Crazy Little Thing Called Love (with a poem)

Happy Valentine’s Day! A day dedicated to this crazy thing called love.

But why “crazy”? you ask. What do you mean by that?

Because nobody knows what causes it. And you risk ruining it by examining it too closely.

Because what else could it be but crazy to open your heart and show someone else what’s in it?

Because loving someone—or something—is the biggest risk you can ever take. If they don’t fail you, the world might. Life happens all around us every single day. And it happens to all of us in different ways all at the same time.

Because if you let love into your heart, it will take up all the space there—and if life happens to the subject of your love in a way that takes it away, the emptiness might just become a black hole that sucks you into the void.

So why, then? If it’s such a big risk, why do we do it? Why do we search for love? Why do we willingly plunge into the risky waters of love?

No one knows. And certainly no one knows better than the poets that no one knows. In his aptly titled poem “Poem”, e.e. Cummings said:

love is the voice under all silences,
the hope which has no opposite in fear;
the strength so strong mere force is feebleness:
the truth more first than sun more last than star

I like this and I feel like it comes closer to identifying the what and the why better than anything I’ve ever read. It’s like “The Force” in Star Wars. Love underlies everything, is everything, the one superhuman strength that you can’t really identify but it’s really there. It makes us stronger and weaker at the same time.

Love—whether it’s for parent, sibling, child, spouse, pet or all things—is the way we connect most intimately with the world. The more we feel, the closer we are to the universe. The more we open ourselves up to love, the more risk we are willing to take for the love—the more fragilely strong we become.

A Million (and 1) Things to Love

By Michelle Garren Flye

Where is love?

Songs simplify,

Poems complicate.

But love is there.

Reach for it.

The love of saving,

The love of believing,

The love of finding.

Love fleeting,

Love flying,

Love staying.

The world is full.

All around you, things to love.

Objects for affection.

A cat, a dog, a child.

A rose, a plant, a sunset.

A soul mate for the very lucky.

Hope will find love.

Trust will strengthen love.

Faith will keep love safe.

Reach for it.

Hold it tight in your heart—

And hope it doesn’t

Break

You

Open.

A Million Zillion Liberal Dreams

Yesterday I thought a lot about the new liberal progressive Democrats and their “Green New Deal”. Though I’ve always considered myself a moderate Democrat, it seems to me that this Green New Deal makes all kind of sense. New jobs, new infrastructure, eliminating carbon from our energy sources.

Once upon a time our nation would have embraced what now seems outrageous to so many.

As usual, I had music on when I figured out something major. And the music contributed to the resounding “click” I heard in my head. This time I was in the car, and Pink’s version of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman came on. And…click

Why do poets and artists tend to be more liberal?

Why are so many liberals poets and artists?

(Click) We are dreamers.

It’s true. We dream of what could be or we let what is haunt us. We dream of change. We dream of life and love and liberty for all. We are patriots who believe our country can be better, and we can make it so.

We have a million, zillion dreams, and yes, they keep us up at night.

My ruminations left me with two questions, though.

1. Why is the Democratic Party afraid to own their dreams? Why not just say, yes, this is who we are and what we want, and we know we can get us there?

2. Why is everyone so afraid to dream these perfectly reasonable dreams that will benefit everyone in our country and the world at large? If we have a million, zillion dreams, there’s room for everyone in them, isn’t there?

Advice for Democrats running on a liberal agenda: Own your dreams. Stop apologizing for them. A Green New Deal is a dream worth fighting for.

What dreams do you have that are worth fighting for?

I am Liberal

By Michelle Garren Flye

We are

(Liberal)

Dreamers.

We stay awake

At night imagining

What we can be.

What you can be.

We are

(Liberal)

Believers.

We believe the world

Can welcome all.

A place for us.

A place for you.

We are

(Liberal)

Reformers.

We own our mistakes

(And yours) and fix them.

For your future.

For our future.

We are

Dreamers

Believers

Reformers

Imaginers

Romantics

Visionaries

Advocates

Innovators

Environmentalists

Activists

Scientists

Artists

Poets

Crusaders—

Liberals.

For tomorrow—photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem: Pinned

Pinned

By Michelle Garren Flye

Pins hurt, I remember. Pins stick in your skin when you put on a new shirt without checking. Crimson stains on ivory.

Why pin each other, then? Why pin those we love? Stay here. That’s your spot.

It hurts.

Why pin those unlike us? Stick them with scarlet letters. You’re not us. Stay away.

It hurts.

We do it anyway. Jab into flesh until blood comes. Pins like Judgment, like nails on the cross. Us. Other. With us, against us. Pins line up, sharpened stakes to keep us in or push us out.

I hold one in my hand, a dagger to slash and judge. Watch. The blood waits, pulsing, just beneath the sin.

Poem: For Tom (broken)

One of my heroes made the news for the wrong reasons this week, bringing home to me that all of us become less relevant as we age. Even the great ones.

For Tom (broken)

By Michelle Garren Flye

Don’t speak too loudly.

Stay out of their way.

Their edges are sharp and they will cut you,

Force you to retreat, retire.

Your own edges are worn—

Who is impressed by Woodstock anymore?

You didn’t win your wars.

Vietnam, civil rights.

Even the drug war is left for this generation to fight.

Compassion is round

In your hands, but

It turns flat in theirs—and shows only one side.

That side has edges

And they are used to cut.

So be careful, stay silent, keep clear and beware.

For the round and the soft,

The worn and the frayed

Have no place in the edgy world of the young.

Poem: No Pain (for the Jerks)

No Pain (for the Jerks)

By Michelle Garren Flye

It’s little things.

Playground things.

A hard bump

Instead of a pass.

A mocking word

Like a tiny barb.

A whisper, a lie,

A rumor spread

Like stinky cheese

On a wilting cracker.

It’s dumb things

That shouldn’t matter.

A missing invitation

To a birthday party.

Picking me last

For every team.

Just bullshit really.

Nothing that hurts.

You can’t make me cry.

I’m too tough for that.

I don’t cry when

The leaves fall.

I don’t weep when

Rain thunders down.

I don’t mourn the

Wilting dead flowers

By the walk.

How could neglect

Pierce my heart, then?

Why would contempt

Cause me grief?

Or cruelty sadden me?

I feel no pain.

I feel nothing at all.

romance, author, writer, photography, love

“Reflection” Photo by Michelle Garren Flye

Poem: Resolution 2019

assorted color flowers

Maybe this year can be better. Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Resolution

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

This year, it will all be different.

I’ll study Love, find its uses.

I’ll know how big it is.

I’ll measure it, weigh it.

I will find its boundaries.

 

You say that’s impossible.

You say Love knows no such things.

You say it has no limits.

You say it’s ageless, timeless,

And you say Love never stops.

 

Well, we’ll see, won’t we?

When I put it in a test tube

And place it in the centrifuge—

Apply enough pressure…

We’ll see who’s right about love.

 

I’ll spin out all my discoveries.

For the whole world, of course.

Everyone wants to know,

Every body longs for my answers

About why Love is, who it’s for.

 

This year I’ll figure it all out:

Who deserves Love?

What is Love made of?

When is the right time, and

Why is less Love too much to bear?

 

Just wait and see.

Because when it’s done,

They’ll adore and worship,

Congratulate and adulate—

They will all love me.

Poem: What Happened to the Last Grey Knight?

adult ancient arena armor

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What Happened to the Last Grey Knight?

By Michelle Garren Flye

 

Don’t look now.

It ate him.

The profane darkness hurtled

Engulfed

Swaddled

Blinded even the stars.

The hideous murk stalked

Striped

Pounced.

Consumed

While peace, love, hope, charity

—All shivered in shadow.

And the last grey knight was gone.

But don’t look now.

It’s hungry still.

Perhaps it will come for you.

Wrap yourself in vermillion, ivory and bluest blue

—Pretend you wear armor, too.