beyond the walls.

Kevin German / LUCEO For the New York Times

 

Paralyzing fear closes tightly in

as yesterday’s wasted opportunities

seep through its prison walls,

 

collecting in the night’s mind

as infinitely heavy clouds of regret,

gathering behind powerful eyes

that weep morning dew

upon the ground beneath our feet,

upon the waking world all around —

 

quenching thirsty grasses, flowers, and trees

whose breathy sighs of relief

fill our lungs with second, third, and thirtieth chances,

giving us daily the gift of life,

giving us daily the gift of choice —

 

the gift of choosing bravery and honesty

over quietly hiding,

the gift of choosing nurturing kindness

over narrow selfishness,

the gift of choosing

more and more every day

mindful purpose and gratitude

over succumbing to

the walls closing in around us.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2017

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what the birds know.

 

There is no greater purpose than

this right here,

this right now,

 

existing within a pocket

of warm air and birdsong,

so many little voices

singing their praises of life.

 

This moment when

the sun’s rosy kisses

make the horizon blush

contains within it

the answers that

men die for —

that men kill for.

 

If only we would

silence the madness

for a brief moment

and listen with our hearts

to the meaning of bird’s songs,

 

perhaps we might sense the

humbling magnitude

of life itself —

the gift that is every sunrise,

the gift that is every spring,

the gift that is this opportunity

to exist within such boundless beauty.

 

If only for a moment

we would choose

to set aside

our convictions,

our trauma,

our tragedy,

 

we might begin feeling

what inspires birds to sing,

 

we might comprehend

life without condition,

 

we might truly know

what it is to love.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2017

 

the fabric.

 

Blame it on the neural pathways,

(blame it on our tumultuous youths,)

blame it on the dysfunction

making us do it —

seeking out wayward souls,

(the lost amongst the loners,

the outcasts hiding

behind smiling faces,)

 

assuming a host

of burdens willingly

because love

makes us do it.

 

(Perhaps we’ve

no option but to

save the loneliest souls

from drowning

before drowning

ourselves,

 

becoming clarity

within the chaos

only because it’s a chaos

belonging to another.)

 

However abstract,

however dangerous,

however powerful,

chaos is alive

within us all —

 

it’s the weird spirit

of the powerless, the homesick,

the longing, the loving,

the haunted mirrors

of our souls.

 

Painful chaos

drives us to survive,

 

daring the fabric

of reality to push beyond

its boundaries and grow,

 

making the symmetry of beauty

inarguably beautiful,

 

keeping us on our toes,

(whether they be

running or dancing,)

 

keeping life

acutely alive

despite the

frigid grip of

organized complacency.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2017

memorable remains.

 

Santa Teresa en la Concina by Leonora Carrington
Santa Teresa en la Concina by Leonora Carrington

 

Life bleeds through

fragile fingertips,

too powerless

and too late

to inspire a change

in the caustic rhythm

of love and loss,

 

oozing between the layers

of conflicted dreams,

fermenting within

the cauldron

of weary minds

too stubborn to quit

yet too exhausted to persevere,

hovering between collapse and success,

between rapture and distress,

 

as I wait for them to come back to me.

 

I wait for the tide to recede,

for the wind to blow,

for the Earth to transform

these tumbling moments

into something unconditional.

 

I wait for climbing souls

to turn around and

look at the view

brewing between

certainty and doubt.

 

I wait for a time

when restless spirits

come home to sleep, to work,

to love, to lose,

 

to tend to the past

like a wounded warrior

while embracing the present

with the nourishing attention

of someone who chooses

to fight for life over

succumbing to death.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2016

the waiting place.

3947375463_81f833bc08_o

 

We all have our moments

where we can’t think

through the sadness.

 

The moments where

minutes become years

and years swell

with the vacancy of

what was stolen or

left carelessly behind,

 

where we’re lost in

a bitter cycle of

hyper-critical doubt,

 

where the words are

etched into raw flesh

and ink flows fiercely

from bloodless veins,

 

where hopes dissolve

into the breath filling

some other’s lungs

and dreams collapse

into shadows haunting

the recesses hidden

within longing hearts –

 

and these are the

everything moments.

 

This is where you

are the burned forest,

the exploding star,

the dry season,

the decomposing flesh

slowly offering its carbon

back to the land and

into the beating heart

of some newborn thing

whose mother ate the cow

who ate the grass

that fed upon the nutrients

and grew within the carbon

that you left behind.

 

This is where you are rebirth,

where you are possibility,

where you are life proving

its relentless will to live.

 

This is where you

are empty, alone, and

existing without cause

or intellectual use –

an inactive passenger

peering through the

clouded lens of regret,

 

wishing you would’ve

loved your leaves more,

wishing you’d said

goodbye and good luck

to departing photons,

wishing you’d thanked

the water for filling

your barren plains,

wishing you’d been kinder

to your body when it

carried you through life.

 

We all have moments

where we can’t think

through the sadness,

and these are the

moments of beginning.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015

 

the plentitude of tomorrow.

Photograph by Jerry Uelsmann
Photograph by Jerry Uelsmann

 

Through a forest

and over mountains,

 

across desert canyons

and beyond the curve

of cerulean horizon,

 

lives a home –

a secluded grove

nestled between the

pages of reality,

alive with

secretive dreams

and abandoned things –

 

lives a pocket landscape

of infinite potential

and branches open wide

to the sun/moon/stars,

to their rhythm of life

and song of death.

 

Here, there is room

for us both and

room for us all.

 

Every version of you,

every version of me,

every before and after,

 

every seasonal shift and

metaphysical connection

lives through the forest

and over the hills,

 

across an ocean

and beyond a desert.

 

There live goats

standing on stumps

eating humorous things.

There lives a garden growing.

There live the cheeses aging.

There live the bees buzzing.

 

There lives the

stillness of sunrise,

high noon’s majesty,

a sleepy afternoon,

the mournful sunset’s

spiritual wonder,

and the solitude of

a midnight room.

 

There lives the mirror lake,

still as glass and

quiet as time,

reflecting the best

ideas whispered through

an emerald forest

reflecting on its

matters of loss

and love.

 

There live the winding walks

on enchanted paths of

soft decaying pine,

fragrant as Christmas memory.

 

There lives the poetry unborn,

the words unfulfilled

and desires unnamed.

 

There lives breath without lungs,

gasp without voice,

shock without fear.

 

There live the muted moments

hidden between

rolling mountains

and peace of mind,

promising that

although today

is nearly over,

tomorrow is

practically forever.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015

the reluctant thaw.

Reborn by Tomasz Alen Kopera
Reborn by Tomasz Alen Kopera

 

A hesitancy exists within

the forward momentum

from winter to spring –

 

within the stubborn

iron grip of frigid

fingers wrapped

around tender

tendrils of

vernal birth

preventing the

air from warming,

 

from melting the

deceptive layer of

glittering snow masking

last year’s decay,

winter stagnation,

lack of motivation.

 

Its five to ten pounds

of lazy denial are easily hidden

beneath the woven bulk

of an oversized sweater and

within the concealing shadows

of a disorganized mind,

but are shamefully obvious

within the honest light

of seasonal shift.

 

Heaping masses of rotting

leaves and thoughts

gradually reveal themselves

beneath the melting white

in slowly warming sunlight,

 

suffocating delicate sprouts

of chartreuse life itching

for breakthrough below,

 

exposing the patient truth

of a ground covered

in cold wet shit

 

that’s waited in frozen silence

for spring’s thawing rays to

release the stench of

winter’s soggy remains –

 

an odorous mess requiring

laborious attention

before new life

might fully live.

 

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015

the secrets butterflies keep.

Butterflies by Igor Morski
Butterflies by Igor Morski

 

Universes woven

with the fabric of

what could have been

shuffle through the

air in between thoughts

as colorful reminders

of the faces and places

known and unknown,

seen and unseen,

 

while bubbles of possibility

floating in the periphery

reflect visible and audible imprints

of potential energy

found within a crossroads.

 

This vernal equinox,

resurrecting a phoenix

from the flames

of solar eclipse

and the ashes of

unjust departure,

 

reveals a myriad

of alternate options

dancing by in graceful

dimensional waves,

unveiling themselves

fold by fold

and turn by turn.

 

Born in the decisive moments

where distinct possibilities collide

and alter the serpentine bends

in a fluid timeline,

 

these butterfly realities,

each more real than the next,

flutter through reeling thoughts

while digging for

the realities lost

in a cavernous mind:

 

the forgotten,

the abandoned,

the regretted,

 

each is alive

somewhere

with a story

both something like

and nothing like

your own.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015

existential arctic.

frozen heart, By Sephirothsdx
frozen heart, by Sephirothsdx

 

As days
grow longer
soft hearts
grow colder,

weary of
winter games
forced upon the
fair weather souls

proclaiming
arctic tolerance

for pleasing
the audience

while shivering alone
within the silence.

Minds yearn
for the order of
sprouting thoughts
while hearts

burn to comfort
the dying parts, as
both birth and death
are alive with spirit.

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2015

carefully chosen notes.

Surreal Birds, by Alexandria Baker
Surreal Birds, by Alexandria Baker

 

As day rolls into night

and night into day,

the shaman sparrow

sings his lilting song

of secret, sacred notes

performed for a

slumbering Spring.

 

Slicing through the

bitter silence of

frozen twilight skies,

each note is a

brilliant reminder

of what once was

and again will be,

 

inspiring a breathy answer

for the beating hearts

of everyone awake to hear:

 

“Soon, sweet sparrow. Soon.”

 

Would the sparrow travel

to warmer skies

if he knew how closely

they existed?

 

Just through the fabric

of here and now,

a short trip to

Somewhere Spring,

 

does the sparrow

seek this eternal paradise

of chartreuse rebirth,

 

or does he patiently sing

his hopeful song

to icicles decorating

barren trees,

 

appreciating each

arctic moment

for its glittering beauty,

 

mindfully aware

of rewards revealed

to those who wait?

 

As the sun rises

in numbing cold,

so does it set

in humid haze,

blanketing each realm

and all in between

with a conscious reminder

that love is patience.

 

 

 

Renee Novosel

All Right Reserved

Copyright 2015