The Breath

The breath fills me and heals me

And when drawn slowly

Reminds me of everything

I need to know

© 2000 by Debra L. Alt


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The Nature of Choice

The nature of choice

Brings up questions of free will, destiny

How it is one comes to a point of

Making a choice

Some falter at crossroads

Others relish the unknown paths ahead

Always momentum takes hold

And shifts in motion, direction occur

Seeming to be

The crux of the nature of life

These infinitesimal specks

Multitude of moments

Of time turned to choices

Into puddles of reality

That evaporate in time

For the next sequence

Stretches of plotted time

On a spectrum marked

By events and dates

Flowing from choices and the hands of God

After a particularly unconscious choice

The bitter aftertaste lingers

Accumulation eventually recedes unconsciousness

Sometimes too late though

For all intents and purposes

An effective quality of life

Some we meet offer no choice

But connection

Truly beyond our own doing

Acting on our own behalf

To be left in the wake of the cosmic sea

Sinking, swimming, diving, flowing,

Directionless for a while

Until veils lift

Revealing horizons of choices

Along the way

A search to separate them from the strain of a life

Worth leading

Great effort to soften the blow of their hovering needs

Their hint of impact

It has begun and as yet

With only a conceivable end in sight

The heart, in all its nobility,

Brings forth messages

Often draped in confusion, fear, pain

Leaving one choiceless

In a state of knowing

Once the tangled webs are removed

Sticky with the sweat of dread

The agony of heartlessness

Impeding spirit flights of fancy

Too often roadblocked by doubt, hesitation

When two choose to

Or are chosen to be in love

After some time together

One finds need of a map

Where to go at the turn

When the dust comes off the older values

Things previously embraced, firmly implanted

Following a familiar sound

Calling, reaching for a new turn in the road

When one’s own choices

Or lack thereof

Are reflected in the eyes of a beloved

Unable or

Unwilling to unconditionally love

The very choices that once endeared them

The process of subtle judgment

Harmless, yet biting

In the realm of choice in freedom

Leaves one feeling either more or less free

New choices wash over the rough edges

Sandpaper on a wooden block of time

The foundation of a life in progress

Reaching for the texture of a substance of smoothness

Grabbing what lies ahead

In full view

Dare I speak of victimization

Question its reality

Blasphemous, I ponder

The fate of the poor souls

Learning horrific lessons beyond reach of reason

The edge of the human condition

Infliction, horror

One hardly chooses to bear

Terrible enough to bear in thought alone

Once it was spoken to me

That on a level beyond vision

Victims choose their fate

I say

A question best saved for some future sage

Whom I suspect will settle

The fact of our conception and our death

Explain our coping diseases

Understand our forays into madness

I engage with the wonder

Of creation by choice

Manifesting joy, treasures

Testing limits of palettes of thought

Mixing colors of desire with shades of need

Painting pictures of being

Of hope

Of choices to live

In ways of dreams

Stories embellished by magic



For the highest good

Of those who choose to listen

By Debra L. Alt © August 2001

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Piercing the Equilibrium

they are grown now
the little fingers that grabbed
the straggled hair
covering your arms
that I cradled
while you sucked and puckered
oozing milk like blood
filling your nervous system
with mine
eyes content to rest
on all the moods of a worn out woman
shifting her being, her foundation
like an earthquake
to accommodate your own
eyes that now dart away
from my careful glance
arms that recoil from my touch
lips that smacked at the scent of my body nearby
now form words of pained confusion
with bitter fuel poised as love
piercing the equilibrium
I gather around me
built from years of visions
and rhythmic silences
still detecting a trace
of the nectar smell
through the crown
that my chin circles
when I can get close enough
without startling you into memory
of the betrayal
destiny etched as a script
you wrote long ago
when you chose me
as your vessel
to birth you into time
to carry the burdens of truth
to yet another level
I can only hope to share
when you come back
on a day I envision
you larger, fuller
thick with wisdom
moving by instinct
toward our newness
fresh with feminine color
when those moments of anguish
will fade
with the glow of spirits
eager to move on
in a journey of cycles of life
memories that infuse me
with hope
I hold as a beacon
to guide me through
this terrible pain
that gnaws my skin
and leaves me trembling with the fear
I may be mistaken

– “piercing the equilibrium,“ July 2000

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For Eternity

I ache with love sometimes
for music,
and I long to know
the source of
the lack of longing and aching.
I need to be by the water
to cool the heat of the longing
so it can better withstand
a body’s temperature
and distill the moment
the one just before the ache is realized
to capture it
with a thought
or with a pen,
for eternity

– “for eternity,“ July 2000

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Like a Mother

I feel like a mother
when I cut the crust off your sandwich bread
careful to leave enough to hold some carefully planned nutrition
My heart is full when we talk together about spirit
curled under your feathery purple and red blankets
and a drooping white canopy
with the only fear being that you will soon figure out
what my unfulfilled longings are
before I do
I can hardly bear it when you are mean or quick to those who love you the most
It’s like seeing an old movie about myself that I should have walked out on
I feel pride when you leap into life with passion
and hunger to read and write to the rest of us
and instantly grasp the things
it took me more than forty years to figure out
I anguish that evil must be explained
before it explains itself and shatters the balance
of fear and knowing
I never cared for trading your sleep for mine
Only saw pain in the challenge to create energy from sleeplessness
making sleep more valuable than it deserves to be
I do miss having you at my breast
those peaceful brown eyes
wide and full as your mouth
I am not like my mother
perhaps more like hers but with more of a fight
I will continue to scribe the changes
and feed you with my power
and fruits of the earth
lend a hand to the new world, the millennium
with a sword of truth and a lifetime of poetry
ballads sung with the thrill of creation
love thick and bittersweet
with a promise
to keep the light on
– Debra L. Alt, “Like a Mother”, 1999

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