the signature of being

here we are

atop the summit

astride a wide field

with woven baskets

swinging on our arms

for the gleaning;

we are open containers

waiting for the gloaming.

it has been a long climb.

the geese know.

we approach a firefly

with quiet reverence;

we cup it in our hands

and feel the prayer.

we have been here before:

it is the signature of being.

 

~for my daughter on her 18th birthday~

Advertisements

fill

life is lonely:

fill it up.

 

laugh when you can.

be open to things that scare you.

 

sing at least once a day.

try to touch at least one being, and be touched.

 

life is lonely.

it’s ok;

we all know it.

lean into it.

 

there are times when you need

that space,

that quiet,

that gut-wrenching truth.

 

out of that wilderness

can come meaning, purpose,

focus, action.

 

get your fill.

 

 

 

grown-up love

i go in search of a drink

and find a bar with a door-bell

and ring it and go into the glowing cave

and see earthquake tori calling to me from the tv

from across the continents, saying: let diagonal lies lie;

singing: we are all shell-shocked at one time or another by truth—

this is life. let it be. drink your drink. live your life. love your self, love.

meet hope

my heart is full.

 

coming back on a high note,

a wave, something that’s still moving.

 

“change is good for me, mom,”

she says.

 

i know what she means. it isn’t

easy; but it’s good.

 

we take the green for granted,

all around us, all the time.

 

it reminds us to keep growing.

 

we are going to keep going.

we are not backing, breaking down.

 

we put our feet in the rushing tide, in the sand.

she runs around like a little girl—under the night sky,

 

on the edge of the world.

 

there is no moon, but we keep looking for it—expecting it

to pop up right at our feet.

 

it’s that kind of night.

 

we go out to the place where we can feel,

and meet hope.

 

going to seed

the world is full of levers

waiting to be pulled,

things waiting to be moved.

 

the levers can be hard to find.

since they’re invisible, you have to

bump into one to know it’s there.

 

they are long arms, reaching out

like the low boughs of a wise old tree.

many are on the edge of steep hills.

 

to get there, you have to breathe hard.

you have to feel as if you might die.

you pass many wry flowers along the way.

 

they nod as you pass; they are going to seed.

they ask nothing of you but to look

and take note and see your future.

 

you take step after step up the incline;

you wish you were a fish, even going upstream.

you wish you had gills, a long muscle for a body.

 

you are losing air; you are wheezing.

you feel the butterfly in your throat swelling.

it is not easy dwelling on land.

 

you pass many remnants:

broken houses, rusted fences, crippled farm equipment.

a fish out of water, indeed.

 

dreams of mother, father, child, lover follow you up the hill.

they trail behind you like a long ribbon of frames.

all your arms together reach out for the lever—and pull.

 

 

 

 

 

 

over & over, closer & closer

i finally took down my christmas tree.

she was a beauty. she brought us so much joy.

i hated to pluck the fragile ornaments off, one by one,

and toss her outside. but i know she will break down gently

into the soil and help create new life. she was already breaking down

in my living room: pine needles and sap and bits of branches everywhere.

 

part of me wanted to leave her there by the window and watch her decompose,

watch her finish her process of drying up, falling apart, withering to bits on the floor,

to see how long it would take, what it would look like. i don’t think this would bring me as

much joy as seeing her fully fledged with ribbons and lights, but in a more tangible way, it would

remind me of my own fleeting life, my own gradual breaking down, my own gentle (de) composition.

 

in her place by the window sits a large house plant that had been dying in a dark corner. now she can

sit in the sun and revive. she looks at me gratefully, watching me work, watching me watching her.

she reminds me of how happy my father was to sit on the balcony in the florida sun, soaking up

the warmth. there’s a picture of him somewhere in a rocking chair, facing out to the world,

slightly smiling. he knew he wouldn’t make it through another winter; he was ready to

go toward the light … into the light … through the light … to become light.

 

these are the rituals we need. these are the things we live to observe,

experience, write down, and remember. we do the same things

every year, over and over, as if getting closer and closer to

the bright light center with each magnificent spin.

 

Note: When viewed in a word doc format, this poem forms the shape of a pine tree on its side. I don’t think I can show landscape view in this platform.

 

 

favorite part of speech

i walk beside the river in the snow.

my cat curls beside me on the couch.

 

we are in this world to rub up

against other things and beings.

 

we define ourselves

in relation to others.

 

try to describe who

or where you are

 

without prepositions:

the words of relation-

 

ships. even an

island is in the sea,

 

far from land and

longing for habitation.

 

jump into the water

and see where it takes

 

you. cast off your

past, the weight of

 

mistakes, the heavy

anchor of indecision.

 

it is time to sail, to

take flight, to feel the

 

wind in your wings:

in, on, through, between.