May 24 2016

the out of focus
leanings of louise

and the call of a sky turned crooked

on a day that grows dark like any other

the sun always rises

the sun always rises

the sun always rises

she hears the whispers in the leaves of the tall poplar trees

she has blisters from planting possibility

she is a storm raging gales of regret

she is silent and patient and sometimes

she bends

ever so slightly

towards a house

filled with reflection

and polished

glass

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Apr 9 2016

in my garden

i’ve buried all the pieces no one ever gets to see

fickle fallow and everyday shallow
not enough coin inside oversized purse
cold confidence and chartreuse envy

and in between daisies
tiny fingers
of longing

in my garden i am always
over-exposed
and therefore
hidden

sun beat and wind burn
the torture of
bent back
long squat
digging
in the soil of silence

crows
are my charm
and for them
i leave glamour

gifts of
gilded bone and
beaded sinew

and we dance to the rhythm
of hidden heart broken start ritual
refusing to accept the blue bowl bright sky storm

raging just beneath the lost forget me not sea of invitation

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A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month: Day 9
I’m participating in NaPoWriMo, and the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day Challenge
Today’s theme is a combo of NaPoWriMo’s lines that scare you and PAD’s: hide-out.

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Mar 29 2016

the vase

this is not a poem and i am not my shadow

the wall is solid but the light is not,
yet you cannot feel the difference

there is no baby bird begging for food
beneath a dark cloud
in a pot full of tulips

 perhaps there are no tulips

perhaps where i see purple you see green

perhaps this is skin and not plaster

there are no certainties

on this day

in this sun

or this room

with ghost shapes

dancing

but this is not a poem and

therefore none

are necessary

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Mar 10 2016

and the birds return
with the sky

Folding grey in upon itself and shouting color back into the world.

I am listening for grace and finding bits and shards scattered in puddles of mud and the still deep pockets of winter’s coat.

Moving through hard things and surviving them.

Watching lines of geese form arrows of forgiveness. Connecting the dots, but lightly, in pencil, in case I want to start over. Drawing my way through a book named 2016.

Yesterday pretended to be summer and I spent the day with dirty hands and a warm, warm sun, as the mockingbird reinvented his own story. He tells me everything and I laugh in all the right places, knowing we need each other—performer and audience, though I’m never quite sure which is which.

I feel myself growing. Older and lighter, wiser and taller. Heavy-hearted and ever-surprised.

I think about compassion. I think about flowers. I think about endings and beginnings, comings and goings, cycles and seasons.

I think about flight and freedom. I think about the day when both become impossible.

Geese fill the air with a frenzied, raucous melody. Fighting for space and survival. Smoothing ruffled feathers and thinking about dinner, or gravity, or both.

The horizon is always an illusion, marking time on a map filled with moments.

I find my way with blind fingers and broken pencils.

I find a feather in the corner of redemption, and think how floating and falling are simply different speeds to the same destination.

I find benediction.

Here.

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Jan 28 2016

arbitrary thoughts
on out of focus things

The light is changing and the days run a few minutes longer and I tell myself this will be the year I get over February. (Though I say that every year and it has yet to actually happen.)

Last night I finished the afghan I started 6 or 8 years ago (so along ago that I can’t remember which) and I thought that perhaps this will be the year of finishing. Or maybe rather than thought, I hoped.

Listening and finishing. The map of 2016.

Of course, like all maps, there is a certain margin for error and I have factored in lots of room to get lost. And I know there will be times when I choose not to use that map at all, because I don’t always like to know where I’m going, I’d rather drift and explore.

I read this article and suddenly felt right at home in my mind. Vindicated in some small way. Okay, it may have been a big way. Whatever.

It was an answer. An answer to why I always, always, always prefer the questions. Which is a funny concept all on its own.

The other day I wondered why we’re all so obsessed with happiness. I wondered if that’s even true. I wondered if I want to be happy, and decided yes, but not all the time. I’d prefer to be okay with being sad or angry or bored or irritated or content or confused, too. I’d prefer to experience all of it.

I walked out to get the mail and the sun was shining and the sky was clear and not-so-winter blue and for a second, I felt pure joy. At simply being alive and outside with the sun on my face. I remembered then how much I need to be out of doors. Winter always makes me forget.

Doors. An endless source for metaphors.

I miss color. Even my face is white and pale. I miss my freckles. (Okay maybe they are age spots, but I’m choosing to call them freckles.) I miss the daily drama of my garden.

Everything is shifting, all the time. And then resettling. Shifting again. There is no solid ground.

In spring I will trim away the dead wood. Toss it in a big pile and start a fire.

Which will remind me of winter.

And so it goes.

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Jan 14 2016

the heart runs straight through

Lately, I think about listening. How bad we are at it, how everything keeps getting louder, how we talk over each other, and even, ourselves.

We’ve forgotten how to be alone with silence.

We have so many things to do, so many places to be, so many lives to fit into life.

I spend time with my 89-year-old friend and everything slows down. She doesn’t hear so well, and our communication becomes a pantomime of gesture and shouting. I spend time with my 8-month-old granddaughter and see the world with fresh eyes. Everything is new and exciting and wondrous. Everything slows down further, because we have to take time to relish each new moment and every fresh discovery.

In both cases, I find myself listening in new ways.

At night I read, turn the ever-present television off, and fall into stories. My house whispers its own secrets and my mind takes off in new directions.

I try to think of the last time I did nothing, and can’t remember. I’m always looking for something: entertainment or enrichment or connection or experience.

I crave silence, but when I find it, I fill the air with sound.

I want to remember something, the feel of roots or earth or security. And promises.

I build fires to conquer the cold and my need for something primal.

Even the darkest of months offers sympathy.

A heartbeat is the sound of existence. A symphony of seduction. A sonata of solace.

I find myself straining to hear.

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Listen.

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Jan 7 2016

we do that dance

light on dark, old on new, shiny on dull. we’re married to the magic of remembrance, made bold by possibility, held aloft on a nail in the wall of existence.

a new calendar cracks open, full of empty days, blank spaces, blocks of time.

i want to leave it, the entire book, unmarred.

i know i won’t. i know there will be appointments to schedule, birthdays to remember, plans to be reminded of, just as i know i’ll forget to look sometimes, when i get caught up in the vortex of living.

it’s winter again, it’s new years again, it’s thursday again. we march like soldiers through a forest of seasons and wish to be the one in command.

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i bought a new small frying pan in december, to replace the old one i’d burned peppers in one too many times. but i don’t use it much. the old cast iron one discarded by my 89-year-old friend as she moved from home to apartment sits on my stove now, always at the ready. it turns my eggs just a little dark, but i love flavor of the stories it adds to my food.

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i don’t have a word or a resolution or even an intention pointing my way on 2016’s compass. i have this pan made of borrowed promises, i have these same four walls to hold me in, i have this sky that is forever creeping in my window.

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i have everything i need.

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Dec 19 2015

first bloom

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december’s sun

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Dec 17 2015

in flight

It’s raining in December and another year has flown by. A year of sad things and joyful things, hard things and soft things, big things and little things. A year like most years, I suppose.

It was also a year of learning. Of grieving and forgiving and standing up straight, even so. A year of making more room for love. A year of shifting.

The world makes me sad and I withdraw. Love gives me hope and draws me out. Life gives me breath and what more is there, really? The gift of dawn, the gift of December, the gift of another year.

It’s not my job to stop time from passing. It’s not my job to fight the truth of existence. It’s not my job to rail against the frailties of humanity.

My job is to soar, with grace and curiosity. Or at least to promise to try. Wonder-wander and observe. Listen. Absorb. Sit with the birds and sing. Embrace the miracle of sky.

My job is to keep my heart open, even as it grows heavy.

I have these wings. I have this light. I have this rubicon to bury.

I mark each month on a trunk filled with feathers, the weight of a nest to come home to.

The ballast of living.

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Dec 10 2015

silent

On a warm December morning filled with birdsong and loud blue sky, I find myself quiet. Standing in my pajamas and listening to a world that always carries on, no matter how many times we think it will stop.

Each time I go in the door, or out, these old harness jingle bells I’ve tied around a wreath ring their pretty song, reminding me that silence is the mirror of stillness. And life is always moving.

I wish for snow to hide the mess of leaves and grey. I wish for sparkling trees and crisp fresh air. I wish to be right where I am and everywhere else all at once.

There’s no wind today, and yesterday five robins set down in my garden to forage in the litter of berries and seed.

My words hide in corners too far away, and I look up as a crow, my crow, flies by.

We say good morning without sound.

The day begins.

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