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

Thursday, May 26, 2022

after this ending another ending

after this ending another ending
we only want so little
we're given even less 

after this ending another ending
plans flaking hope
escape again

after this ending find another story
another beginning 
--start again

after this beginning another beginning
another erasure
a do over 

after that ending yet another ending
dawns hide in the night
in the gallop of sleep 

Monday, May 16, 2022

excerpts from panic attacks

my heartbeat is hardening
I'm magnified in my smallness
I think this happens to me
I find this happens to everyone
the day is full of promise
that breaks over and over again 
I'm comfortable (in distance)
I'm complete (completely exhausted)
first I try to tame the animal 
burrowing its own trench in my heart
next I begin to tell you 
the stories I need you to tell me today

Sunday, May 15, 2022

deeply rooted

kindness is a common form of love
the drip of its tap like heartbeat
its tempo rowing in place
I can look down at myself 
how I've thought I knew it all-- 
now I fit in whatever comes my way  

sifting the hard cuts with a soft care 
for moments turn meaningless
without my memories
like spring soil I keep
holding on, I hold nothing back 
honestly, all I've taken is inside myself

Saturday, April 30, 2022

so here we are

I always misunderstand "a perfect storm" as a good thing
the rain descending as a blessing, lightning as fireworks
the flood muscled and insubstantial as a willful idea 

also time bears no shape whether watched or hourglassed
so tell me how we've spent these years trying to change 
our fate, how we believe we aren't a twist of... faith

we may have forged only paper boats for these times
but then they don't have to come back to tell us
we already know there is no tempest or tide 

Friday, April 29, 2022

maybe like the earth

ask me what makes a good day
as the heart hammers away
nailing today's sum of green

applauding how the light falls
all the way to the ground
exploding into green joy 

I know I too am someone
a body not just an accident 
 pronouns greening like weeds

everywhere like my prepositions
across and between and within
--little words louder than we think

Pic: Scout posing (as awkwardly as one of the human kids) by the cherry blossom trees.

Friday, April 22, 2022

there's no sadness in spring

this is how it is some times
the edges so sharp they cut 
through inertia and errands
the days passing like hours

how green aches into limbs 
darkness detailing the edges 
tight with herds of budding 
water cold, crunchy as glass 

I'm the only one here alone 
and I think I spy on myself: 
What will I do next? What
if I make a sudden move?

Pic: Red Cedar River seen from MSU's campus.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

the struggle is surreal

this door I'm trying to close quickly
knowing you're trying to come back
touching this emptiness to another
as open and unmeaning as chanting 

it's sadness so cavernous I can hear 
exhalations from your lungs empty
universes of understanding, fleeing
like meaning between our thoughts 

like a sunset stained on the horizon 
speech is clumsy and stumbles trying
to save us. And so we have words/tears 
and they fall--only one feels right as rain 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

the bitterness of mustard seeds

"Men!" she says, rolling her eyes
sputters: "Think--even the Buddha causes suffering."

I heed her assembly of outrage
the mustard seeds going off like grenades in the pot

it is true, yes, no one is to blame
Where do you keep scars? Can he see or imagine hers?

See her desire colliding with his wisdom
see her as the collateral damage of this one's own theology 

He might say it's nothing personal--it's true 
perhaps exactly what's missing, in his insistence on moving on  

on nights there is thunder, there is rain
I feel this whole world as an angry woman I do not blame

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

as I lay me down to sleep

it's time for me to be embedded 
into the dark

it's time to kneel at night's altar
quieten thoughts

to swallow answers into silence
and survive 

for I'm too wild for sleep to be
anything pure

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

in a season of dependence

over here, I'm trying to find the language we lost 
we're the canoe and and I slipped the oars
while asking questions
we're so small

strangeness crawls up my arms, nestles by my ears
little baby bugs overflowing their home 
telling me their stories
about being better

because we cannot know what we do not know
and we're flooded already with memories
we imagine how it will be 
without us 

that canoe thawed free from direction and labor
swept up in the recovery of unknowing
finding new neighbors
in sea and storm

Tuesday, April 05, 2022

"I get sprung"

The crocuses are here and... Big A is here!! It's also pretty sunshiny out today and students' research work is coming along nicely. (Not my research work, but--you know--one can't have everything.)


let's begin once upon a time, with a house
we can fill it with hope and surprise

(we raise our eyes to the sky in greeting
use whatever rains down as anchor)

let's begin far, far, far away with a feast 
we can open mouths wide in laughter

(we press bites and bruises into pretty fruit
after we steal some answers and quiet)

Sunday, April 03, 2022

A Gentle Reader

A Gentle Reader
I say a prayer--for books to carry me
imagining ballads sweet at lunchtime
in an inventory of lives, distant loves
and for plain books to cry to at night

how light is soft and rich like a fire
how it smolders at the beginning
how embers fade like falling love 
stranded in the chaos we've made

we think wars are everywhere as usual 
within and without--as we like to say--
see shields surrender, becoming songs
in books that have already cast me out

Pic: Hyacinths, heady with scent, are coming up all over the house in various pots and things I stuck them in. (Here: game table in the tea garden; our outside is still wet and muddy.)

Saturday, April 02, 2022

(I love big cities but) I'm glad I'm home

It's a daily becoming
telling life from sleep
the memories wakening
overnight just like magic

It's still drizzling when 
I return four days later
like early spring weeds
my body a little sapped

but still strong, unbroken
as a promise once made
without noticing, tasting
a bit sticky... & unspoken 


Sunday, March 27, 2022

appearing overnight

I used to climb black trees in my childhood
knowing leaves then as outbound beacons
who taught me places I know only now 
I twisted my braids with longing 

My arms become spears of bewilderment
they branch into wild whitenesses
prickle open rooms of secrets
stake it all so I can see

This morning I reached into another day
to eclipse gravity, light, and language
beloved, who is this wild animal 
with its tiled back turned

mouth around your moments of darkness
whisper to me the place it came from 
why does it watch for you to sleep
creep glances to your chest


Note: Woke with the image of a beast looking down at something it held in its hands. Unsettling. Had two hikes canceled (snow + wind) and people's moods at home went up and down all day... I'm glad today is done. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

the return

home seems habitual
the way it sings to us
tells us special things 
no one else will

the joy of sitting here 
ruined with utter love 
or something edging
it up until 

the singularity of life
skimming the years
dims these currents 
into standstill

so we jump narrative
rewind our best parts
outside the visible
--ask for a refill

Pic: Big A is back! We were at our desk trying to work on a project, but Scout and Huckie thought they needed to check in on us.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

wild and precious time

I chuckle/howl/bawl-ed so hard at this one.

I love Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day" poem so much and love that other people love it too and love that it became something people passed around in the pandemic. I mean there's apparently a whole Pinterest section on it.

But this Sarah Lazarus take on it is hilarious. We have literally been using this line of inquiry to make decisions on birthday plans, vacations, work duties.

Travel, especially, seems to require some unsentimental evaluation. I have some coming up: an honor society meeting with students early April; a site-visit for the big NWSA conference in May; and... do we dare plan a non-US family vacation in June?

Monday, March 21, 2022

prayer in March

Here I ask the seeds 
to push past mud 
to present hope

watching how answers 
in every fresh year
lie about

this yearning for mottled
softness to appear
under trees

Note: I liked the idea of using "past," "present," "lie" etc. as seeds that could be read in more than one way.

Pic: Our tea garden/my happy place. I have the remnants of my birthday flowers... but also a late amaryllis, and some early cyclamen, bougainvillea, begonias, hyacinths, and crocuses coming up! 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

the wearing (and eating) of the green

At came to dinner after ages, and although we don't "celebrate" St. Pat's day, I appreciate the Irish so much for their anti-colonial struggle, especially as they shared that liberally with the Indian freedom movement--there's a reason our flags are nearly identical, right? 

Anyway, I had a dinner of mostly green veg, Irish Champ, and green cupcakes ready, but Big A and At missed each other by seconds. Nu and At found an episode of Derry Girls to rewatch, and they picked the one with the Ukrainian exchange student because...

Photo: Our entryway Ganesha has been decked out in some gaudy green this month.

Sadly, the family photo isn't here 

Sadly, the family photo isn't here 
the child mounted the front steps
as his dad stepped into the garage 
in timing orchestrated sitcom style
time pleats like a fin on a paper boat

as today's yellowing sun is ripening 
they are learning in a city of twilight
how to travel on paper boats that trail
hellos and loves in their soggy wake, 
the ridges now closing over; just water

Monday, March 14, 2022

thawing pains

the day's a disaster though
its song summons laughter
rolling like water over sun 
blinking on/off like a halo

snowy realms are escaping
vulnerable with empathy
whole worlds liquefying 
like tears into spring mud

Scout hands his paw to me
warm as a steady blessing
while I lie to my mother:
saying everything's alright

Pic: Neighbor CC's from her canoe on the Red Cedar

Thursday, March 10, 2022

coming back in years

linked as casually as a road
hissing between this city and the next
then linking onward to the next and the next


alone we are born and in tears

then relate to mother, grandmother, another

extend our miniature bodies with immense hope


and always love--growing ever greater,

even greater than life--we may never speak

again, yet our echoes surrender new conversations

after this ending another ending

after this ending another ending we only want so little we're given even less  after this ending another ending plans flaking hope escap...