Flame

I am but a spark
As fleeting as flame
On a windy day,
Blown asunder
By competing forces
For air.

My last breath
As temporary
As the smoke wisps
Thrown into pieces
Of ether
After extinguished.

And I could think
On such a state of being
As a travesty,
Undone
By forces beyond
My control.

But one does not need
To focus on the
Fleeting.
One does not need to
Lament such
Impermanence,
Such is life.

One can find
The immortal
The soul
As love embodied
In flesh.

The spark that causes
The heart to know
Such sorrow,
The imagination
That sees only the dark
On our last day.

But the light does not cease
When the shadow is present.
Life does not end,
For lack of a body
To contain.

Flame burns in potential
At every dried up limb.
Life pulses eternal
Energy
Released
External what was once
Carried within.

Do not lament child.
Life is energy
And energy never
Ends.
Just as love
Never ceases
For want of a heart.
It beats
With the pulse of
The universe.
As does all you contain.

-Angel Marie Russell

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The Storms

I feel so much better
When the storms
Arrive
Because the outside World
Then resembles
My insides

I howl like the wind
I expand and contrast
I spin and whirl
I weep like the skies
I lose control and unleash fury
Caged like some beast
Imprisoned but alive

The storm knows
What rage whelps my heart
It explodes through the veil
Of calm waters
It’s wrath unintentionally
Harming
Like my fuse
When it’s done
And I watch loved ones
Run

But I grow
Like the noblest of grasses
I drop leaves but replenish
With the sun
The underbrush covers the pain
Of the wind
Gone mad
And the critters scurry
Once again
Collecting harvest

And the world
It keeps turning
Rumbling and churning
And I feel my bones come alive
One with the wind
Asleep until woken
Contained until the
Mask is broken

Lulled with whispers
And lullabies
And it clears as the skies
My heart
Oh, but it beats in time
Pulled on tendrils
As the storm passes
And I sleep once again.

-Angel Marie Russell

Being

There is no too…
There just is.

We are as we are meant to be.
We are not too much
Of anything.
The star does not
Ponder if it burns too bright.
It just burns.
We are.
I am.
You are.

Being is as simple and
Splendiferous as that.

-Angel Marie Russell

For My Grandpa


~For my Grandpa~

He was made
Like the mountains
Standing tall sturdy
Strong
With gently guarded
Meadows at his feet
Nourishing the smallest
The youngest and the weak.

He stood firm
In the face of trouble
“Why worry what we cannot change?”
He faced danger with courage
A shotgun, a fist full of dollars,
Sweat on his brow,
Tools in his hands,
He was the dreamed of
The life lived
By the greatest of men.

He was a hero.
A rock, a river,
Flowing with love.
He built houses,
Broke horses,
Steady and safe,
Out ran a bull…almost.
He loved freely,
Strictly,
Only when needed be.

He gave all of himself
Fully to those he loved
And he stood fast against Tyranny
He built planes for the war.
He knew Rosie who riveted,
He worked fast and hard.

He was born on a peach orchard.
In the dust of the
Oklahoma sun.
Skin cracked and belly filled
Whenever it could be.
He toiled under the sun
Throwing bales of hay
With nothing but a fork.
He could show
Those older boys
He was made of tough stuff.
He washed his car in the river.
He washed his soul with the Word.

He grew strong and steady
And he met her.
Rosemary.
Delicate like lace
With a spit fire grin
A whirlwind spirit
And a lift to her chin.
They married quick
And lasted,
Even through the war,
The children,
The moving,
The nights slept in gas stations
When rations kept the
US from building their home.

But he went to work,
Fervently,
To make sure they had a home.
The boys ran through fields
Of poppies
California surf and sun.
He made enough to move them.
They grew and freely ran.

He became an engineer Inspector,
Overseeing, tanks and pipes.
Union Oil,
Coveralls, and paint.
Rosemary made pies, bread,
And cookies, crochet,
And surprise another boy
Made his way out the oven.

A little mountain too
He would rarely be moved.
Rosemary paddled
What she could
Of her ornery brood.
And they grew fast and rode far
In the beauty of old cars.
Motorcycles, and grease
Streaking all Rosemary’s floors.

And years later the smallest mountain had a baby girl
And she looked just like Rosemary. She stood firm
And had that same spit fire grin.
And she knew love,
Cookies, pop, and tonics
But no gin.
Just like her mountain Grandpa.
She wanted to be just like him.
And he taught her to tinker.
He taught her what love really was.
He taught her to build it if you need it.
There’s nothing like the power of your own two hands.
And he taught me, like him,
How to build a mountain
Out of some dust.

And when I smell peaches
And feel the sun
I know he’s with me
Always building something
Out of nothing
Always with love.
He will always be with me.
A little foothill,
Looking up.
Wishing to be a mountain
Someday
Just like him.

-Angel Marie Russell

Photo: 1942 on a road trip from California to Oklahoma.
Grady and Rosemary Russell

Heart

I will forever be
Amazed at the depth
With which my heart
Can ache.

I will ever be astounded
At the depth
With which it
Can encompass
And release love.

And the World
It moves me
To stopping,
Paralyzed by both
Beauty and fear.

And even still
My tiny heart
Beats perfect
And with such glorious
Will.

And the pools are endless
With tears with which
To weep.
It’s halls carry
All the portraits
Of those
With which it has loved
And lost.

And my God
The towers
That mark the horizon
Of my hearts inner world,
The spires, the columns,
The beauty made grand,
And unfurled…

And rich tapestries
Of stories of all I have seen.
The noblest of tales
Of everywhere
It has been.

Nay, death cannot cease
A kingdom so grand.
So, I live like I love
And I love endless
Like the sea
Of stars
That reflect
Through my gaze,
Fast and furious
Like life is a blaze.

And I witness
Speechless,
That my tiny frame
Holds such as this;
Such as each of the living.
To know love
To know life and
The astonishment
Of being.

-Angel Marie Russell

Hunt

My nose has found the scent
Along the trail.
My senses all attuned
With no distractions.
My feet sturdy but soft
Pad the tender forest floor
And my pace quickens
Ever so
My breath becomes a rhythm
That pulls me a long
That pulse of my heart
Ba Dum Ba Dum.
My eyes they never falter.
My fur standing on end.
My ears await the flick of grass,
Or a scurry
Just beyond
We are both waiting
To die, or be killed,
Prey and predetor.
The old ways.
We cannot forget
The chain, cannot be broken.
The wild lives
Within us.
Love binds us to honor
Courage, and sacred truth
The hunted is as equal as the hunter
The Wolf as equal as the Lamb.
The World is made whole
Through balance.
Morality a pillar stands
Keeping the wild urges contained
Lest we become the beast
That feeds never sated
With Greed
This man that was once wild
Now deeply darkened
Cut off and astray
Closer to wicked
Than wild
Closer to black hole that feeds.
The wild
The hunted
The prey,
The hunter
Forgotten, fed off
Sloven
To Greed.
Remember the old ways.
Of fur, tooth, and claw,
Remember the old ways
The true ways.
The pure ways.
Every being has equal value.
The world began to reel when we started
Putting a number on the priceless.
Numbers build cages.
And we are all within them
Trapped.
No longer wild
No longer free
But truly, I’ve remembered
I hear the call,
Come and be free.
And my nose catches the scent…
And my eyes grow alert…
There is something this way coming.
One ready to rise,
The rest to fall to dust and dirt.
Remember the world before greed
Planted a seed in all our hearts.
Remember love is the first seed.
Tend it, water it, cherish it,
Watch it grow and bloom,
Thorns breaking barred doors,
And covering the world in perfume.
The rose will win in the end.

-Angel Marie Russell

Dragon Woman

I’m breaking out
Of a new shell
There may be more scales
And talons
Than my last form.

There may be deep darker hues
To the creases in my
Armored skin.
There may be more of a gleam
To the hue of my eye
There may be a murderous
State set in the fine lines.

I may have a tail
Long and slashing left and right
And my wings may be larger
Swifter and more silent
Black ever flying at night.

And my fire may burn
An even deeper shade of violet
And my roar may quicken
The boldest to dread.

My teeth numbered many
Pointed, jagged, and glisten
And with a tap, tap, tap
Of my claws clack on the floor
How I may listen
With my senses attuned
Finely to the present air.
A creature’s breath,
A moving current,
Whispering along the floor
Over there.

And my scales shut firmly
Ready to pounce, strip
Flesh from sinew.
And my heart quiets
Peaceful before the kill.
And it’s longing fueled
Buy the red flesh beating
Behind your chest.
And I may just be able to smell it through your tired old coat.
Red, wet, liquid of life.

Yes, maybe I might see
You’re that sort of bloke.
And maybe if you’re lucky
I might sigh, shake my head,
You’re not worth the effort.

Or maybe this time,
Tired from all the times before,
A fire will alight within me.
A furnace quick to flame
Once more.
And maybe my anger will take me,
Raise me, and break me out
Of the last little bit of shell,
And the rage unleashed and set
Upon the predator turned prey.
And I laugh, burn, chomp, swallow, and delight at such an easily made meal.

Or maybe I’ll just keep
Tap, tap, tapping
Ignoring your advances
As you walk by,
But where a tapper taps
A dragon surly must be near by.

You see it there,
That yellow glint,
In the shallow of her eye
A woman,
A dragon,
Awaiting to burst free.
I’ve only a little bit of shell
Left holding me.
Contained.
Breathe beautiful dragons
Be still.
Keep the fires contained.
Till we’re ready, able,
Needed and willing,
To unleash a new Earth
On this plane.
Every woman a dragon
Lay sleeping within.
How scared you are
Speaks to the volume
Of your sins.

-Angel Marie Russell