we will have words

there’s no room in my life

for new men; because the old

 

ones keep creeping in.

at night, they get the lay

 

of the land. still, after all

this time—they inhabit the

 

dreams of both body and

mind. every now and then

 

a new man will arrive on

the scene: in real life.

 

a good man. a man who

makes me feel alive.

 

we will have words;

so help me god.

 

we will have a new life,

a new touch, a clean rain.

 

and i will be reminded:

you are not your pain.

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pick just one thing

what do you do when the

world seems to be coming

 

apart? how do you embody

the bravery that you know you

 

will need, that you know your

children and your children’s

 

children will seek for their very

survival? when the system has

 

turned cold and impervious—

the governing body stripped

 

of its head and its heart, and in

its place: angry fistfuls of gold—

 

how do you continue to break

in, break through, without

 

breaking down? pick just

one thing. pick one thing you

 

can learn, one thing you can

research, one person you can

 

help, one word you can say, one

way to hold on to that bravery

 

and hope; pick just one thing.

no one else can pick it for you:

 

find the thing that speaks to

you—above the roar of bullshit,

 

the one thing you can do today,

right now, every day, as small as it

 

seems. each person doing just one

thing with love and intention will build

 

back a breathing, beating body:

whole and full, with head and heart

 

and arms and hands open

and ready to receive again.

 

 

 

i used to be

to take the edge off,

at least during the day,

at least during waking, non-

 

working hours; to go about

your routines, together but

alone, talking past each other:

 

slipping out to the ledge just to

see where it could all end; looking

back at where you’ve been because

 

you can’t imagine what hasn’t

happened yet. eye contact is a

commodity;      to hold it      is a luxury.

 

 

to enjoy what was

take me to your timberline,

show me where your true self ends

 

and your truer self begins.

i want to see in:

 

i want the spiral of a dream to take me

out of time,

 

put me in the womb,

put me on the edge of battle,

 

put me in the pack

chasing survival;

 

to forget the forgetting,

to feel the source,

 

to see the spine of life continuing

as it passes through doors.

 

to enjoy what was

is to carve joy

 

into what is,

into what will be again:

 

it is all the same clay, the same

tools, the same deep grooves.

 

you call me to the fire, and

i answer with water;

 

and we sit at the edge of the mountain

and conspire to love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

we are time less

here i am, perched on the edge of earth’s balcony.

the beach at night—how i’ve missed it, the way the sea and sky merge into one big dark blue sigh;

the way the soft black-blue cushions you, makes you forget your fluorescent fears, makes you let go of the artifice, makes you feel like anything is possible, makes you feel;

the way this buzz goes deeper, into the curves of your being, winding through your veins and vessels and tunnels and channels, climbing through your cochlea with a vibrating message: you are alive;

the way the sand digs into every part of you and forces you to be present, to feel every granule, every atomic angle, measured out;

the way the clouds open up just enough to show you a sliver of moon, of reference and reminder on this glint-edge of spoon;

how it makes you really feel the earth, the roundness, the expanse, the way she takes full breaths, the way you could just fall off the ledge, disappear and be swallowed up into the depths.

we step into the tide and feel the grains and rocks and tease of seaweed and slip-slide of shells. we talk about sharks and the recent attacks and how the ocean is their natural habitat, and we are the real infestation;

we talk about death, and life, and family, and memory, and poetry, and cycles, and the canals we all move through, and the sounds, and the barriers we try to put up, and the way liquid light still pushes in;

i think about you, standing next to me, sitting so close to me in the sand, breathing this same air, sharing this same lens and space, like a kind and sacred hand being offered up for us both to hold;

i think about you, sitting in that chair, looking up at me and into me while i act out my script, play my part in that beautiful-tragedy, soak up your smiles, walk shaking circles around that stage of words.

we talk about how we’ve been here before, and how we’ll be here again, when we’re old and still time-less and still connected.

i slip out of my coverings just a bit and feel the moon and water on my skin, just enough to make me levitate, forget land for a moment, all the ties that bind, all the promises and commitments and labels and losses and lies left—

you, like the night ocean, have that effect.

and in the midst of all this thinking and talking and surging and being—a miracle right at our feet! tiny slippery white flashes of light—riding in on the tide and seeming to fly right off the crest!

like the floating particles in the eye that you can’t really see or look at directly—we try, and then they’re gone.

we squint and bend down closer to try to make out their shape, follow them down the shore, but we can only see faint patches, glimmers of light, scurrying schools of squarish white blobs, round at points, shifting together and then apart—so rapidly we can’t pin them down.

but we know they’re there. we don’t know what they are, but we know we saw them. we’re glad we’re not alone; we have each other as a witness that this phenomenon was real, is real.

we wait for the next sighting, for the next mystery-swarm to come through; we’re amazed and six years old again and true.

we’re glad we’re not alone. we’re glad there’s always a miracle when we meet.

here i am, perched on the edge of earth’s balcony; and the show is free.

stretch the spirit-head high

i wake each morning

to a sun-filled kitchen,

familiar cup of coffee;

 

i feel new.

 

but by night-fall i am

in mourning for

the old.

 

i know, this too shall pass;

which is its own

 

kind of sadness.

 

i slowly ease in and dig my

shell into this fresh sand:

 

letting the tiny grains

patiently move me along —

 

millions of time-wise

crystalline hands.

 

i keep one eye on the tide,

stretch the spirit-head high

 

to the deep-wide horizon.

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alive: for dad

i keep trying to crawl into that photograph

of you in your uniform, of you in your

 

youth-prime, proud smiling on your mother’s

arm with the crinkly eyes of your future daughters.

 

after the flagship burned,

and the wheelhouse turned,

 

you became good at seeing angels;

yeah, you were all right.

 

when asked how you were doing,

you said, well, i’m alive.

 

and my mirror cells replied,

well, that’s every thing.

Dad and Grandma