Who moved my plane?

The first trick-or-treaters in 15 years are knocking. I’m leaping over several strewn suitcases, holding up a finger, looking for my hidden stash. Ah, the Dove chocolates, mostly gone and partly stale, pass from me to them in unwritten code: costumed children get treats. I’m just glad I didn’t have to resort to the boxed raisins (trick).

Suddenly, I’m in a time machine, clunking about in noise and heft as I grab the wheel with both hands and strain to turn. It is a slow descent. I’m back at the locust house; I see my witch friend barbecuing next door in the dark. ‘We have to stick together,’ she croons over the flames. It’s a complete head fuck and fog. Everything is percolating in the back matter.

The real reason I’m here is to find the underbelly of this machine we call life. I panic about the house with my coffee and wired thoughts. I have to get to the other side of each and every one and then find my way back. I’m not sure which way to go at each intersection. Decision and creation. You can’t have one without the other. I pick a path; I adapt; I pivot; I grow stronger ankles.

Now I’m ambling through the woods past abandoned cabins. I gaze around me at all the nesting places, resting places. I want to stay. I want to fall right into the soft wide bed of the blue foothills. But the runway is calling. It is just beyond those trees.

I see her lines. I am shyly circling them. All around mothers are cheering daughters, themselves. Making, marking time. My thoughts knit a giant yarn ball; I try to separate out the threads, the colors, the patterns. I need to make sense of this soft chaos. I need. I’m a poet, but that doesn’t mean I’m not angry.

I‘m in the parade now, part of the memory and worry. The biohazardy. We are marching. We are camping out on the runway. We are drinking tea and whiskey and wearing ear muffs and watching the sunsets and planes—coming and going.

I’m standing on the asphalt. Between the yellow lines. I’m searching, standing under planes, gazing up at their massively sleek bodies. I can’t find mine. It is strangely quiet. My thoughts are stilled, as if held within a frozen window frame. I am feeling the words: ‘Let fear be your tailwind, not your headwind.’

I am running.  I am stretching out my arms. I am being cheered and guided and lifted. I am . . . flying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

dream

brown eyes,

gold skin,

black cross-hatching,

blue rivers of veins

running through;

i see you. i see you.

your fingers find mine,

carry their own heat;

i feel you. i feel you.

your open mouth holds

what we don’t need to say.

you unfold your acre arms; and

i fall straight through

to the other side.

ride

there you are

up on the north hill.

 

i can see you

through the veil,

 

embarking on our

beautiful horse.

 

we share that

mustang machine;

 

we groom her,

we love her,

 

we feel her power

under and through us.

 

we take her down

the same paths:

 

looping in, around,

up, between.

 

but we can never ride

her at the same time.

 

across the time-miles,

 

i feel you in the saddle,

in the reins, in the hard

 

handle of the brush as

i bring her to a soft shine.

 

i manifest you in the

flowing grass, the

 

wild wind, the

impeccable trees.

 

we move seamlessly

through the falling leaves

 

as if coated with fluid.

 

with each ride

we lift the scrim

 

a bit more

to see within;

 

we speak our

vision into being.

what do you see?

the first time i wore glasses — and had to reach up

to push them further onto the bridge of my nose — my

hand felt a sudden shock as i remembered my dad. he

would make this gesture hundreds of times a day; he

wore glasses all of the time, not just for reading. when i

cleaned my glasses for the first time, i felt like i was

looking down at his careful hands, his breath on the glass,

his dinner napkin sweeping over the lens as he talked

about his day at the table. it wasn’t until recently that

i felt these movements — these gestures of my father —

down to their core. they seem like such small things, such

minutiae. but they are what i saw of my father all of my life.

there’s even a picture of him pushing his glasses up with one

finger while looking at the camera and smiling. his face is split

in half by his hand, but you can still see all of that smile. at the

end of a long day he would take off his glasses, lie back in his chair,

take the weight off of all the constraints, the tools needed, the

gestures — quieted down into the night sounds: the blurred hum

of the television, the din of family tinkering around him, the

knowledge of another day closing its eyes after a job well done.

i think i like a poem (that’s not for reading on a cell phone)

i think i like a poem

because it makes me slow

way down and be in the moment

and really take in the words, thoughts,

sounds. i think i like a poem that makes me

smile, cry, shake, blush, swing from the rafters.

i think i like a poem that’s the first poem in a new

house, fresh word paint spilling out onto the walls, floors,

ceilings. i think i like a poem that opens me up like a dream-

catcher wheel, spinning around and around until my deepest guts

are revealed and my heart is at the mercy of the meaning police vehicle

rolling through at over 44 mph, i think; i love; a poem; that makes no sense

to anyone but me--and maybe to those three who know who they are and who

keep me on my toes through the lovely pain-staking pains of staking these claims.

 

another lifetime

the heat called your name,

called you in.  you found me

sitting cross-legged in the glint

of candles: naked on the bed, on a

raft, in a teepee. you sat across

from me and became an indian

chief in a field under a moon

wearing a headdress. my fever

opened wide and took you in;

we rode the rush of blood and

animals and skin—past the hurt,

the mundane, the doubt, the every-

day terrain. only toward the end

did you turn into a demon; but by

then i was already there and gone.