Poetry and Prose by L Leeds Meyers

“Autumn Flame”
             By L Leeds Meyers

Stepping into the deep forest
             greens, browns, grays of trunks
             scarlet leaves tightly grasp to their branches
             as the wind stirs and builds to violence
             ripping them off one by one.

What does the maple leaf think about
             as she is forced to let go, pulled from safety and home?
Have all the days of watching her brothers and sisters
             prepared her for this moment?
How long does she have to live
             once she begins her journey to the ground?
Does she feel pain as she glides, tumbling and turning, down?
Does she know where she will land?

From where I sit,
             it all makes sense and there is no sadness
             only mystery and delight.
For I know she will return
             splendid once more.

In the slaughterhouse
             blacks, grays, and browns of skins
             eyes wide and searching
             the killer takes his slash of violence to her vulnerable, exposed neck
             scarlet angels seeping into ground.

Those that lead the way say
             that cows weep and tremble as they approach slaughter.
She knows she is far from safety and home.
She smells the death of her brothers and sisters.
She senses she has just minutes to live.
Poked and prodded, she jerks and is overcome with pain and fear.
Nothing could ever prepare her for this moment.

From where I sit,
             nothing makes sense
             there is only sadness and despair.
For I know that there is no peace
             just millions, billions of unnecessary deaths to come.

“Eyes Like Mine”
             By L Leeds Meyers

They come running to the fence
Feathers fluffy in the wind
Eager, excited, and laughing
Jackie O with her pearl necklace
             Bossy Pants dressed in red velvet
             Peaches with her nude stockings
             Dorothy in a glamorous black evening gown.

And I remember the ones that are no longer here
             Coco in her best brown pants suit
             Sparkles with her golden egg
             Silvia who shined bright like a shooting star
             Aristotle with her badge of honor.

And I have asked myself
How many times can a heart break?
How can I live with my skin on inside out
And still walk through this world?
How does my heart stay open
to the depth in her eyes
knowing that her light will go out?

They sqwualk and sqwualk and I smile
I kneel down so that our eyes can meet
Their heads tilt with curiosity
their eyes focus on mine
And we are the same.

We both put ourselves to bed
and rest with the moon
We both wake with the sunrise
and celebrate the new day
We both eat and drink and shit and bathe.

Our hearts race
Our skin itches
Our tempers flare
Our feathers ruffle.


When the world gets quiet
and the temperature cools
When the light goes down
and the nocturnal beings begin to roam
We both very carefully
sweetly and gently
Step closer and closer and lean against one another.

For warmth
For safety
For comfort
For peace
For love.

We both love.

“Under Every Rainbow”
             By L Leeds Meyers

             As I sit in my window
I see them
ze is tiptoeing across the sand
filled with barnacles, stones, and other sharp things
barefoot, gliding over the edges of pain that are sure to endure.

             And beside zir
a brown husky
fluff and love
leashed and trying desperately to keep up.
They run as one.

             I look away to take a sip of my delicious coffee
and when I look up ze is squatting in front of him
eye to eye.
Zir hands wrapped around his face
and ze is explaining something to him.

             Sweetly and kindly
Ze is saying
I must leave you here.
I cannot love you anymore.

             Ze is saying
I will tie you to this post
And the tide will come and take your life away.

             Ze is saying
you have been my life
and I yours
but it cannot go on any longer.

             I watch closely
Ze rubs his sweet neck with the back of her hand
the way lovers do when they are admiring
every crevasse so deeply
as to never forget.

             I watch and I am ready
to jump at a moment’s notice
to go save him when ze leaves
to bring him home
into my heart
and give him a new life.

             I look away
and when I look back
they are running off into the sand and water
dancing together
Crisis averted.

You may find it funny
that I would imagine such things
that the stories of sadness
would enter my mind in such a beautiful moment.

But I have seen puppies abandoned on highways
left on the side of the road
their terror-filled eyes glistening in the dark
shining in reflection of my headlights.

I have seen kittens thrown from car windows
in paper bags
an entire sack of babies tossed into the woods.

I have seen stray dogs
large shepherds
scooped up by tractors
and tossed into garbage compactors
to be crushed alive.

             That knowledge
those images
forever change one with an open heart
and a compassionate soul
they become woven into the fabric of humanity
and hide under every rainbow.

Sink every dream of hope
Strangle the sweet and smelly bud of freedom.

I pause. Hurting.
I feel my little black and white Shih Tzu Chloe
Sweetly scratching at my side
asking to be lifted and held
she can feel my heart crying.

I lift her onto my lap.
Immediately soothed.
I touch her soft face.

Her mustache white and a little sticky.
I smell her deeply.
The scent of her haircut and bath, four days old.
I hear the sweet moan she makes when I squeeze her tender body tight.

A sigh, a sign of safety, being held tight in this big big world.
I hold her sweet body. Her Zen essence guiding me home. I feel her beating heart.

Beating in the same rhythm as mine. She is the only one that can heal this pain.

My little ninja
She has the magic powers to transform
All loss
Into love.

“As Above So Below”
             By L Leeds Meyers

Franklin was so fluffy. I had to spend hours slowly pulling his fur apart, gently, not to hurt him.

Not tear his sweet skin. Did you know bunnies have skin like tissue paper? Tissue. Paper.

He would resist at first, running away, that rascal, but once I had him wrapped up in the towel like a mummy, he would calm down, back into me and purr. He would purr as I gently . . .  so gently…pulled his dreadlocks apart.  Angora, his beautiful fur coat, that people torture for, that people kill for. I could feel his fast heartbeat. His little—so little—warm-blooded body in my hands. My long slender fingers holding him tightly, just enough to keep him still. To keep him safe. I only wanted to keep him safe. My sweet little man. 

And then one day he was gone. Disappeared from our sanctuary, leaving his love, Eleanor behind. Just gone one sunny Sunday morning. I called his name, over and over, into the mountains not yet green with leaves. Into that cold roaring early spring wind. Into the forest where all the other creatures live. I asked the trees. I asked the hens. I asked Eleanor. I asked the fire. They all told me that he was gone. My heart, ripped apart, still calls for him years later.

And that Saturday, before the Sunday he disappeared, Eleanor and Franklin were lying in the sun. Spring was in the air, finally. We stood on the deck and watched as they lay in a small patch of sunlight. Franklin supporting Eleanor in a full-bodied spoon. Wrapped around her, holding her sweetly, and loving her. Their bodies were at ease and calm. Their feet- soft, tan, and tender- curled together. Rabbits feet, the ones that people carry on keychains in their pockets. They were safe and together. They were resting. They were free.

- L Leeds Meyers is a queer, vegan, naturalist, and activist who lives in the Cold Spring, New York. Ze spends most of their time hiking and biking in the Hudson Valley, practicing yoga and meditation, and advocating for the freedom and peace for all living beings. L has been strongly influenced by the poetry of Mary Oliver and the Zen teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn and Roshi Joan Halifax. Through hir writing, L hopes to raise awareness of the interconnection of all beings, the importance of kindness, and the beauty of the natural world.

Copyright©2021 by L. Leeds Meyers. All Rights Reserved.