Apr 10 2022

on managing expectations

yesterday i saw
just floating along
on this river of tall information
a tiny white scrap
inscribed with the words:

survival isn’t enough

a meme or a tweet or a post by a host
dropped by someone post-haste in the knowing
as with so many lines caught deep in the waves
of this infinite brick-brackish water

and i smiled to myself
just a flash
before thinking
oh child just you wait
because darling
survival
is
plenty

and yes
there is always much more
we can do with its gift
more to learn
more to love
more to cherish

but oh, my friend

in the color of end

survival
is quite simply

being


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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Apr 18 2016

corner office

given a chance
i will always choose
sky as ceiling
and bird call for music

a carpet of grass
(of course)
and flowers as art
with a landscape thrown in
for a good measure

the sun shall be lamp
and breeze acts as fan
for a notebook desk
and a pencil
scratching words
intended
to be heard

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A poem a day for 30 days, in honor of National Poetry Month: Day 18
I’m participating in NaPoWriMo, and the Writer’s Digest Poem a Day Challenge
Today’s theme is PAD’s write an office poem.

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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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Oct 1 2015

pressing flowers and saving grace

Some days you have a story that isn’t yours to tell. The words add up and bobble around inside your head, bouncing off the boundaries you’ve put in place to keep them corralled. Silence fills the room like a big grey blanket. Everything is muffled, charged with static, covered over with the possibility of fog.

Today in one of those days, and all I can do is think about the ways we save each other in this life. The ways we save ourselves. The tiny little things that heal hearts, or sew them back together with crooked sampler stitches. Smiles and soup and hugs and listening. Being there.

Love is always messy and unchartered. And we are always finding our way together, bumping blindly along the path that stretches before us.

And the questions rise. How do you fit a whole life into a box?

The memories we have become a knot too complicated to untangle. We can only pull out a strand here and there and watch as it dangles. That day, that night, that violet neatly placed between the pages of a bible. Remember when? Heartache and happiness all mixed together in a jumble of once was. Love holding it all together like glue.

Suffice it to say that all we have is our story. Some of them are big and broken, some are smaller and demure. I am learning to cradle each one in the palm of my hand. Delicate petals dried and tucked away between pages that smell of time’s passing. Bits of hope gone dry and brittle, but saved, just the same.

Cherished.

And there it is, the dust of grace, gathered in the seam.

Some days you purse your lips and blow that dust back out into the world. Other days, you close the book back up again, ever-so-gently.

For safekeeping.

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Sep 3 2015

late bloomer: a simple fable

It was always there in the corner of her mind, and every room she’d ever been in: the power of words.

Some days she chose to ignore the sounds that rattled and clanged like locks and chains, and other days, the only thing she could do was listen. Every minute was a story, every hour a poem. And the nights, the nights were cacophony, which is why her dreams were always silent, like old movies.

Once she’d tried writing them down, every word she heard, every sigh that whispered, every sentence sailing past her extremely near-sighted eyes. But her hands were never fast enough, letters flew through them like birds and scattered across the ceiling in a murmuration of mockery.

Sometimes she caught an M on a finger or grabbed a Q by the tail, but they were never letters she could use, and she dropped them in a bowl that by now was overflowing with impatience, red and gold seeping out from a crack down the side. She wished she could hold them in somehow, or wait until she had enough for a story, but every time she tried with her glue and clumsy fingers, a question mark escaped, and she spent days looking for the answer.

When she got hungry, she tore pages from the books lining the walls of her house. It was never enough to fill her, and the only one left that hadn’t been tasted was the atlas.

One day she filled a bucket and started scrubbing. Her knees grew dark with ink and tiny commas kept catching in her fingernails. She didn’t stop until the floor ran black and the only thing she heard was her own breath.

She sat down then, and began to write.

 

 

 

 


Jul 28 2015

passing myself
on the way to savannah

and all the other places
i’ve never been

never seen
never learned
to love the light of

that’s bad grammar
i know
but i’m talking about life
and loss and nevers

and there are no rules
no platitudes
no built-in panaceas
to make my knees
stop creaking
or my hands
look any less
gnarled

don’t get me wrong

i wear my wrinkles
like jewelry
cherished accessories
of sentimental
value

and i smile
when i drive and they remind me
i’ve forgotten to apply
lotion

again

dry skin cracking

me up

and five times a day
i get surprised
by my own reflection

remembering i’ve aged
only when i see proof
or try to get out of bed

time
hides in patterns
paisley pretty and
just as intricate
as the web
i’ve spun
into my
crinkle crackle
carapace

but my shadow
retains the shape
of youth

or at least
remains smooth
and unmarked

by the scars
of regret

and i sip
slowly
from the cup
of forgiveness

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Jul 25 2015

from every angle

and then some

over-analyzing becomes paralyzing

and i just want to dance

in the breeze of simplicity

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.

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Jul 21 2015

widow’s peak

remembering the history of love
is not the same as living it

so much of it is
setting seed
and letting go

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May 14 2015

floating in the sound
of cynosure

I placed this Solomon’s Seal in an entirely different spot in my garden, years ago. For most of those years, it struggled, sending up two or three shoots and then quickly fading as spring turned to summer.

Now, here it is, moving itself around the landscape, seeking the perfect light-shade-soil combination on its own. An independent learner, self-motivated, a survivor. One that apparently loves long, hard, extremely cold winters.

As my garden ages, it makes its own plans, completely ignoring the best-laid of mine and filling in the blanks as it so chooses. I’ve become less keeper than companion, and most of the time, I resist the urge to fight for control. I let the wanderers wander. It’s better that way, for both of us.

It took me fifty-two years to begin to understand. And I still slip, there are still times when I make every attempt to wrestle my way to the top. Sometimes, I even manage to win. But mostly, I just get tired of the struggle. And giving in has its own rewards, too.

Another lesson learned in the classroom of garden.

I sit here with my tea. I pay attention.

I watch and I listen and I sit.

And the world washes over me.

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