Poems by D.D. Aspiras 2018

D.D. ASPIRAS is a poet, printmaker and couples/family therapist in San Diego, California. Her previous experiences in the performing arts and as a designer inform her writing and artmaking. She is interested in writing haiku as a contemplative practice, writes poetry daily, and deeply values art’s power to transform us and connect us to meaning. She is also a mother, wife, and avid runner. If she had more time she would have a garden of bonsai trees and learn how to weld.

cool and collected
I wish that’s what my name meant
instead of desire

Life becomes heady again.

My garden spills over in late Spring,
when the warm earth
is filled with roots and moisture, snails and worms,
where I walk through thickly jasmine-scented air
amidst a spectrum of color-fancy:
the amethyst of giant banana flowers,
the vermilion of cape honeysuckles,
the blush of pink-white roses pushing past vines,
the emerald shine of thirsty hummingbirds,
the lemon-yellow of daffodils,
the fuchsia of bougainvillea draping
against the backdrop of the bay’s mid-morning blue.

Everything coheres:
all my loves,
all I have seen,
all that I still seek.

Fall and Winter are far away,
but the colors, even then,
will be breathtaking.

A thousand times I
held the moon and sang to her
of how I loved you,
for no reason but to sing
music that warmed me like wine.

A haiku on anticipation:

the curve of a waist
above fresh sheets –
summer evening

MOURNING DOVES

Mourning doves,
how lonesome you sound,
singing out your sorrow,
even when paired.
An uncanny birdsong,
full and low,
like breath across the mouth
of a large earthen vessel,
or the sound of a pan flute
blowing through the Badlands
calling out for
someone who is gone,
unfindable.

BONFIRES

Finally, dusk;
the bay and sky

are all mine

and I fill myself,
layers of visual pleasure:
turquoise, translucent, above
the horizon
along the early parts of night.
dusty halos above streetlamps,
blinking red reflectors on bikes gliding by
bright pairs of headlights
moving along the edges
of Fiesta Island,
and Ingraham Bridge, arcs of gold lights

in the distance.

It’s warm enough for bonfires.

I think I’m going out tonight.

CASTLES
I am composed of
warm moving blood,
skin that weathers cold,
teeth that bite hard,
and a heart that is often
too soft.

I hold on tightly,
sometimes not for long enough.

I hold on loosely,
sometimes for too long.
I gave grand gifts
for mere sand in return.

I make castles out of sand.


SILENCE

Sitting in silence,
the fog from all this living
slowly dissipates,
like clouds clearing at sunset,
like longing when it finds home.

PURPLE NIGHT

purple night
sharing her secrets
her body not vacant
but spilling with clouds
my eyes lit with flames of recent
rendezvous

purple night
I don’t have the slightest idea
how I regained consciousness

but I did
my two feet failing
collapsed when I tried
to walk away

Spring sun glaring

I did walk away
there are more than two paths
I made choices
little everyday choices
to burn to collapse
but I got up

purple night
your body still spilling
teasing with twinkles and
dark matter dreams

I keep walking

EASTER LILY

Down in the city
inside brick walls under skylights,
a shaft of light shines
on the white blooms of an Easter lily.
Candles in glass votives twinkle.
I feel my shoulders come down.
The life of the lily,
the light of the sun,
the hands that lit the candles –
common, full of mystery and beauty,
found miracles.

I KEEP MYSELF WHOLE

I keep myself whole
by changing shape;
key-like to unlock doors,
knife-edged to remove infection,
chain-link to keep things out,
concave to carry
the love of those who’ve stayed,
convex to magnify
the moments that mean something,
and when I am very tired,
like waves at ebbtide
receding from the shore.

I make no apologies.
My power is in my form.
I am always changing shape,
to keep myself whole.

A haiku on the old coiled wall heater in the bathroom:

reliable friend
keeping me warm when I am
totally exposed

SEEK ME ALWAYS

Seek me always.
For what am I
but hours of a day,
falling light,
blooming life,
widened eyes,
existing only to meet you
in each moment.

AWAKENED

I woke up in my mother’s bed in my childhood home.
It must have been late morning; the room was so bright.
Sitting up, I saw my reflection in the large circular mirror
across the cluttered room. I became aware of a crystal tree,
to my right, next to the bed. It was about seven feet tall.
Three large glass orbs hung above me from its branches.
Inside them were spiders, the size of small tarantulas, skin like black satin.

They appeared to be sleeping. I stared in wonder and horror.
I eased myself out of bed to get away. Then I saw the orbs fall.
I froze as they shattered on the ground.
The creatures, awakened, rushed across the floor.
In panic, I grabbed a book and hit one; a substance,
black and viscous, came forth, sticking
to the book and the floor and my feet.
I knew I would never reach and kill them all.
And besides, the mess would be staggering.

My panic subsided. I was no longer afraid.
They were not coming for me, but making for the door.

The Shock of Aging

Surprise!
We’re taking you to go see
Cats for your 12th birthday!
Your aunts and uncles are coming to visit
from Lake Tahoe!
Your dad won a big bet
so we are going out to a fancy dinner!
I like you!
I love you!
Will you marry me?
You got the job!
You got the raise!
You got the promotion!
You got in!

Surprise!
Your 20-year-old friend died of lung cancer.
We don’t want you on the team anymore.
Examination Result – FAIL.
Your friend cancelled/didn’t show up for you/didn’t
call you back.
Things didn’t work out.
People misunderstand you.
People leave
with no explanation.