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Eadem mutata resurgo

Latin motto: Changed, I rise again

 

 

Sometimes in spring

I can still find the dried seeds

of the mountain mahogany

clinging to the ends

of the branches—

feathery golden spirals,

logarithmic and light.

 

How the universe

loves a pattern,

an elegant mathematics—

this same spiral is found

in spider webs, sunflowers,

snail shells, cyclones, the arms

of galaxies, the human ear,

even in the nerves of my cornea

 

that help me to see

the very pattern that

gives me the ability to see.

I want to find the self-similar spiral curve

that informs kindness and strength

as it spreads through a people. I want

to find the equation that calculates

an exponentially growing radius of love.

I want to find the dynamic beauty in us

 

that amplifies as it moves out

with ever increasing speed

from the infinite center.

I want to embody the trustworthy constant

that inspires our species to be better,

want to know the recursive courage that drives us

to thrive in difficult times.

Our potential, endless, yet humble

as last year’s seed in my hand, ready

to be planted, to sprout, to grow.

 

Hope

rm sneffels smile

Hope has holes

in its pockets.

It leaves little

crumb trails

so that we,

when anxious,

can follow it.

Hope’s secret:

it doesn’t know

the destination—

it knows only

that all roads

begin with one

foot in front

of the other.

Hello Friends,

If you were unable to join us live for our April 3, 2020, reading, you can catch me and my friend Albert Flynn DeSilver doing a special online reading … about an hour long total. We each read for 15 minutes at the beginning, then open it up for a discussion based on viewer comments about the role of poetry in our lives right now.

I read exclusively poems written in the last three weeks–all of them found here on A Hundred Falling Veils–all of them speaking to the world we are in right now.

Sign of Inner Spring

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Every year the pussy willows

surprise me with their willingness

to be soft in a time when the rest

of the world is stick-ish and harsh and bare.

 

There they are beside the low stream,

fluffy silver tufts, furry, silken, new.

But the velvet has purpose: protective hairs

grown to guard an imminent bloom.

 

I notice today how fear is like

the stiff casing from which the pussy willows

have emerged—necessary for a time,

until the tough shell no longer fits.

 

Sometimes softness is the key to survival.

I feel it today in myself—the courage

to shed what is hardened and old.

It grows wild as willows inside us: practical hope.

 

 

 

 

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Dear Other Version of Myself,

 

In my calendar, it’s April second

and you are going to an event tonight

at a bookstore in another town

where the people will gather

and hug each other and taste

each other’s wine. You live in a world

that no longer exists, and every day

I try to reconcile it—how you

had plans to go camping next weekend,

how you were going to go to the theater

with no mask, no gloves,

no sense of your body as a weapon.

 

Every day, your life, which once was my life,

seems increasingly impossible.

Every day, these two worlds are farther apart—

the one in which you were getting on a plane

to visit your mother

and the one in which I put on rubber gloves

to go to the post office box.

I remember how seldom you washed

your hands for fear that someone you love

would die. I remember what it was like

to hug my friends with no worry

of harming them, to go to a restaurant,

to plan for a day past tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Viola Tricolor

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also known as Johnny jump up, heart’s ease, heart’s delight, come and cuddle me

 

 

Into the shade by the porch

bloomed the first wild pansy,

its small yellow face sunny

and eager and open.

 

The Athenians used to make

the tiny flowers into syrup

to moderate anger and

to comfort and strengthen the heart.

 

And here it is today,

small volunteer beauty,

growing in this patch of dirt

where nothing else wants to grow.

 

This tiny garden is but one of many

concurrent realities—others involve

hospitals short of beds, loved ones

gone, doctors scared to go home.

 

Our hearts need strengthening.

Little violet, we’re learning, too,

how to be surrounded by death

and still rise up, bring healing as we bloom.

Respiratory

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This morning, after the blizzard,

after the sun came out,

there was a moment when the shadows

of the empty cottonwood trees

patterned the snow like tree-sized lungs—

the trunk was a bronchus,

and the branches, bronchioles

that split into twiggish alveoli.

And the tree seemed to say, Remember.

I often neglect to be grateful

for lungs, for breath—

such a simple, forgettable gift.

But in the dividing silhouette,

I saw into myself, a divine branching,

an inner tree, an invitation

to sit and breathe. Remember, it seemed

to say, and I followed the lines until

they disappeared into the light.

Gratitude

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Gratitude, it happens,

needs less room to grow

than one might think—

is able to find purchase

on even the slenderest

of ledges, is able

to seed itself

in even the poorest of soils.

 

Just today, I marveled

as a small gratitude

took root

in the desert of me—

like a juniper tree

growing out of red rock.

 

If I hadn’t felt it myself,

I might not

have believed it—

but it’s true,

one small thankfulness

can slip into an arid despair

and with it comes

a change in the inner landscape,

the scent of evergreen.

255px-Albert_Einstein_Head

 

*Dear readers: Sooooo. After really investing myself in the letter (linked below) and writing the poem below, I found out the letter is a fake. And I thought about just taking down the poem. And then I thought, well, even though Albert didn’t write the letter, I still believe in what it says. So I changed the title and made note here that the letter is fake. I guess my poem just turned into fan fiction??

 

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If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.

            —a fake letter from Albert Einstein, in a letter to his daughter, Lieserl

 

 

Thank you for your letter.

I know you wrote it

for a daughter,

but I read it as if

you wrote it for me.

 

You spoke of making a love bomb,

a device powerful enough

to entirely destroy the hate,

selfishness and greed

that devastate the planet.

 

I want to believe it’s possible.

Now. Somehow, because it is

your assertion, it feels

more possible than something

the poets propose.

 

But count me in. Let me help

verify your equation in which

the energy to heal the world

is obtained through love

multiplied by the speed of light squared.

 

Let the experiment begin

in my heart. Let me always

let love write the proof.

Let me find the infinite energy

inside me waiting to be released.

 

Let me be driven by love.

Let me remember everything

is in relation to everything else:

Planets in their orbits. A virus. Black holes.

How I meet the world. The bending of light.

 

*to read the full letter, click here

Need a poetic boost? Join me and Albert Flynn DeSilver as we read poems inspired by and in conversation with the pandemic.

Albert is the author of Writing as a Path to Awakening. He’ll be hosting the reading on Zoom. After they reading, we will open the platform for a conversation: “What role is poetry playing in your life right now?” Join us April 3, 2020 6:30 PM MST (US and Canada). Please register in advance for this webinar:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_pOZT_Vq2Rs6TQMRAT5ssTA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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