Feeds:
Posts
Comments

One Distant



across the world
sleep holds you—
wide awake
I listen for the sound
of your breath

Apricot Wine


for Dave


From this glass of chilled apricot wine,
bottled just days ago,
I drink the long days of summers past,
a potent sweetness that comes
only with time. I drink the memory
of the hands that harvested the fruit,
the memory of patience,
memory of soft rain and deep blue.

If I could bottle this day,
would there be enough sweetness in it
to make a wine I could savor?
Were there enough moments
when I fell in love with the world?
A laugh with a friend, scent of pine needles,
cold shower on hot skin,
and this glass of apricot wine.

Could I learn, as this wine has,
how to let goodness develop,
how to invite the taste of something wonderful
that wasn’t originally here?
In this wine, hints of pineapple, lemon,
plum. By what magic do they appear?
Oh world, teach me that patience.
Teach me to trust in time, to trust
in magic I don’t understand,
to improve with age, like apricot wine.



After shoveling
and raking and
scraping and
pitch forking
and transporting
and scrubbing
and scratching
mud from the ground,
at last looking up
to find a weed
in the grass
where the mudslide
didn’t pass.
Letting it stay.

Beneath the Plum Tree




Standing beneath the plum tree
picking ripe plums with my friend
and my daughter, the air thick
with the guarantee of rain,
I am certain of the goodness of life.
Pulling the fruits to my lips,
sticky juice spills down my chin,
and the golden flesh turns to sweet hum
in my mouth. There are times I forget.
Times when betrayal, loss and fear
flood through me thick and indifferent
as the mudslide that slurred
through the yard later tonight
leaving piles of rubble and sludge.
This is why, today while picking plums,
when they rain down on us like
tiny purple proofs of glorious abundance,
I dog ear the moment, try to cache
just how it feels to be so convinced
of life’s benevolence, of grace.

*

By the way, friends, we’re fine. The house is fine. But man, what a giant mess! The yard is a disaster, in some places feet of mud, branches, root balls, rocks. My husband luckily has a tractor and he plowed out our drive–wholly moly, but it will be a long time before the massive clean up is done. 

One Not Lost

charting our course
using mushroom rings—
earthbound constellations

The Waking



When we wake, all people are rivers—
though some are torrents and some
mere trickles, though some break down
obstacles and some slowly meander.  
We move from our beds through the banks
of the world, our lives following the course
of the day. Our streams merge with the streams
of others. We are, every day, more each other
and still somehow ourselves. If only we could trust
our uniting currents as unthinkingly as the rivers
follow gravity—always with the least amount
of resistance. How long will we pretend
we are separate? How long before we find ourselves
joined in the communion of the sea, all our waters
one water, every waking an invitation.


You belong among the wildflowers.
            —Tom Petty, “Wildflowers”


Standing alone
in a high and steep meadow
surrounded by a million million
pale purple asters,
a person might be,
at least for a moment,
a many petaled thing,
might know the blue sky
in a new blue way;
might want to visit the self
as curious as a bee
stepping into the golden center
of things. What luck
to climb into beauty,
to stumble into
the self greater than the self,
to forget for a moment that worry,
that burden, that loss,
and simply purple, to wildly
purple, to purple with abandon,
to purple without thought,
to humbly purple,
to purple.






They don’t like it. For a day,
maybe two, they’ll hang limp
in the beds. I try to talk them
through it, try to tell them
it will be okay. But no one
wants to hear it will be okay
when it feels as if
the world is ending,
especially not nasturtiums—
nasturtiums can’t hear,
which makes me wonder
how much of what I say
to comfort others is really
intended to comfort myself.
In two days, the nasturtiums
will be upright and bright.
And I’ll praise them, tell them
I knew they could do it,
tell them how resilient they are.

Potica





Sitting in Colorado
I think of my parents sitting
in Illinois,
how tonight in different
kitchens together we savor
the Slovenian sweet bread
of my father’s childhood,
the sweet bread
his mother would make—
savor not just the taste
but the memory of the taste,
the paper thin crust,
the ground walnuts,
the honey.
Savor not just the loaf
but the memory of the hands
that once made the loaf,
the happiness as we ate it,
the communion in the joy.
Tonight, I break the bread
into tiny pieces, eat it slow,
imagine us at the same
loving table now
and years and years ago.
We are alone, not alone.
The bread tastes
like family, like home.



If you are unfamiliar with this Eastern European nutroll delicacy (pronounced puh-TEET-suh),  you can read more about it here.

Look like th' innocent flower,
But be the serpent under ’t. 
	—Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, Act I, Scene V, by William Shakespeare



Again tonight Macbeth kills Duncan,
stabs him in his sleep as he has done
for four hundred twenty-five years,
as he’s destined to do for how many
hundreds of years more, never able
to break from what’s been written,
ever a victim of his flaws. As I walk
away from the blood-stained stage
into the warm night, I notice how
with every step across the damp grass
my story is still being written,
notice how unfinished I am—
a flawed human yet in service
to the human I will become.
Praise the power to evolve,
the chance to choose to be flower
and not the snake beneath it. Praise
the power to walk away from the script,
to walk away from prophesy, to walk
into the next scene as it comes. Praise
the chance to change, to transform, to turn
while the candle, though brief, still burns.

%d bloggers like this: