Finding Breath

Where do I fight my experience?  Can I stop and say, this is what it is right now, and can I stay with it?~Anjet Sakkat

The I shoulds interrupt sleep
and so I rise, longing for deep
sweet breath, not this jerky ragged
approach to death. Bedraggled,
I resist the medicine
that covers and masks what is.
There is a gift to explore
a pattern in my core
though I would much rather
tickle a slick dance, gather
all my worries and doubts
undeserved love hideouts
throw them out labeled wrong
as if my birth does not guarantee
I belong. How can I soften?
The key to love these tired
eyes, this chest contracted.
My allies present the path
I so resent. And so I feel
the earth below my feet, real
and grounded, here I am
calm, watching the gentle
lift of diaphragm.


Daily Practice

Today the brood of unruly
bluebirds just might transition
to the sky. Especially
the largest, who steps over
his siblings to call out
entreaties and demands,
filling the round hole,
blocking the only source
of light.

I practice moving
to the center, each childish
facet a reminder of where
I’ve been. The uneasy
insight that something’s not
right snipped before fully
flowering. And now,
years later, a random prompt
like the illuminating sun.

I shift out of the calendar
of days and these relentless
minutes. There are places
that I touch, trembling,
awaiting, alive
outside of history.
When I bend that linear rule
and step into
what needs to be healed
the morning silences.
A crow caws thrice.
I am here.
I count.

Inspired by: Brood, Snip, Random and Transition.

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


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.

End of Empire

A nation held
hostage for a wall
that will never exist,
arrogant pride forcing
800,000 people to work
as slaves. Nothing new
like all women toiling
without wages to care
for the heart needs. My gratitude
app demands I celebrate
three things.  How can I

stop there? Last year, I mourned
a world my children will never
know. Now
I let go of my resistance.
Patriarchy carried us here
but these superficial constructs
melt away when we halt
the narrative. Easy when
a red-wigged buffoon tries to support
this vividly revealed
nonsense. Yet we love

and how
when each word is weighted
with societal significance
when the structure
of grammar and punctuation
damn our creative
thoughts flooding our vision
with muddy imprecision

do we begin
to face
the mother goddess
birth a new creation
this global being
fair exchange

do we invent new metaphors?

The icy control thawing
the mansplaining droning on,
we plant in this richly
composted soil
so long neglected
teeming with treasure
cultivating precious
food for our knowing hearts

which hungered
in the old stories,
myths for a captive audience,
just a trap
old languages
which have never
paid the living
wages we merit
and demand.

Inspired by:  Three, Wall, Thawing, a new moon in Capricorn and a partial solar eclipse.