in the dark

you lose track

of any lines

that say

you are here

and the night

holds you

like a lover

with hands



and the stars

keep thousands

of secrets

and sometimes

they spill,

and if you have

a question,

it comes to meet you

whether or not

you’ve dared

to ask it.

One Giving It All




praise the larkspur

grown so tall, so heavy with bloom

it breaks at its base,

but oh, how it grew,

it grew

hello friends, back from a glorious few days of being unplugged … here are a few poems from the last five days. 




falling asleep beside the stream

it carries away

the day, the years





whatever a partial moon means—

cradling it in my hands

to give to you




inviting Audrey Hepburn

for pancakes and tea—

she arrives with two tiaras




familiar path—

a year later

this new woman walks it




it takes four days

before my hands open enough

to let in the world




riding our bikes

on the old dirt road—

baptized in scent of pine




sitting on a rock

long enough

no one feels like an enemy




beside the path

one ripe wild raspberry—

walking through its door








listen as your days unfold
Challenge what your future holds

            —Patti Austin, “You Gotta Be”



And if I could

I’d scatter all the seeds

of grace, release

them from their old dry pods

and let them fall

in tired places—

like your heart,

my heart.




As I hull them

I think of the summer day

when Jen and I

rode our bikes

over Wisconsin hills

to the berry farm

and picked so many berries

we had to drive back later

with a car—

how hard it is

to be moderate

when met with abundance.

I froze the strawberries then

as I do now,

small red sweetnesses

for winter when

I will find it hard

to remember

just how generous

the sun.

Oh if that girl of twenty two

could see me now,

standing in the kitchen,

what would I tell her?

Nothing. Not a thing.

She has so much

to learn about trying

to save what she loves.

Better to just let her

see me as I am now—

red juice on my fingers,

red juice on my chin,

a pucker on my lips.



Not the End




And as the demon prison is opened,

it’s already half past ten, and my daughter

and I have already read an hour past her bedtime,

but the demon prison is open, and so

I promise just ten more minutes, but then,

at ten forty, our hero is clashing swords

with the demon who betrayed him

and so we read on to the demon’s demise.


Just yesterday I spoke with a friend

who told me she thought about killing herself.

We sat in the garden surrounded by cosmos

and overly abundant chard.

Life is not like the book where we know

there will be a happy ending,

which makes it harder

to want to turn the page.


Tonight, when we put down the book,

just as the next demon taunts

our hero, we turn off the lights

and feel the giddiness of the battle

pulsing through our bodies.

We giggle too loud and shudder

beyond our control. It is difficult

to find enough peace in ourselves

to welcome sleep.

How we long to turn just one more page,

just one more page.


May we always find reasons

to go on, believing that

something good is about to happen.

I may not believe in happy endings,

but I do believe in happiness,

the way it finds us when we least

expect it. Like the zinnia in my garden

that for months has looked shriveled and dead

since a spring frost, and just today,

after the big rains,

formed four green leaves.





In the red mud, in the muck,

in the day’s surplus of luck,

the sudden rains make flood of wish

and fill the road with detritus

and we are stranded where we are

the roads all closed, and still, I hear

inside, some voice, insistent,

chanting More, more.

One Sincerity




just outside my window

larkspur erupts

into generous blue—

in me blossoms

an old prayer




it was never meant to last,

this life, though we tell ourselves

we’re different, though we tell

ourselves we matter. But the planet

is patient. And the sky is older than that.

The bones in the exhibit hall are proof.


Still, as I drive the seven hours to home,

I am careful to stay in my lane,

careful to miss the dead lump of what once

was a bird, to use my turn signal,

to wave thanks at the truck driver

who let me into the flow.


It may not go on forever, but

for now there is this chance

to learn about communion.

There is this chance

to see just how generous

we can be with these drying bones.

via Naked for Tea, Poems by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

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