August 18, 2019

The Resilience of Life – Captivating Poetry by Marianne Brems

The Resilience of Life – Captivating Poetry by Marianne Brems
Flower Stems 

If heaven were a place  
to walk without fear before an audience  
jaded in judgement,  
a place to love without concern  
about running alone on earth’s curve, 
a place to rise in the morning  
without tripping on stones by evening, 
a place to play in dangerous rivers 
without swallowing water, 
a place to carry wood to a fire  
that never burns out, 
a place to throw out regrets  
with the dust swirls of empty rooms 
 
A place where traffic lights are all green, 
the sun sets peacefully after dinner,  
and sleeves are never too short. 
 
Then resilience would wither, 
muscles atrophy, 
bones relinquish their density  
without resistance to strengthen them 
in a field where flowers fill every space 
and their stems, though succulent, 
are the sturdiest pillars. 
 
 
Night Siren  

The too near wail of an ambulance  
assaults the quiet core of night, 
its rising then falling crescendo 
repeating repeating  
unsettling all that’s settled 
as it announces  
an unidentified human incident 
rife with pain or loss or both. 
 
Yet this ambulance,  
defying disruption and speed limits,  
delivers with singular purpose  
a medical team  
eager to serve, to make whole, 
to mend the punctures of sharp protrusions 
or the malfunction of a dusty heart  
and to begin a restitution  
that even in darkness has possibility.  
 
 
DMV Appointment 

Puddles in the parking lot 
left by a leaky metal gray sky 
No wind chimes to ornament the breeze. 
 
I enter the DMV at the long since appointed time 
to apply for a REAL ID. 
An opaque room folds me in like dusk. 
Everyone here wishes they were somewhere else. 
 
Stand in line. 
Present documents confirming my birth, 
my residence, my social security.  
Get a number. 
Sit in one of ninety-six black chairs.  
Listen and watch on a screen for my number. 
 
The clerk behind the window  
shuffles wordlessly through my documents 
as my “Good morning” hangs in the air. 
No family photo on her desk. 
No reds or yellows to punctuate  
quotidian surroundings. 
 
Stand in the square on a scuffed linoleum floor. 
Look into the camera. 
No time for combing my hair. 
 
Stand before a screen. 
Punch in answers to a test 
on a keyboard touched by thousands. 
 
Stand and wait with no one in line. 
A man behind a desk sets his phone down  
to hand me a temporary license 
and my old one with a hole pierced through 
most of my face.  
 
 
Unsung Offerings 

Dandelion leaves like lions’ teeth  
turn up everywhere 
with yellow faces like champions in their midst 
serving spring nectar to hungry pollinators. 
They show up early and stay late 
then depart sending fluffy parachutes  
off in the wind to new venues. 
 
Not idle guests 
their taproots pull up nutrients  
that fertilize grass. 
When consumed they ease muscle aches,  
joint pain, digestive distress, and more. 
Their roots loosen hard soil,  
aerate the earth, reduce erosion. 
They handle their own planting.  
Their every cell is edible. 
And they’re sturdy as a girder. 
 
These lion’s teeth  
with their unsung offerings 
come from seeds we never see. 
They reach. 
They grow. 
They work for free 
though so many perish 
in a hateful reign of annihilation  
with hoe and trowel. 
 
 
Lunar Majesty  

A waning crescent of the moon 
grows thinner each night  
as though it could buckle  
under the gestating darkness  
cradled to her breast. 
 
But a single gold shaving 
cast from this celestial body 
holds firm like a mother’s love 
while the oceans of the earth  
bow graciously, wordlessly   
to her lunar majesty. 
 
Yet as her waxing crescent  
pushes into a shrinking shadow, 
one with the night sky, 
she plays tenderly with the light, 
her edges soft and unpretentious, 
hardly regal in their journey.  

***

Marianne Brems is a long-time writer of textbooks but also loves to write whimsical poems. She has an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in several literary journals including The Pangolin Review, Armarolla, Foliate Oak, The Voice of Eve, La Scrittrice, and The Sunlight Press. She lives in Northern California.

#life#nature#poetry#struggles

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