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

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Curling into an ending

Kiss the day with mother-tongue

HumHymnOm to morning

parse words from sounds

through the day.

Monday, November 23, 2020

To Sleep

How did I not get here earlier--

Was I just riding skies

instead of seas--

Sadness and gladness are cruel 

sirens, crossing countries

with me, waiting

near the cave that is my mind.

Do you hear me? Hear me!

Bear me forward.

I hymn you in the old ways

drowsily exhaling light

breaking like the day. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Out and about

Today I want to write a poem that will not be about dying 

maybe something something being in community 

about being connected and continuing

About holding my arms out like a tree even when empty

(stop that!) about sending all my pain to the sea, 

where it's already salty

By day I will read something lofty, edifying, clear

At night, I will watch stars that seem cold 

and know they're really quite fiery

Alert with my intention, my asylum of inattention

I sling myself to beauty, ignore summer's

pillows smattered with snow

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Within Without

Please hold my head as gently 

as a bomb labeled 'headache'

knowing the earth is waiting

feeding time under the loam

who is it who knocked on the door (we didn't hear)

who is it who wants to come in (we can't really see)

howling into the cusp, dreams away from disaster

learning the circuitry of sadness, the lineage of loss

For in a different world 

I lost many months ago

my tongue a tombstone

fingers clawing worms

Monday, November 16, 2020


They tell me time is a thief 

I plant surviving memories

for there is no cure for life

as there are no answers.

There is history to my grief

geography too--I wear what 

was done to me--uncertainty, 

a sadness, the calls to flood. 

Someone--carry my disbelief, 

it is heavy as a civilization.

I read skies to déjà vu myself 


Sunday, November 15, 2020


I don't know what's left to say:

here's pain; here's my armor

still songs beat in my heart

return me to myself, kids.

I have become a ghost; I go;

I was gone for a generation

until tears filled my prayers

swam into years of sky.

Return me to myself, kids,

I belong to a god who has 

never even once killed me

the press of axe is only ice. 

When surrender lies inside me 

I... will shatter--into your accents

your stories, curious superstitions.

For you, I will... love unfinished. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

I keep dying

                     1                                                   2                                                     3

    But was it Camus who said      Wasn't it the butcher who said        Perhaps it was I who said 

    Autumn is a second spring       he'd operate on my identity            my tongue was wronged--

    when every leaf is a flower?     until I had slowly been bled           as while I prayed and read 

    Yet I know that I am dead         into kindness and serenity?          and inherited freedom songs,

    and dead-er by the hour           Not sure anymore--it maybe          my mind, raveling like a knot,   

    in my sad and furious head.     only leaves were actually shed.    forgot--sick tyranny lies ahead. 

Saturday, October 31, 2020


it sounds like a daily hell, but it isn't 

though we die a thousand times

I can feel my heart used as a rattle 

right before I start our lullaby 


We're at once uncertain of tenderness

yet totally convinced of its ending 

bitterly tracing all my sentences 

to revolt, recovery, everything

Friday, October 30, 2020

you look like a picture / and then you are one

                                            water leads water                                        how it desires                                   

leaf leads leaf                                              then devours

     my thoughts                                                a space of ache 

 like an animal                                              and surrenders

now desperate                                             where I marvel

with promises                                              at your name

Monday, October 19, 2020


Every night quakes lightly

--like childhood's laughter.

Quick, give me a new thing 

to see--yes, you, so beautiful 

to me. America, 

you're breaking


Earthquake dreams, deadlines, fears, news, OMG.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Return (For my Chelli)

From any direction 
I try to meet you,
you greet me.
We hold hands,
"la biss" kiss-
kiss, kiss-kiss.

There was a time when all
I had to do was simply turn
if I wanted to see you or play. 
Do you ever yearn for when 
we were fed from just one 
plate--no yours, no mine?

To sleep together, curling like
vines? Discuss how parting 
our twin beds, sending them 
to opposite walls was painful
(almost as if conjoined twins 
beginning surgery, separation).

My room now--though bright
feels dim and scribbled over,
continents and years crawl
over--what I fear--were last 
visits. Lost keys, lost locks, 
oh--the stitches come loose.

If I am not an island,
how can I swim to you?
I am now just a body
of water surging,
my eyes growing 
round as our earth.

I am come to an age with
endings coiled inside me.
The pandemic's parting gift,
a gift of parting, is the empty
vision unfolding, trying to return
to decisions I made decades ago.

I want to walk up to you
talk about what I have/have
carried. I bring you all this... 
sadness because you'll say you 
see it, know just how to see it,
and be the first to throw it away.

From any direction 
I try to meet you,
you greet me.
We hold hands,
"la biss" kiss-
kiss, kiss-kiss.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Time (Into the Pandemic)


Who understands this beauty? 

(I know)

hours are not the apocalypse 


I search their mists and dusts

for security

composting fair warnings

once again

I have searched the horizon 

where sun blinks 

this day into some montage 

of time-lapse

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Louise Glück: Matins


You want to know how I spend my time?
I walk the front lawn, pretending
To be weeding. You ought to know
I’m never weeding, on my knees, pulling
Clumps of clover from the flower beds: in fact
I’m looking for courage, for some evidence
My life will change, though
It takes forever, checking
Each clump for the symbolic
Leaf, and soon the summer is ending, already
The leaves turning, always the sick trees
Going first, the dying turning
Brilliant yellow, while a few dark birds perform
Their curfew of music. You want to see my hands?
As empty now as at the first note.
Or was the point always
To continue without a sign?

I presume a four-leaved clover is the "symbolic/ Leaf" Glück is looking for here? Here's At's hand holding some luck he made himself: A four-leaf clover engineered with spit--he told me he tried sweat first, but it didn't hold. (circa 2008, SD's outdoor wedding in DC; Baby Nu in the stroller.)

I've loved this poem for years and am so happy for Louise Glück's Nobel--poets so rarely get big prizes; but are there non Eurocentric writers who are being overlooked? Absolutely.

Monday, October 05, 2020


So I'm coming back, I'm coming, I 

run rabbit tongue 'neath rabbit teeth.

Sift half a laugh through salty hands.

Lift away grand new memories, but

only say: So-sorrySo-sorrySo-sorry.

Remember when I traveled--was it last

winter--and you said I'm with you, but 

you aren't me, never will be. I still bring 

prayers to this plague. Will sing through 

whispering airways: O-stayO-stayO-stay. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

First Flicker

In the beginning lives 

a first flicker of flame

that lick of loneliness

lighting an underworld.

The sky may be still

dark with our leaving

life,  it is difficult--all

tall ideas, left as yes.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


My trunk like that of a tree trumpets

unexpectedly where before it had been quiet

and out of breath

My hand blooms open like a nest

busy and persistent, becoming in niceness

and folding to stress

Monday, September 21, 2020

So Many Meetings

So Too many meetings, an eternal leap--just so 

But some things are useful; anyone could do this. 

They say I mean a thousand things--warning:

I may have cried about it and made it important

but it's just the spin of the world, a spell shortened.

Doubts nest together like spoons--they question

smarts or scope or if I'm dope. I'll fiddle with my 

mic, memorize hopes cresting the tip of prayer,

behind my curtain of tongue, my blanket of sleep

and an inevitably unreadable ticking to tomorrow.

(Here I am bundled up for sitting outside for hours in barely 60 degree weather, looking like a fool, and I kinda secretly love it.)

Monday, September 14, 2020

Six Months; Six Words

indefinite night-day-night / no insight

(Six months since our stay-at-home order and a six-word memoir inspired by the NYT pandemic poetry piece.)

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Badtime Story

Like siblings of yore on the landscape,

ribboned close always: rivers, railroads.

Playing--in plain sight, side-by-side, not hiding;

where you seek one--oh, look--there's the other.

Long, rowdy sibling things: one loud, one low--

now masked, now sparring--whatever--they are 

like pandemic warnings, insistent--more forlorn by the day:

I think I'm meant to mourn, and--following them--get away.


Note 1: We live between the river and the railroad, so I have lived experience of course; but this insight is from Krueger's This Tender Land.

Note 2: Toddler Nu used to pronounce the open e almost as a schwa eg. "Natflix" (for Netflix), "grat" (for great, which we still emulate for cuteness on family chat). 

Note 3: Things seem much quieter along the railroad these days--fewer goods traversing the continent or whatever--I don't know.

Note 4: I took this picture of the Red Cedar River last week; L claimed to be able to see hints of Fall.