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.

Canary In The Mine

View the shame parade

complete with photos

the worst on the planet

with their hoard, listed in order.

This is a sick dysfunction,

perhaps the sarcastic

illustrious praise

at their misdeeds

is too subtle

immersed as we are

in this madness.

A rus-in-urbe rooftop garden

trucked-in soil

and pumping water

to complete the illusion

of what is only

natural.  When we ground

ourselves and face the need

that looks so much like greed

and claim it,

how do we read

the cast of billionaires

and what is our recommended

treatment for these outliers

of the human condition?

Inspired by: Hoard, Order, Rus in urbe and Illustrious and the Forbes list of billionaires.

Change of Tack

Winter knocked the wind

out of my sails, frozen

in this bay with no power

and no justice.  Come thaw,

I will set out once again

like these migrating ducks.

How many lands have

my ancestors shuffled through,

eking, aching hearts,

dreams to glide

to prosperity 

or at least

fairness?

Indigenous to a mysterious

past, far back beyond

what’s remembered.

Stranger here

and the earth is muttering

darkly with the disrespected

bones we feel

in this thick air.

We open to the despair,

the only bridge

to hope

that tiny glimmer.

Every intuitive leap

brings us closer

to the edge

of change

like spring,

that long-awaited miracle

palpable

rising.

Inspired by Justice, Power, Thaw and Sail.

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.

This New Story

I remember laughing

— so long ago and far away

from this sea of pain

we float in oily

separation on the surface.

We polish words like zenith

and nadir to allow smug

disdain to flavor

our perceptions.  As if

we’ve forgotten our connection,

that contemptible, lamentable

big toe

down in the despicable depths

of a different

less-than galaxy.  Not our kind.

Quite isolated and useless.

When we peer with

bleary eyes

from the binging,

will it occur to us to tune

in to the child

picking through piles

of discards

our hunger

inseparable?

Willing at last to be labeled

crazy

as we affirm

these crumbling foundations

lie.

Lunatics released

from the narrative of denial

of the negative space

which illuminates

our unity.

We’ll laugh later.

Now is the time for the cleanse

of searing tears

just before we welcome

everyone home.

Inspired by Occur, Zenith and  Tune