn the liquid from the eyes

Stereotypes and scapegoats fill the feed
arbitrary lines of Side A or Side B smother the brave and the free

Blocking the exits for thought
no view of a bigger picture
as the blinders are pulled tight

Boundaries multiply exponentially
highlighting divisiveness and
burying brotherly love

Value our diversity becomes scalding
don’t you dare think differently
and our strength becomes frailty

Crushed by disjointedness and
suspicion and drama-fed fears
tourniquet squeezing every breath

Blinded, we thrash about wildly
reaching for any safehold
grasping the tails of sharks

Mistaking the hunter for
beloved rescuer as he
smiles and chews our limbs

And nodding sagely, smugly,
we watch our brethren sink
under the load of our

hemorrhaging condemnation

-KJ Roe