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

Monday, October 04, 2021

I have no plans to move

for history when undressed
is plain macabre 

I can recite everything I find
and lose myself  

in my stammered translation 
maps lose detail

some time leads to nowhere
poems get shorter


The Fall 2021 Jaggery issue went live today--I'd forgotten the pull quotes and had to scramble to get them done; I finished sending out the last of the NWSA mentoring emails; handed off SAWNET moderation to the October moderator; completed part one of the women's house orientation; started planning the honor society induction; finalized grades on the first paper; committee meetings; committee meetings; committee meetings; started a sabbatical review for a non college colleague; started tenure observations for a college colleague; picked up my laptop post repair. Dinner was leftovers.

Saturday, October 02, 2021


you know something/ I don't
the turn into spring, into fall 
a new war... an old messiah 
the budding preceding it all

I try to remind you of love 
in the face of opening loss
we know life keeps taking 
uprooting even... thoughts

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

the trip comes for us

(for L.B.)

by the time my thoughts arrive
helloes and hugs have played
our homophony

these trees nod their approval
and bird guardians sing 
of missing you, friend

Really, we could have climbed 
mountains today, survived 
whispered catastrophe

colonizing futures, monopolizing 
resolutions, our airy gestures 
perfect as finger-paintings

Hike with L in Baker Woods after ages! I was catastrophizing, L was decoding and problem-solving. We mostly talked about changes to Big A's contract and how he may be working in Texas for a few months. I was actually so excited when he first told me because I have fond memories of visiting my Chelli in San Antonio, but soon realized he'd be going because it's a Covid hotspot right now... and...

Tuesday, September 28, 2021


the ceremony of each day grows hostile 
like a needle in my veins 
going under the shape of my resistance
and landscapes of hunger

I've been told to take each day at a time 
I abandon months in a gulp 
but the best minutes become sustenance
still so modest, but medicinal

Monday, September 27, 2021


clouds thick as suspended hopes
flame singing without words
where do we go from here
friend, there's only now

remember the last time we were 
here, you asked if I had always 
known about sacrifice--
it's how we survived 

this fire I built inside my head 
tenderly lifting all the love
and dread I have tended 
to replay, "let go"

Sunday, September 26, 2021

moving to the future

my arms are crossed behind your back
my fingers are too
as though we're raising a stout hammer 
to a sickle moon

I can only watch through this rapid door 
the holiness of 
infancy, childhood, school's odd certitude
and uncertain youth 

your smile now a secret scroll of prophecy 
close to breaking
lashed in ritual errancy and exhortation to 
a city of last resort

and your keys to a kingdom of possibility
yet you share, sweet child--
as you unbar our door to swing open yours--
so warmly, a spare set

Friday, September 24, 2021

so it's universal

new nothings are of the highest order
metaphor is a dark mass of wire
feel the kiss of prepositions
--they're infinite

we inhale before the contented sigh
and embrace like we're a whole
orbit full of revelations,
even in rearview 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

a little me

I suppose it's my job to be touched everyday
by offers of trust--gaudy and gauche 
these insights dawning
inexorable as day

I know how it settles into the bulk of today
teaching me to become yet an-other 
grownup as I already am
inaccurate as yesterday

Wednesday, September 15, 2021


the length of our conversation tells in years 
origins of jokes, quarrels, and empathy
reflecting back, blinking back

the image of us making our way into a future
it's a test--and if you ask me, of course 
I'll tell--I'll tell you everything

A day remarkable for the amount of work and the number of things I got off the pending to-do lists. 

It was also the day of our Ganesha Search. I had to work on Ganesh Chaturthi, which was last week, so today the kids and I did the annual tour of all the Ganeshas in the house (several in each room) to clean and decorate with kumkum and kalanchoe. The kalanchoe isn't traditional, but fit some of the tiny Ganeshas perfectly. 

Also a day when we had some tough conversations with two different roofers--none of our work-arounds will actually... work and it's going to cost many times what we'd anticipated or saved for. UGH.  

And then a spectacular late-afternoon breakdown when Big A used the "D word" and the "C word" to describe and discuss Scout's sudden hobbling slowness and lethargy. The kids asked tentatively over dinner what it had been about and were naturally very dispirited... so Big A began clowning. 

Pic: Radiology Gardens from this weekend. I love their reflection pool.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021


amidst the dusty chalk of discussion
our figures gesture like talk 
ache with attachment

there is teaching in the (back)ground
find it in the sprawling grassroots 
reaching up from dispute

Friday, September 10, 2021

the walking cure

(for K.B.)
We haven't seen each other in weeks
we're to go on a walk
I expected a ladylike turn on campus
but here you are 
in sneakers, leading an active puppy 
so we end up 
wending our way to Luce Road where
we remember

how our current high schoolers were tiny
whose peanut allergies then seemed 
to riddle absence--
are now surviving, becoming new people
with "hot dates"
imagining themselves un-endangered 
have new names 

in today's succulence, there is rain
but also umbrellas
there are mosquito bites that bead 
my arms like biceps 
words hang between us like roots
seeking new growth
you guide each signal that tumbles out 
kindly, grace-fully

we're filling out equations of sympathy 
on each side  
even in all that happens to interrupt us
because somehow
it seems, you believe in my goodness
as I trust in yours--
oh, how are we such miracles, friend--
finding us in this world

Pic: KB, W, and bike-path friends in Alma.

Thursday, September 09, 2021

sonnet on a commute

the road is a ribbon feeding on itself 
a dream snake

the car is an empty room but for me
the sun glares back 

sultry beyond windows and stealthy  
in the soupy day

I'm wondering if radios will play on 
at the end of the world

as I watch my future burning like fuel 
past lonely road kill

the road keeps coming, a stream of poison
being sucked out of me

my family knows my day from my absence
I pick up the distance and go 

Saturday, September 04, 2021

farewell summer 2021

This summer had teeth like mosquitoes 
flush with hail and all-day rain
I wave goodbye to this 

all summer long, the heavy air settled
into my narrow body, caught me 
out of breath every time 

a decrescendo of repeat, mute, rewind
until my mind is white noise
my heart half silence

and my hands sail safely to my sides
opening, undone--bones plummet
in percussive emphasis

Thursday, September 02, 2021

another day

why am I here bitten, forgotten 
arraigning a legacy of crazy
with remembrances

where my body and yours are
flattened by blank screens
and seen everywhere

why am I here, I wish you 
well, wish you could
just tell me

what will I not hear, this time--
more problems, every time--
no problem

I say--but there were always 
problems and prizes--
with surprises

Saturday, August 28, 2021

I find myself falling

I have tried falling down
the way you used to 
whole flights at a time
it's impractical

how it now reminds me 
of my grandfather
atoning what he'd done
--it's typical

what you did for laughs
he did because 
he'd left mother crying
made invisible

all the mislaid expiations
in search of love
where we are, the border
of admissible 

Pic: I turned in some stuff in on... Submittable. Ha.

Friday, August 27, 2021

the opposite of down is really long

remind me to take a step back
take in the silver habit 
of a grey day

pacing love and dissent, weaving
every day the excitement 
of reunion  

days we laughed, we sometimes
wept--from stories we heard
around radios

life feels so small it's basically 
one tunnel--just one that 
runs forever

Pic and notes: Early morning walk with Big A, Huck, and Scout. Grey day--busy all the way through and no good news at home (roofer canceled, Covid rises) or abroad. We were almost devoured by mosquitoes. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021


reaching in the way of breath
souls out as though flying
starting as newness does

language bends us to light
tethered to our affections
pointed as our engines 

it's crowded in the big sky,
friends--we have: planes, 
birds, satellites, choices

when it's so hard to listen 
what shall we do, indeed
for our use... for our ease

Pic: Late summer garden

Monday, August 16, 2021

the present

Thirteen years of this same name 
to use in love, jokes, threats, loving
When they decide for a new name
another parent tells me that a name 
is like a present, no one has to like it 
just because you gave it to them...
They know what's best for them, they
get to decide if they want a new name.
Then they do decide for a new name--
You know this name's unisex, right?
But--it still fits wrong, they say. So
when they decided for a new name, I
find I'm delighted to have an excuse 
to look at lists of baby names again
With their new name, we learned they
can ask teachers to use the new one
but can't officially change it at school--
that's another year with the same name
...but people ask us how to pronounce it
(because both names are from Sanskrit)
we're tricksters this first year with the new 
name: just tell them the old name is said
like the name you picked, I say. I'm loved
more in this first year with their new name 
it's like they spread their prayers like wings
these are small things, but they can fly now
When they decided on this new name, I...
was really relieved the new name began
kind of same way that their old one did--
so in this first year with the new name--
I can catch myself before I land wrong. 
Doesn't Elliot Page have a name like that?
I don't even remember--they're saying--
what it was, they're in the present; I'm 
rewarded with them happy in this year 
with just a new name

Monday, August 09, 2021

as time runs away

sometimes I speak of myself
in past tense, in third person
--I fall asleep, it's another day

I fall asleep and it's still today
life conveys me, an escalator
I ascend without any attempt 

I make meaning of everything
as time runs away, unmasking
all these unwitnessed narratives

and somedays will remind me 
of me, as I sift for obscurity
dowse for light... stay for me

Pic: T. J. Jarrett 

Saturday, August 07, 2021

an answer

so what if scars seam 
my body, it holds 

wherever I feel untaught 
I risk transparence

you should know how 
defiance clears
my throat

why I quiet in the face
of an ongoing

so well trained, when
blossoms happen,
I'm reborn

Pic: Phlox!