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

Monday, June 10, 2024

an early start

I don't want to die
I want to keep on

wide as a song
wide as a wound

someday I'll learn
to tell the difference

my quiet body
my silenced body

know the future meant 
to be for me--I'll get 
there yet
Note: I'm not sick, just thinking about death because of last week's losses.
Pic: The deer are out there eating all my flowers, so I planted some annuals in these birdbaths, tugged some moss over the shallow roots like a blankie, clipped some craft birds onto the chains, and hung these constructions up in the tea garden to enjoy.

Monday, June 03, 2024

preparing for June

            may our rage be bright
            our actions free
            our healing soft

whether our pride waves
all year round or
only in June

              may our love be loud
              our words proud
              our touch safe

when it rains, may we learn 
to be as water 
and rise up 
Pic: Some bunny. We still call them "baila wabbit" because Nu used to as a toddler. 

Saturday, June 01, 2024


I hear my mother calling
--calling on the phone
(not from the porch)

then she asks for my name
her voice a green flame
of sudden language 

my eyes round as our earth 
I tell her my name 
play her game 

memory, fantasy, truth...
have all gone missing
but aren't missed
Pic: A turtle and some hatchlings sunning themselves on a rock in the Red Cedar. Another long walk by myself

Friday, May 24, 2024

and again

from my heart comes 
songs of wonder
as days emerge

again the world is light
whirled very green--
every understory 

claiming back each wan 
winter moment
to silence

returning them as a jubilee
of buds tight at the heart
of growing things

their excited celebration
the crooning I use 
to soothe 

human, animal, vegetal,
--all the children
to sleep, leap--

into memory--like starlight--
born from something 
years ago

yet blossoming... arriving
just in this moment
for me
Pic: All the green things (grass, weeds, leaves, mossy tree, river) in L's backyard earlier this week. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2024


for LVK

Of summer plans, my friend says 
"Maybe we can make it a point 
to get arrested for a good cause."
I demur for I fear brute hands on 
my body--but eff it--ok, I'd do it
it would be "good trouble"

my body is but a prayer; my hopes only loud songs
flowing to the river, its hairline starting summer
I know it would be to follow love
and not the law--to hold the hands 
of those beloved children again, 
to fold food and kindness 
and safety into them--
it would be good
Pic: Wild Phlox all the way to the river in LB's backyard. 
We walked along the river for a long while.

Monday, May 20, 2024


I walk this earth 
as though 
I own those skies


daylight and delight
wet, velvety
evening and night 
Pic: Someone's home and everyone's happy, but Max is the absolute best at showing it! (I love the way he's wrapped his arm around Big A's wrist!)

Thursday, May 09, 2024

it's old and faded now

Although we always felt some pity for her by that point in our visit 
when our Dorakanti grandmother would lament that though she'd yearned for daughters 
all her life, all she had been given were six sons 
and that was why she loved her granddaughters so much
my sister and I would remain stiff and unbending. 

We had heard that Dorakanti grandmother had been mean to our mother 
when she was a new daughter-in-law 
and that made her eternally unpleasant in our eyes. 

We were stiff as scarecrows inside Dorakanti grandmother’s embrace
stiff and unfriendly to the children from next door summoned to play with us
and our interactions with the special snacks made for us were cursory.

We paid attention when it was story time, but only silently
and only because it was dark and no one could see our eyes stirring to the story 
the punctuating “umms,” which were our duty as audience, needlessly parsimonious and slow.

Dorakanti grandmother’s stories were strange in that they never began with a “once upon a time.”
They all began, “in a place,” “in a village,” “in a town.” 
It was as if these stories where the prince fell in love with the princess 
after chancing upon just one filament of her preternaturally long and fragrant hair 
or where the young prince battled tigers to impress his mother
--as if these stupid, unnatural things had happened just a few weeks before we came to visit.

And at the end of the story when the prince married the princess 
or the young prince was crowned, there would be a big celebration 
and grandmother would launch her punch line:
“That was when they presented me with this sari,” she would say, 
holding her sari out for us to touch, hoping we would scoot closer to her. 
It’s old and faded now, but it was rich and shiny when they gave it to me.” 
And we’d reach for her sari politely enough, 
even knowing that our fingers would be snatched up and kissed, 
but we’d remain curled up around ourselves, my sister‘s hand in mine.

And although I'd will myself to fall asleep quickly
knowing dad would take us home the next day
I'd wake as grandmother stroked our limbs before she left the room
stretching each of our legs in the half darkness to their furthest length 
so we'd "grow tall in our sleep" and not take after her.

Pic: Max getting his zoomies out. All I have to say to this puppy I love so much is "I'm going to CATCH you, Maxie!" That's it, he'll play keep-away for the next five minutes. Scout played this way too, so I enjoy this on so many levels.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024


1) They now know me by name at Hammond Farms where I get rocks and pebbles for the pond. We've been getting comfortable: The first day I showed up in a dress, then it was pants, then sweats, then shorts...  on my most recent trip, I went in my ratty back brace. The people who work there--especially the women--are amazing.

 2) This poem got accepted for publication in an academic volume. The editor suggested changing "assignment" to "answer" in the penultimate line for clarity, and I agree. They liked how my persona's responses are reduced to the merely parenthetical in the poem. 

3) There's another happy ending too. After I wrote the poem, I set my hurt feelings aside to focus on continuing to do what I'm supposed to do--help the student learn. We had a few individual sessions, the student began to enjoy the readings, refined their ideas, improved their writing, and by the end of the semester, was repeatedly thanking me in class meetings. I learned too; I'm now inclined to think that their initial snipe came from awkwardness more than malice. 

4) Pic: I've been having better luck relaxing with my morning tea on this side of the tea garden, without getting distracted by tasks. The light started off gray and moody, but it soon turned into a brilliant and gloriously sunshiny day later. 

Friday, May 03, 2024

ordinary magic

all my winged things: birds, words
always seem to happen only
in momentous mystery

their maps ghostly with emptiness
layered on unknown and 
see-through cities

I wish for real things, the right things
with crescendoes heralding 
their difference

for rolling reflections whispering
the worth of wonder, love, 
forgetting, and loss

I hear someone singing too far away
to know their story, but I can tell 
they're keeping time
Pic: I was taken by the way the sun was sinking yesterday--through this solitary greening tree between two nondescript buildings...

Monday, April 29, 2024

when newness comes

so many mornings
winds are sighing
curving in prayer
commas to care

so many mornings
your words flood 
me, washing away
any origins of joy

but some mornings
I imagine just being 
a door flung... open
speaking  yes  easily
Pic: At, Nu, Max... At calling to Huck over her shoulder. #CherryTree(s)

Not pictured: Me at the very tippy-top of my league on Duolingo Arabic!

Friday, April 26, 2024


 there is uncertainty: what to  say 
 even in the dignity of the world 
 preserved  in light,  the  lick  of 
                                       on water
the words that open in  my mouth
                                 are blooming
                                     like flowers
their faces in the breeze, are being
blown back, syllables breaking off
this day is familiar as all days are
                                       a theology 
                                      of forever
I am my wound, I am my healing
lifting into the day, learning to open 
looped as continuously as  the seas 
the curl of one wave, the shoulder
                                     of the next  
Pic: Burchard Wetlands with RS. My first time here.

Monday, April 22, 2024


1                                               2                                   3
                                        rain runs                            birdsong pushes               all that falls 
                                        like a chant                        music                                here and now
                                        in my head                         out of trees                        is dusk
                                                *                                        *                                       *
                                        making it through           the journey                       in our time:
                                        generations                      will remember                   singers die
                                        from knowing                  we outlive grief                 songs live 

Pic: Daffodil Hill with L last week. We thought we'd get rained out, but we made it. Daffodil Hill last year, also with L.  And the year before that (also with L)

Thursday, April 18, 2024

what we are built for

in the days when the kids were smaller
and my parents younger
and they lived here 
six months of the year
                                the only time I'd get mad at my dad
                               (my mom and I squabbled
                               every other week
                               or so)
                                                was when he'd look at my husband getting
                                                 ready for a training run
                                                 and declare he wasn't
                                                 "built for running."
                                                                                 my dad... my corporate bigwig dad
                                                                                 had two secretaries once, but now 
                                                                                 dutifully transcribed stories 
                                                                                 the grandkids dictated 
                                                                                                                       my dad who titled himself the president
                                                                                                                        of the fan club our sweetly narcissistic
                                                                                                                        toddler so desired...
                                                                                                                        that dad
was telling me my husband--who 
was spending hours running
every day--was unsuited
to running
                                But dad. I'd say--he's run marathons
                                what do you mean he isn't
                                built for running? And on 
                                and on we'd go.
                                                            my dad had had polio when he was five
                                                            his withered left leg still hurts, his
                                                            uneven legs (like these lines)
                                                            limp every step
                                                                                    but that dad didn't care how his body was built, he 
                                                                                    had "persevered" to become the captain 
                                                                                    of his school's soccer team and cricket
                                                                                    team and wrestled in college     
                                                                                                                        so it didn't make sense then, but now I think
                                                                                                                        he was saying my husband wasn't built
                                                                                                                        for running hours every day when
                                                                                                                        I needed help with our kids

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

promises, promises

time slopes
birdsong switches 
from call to answer
and just keeps climbing 

almost lost
in this range of joy
my heart unfurls itself 
and lifts up as an offering

Pic: I found this funny hybrid (red tail + black body) "fellow in the grass" between meetings and the department's farewell lunch for graduating seniors today. How bittersweet to say goodbye to these people... all these young people who have already done brilliant and difficult work, and are poised to do loving, amazing things in the world. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

in anticipation of spring gifts

everything radiates
porous with happiness
down to the scatter of stars

I work...
I walk for hours 
I was meant to be lost
here where everything roots

my body
unafraid of laughter 
and sculpted of scratches,
my heart a breathing furnace

in hours 
populous as cities
under every rock, I find life 
hundreds of hopes and longings

I yearn for the ones I haven't even met yet
Pic: "A host of golden daffodils" at the Wharton Center, with EM yesterday.

Sunday, April 07, 2024

because now is everything

our day loosens itself from 
a cocoon of cold 
step by step the earth opens
to push us beyond

sacred oblivion, for here lies 
a heathen hope 
this dance--survival or riddle 
whose time is come

in the surreal syntax of seasons
the ones you love
have heart-to-hearts, break hearts
uncatchable as rain

Pic: Geese on the Red Cedar... they're vicious when I meet them on the path, but so graceful in the water. The light was just lovely today.

Saturday, April 06, 2024


I have answers at the beginning, of spring 
as breezes lift my thoughts

restless with birdsong vicariously, leaving
imprints of desire in the air 

and shy things are whispering, in the hedge 
questions lost in their play

enclosed in the diamond of my legs, a book
for me to read now and again

while refrains fold and fade to close, I learn
to love myself, with your mind 
Pic: Eastbound along the Red Cedar on the new bike path. Big A in the distance. I simply had to stop to take a picture of those fluffy clouds in the open, blue sky. How beautiful is the every day, ordinary world..

Friday, April 05, 2024

the calling

some days everything is sacred
the name is the thing

on days Aaron said he had to  
"go run some errands"

our toddler thought he was saying
"go run some Aarons"

those were very Aaron things after all 
I think of how we all

could heed the call to run away, freely
doing things for ourselves
Pic: The Red Cedar on a bright and breezy day on a walk with Big A. Trees are beginning to visibly bud! We stopped midway through the walk to call in our sushi orders to pick up on the way home. It was very nice timing!

Friday, March 29, 2024

this darling of a day

I whisper a blessing into my cupped hands 
take frayed and afraid things for wings
be, begin, go

no one judges me for these strange noises
desperate like hopeful prayers, like fish 
the river receives 

my phone is far away and anyway, all 
I have to tell you, you already know
it's just as well

I've made a keepsake of this week forever 
I've saved myself from words that spring
are we there yet?
Pic: The Red Cedar on a glorious, brilliant-blue-sky day. Walk with Big A.

Monday, March 25, 2024


if a mouth wails of never
do the lifted eyes count
to hold the world close 
to call it done... a day

crushed easily as a flower
we've said less this year
I catch the light, press 
in one more goodbye

had you remained forever
I could have loved more
yet owe thanks for our
time here ur-gently


Pic: Max frolicking. His rascally, trusting eyes and floppy ears are my favorite. This darling turned one today. This was also the week Scout took ill last year--he'd be gone in exactly a month. Somehow, it always feels like Scout arranged for me to meet Max. I know looking after Max and watching his antics lifted me from the depths of so much this last year. Love you, Maxie! I hope you enjoyed your banana and peanut butter pupcake, extra long walk, and the new squeaky toy you've already disemboweled.

Things I rescued today:

* a groundhog. Max is swift and silent when he gives chase. Nothing but the jingle of his tags gives him away. I rescued the groundhog by r...