A Walk at Nightfall


Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Bible in hand, a solitary soul bellows his message of gloom.
His words are thorns that pierce the stillness
until the last scrap of daylight slips away and,
he disappears into the darkness.


Then, a radiant night, wrapped in peace.
Colored lights wink red, green, and blue from rooftops,
festive along the almost empty, narrow pathway.
Giant candy canes and toy soldiers greet us.
Plastic sentinels of Christmas cheer.


A crisp winter chill kisses our cheeks.
Children’s voices ring in the air.
Bells of energy and freedom.
Their joy loud and contagious.
We stroll along, calling out greetings.


Naked windows of cozy homes dressed
in their holiday finest reveal merrymakers in good cheer,
cocktails in hand.
Their warmth beckons to passersby.  


May every dark night 
have its cheerful golden light,
to chase away the gloom.

Remember this. Live it.


Teri Liptak

Struggle


I am . . .
   corruption
and
    redemption,
    sinner
and
    saint,
   the sacred
and
    the profane,
    the hello
and
    the goodbye,
    a truth
 and
    a lie,
    doubt
and
    trust
    hopes
and
    fears,
    lost
and
    found,
    problem
and
    solution,
    rising
and
    falling,
Again and again. In one breath.
A delicate balance of the human equation.
In the sight of heaven
and

    hell.


T. Liptak

Art of Peace Anthology Presentation - 2017

Building Bridges

Children's Wall-hanging

It was an honor to have my poem, "He Doesn't Make a Sound" included in the 2017 Art of Peace - Building Bridges Anthology. Thanks so much to Anne McCrady and Ann Faulkner for an inspiring evening.

He Doesn’t Make a Sound

No angry fists thrown in the air.
Only a five-year-old boy, dazed and bloodied,
in the back of a war-rattled ambulance.
His black silken hair powdered white with the rubble of his homeland.
No cries. No tears. Not a sound.
Born into a world that turns away.
A future as fragile as dust.
Yet, his face transcended borders and captured the heart of the world.
For a fleeting moment, one small Syrian child became everyone’s small child.
Then, we got busy with our own lives. Our own children.

We moved on. We forgot.

In this shrinking, wounded world, we must not live as strangers,
but learn to share a grief that is not our own.
Open up. Live deeper.
Make outraged noise for a child muted by bombs.
What we think we know about each other builds walls.
What we come to know about each other builds bridges.
Remember the displaced and the lost, who yearn for a stronghold.
Their dream of peace, evergreen and universal.
Hope of a better world for one’s children,
the common thread that connects us all in this tapestry of life.

                                                                                           T. Liptak

Find Me



This night, unfinished.
A possibility.
A girlish impulse,
clear-eyed and friendly.
A lesser angel in the curve of a smile.
A stranger’s face,
beginning to feel like home.
Holding everything you need within
a mad embrace.

                                                     T. Liptak

Chasing the Light



The sweet smell of lavender drifts on the warm breeze
and all the melodies come back to me,
of summer’s sweet songs.
Time slows down as I embrace the need to devour this thing called life.
A childlike longing to break the gold-tinged day into pieces
and slip them into my pocket.
To glut and gorge on sherbet-colored sunsets and cotton candy skies.
Each day given its portion of spectacular.

                                                                                                 T. Liptak

A Chapel Without Walls



A hunger gnaws at me as the winding road inches me to my destination. My patience is rewarded as the landscape unfolds like the pages of a child’s pop-up book into something rugged and wild.

The numbing repetition of big box stores and gas stations fades away as the small jutting, striated rocky ledges and mounds soon swell into the muscles and bones of the San Juan mountains in Southwest Colorado. Mountains that rise above me like a protective mother.

Tucked in along the gentle slope of her majestic skirt that spreads along the still water, I look up. Searching. Reminded of a simple, yet profound, truth about nature, life, and myself. All we have is the now. The moment at hand. These mountains generously offer me what I didn’t even realize I was looking for before now. A permission to slow down and take a deep breath. Truly listen to what my mind has to say.

A hush embraces me as I wander along the dirt path at the base of the rocky range stacked with towering cedars and aspens. The silence broken only by the click of my camera. The cool blue of the sky presses on me, rooting me to the earth. Wisps of clouds thread through the treetops.

I do not question the sensation that I am somehow at the intersection of the past, present, and future. A flash in time. Illumination. Seeing with my heart, as well as my eyes, what is before me. A joyous focus. I embrace it and mold myself to this new feeling of wonder combined with mindfulness. A rush of gratitude and completeness sweeps over me. The sense of a connection to something much bigger than myself grows with each step into this pristine wilderness. Here in this chapel without walls.

Art Break - Deep Ellum Art Festival 2017

Yesterday, we ventured out to the Deep Ellum Art Festival in Dallas, TX. Again, our outing included fierce wind gusts most of the day, but we had a nice time in spite of it. It is always inspiring to spend time among art and artists. The colors and ideas, not to mention the people-watching are fuel for a writer's imagination. I wish I could have gotten more pictures of the artwork, but most did not want pictures taken of their work, which is understandable. 

Wall of graffiti

Old Barn

Art

Crowd shot

Art Festival Dallas TX

Graffiti Deep Ellum