Diana Raab – Five Poems
Before We Meet at Our House
I get this explosion of enthusiasm
an oozing of sensual adrenaline,
excitement, thrills, and appetites wet—
as my palpitations become audible
and my nervous system searches
for a break in its fired neurons.
I flip my body around to notice your arrival
in the mirror of my mind
and during the next few hours
it all passes in such slow motion
as I watch your every move
and listen to each synchronistic whisper
when suddenly without the earth’s warning,
your visit evaporates
like the steam from my morning kettle
into an untouchable and nearly forgettable ether.
I slip around and wonder
if your visit was merely a dream
when the phone rings,
and your ghost appears
across oceans as silence ensues
and normalcy chooses to follow suit.
On that corner near our highway exit,
you stand half on its curb, half on grass
and hold a sign asking for quarters
which I never have, while you discretely
flip through your selection of ripped
cardboards gathered from trash cans
behind our supermarket parking lot.
Each morning your sign displays a new
message—no talents, desperate homeless
mother, dying for a burger, will do anything
for a pizza or traveling hungry and cold.
Through my rear-view mirror, I catch
you sprinting under that bridge
where you slept last night,
grabbing your torn frickin’ backpack and trotting
towards an unmarked car packed
with others like you headed to your next
destination of nouveau suckers.
I don’t trust your sunken eyes framed
by long matted hair, how you pass
your days, your lazy, no good ways—
masking truths of who you are.
What bestows you with this right
to shamelessly hold out that bucket
of desperation or renewal, as I drive off to a real job?
Fast Moving Brain
Tonight during dinner
I stepped out of my body
over the ledge into
the one of a neighbor’s
I have yet to meet,
the one who leans
over the uneven bush
snooping for undisclosed
secrets of community
as I dip my nose
into a glass bottom book
swimming through a future
testing those for love
wanted in my brain
which sometimes spins
faster than the spokes
on a dated kids bike
Standing on what many think
is the top of the world
looking down on the laughable
goings on and the pockets of grief
scattered on yesterday’s green grass
that won’t go away.
I feel like a leaning tower
swaying to left and right destinies
As I totter briefly between two lives
and death, hitting the pavement hard
enough to end this life
bestowed on me by a loving father
who I can’t help but think of
when grief drips from my veins.
My heart knows which way to learn
and where to go and where
happiness lies—but will my soul
follow and agree with what is right?
The answers must be in someone’s stack of cards.
I wrote my story
so I can now let go
of the words, letters and strokes
one by one
dropping them into life’s sewer
so that someone else
has the chance to live mine
as I’m now ready for another.
Author’s Statement on Beauty
Beauty is a subject we don’t often discuss, articulate, or read or write about, but we all know it when we see it. Beautiful things, places, and people make us feel good, bring us peace, and might even bring smiles to our faces. Beauty is not always tangible, but it’s present if you keep your heart, mind, and eyes open to it. There are those in the world who find everything beautiful, and others who find everything unsightly. And, of course, there are some people who profess that some things are more beautiful than others, so we can say that beauty is both subjective and objective.
I see beauty as all those qualities that give pleasure or gratification to the mind, body, and soul. People can be emotionally, physically, or soulfully beautiful, and if they’re blessed with these gifts, we might say that they’re “beautiful inside and out.” To a large extent, beauty is in the eye of the holder; and it can be created from anything—whether it’s crayons on a piece of paper or the sun rising in the sky. It’s all beautiful.
Some people often speak about objects, concepts, and individuals as being beautiful. These are things that might stand out to them or resonate with them. In Buddhism texts, there’s often a reference to the beauty of nature—the trees, the flowers, the mountains, and the animals. The lotus, which is often seen in Buddhist realms, is one of the most beautiful flowers. The way it grows in the mud and erupts into a spectacular living thing is phenomenal.
In Buddhist psychology, certain concepts such as honesty, kindness, and generosity are considered beautiful. Buddhists urge us not to become attached to external beauty, but rather to understand that true beauty is that which rests within the mind. In this context, those who are free of hatred and full of love are thought to be the most beautiful.
Diana Raab, Ph.D. is an award-winning poet, memoirist, blogger, essayist and speaker. Her book, Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life, is forthcoming in 2017. Raab is a regular blogger for Psychology Today, Huff50 (The Huffington Post), and PsychAlive. More at dianaraab.com.