Apr 22 2017

on the corner of chelsea and 57th

they said youth was the currency
and beauty the price

but we knew better
on the streets
of anarchy

where blossom
was never
as fragile
as ego
and thorn
was the tally
of vice

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Apr 3 2017

dancing on the horizon
of memory

the ladies gathered every evening
tap-tapping with canes and shuffling mules
to talk about the storm that was always coming
and the girl that walked to Seattle
pain always sitting on somebody’s lap
and death on a bench in the corner
pretending to be ignored

no one rose up to kiss away the chip
on a bony-cold squared-off shoulder
no one was afraid and
no one was falling
for the pout on the face of resistance

by this time they were all old friends
acceptance was the belt
holding the bathrobe closed
and besides, thelma told
the best stories

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Apr 2 2017

these days

i’m dizzy all the time

and i’d like to say that’s metaphor,
(and it is, a little)

but i can’t seem to stand
in one place
long enough
to stop the spinning

i thought age
would keep me steady
strengthen roots
chart my course

but the world is cockeyed
and ambitious
and i get closer to antique
every day

rebellion is for youth
(or so i thought)

but here i am
(here we are)
fighting for things
i thought already won

and that’s just the way of things
isn’t it?

nothing is certain

we fool ourselves
into new beginnings and lit
lights and the mirage of
equanimity

but the truth is
it’s a never-ending battle
and i think understanding
that one simple thing
sustains us

i grow old on the banks of a river
running circles
around us all

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Apr 1 2017

blown sideways on a map
of self-destruction

i think that’s what she said while trying to smile
and i never was one to argue with deliverance
even after tilt-shift became a normal point of view

i wanted to hold you
at least your hand
but paper thin skin
kept rising between us

none of us means to die
even when we want to

trying to smile at her own lost joke
fingers scrabbling at the corners
of a crooked mouth gone dry

like the wind i drank
to forget your sky

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A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month.
No rules this year, just poems. We will see what happens.

Sep 13 2016

poking holes
in the theory of yesterday

negative space holds the shape of things

we know this, but choose to dance in the open plains
because existence enjoys being contrary

explain to a child the difference
between holey and holy

wholly

or the nature of sanity
and the way the stars all revolve
around one direction

or why i’m bound to sit
facing southeast

watching a halo of hair
glint off the arms
of the distant day
you embraced me

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Aug 4 2016

some scars aren’t meant
to be hidden

and you wear them on your heart
like a badge or a pin
or a reminder to remember

you expose them
to the elements

harden them off

rub them raw

until they weave
their own shield of shadow
and eventually
stop hurting
when they’re touched

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May 31 2016

it all grows tall

the robin woke me this morning, calling hard and loud to greet another day.

i admire her optimism, her ability to sing the world awake, her ability to proclaim that being alive is the very best thing, without doubt or second-guessing the effort it will take her just to survive.

she has blind faith and i admire that, too. that’s a different thing than standing small beneath the sky of infinity.

or staying inside when all the windows are open, because even though I can hear that robin, there are still all these walls.

and that’s what I keep coming back to.

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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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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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May 3 2016

same landscape,
different day

and you cling to the thread of recognition
stitched up your arm proclaiming you
mended

when torn is what you are

not broken

torn and sewn
back together
with the needle
of forgiveness

and these aren’t neat, tiny stitches
these are meant to leave a scar

a mark you’ll wear as badge
as you walk into battle

fragile and crumbling
paper thin

unyielding

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