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One Devotion

 

 

finding in me

the place where honey

is stored

almost empty

still offering it to you

Despite the News

 

 

 

Again the rain,

and I wander

the tender green grass

of the field.

The hands pull weeds

because the hands

want something to do.

And the mind looks

for morels, because the mind

wants something to do.

And the feet wander,

because they are born

nomads. And the heart

opens. Not because

it wants to, but

because there is something

in the scent of rain

that suggests

so much is possible,

even, against all odds,

beauty. Even, though

it seems impossible,

another day.

What do a poet and a science writer have in common? A podcast on creative process! And in this episode of Emerging Form, Christie Aschwanden and I discuss collaborations–what makes them work, how they go sour, and what to do then! We also discuss whether collaborations need leaders, wemerging formhy listening is an essential skill for working with other creatives, Chinese food, the Jabberwocky, and how spontaneity can enhance a creative collaboration. And then we’ll wrap up our conversation by talking with musician/songwriter/video producer Christine Laskowski who will play our game of two questions. We’ll ask her 1) What makes a good collaboration? And 2) How do you deal with conflicts when they arise in a collaboration? You can weigh in on these questions yourself, either on our website or on our Facebook page. You can find Emerging Form wherever you find podcasts, or on our webpage here.

 

One New Step

 

 

weeping beside

the pussy willows—

all those tears

over saying goodbye,

I wouldn’t uncry

a single one

One Scratched Up

 

 

 

goldfinch stealing

into the thorn bush—

oh heart, bless you

for being willing, please

don’t follow him in

 

 

Why do we have to do this,

asks my daughter, hoe in hand,

and I, hoe in hand, reply

that it’s good for the soil

and helps it to breathe.

 

I think about how my own thoughts

crust over, how quickly

they become impenetrable.

 

And then hoe of loss. Hoe of hope.

Hoe of disbelief. Hoe of shock.

 

Again and again,

the world breaks me open,

allows the new to come in.

 

Again and again, I resist

the change. And then marvel

at how essential it is,

the new ideas so green,

so persistent, tender as

a girl asking why.

 

 

Walking Up the Pass

 

 

 

A mallard swims

in the beaver pond,

the sunlight makes

green praise of its head

 

and for an instant

the whole world

revolves around

emerald sheen.

 

There is little else

that’s green here,

though it is late spring—

but over 10,000 feet

 

the snow tends to linger.

This is a place where

the mind doesn’t hesitate

to offer its attention

 

to the sharp scent of trees,

to the snaking trickle of snowmelt,

to the thrill of cold air

in the lungs. And in giving

 

itself away, the mind

becomes clearer, becomes

a shining and natural thing,

like a mallard wing, like

 

a tree just before leafing,

like a canyon in which

the lush green world

is just about to emerge.

for Betty Rocker

I roll out the yoga mat in the living room

and find the You Tube channel

on which the twenty-something girl

with an armful of tattoos and a perky smile

tells me in her perky voice all about how great it is

I am going to take care of myself for just

fifteen minutes a day. She says that

five times, as if to both belittle it—

you spend more time than that

on social media, she suggests—

and at the same time elevate it—

you can do so much good in just fifteen minutes!

 

Some part of me wants to hate her,

but she is clearly so happy about what

we’re about to do together in our living rooms.

She claps to punctuate each thought,

and does a little skip in place as if to say

I am ready before I am ready.

I have been ready before. I remember

what it’s like to be ready. I remember

multiple decades when I was so ready

I just never stopped. I remember feeling

somewhat sorry for people who, as I do now,

rely on someone else to tell them to kick

and how high.

But I don’t hate the perky young woman.

In fact, I can’t help but fall in love

with her exuberance, the way she enthuses

through the burpees and turns the wide plank

into a star, whee! she squeals. And in fact,

as I do crescent kicks, like a ninja, she says,

I can’t help but laugh and smile because

she is right—it’s fun. And I feel goofy

and great and so glad to be the woman

I said I would never be. Somewhere,

a young woman is feeling sorry for me.

Somewhere, another woman is doing

lunges and squats in her living room.

Tomorrow we’ll do it again.

 

 

 

the way she loves me—

in fifty years,

never a drought

 

*

 

her glass always half full

even so she asks for yours

and fills it from her own

One Garden Plotting

 

 

though I’ve just bought seeds

already my heart

is in full midsummer—

funny how all that is visible

is dirt

 

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