Musical Arrangement

When my mother turned her back

to play the piano, we

all danced and jiggled,

positive we were not observed.

Certain still, 

the child-closed heart

is exactly

why I can’t imagine

being heard by those ears,

even when it is my clear

assignment.  Write a letter.

Accompanied by the fidelity

of birds and land and water,

mating pairs revisiting their

own birthplaces, I open a spring

carnival of colors and splashes,

honks and quacks and silver

ripples and heads rosy in one

flash of morning sun.

The makeshift boundaries

of my childhood home

constantly revisited,

newly emerging as I unwind

the crude expedience

that I couldn’t digest.

The fierce punishments

to the bold spirit,

the cold indifference,

the longing

to be heard

to be loved

with as strong a heart

as mine.

I carry the weight

of things I cannot speak

and give witness

in the dark.

We are the same,

our wounds calling in secret

language-magnets

forcing us together

until our breath

is constrained

and our spirits are tamed.

I ignore the photoshopped

edits on your Instagram feed,

tuning in 

to what is constant

and unwavering.

A swallow dives down

and we are all here

and hungry, muscling in

to claim

our places.

Lonely and shivering,

will this cold never end?

And the buffleheads spread

the surface, diving in an

unfathomable syncopation

to tickle the lake,

and I have to laugh

along the lines of this

musical score, unexpected

symphony welling up 

a gift response

to our exquisite thirst. 

Inspired by Makeshift, Laugh, Fidelity and Bold.

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The Interconnection of Being

At three, he’s aware of no

division, calling up the

buffleheads on my computer

for a close-up of tiny ducks

far out on the lake.  Not just black

and white, their iridescent heads

like poems to color.

He greets them, frustrated

by my inability

to establish

a FaceTime connection

with these cousins.

He has no armor,

open, empty

here to enjoy

the ride and I bail

furious and surreptitious,

dipping and throwing

discolored clouds of

beliefs as fast as they

bubble up on our way.

In the dark, we trace

the dim light

of constellations

resonating to a calling

heart songs

carrying us through

this living water.

Inspired by Empty, Armor, Division and Bail.  Photo credit: hhltmaine.org.

The Layers of Now

The knight-errant delates

the enchantress

to the medieval tribunal;

she’s tortured for heresy

and practices of power.

And even now we carry

that shadow impossible

to touch, its weight forcing

our pace.  We believe.

You’re too big for your britches,

my grandma warned. So let’s get

naked, converse with

dinosaurs like a three-year-old,

delighting in the tune

the ancient memory of our being.

Shall we dare the dark

to reach for stars

our own relations

pointing precise lines

of connection, winnowing

past the satellites thrown

like so many toddlers’ toys

in the messy skies?

Clean up, clean up, we sing

over the Wi-Fi pledge

one global chorus

injustice and rubbish

clear to our eyes.

Do you see that, too?

Validated finally

while on the world stage

greedy monsters’

unreined stampede toward certain

disaster

keeps us horrified

and static.

The cordless frequency of fear

corralling us

fenced in seeming separation.

We chafe and squabble,

point fingers and cry,

restless

while under our feet

the only necessary step

simple

calling

until finally we tune in.

Inspired by: Wi-Fi, Knight, Delate and Pledge.

Fertile Soil

Deep in the territory of despair

I find a tiny grain

of hope-seed.

I pause in my diurnal practices

directing the flow of chi

before sitting in stillness.

Even this action of folding

the map away

is a heart-sight opening.

I have been amending

this very soil

where I’m rooted.

Last year’s skeletons crackling

white reminders

to plant differently.

Seeking manure

‘cause shit’s gotta change.

I am rotating

to nourish

what feeds us all.

Pulling out the old

beliefs in the separation,

tinder for the burnpile.

Going up in flames

along with the sketches

on the papers

indicating here be dragons.

I sow treasure

invisible and minuscule

in your eyes,

yet tickling a

necessary earthquake

we create this new terrene.

Inspired by Action, Treasure, Opening and Diurnal.

The Magic Eye

The rush-hour drive transformed, we approach

from the march that protects the magical

forest I inhabit.  Closer we creep

and the skyline’s a mystery.

I’ve never seen these fantastical

castles he counts, six, seven, eight!

Eight, shouting and there must

be dragons.  I’m driving; it’s cloudy,

but he can see these radiant beings

with the superpowers his great

grandmother sewed into his cape.

How to appease a sad boy

whose genuine entreaties are ignored?

Please come.  I offer a large crow

but suddenly the enchanted

creature is in the back seat.

His name is Jerry and he’s friendly

so the chances he’ll scorch us

are slim.  Turn this way, my storyteller

directs, but I’m in the wrong lane

and he’s on his way home.

We leave the skyscrapers

to their work opening up the realms

of newness reserved for the most brilliant

stars among us, here to remind

and include all things lovely

curious and highly improbable.

When I drive home later, alone

in this new landscape, my sight

changes, the noose of reality

loosens and I can’t stop grinning.

 

Inspired by: Radiant, March, Fantastical and Appease.

What’s At Stake

The practical mathematics we explore

look suspiciously like witchcraft.

Silver-locked grandmothers dancing

around the family tree

measuring with diametric

precision while praising

the infinite always get a

bad rap from the likes of Big

Pharma.  Unmedicated, noncompliant

so he can learn the burning

love triangle, child and parents,

the long chains of ancestors

as visible as smoke

I teach him to see.

We both devour these moments

fully present in the is-ness

emerging

to be seen and celebrated

in the fullness we give each

other in these flames.

Inspired by:  Chain, Diametric, Infinite and Devour.

Love of My Life

If you’re wondering, who is

this auspicious star, it’s me

illuminating every puddle.

Here you are casting shadows

with that serious face

oblivious to the solar

language of my kiss.

Come, play in these gray

last winter days, shiver

anticipate that moment

when I finally pierce

your cold constellations

and you let go of your grief

to look up

praise

the listening at last.

Inspired by: Auspicious, Wondering, Puddle and Language.