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Formidable Maiden of the Fountain, Central Market, Valencia, Catalonia, Spain

First Responders

She strode from the chaos
With an extraordinary self-possession
Intent on some minor stain or damage to her frock
As if all that mattered in this world
Was her appearance in it

It was impossible to know
If her composure reflected disoriented shock
Or disdain for the physical danger
She had not yet entirely escaped
Until she let the hem fall down her thigh
Turned her attention toward her destination

Determined steps splashed a path
In a straight line through flotillas of shattered debris
Which seemed to have drifted in a pattern
Intended to allow her unobstructed exit
Books, papers, and various other shards of detritus
Drifted in the eddies of unsettled water
Which she cleaved like a great ship through choppy seas

In countenance and action
She exhibited a formidable and resolute presence
Like the war film fantasy of the battalion commander
Who leads his troops through a barrage
Of bullets and shrapnel
Upright, undeterred, intent not on the enemy
But the objective beyond their defensive lines

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Shootin' the Shit, Bar Mendizábal, Gothic Quarter, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Presence ~ Pic and a Word Challenge #234

We didn’t come here
For the beer
Or the snacks
Or to share a cigarette
Once we’d finished those

It wasn’t for the words we’d speak
Or to look into each other’s eyes
(You never took off your sunglasses)
To see or be seen
Or for a breath of fresh city air
In the chill afternoon

Yes, we spoke, shot the shit, as you say
You think, I’m sure, because voices fill the silence
But I can see the tendrils of sound
As they weave a caress
Coaxing our essence to expand
Occupy the same space

A moment not just of friendship
Or intimacy
Or even love

Something deeper
A moment in which our beings

Touch

Intertwine

A flirtation with the insight
That two can be one

In your presence
Woven into your essence
I sense the greater truth
Of the connection
Which makes us all
The One

Beneath all the other reasons
Our conscious and unconscious tell us
The latent awareness deep within knows
This is why we gather
This is why we linger
Long after all the other reasons have passed

That awareness is The One

To live as this awareness
Is to awaken

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Shadow and Light, Museu de les Ciències, Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, Valencia, Spain

Leaving The Grey Between

We are these incredible creatures
Of both darkness and light
We keep buried so very deeply
So we might never know how full
Is the pain of our despair
Or the beauty of our spirit
Or the strength we might show
If we could but release ourselves
From the grey we have created
To keep the best of ourselves
And the worst of ourselves
Beneath the skin
Beneath our consciousness
Beyond our capacity
To love