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One Unglimmering

before the dawn
the possibility of dawn—
all night holding that

Tasting Them

just as I toss
these ashes of worry
to the breeze
the wind changes
direction

For most life on the planet, being hidden is the default condition.
—Michael Dickinson, biologist

The little girl is not like the hermit crab,
though both live by hiding, finding small
spaces where they can retreat and occasionally
poke out a well-armored claw for transit
or feeding. It’s natural to all living things,
this impulse to survive through concealment,
only this girl, who has tucked herself under the bed,
her soft body curled into itself,
this girl, though she pinches
at anything that draws close,
she desperately, urgently
wants to be found.

From the Pod

Did you know, she says,
that dolphins will help
an injured animal
reach the surface so it can breathe?
She is six, and she shares
this new knowledge with anyone
she meets—a teacher, a waitress,
a woman in the airport, a man
in line at the store.
Perhaps she is already
somehow aware
that every one of us
is in treacherous waters
in need of a little nudge
from beneath that guides us
to emerge.

The Wisher Speaks

I’m tired of wishing longing’s hold would soften,
tired, I’m tired of wishing I could steer.
Though what’s the use in steering when so often
after steering wishward, I’m still here,
yes, here again, same face, same empty pocket,
same despair. But not hysterical—
too tired to rail. Exhaustion’s tourniquet
is good for that, at least. No oracle
worth reading here. They never forecast what
I wish to see. No shaman, no, no priest
worth heeding. They just tell me I should cut
my wishing, and that’s never helped the least.
Of course I wish to shelf these wishes, shelf
the shelf. But everywhere I turn, myself.

This sonnet was inspired by an exercise I did yesterday on the plane on the way home … I saw my good friend Karen Glenn had suggested in her weekly poem email that we might want to write a sonnet with 14 line end words that she gave us … so I did!

You might want to do the same thing … just take the last words off each line and write your way into them. She had a poem about aging vampires … and mine turned out in another voice, too … funny to see what happens when certain words are given to you …

Remember your first kiss? It took me a while to remember mine, but when the memory came back, I was surprised how rich it was. Here’s the poem that came out of it, published today by Silver Birch Press as part of their Me, as a Child Poetry Series.

https://silverbirchpress.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/with-red-thread-by-rosemerry-wahtola-trommer-me-as-a-child-poetry-series/

heart leaf in the virgin islands

astonished by waves
turquoise beyond turquoise—
even astonishment deepens

*

never reaching
the destination they say—
but perhaps this is closer

*

in the passion flower
an enormous dark bumble bee—
smelling lemon flowers instead

*

from how far away
is it swelling even now—
the next wave

*

carrying disappointment
down to the beach—
this, too, goes on the altar

*

amidst palm fronds,
exotic fruits, red hibiscus—
my shoes still size 9

*

with snorkel and mask
the same world seen richer—
so, too, with poems

*

coral reef—
all my ideas of what is possible
swim off

*

before I loved you
there was a world—
wasn’t there a world?

*

after the tsunami
didn’t happen
a rising interest in geology

*

the ship can always slip
into the unpredictable sea—
your hand in my hand

*

scent of plumeria—
how many other surprise sweetnesses
yet to discover

*

holding my breath
beneath the waves just to feel
the rising urge to live

*

watching the white heron
something in me
grows wings

*

not one to knock
the morning dove delivers song
through the open window

*

surrounded by coconuts
I dream of eating
a cherry

*

wish that pickpocket
had taken this, too—
sense that something’s missing

*

beside the new dress
the threadbare dress—
choosing it again

*

dinosaurs, too,
heard this at sunset—
wind in the palm leaves

*

many times a day
I smooth your hair already
perfectly in place

*

billions of white shells—
falling in love
with their differences

*

staring in the mirror
someone else’s face
laughing back

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