Henry’s Healing

poetry

The damp, cool relief I felt leaning against his stone-cold-frame at high noon mid August. The sun that laid prisms on the rugs down the halls through stained glass windows- gave warmth on a frost-bitten February morning. I felt my depression ease, his purpose take place within my own mental state.

He taught me to keep aware.

Hugged by his spiraling staircases, I felt secure within his mass. Boarded by his twelve-foot-doors, fourteen-foot-windows, eighteen-foot-ceilings. Comforted by his stance exuding confidence that I envied. Proud of his intent- built for royalty – built for the “insane” actually in 1872; a time more kindly engineering than today.

He taught me to keep humble.

The smell of freshly baked peanut-butter-jelly crumb cake in his kitchens. Burgers on plates the size of your face- shoved into my face left me swollen and sleepy with an irregular heartbeat for days. The bar’s aroma wafted black licorice, ginger and mint, and over-served me like a gluttonous Queen.

He taught me to keep generous.

The many rotating faces of erratic emotion or internal dread- already known or accidentally bumped into to befriend, comfort, or confront day-to-day. He held my hand through the many anxieties and animosities of social interaction and urged me to seek sincerity and authenticity instead.

He taught me to keep compassionate.

Navigating him became a subsequent flow of repetitive turns, bends, and motion. I became fluent in his language- his map- his less traveled stairwells and doors- all while making sure not to trip into an armoire or beam- one of his many giant legs. Running pillows to the western corridor while I’d realize the broom I needed for another wing – a mile long dart to complete- was waiting.

He taught me to keep patient.

A Train of Mindful Feedings in February

poetry, short stories

On a slow gliding torpedo barrelling down the Hudson, torward big city rumble – traveling alone. Riding a bit shaky, bumping off steel frames, strangers wear their grins.

Snow blanketing fields outside my window – lay peacefully untouched in the rarely seen plains of New York’s rural mass – impoverished back allies of forgotten sheds. A town’s mutated gene with a broken window, three rundown cars, some cluttered lawn mowers all meant for fixing – covered in angelic, glittering white.

The sun, a blazing ball of gold on Friday morning –bounces through skinny, sleeping trees and if I close my eyes, creates anxiety -A flashing red and white dance party –eyes widen relief – the tracks kicking up white dust below.

Friday. Our lucky American’s last laboring frenzy. Counting down the hours before a happy 5-9. “another night running late” – slamming cinnamon poison under mint rubber – feeling no shame, feet swell, legs warm – carrying up into your face flushing hot with reward.

On a train, with myself – some funky beats to block out talk – how nice not to talk – and watch – watch the sun rave with birch and pine until a massive willow who stands like wisdom – turns our fire briefly to night in a glimpse – and is gone.

The coldest month our north has seen in quite some time – not made for people’s hands to peddle or ponder – a femme fatal murderous winter –choking lungs into frozen ice boxes that hold no breath – she’s tallied tall numbers – our taker – and yet this train is full of souls in route to another frostbitten building holding heat – proving yet again, life demands no stopping.

But how the trees dance – how the snow swings in bouts of wind that blow like cotton softly – how the sun creates hope brighter than the white that blinds me – how the untouched plains remind me – beyond my stinging phalanges and nose – what our world is without my being.