Do It Again

You can check-out any time you like
But you can never leave ~ The Eagles

I’m so done

like the buffleheads fleeing

their feast two weeks early,

the paltry offerings of this winter-

wrecked lake no longer fetching.

Migrating en masse

and who can blame them,

though the waters will suffer

tomorrow in the warm and

wild proliferation

of mollusks and all the larvae

spared with the seeds

of pondweeds and bullrushes.

Will they feed the fish,

or does this tip the scale,

like imbalance

tilts clothes hangers

during an earthquake, 

that startling slide-tinkling metal

that wakes you in a cold sweat

as you realize that gravity

can’t be counted on,

not always.

In the aftershocks

all the difficult

people grouchy and sullen,

I want to ascend

declare

I’m outa here

but I sit

just a bit

longer, releasing the need

to feed the closet

righteousness, mirrored here

even in the fast-tracked

migration of my cousins.

Written while ruminating on feast, paltry, closet, fetching, and The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible by Charles Eisenstein.

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.

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.

I Hear You Calling

The bay iced up, buffleheads

dive in the shrinking

open water, hundreds crowding

as the lake borders close.

Surely spring is percolating

through this late winter

but more snowfall is predicted

tomorrow.  They’ve hunkered

down, as have their kind

farther south, who were 

expected yesterday.  I worry

with my bovine dullness

how this will affect their mating

meetup in the wilds of Canada.

Will the latecomers arrive

too thin and weak to attract

the healthiest mate?  Will their

contribution to the gene pool

be lost, another achievement

of humankind’s oblivious

obstruction of the euphonious

whole?  We take, steal, bargain

for the cheapest price,

the hidden costs piling

like the mountains of rubbish

discarding as a

matter of course in our boredom.

Even when we notice

something is wrong, we can’t

track the cacophony 

inherent in our screaming society,

the rumbles of traffic above

and below, the livestreams,

airwaves bloated and our

ears beleagured.  The drumbeat

of our hearts subdued

under sleeping pills.

How can we wake up

and hear the song of love

that holds us

tiny insects

crawling on the skin

of our living mother?

Inspired by Percolate, Euphonious, Bovine and Achievement. and this song, Ancient Mother.

Spring Tidings

The sandhill cranes insist

noisily that I come out

to gape at their typical touristy

ways, a squawking commentary

like rowdy spring-break teens

hailing the ancient trees and this

lovely lake.  These crocuses

and the green shoots of daffodils

are too small for their high-flying eyes.

I could be mistaken. They vee

north where surely spring is still

too fragile to feed them, but

I’m frozen by this overstayer

winter so what do I know?

Like clockwork the buffleheads

arrive by their precise

reckoning.  My yearly delights

follow a calendar far more

exact than this Gregorian compromise

that rules my days.  Black and white

divers tease the water into rippling

sensuous shudders as they go under,

hundreds of them, a quick wiggle

to disappear into her mysteries.

She’ll be accepting snowfall

later today, to complicate this dance.

Such a trial for this hostess, plunging

temperatures forcing a cold

shoulder to guests only here

to kiss and make up

before the long trip,

boreal breeding grounds beckoning.

They won’t miss that flight,

their boarding passes etched

into their cells, and so I count

the thirty days slow and sweet

standing before this cold window

an essential piece of the living world

they enchant.

Inspired by Reckoning, Enchant, Trial and Fragile.