One Curiosity



eavesdropping on my own heart

wishing I could understand the whispers—

rustle of golden leaves

How to Eat the Moon



“We must move forward together to build a shared understanding. We must forge a path that allows us to move beyond our history and identify common solutions to better protect our communities.”

—Terrence Cunningham, president of the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police



With salt, of course,

though there’s the matter of how

to get the salt to stick

without the assist of gravity.


And paired with a slightly chilled sauvignon blank,

preferably from Marlborough, of course,

with its hints of green pepper and grass.


It doesn’t taste like cheese after all,

but then the experts never seem to be right.

It tastes more like, well, hard to say.

Try another bite.


You never thought you’d be here, did you,

sampling these bits of reflected light.

Almost as unexpected as the apology

earlier tonight from the man in the suit

so blue it looked black.


Maybe not a white. A red.

A cab. Dark fruit. Full body.

One that’s needed time to evolve.

Its complex woody tones compliment

the moon’s impressive density.


What was it he said? “While

we obviously cannot change

the past, it is clear that we

must change the future.”


Toast to the future

and raise your glass

and take another nibble of moon.

Notice how dark it is, really,

about the color of asphalt, worn down.

It’s only because space itself is so dark

that the moon seems comparatively light.


All along you thought it was white.

Where else have you been wrong?

Perhaps between sips

and forkfuls you’ll find an apology

ripening there on your own startled tongue.

At the moment, anything seems possible.

The night makes its rounds.









One Unsequencing




the question

hasn’t even been asked yet—

still, seeking the answer

One Rattling




at the gates of wonder,

begging to be let in, not knowing

we are already there

Over the Edge



hic sunt dracones

it says on the Hunt-Lennox globe,

its copper halves wired together.

The words mark

the eastern coat of Asia.

Here are dragons.


Half a century later,

we wonder still

did the maker mean

Komodo dragons?

Sea monsters?

The Dagroian people

whom Marco Polo reported

would eat the dead

and lick their bones?

Or was it simply a nod

to how frightening

it feels at the edge

of the known?


Tonight my son calls me

with an unbearable ache,

his map of the world



Though I am far away,

or perhaps because of that,

we are close.

Our voices say the words

we least want to say.

Our hearts are porous

and soft.


I want to tell him

that the dragons are not

at the edge of the map.

They are inside us.

And sometimes

they are more evil

than the most evil

we could imagine.

And sometimes,

though we’d rather

hate them, they are beautiful.


Instead I tell him

these are difficult times.


The globe, the third oldest

terrestrial globe in the world,

about the size of a grapefruit,

was bought by an architect

named Hunt. He told his friend

he had bought the object

in Paris for a song.

He let his children toy with it.

The friend begged

Hunt to keep the globe safe.


None of us are safe.

I fear I have let my dragons

escape, that they have flown

into my son.


Let him toy with them then,

the old ways of thinking

about the world—

let the unknown

become a place for play.


Here are dragons,

I think, as I redraw

the map, and write

the words on my face.

They sprout wings

and pick me up

with their terrible claws

and fly me to the cliffs

of my life

and drop me

over the edge.








One Stumble



walking in the backyard

of the same old heart

this new trail, wondrous

then you can enjoy the show right here on your screen. Last week was the opening of In Three Lines, a collaboration in art and poetry, at Gallery 81435 in Telluride.

I recommend listening to cello while you look through these images … that is what we had playing in the gallery, and the rich and resonant tone of the instrument seemed the perfect partner to these intimate and provocative pieces.

Here is a link to the pieces that are still available for sale, and if you look around the site, you will find that you can see the whole show. Thanks to the gallery for putting together this virtual tour.

The show is done in partnership with Snowmass artist Jill Sabella. For two years, we have been corresponding to create this comprehensive body of work. We took turns sending each other three-line inspirations. The pieces in white came first, and the pieces in beige were responses.

You can purchase books at wordwoman.com. And for more information about the artist, visit her website here. the-house-on-fire1

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