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How it Changes

I may never travel to Neptune,
I’ll never eat a newt,
I’ll never ride a narwhal,
but I’ll always love you.

They say the North Star’s brightest,
they say nightingales sing best—
but to my ears and nose and eyes
you’re finer than the rest.

You’re more prized than the needlefish,
as elegant as a nautilus,
as cheerful as a nasturtium,
and lovelier than the narcissus.

I’d make you a nest of my love,
I’d draw you blank staves for your notes,
I’d spin you blue thread for your needle,
I’d carve you oars for your boat …

and I’ll push your boat out to sea
and nudge you from my nest—
and I’ll always, always love you
in ways I still can’t guess.

Eighteen Small Steps


Those who would climb to a lofty height must go by steps, not leaps.
—St. Gregory the Great, from a letter to Augustine of Canterbury

teach me crosswise
streets, how to believe
all directions are possible

*

at my next shindig,
inviting happiness
and grief
for a
ménage a trios

*

she’s got everything she needs
ever since she made best friends
with nothing

*

sitting on the bench
I wonder if adventure forgot
to RSVP
or I forgot
to send the invitation

*

I would like
to want
to be at a shindig,
but dang, this couch
is so darn soft

*

forgive me
if I spray paint your thoughts—
I just knew a little bright orange
would do you
a heap of good

*

what’s up
with all those shenanigans?
well, she said,
you can’t just have one,
can you?

*

I asked the quince
about pleasure—it said baby,
time to get reckless

*

what is there
not to love
about grace?
the shaman says
now try loving fear

*

omphaloskepsis—
nice idea, but whoever
says all answers
come from within has never
seen your belly button

*

what’s a rain dance
except a snow dance
just a few adventures early?

*

I think the world
is addicted
to paradox—
I think I am
addicted to the world

*

the world gave me light,
I wanted shenanigans—
oh foolish woman,
now surrounded by shenanigans
all I want is light

*

every once in a while,
peace
but hey, world,
the rest of the time
let’s dance

*

it’s not that I forgot
to stand in the light
it’s just
that darkness
was holding my hand

*

indecision settled in
like a fog—every morning I practice
turning myself into a sun

*

will you like me better
if I cover myself in chocolate
said my sorrow

*

with authenticity
as my compass, every road
is the right road

Game On

I so wanted
for you to be
the one to bring
me love and
happiness, but
the world
could hardly
conceal its sparkle
when it slapped
my own hand
on my heart
and said tag,
you’re it.

Just Sayin’

all those stars
not a single one
out of place
but your hand, darling,
belongs right here

in my red briefcase
no notebook, no calendar,
no laptop, no pen

only stones, rocks, dust
the things I know will last

after knocking on so many doors,
beggar’s bowl in hand, I put down
the empty bowl, and my hands
lost their desire to knock
and began to plant a garden instead

Walking on the Road

rain comes at last
and wrings the air clean
and every green thing greens—
so little of what I do
is important

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