Apr 20 2017

field of dreams

i live
in the land
of farms

people from
cities
don’t understand
what that
means
(i learned this
from a former
city dweller)

in my world
there is

space

.

.

.

wide field

deep sky

lone tree
standing tall
to guard
corn
wheat
or soy

in the
evening
driving
home

a lone car
on the road
in the
distance

becomes
beacon
for a
journey
never
traveled

.

.

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Apr 16 2017

blur

the sun is shining
and the windows are open
and i am up early
making pierogies

i think about tradition
and the millions of women
who have stood at a sink
or a stove or a counter
smiling and singing
in a warm ray of sunshine
as they filled small houses
with smells of love

i am crying
(all these onions)
and i don’t need
to do all this work
this chopping
this repetitive
standing-up
oh-my-back labor

we could have had
scalloped or mashed
or baked, but

the sun is shining
and the windows are open
and i am up early
making pierogies

feeling blessed

and the voices
of those women
(those ghosts)
who came before me
are singing right along
in a harmony
of light

.

.

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Apr 5 2017

before the sun

the dog begs for food and i
warm my hands on a first cup of tea

it’s quiet here, in that pause
just between night and day
and the tulips grow
into all things unspoken
with pursed lips and
petty promises
i’m forever
falling for
because
dawn and now
are not the same thing
but when petals whisper
of hope and holler
who would i be
not
to listen?

.

.

.


Oct 19 2016

the kitchen window

which is not the same as the kitchen sink
because that would mean everything,

and this is just a window.

and just now, there is too much everything,
everywhere,
every minute.

i want clear blue sky and calm cool morning.

but it’s autumn and the colors are raucous
and speaking of raucous,
i’m missing those crazy-loud geese parties
down at the swamp
that aren’t happening this year

because there’s no swamp.

and i’m not writing because there are no words.

so i wait.

and winter will come and i will miss all this color
and wish for things I don’t have
the same way as today

and that bird in the tree,
that bluejay who spends his days
as a beautiful bully

and the monkshood just starting to bloom,
in amidst all the kisses that need cutting down

and this could all be metaphor
for so many things,
but it’s not, it’s all true,
right outside

this tiny kitchen in

this tiny house

this tiny life

half-invisible

portal.

.

.

.


Sep 30 2016

on tying up loose ends

it feels like that’s what this year has been, this year of racing the unknown, scrambling up a mountain of change, lying down in a bed of blind faith.

i keep all the knots loose, for easy escape, and, of course, to make room for new growth.

but nothing stays tidy for long, i know that now.

the sun and the wind and the moon and the stars all conspire to change the shape of existence, sculpting time into their own artistic vision.

so what if i can’t see what they’re creating?

so what if my eyes sting with the strain of trying?

so what if the swamp dries up and the trees bend with thirst and the field of corn across the street turns brown before it reaches four feet tall?

we’re all running, away or toward. we’re all breathing in this air that touches everything and everyone.

we are all this vine turning back upon itself when there is nothing else to hold onto.

breathing in light and exhaling silence.

the flowers that plant themselves become my favorites.

grasping opportunity or fighting for survival, it’s all perspective.

it’s all lost in the cold of winter.

there are always new seeds being planted.

there are so many questions without answers hanging high in a colorless sky.

i leave them for the night that promises results.

i leave them for the bird that soars through hunger.

i leave them for the child that cries to untangle.

tomorrow is always weaving a new story.

today is a word lit by inhale.

.

.

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Aug 10 2016

lying in bed on a wednesday

it’s so easy to focus on the flaws.

easy to miss the forest for the trees when you want to keep standing in the shade.

the big picture contains so much information, when all i want is this leaf or that berry or maybe even a thorn.

a pair of cardinals live in the yard just now, young it seems, and foolish, often landing just feet away from NaughtyKitten. I want to warn them, run at them arms high and voiced raised to scare them off for good. but i like having them here, listening to their incessant chirp, and i like that they land just outside the door. perhaps i admire their optimism.

but inside me, a little voice keeps saying do something, as if i’m the one in charge, as if it’s all up to me, as if i can fix the situation.

it rained last night for the first time in months. at least any sort of rain that meant anything, we’ve had a few sprinkles here and there, but this was thunder and lightning and a brief downpour, which is better than no downpour at all. no matter that it meant i got no sleep.

this morning the humidity stands tall in the yard, and i wonder if the flowers revel in the sauna, or if it just makes them feel tired and lazy, too.

i smell the pepper of phlox and marvel that the plant is still there, just outside my window, despite the fact that i’ve planned to dig it up for years. i have no desire to count how many.

the circus has come to america’s backyard, but no one knows who is selling the tickets.

i wonder if the babies will survive.

i wonder if those cardinals and the cat have made a pact.

i wonder if i’m crazy for thinking these things.

a small airplane makes itself known overhead, disturbing the stillness.

i wonder what’s it’s like to fly so high.

.

.

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Jun 9 2016

memorial day

I want to say the smell of death is just outside my window. I want to say that’s not a metaphor, it’s a real thing, and I think it’s the young robin I thought I’d saved from the cat last week. I want to say I know we’re not supposed to talk about these things, no one wants to hear it, but then again, there it is.

And then I want to say that of course it’s a metaphor, because everything becomes one eventually.

The poppies bloomed a few days late this year, waiting until June to tilt their heads in the breeze. But I sat in my garden and wrote on Memorial Day, the last time I sat long enough to listen to the words constantly crashing through my mind. I wrote about birds and flowers and cats and sky. Trees just gone green and clouds skipping along the horizon, July clouds in May, July temperatures in May, July laziness seeping into my bones.

I watched a turkey vulture floating overhead and thought it was beautiful with bits of gold sun glinting off wide wings, and it was. Beautiful. But a vulture means death, and there that was, too.

I don’t sit like that enough these days, I’m too busy trying to survive. And I know that’s a shame, I know it, but platitudes and dreams don’t pay the bills and the world isn’t waiting for anybody. I think about art and change and the internet and the pool that keeps spreading wider even as the world gets smaller and it feels like we are all just trying to keep our heads above water. Some days I think of that scene in Laura Ingalls’ On the Banks of Plum Creek when the locusts hatch and start walking, marching into the creek right on top of one another until it fills up enough to become a bridge of bodies. And they just keep walking because, of course, they have someplace to be.

I made this garden in my backyard, a place to rest my weary bones, and I don’t sit here enough because I’m too busy walking to a place I’ll never get to. And that’s not angst, it’s reality, and I’m wearing the shoes I paid for. Flip flops with a pebble lodged in the rubber, flip flops I will use to crush the giant ant that dares enter the kitchen when the grandbaby is crawling on the floor. Once, I would have let that ant live, but these days instinct wins every argument.

I remember when I used to go barefoot, all summer long, inside and out. I remember everything and everyone, every loss and every sacrifice, every joy and every smile. I remember this garden thirty years ago when it was nothing but lawn and driveway.

From my chair in the corner I can see the breeze but I cannot feel it. I watch the poppies dance and think, for a second, about getting up to join them.

Maybe tomorrow.

Some days are just for watching. And listening. And thinking about life. Or death. Or both.

It’s all in there, and my garden (another metaphor) is a mess and my feet are tired, but I am here, these flowers are here, these clouds in the bright blue sky are here, moving across the horizon.

Now.

Here.

Always.

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.

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May 12 2016

daisy daisy

.

and hummingbirds, too

.

tree frogs and sunshine

and a big bowl of sky for breakfast

.

my heart dances on the morning

when spring came to town

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May 10 2016

hey, jupiter

i’m pinning all my hopes on you
tired of this ride and this blue tide and
this ancillary stream
of consciousness
you pull my way
every day
may
slips away
weeds twining
up parallel ankles
everything’s growing
and this mud is downhill shifting and
i’m pinning all my hopes on you

.

.

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May 5 2016

opening, again

Comfort zones. They get tighter as we get older, much like that favorite pair of jeans. We get set in our ways, and we like that, mostly, we find comfort in routine and pattern and the familiar.

But life is too complicated to allow us to stay in any one place for very long. Just when we settle in and start feeling all warm and fuzzy, something happens, something changes, and we have to learn how to move through life all over again. And I’m okay with that. It keeps things interesting at the very least.

We go through phases. And they’re called phases because they are slices of time that have a beginning and an end.

The leaves on the oakleaf hydrangea just outside my studio window are just about to open. Dozens of buds waiting for just the right moment. Each one unique, if you look closely, yet all part of the same mother plant. Yes, that’s a metaphor. A nice reminder to myself this morning, a sunny moment in a week that’s been filled with clouds both literal and figurative.

I am learning new things. It is making my brain hurt, which happens as you get older. My body is holding me hostage with hormones, and I keep reminding myself that I am becoming. Moving on. Getting ready to open to a new season of life.

Pfft. That makes it sound pretty, and quite honestly, it’s not. But it’s going to happen just the same, and I’m going to embrace all of it, even the rage. (Yes, there is rage.)

Maybe you lose something as the years go by, bits of innocence and wonder, but you don’t forget they exist.

I think.

Maybe I’ll find my way back, or perhaps I’ll end up in a different place altogether. Yes. I’m pretty sure that’s the answer.

But I’m still asking questions. And I’m still going to open, even when it is painful.

Because there is sun to feel on my face, and a garden to plant, again, and all these people to love with the heart of a crone.

Reasons enough to spread my arms wide.

Reasons enough.

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