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~

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one way ticket

i stood there at that bus stop

on the hill,

waiting:

book in hand,

reading about the galapagos islands

and a sailor turned poet

who almost crashed into them.

next to me a tree bloomed into a fence;

i didn’t know its name.

i stood there at that crossroads,

wanting:

a purpose,

a heading,

a sign,

a job.

it feels so long ago now.

but i felt the most alive then:

deep in that despair—with an edge of hope.

i knew somehow it would all work out.

i knew we would be ok.

but the desperation sharpened something in me

that will never be the same.

 

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.

five points

i am soft in the center.

don’t tell. i dry out

and wave my angry arms around.

but even my spikes are soft once i come back to life.

you see this once you are close up; you make this happen.

 

my daughter’s tiny hand used to spread out

over the hill of my breast while feeding.

my chest would rise, and fall—and her plump hand,

her whole plump body—would fill up

like a happy balloon.

 

she lets herself get very empty these days;

she likes the feeling

of being light and airy,

of floating—playing with non-existence.

in dreams, she flies weightless over the sea from which she was fished.

 

i, in contrast,

am so full. full of worry; full of fear;

full of love and gratitude and joy.

full of food, wine, sadness, thoughts;

full, at times, of empty.

 

we are each the star in our own galaxy.

things revolve around our soft openings as they are commanded;

other things shrink, collapse, get sucked into a black hole;

and some things laugh as they expand—like a wide-open mouth—

glinting beyond our greatest imagining.

 

 

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.

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.