Feel

08/24/2021
I know what it is to feel everything
And nothing
And which is worser still?
I wonder. . .
Which can stop the carriage first?
Which can delay the gasp of
Much needed air?
Which can turn the page faster?
Which can cause eyes
Shadowed in bleak to
Light with relief
And sweet joy?

Ever is the riper
My sweet
Ever is this way of living life
Too full
And too low
Too fast and too much
This is the way of weaving
Mystery in decay
This is the way
Of the song-filled heart
Over ripened
On melody's soar

Such is my heart
A lover
Vast and enclosed
To feel thusly
Ever richer and ever bleak
To thrust one's self into
Melancholy, as if every day
Is my last,
As if every day mattered most,
Every moment held its breath on
Wings tethered ready
To embark
Over oceans
Over eon's tidal pools

As if a second was eternity
And the void a warm embrace
Mine eyes wonder-filled
Sorrow-torn
Wisps of wind on storms unfurled
Sweeping all at once away

Live
Fully
Feel each and every moment
Bask in time's decay
Weep with wonder, fear, and
Effervescence
Love unabashed
And grieve so thoroughly
It breaks you

This sweet presence
This rotund overly ripened fruit
Burst in crescendo
And drift on a feather's float
Become and then become undone
Stagnate and grow
Unfurl and expand
Imbibe this eternity
A wisp
A missing eyelash
On a tear streaked face
And scream
Both in birth and death
Never retreat
Never surrender
Live
Fully
Always and now.





Want

08/24/2021
So many when they find beauty
Seek to trap it
To own it
To absorb its essence
For their own

Can we trap a sunset,
The lift of a flock of birds,
The way the water falls
From rocks on high?

Are we meant to coalesce
With seascape, imprison it,
Pay it visitation
With guards in tow?

Or are we the fools
That grasp like babies,
Desperate, suckling
For one last sip
of wonder
Until the flow runs dry?

We do not own the land,
The sea, the sky, the forest.
We are not meant to be
Royalty on high.
We cannot rule a Goddess.

Each tree has a melody,
Each creature a song,
Every rock a story
Of Earth and space.
Molecule, Atom, time luminescent,
Stardust memory
Life.

Let us release our prisoners.
May we find the courage
In escape, strength in becoming
One remembered,
We are all the all.
I am because you are. And

Each mine a severed limb,
Every forest lost
A lung collapse,
Gasping, grasping, empty,
we wound even more.
Let us pause in breath
And face the hollow within,
See that only we
Have the power to fill the void.
Only we can mend the tears
That send us pawing for more,
Always more.

We have exhalted death.
We feed our young
Blood from black snakes.
We vacuous embody
Despair, reaching
Past our prisons
For what will never sate
Our appetites.

So the whole world goes hungry,
Seeking one more fix.
What is our song?
What words can awake?
When our souls are in hiding
While our bodies take and take.
Can we stop the bleeding
Before it is too late.










A Wheel

Angel Marie Russell
08/23/2021

Cyclical tragedy
What was done unto you
Was done unto me
And so on

Pain is a wheel that turns
It has many spokes and voices
It has many faces and hearts

Like a melody whispered
In aching ears
Desperate for any sort of song

It is passed down
Like the most precious of heirlooms
Wrapped in fine linens and silks.
As the wheel turns

It flows downwards and
The weight of it grows.
The bones made to carry it
Weaken.

The children know more of tears
Than laughter
Shoulders sagging from years
Of that weight

So let's all look
At this heavy burden,
A legacy of imprisonment
To pain.

Let’s look back at the long line
Of long faces
And try to set this burden down,
Turn our faces to the sun,
And our backs to the rain.

Let our hearts grow lighter
And our songs more nimble.
Let’s remember Spring
And the chirping of a many bird filled wood.

Let the lapping tide
Sweep away the hurting embers
In our overburdened hearts.

Let us remember our strength,
Our fortitude, and our softly lidded eyes
Filled with wonder
At the sight of this life.

And let us heal,
Together, alone,
because within us all
Is a melancholy years deep
And our children deserve us whole.

Dream

When did I forget how to dream?
I used to fill the void with
Rich tapestries
Unfurling landscapes beneath
Tempered and trusted wings.

I used to wake exhilarated
From the adventurous heart
That would paint
Love songs of splendor and
Panoramas of unnamed hue.

I was the hero,
The hopeful,
The eager and brave.
I was the dreamer who dreamed
Only of better days.

So, when was it
That my heart stopped singing,
That I forgot the feel
Of the dreamer’s brush?
I wake only aching, hollow,
Robotic, and stale.

I sleep only disappearing,
For some hours before
Morning’s pale blush.
And the lack of dream
A whispered fading memory
From a time that felt more alive.

Where did my heart
Disappear to?
Can I grow its ember
From spark to glow once more?
Can I remember
To unleash my wings
When I find the light
Burning in my core?

It’s so quiet here,
So lonely,
So empty are the dreamer’s walls.
Can I find my way back
To tapestry and painted thought,
To a world that wonders
At its own making?

I endeavor to find the world
Within again.
I will find a way to
Set my heart loose again,
To feel the wind upon my face,
The liquid moonlight,
The lulled and lapping pools,
The winding tower whipped
In Cloud,
As my wings lift me upon
The languid skies
I remember.
I come alive.

Heart, sing your songs.
Fly upon wings sheathed in hope.
Teach me how to remember
In my waking hours
The lilting jostle of melody
Painted into flower,
Born in a dreamer’s dreams.

-Angel Marie Russell

Act

The news gave me a gaddam meltdown this morning. Everything just sucks so much and being autistic in America is terrifying to me in ways I struggle to explain. Covid has me afraid for my life. Trump has me afraid for my liberty. I said to my friend this morning who suggested that I think of rainbows instead. And I said, “we are in a dystopian novel there are no rainbows…maybe I am the rainbow.”

We need the light in our hearts to shine so bright it blinds the hatred and vitriol out there. We need to have compassion for eachother and not lose sight of our humanity and why it is worth fighting for. We need to be strong and resilient. We need to self care. We need to see the us in them and realize we are divided by programming. We are all in this together but this too feels so far down a path of madness I struggle to know how we find our way back.

Love seems to be the only answer I can find. I know love is stronger than fear. I know love can be strong and defend the innocent. Rhetoric and the standard political fight is not enough against what our country now faces. I’m just so scared and have never been this afraid in an election and sadly a discloser of vulnerability would have half of our country call me weak when in truth being authentic is hard and brave.

Please don’t let the world have you forget love, empathy, kindness, sincerity, compassion, acts of service, solidarity, and unity. Let us protect the innocent, the weak, the disabled, the impoverished. Let us come together like never before and remind people what America really is about. Bring us your impoverished masses. Rally against evil and those that would perpetrate pain. Let us remember our hearts and build a World of compassion. We need to act. We need to vote. We need to remember love above all things.

“Ignore those that make you fearful and sad, that degrade you back towards disease and death.”

  • Rumi

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

– George Orwell

“The only way humankind can withstand the threat of nuclear wars and environmental disasters is to maintain a ‘vibrant democracy’ where ‘informed citizens are fully engaged in deliberation, policy formation, and direct action.’

  • Noam Chomsky

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.”

  • Elie Wiesel

Dim

I buried my shine
Lest it be devoured.
I locked it in a box.
I threw away the key.

I gutted my own heart
Lest it feed wolves.
I feasted on my own flesh
Before they that would,
Did.

I painted my soul black
To hide amongst the darkness
That threatened my shine
While not realizing,
I had swallowed the sun
And I was burning inside.

Smoke filled my lungs.
Embers rose in my eyes.
My bones ached from fire
Flaming in each cell.

I made myself a bomb
To keep myself safe.
I made myself volcanic
Spewing ash and molten flesh.

I made myself a vortex
To contain the impossible.
I cracked, I crumbled,
I blew.

A million raging birds burst
In panic stricken flight
Upon wings of flame
Blinding every recess of the night.

My soul broke open.
My heart erupted solar flare.
My eyes like lasers
Burnt through the ash filled air.

And I bared my broken chest open
Blinded too, by my own light.
I was a force playing small.
I was a Phoenix forgotten.

A star cannot help but burn.
A storm cannot contain its fury.
A volcano cannot remain capped.
Nor can a soul be forever trapped.

Even by your own will
That which was made to,
Will find a way to shine.
It is that very fire
That keeps you alive.

-Angel Marie Russell

Everyday a Battle

May 3 2017

Everyday
Every
Day
Here
Can be a battle
For some and for me
A war no one else
Knows is waged.

And when stuttering for words,
Trapped in a mouth
Repeatedly shut by rage,
Anger ignites again in the other
And again, more of the same.
“Answer me!”
“What are you stupid?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“You just have off energy.”
“You obviously need to
Integrate your shadow.”
“You create your own reality.”

My pause annoys others
My hesitance to speak
My mutism
Taken as malice,
Stupidity, insanity
Or that I’m weak,
Damaged, doing it wrong,
Not trying
Hard
Enough,
Certainly not tough
Enough.
Certainly not
Enough.

Too many of my days
I lay weeping
Begging for the words to speak
To tell them all how, truly
I find no solace
In sleep.

How,
I find no peace in a rainbow
For my bones are soaked, nay
Drowned many times
In a deluge that never seemed to end.
So, to me, a rainbow speaks
Of another coming storm,
That will rage, and wash quickly away.
Just like bruises.
Just like decay.
There is no hope in tomorrow
When trapped by yesterday.

“Let it go.”
Sure, it’s easy.
I can see
How you’d think that could be.
But there is this thing in our brains
That when bludgeoned
With repeated vicious attacks,
When spat at,
When assaulted,
When picked up by hair,
When screamed at,
Well, it cracks.

And it never forms
Back the way it came.
Just like the memories
That steadfastly refuse
To go away,
Penetrated bone deep
Where the deepest scars lay
Ready, waiting, and available
To permanently replay.

So, they say, there’s hope
In tomorrow
And admonish me
For not seeing it that way
Because the pain
The pain
The
Pain.
Surely I’m willing it to
But it just won’t let me away.

And I bury my face in hands.
I hide my tears for their sake.
I wish for it,
I lament in prayer,
Supplicant,
“Goddess please
Take it away!
Relent!”

Yet still it is present
It is hounding.
It persists.
The knocking of the door
That opens to tragedy.
To memory,
To scars,
That nobody can see but me.

And the crack is on the inside
And the split it goes so deep
No one sees what I carry truly.
No one sees
Amidst the pain
The truth of me.
The shadow walker
The love stalker
The one never ever
Really giving in.

Only sometimes defeated,
Shell shocked,
Triggered,
Sick, down for the count
With one minute left on the clock.
With one more breath before
I fall

I finally, exhausted, relent to sleep
Where the memories
Chase, entangle,
Enrapture and suffocate
And wake me.

Nay, there is no solace in sleep.
Not this night.
Not for me.
And yet despite that
I’m a fighter.
And a fighter never truly quits.

And if love has taught me
Anything
It is this,
Love loves survivors
Fighters, even the weak,
Love knows the struggle
For which so many of us,
I speak.

And love knows none of it means
We are broken and empty things.
There’s beauty in our breakage
There’s a way to peace
Even with every broken piece
There’s a way to mend it
With patience, love, and care.
And if you know this struggle
My sister, brother
Auntie or uncle,
You’re not alone.
And I see the bravery
In every breath you take.
And the courage
Every time you wake.
And I see you warrior;
Survivor.
I see above all,
Your strength.

-Angel Marie Russell

I Was Angry

I was angry in a world
That had no place
For such things.

No place was safe
For a girl on fire.

I was angry in a world
That had no place
For such things.

No soft breath could arrest
The feelings that transpired

Rage in my fists
Fury on my lips
My heart burned holes
Through my chest
And there’s nothing left

I burned up in a world
That had no place
For a girl like me

But a flame can rise
From the smallest ember
And so will I
Love remembered

Melancholy

When I lost sight of hope
I turned to the void.
It knows the way of grief,
Of lament, and of dark truths.

What it lacks is talent or
A delicate muse;
No whispery cloud
Over mountain
Or rainbow overpass.

Its course is hollow
a crevasse, desolate, and cold;
Its embrace with no hold,
Its gaze with no stare.

It devours and feeds
On pity and mire.
It empties what feeling
May have before transpired.

In that it’s gift,
Absent of heart matters,
Absent of wonder,
Abysmal dark matter.

It feeds on what is left
After the storm.
It glistens ready like the blade
Of a Valkyrie winged bearer.

To lift you aloft past needs
Or desire,
To plummet you down into
Into the mouth agape.

Ready it fed.
Emptied from loss,
I had no strength.
So, I bade it consume.

“Take this pain.
Do what you will,
This weight is too heavy,
I nolonger want to feel.”

In limbo I laid
A lost ghost within
My own frame.
I lost love.
I lost hope.
I lost spark.
I forgot fire.

So, how is it now
I stand pillared
In soft light?
How is it now
That I remembered
To fight?

In that long lasting grasp,
Hope somehow reached me.
It too weakened, stretched thin
From the seeking.

A tether, a tendril,
Not a jolt but a whisper,
“Rise from this folly,
Remember your power.”

Hope gently held me,
Begged me to remember,
There is sun after moon.
There is calm after storm.
There is strength after weakness.
There is rose to the thorn.

It lulled me and told me,
With my fists over my ears,
“Come this way. Listen,
Come over here,
My daughter, griefstricken,
There is healing in tears.”

And the flood filled me,
The dam overflowed.
All that I hid away
Was abruptly exposed.

I met sorrow.
I met anger.
I met fury and force.
I remembered the power
In the tender care
Of my own wounded heart.

And like an injured bird
I nursed her back,
Baby stepped through the pain,
Until my steps became quicker,
Until my feet stood firmer
Rooted in purpose.

I remembered myself.
I held grief and we wept.
I held love and she filled me.
I held onto hope
With all I had left.

Steadfast she reminded me
In the try again.
Without ceasing,
She emboldened me
Feel, Heal, and anew begin.

So, I turned from the void.
I limped back towards the light,
Though harrowed, emptied,
and worse for wear,
Alive, alight, and awakened
I am here.

-Angel Marie Russell

Grow

I have found that in gardening, one must have a gentle spirit and patience to let things grow as they will. If one rushes, pushes, demands, or over nurtures, the plants will react. They will show you in browning, sickness, and death. If it is one’s intention to help them to flourish one must adhere to this knowledge and over time, if it isn’t present in the begining, a wondrous thing happens within one’s own heart.If the person is receptive to the teaching, gardening allows our hearts to find the patience within ourselves. If we tend to the plants in the way they gently call for, it is truly we that bloom. It is they that guide us how to grow. It is they that teach us the wisdom of patience and humbleness.Of course not all absorb this wisdom. In the hurried industry of landscaping time is money. And human demands often over encompass the needs of the plants. For me, it was in those still mornings in the garden beds, fog still resting on dewy meadow, that I gleaned this secret spark. It was over years of tending, bending, and reaching, that my spirit softened. It is in gardening that I found the timid courage to heal my own heart from years of abuse, neglect, and PTSD. It was in nurturing these delicate spirits that I found the roadmap to nurture my own.Gardening requires a lot of recalibration. It desires that we find the right mix of nutrient, soil, water, and sun. If we do not the plant will falter and it will surely let us know of its displeasure. And then we must search for the missing key to its health. We must think on what is off, what is it here that we have overlooked? And very often it is that very same lesson that we ourselves need.Plants my friends, are indeed medicine. And we don’t even need to ingest, harvest, or take from them to learn it. We must only sit with them for a time. They are teachers, companions, and friends that bring us both beauty, grandeur, and the softness of petal and morning dew. If only we had the space to notice. If only we had the patience to sit with them and learn. As they falter we do. As they grow we do. Both in the micro and the macro, our small potted windowsill companion to the great forests we are clear cutting. There is wisdom. If only we could all learn to grow.❤🙏Angel