It’s always something else
we wish would save us—
the right words, for instance,
especially spoken on the right lips.
Or perhaps the temporary shine
inside the generous glass of wine.
And if not that, then friendship.
Or an altar. The sun or a song or a kiss.
But somehow in our hearts
there is always an empty chair,
some sense that someone or something
else is supposed to be here,
even if the room is light. Even when
the rightest words are found.
Even if the wine tastes of melon and grass.
Oh that emptiness. That emptiness
is a chance to ask ourselves, really ask,
who is the one who thinks she needs
to be saved? Sometimes I watch her
slip right through the cracks.
She takes her cross with her,
her books, her prayer mat,
her musts, her beads, her shame,
and what remains is everything.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged emptiness, poem, poetry, save | 1 Comment »
You need not fear the night, my child.
Evening comes to everything.
It finds the raspberries by the road,
it finds the rabbit in her hole.
It finds the river and all its swells.
The evening comes to everything.
As silently as the rainbow bends
the evening comes to everything.
And the roadrunner stops his running
and the honey bees stop their buzzing
and the rattlesnakes stop their sunning
as the evening comes to everything.
As dark and graceful as raven’s wings,
the evening comes to everything.
Even the raindrops as they are falling,
and the Rosa woodsii as it’s blooming
and the wily raccoon who goes exploring,
yes, the evening comes to everything.
I used to fear the darkness, too,
and prayed all night for morning.
But feel how evening holds the world—
the animals, the boys, the girls,
the moms, the dads, the plants, the birds,
it holds us together, our differences blur—
oh, evening come to everything.
*An R poem for Lian Canty’s Alphabet Menagerie
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged darkness, fear, poem, poetry | 2 Comments »
I know you’re kinda mad I’m late. I’m sorry,
but you see there was this tiger trapped
up high inside a tree who offered me
a cherry tart if only I would help
him down. What could I do? It just did not
seem right to leave him stranded there. And so
I asked a large tarantula to weave
a silken net to catch the tiger when
he leapt. Well, she was tired from having laid
nine hundred eggs the day before, but when
she heard about the tart, she said she’d try.
A tern and toucan flying by said they
would help me hold the net to catch the tiger
when she leapt. What luck! I didn’t know
they lived around here. Anyway, a toad
in a tiara started teasing them.
He said our plan would never work, that birds
would not be strong enough to catch a tiger.
That’s when the triceratops came rambling
by and said he’d help us, too. But he
began to sneeze, his allergies were acting
up, perhaps it was the tulips? Or
the toadstool? I don’t know. The bummer was
he sneezed so much he had to go. The toucan
and the tern, offended by the toad,
flew off. They said, “A tart is not enough
for this abuse!” So there I sat beneath
the tiger, not sure what to do. That’s when
a turtle sat beside me and suggested
we could use his thimble as a diving
pool. The tiger had his doubts until
he saw a trout tail swish inside the thimble.
And he dove! And landed with a splash!
And came up with the trout between his teeth!
The bad news is he left the tart up in
the tree. And then the grumpy toad began
to throw tomatoes at the turtle. And
at me! And so I ran the whole way home.
I don’t know where the tiger’s gone—he mentioned
wanting to audition for a band.
He said he plays the triangle. It’s weird,
I know. So weird I worried that you’d not
believe me. I thought maybe I should lie
and tell you that I’m late because I didn’t
want to leave my friend’s house in the middle
of our game. But lying is so rude.
I knew that you’d appreciate the truth.
*This is a T poem for Lian Canty’s Alphabet Menagerie, http://www.alphabetmenagerie.com
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged blank verse, lie, poem, poetry, tall tale, truth | Leave a Comment »
Sometimes it happens this way,
that the sunflowers all petal out
before the night of the first frost,
and you, though of course you have
endless things to do, find yourself
ambushed by golden lucence
and stand there astonished, baptized
by beauty. It happens. Sometimes
it happens this way. Sometimes
you get the whole list crossed through,
all those black lines streaking the page,
like flowerless stems. It happens.
That, too, is a beautiful site,
but not at all the same.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged beauty, poem, poetry, to do list | Leave a Comment »
I used to have it, the longing
to be cleaned out, to become
like the school room before
the students arrive on the first day
of school—the desks polished,
the dry erase board perfectly white,
no un-erasable traces of old problems
and schedules and conjugations.
I longed to be even cleaner than that—
to be emptied. To be like the room
without furniture. Or perhaps even
to be like the vacant lot after
the building had been torn down.
Call it a second chance. Or a third.
A clean slate. We have so many ways
to speak of starting over. And of course
I believed I’d do it all better this time.
And then one day I stopped believing
in the sanctity of the eraser. What
great teachers, all these perfect failures.
One day I could feel it, how
the life I wanted to live was nowhere
near as beautiful, as full, as rich
the life that wants to live me.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged emptiness, failure, poem, poetry | Leave a Comment »