My Love Affair with the River

Image: Luigi Rasta

Image: Luigi Rasta

Imagine the most passionate wild sex you’ve ever had. Think about what it was like to really be taken by someone. The ebb and flow of moving in and out of each other. Arms and legs tangled in a mess of flesh make the discernment of a single individual almost impossible. Where you lose track of where you are in it all. Then moments of stillness wash over you, where that fire is leveled out to warm resting coals. Where you can catch your breath and really see your partner, as well as yourself in them. The only way to this place of peace and contentment was through that fire, that passion. It’s a place stripped of burden and judgment, a place where you are your most perfect self. It’s a raw unraveling of one’s self that is unprecedented and completely void of reluctance. This is what being part of the river is like.

Water Woman


IMG_9726.jpg

A Water Woman goes with the flow while staying on course. With patient power she’ll carve out every last bit of resistance. Not stopping until she breaks through. She finds beauty in her falls. Her wild nature will breath life into you and he mood swings will take you for the ride of your life. Her moments of power will leave you dazed, exhausted, and in that moment you will forget anything that exists outside of her. But her moments of stillness and peace will cradle you. She’ll show you a quietude that you thought could only exist amongst the stars.

Your House is our House Too

Every word that leaves your cracked lips is weighted. Falling into laps, hearts, and swollen palms. What a relief when all we’ve been hearing is fluff so light it’s whisked away by the breeze before it can make an impact. Your words swing from trees and roll like stones on the river bed. They’re a journey, an adventure, and they rarely take no for an answer. You give life with your words while also giving us pause. Stopping us dead in our tracks begging us to take a look around and reminding us that your house is our house too.

Right or Left?

I’ve been brought down to my knees
By a decision to turn right or left
Right would mean a life of freedom
But at the cost of leaving a life of stability and comfort
Left would mean a life of repeating a struggle
Trying to learn a lesson that may not be mind to learn
The choice may seem obvious
But pain will be born from each

I watch the river run by me
MOving in the only way it knows how
Never second guessing
I wish I could always move with such certainty and determination

Alone in my decision
Holding myself up with all the strength I have
I turn right
And as I walk away I realize
The lesson wasn’t mean to be learned in the staying
it was mean to be learned in the leaving.

Deception is a Burden

Stop carrying the burden of deception 
Nobody wants to spend their lives carrying boulders 
I’m 28 and my back is already 
Hunched and tired 
The truth doesn’t belong to you and you only 
It may taste like sour milk 
It may make your body tremble 
And your mouth water
It may sting someone you love 
But it doesn’t belong behind a door 
Locked away 
You don’t have time to play gatekeeper
You don’t have time to be someone you’re not

Love Letter

A love letter sent
And not the email kind 
Or the hand it to you and I look at you
while you read it kind
No, the put a stamp on it kind 
To me, it doesn’t get more personal
Or romantic than that
And I’ve only ever sent one
I can still remember my shaky hand
And the insurmountable anxiety 
As I stood there holding it at the drop box
Half in, half out
Afraid of the committal moment 
Where my love is no longer in my possession 
But carried in the hands of a stranger 
Until delivered to the man
I’ve sent my love to
For those few days 
I didn’t know where to land
I was restless 
The purest part of me 
on a truck 
Headed towards uncertainty 
And then my love sat
Waiting for you in your mailbox
For, what felt like weeks, but was only hours
My phone rang
There you were
I could feel you holding my love in your hands
And as we talked 
You placed my love in a box 
Put it underneath your bed
And there it sits 
For what’s felt like decades

I Don't Blame You

Years of fingers being pointed at me 
Conditioned to believe I am the broken one 
The one who puts her tail between her legs 
And accepts, ‘it must be me’
I’m sorry
While the finger pointers get off clean 
Their head held high 
Flashing their colors
Con artists 
Fooling many including themselves
They’ve been looking at their masked selves 
In the mirror for so long
They have forgotten what lies beneath 
But I don’t blame you 
I know you haven’t learned how to walk tall 
Dripping in the truth of you 
I know you have not built the strength 
To see your mistakes as lessons 
Instead of a weakness that must not be shown 
I do not blame you 
But I can no longer be your scapegoat 
I wish to keep moving forward 
Walking with a lightness
Because I’ve chosen to shed the layers 
The masks
And offer the world 
A me that knows what she’s worth 
That is no longer afraid of who she is.

Convenient Love

You told me you loved me 
That I mattered more than most 
While my light shined 
And my life blossomed 
You loved me 
But my light became faint 
My life stagnant 
My body and spirit beat down 
And your love vanished 
I sat alone in darkness 
Questioning everything 
Unsure of my value 
And my identity 
The one thing I thought I would always know to be true 
Your love 
Had disappeared along with so many other things 
You discarded me 
When I could no longer pump thrill and laughter into your life 
This brought more pain into my body
Then my existing physical afflictions 
I’ve beat myself down
How could I be so naive?
How did I not see the signs? 
But Your love was real 
I felt it 
I saw it 
But only when it was convenient 
So I guess it wasn’t 

Mother River

Photographer:  Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

She let’s off some steam 
She’s moving all of the time I’m surprised she doesn’t do it more often 
She can navigate just about any terrain 
Making it hers
Sculpting it to shape each one of her moods 
She can be a wild bitch 
But she always holds space 
For those seeking refuge 
A surrogate to many 
She’d never snuff out a chance at life 
He tries to control her 
Building walls 
To make her stay 
Depriving her of her own right to fulfill her purpose
Wiping out those she had welcomed in
Stretching her so thin
She takes the shape of something she wasn’t meant to be
Despite not being able to recognize her anymore 
He holds to his barriers 
But what he doesn’t realize is her freedom 
Is what gave him life all along.

The HeartBeat

IMG_0818.JPG

The pulse from this wild community 
Courses through my veins 
I know the excitement from towering sky scrapers 
The glare of the sun reflecting off the windows 
Warming 
And feeding what some would consider the heartbeat of this world
A place built by human hands and machinery 
But not for me  
The heartbeat exists 
Where the road ends 
And the adventure begins
The heartbeat exists deep in the canyons 
And high on the mountain tops 
The heartbeat exists 
Amongst giants built by thousands of years of wind and water
The heartbeat exists
In a bar where everyone is dressed in puffys and fleece 
Where conversations are driven by nature and the gear you used to experience it 
There are slowly burning embers that live
In the most important parts of me 
If I stay away from that heart beat for too long
That heat
That fire vanishes 
I can only exist if
I’m in earshot of that heartbeat
Until my heart thumps 
In unison to the same beat

Lose Balance, It's Okay

Photographer:  Heather Jackson  

Photographer: Heather Jackson 

Subconsciously I would run
Pushing away anything and anyone
That resembled a threat to my independence
I would run
Driven by fear of a codependency
that nauseates me
When I see it in others
Surrendering would be anti-feminist
Giving in would devalue all that is ME
Falling would mean a loss of freedom
Love means losing balance
Intersecting life stories
Fusing together
Why did nobody tell me this was okay?
That a woman can still find her strength
When she’s wrapped up in the arms of another
That she can still be the creator of her own story
Stories of which are always moving forward
Change is our constant
This is what I love about life
The movement
So here I am Losing balance
Slowly
Gracefully
Not losing myself
But finding myself

Why Run?

Photographer:  Zach Mahone

Photographer: Zach Mahone

In allowing myself to feel my heart is splayed open
You can poke and prode it
I will feel everything
There will be no numbing this time
Why numb when you can feel? 
Why run when you can move slowly through this world
and see everything?
Like the snow blanketing the Earth gently, 
wrapping her in a soft embrace. 
Like the dew dripping from the leafs of a forest exploding with life. 
Why run? 
There is a beauty in the pain and suffering
When we finally allow ourselves to see ourselves
to confront all that has hurt us
you find a power
A power that could only live in something true
LIke the sun
Like the moon
Like a fire clearing a forest making way for something new. 
A rebirth
Why run? 
We can not know what the future holds
nor should we try  
But we can learn what keeps us bond and tied
Like a secret built around fear
Or one too many whiskys
We can seek solace in the arms of a stranger
Taking comfort in Knowing you’ll never have to see them again
You’ll never have to answer questions like
“What was your childhood like?” or
“Where do you see yourself in five years?”
The pain of my past has been holding my future hostage
When we finally allow ourselves to feel
The past becomes our foundation and the future remains unknown
but the present becomes our everything
And your presence is your light
So, why run?

I Will Never Close my Eyes Again

Photographer:  Scott Martin

Photographer: Scott Martin

I've had this fever for years
This insatiable hunger
A thirst that I couldn't quench
I could barely stand on my own two legs.
Weighted down
And robbed of life
From guilt
From shame
There's a pressure to be
To want it
To fake it
And you were on top of me
But I could no longer see you
I closed my eyes and saw her
I was haunted by a woman
With a spirit that stretched far and wide
She shook her head as I cowered from her truth
Sinking deeper into this bed
She walked tall
She danced like no one was watching even when they were. 
She loved many
Surrounded by kindered spirits
Belonging to no one
She swayed in the wind
and flowed with the river
I opened my eyes
As you rolled over to sleep
I walked to the river she flowed from
Immersed myself
and emerged
Cleansed from every lie I ever told
I laid back down beside you
Kissed you on the cheek
And knew I would never have to close my eyes again. 

Time to Collect

IMG_6289.jpg

I'll give you time, he says
But this time is borrowed
You'll have to give it back someday
and when that is
You have no choice
But for how you use it, you do
Use it wisely, he says
I can't tell you how
But I've been in this business for quite some time
I've seen a thing or two
Let me give you a little tip
Society will try to tell you how to use it
Don't let it
When you have the choice to stay up late drinking whisky into a campfire lit night or go to sleep; 
Stay up!
You'll sleep when I come to collect.
When you have the choice to dance naked on the beach
Dance
When you must choose between buying the house or seeing the world
See the world
When you have the choice to settle for a "safe" mediocre life vacant of fire and passion.
Don't!
This life is a gamble
And many people around you will double down on retirement
But you don't have to
Many will forget that I lent them this time. 
Many forget that I will always come to take what is mine.
- Father Time
 

THE UNKNOWN ALWAYS WINS

Photographer:  Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

I’m wrecked and I’m wrung
I’m high and I’m strung
out on the unknown
Where forward doesn’t look anything like the backward
I’m alone most days, even when I’m not
Here I am
A young woman feeling like the world is her oyster
a little fish in a big sea
I want to take you with me
and I want stay with you
but the unknown always wins
Even when saying goodbye is hard
the unknown always wins
Even while planning on ways to get back to you
I move in the opposite direction
It feels like a sort of madness
but here I am
A mad woman looking for connection
with someone as mad as her. 

 

I'LL WEAR A BRA IF I WANT TO

Photographer:  Heather Jackson

Photographer: Heather Jackson

If I walk around without a bra
I’m not doing it to entertain your testosterone driven fantasies
This isn’t for you
It’s for me
We’ve come a long way from the corsets
the clothing meant to hold everything in
We’re in a time where the woman
and all of her parts can be free
Where we can ask the guy out
or get down on one knee. 
Where we can find power in our sexuality instead of shame
I remember how cruel the boys were in Highschool
While they were glorified we were shunned
 Tossing us aside as used goods
Some of us don’t know the power we hold
Some of us still hide the most beautiful parts of ourselves
The sting of their judgments pushing into our ribs
like the underwire in our bras
Their arms there to "catch us" 
After passing out from the tightened strings around our waist
Cinched by their own ideals of what a WOMAN is suppose to look like.
But I AM what a woman is suppose to look like
I AM 100% in my power
Are you?




 

For Peter

22279518_1663613230318473_892581006379445211_n.jpg

Here's the poem I wrote and read for Peter at his memorial. I'm very excited to be heading to New Jersey to spend time with one of his best friends, drink tequila, and hear all of her crazy stories of a man who was so damn incredible! 

I remember the whites and blues 

The yellow lawn chairs with wooden arm rests

the sandy asphalt crackling beneath my bicycle tires

Your house was small 

gray with green shutters 

a rectangle full of a spirit that breathed light into it’s otherwise dim space 

you were a man of intrigue 

Your intensity scared me sometimes 

but I liked that you didn’t talk to me like a child

You chose your words carefully and talked in a way that was slow and with intention

I remember riding my bike home to the other side of the island 

the blue jays off in the distance 

thinking you were special to me 

admiring your intelligence 

I promised myself then that I would never float through this life 

that I would question things 

that I would live with my heart on my sleeve

and that I would make you proud 

I don’t know why I wanted so badly to make you proud 

but I did and I still do.

There are parts of you I never got to know 

I know there was darkness, sadness, maybe loneliness

but I also know, mostly, there was light, joy, love, and passion. 

I know there was music, games of croquet, snowmen, two ducks and a goose

I’ll remember you listening to music in your kitchen 

while I floated in your hammock dreaming of the life ahead of me

not imagining I would be standing here talking about you in the past tense 

not imagining I would never get to ask all of the questions I was too young to ask then

not imagining that I could miss someone so much 

and certainly not imagining a world without you 

The only way I know how to honor you 

is to shoot from the hip 

to be unapologetically who I am 

to always seek the truth.

And when I am really missing you

I’ll turn up your music 

and dance around the kitchen 

because I know it’s just what you would do. 

Home Exists...

Photographer: Scott Martin

Photographer: Scott Martin

A suitcase filled with a place that I no longer connect with 

or exist within

It’s strange to me how a place can absorb me 

and as soon as I leave it continues unflinching 

The clerk at the grocery store down the street from my jungle home 

will continue to stack shelves and work the register. 

As I write this, I imagine the parrots are squawking and the people are moving to the soundtrack of the lively jungle that surrounds them. 

Nothing stops just because I’m not there to witness it anymore.

Life continues on with or without me 

I’m ready to trade out these clothes for something more appropriate

I sift through boxes, exchanging the shorts and bikinis 

for wool socks and beanies.

I once believed home could be anywhere

but I’m beginning to understand that belief to be flawed

and that home, to me

can only exist if I have

the mountains to greet me 

the river to cleanse me

and you to kiss me.

Sweat.

The air is thick with the sounds of the jungle 

howler monkeys sing into the sun dusted morning 

I feel like I’ve been transplanted into a different time 

tiny dinosaurs watch me drink my mandarin lime & beer on ice 

I’ve given up caring about the sweat dripping down my body 

the tico server wipes the water rings from the bar.

I wish he would do the same for my legs; slippery against this wooden bench

Closing my eyes, I imagine home 

with mountains so tall and silent 

Pines blanketed in snow

A solitude that this lively jungle doesn’t know

My trance interrupted as I swat and kick the no-see-ums from my ankles

My legs are swollen with bites from those blood-sucking-bastards

Closing my eyes, I think about crisp cool air, 

micro-brewies, wool socks, and thick blankets

But I’ve got a soft spot for those two rocking chairs 

Sipping rum to the classics Jimi Hendrix and Louis Armstrong 

filling the tropical night with conversations about our pursuit for greatness;

This life away from life is good and all 

but it doesn’t hold a candle to a life held between four-wheels, the asphalt, 

and pouring all this sweat into something bigger than we could have ever dreamed.