…Wait for it

Jump into space

between couplets like the pause
right before I inhale

that joyful awareness, nothing
to surmount. All the stone fortresses

open their secret rooms. It’s dark.
The air is heavy. Sometimes I fall

into numbness, waking with a start
I am afraid to follow. And still

I carry a light. I have chosen
this darkness. It is mine. I claim

my deep intelligence present here.
As a goldfinch lands, twittering

I’m on a glider; golden light slants
across my warm skin. The sun is

too brilliant, even the reflected glory
in the lake causes me to bow.

II
Part of this poem dances in
and I without a pen.

Charmed and heartened, I marvel
rapt like an audience who owns

the very book I quote. Finally
running into the house for tools

allow that cursive flow along the
lines and I feel fine so in a bit

I’m grabbing my guitar to play
and sing just anything and yes

this notebook, bizarre and strong
is with me: I believe my voice

needs to resonate this grounded
heart into the frequency of we.
III
Sitting drenched in early evening sun
strong and lovely, my skin crinkly.

Joy comes when words surprise
me and the family secrets fling

the doors wide and sashay in
with winks and raucous levity.

Even the dark ones, villains, long
excluded from our happy tale–

I burp when they appear in any
healing moment, that is, only now.
IV
I’m going into more far-flung places
and the house is reeking with bleach

so I can’t enter. Perhaps I’ll sleep
here–never knowing which heavy being

keeps splashing under the dock right
below me–with mosquitoes and bats and owls.

I have caged myself in fear.
The pretty smile barely masks

the numb places. Oh, hey, celebrate:
they are  i am  we made it here.
V
I whisper in my ear outside of time,
loving that little child, giving secret

snippets of what is essential right now.
Loving the powerful adult writing here.

Jericho Brown, you’ve changed me. Once
a couplet seemed like too much hand

holding, escorting my reader down
the path. Take a breather. Relax

before this next line really takes you
to a new place.  Jump into space

Inspired by: Levity, Surmount, Marvel and Bizarre.

Waking View

In sum, the morning infused with joy

a frisson as the clouds are penetrated.

All the words, doubled,

every color intensified by light.

Impossible magic.  Here is the missing

ingredient, free, alive,

the painter’s wild abandoned strokes

the cameras clicking.

The poet lost in a daze

while words bloom and fade

always reaching for this precise

moment to shower over you.

 

 

Inspired by:  Double, Sum and Frisson,

Canto do Pintassilgo

Surprised out of sorrow

by bright bursts of yellow

flitting past green leaves

like flashes of unexpected sunlight,

I open windows to liquid warbling

spilling through the branches.

A language of cheer

I am too mournful to mimic.

There seems a secret message

I am missing.  Oh really?

Fwit fwut, bay-bee, tee-tee,

po-ta-to-chip. 

Relentless

goldfinches fill

the space upbeat, bouncy

no place for sorrow.

Curious, intent,  immersed

in mystery with no dictionary

and a heart full of longing

to connect.

 

 

 

 

 

Small Bites

In the parking lot I spy

a tiny round piece of gold

and marvel at it as I enter

the abrupt harshness

of air-conditioned space. 

My errand’s brief, I turn

and wait to leave

as a mother and her two young sons

navigate the precision of entrance.

The youngest insists on operating

the automatic door for himself.

I exclaim, “Whew, you made it!”

to honor his triumph and worry

slipping narrowly through.

When he smiles at me, I open

my palm to display my wealth.

“I just found this outside!”

I exclaim.  “I love it because

it’s shiny and gold!”  His eyes are

wide so I offer it.  “I think

it’s lucky,” I decide.  Cradled

in his hand now as his older brother

covets it.  Perhaps he’ll drop it soon

in a different parking lot for another

grandmother to discover as we all play

the game, recognizing each other,

giving and receiving treasure

with big, excited grins.  

Blameworthy

Each morning I’m prompted

to warp time and space

and breathe in peculiar

rhyme with no warning of

what I represent, rep-

rehensible base

a disgrace I expose.

Digging up bones from those

unmarked graves hidden

in this bucolic space.  I can’t

leave, faced with ferocious

resistance — how dare I

disturb what is seething

— malcontent label, dis-

trusted clear seeing.  Now

this thread of secret sorrow

linking yesterdays’

tomorrows brings me here,

my heart bared to receive

your arrows.  Aim and fly.

I yield.  My song unsealed

what we grieve.  A few more

tears and sighs before I

reach rage’s primal dance,

claim my inheritance,

singing, this tune is mine.

Inspired by Bucolic, Warp, Represent and Peculiar.

Boundary Waters

 

You should know better

than to talk to me so early.

My eyes alone should warn you,

lost in a poem sprouting

deep in mind-soil.

I arise from morning waters

not in an instant

crossing the labyrinthine channels

irrigating my dreams.  Now

I must walk on earth

but though I warn you:

only glance at me,

look away,

you stand close and demand

my attention.  You are pulling out

secrets,

my poem’s colors painting

you in shades you’ll declaim

later.  It looks like scorn,

feels like magnets attach

to the line you’ve cast

into my depths. This way

of healing is raw

so we’ll suffer through

the opening of old wounds.

I aim to release these family

anchors, to watch

my descendants soar like swallow-

tailed kites poised

rare in the summer

sky,

prey no more.

Inspired by: Labyrinthine, Instant, Scorn and Kite.

Money Calls

So it seems I must be derelict

in my self-styled duties

to follow the seduction

of money.  It is this daily

practice that forces me

out of the uniform

I don for society —

no, not these yoga pants.

I strip and strut

naked, hoping to fascinate

with my faults.

Everywhere I look, the signs

say poets must bare

precisely what they’ve never before

shown to the world.

And so my dilemma,

halt my morning peep

show to ferry secret missives,

hat in hand

because the larder is empty,

my fasts are long in the tooth,

and how I hanker

for a pretty dress and

a ticket to the symphony!

Poetry doesn’t pay

those luxuries, at least

not today, so I’ll continue

this love letter off the record.

 

Inspired by: Uniform, Fascinate, Fault, Derelict, and being torn between a contest entry that insists on poems that have never been published and the delight I experience every morning when I hit that pink “publish” button.