You have left your

finger prints on my soul

for you I would journey

to that place that haunts me

between midnight and dawn

where we are imperfect

in those unseen dreams

where the only sound is the

unfolding of Origami swans

a disassembling of tenderness

where I capture what

I cannot keep

Wonderful illusion painting by Karol Bak - Ego - AlterEgo

173 thoughts on “unfolding

  1. This is deeply beautiful,
    capturing what you cannot keep,
    even though it aches to stay folded between your fingers,
    to feel your breath against its paper plumage,
    teasing words from a page that’ll never hold poetry again,
    so spellbound is its heart.

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  2. I begin to see the many colorful threads of poetry weaved into a tapestry that tells a fantastic story to the senses spellbound in the telling. I imagine the tapestry whole, each thread locked into place with the utmost care and skill. Something in me does not want to know the final scene in the finished masterpiece. I want it to continue at least until I’m safely scattered among the stars. Beautifully rendered, Rene.

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      1. Truly my pleasure Rene. I think among the constellations is so much better than the underground option. The view is so limited there. 😄

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          1. Hades and Persephone have enough visitors to entertain and it’s going to get more crowded as their place gets more popular. Among the stars we are free to go on a self guided tour wherever we like and the attractions are endless. 😇😇

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          2. I wonder if our fascination with Mars and what’s underneath the surface has anything to do with opening a new venue for the down under dwellers? I’ll bet the brightest star in Orion’s Belt is a lovely place, a nice stopover on the way to see The Archer, who just so happens to be pointing at the center of our galaxy. I know that has to be a hint, we should go there too.

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          3. Oh my, oh my! I’m seeing it now, Rene. Our balloon is our beloved horse. With a little love and care, it will take us anywhere. 🪐✨🤠🤠

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          4. So true. We should only go to those places that nourish the soul and leave us breathless with a wide eyed wonder, like that first time we saw a horseshoe crab in the surf at low tide or dolphins playing in calm seas at daybreak.

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          5. Yes, oh yes, I see it now. Pink beaches and that amazing ocean hole full of mystery and water creatures. Such a fine string of island like fine jewelry for Mother Gaia. I imagine the Flamingos shuffling along, their heads underwater. And those parrots calling to one another, I wonder what they have so much to talk about. I have new hammocks, ultralight with a fine mesh cover you can open to gaze out over the ocean or zip closed to rest bug free. I spared no detail in attending to a gentle slumber or longing daydream nestled in a cocoon of comfort rocked by a sea born breeze. Your flask will come in very handy on this trip. Let me check to make sure the burners for the balloon are topped off.

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          6. Waaa haaa haaa! Kawa Bunga dudette, surfs up 🤣🏄‍♂️🏄🏼‍♀️. As long as my smartphone battery is good, we can go anywhere we want with such glorious navigation acumen that Magellan will forever exist in a fugue of jealousy. We got this. 😉 (charging battery as we speak)

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          7. We could hit the mid morning surf and then sail on in the calm of the noon sun. I find that exhilarating to be so bold and unfettered.

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          8. Sigh 😌, I’m certainly working hard to get to that line of embarkation. I have decided it’s time to enjoy life because I worked like rented mule most of my life so someday I could be free. It’s time. I think I’ll check to see if Amazon has hot air balloons.

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          9. What say we embark for Bora Bora linger there for awhile by the turquoise water and pink sands then onward to Tahiti , the natives are friendly 🌴 . I’m keeping a fish net ready to go just as soon as the balloon is ship shape. 😎😎

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          10. I love the idea of Bora Bora as an appetizer for Tahiti. Those clear turquoise waters reveal the oceans life below. Dolphins follow us as we drift just above the waves to catch a little spray to cool our wicker basket and enjoy the songs of the Dolphins with the waves sounding the beat. That should have us in the right mood for the spontaneity and happy celebration of the Tahitian people. That net will come in handy. I think seafood is on the menu. I’ll back some good wine, just in case.

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          11. By day we explore sandy beaches, rocky inlets, just lie back and observe the ever-changing Tahitian sky, dive the waters for fish to dine on as we explore our map and dream of moving on, careful not to become too attached to the natives or the wild herbs they forage for us, mandrake and morning glories and wild mushroom that stir fevered dreams.
            Our time here is limited and we must drift on to the undiscovered.
            Bring wine in case they run out of wild mushrooms.

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          12. Such a day as this is the ritual of pleasure that prepares one for the evening festivities. By the ocean with sunset blazing it’s warm colors across a grassy field, we watch a show of fevered song and dance. We sip a tea made from the dream spices as the cooks a short distance away mind the preparation of our catch of the day marinated in coconut cream and lime picked from nature moments before. The people call it Tamaaru. The soft notes of their explanation fades behind the strum of ukuleles and a stunning woman sings us the traditional Tahiti Noi so full of vibrant energy bursting from her as her eyes and flowing undulations beckon us to our feet. But it is only the beginning as the tea lures us deeper into the salty sea of Polynesian culture. Men in elaborate headdress and long tailed loin cloth, their bare thighs bulging with strength and banded in dense Tahitian tattoos, dance the dance of ancient warriors their eyes dark and fierce. The fire reflects in your dilated hazel eyes transfixed in a vision only you can see. I glance your way to judge your awakening in the dream. Yes, you are there and no doubt, I am too. Now, the women dance to a frantic drumbeat, their hips a blur of motion under a narrow band of white cloth. Their long iridescent black hair is alive in a flow of motion keeping time with the turn of heads and the sweep of shoulders. We join in, welcomed with heart open smiles and beckoning gestures. We are consumed in the rhythms of the ocean and the swaying of bodies. Ah, the lamps of fragrant oils are lit and we slide softly down from our high feeling liberated from some clinging schism left over from western civilization and life spent in the endless circle of work in order to live in order to work. The feast has begun and it does not end until all the food is gone and the last drops of drink finally run dry. Now we are escorted back to our hammocks strung among the coconut palms and the dreams continue. I dream that I can no longer tell time. Clocks are no longer useful as we begin to live a life tied to the awakening to nature’s way and the people who understand the language of sea, sun, and moon.

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          13. Near dawn the drum beat has stopped and there is a quiet stillness but for the gentle rush of waves over the shore. The dancers have vanished as though they were never there but the scent of smoke and dried leaves lingers. In my periphery I see you speaking softly to a saronged woman , tall and dark her glossy black hair flows down her bare back to her waist. Occasionally your hand brushes hers and she whispers softly words that carry on the fragrant breeze.
            In my hallucinogen induced state I close my eyes and all goes dark as I drift away into deep and dreamless sleep.

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          14. The stars are more clear than I’ve ever seen. The moon illuminates the grassy field in a hypnotic blue light. I walk slowly through shadows of sleeping palms returning from my compelling bathroom break. I see you asleep in your hammock next to mine, your face glows with angelic peace under the moon. I zip your netting closed with the utmost care to avoid waking you and glance up at luminescent seafoam riding each wave to shore. I wonder how it could be that all these years of your companionship, the many rituals of time and place in Paris, the trips to London and back, you have never turned away from these new escapes across the world. Have we lost Paris and traded it for the innocence found on isolated beaches among people known for their Joie de Vivre found in simple lives, with music, dance, and feast. We’ll plan our departure tomorrow and then be off again and for a moment I wonder if we should not stay just a little longer and let the angst and dark moments of the past slip away under cerulean skies and gentle seas. I hear you draw a quick breath as if surprised at my faltering mind. I hear you whisper, it’s settled. We’ll sail toward Orion on a following breeze. In this moment my dear Renate, my sad café, reclaims my heart and soul and I settle in my hammock and the moonlight fades to black.

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          15. I hear David breathing softly in time with the incoming waves and open my eyes to the sun rising over the Pacific Blue horizon in shades of amber and melon that drip into the sea until it rises a bright yellow between heaven and the sea line. I slept soundly but still recall dreaming of the Sad Cafe, but I must put that behind me for now. Slipping off my sarong I step out into the warm waters and dive into the deep. The pristine waters are alive with shore-fish, Angels in yellow and black, vivid parrot fish, and anemones who seem not to mind my company and I let them surround me as I meditate briefly under the sun.
            Slipping back into the sarong, I watch David sleep, his face peaceful, free of the burden of life as it was and will be again, but now it is just us and the rest of the world is shut out. He awakens and joins me, we pour cups of strong coffee that brews on a small fire that still glows from the previous night. We sit beneath the Coconut palms where he has arranged his hammock and talk quietly. We want to move on, adventure is calling us, yet we already feel such nostalgia for the beautiful natives of this lush Island. Taking my hand he leads me to our landing. “Look, it is reading to go”. We gather our belongings and before boarding as if to imprint it on our minds we take one last look
            around us, the calm blue lagoon, the white sand beach, swaying coconut trees. The black pearl paradise that is Polynesia.

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          16. We are aloft again. I watch as you silently go about your preparations for the long trip with the diligence of an ancient mariner whose life is a mastery of wind and sail. You stop to read the horizon and we both see the wisps of clouds evaporating under the power of a white hot sun. You turn to me and your face is a blessing of bright eyes wide with the wonder of what you see. It will be a great day for sailing, you say with a shy smile that warms me from the inside-out, and I tug on the chain that fires the burner as if to answer you with obedience to your wisdom. On cue, our patchwork balloon, the color of the sun on the horizon at the beginning and end of each day, lurches up like a stallion into the trade winds that will carry us to the Marquesas Islands. Beneath us a white Heron drifts on unseen currents. We touch hands as we take in the magnificent view of the sleek bird angling across emerald waves that lumber like great beasts on their way to distant shores to woo young lovers. Our balloon leans against the winds as we climb to 14,000 feet where it is cold and the air is thin. We fix our oil cloth canopy in a geometric grid of rope and knots over our wicker basket to let the sun glow through like the warm streetlights of Paris and keep the chill air at bay. Now, seated as if on a picnic, we snuggle under our blanket and make small talk in whispers even tho there is no one disturbed by our laughter that occasionally escapes. Where to next? You ask with sleepy eyes and contentment. This week we’ll soon cross over the Marquesas Islands and in a few days the Galapágos Islands. From there we will sail northerly to Costa Rico, your Simeon friends await your visit to their paradise. I suppose then we must decide if we want to stop in Jamaica, Cuba, or the Bahamas. Let’s stop everywhere if only for a few hours, you tell me with a yearning in your voice emphasized by the squeeze you give my arm. I wouldn’t have it any other way, I reply. With a tug on the lanyard that fires our balloon as the exclamation mark in my declaration, our sailboat of cloth and wicker, of linen rope, our ship that obeys the wind and answers dreams, leans harder with the wind and we gallop across the South Pacific to uninhabited dots of land perched atop paleo volcanoes. Our love is wind and water, fire and sky, song and dance. Our lives have become a skipping stone that hops from shore to shore and we know without saying that freedom is a wicker floor above an ageless, deep blue ocean.

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          17. The days pass one into the other , gently drifting on soft breezes or hurtling through gusts of wind that David must Maneuver. He has become a skillful aviator , if not I fear we would perish in storms but he has learned to let the trade winds have their way with us and it seems to know which jet stream will take us to our destination. Most of our days are soft and meandering spent gazing in wonder at the beauty stretched out above and below us. Dolphin and Gray whale follow as we streak above their ocean home as captivated with the giant vivid object cruising above as we are with them.
            David is tan and muscular now, I can barely imagine him in suit and tie. His hands are calloused from physically guiding, rising and lowering, adjusting to the unpredictable wind currents. At times fighting high winds and storms that would cast us off course.
            Nights when we are resting on the floor of the basket that safely holds us I want to press my lips to them but instead massage them with essential oils and in turn I drop my sarong and feel his hands gently rubbing any tension from my shoulders. It is at those moments when I feel such deep camaraderie and am struck by the utter and complete trust we share.
            Days pass and the sea is replaced by mountains covered with lush green forests. David has lowered the balloon close enough to the tree tops that we hear the chatter of simians chasing one another along the branches and parrots and macaw, bright flickers of color among the tree crowns squawking at having been disrupted. We have dropped low into the rain forest . Giant prey birds circle with curiosity, the whoosh of giant wings close enough to send me from the baskets edge to the deep gondola for safety.
            Lowering the volume David sets our trusty carriage down in a clearance on the forest floor and we settle with a thud. Charting our destination he determines that we have reached the rainforests of Costa Rica. We hug and celebrate by opening the bottle of Polynesia pear wine , a gift from our island friends. Having tied the balloon securely to the ancient gumbo limbos that encircle us David lifts me from the basket and swings me around joyfully, holding me briefly as I get my sea legs.

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          18. Suddenly free of the confines of our nest, we lay the canopy that serves as our roof on the lush grass next to the gondola and bask in the warm sun. I root out some of our fruit and rations we picked up in Tahiti and cook a fine meal for our lunch. I show Renate how much my hands have healed from their roughness due to her care. “It was nothing, I’m a nurse,” she tells me while her eyes sparkle with delight. I touch her cheek to show her. She holds my hand to her face and leans closer. I am fully drawn into a kiss that is more than a kiss, it is the opening paragraph of a classic romantic tale. “Lunch is burning,” she whispers in my ear. Drat! Something always needs attention when my attention is fully consumed in the velvet softness of Renate’s love. With help from my amused First Mate, we rescue our meal and enjoy it like two children in the school yard trading bites from our lunch pail. After a brief nap, we are restless. I mention the sound of rushing water. “I saw what might be a waterfall as we drifted over for the landing,” I mention in mid stretch. Renate holds her dreamy gaze. The corners of her mouth transform into her smile of mischief when she is thinking of us doing something spontaneous. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” She says in her way that always leads to my greatest joys. I jump up and grab our shower kits while Renate puts her sarong and sandals on. The waterfall is a paradise carved out of the towering verdant rain forest and we sink into the crystal pool below the falls. The water sings against ancient stone as we bath in the water of life and love, isolated from every care. My mind empties as we sit on warm stone and caress the sea and salt from our bodies and just live in the moment under each sensuous stroke of loving hand and soft cotton.

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          19. Following the rushing sound of falling water we push through lush forest until it is before us, deep blue foaming falls from overhead cliffs into a crystal pool surrounded by thick cords of vines and deep purple flowers . Our only sound is a quick intake of breath at the beauty before us. We are alone on this area of the island and fleetingly wonder why it is deserted.
            In this world there is only the moment, no past or future. As though we have metamorphosed into creatures of the rain forest, wild and free.
            David has dived into the deep waters and calls out to me. Stepping out of sandals and wrap I lower myself slowly. Stretching full length I make my way to him. His laughter echoes as he splashes water over my head and shoulders. To escape his game I swim around my arms circling but I am no match.
            Suddenly serious, I am acutely aware of rivulets streaming down his tanned and muscular shoulders and press closer. Time stands still as we succumb to a brief compelling kiss. To break the spell we push away and swim to the rocky edge. David takes my hand and pulls me from the water.
            The sun is sinking low behind the tall trees and carrying our clothing we make our way back to the beach and collapse on our canopy. There are plans and places to consider but now there is only the existence of two bodies falling under the spell of white horses slowing sweeping ashore

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          20. On a narrow strip of caramel sand, we watch the waves ride in. White horses Renate calls them. Yes, I see it; their white sea-foam mane flowing chaotically in the rush to shore. They reach for us. occasionally the water rushes up and we think we will be washed away, but at the last instant the wave reverses and gallops back out to sea. The sound is a clash of cymbals and a low sensual moan. We await the sunset as golden light collects low on the horizon and illuminates the white mane of the sea stallions racing toward us. Down the beach a small group of surfers call it a day as they collect their gear and trudge up the incline of the beach and disappear into the forest on some unseen path. We are alone as a twisting splash of red sky envelopes the golden wheat straw of the sun falling into the distant ocean. Renate buries her face in my neck and throws her leg over my stomach as she pulls the canopy over our waists to divert the cooling breeze. “Do you miss Paris,” she asks. “No, I have you and that is all the Paris I need,” I reply. We don’t notice the nightfall nor the sudden awakening of the forest as exotic birds call their mates home to roost and the monkeys chatter in the branches, curious about the soft whispers like cathedrals coming from the long shadows on the beach. I am only aware of Renate’s tender touch, her soft lips, and the fresh scent of her hair spilling over my face, neck, and shoulders like silk as the sand cradles us under the first stars of night.

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          21. As though under some god spun spell we lie beneath the deep indigo sky my lips so close to yours I imagine that as you sleep I could draw your breath in to mingle with my own.
            I run the tips of my fingers along your sternum and over your chest…muscle, sinew and bone. So many emotions, I feel the flush of my skin.

            Against the moonless night the stars form pools of pinpoint glitter.
            I stir you, “ David look, the heavens are stunning”. You wake and lean on your elbows pointing, “there’s Orion and over there, Sirius “.
            I rest my head in the crook of your shoulder and we lie face to face, my thigh sliding between yours. You call my name softly “Renate, perhaps we should set sail in the morning”. I nod in agreement. You tell me of a mysterious site that you discovered while exploring the deep forest that you found rather strange. I turn my back and curl tightly into you, enveloped in your arms. My protector, my North Star. Tomorrow we will go.

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          22. Sleep is a luxury under the stars, the soft lick of ripples along the shore at low tide cast a spell of dreams. I dream of the strange site in the forest. A holy place for some tribe of long ago. In the dream, Renate is with me as we look upon the row of skulls perched on an emerald green moss covered stone. We know we don’t belong here, this is not our hallowed ground and the sockets glare and the teeth grimace an unwelcome scene. I awaken to the warmth of the only true love I’ve ever known and the call of the wind and distant islands of the Caribbean call us to rise, to climb back to our balloon, and once again embrace the endless lapis lazuli sky. Wearing a sleepy haze like a warm blanket, we collect our things and avoid talking about the inevitable. We are now on the home stretch back to Paris and the end of our balloon sojourn. Pushing the melancholy of endings out of my mind, I follow Renate up the path toward our colorful steed as her hips sway with each step, her sarong accentuating her curves. Yes, this must surely be the rhythm that created the desire to write poetry on clay tablets and fuel the romance of every century. Where else in time does one do the things we’ve done and seen the things we’ve seen together. “We should write about this trip,” I say, breaking the silence except for the swish of grass and cloth on supple thighs. “No one would believe us, they would call it a fantasy,” she replies.
            Renate casts an amused glance over her shoulder before turning back. She breaks out into a soft singing. It is a Polynesian love song she learned in Tahiti. Much like myself, this fantasy pleases her.

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          23. I’m awakened by the sound of partier’s laughter drifting through the window of my small flat above the Sad Cafe. From there I see the crowded cobblestone street, snow piling up at the curbsides.
            The clock says nine at night. I’ve been sleeping for twelve hours. The absinthe, I’ve never been able to handle it. Such odd dreams, beautiful and erotic, yet I can not remember the details.
            I run a bath and slowly sink into the warm waters. My wet hair has the scent of eucalyptus and Bougainvilleas, my skin the smell of salt and surf.
            Above all is the haunting presence of David’s cologne, his sunburnt shoulders smell of sweet sweat and rope.
            Before the mirror I brush my hair and pull it back with silver plated combs. I Step into a black frock and heels.
            Downstairs I find my usual booth at the dark fringes of the bar, order my usual glass of red wine and I wait.

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          24. Beautiful, stirring, evocative. We are back to the beginning. Not an ending but the start of something new. Is David on his way to meet Renate at the sad café? Perhaps we’ll see in another story. I’ve never written in this format before but it seems more natural and pure than anything else I’ve tried or experienced. I hope anyone that discovers the genesis of this beautiful and stirring story through our comments will find inspiration for their own creations. And now, to hone it in a manuscript that it might live within its own eternity. Already, I feel book three is born in that fledgling that fell to earth in, “While I Was Thinking of You.” You are amazing, Rene. 🤗

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          25. An especially poignant story tucked almost undetectable among the pages. a delightful adventure of the mind that seems to come alive For the unaware happening upon it. Such wonderful fun it has been. I think She will always be there in the shadows , life never stands still for long, but like a fledging must try it’s wings.

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          26. Yes, it truly is a delightful story. I started working on it tonight. It’s a mad construction zone but all the pieces fit perfectly as if formed by Head Elves in a magical synchronicity.

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          27. You are delightfully and incredibly gifted in so many ways. The story of Renate and David is one that begins from an ending and finally once again takes its leave at the Sad Cafe. It’s one of a desire to escape the madness and repetition of everyday life, to form a deep connection knowing that nothing lasts forever but needing to extract every ounce of adventure, excitement and yes, leisure at ones will. Thank you for flying with me Dan. 🤗

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          28. I loved it and totally agree. Life seems so much better if we dare to engage that escape, like dreaming, where many things are soothed, even healed on the inside in the ambiance of a warm and inviting adventure. My hope is to stay true to the nuance of the story and leave it with the dignity and grace it so well deserves. I’ll fly with you anytime, Rene. Maybe a sturdy ultralight would be nice for the next trip. We could fly at the altitude and speed of migratory birds and join them on their sojourn.

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          29. Oh my! It’s happening again. I feel an adventure, a flight of fantasy welling up. Dare we? The frantic beat of swallows eases as they feel the invisible draft and lift of our wing. It’s what the want, it’s what they need, strong wings to take the lead and let the weary drift in our wake. They are grateful and dip their wings to us, their eyes bright with amusement.

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          30. And now everyone knows why the most creative souls gathered to sample a taste of a strong coffee in the morning, the green fairy at noon, and the many fine brandies from warmed snifters in the evening. All miracles of adventure worth telling were born there at that gathering. The courage to fly among the weary swallows and guide the hungry, tired, and bewildered to the cliffs and stately eaves of mansions is the noble undertaking. The grateful swallows know it is the season of their multitudes and they need to rest, find their love one among the strangers, and raise their chicks to be strong and free. It is the stuff of worthy dreams, it is the fellowship of the green fairy at work.

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  3. Of course, dear Holly, you cannot keep what you capture.
    You love waves and butterflies…. swans and words.
    I feel the waves and butterflies …. swans and words want to be captured by you.
    Then you can free them in your poetry.
    They want you to free them.

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  4. This is quite haunting and yet, beautiful. It pairs well with the ‘swan’ arm image. Which came first, I wonder? The poem or the picture? Or were they born of each other and in a simultaneous, creative explosion!

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          1. TO HOLLY–APOLOGIES!
            Leave a reply
            He’s just going to let it ride,

            while feeling humbled inside…

            What can he say

            to save the day?

            Just go on with eyes open wide!

            Jonathan Caswell (dON’T HURT ME…)

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