where you are the green

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naked nest,

empty chest,

 

exposed by the

long stretch-slap of winter.

 

go out into it,

stand-under,

 

chalk it up to a blank chapter.

 

get out of the prison of your head;

let your legs do the talking.

 

end up on a new path

where you are the green, and

 

hunted, and in your blood,

walking.

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2010: your utter limits

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the thing we don’t tell

our children is that

 

life gets harder as we get older;

 

that, despite the new and amazing and

mind-blowing things we discover,

 

life will push you to your utter limits.

 

how did this design come to be?

that our offspring witness our demise, and then their own?

 

that their friends die around them;

that their hearts are shredded before they even leave home?

 

i’m not asking for answers.

so keep your books shut.

 

i’m asking the questions that have no answers,

 

the questions that need to be asked

even as they fall open to infinity.

 

the year my marriage broke apart for the last time,

a piece of me died.

 

the year my dad died,

a piece of me died.

 

incidentally, it was the same year.

 

i will never be the same –

nor do i want to be.

 

that would mean this life isn’t happening.

to me.

 

this is my life.

 

a decade earlier, the moment my daughter was born,

a piece of me burst open and expanded

 

into something more beautiful and terrifying

than i ever imagined possible.

 

now i walk around with a new fear –

of losing her, of seeing her hurt, of knowing that

 

someday she will lose me.

 

this is our life: our collective

fears, loves, hopes, tragedies, dreams.

 

this is our ride: as we hold on,

hold each other, hold life

 

in our hands.

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a few more meters

i have this dream

in which i kill every thing in the house:

the plants, the pets, the shadows.

 

i remain alive because i am outside the house,

 

outside myself, dictating death

to the weak and softening. i have been here before,

waxed inside this block of malice, shaking.

 

if every action starts with a thought, a seed –

i am growing a fucking garden.

 

i talk to myself in the early morning hours,

walk myself through the rituals:

washing, brushing, brewing, feeding.

 

eating has become so tiresome. if i could

just take one tiny pill and be done with it.

 

they say toward the end of a long run you get a sort of second wind,

a rushing of air, energy, purpose into your lungs, body, mind.

 

i’ve been running for a long time now; i’m starting to disbelieve in

second anything. maybe it’s like getting lost: if you had just gone

 

a few more meters you would have seen the sign.

the heart of sky (or, the other valentine)

the hearth, the heat, the

sweep of sleet

across the face.

 

did you know you could

keep this pace?

 

love this

pain?

 

in time with the bondage

of the eye:

 

the true measure

of the body —-

 

and the deep

cry of the beyond.

 

spread it all out;

write it all down;

 

drag it across your life-joist;

then burn it.

 

but first,

drain the

strife-blood.

 

the archive will

remember:

 

the red, the breath,

the breadth,

 

the heart of sky.

love: a valentine all to your self

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love your god

love your child

love your clan

love your pet

 

love your friend

love your neighbor

love your town

love your world

 

love your humble

love your stars

love your boys

love your girls

 

love your weary

love your homeless

love your inner child

love your inner goddess

 

love your play

love your work

love your silence

love your words

 

love your weakness

love your strength

love your order

love your mess

 

love your past

love your present

love your future

love your senses

 

love your drive

love your sloth

love your spirit

love your naught

 

love your loss

love your dance

love your certainty

love your chance

 

love your heartbreak

love your pain

love your surrender

love your sustain

 

love your triumphs

love your mistakes

love the haunting sound the train makes

love the tree, the flower, the grass, the bird, the sunrise, the moon, the thunderstorm, the surge

 

love your self

love all that is yours, and all that is not yours

love that to have and to hold goes beyond the physical realm

love that the most beautiful things are not things and are too vast and miraculous to be possessed

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all the time in the world

it takes off –

like a shot.

 

i try to follow it out

into oblivion,

 

but i am held down,

mired into this moment,

 

this fake contraption

with false starts

 

and widening gaps

and leering teeth.

 

the word within the word

opens and opens and

 

i am falling into the fissures.

 

if you honor the love, the joy, the light—

must you not also honor the opposites?

 

the divine darkness creeping along the edges,

the void that was there before you, before

everything.

 

:there can be no shape without shadow:

 

the flat light

spread under you like a

sheet of sea floor,

 

brilliant and

bastioned.

 

you can only see the stars

in the black of night;

 

they call to you–

 

from beyond,

from behind,

from within.

 

if you let them, they swell up

and burst out of your very heart.