Joy is found in minor chords,
Singing our truth to the universe.
The story of love is never perfection;
It is always one dropped note,
A half step away from resolution.
Sit, and let me sing you a song,
Of our perfection,
And our imperfections:
No species sucks so bad
At getting what we want—
I’ll title it, Love.
Realization must come
Too late, or it’s not human.
Only in losing do we understand
The full measure of what we had,
Basically, chances, and with chance,
The opportunity to grasp —
And I’m back to the title of the song—
And how we suck at it.
And now, I pause
at the feet of your memory:
before there was nothing
To laugh about,
Your fatal optimism in your strength.
Being a rock, a steady hand
Wasn’t always conducive
To being a full man.
And there is the regret,
(Mine, not yours),
But it’s too late for regrets.
We are who we are,
And so little escapes that reality;
What forms us,
Forms all others, formed me.
Sometimes, we are left to weep
at what could have been:
We could have called,
We could have written,
We could have cherished,
The moments we came
Wanting to be cherished.
When I said imperfections fade away–
But there is no anger,
Only a dull futility:
The reality that is, versus
What we hoped it would be.
I’ve seen enough of spirit to know
that you’ll still be here
when I write of letting go.
How love becomes energy,
And energy can’t be destroyed.
The power of memory:
Imperfections, fade away,
Only Love remains,
As a steady anchor,
A steady hand through—
It’s been a while
since I’ve seen you laugh,
(There’s not much joy in dying,)
Yet, I remember your laughter, too,
Your tears wiped away from crying.
And it makes me smile now,
How we watched you break down,
Such a serious father,
By your laughter.
“Once I heard a song of sweetness,
As it cleft the morning air,
Sounding in its blest completeness,
Like a tender, pleading prayer;
And I sought to find the singer,
Whence the wondrous song was borne,
And I found a bird, sore wounded,
Pinioned by a thorn.”
The song of joy comes
From the same place as sorrow:
All losses bound together
With all gifts,
Wonder and tragedy,
Sifted, then mixed.
I will hurt no more, I said,
And it was as if my soul
Was dead to happiness, too.
But now I stand,
Ready to let go of you.
I watch my wolfhound mourn
the loss of our wolfhound.
Her sighs, like cries,
a wheezing must of being alone.
The certainty of death:
A large hole we dug
To lay his body.
It’s now a patch of dirt
Among a browning grass.
Such loss does not get easier.
Did you think it would?
And she still cries in her sleep.
I join, and cry for her,
for him, for me,
for constantly losing good things,
Beings, we so wanted
“I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down –”
I will trace your body with my fingers,
I will kneel before you with cupped hands,
Because that’s what it is to love,
To memorize this moment we inhabit,
To see your chest rise and fall
In mutual breath and beating hearts.
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
All those who have passed, there,
beyond the smoke, is the mountain:
Minutes, seconds, days, and months
Turn to years, but always the mountain,
Who recognizes only eternity.
And here, we embrace in its shadow,
Speak words, like living things do.
Comfort, does it comfort you
to hear your name spoken from my lips,
To know, someone will fall down
When you’re gone?
*Italics are verses from, The Summer Day, by Mary Oliver
When death gets a foothold,
You don’t know who it will take.
Souls grow heavy with guilt,
And the weight of silence.
Hope, a fragile light;
It fuels us.
Small, but mighty.
We wait for miracles;
They are fickle things,
The virtue of aspen:
quake of leaves
in soft wind;
you see one tree,
it’s a family,
of roots and starts,
a community of rattling souls.
I imagine, if one is cut,
all else will shudder.
If air could bleed,
the space between us
would, indeed, pour out.
Hate is a balm
for our hurt,
and the danger
Are we beyond healing?
Or, is there yet
a latent spark
we so easily embraced:
bone against bone,
a crushing lust,
our mutual love.
But now there’s dust,
and if the space between
it would drown us.
Ash, Beauty, Bird Poems, Bowl and Pitcher, Courage, Death, Death Poems, Dying, Fear of Death, Healing, Hope, Life, Moss, Poem, Poems, Poetry, Ponderosa, River, Soul, Souls, Spokane, Spokane River, Strength, Suicide, Survival, Winter, Winter poem, Yearning
I wonder how many have plunged,
broken bodies against the steep,
unforgiving basalt, to flow far away
from the tether of this rocky outcrop.
There are worse places to die
than underneath a basking ponderosa,
on a glorious day in deep winter,
high, above the earth’s mucosa.
Here is heaven, its gods, the osprey and eagle;
they preside from piney thrones, regal,
and survey with indifferent contemplation;
from their perch, suffering is also celebration.
There are less noble ways to die,
than beneath the wings of geese.
See them glide peacefully
over the rapids of the Spokane,
rage of water in the ears,
shiver of blue sky, full sun.
Yet, if hopeless traveler made the steep climb
to this one, celestial throne:
its blood, a brilliant green moss,
its body, the bare, leafless skeleton of alumroot,
entreating with outstretched arms:
See, the promise of spring.
If they were to navigate loose rock,
on the treacherous path that leads here,
would it be enough to make them cling
to the rock wall in front of me,
this low, precarious barrier between?
“The hope is that if you live through it, there will be art on the other side.” (Louise Glück)
Two hundred and twenty days,
the sun and sky, still uncaged,
yet, our lives, like flotsam,
float further and further away
from what we knew:
The Fox Theatre sits empty.
And my friend,
how we’ve drifted apart,
you, on your wreckage,
me, on mine, further and further
from the place. Our lives hit
that large rock. The ship
is lost, lost, lost.
Will someone find us,
and salvage what is left?
What is left?
Alone, Chaos, CoronaVirus, Covid19, Death, Divorce, Dying, Fear, Forgiveness, Hate, Healing, Hope, Horses, Life, Loneliness, Longing, Loss, Love, Poem, Poems, Poetry, politics, Self, Soul, Soul Poetry, Souls, Spokane, Women's Poems, Yearning
In this season, of triple digit days,
Anger gives way. It withers.
I said, I’m argued out about living,
What it means to be free, and human.
She is right, after all, I’m not an expert.
What do I know about a virus,
Which isn’t informed by the trees,
or clouds, or the way a horse sounds
when it calls to me in the dark?
I can only speak of the heart,
and even that, with authority of one,
my own heart, and how it breaks
To see the growing cries for help. Hate,
A distant thrum, beating, what it means
To be hurt, and hurt back harder.
Is any of this new? Or unique?
But we sought each other anyway,
To stake claim on our opinions;
The lost way, of friendship and loving,
Something which came easy to us, once,
When we valued living over living,
A life we could touch with our hands,
sending our fingers deep into the dark soil;
To be truly clean meant dirt under our nails,
For weeks, for months, dirt under our nails.
Chaos, CoronaVirus, Courage, Covid19, Death, Dying, Emptiness, Fear, Fear of Death, Freedom, Life, Loneliness, Longing, Loss, Masks, Poem, Poems, Poetry, Soul, Souls, Survival, Women's Poems, Yearning
Imagine being nineteen again,
still pimply and awkward,
parroting a script
from behind a plexiglass wall:
Phone number, please, you say,
and imagine her fingers,
typing one in. You hear the click,
clicking of keys on the keypad,
music of the dead,
you think, you’re dying.
You’re maybe a hundred pounds,
just a little thing, whose mask
covers two thirds your fragile face,
and they buried you at the door,
the enforcer, instructed to say—
This door, not that, and arrows,
follow them, follow them,
do like I do, with this cover,
my voice smothered, my soul—
I’m sure I was just standing there,
leaning over my cart, watching
my daughter shop for cards,
when I heard her voice—
not the enforcer,
but a fellow peruser, like me,
another blank face, masked,
you’re going the wrong way,
she said, you’re not following
the arrows, she said,
and her bony, dead finger
pointed down along the ground.
I followed it, and sure enough,
she was right about me:
Rule breaker, careless
spreader of germs.
The shame, the shame,
she would have me feel,
for facing the wrong way,
Fuck that. My latest mantra. Fuck that
and fuck that, too.
Even as I do it.
Where’s the humanity in this?
I want to scream.
But who would hear me?
We’re too busy saving lives
by not living, buttressed
as we are behind masks,
She doesn’t even realize I’m not smiling,
Or, does she? Maybe there’s something
of, fuck this shit, in my eyes,
the only part of me she can see,
if she tries to see, but she doesn’t.
The mask isn’t merely the covering
for a mouth, a nose, —
it’s blanket, too, as in a morgue.
Covering the dead. And I know,
my time is coming soon enough,
but I’m not dead yet, covered as I am,
prepared for burial.
Yet, still pounding on coffins,
trying to pull back the heavy veil,
cursing my heart away,
fuck! Someone help us!
–into the emptiness.
And then the world said,
I will heal you
In ferns, unfurling again,
berries, growing ripe
On the bows of yesterday,
the ones your hands touched,
As you harvested the wild fruit.
This is my great forest of chatter,
it says, in a smattering of late flowers,
a fragrant, maskless breeze,
and trees you can touch with bare hands.
Speak to the sky, it cajoles,
And the sky will answer you back,
With its bold booms, and its wet clouds,
none of this needs viewed
from behind the doom of plexiglass.
The young clerk, who looked down,
and down, and down, faceless,
behind the many layers of protection.
He was humankind, afraid to look up,
afraid to touch, or speak,
or even see one another.
But the world said,
I remain the same, fully open to you.
See me, and I will heal you.
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:
he said it, I’m sure,
in the vows. Forgiveness,
he went on & on
about grace, & letting go.
if someone covered you
how would you feel
in a chill
blanket of snow?
What darkness have
known, the kind
that can kill you,
the hissing whisper
of winter’s kiss?
Wings of butterflies,
a vague memory
of our wings.
Birdsong. We sing,
as we struggle to hear
the melody. Revive
We hear it.
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.
Bird Poem, Bird Poems, Bird Poetry, Birds, Death, Divorce, Eternity, Forgiveness, Freedom, Grace, Gratitude, Happiness, Hope, Infinite, Life, Longing, Love, Love Poems, Mercy, Poem, Poems, Poetry, Rain, Sacred, Soul, Soul Poetry, Souls, Spirit, Spirits, Spring, spring poem, Starting Over, Survival, The Universe, Unity, Women's Poems, Yearning
Even the stars are made of this:
sunshine & sweet petrichor.
What comes from above,
and we are made right,
our thirst, our life—
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,
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.