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

Thursday, July 29, 2021

our mother would hate this poem

I dreamed I was listening to my
parents' fight from decades ago 
when they were fighting always
and always passive-aggressively

my father sounding patient
my mother sounding smart

neither of them listening to each other...
from our room: my sister and I listened,
grading them--not on how right or wrong 
they were, but how not mean they were.

our mother lost our ratings
for our father lost the fights

afterwards, he wouldn't talk to her for days...
every time she happened to be in the room,
he'd be whistling or humming something 
to show how he didn't care and didn't hurt--

like at all--not even a little bit
even we kids didn't buy it

Wednesday, July 28, 2021


I will not fail fall falter--
what is history but 
a storm that left 
us all bowed

although not forever long
I watch waves touch
shores and ships
--be calmed 

(I remember how old colonizers 
told us of monsters on maps
even--while wielding:
their sword-gun-pen)

Pic: Flying home--skies never fail to fascinate me.

Friday, July 23, 2021

an ordinary happy

why not stay awake           
today's felt blog post         
just yesterday's ghost        

to a moment, wonderful
right now
becoming extraordinary 
as memory
as witness, totem, story

Pic: Nu and At playing Super Smash Brothers, a game they acquired the weekend Big A and I were away in Seattle. They had so much fun pretending they were going to invite someone called "Smash" over to the house while I was gone, and I had so much fun pretending to be horrified by the idea. It was only later that I discovered that they didn't know I was pretending. "How did you even know it was a game?"--they asked. I don't know.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021


can we begin with how 
reduced to sweetness
lists run through
an abecedary 
of wonder

a longing 
to recite how
we return tender
to summer's thirsts
hearts giant with shining

Sunday, July 18, 2021

like an old-fashioned riddle

I tally ego on the rosary of my body
count the worry beads of desire
sum my abacus of need

my small silence inside your eternity
my sky inside your horizon
is watching us recede

as I exchange thoughts for doubts
I wonder if you can hear them;
I think you'd concede 

that you pull me along, in undertow--
not caring for my suffering--
until you have me freed

Wednesday, July 14, 2021


I have taken these photos
no one will be looking at  
I have repeated my sights
until emptied of meaning

each one special as a child:
emotions--a trembling skin 
old memories--pause at will, 
a flip-book I cannot control

I have buried the bad sounds,
you can't say them anymore
soon I will be lost, exploring,
then unravel love for myself

I can announce to strangers
that I survived, can say I am
renewed, though I still carry  
this ventriloquist's act of you

Thursday, July 08, 2021

"that's how the light gets in"

we're looking for someone
we haven't seen in... years
memories--folded, refolded,
stored safely like souvenirs
so when you reach across 
the table to take my hand 
I already know how you'll 
want to summon a heaven

so full of holes, we lost 
places, people, all we still
seek--yet our hands open 
to applaud how light leaks in 

Leonard Cohen--"There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in."
Rumi-- "Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you."

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

in conclusion

beauty is an accident in the day
borrowed with permission
a cataclysm

we are ones feasting on leftovers
mouths wide with awe
and appetence

as skin tightens on our tired flesh
we find brilliant secret plots
of resurrection

Friday, July 02, 2021

turn, turn, turn

I carry my words across continents
with their accidents, impermanence

bees feverish in the heat of their sting
do things so sweetly distant from pain 

a bird cleans its beak on moss again
and I try not to scare them into flight

we're "ok;" alighting on what it takes 
to make the planet spin another day

[Pic: MSU Horticultural Garden; I love this bed, which seems so effortless.]

Wednesday, June 30, 2021


"Guess what I am,"
says the child
snuggling next to me
fists under their chin
trying to--"look cute."

And so I guess: A baby bunny rabbit?
A kitten? A puppy?
Nope. Nope. Nope.
I'm so wrong.

They are, "A Baby Praying Mantis."
I guess I've always 
known they'd keep  
making me smile.

Words: Nu; July 31, 2012. 
Pic: The trans-flag kandi Nu made today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021


There's not much to do 
in the rain, today seems 
so small, so tight, blue...

these trees, drip, shake
drops of rain off--as if 
they're puppies. I ache... 

from rain. I know I want
sunshine in clusters, stars 
writing days in happy font...

instead here's a slight salute 
--to bent sky, clasped desires,
clouds heave, heavy in pursuit 

[Pic: Made it to Ted Black Woods with L this morning--before the downpour.)

Monday, June 28, 2021


"If you wanted, you could be there," 

I keep staring 
at the self I see
in these words

Knowing day will be done soon, gone

but not the work 
it came bearing 
in cupped hands: 

not an offering but an outstretched bowl

seeking alms
restoring me
ta-da / to-do

[Pic: Baby deer I spied out back this morning.]

Sunday, June 27, 2021


I take the photos in this family
--every time I send one 
to you, sister

you demand to know where I am.
I'm behind the camera,
I travel back

with the sticky facts of tenderness.
What could ever replace  
you reminding me 

to burn like fire, like diamonds
the beloved coal of my body 
hybrid, haptic, whole

[Pic: An indoors kind of day; the kids have to delink settler colonialism and Catan for me every time.]

Monday, June 21, 2021

old school laughter

to sit down with strangers talking talking
talking, the sun stunning in its brilliance 
like our laughter, sounding like we never 
heard of hurt, happy as an escaped key
I start, you finish, then we restart again  

the sisters say: "quiet now, settle down"
they turn their backs, snort their grace
and then we're off on one more round... 
odd how though it's made only of sound
laughter never loses its meaning--or place

[Pic: Waterlilies at MSU Radiology Gardens]

Saturday, June 19, 2021

I said

a letter seems only an island of sound 
till it has found bridges and isthmuses 
of words and meaning

we're at this crossing to talk some more--
soaring through side streets and alleys 
where we are all children

come back, connect, read me generously
correct, on this towpath of peace, release
my complaint--always me

[Pic: cobwebs-bridge-Red Cedar River]

Wednesday, June 16, 2021


Yes... no... I don't know... yet
how to take things for granted
let's say we're sort of Egyptian 
in all the ways we are learning 
to prepare--not for life--but death 

I hold for friends who have left 
homelands... once upon a time
with untold pasts, fear for those   
whose names change every day,
who clasp peace so hard--it splits

[Pic: Ely Woods with L this morning]

Tuesday, June 15, 2021


For you're breathy as a kettle, 
in all of this ennui, this outrage
yet we sit blandly where people 
were dead--had been for ages.

We are the ones who are alleged 
to dust off the drifting ash before 
standoff, feel around for the edge 
of backlash, its puny incoherence.

But we listen; learning now how
all news is unbearable, how it all
allows us to be portals standing
impatient, indifferent, in disgrace.

Thursday, June 10, 2021


I begin to unpin guilt like it's hair
hold my own hand as it trembles
a stare still lies a bit out of reach
grows into a new part of my body

my body goes old young indifferent
time folding across like a clock-face 
and hands clap for what comes next 
texting alien syllables from my name

analog clock, digital face, so partial
to opening my heart all the way like
I once said I would in a secret place
we know where it stays dark all night

Wednesday, June 09, 2021


This person I am--capricious, 
madness layering my mouth
breaks strangle words
swallow all loneliness

For nothing here is really mine
foreign country... alien tongue,
the lift in my heart merely
a mad end to a depression

Swimming lightly into this mirror
I become my eternal reflection
--cinders fly like insects
--their love a cartoon net

Tuesday, June 08, 2021



our day is burning,
silence like smoke

light seems machine
in interim and enters

anyway, opens the door
to our histories of hope

in arrival--we are blessed
death is certain someday 

we get to live out survival
tithing... tiny happinesses