Perennial Intimacy. {Poem} ~ Lj Ratliff

Via elephant journal
on May 10, 2013
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mossy tree

There is a mossy companionship in old friends.

Pungent earthiness of ease in this
togetherness that has weathered years
through injuries,
high winds,
and even fire.

The mottled hickory bends with age
and the moss, adoringly green,
simple and present.

We are growing older now my friends,
reaching for the sky in these last years
while cherishing quiet
I will dance one last time
on the forest of desire
in shoes made of little twigs and leaves.
I will throw off my clothing and howl at the full moon
while you witness the end of my mind.
No soft shoe shuffle into oblivion for us,
we have dared to be different all our lives,
my weird friends who hear words in the wind
and find worlds in the glistening weight of
a single quartz stone.
We are growing older now my friends
and we will not go gentle into that good night.
We will not be tagged, warehoused, and dying, kept alive.
We will dress in purple linens and tye dye
and lay down in meadows of wildflowers
to be taken by the sun,
to be eaten by fox and vulture
shapeshifting at last.
We always knew we could.
We are growing older now my friends
and the light of each full moon means more than dollars,
more than sense,
more than almost anything
except love,
that flows in many directions,
often upstream,
dammed up it overflows,
because it has to always move.
We cherish the love between us,
the love around us,
the love within us.
This is the lesson we were here to learn
We moved the boxes down gravel driveways of impermanence,
we separated the Christmas decorations,
the vintage glass ornaments for one,
the kitschy candle lights for the other.

We walked away.  We said hello.
And so we learned to move through the currents of love,
the euphoria, the heartbreak, the leaps of faith to connect,
the betrayals, the anger, the loss, the loneliness, the yearning,
the amazing resilience of the human spirit,
dowsing rod for underground streams of love.

We are growing older now my friends and we
wade through these streams with delight,
knowing they change in split seconds and might
sweep us to our knees or buoy us to weightless new heights.
And we refuse to be boxed up, warehoused, tagged,
and dying, kept alive.


Lj RatliffLj Ratliff is a therapist and writer in Nashville, TN, who works and plays to create individual and global healing through the authentic connection of story. She loves laughter, cats, moments of truth, chocolate, and hiking.  She is a translator of the messages of the natural world; in other words—a poet.


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Assistant Ed: Dejah Beauchamp/Ed: Kate Bartolotta


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10 Responses to “Perennial Intimacy. {Poem} ~ Lj Ratliff”

  1. River says:

    Love love!!!

  2. Lj Ratliff says:

    Thank you for sharing the love, River!

  3. Sheila says:


  4. Lj Ratliff says:

    Thank you, Sheila!

  5. amy says:

    Beautiful~ loved every word.

  6. Mitru says:

    Beautifully woven

  7. Loba says:

    So beautifully written. I love how visual this piece is. Just lovely.

  8. Lj Ratliff says:

    Thank you, Amy!

  9. Lj Ratliff says:

    Thank you, Loba. And thank you for helping the wolves, friend to mother earth and her children.

  10. Lj Ratliff says:

    Thank you, Mitru!