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One Double Black Diamond

 

 

snow so deep, so soft

even the me who thinks she’s not good enough

laughs, whoops, falls, rises

Interview on Telluride TV

Hi friends,

 

This week I did an interview with Elissa Dickson and Telluride TV on poeming, how I came to Telluride, what a poem does, and a recitation of the title poem from my newest book, Naked for Tea.

Just 10 minutes … I hope you enjoy!

Telluride TV Interview

Sumatra

 

 

I want to serve you Sumatra,

the wild, mossy, mushroomy

dark of it. I want to serve you

 

the muted black song in a white cup,

so you can, if you listen closely,

hear the birds of Southeast Asia

 

with their foreign calls,

hear the farmer as he hums

while he picks the coffee cherry,

 

as he removes its dark red skin.

I want to serve you the scent of moss,

so strong you find yourself laying in it,

 

staring up at the sky through

the canopy, laying there for hours

forgetting anything else to do.

 

Will you find there, too,

the hint of old leather, a favorite

belt, a favorite shoe, something

 

familiar to slip into? Dark in the cup,

dark like midnight, dark like two a.m., dark

like the silence that finds the world then.

 

Dark in the cup, like fathomless space

where a small voice whispers, stay awake.

And there, in the cup, the gift of a place

 

where we have never been, but

together, perhaps, we could sip the Sumatra

and visit again and again.

 

Wild and Precious

 

—for Mary Oliver, January 17, 2019

 

 

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

—Mary Oliver, The Summer Day

 

 

And when she said, “you don’t have to be good,”

my whole body became wild goose

as the truth of her lines winged through.

 

And when she asked, “what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?”

I walked outside and heard the low river.

 

And when she suggested we live

as “a bride married to amazement,”

I made my vows to life.

 

On the day that she died, the winter

was too warm for snow, and the rain

gave luster to every sullen thing.

 

In me, a storm threatened to rise,

but the only words that would find my lips

were thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

 

 

A Mighty Fortress

 

I am afraid of the darkness and the hole in it.

            —Martin Luther, “Luther”

 

 

And when Martin Luther was struck with plague

in 1527, he refused to leave the city, though he trembled,

though he burned. He felt it was the devil’s assault

sent to reduce him with despair. And reduced, he was.

There is darkness so great we lose all sense of direction,

forget even which way is in. There is darkness

so great that even the holes in the darkness are terrible,

cannot be seen as light. And in that terrible August,

the Reformer argued with God. And all that terrible August,

Luther trusted God’s promises. And he told himself,

Pray. Read. Sing. And the darkness endured.

Sometimes, Luther found, there are darknesses

so great we forget how to sing ourselves. Sometimes,

the only way through darkness, through doubt,

is to teach other people to sing.

In

 

 

Between the morning and the noon,

between the never and the soon,

between invisible and seen,

between the waking and the dream

I’ll meet you there, amidst the mists,

and walk in different worlds at once—

both here and there, both then and now—

I’ll meet you in this space somehow

and there between confined and free

we’ll find what’s between you and me.

One Redirection

 

 

 

surrounded by the most

lovely silence

the crow

One Palette

 

 

shush of skis, sharp heave

of breath, wild red thump of heart—

silent trees, silent snow

 

Luck

 

 

 

It’s like just happening

to find in the drawer

the tiny screw that fits

in my glasses so the lens

won’t fall out, yes,

the fact that any of us

find each other and

happen to fit

into each other’s lives

at all seems shocking

when the drawer’s so big,

and after the discovery

so beautiful, so strange

how we never again

see the world

quite the same.

 

 

 

we become what we love and yet remain ourselves.

Martin Heidegger

 

 

and this is how

the vessel learns

that though it’s full

there’s room for more—

those sides of us

we thought were walls

were well concealed

doors

 

 

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