Captured light

 Art by Gabriel Dawe, Exhibition called Wonder, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery

Art by Gabriel Dawe, Exhibition called Wonder, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery


I want to be home.
I have been gone.
Stuck in time.
Working with matter.
Bound to things
Lost and cold.

I want to be light.
Freed from this night.
Know my soul.
Moving as love.
Be the essence
Of eternity formed.

I want to be me.
Heaven beneath my feet.
No more waiting.
Knowing I’m enough.
Cocooned by God.
Alive in Oneness.

I want to belong.
It’s been so long.
On the fringe.
Carrying this load.
Take me back.
Send me home.

Alice W. Lee

Unlikely Places

The gift of oneself

 A chair from the cliff--the nature of gifts and gifts from nature.

A chair from the cliff--the nature of gifts and gifts from nature.

Unlikely Places

It was vibrating at the plane of shame and pain.
He explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“The more I love someone, the more I criticize them.”

(How curious to find this cactus by this forgotten lane…)

He taught, “We are alike.  We are average
and must work harder to be good enough.”
Its point poisoned instantly—I could hardly feel myself.

It was vibrating at the plane of fear.
She explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“Be good.  Drive carefully.  Don’t die on the road.”

(How strange to hear it singing in this shadowy sphere…)

She warned, “Always wear make-up when you go out."
"To avoid wrinkles, you should stop having expressions.”
A mask for my mask to mask the life without and within.

It was vibrating at the plane of sound.
He explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“I love you.  I love you.  I love you.  I love you.”

(How surprising to find it in this vacuum, spinning around…)

He repeated, “I’m too busy (to play with the kids,
hold a conversation, or catch the fly)."
Oneness that leaves one feeling lonelier than being alone.

It was vibrating at the plane of service.
He explained its nature and illustrated its effects.
“Would you like a picture taken of the two of you?”

(How poignant to feel its warmth melt the frozen surface…)

He revealed, “When I was young and naïve . . .
I gave $20.00 to an addict and waited and waited for his return.”
The butterfly effect of such gifts determines its restoration.

It vibrates at every plane of creation.
I know its nature and have felt its effects.
Thank you for loving as you are.

(How enlightening for the soul to grow from exploration...)

Emmanuel said, “Love is all that exists.
Love is the universal communication.”*
As long as it was meant in love, I honor it, unconditionally.

Alice W. Lee

*Emmanuel’s Book Compiled by Pat Rodegast and Judith Stanton, p 47

At the Gate

In memory of love without barriers and barriers that reveal love

At the Gate

Together, inside our walled garden, by the red gate.
December in Taipei, Taiwan.  Mimosa, courtyards, and luggage.
The air is always warm.  The sunset casts bronze light and black shadows.
My grandmother and I stand close, but talk of parting.

She is fifty and steps gingerly, on half-bound feet.
I am seven and skip along, braids bound by red string.  
I am leaving for America soon,
to reunite with my father there.

I have no choice but to go. 
Am already aching for my return—
to see her wrinkled face again,
and hold her vein-filled hands in mine.

“Grandma, it will be a long time before my return.
You may die, before I can come back.”
“Don’t worry.  Street vendors often come, selling ‘Long Life Pills’. 
I will live to a hundred and wait here for you.”

“That’s good.  Remember to buy them. 
It will take me a long time to grow up. 
I promise I will come back to you.
Don’t forget me.  I will always remember you.”

At the last moment, I refuse to get on the plane. 
I wriggle away and run towards her.
“Grandma!  Grandma! Help me!”  I call.
I am not going!  This is my choice!

My mother pulls me back to the plane,
and I resist with all my strength. 
She slaps me hard. 
The pain freezes me forever.

Grandmother looks on, unblinking,
standing behind a barrier made of rope.
Her face and arms hang down.
Tears and tares at the gate.

Alice W. Lee

The Ballerina

The horcrux of love, freedom, and creativity

The Ballerina

16 years old, 8½ by 11 paper, a 14-pan watercolor set,
and a pin-point of hair on a small brush.
Dab, dad, dab, dad, David, dab, dad, David…
Painting L’air Du Temp’s ad of a ballerina—
a floating angel of swirling vibrant color.
Light from a window shines on her black hair,
illuminating her, as she dances in a dungeon dark space.

Hyper-focusing, blending light and dark,
texturing rubber cement on the shadowed walls.
Blinking back the tears, keeping my lips firm.
Everything must be perfect—her face and dress.
Creating something beautiful out of water and despair,
because it would be useless to question why.
“Why did you stop him from seeing me?”

Why did you stand like a guard at the front door
and send him away, as he smiled his poor smile?
What is so wrong with a boy who calls,
to argue about how to cook an egg,
to share how his mother had died,
then writes of his mission in Hong Kong,
and comes to visit, after being gone so long.

I had been alone all my life, until he came.
Why do you hate his name?
And I…I stood silent and afraid.
I should have said, “You are a monster.  I hate you.” 
I should have pushed you aside and opened the door.
I should have cried to him, “Please forgive us.  I’m so sorry.”
Instead, I paint, with blinding focus and quiet intensity.

Walking by, he smirks, “You’ve never looked happier.”
If I were a python, I would wrap myself around him
and squeeze, until every bone cracks beneath my coils.
Like the Joker, I could put a blade in his mouth
and show him how my happiness feels.
I return to the painting and let
the work transform my hatred and regret.

The ballerina shone like the Orion nebula.
When it was done, I gave it to him, as if to say,
“I forgive you for being who you are.”
His sister saw it, later, hanging above his bed,
and asked me to give it to her, and I said, “No.”
He wrapped my forgiveness in brown paper for her sake.
Then—along with the part of me that paints—it was gone.

Alice W. Lee