I remember that day…

I remember the way the branches
curled towards me that day,
the way they swayed to and fro.
It was something
beautifully unexpected,
a miracle of nature,
a divine curiosity.
And I remember standing there
in wide-eyed awe,
losing myself
to the sheer loveliness,
lost in a state
of childlike wonder.
Chills crept down my spine
in delightful little bits,
and goosebumps erupted
as a plethora
of tingling sensations
washed over me
from head to toe.
But the thrill
wasn’t meant to last,
and after one breathless sigh
I blinked,
and the exquisite array vanished.
That was when
the heaviness began to gather
at my feet,
and an unforeseen darkness
approached from a place
I’d never been.
As the winds altered
their direction,
everything changed.
And the wondrous splendor
of that unforgettable day
is still nowhere to be found.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo taken: July 10, 2020 in Milton, WI

Loneliness

Loneliness
it comes in many forms
and I have known them all.
But I think the loneliest times
are when I’m surrounded
by a sea of expressionless faces.
Those empty-eyed, silent beings
always appear to be lost in
mind-numbing, alien-sweeping,
brain-snatching activity.
And if I stare intently enough,
focusing long and hard enough,
I can almost see those denatured
souls being surreptitiously sucked
out of every finger-tapping mortal
who has unknowingly fallen victim
to the technological advances
of our times.
It often leaves me queasy
and fearfully uneasy.
For I must admit that I too,
have fallen subject to the
interest of self-isolation
within the matrix.
Using it as a security blanket
for companionship
because community
no longer exists
within the confines
of my existence.
There are instances
when I do attempt
to turn the world around.
And with desperate breath
I try to disengage
from the illuminated rectangle
nestled nice and neat
between my pale palms.
But then loneliness sneaks in,
finding me once again.
And the screen in my hands
becomes the only life left
to be found.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/portrait-woman-black-and-white-2308893/

The things I love…

I love being wrapped in the
warmth of a summer sun-ray
or doused in the drizzle
of an unexpected storm.

I love waking up to the sound
of a lazy locomotive
or finding myself lost in a dream
holding hands with the one I love.

I love listening to the whimsical
notes of wind chimes
or falling under the spell of a
tranquil, babbling brook.

I love being silly while dancing
and singing my heart out
or laughing til my stomach aches,
tasting my own tears.

I love rolling out of bed early
to behold a sunrise in full bloom
or staying up late stargazing
on a blanket spread for two.

I love feeling the warmth of soft
sand squishing between my toes
or listening to boundless waves
as they break along the shore.

I love witnessing the colorful birth
of a brand new spring season
or gazing upon a baby bird
stretching its wings for first flight.

I love watching the pure
beauty of a fresh fallen snow
or hearing the rumble of thunder
dancing across an amethyst sky.

I love thinking about all these
things, the things I truly love.
The world is such a magical place
when we choose to see the magic.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/storm-thunderstorm-lightning-730472/

The nature of connection

It’s easy to relinquish
those timeless devotions
when disappointments
become standard issue,
and the old familiar stack
of unexpected surprises
becomes a thing of the past.

It’s easy to disregard anything
that stops feeling like home
because the heart can’t reside
in hollowed out places,
and it needs a strong binding
to keep it grounded aside a
meaningful attachment.

Intrinsic to human nature,
it’s easy to surrender compulsion
when magnetic forces
end up misaligned;
the resistance is a force of nature
that cannot be manipulated,
for it goes against the natural law.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/spider-web-bokeh-dew-web-nature-2732246/

Memories of you…

Sky blue eyes
And a soft squishy belly
Kind warm smile
Often watching the telly

Passionately patriotic
And oh so humble
Hardly ever a complaint
Or any kind of grumble

Lover of his country
A soldier he became
Flying the flag high
In every parade

Talented carpenter
Was his dedicated trade
Whistling while he worked
A lovely tune and serenade

Green thumbed man
And lover of nature
His dedication to God
Should have made him a preacher

Skilled kite maker
And master kite flyer
Practically nothing
Could ever go higher

Lifesaver candies
And minty cigarettes
Things he would one day
Very much regret

Was it black coffee
Or earl grey tea?
As I contentedly bounced
On his never tiring knee

Crackers and sardines
He shared them well
Convincingly trying
To tell me they were swell

Tums for indigestion
He always had a pack
And even though it pained him
His smile never lacked

Rosy red cheeks
And an almost bald head
Read his Bible every night
Before going off to bed

Sadly enough
It’s now been too long
I can’t even remember
His favorite song

He now rests with grandma
Still whistling his serenades
And his kindhearted demeanor
Will certainly never fade

I miss him immensely
He gave me my love for life
But I’m so very thankful
He’s now free from pain and strife

© 2021 Michelle Cook

*This is an older poem, written in 2017. It was written in loving memory of my grandfather, who meant the world to me.


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/beach-bird-nature-ocean-outdoors-1846694/

The battle of love…

Oh why can’t we make love instead of war?

Isn’t love supposed to make the world go round?

And if a thing of beauty is a joy forever
Then where is this everlasting joy?

A soft answer surely turns away wrath
But what ends up taking its place?

I’m always hopeful that love will find a way
And yet the journey of a thousand miles must begin with that first step
I wonder… am I really ready to begin that expedition?

I’ve been reminded in recent days of how misery loves company
And a friend in need is a friend indeed
But if opportunity never knocks twice
Then how did I end up here?

Cold hands are supposed to equal a warm heart
So I’ve been looking for the chilliest weather I can find
But I know Rome wasn’t built in a day
And it seems that time is taking its own sweet time

It definitely takes two to tango
And you can’t teach an old dog new tricks
So where in the world does that leave me?

And don’t get me wrong…
I know you can’t win them all
But people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
Especially since all is fair in love and war

© 2021 Michelle Cook


* Here’s a glimpse of some of my old writing, all the way back from 2016.

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/goodbye-kiss-couple-relationship-1441470/

The heart of who I am

Another day dims
but the light of your love
radiates brighter than ever.
In this worn out, weary world
you’re the one constant,
the heart of who I am.
You’re my shimmering star,
the everlasting one
whom I continue to follow.
Even when darkness
overtakes me,
nobody, not one
can change my mind.
For you live within me,
you’re the breath of my soul,
the very reason I shine.
I love you completely,
and I will trust you with my life
because you gave me yours.

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-person-sunset-dreams-alone-491623/

I often wish…

I often wish…
Thunderstorms could be kinder
Perhaps they come
To serve as a reminder

I often wish…
Rainbows could stay all day
But maybe they disappear
Because of all the gray

I often wish…
The moon could be less blue
Perhaps it’s just reflecting
The moods of me n you

I often wish…
The rain could be less wet
But maybe in all the pouring
Our own tears we forget

I often wish…
We could have less gloomy days
Perhaps all the darkness
Helps us appreciate the rays

I often wish…
I could reach up and pick a star
But maybe that would ruin
The wonder of all they are

I often wish…
Snowstorms could stay away
Perhaps they come to remind us
Of times we need to play

I often wish…
The sun could stay and never set
But maybe the reason
Is for the glory we can’t forget

I often wish…
This world could just see
That the beauty all around us
Is a reminder of what could be

© 2021 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/fantasy-landscape-mountains-fields-220092/

My childhood

I’m the girl who collected music boxes.  Each one was delicately carved and crafted as if they were made just for me.  I remember losing myself in each heart soaring note while the fragile little figures twisted and twirled, delicately dancing to the sighs of my youth.  Watching those tiny dancers was one of the only ways I could pass the time while locked away inside my dingy little room.  I remember the thin, mustard-yellow bedspread and the thread-bare golden colored carpet.  The uninspiring small room couldn’t have been more unappealing, and my imagination was my only saving grace.  There was always a book resting on my knee and a flashlight hidden beneath my pillow.  Those two items were critical to my overall health and well-being.  Although to be found reading at bedtime often meant facing a fate worse than death, but I still took my chances because reading was my only escape.  

The window above my bed was out of reach, too high to see anything except the smog-filled sky, and that dreary view seemed to envelop everything, even me. There were many occasions when I was ordered to stay confined to my bed, so I would perch on the edge of my pillow, setting the gauge on the quarter-sized timer that I’d bought for ten cents at the swap meet.  The dial was hard to turn and always hurt my hand whenever I tried.  But somehow, the ticking noise that abruptly followed after spinning the dial made it all worth it.  My spirit was somehow calmed and comforted by the tic, tic, tic.  The tiny treasure gave me hope that one day I wouldn’t be forgotten, and I thought perhaps someone would come and rescue me before the buzzer sounded.  Sadly, most days, I was just shushed back into silence once the dial made its final round.  I always wished the familiar chime would mean certain freedom, but that was just another lie I kept choosing to believe.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/rain-water-window-dark-night-room-2589417/

It was the year 2117…

It was the year 2117, and a brand new shiny city had been built in the middle of the rain forest.  Strangely enough, there were hardly any trees left, just a few scattered vines growing haphazardly on some of the buildings.  The Amazon River wound its way through the spacious city, and man-made islands could be seen throughout.  Streets were a thing of the past, and boats and airplanes were too.  Those who were mentally strong enough could travel instantaneously through mind control.  Others who lacked this ability were at the mercy of those who could. 

Most of the buildings sat atop wide pedestals and were sporadically spaced throughout the city.  Some were shaped like huge cigars standing on end, while others were shaped like flying saucers atop narrower single columned structures.  There were only a few ordinary looking buildings, and even those were all elevated off the ground.  A maze of passageways existed underneath the crowded city.  Vines crept and clung to the buildings’ undersides, and the majority of the passages were dark and vacant. 

Most people walked along netted bridges, which had been built high above the city.  These bridges seemed to connect most of the buildings so that people never really had to set foot on the ground.  The majority of people were very free with their bodies.  Little clothing was worn, and most of the people seemed intoxicated and grungy looking.  There were quite a few structures built of woven bamboo.  These places were used mainly by the lower class citizens.  Many of the buildings did not even have rooftops and were instead completely open to the elements.  The upper-class citizens were mostly found in the taller buildings, which were all constructed of polished metal.  

In the heart of the city was a large open pavilion, and the view from this vantage point was breathtaking.  The pavilion was divided into sections by bamboo woven walls.  Each separate area held feasting tables, which ran the length of the open rooms.  The rooms were crowded, and extra seats were nonexistent.  Food was not available for purchase; instead, neon-colored alcoholic beverages were served in shot glasses.  These colored concoctions littered the tables from one end to the next. 

The rooms were filled with people who appeared expressionless and incoherent.  One woman even had her newborn baby lying in front of her on the table.  The baby was malnourished and naked, untouched and unloved, with its umbilical cord still attached.  One of the woman’s breasts rested along the edge of the table, allowing her baby to suckle while she proceeded to get wasted.  A sign above her read, “Viewer Discretion Advised.” 

This story is based on a dream I had, February 2, 2017. I wanted to share this dream again because I’m starting to wonder if this is a reality we could one day be facing.

Originally posted February 4, 2017 on my other blog, which can be found here.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: Pixabay.com

Inner battles

People come
and people go,
like the weather
is it all for show?

My deepest desire
is to see someone stay,
to keep a promise
and never go away.

Maybe I’m just needy
and want it all,
I tend to dream
of the impossible.

Regardless of everything
I want the love of a close friend,
one in which
I can always depend.

I believe that life
gives us what we give,
this is what allows us
to fully live.

So I try to relinquish
the tender parts of my heart,
I’ve always done this
from the very start.

But I know deep down,
I’ll never be the only one,
for I am merely
a fraction of the sum.

And yet sometimes I still forget
there isn’t just a “me,”
the equation is more
than what I can see.

Plain as day
and black as night,
this dose of reality
is my darkest plight.

I remind myself to accept
all that I can’t change,
even when life seeks
to rearrange.

There is nothing else
I can possibly do,
I can’t hold on
without the glue.

I’ve become accustomed
to letting life move past,
for I know dreams
they often don’t last.

I only wilt further
when I choose to hold too tight.
These are the battles
I continue to fight.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/tulip-wilted-dying-wilting-flower-3459282/

This is my chosen place

This is my chosen place
here in this footloose space.
My niche where anything goes
cause nobody really knows
.

I can be happy, or I can be sad;
I can be the good girl or even be bad.
And people can only ever wonder
what kind of spell I’m under.

Nobody ever really knows
my story and how it all goes.
I love this unconfined space.
This is my happy place.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/book-landscape-nature-wind-weather-2929646/

Unacceptable

His words fester beneath the surface,
weary words of disdain and ill repute.
But what can I do,
and how can I be anything more?
For I am just another daughter,
a regret still in the making.
And my existence is a constant reminder
of all he’s ever done wrong.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/woman-mysterious-traveler-journey-5718089/

 

How are you?

There are days when you are close,
but mostly days when you are far.
And sometimes, even the stars
seem to wonder where you are.

This pushing and pulling
due to some odd gravitational force
always leaves me to wonder
if you’ve just gotten off course.

And my soul is forever searching,
looking for a definitive sign,
to show me you’re alright,
in the midst of this decline.

I’m always aching to understand
and know for certain you’re okay,
but it’s difficult to know sometimes
when you’re so far away.

© 2020 Michelle Cook


Photo credit:  https://pixabay.com/photos/girl-moon-night-fantasy-halloween-5712027/