To my cat

I leave my

lap, to my

son I leave

my hope,

to my girl

I leave my

grit, to my

love, I leave

my whisper,

to my loss

I leave my

hidden spring, to


I leave


New Approach




On the thirteenth day of gray and winter rain

I remember the story of Amaterasu,

the Japanese goddess of the sun, who,

attacked by her brother, hid in a cave,

and the world was cast in darkness.


There have been more attacks

in the last few weeks than the world

can bear to hear. Sometimes we forget

how to cry. Sometimes in anger we forget

how to sing, how to pray. Sometimes,

like the younger brother, Susanoo,

we hurl things at those we love most—


perhaps not a monstrous flayed horse,

but blame, judgment, accusations, disgust.

It’s no wonder whatever is light

finds a way to retreat. It’s no wonder

we find ourselves in darkness.


In the story, the rest of the gods

try to lure out the sun with roosters

all ordered to crow outside the cave.


I, too, have tried to tell myself, others too,

that it is morning when it is not.

Always, I am left with darkness

on my tongue.


Then the gods placed a tree

draped in glittering jewels

just outside the closed cave door

and at its center they hung a mirror

so the sun could see her own loveliness.


I, too, have tried to put shine

on the tawdry world,

and never did any sparkling thing

make what is ugly more beautiful.


It was Amenouzume, another goddess,

who danced with abandon,

who took off her clothes

and twirled and teased

until all the gods in heavens roared with delight,

and, out of curiosity, the sun finally

opened the door to see.


Oh world, I am the one who knocks

on the door until my hands bleed,

the one who speaks to the door

and begs and threatens and cajoles

until she is hoarse. None of it

has brought back the light. I am ready

to try dancing and dropping all my layers.

I am ready to try flinging my head back

and letting loose a reckless, untamable laugh.









In the Safe Darkness



making of myself a nest to hold your fear, I grow wings I didn’t know were here

This Life


Long strands

of silky







when to

be caught,

& when

to fall through.



Wednesday February 1-March 1, 2017

Telluride, CO
Ah Haa School, 6-8 p.m.

When a stranger on the corner asked, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” pianist Arthur Rubinstein famously replied: “Practice. Practice. Practice.” What’s true for the pianist is true for the poet. If you want to improve, it takes practice. In this five-week class, participants will be asked to write a poem a day for a month. A poem a day?! Mmm hmm. You can do it even if you’ve never written a poem outside of English class.

All participants will receive a 30-day inspiration booklet with 60 possible prompts written by the workshop leader. You can scribble a late-night haiku about your cat or type a 14-line sonnet in rhymed iambic pentameter. It doesn’t matter. Nor does it matter if the writing is “good.” It matters that you write. It matters that you play. It matters that you try new things.

More than poetry as product, we’re exploring a poetic life—poetry as path and lens and anchor and kite. These just might be 30 of the most fun, creative, door-opening, writer’s-block-busting, voice-changing, provocative days of your life. Let’s play. For more information, call 970-728-3886 or visit http://www.ahhaa.org/calendarize/leaping-how-to-wildly-advance-your-writing-rosemerry-wahtola-trommer/




not the long-stemmed kind you buy in the store,

but the kind that thrives on neglect,

thrives despite drought, despite desolation,

grows rambunctious despite crummy soil,


the wild roses you find as you walk

through the edges of desert, find them not by sight

but because of the siren song of their scent—

pink and stirring and plucky.


I am famished for beauty today,

the kind that survives

when the world is hostile,

the kind that arrives above thorns,


living books of a thousand petals unfolding,

a wild beauty almost impossible to eradicate,

the kind that sends acres of runners and roots.

I believe in such beauty. It’s found me before.







Pouring the red wine

into the skillet to deglaze

the fond of caramelized onion


and mushrooms and thyme,

in an instant

the whole house is infused


with blackberry, minerals,

spices and heather—

or so says the label.


I smell long afternoons

in the tall grass, or rainy

evenings beside a fire, or


candlelight reflected

in dark windows—

not really memories,


but possibilities.

Sometimes I believe

in a future so strong


that traces of it

reach into the past

and serve as breadcrumbs


to show us our path.

Can you smell it, too,

blackberry, perhaps,


and crushed green grass,

sweet golden beeswax,

the bite of wood smoke?




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