This Pendant World: Passover

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Wasn’t everyone born

thinking

they belong

here forever,

even death,

we hide

behind closed doors

praying it will passover

us,

the ones we love,

cling to,

this earth,

how it swings

on its chain,

from cold days,

to warm—our lives,

like seasons,

which go on and on;

how can it go on

without us?

This Pendant World: Super Moon

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3

Some nights

wearing your shoes

on the wrong feet

feels right

The stars

haven’t changed

the moon is bright

Maybe tomorrow

it’ll be full again

big enough

to swing this chain

rock us back and forth

along this painful tether

to which we cling

Photo credit: NASA / Bill Dunford

This Pendant World

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2.

Today, I trusted you,

straddled your wide,

bare back,

sweet mare,

doe-eyed, and healthy.

We breathed together

what good there is

of this April day,

and offered thanks

to a world,

mostly untouched:

the mountain, still there,

the grass, still starting to green,

the birds, still returning,

singing their songs

into the dark hours

of the night.

What They Said About Love

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New eyes, your eyes,

not their eyes, you see

yourself anew, beginning

to love again. How can that be

a bad thing? Love is not bad,

ever. Make it worth it,

she said, and she’s dead now.

If she’s right, you thought,

could it save us? A love—

worth it, worthy of—

holding past what we thought

it was, what they thought

it was, to what love is:

mostly forgiveness,

he said it, I’m sure,

in the vows. Forgiveness,

he went on & on

about grace, & letting go.

As Gone Becomes Gone

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The lasting sting of salt,
zero point three milligrams
per tear,
yet, still they drop,
tapped into an ocean
where I swim,
like a child,
through the salty grief
of letting go.

She’s gone
with the quiet rains,
too gentle
to wash away the grief
of my empty hands.

Even now, I know
I’ll look back and wonder
why it was so hard
to let go.
Time will blunt
emotion, stunt
the onslaught of memory,
the true knowing
of what was lost,
now, so fresh,
but soon distant,
as gone becomes gone,
and life,
unable to stop,
moves on.

Love of this World

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Everyday, I would write a poem,
as if it’s my last poem,
a last letter to a world I love,
love, and hope it means something
to say so, even as I know
it means different to different–
what does it mean,
I hear the world asking,
imploring me to offer proof.
But you’ll have to take me at my word.
A poem a day, a song,
fingers along a rosary,
giving thanks at each bead,
and never running out
of things to be thankful for.
Bead, to bead, to bead:
the sun, the stars, the grass,
rain,
blessings and blessings,
love,
yes, love–
I don’t have to tell you,
or prove it;
you know what it is.
I hope
you know what it is.

A 52nd First Day of Summer

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I’m writing today in response to a prompt about clouds that I found on the Manic Sylph’s blog.

My fifty-second first day of summer,

is cool and cloudy, the way I like my days,

a high of seventy, and I’ll stroll Manito Park,

while the flowers reprieve from scorchers,

and chaos; mild days are undervalued

in this world, everyone wants to run hot;

can I just sit here and dead-head my petunias

until I die of natural causes, hopefully,

in my sleep, when I’m past my eightieth

first day of summer, or ninetieth—

however old it is when I’m ready to go.

Are we ever ready to leave days like this?

There is always someone left to love,

to smile at, to hold in our just right embrace

while the sun comes up in their souls,

and they, too, long to celebrate

their first cloudy days of summer.

A Final Severance

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Sentient soul, to sentient soul,
he realized her panic
when he came barreling
around the corner; sundown,
and their eyes met
for just that second,
she decided to run.
He’d forgot to honk his horn,
thought she’d made it,
then the thud,
like the snap of twig,
a broken limb,
the doe, three-legged,
ran down the ravine.
He was amazed at her speed,
dismayed by his deed,
that couldn’t be undone,
or lightened,
or made right.
In fact, he knew
there was nothing left
except she would die.
He wondered at that,
and how death arrives
when we least expect,
and then, the frantic,
lonesome search for a quiet place
to lay your broken body down,
and the terrible waiting:
last fear, last tight breath,
a final severance from this world
on what had been a beautiful night.

When She Was Young: Song of the Lotus

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“The lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them.”
The Odyssey Book IX

Promises, she heard them all,
the call of her mother’s voice,
she wanted to believe:
This won’t happen again, baby.
Maybe, it was okay to trust
for a while, and rise, like a lotus blossom,
above the mud of her addiction,
floating with petals stretched up to the sun.
Somewhere, she thought,
there is a story of a girl whose love could cure,
and pour itself out as an ethereal blanket,
so magical, together at last,
even their bones would long
to float away in the lotus’ song.

The Sweet Smell of Starting Over

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Even the stars are made of this:

sunshine & sweet petrichor.

What comes from above,

and we are made right,

our thirst, our life—

forgiveness,

after years of anger;

we finally feel love again.

The earth wreaks well of redemption,

grace permeates the dry ground.

And, the only sound we hear now,

birds,

who sing of starting over,

or, at least that’s what we hear,

like the smell of fresh water,

among grass, and clover:

sunshine & sweet petrichor.

A Refuge of Birds

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Flood warnings, became flooded streets,
a gathering of mud, and other debris,
while in our yard, a branch broke,
from the old birch tree,
and in it, the grass nest,
a family of birds, now refugees.

And, I imagine them searching,
for a place to start again,
free of broken, flotsam dreams,
their past life, falling from this tree,
as the birch continued to bud,
and the grass continued to green.



For Cowboy, Heart of my Heart

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The horse that restored my strength, Cowboy. 2003-end of our reign.

If waif means thrown away,
we were waifs—
he, an orphan,
me, afraid of the world;
yet together, we were a magical beast,
fleet of feet, pounding ground
with a rumbling beat,
breath joined,
as in lore,
we were centaur,
& maker of the stars,
& shiny things,
creator of our kingdom,
our safe place to run,
abreast of sand, loose rock,
and sun smiling down on it all–
a coronation of soul,
of spirit,
and what will remain,
from that first day,
to the end of our reign.