Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

for Finn Thilo Trommer, September 11, 2004-August 14, 2021
Though you said yes to something
that was not this life, your birthday
is no less a celebration. Though you
are not here to blow out candles,
not here to wake with balloons,
though you are here as disappearance,
though I meet this day with tears,
my heart still rises to revel in ways
your life still changes my life,
your life still changes the world.
It will never be finished, this love.
It will never be finished, this learning
what it is to be born, to die,
to live into ourselves, to choose love
again and again. Though tears.
Though ache. Though crumple. Though clench.
It will never be finished, this practice
of remembering love. Again. And again.

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And there you are, eating marshmallows
off the gingerbread house
and sledding down the hill to the pond.
You’re in a frothy pink tutu.
You’re covered in mud.
You’re wearing my hot red dress.
You’re Monsieur Lafayette. You’re a ninja.
A pirate. Chinese take-out. A unicorn.
You’re swimming. You’re swinging.
You’re curled up, asleep in my bed.
So many of these moments
I know you don’t remember,
but I do, and I marvel now
how every moment of your life
has made you into you.
There are moments I would snapshot if I could,
the back of your head as you snuggle into me
on the couch in the morning,
the curl of your fingers
as they reach toward my hand,
the sweet lump of you under the covers
before I try to wake you,
the joy in you that slips beyond the frame.

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    for Joan on her 68th birthday
I wish you the peace
that comes when we trust ourselves
to meet whatever life brings.
I wish you love beyond
happy endings—
the kind of love
that seeps into everything
no matter where the story goes.
Today, I planted cosmos
in the garden. Inevitably,
they will grow into cosmos.
This is what I wish for you—
the delight of growing
inevitably into yourself.
The thrill of knowing
your beauty makes a difference
in the world—
how, in the garden of my heart,
you are ever blooming,
like a surprise larkspur
brought in as a seed,
and now that it’s here,
it will never leave.

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In the woods, in the dark
we stood amidst old gravestones,
their engravings mostly scrubbed by time.
And Jon played gong,
Robin played chimes
and Evie played bass recorder.
And Owl read of the wood,
Melissa spoke of good life
and I hummed and played the breath.
We spoke the names
of our beloveds who have left.
Some names were spoken
only in silence.
The half-moon joined our circle,
as if it, too, knew something
of loss. As if it were showing us
that sometimes what appears to be gone
is simply unseen.
We walked home in that half light.

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Though she has been shaped
by pain, she thrives.
She is like a tree, now,
that remembers its wounds
and grows differently
because of its injuries,
some of them deep,
yet is no less vigorous
as it grows new healthy wood,
as it reaches for sun,
as it grounds into the soil,
as it offers its fruit
to the world.

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I don’t sing Happy Birthday tonight
when I light the candle,
but I say his name and celebrate
the life of the man born this day
seventy-eight years ago in Joliet, Illinois,
the man who brought ingenuity,
courage and silliness to the world,
the man who told my mother everyday
she was beautiful, the man who
believed in hiring people more talented than he,
the man who flew home to be at my concerts,
the man who drove me to piano lessons,
the man who wept when I moved away.
My own life is a celebration of his life—
he lives inside every word, every action,
every patience, every plan.
Every day since his death, I light a candle.
Every day, I celebrate his life.
Every day, my father still shines.

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Happy Birth Day

Happy Birth Day

Each morning, this chance

to birth again the self—

to push it through

the canal of dream,

this chance to open

through the center

and let the new self emerge,

to marvel as it appears,

glistening with potential.

Of course the new self cries.

It needs to be warmed,

nourished, held.

Imagine what it’s like

to be that new—

to not believe any thought,

to not assume any thing.

Imagine what it’s like

to be that attentive,

that vulnerable.

Self, can you meet

each day

like that? Like that.

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This solar year, you will actually become the one you wished for. 

            —Holiday Mathis, horoscope



And so when Holiday Mathis tells me

that this is the year I will become

the one I wished for, I decide to believe her.

If it’s true, I will become sky, become river,

become aspen. Peace in my actions, truth

in my words, love in my every breath.

And though I’m unsure about horoscopes,

I decide to do everything I can to prove

her right, my thoughts already perhaps

a bit more fluid, a bit more blue.

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Every little thing she does is magic.

—The Police



through sirens, rush hour,

taxis, bright lights, windy streets

walks the Sierra Nevada




even in poor soil,

the yarrow thrives, excels

in beauty and biathlon




running with the half-wolf—


has six legs




a democrat and a republican

walk into a bar—

just sayin’




filling sippy cups

and playing taxi driver

the woman with several masters




places for adventure:

beach, mountain, ocean,

on the page




herbs on the rooftop

and their gardener both grow better

when sung Annie’s Song




two fine medicines—

So You Think You Can Dance,

bottle of wine




fixing the internet

and home audio system—

this tropical flower




every Wednesday

a democrat and a republican

go on a date




next chapter—

unable to read ahead,

she brings a lead rope to the cliff hanger




giant sequoia—

the longer she grows,

the more she has to give

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One Wonderful Man


for Clint on his 80th birthday



he brings wings to what is earthbound,

brings humility to the sky,

and to all that is, he brings song

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