Three of Vessels

Yes. This is the wet stamp of true
Triumph for containment. Kisses. An
Optimistic embrace of this generous
Moment when I can simply relax
In my soulful nudity and be who I am,
Right down to my emotional habits and lets 
Intuition guide me towards a state of ecstasy,
Shared with tender smiles and laughter. 
That it dares not cover my embarrassment
Instead stripping me down to susceptible
Joys that I wish would last forever, it’s
Like being in a naturally warm pool out there,
Impervious to weather, but eventually
I will have to climb out. Just not yet.

copyright © 2013 Amanda Morris Johnson


Five of Vessels

The challenge I have in removing regret,
That space that brings nothing but
Pain into my heart, is that it is a hook
In my heart and I am a dear wife who
Abandoned one life’s sleep for another on
The shores of a great, nameless sea. Truly
Determined that my children would have
Tomorrow and my dreams would have a coffin.
I float in a life raft, then, on this sea of
Time that never forgives me completely.
The process of grief unwinds hidden
Ropes that seem useless until I see the
Indifference towards my suffering. They
Say anchors are hope to sail another day.

copyright © 2013 Amanda Morris Johnson

Two of Vessels

Blessed are the mystic waters
Bagged up by glaciers in caverns
That spill over. Crystallization of
Those immortal years show exactly
How we’ve felt about our wet berths
Through time, frozen solid. Yet, there is
Potential for mutable and fluid release.
The liquid of dreams shared can cure the
World of illusions. It isn’t always the way
We expect healing to go. Clarity in a stone
Reflection of ice can be a load to
Handle, melting a drop at a time those  
Judgmental expectations until warmth returns,
and softness floods into a beating heart.

copyright © 2013 Amanda Morris Johnson

Nine of Vessels

Those moments of self-knowing can
Be full of pleasure and indulgence. Now,
When I realize that my most precious
Vessel is this body, for it allows all
Enjoyment between shells and ships,
And if I were to float above it with orders
To leave, then I would understand all
The petty criticisms I endured from my
Own mouth were absurd to the point
Of cruelty. My need to feel points of
Pain have been unnecessary. Love for
My limitations, finally upon this threat of release,
Washes over me in a pool of gratitude. I am
Incarnate in this unique and sensual delight.

copyright © 2013 Amanda Morris Johnson

Eight of Vessels

In solitude, there are days when
The losses so mount that, resolved,
I jump the tracks, daring the procession
To run me down. Even leaping aboard
The empty cattle car, I let it
Carry me into the dark night of my soul.
I climb to the top and see nothing
But darkness leading to an obscure
Horizon guided by a sliver over sombre still
Grasslands, and as I skip from car to
Car, I see the snake slithering
Beneath me and I am calmed.
Onwards then, to the streak of gold
Lying deep within the creases of me.

copyright © 2013 Amanda Morris Johnson

Seven of Vessels

In defense of imaginary worlds, I’ve
Sailed the seven seas and dreamt up
Places insinuated, but never nailed down
To a catalogue of flora and fauna, and I
Might even stomp my feet indignantly
If asked to produce photographic proof
That these places that I rely on in my heart
Of hearts, the what I have faith in for
Inspiration, actually shore up my loftiest
Dreams. Can I exist in a world as mere
Storyteller, an artist with reasoned
Planning? That is not what adventure is
About after all – to choose the real one,
Finally, and go to a promise that is not there.

copyright © 2013 Amanda Morris Johnson

Six of Vessels

In the balance of holding onto anything
That has happened and will never happen
Again, a permanent change, a tipping point
Goes from processing that information,
Reading the whole book as it were, to being
Stuck in the pages like a wild flower plucked
From a summer meadow and pressed
Between a fold of wax paper, now dried
and no longer part of a native landscape.
Instead of transit, this vehicle parks, powerless
To seek destiny ahead because revisiting the
Past again becomes my purpose and the
Potential of forgetfulness has turned into
Following safety back instead of taking new paths.

2012 © Amanda Morris Johnson