Author Archives: Julie Ayers

About Julie Ayers

Seasoned apocaloptimist, keen admirer of well-placed words, fierce mama bear of extra special children, black belt hugger, and advocate for a fashion rebellion which elevates the most human of hearts to socially acceptable outerwear.

Paradox

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I am not justice
not blinded
not silenced
the scales I hold
so severely pitched
my shoulder has launched from its socket
twisting my form and making me unrecognizable

I have choked on the bitter
medicine offered up by the shovelful
the salt of my tears has left me pillar
brittle and about to crumble
all pliability and sweetness left on the roadside
hundreds of years and miles behind

I am dust
raised by your stomping feet
that swirls and settles
as a thick and unpleasant coat
on your skin
sludge on your tongue
as you continue to speak

When will you learn
you cannot breathe
without the lungs I knit you
from my own flesh

That the more you trample
the deeper you sink

While we rise

Always rise

 

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on Tuesday

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(for Michelle, my hero)

the man with the tattooed sleeves for arms
thin as wind
assembled of muscle
body fat discard long ago on clanking free weights,
gym floors, and jump ropes
blanched at the sight of the needle
deftly held in phlebotomist’s fingers

he may have looked like steel
but she was forged of it

quietly smiling in her white coat
she carried worlds
and had survived every apocalypse
sent her way

the blood drawn and labeled
she opened the back door
and stepped through
not ready, but still able
to hoist and carry the full weight
of all of her children’s needs:
school supplies, broken hearts,
dinner, dialysis, hair braids,
soaring blood pressure and dread

deftly she steeled herself
and smiled

With A Whimper

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I leave you, not with the slamming of a door
or a plate launched across the room
and shattered on the wall. No raised voice
or underwear and shoes tossed out the window
onto the front lawn. Your car will not be keyed
and the tires will remain unslashed. I won’t storm
into your office and humiliate you in front
of your colleagues by cataloguing your every
weakness or railing about the painful stretches
of awkward silence that often hung between us.

I am not seething or boiling over with rage.
Nor am I undone by you or destroyed
by your unreasonable demands.

But I am worn through, threadbare from brow
to dragging feet. Gone empty of emotion and
entirely depleted of words.

I leave you, National Poetry Writing Month,
humble, hushed, and contrite. Although
you are a meticulous and vexing partner,
I wish I could have offered you more
this time and resented you less.

Day 30

post truth

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the world has equalized
#MeToo needlessly ruining lives
protect the artists and politicians
as work is more relevant than any dark deeds

the meek shall inherit
everything left
after corporate tax breaks

racism is extinct
every man for himself
pulling hard on those bootstraps
achieves the dream

choice in education
paves the way
to brighter students
versus heavier pockets
for the few

dreamers can dream
all they want
and live anywhere freely
in those wild imaginings

if you die violently
you should have been carrying
unless your skin is black or brown
in which case it is always your fault

the intricacies of female anatomy
are better managed
by those who are most effected
leave it to the wise men

smaller more efficient government
must include consolidating
legislative, judicial, and executive
branches need pruning

opinions are more relevant
and significant than facts
the showman has earned
his time on the boards

this sleeping dog lies

we are free
we are safe
we are happy

Day 29

Dinner With Buddha

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If I could have dinner with Buddha
I’d lay a blanket on the grass
cover it with pillows
and ring it with candles
I’d spend the day baking cookies
and creating a gigantic fruit salad
with mangos, peaches, blueberries, and kiwi
I’d serve ratatouille
and glasses of iced water

After we talked about the weather
the pleasing texture of the nearby grass
on the soft skin of our palms
how the Earth’s ever growing
brightness has limited
our view of universal truths
and how people continue to treat
love and kindness with suspicion
I’d put on some Vampire Weekend
and challenge him to a game
of Cards Against Humanity
to see how he would Eightfold Path
his way through that minefield

Day 26

Absence

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Even treasured earrings
that have fallen behind a dresser
and become thickly coated with dust
eventually rest unseen and forgotten

Just the same
when the loss was first noted
there was acute distress
and frantic action
significant effort was expended
to recover what was missing

The earrings felt irreplaceable
precious
as much for the sentimental association
as actual value

But, eventually
after failing to locate
what was gone
you had to move on
adjust
adapt
figure out alternative adornments

On those days
when you slip into the lilac-colored dress
and instinctively reach for the box
that always held those familiar earrings
which had once paired so perfectly
the absence inflicts fresh pain

Day 25

Sense

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She passed through the gauntlet
of foul smelling men
gathered in an unkept bunch
near the barbershop entrance
the lines of their bodies
radiating hostility
rather than welcome
she looked away and frowned
angled a path behind them
as she hunched her shoulders
and quickened her pace

She had been inclined
to stay her course
as she approached the group
pass directly in front of their cluster
nod her head in greeting
and smile as she moved by
wishing them a good day

But she’d learned long ago
that it is critical
to try and read people
rather than assume anything
by their appearance or scent

As disagreeable as those men appeared
she knew that a freshly showered,
enticingly cologned man
with a winning grin and open arms
could be far more dangerous
than someone whose spooling
string of bad breaks
had brought them to a life
lived on the streets

Day 24