Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

an unfolding

I have been dreaming of people
invisible mountains I exhaled 
into existing

twisting, quickening and though 
short-lived as grass, are seeds 
spiraling in space

are tendrils--of time and desire
opening and expanding
nodding, knowing

a  presence  here to make up for
an absence there, everywhere
the whims of distance 

I... wonder at the un-being before, 
after--the gasp of busy-ness now
marks how life slips by 
Note: I did not expect when I started writing that in writing about the space we occupy, I would slip into--and invoke--ideas of galaxies. I think some of this came from dreaming last night--vividly--of people who were important for a season but I may never see again. And I miss Scout so much... my irrational search for him certainly spans every interpretation of "heavens."

Pic: I found this perfect and early autumnal tree in the grocery store parking lot!

Friday, September 15, 2023

"Eventually everything happens"*

 on TV ads                                                       on TV shows
death is always a side effect                            death is always a side effect 
of every medication                                        in every condition of life
I might as well spin worlds like cocoons
shortcuts are the milestones
the void is the vision 

and I may have grown out of summer
I may have finally grown up
in a leap of breath

I say my name like it's a memory
eventually everything happens
eventually it is time
* I took the title from Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "eventually everything happens..." But I can't find the full quote right now. I'm not at my best and might be doing quite badly... I wonder if people can tell. Like I left the trunk of my car open in the parking lot until a colleague friend texted me, didn't hear back (I was in class), and just decided to shut it for me. I keep leaving my phone/bag/laptop in classrooms and people kindly bring them to me. I win, as I was telling SD, at "the spaciness" right now. 

Thursday, September 14, 2023


dizzy with composition
but otherwise ordinary
                                         the body buds 
                                        just like a fist
history may recede or 
burst--busy with horror
                                       how could I trust
                                       its cold epilogue
to welcome me like kin
or to drag my silences in 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

alternate endings

I've heard living can change you
not living is like a group project 
where you are just a small name 

defeat meets grief, and they feast
on the dark seated in your mouth
and in the phones you yell into

in languages you always lip-sync
to arguments whose timelines 
sit six feet under the future 

I bet I could dream better than this
I could get to know myself
I could know I was safe 
Pic: Calendula? Cone flowers? By MSU Beal Gardens. Nice story on the 150th anniversary of Beal Gardens today on the radio. 

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

yesterday's sunrise

frees the cynical coals flaring
in my heart
blesses the vermillion wounds 
of my soul
speeds  in a blessed contagion 
to forgive
the fragile futures I've outlived


Pic: Yesterday's sunrise over Mackinaw Island bay. Water and celestial bodies make me so happy! The birds on the water are geese, not swans, but the scene reminded me of Yeats's "The Wild Swans at Coole."

Saturday, September 02, 2023

summer retreat

every morning I try to learn
it's my  errand  as the  sun goes blind
I become  the  day's drama
the music of birds; the silence of birds

I've hammered desire into 
some general  theory of dispossession
shredding the faces of flowers
until they become a synonym of before

It is a question of attention
an experiment to re-turn these directions
to trust--quick--desire as true
pause as I pour more love into the world
Pic: Max discovers the hideout of Kylo, the black squirrel who regularly taunts the puppies. There's a train behind the tree-line too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

at night when

I walk  past  our  house 
again and again... again
with  our  dogs, actually 
silent  blue  super moon 
close  enough  to  touch 

I feel a bit like... a ghost
on the outside I can feel  
only flowing and falling 
the swallowing of places 
like  I'm  not  even  here

our windows like pages 
in a picture book, maybe
a  passage  from  a novel 
this bloom in your voice 
as I finally open the door

Pic: Nu, Max, Big A, & Huck. These guys! Being so cute when I returned from a long day of teaching. 
High: seeing new and familiar faces in class. + Being able to remember the names of a hundred or so new students. 
Low: Saying goodbye to JD, a dear colleague-friend who's moving to U of M.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

you have no idea

I search soft darknesses 
at  the  edges of the day
after the concrete crackle 
of some  things I've said
words are also adventures
evasive... and anonymous
sticking inside  my throat
like an offering in an epic  

I said I couldn't remember
although I  do know  how
I watched television instead 
of praying--still, they visited 
those archangels and aliens
always animal... melancholy 
my body is still not immortal
but somehow... is finally free

Pic: Black-eyed Susans on the MSU campus. I went walking by myself for once, and realized as I turned this corner that I was probably going to bail on the birthday party in the park (fun! already RSVP-ed!) I was supposed to go to.  

Friday, August 18, 2023

chances are

the tide seeks
greedily by the river 
it could leave us hanging

or help us lose--
then we're all swimmers
reaching away, trying to speak 

until we choose 
the suck-slide of undertow 
waves keep a beat--like trauma

go ahead, tell me
how many people we are
allowed to be before any ending

Didn't go to book club today--just didn't feel it was ok to be indoors with other people. The book was Bonnie Garmus's Lessons in Chemistry--I found it both alarming and twee and can't tell yet if I liked it. 

Also in OMG: L and T stocked us up on food--soup, pierogies, grape leaves, chicken salad... I'll not need to cook for days.

Pic: A very swollen Red Cedar with Big A. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

we could ride backward into memory

we could ride backward         into memory
meeting people      who were bad 
for us,      who        ruined weekends... 
ruined our lives         for nothing stays
illustrated  and  irrefutable,       we were chaste 
with  longing like       determined children
weeping          around a wedding cake

Pic: Near Gingee Fort last week.

Monday, August 07, 2023

how could I live so far away?

how could I live so
far away?
I guess I didn't know 
I could
life is such a hard thing 
to chance
you can leave a place
and then find
it always stays on you 
like fine sand

And Ten Notes From Today: 
  1. Mom, aunt, sis, and brother-in-law are sick; At and Nu appear to be recovering. I feel so conscience-stricken about my germy kids and worried about everyone else with a side of I told you guys to mask up when we were in the car together!
  2. I may be developing misophonia... and also the bands of howling street dogs were... interesting the first couple of nights, but not anymore.
  3. Big A has already neglected my flowering plants to death. But Huckie and Max are well loved, so I'll keep him.
  4. Had to say goodbye to family who came up from Coimbatore and Chennai to hang out with us... I miss them already. 
  5. Esp. VM and AA--seeing them wrap At and Nu in the same kind of unconditional love that saved me when I was a teen has been such a joy.
  6. It's Monday, so we've had to stop partying all night. I haven't left the house all day.
  7. I got so much cash on Amazon India gift cards, which I cannot use from the US, so I've ordered a ton of stuff and it remains to be seen if we'll receive it before our departure date.
  8. A realization that I have a very special position in the family as the oldest grandchild/nibling--it's nothing about me, any ol' baby landing into this family just waiting to love on their big sister's baby would have done. I just happened to luck out big time.
  9. The class I picked up as an overload due to a colleague's sudden departure was cancelled. Alleluia. I did it mostly out of a sense of duty--the extra cash would have been nice, but the extra time will be sweeter.
  10. I had a Zoom meeting with my editor in NZ this morning. It was a fairly routine meeting, except when they sweetly said "you get to weave the web," I was taken aback because I heard it as "you get to wave the whip." Umm, no.
Pic: At's picture of me by the sea last week. (Pondycherry)

Wednesday, July 19, 2023


what is the correct tense for promise
for the butterflies you tried to catch
like the meaning in unknown words 
when you learn loving less is useless

what might we say or sing or pray
aligning the trembling fall of leaves
--if you're still listening, do you hear
content rustling in the fleeing day... 

Pic: A bud vase with wildflowers to take upstairs to Nu.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

still, life

as long as I don't try to explain
we're okay, we're alright 
and here I go again

like an ultrasound finding life
--ghostly, quiet, yearning
so sure of myself

my favorite part is when we try
to turn the city into a garden:
birds become seeds,

a river forks past trees dragging
desires, secrets, on its belly...  
vaporizes like a ghost

Pic: The Red Cedar, MSU.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

first draft

what is even in my head today
                       how ever did I find my way 
to blessing the sweet, the weird
                        to reversing to pressing
through these unmarked doors
                       looking for I know not what
becoming... I know not who
                        there's something here maybe
suffering but gently... gently 
                       showing me cracks in the floor
and letting me pretend I can 
                       read them like lines on a map

Pic: Bone Appetit! Huck and Max stole some dinner napkins and then played with them... together!

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

things I learn

Things I learn from a seven-year-old:
my sister is just four, and she has only one eye
I'm the one who needs to look out for her

Things I learn from the internet:
When you're a writer you have homework every day
and then you die

Pic: This giant hibiscus L gave me and Big A several wedding anniversaries ago hasn't bloomed in three-four years... But this year, it has been producing blooms profusely. Hallelujah.

Sunday, July 09, 2023


Had the afternoon not been a remedy
I would not have known to cross 
the hour with conversation 

to wash ashore with no introduction
getting there just in time 
to miss the show

the cast of my life files into the room
discussing the best moments
as if at an after party

speak welcome in hugs, hands, eyes 
I can understand in languages
I couldn't even name

Pic: The pond at MSU Beal Gardens. It was such a brilliant day today. I walked three hours: half by myself; half with Big A.

Friday, July 07, 2023


a cargo of summer haze
where there were rocks
there's uncovered  sand 
                                      where there was sand
                                      is the tide  coming in 
                                      and   then it goes out  
I can barely remember
what we  left  behind
or  if  we  had  cried
                                      I just know that you 
                                      couldn't save us all
                                      you didn't even try
first you caught my eye
but then  looked  away
I  see  through  you 
                                     someday this crossing 
                                     may  be   different or 
                                      it could stay the same 
I  see  through   you
know whom to blame
I  see  through   you

Pic: Ducks on the Red Cedar.  Big A and I were supposed to go on a run in the morning, but it was 3:45 by the time we left and so hot I could barely run a mile. So we walked along the river instead.

Note: I can't stop thinking about the refugee boat off the Greek coast. 

Thursday, July 06, 2023

going back

I have secretly sewn smiles 
into  the  hems  of clothes
that get wet wading nearer 
to you... so they will float
on down these hallways 
... of dreams, of memory 
rippling and in stillness,  
their history of undoing 
the heaviness of things
of even--yes--sweetness
its stickiness... catching
at skin and hair... circling
and scabbing selfishly, carrying
cells...  cities... of light into me
my face resting in your palms--
cupped like a nest...  like home

Pic: I have a vision in my head for this little patch of garden--I love working in it, and I love spending time in it--especially reading on the bench under the (volunteer, sapling) tree. But it looks simultaneously scanty and overgrown. I should probably consult a proper landscaper. 

Saturday, July 01, 2023

(puppy-inspired) prayer (a doggerel piece) (made with Nu, in honor of Max!)

to just say yes
as never before
fast and eager
even if unsure 

I know now how
I may never fly
but yes to vistas
even if too high

Note: Made with Nu, in honor of Max!

Pic: Max with an assortment of disemboweled, decapitated, and dismembered toys. We'd just returned from NB's graduation open house and he was so happy to be reunited.

Friday, June 30, 2023

what it means when

I still have to name the day 
trees and clouds too--
a whole childhood
as constant as a backdrop 
unforgiven drama too
plus my tragic flaw
in a script guttural as grafitti 
plain as conflict too... 
close to call
what should I call this rush 
of happy-sad or sad-happy
touched with guilt 

Pic: Max and Huck are (to use Nu's word) "swarming" all over BL because they give the best scritches. I usually hide people's faces, but I didn't have to here!

an unfolding

I have been dreaming of people invisible mountains I exhaled  into existing twisting, quickening and though  short-lived as grass, are seeds...