Lacy MacAuley

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a home for my pen, projects, and passions

threw myself skipping-stone

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In my darkest moment
feet shuffle with lightness
not weighed down
with history and meaning.
Can I finally learn a lesson,
rather than keep pouring this heart onto the pavement?
I will not pour my soul
onto the factory floor –
I will not compromise
In will remember that I am here
after having followed dog whistles
and rainbows – after shouting
out my heart so loud it cracked
the office windows of the elite…
after playing my dreams like a harp that crashed the party
– the cocktail party at the end of the world.

So, so far from home
But the choices made were to throw myself skipping-stone
across the water – like a Jesus who won’t drown.

My eyes search for anything familiar –
something to trust –
but they find only myself,
still asking the same questions
in front of the mirror.

Filed under: poems, Uncategorized

riparian zones and clean rooms

This is a forgotten poem I scrawled on a page for a lover as I was packing up and moving from one city to another. That lover recently got back in touch with me, typed up the poem, and sent it. Here it is.

Why are you here?
So that, in a moment,
as you expressed a simple idea about cleaning
and empty rooms
I could look at your radiant eyes
the color of an aged mahogany tree
who has seen generations of people walk beneath it
but remains standing alone
in that moment I understood fully
exactly what I was letting go.
All the richness of your person
and the solidity of your comportment
the tapestry woven by your experience
and the will to survive
that is stored in the creases your eyes trace
as your smile spreads out across long-ago happy skies
the smoothness of cinnamon-colored rolling skin
and long graceful fingers that plucked the strings of my future
singing songs into the flesh-colored cavities of my hopes
accompanied by a wholly unwarranted humility.

And there are no clean lines in this world.
Did I love you?
I knew in that moment that I did.
But if you look closely at any line
the edges blur into ugly grayness
that transform into vagabond pigeons and escape
muttering things both true and insane
turning the ordered pragmatic life
into a circus of madness.

I try to catch them, calm them
smooth the lines back
but this is a riparian zone, a flood plain
A green-yellow edge of slash-and-burn
where machines scratch and tear at the earth
where wild creatures are exposed
and they get lost and die
in a world not their own.

And there is love between us still, despite him.
Despite my imminent migration.
Love to soften your rough voice
laid over delicate silken guitar
Love to forgive many missteps

Please don’t believe for one moment
that you are not unique, indeed cherished
regarded more highly than him in so many ways.
But I am not in a position now to receive you.
This is the edge of a wave
a changing zone of calculated destruction
as the mother ocean draws the sand into her depths
I will find waves to ride to solid ground.

This is cleaning
and this is my empty room

Filed under: lacy's life, poems

wild like me

A song by Lacy MacAuley, for a dear friend
(Working on a little recording with music. To be continued!)

Photo by Ernst Haas.

There I stood, as the sun and stars forgot to shine
There I stood, in a cloud of lust and red, red wine

I asked a sacred question: Am I lost?
And what could I do? I flew.
And now here you stand in front of me.
Are you wild like me?
Are you wild and ready?
Can you fly like me?
Can you leave today?
I’ll take you out, out, out and away,
but you have to be ready for me.

Feral hearts can house a thousand things.

Just listen now to the songs that they sing.
I can shelter you and still give you wings,
and I don’t need their papers or their diamond rings. 

You can’t hold the ground if you want to fly.

Take to our wings and who knows what we’ll find.
A hundred adventures I see in your eyes
share tomorrow’s secrets with the sunrise.

A winged creature, I cannot be caged.

No bars can hold a tempest, a sage.
The darkness of night will turn to the dawn.
And when it does I’ll be traveling on.

Still you stand in front of me.

Can you shake the cold

and step into the light?
Can you shake the oppression
of the long empty night?
Come with me and be one
in the journey. 

Are you wild like me?
Are you wild and ready?
Can you fly like me?
Can you leave today?
I’ll take you out, out, out and away,
but you have to be ready for me.

Filed under: lacy's life, poems

each word a stone to throw

A poem by Lacy MacAuley

Eliminating laws, opening trade, deregulating the market
has put us in a prison.

Cold austerity, chilling strictures
have ignited us and caused the streets to burn.

The largest sums of money paid by the hugest banks
have only caused more poverty.

The neoliberal world
is one in which the most basic sense is backwards, upside down.
It is as false as a mirror,
turning backwards all that is trusted, reversing that which is true.
A glass world of pomp and doublespeak.

And who is to say that a single strategic brick – red and sure as the hand on the drum, as the red human blood pumping through my raised fist, as red as the veins of the earth scratched raw by their bulldozers – who is to say that a single strategic brick could not bring down this house of mirrors? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, antiwar, climate justice, environmentalism, immigrant rights, lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

luck dragon

A poem by Lacy MacAuley

luck dragons, now I know,seldom to good or evil go

I’m stepping out of a dragon’s lair
Still smokey from the crackling air
The luck dragon who dances there
has rhythm tangled in his hair

Nearer to the stars is nearer to the past
Holding a movement to make the morning last
We climbed closer but did not take flight
Our wings may open on some other night

What delicacies do dragons keep
if not maidens to help them sleep?
Unicorns to cast a spell with?
A fire tonic for hearts to melt with?

Lining their nests with golden words
with captured colors, songs they’ve heard,
luck dragons, now I know,
seldom to good or evil go
but weave and move in weaving lines
to neutral truth, serpentine
in their passage, covering ground
enough to circle many times round
the earth until they reach a speed
felt only by hearts wild and free,
something like the speed of light
into an eighth dimension flight.

This luck dragon heaved a lightning breath
through a cloud of charge into a unicorn’s depths.
Reactively they threw off sparks
to ignite their wooden, waiting hearts.

Filed under: poems

winter breathes

A stream-of-consciousness poem by Lacy MacAuley

Winter breathes down upon me
and for the first time, I face it without
a partner to warm my side.

You are a gift to the earth,
but are you a gift to me?
My body and the red blood that runs through my veins
wants to invite you in,
pull you into the dance,
to frolic, to run over hills
until we plunge sleepy into the sparkling creeks of the valley.

I want to walk shoulder to shoulder with you.

And especially, as the chill wind rolls
through the barren branches,
living but, for now, not growing,
as the plants pull their energy down into their roots,
I long to be near you in soft refuges in the night
to swim in your smile, and in the center of your love.

But I may as well swim across the ocean.

Filed under: lacy's life, poems

Adams Morgan Romance

A (highly fictitious!) poem by Lacy MacAuley

Leaving Affinity Lab on a Saturday night
I hurried down the stairs
I stepped out on 18th Street baby
And I breathed in the Adams Morgan air

There you were locking up your bike
Right by the Diner line
Didn’t you work at City Bikes?
Did you repair my spoke that time?

I decided I would get you drunk
And see what happened then
There was something about that fixed-gear frame
That was a-making my tires spin Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: biking, humor, lacy's life, poems

ways to ride a bicycle

A poem by Lacy MacAuley

Biking with an umbrella through my neighborhood.

A frame of steel and a couple of wheels
practical, a bit political and ill-fitted in terms of gender
this bicycle suits me just fine
it’s not elegant with clean lines
sort of like my rhymes but I make them anyway
and like this machine they get me from point A to point B
give my soul a little foot rub on the way.

There is more than one way to ride a bicycle.
When I started riding in the city I was, shall we say, anxious
hidden foes abounded like kung fu movie extras in a ravine in China
enemies in the form of car doors and drivers on cell phones
I put on armor and clattered down the street like a woman in defeat
to the broadcast safety warnings that bombast into life when you’re young
weighed down but expected to perform well
like a soldier in the desert trying to defend herself with 60 pounds of gear
but no bullet-proof vest – I used to ride my bicycle that way.

But now, it is just one soft me against a hard reality
how do I avoid injury? I dance
I weave through the cumbersome, clamorous motions
of people in their slick expensive homes on wheels
This misshapen-looking contraption becomes a thing of water
and I am rain on a path of least resistance Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, biking, environmentalism, lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

bus of stories

A slow packed bus carrying stories.

Mine, of joy.

Hers is one of pain that has simmered slow, steeping in a bitter broth.

His is tired and moving slow, held back by histories and untold dreams, half-realized but not allowed to go all the way.

Hers is one of a heart that loved – that reached out trusting to waiting hands, hands that seemed so soft and honest. Yet they turned hard and cold with some frustration.

She was stricken, she shrunk back. She is now afraid to emerge and step into a new place made glowing.

Let me be the light that shines into these sorrows, now in my happiness.

Filed under: lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

i loved this thing


A poem by Lacy MacAuley based on a near-death experience.

I don’t know what your perspective is
but it was real, real like bitterness boiled into inevitable medicine
stabbing and alive like broken bone on the nerve,
barely lucid and kicking for survival
rolling frantic like a horse down a hill.

Somehow the closeness to death
illuminates the points of my being
I wasn’t perfect and nothing is – but I was real Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

nowhere except right here

I am sexy, I am smart
I’m going to open up my heart
I’m going to foment revolution
Gonna write my own constitution

Gonna plant a garden, build a school
Gonna save the whales, I ain’t no fool

Gonna get my power from the sun
Gonna spread the love, have me some fun
Gonna get my power from the wind
Gonna get us outta the trouble we’re in

I’m going to deconstruct my paradigm
Gonna reach the depths, gonna find the time
I’m going to love and have no fear
Gonna be nowhere except right here

Filed under: activism, lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

breaking through the ice on valentines day

After forming throughout the winter, this natural ice sculpture collapsed to the ground ten seconds after I snapped a photo of it.

Ice sculptures can be breathtaking. But I’m a heat lover, and on this Valentine’s Day I prefer to meditate on the warm, tender side of life. People can spend their whole lives freezing their hearts, but like an ice sculpture the hardened heart can be melted, or it can break apart in a dramatic flash. That’s why I was moved when, today on Valentine’s Day, about ten seconds after I snapped a little photo of this fascinating sculpture, it slid off of the roof and was gone. It had been forming since the beginning of the winter on the rooftop of my friends Rita and Enrique Peralta, whose house I was visiting on this day for love.

A an ice sculpture on a day for love.

Ten seconds later it has collapsed, gives way to the blue sky.

Filed under: lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

david pick up your hammer, a poem


David is a man
He does all he can
He’s a little bit worried about Pakistan
and he’s jumping at the bit to go and bomb Iran
Yes David is only human
Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: activism, antiwar, global justice, human welfare, poems

if they have stolen

if our words feel limp and lifeless
if our voices don’t feel at home
we will choose song
with passion that can never be captured

if the masters have stolen
the word for love
we will give them blood
so that they know our minds

if the business man
with his unhappy eyes
his meek exploits that he mistakes for joy
so sad from all the times he has bent others to breaking point
thinks he can enter this land of green abundance
by a false smile glinting in this deep forest like a sword in battle
we will soak him and cleanse him
in the tears of those he killed

if there is a wound
that cries from red-blood throats
from the child lying in a white room with closed windows
we will break open the wall
and let the loving arms of the sun
cover us in truthfulness

Filed under: activism, lacy's life, poems, thoughts and philosophies

Lacy MacAuley ~ International Relations ~ Radical Dreamer ~ Justice Lover ~ Thought Dancer ~ Heart Writer ~ Divine Dakini ~ based in Washington DC

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Building a better world starts with just raising your voice.

If you stand for something, then stand up. Join us. You are part of the solution. lacymacauley@gmail.com