Posts Tagged ‘connection’

Dear Scarecrow




I, too, wish to confer with the flowers.

I, too, wish to consult with the rain,

but I have spent so many years

learning that I’ve lost the ability

to speak and listen in these natural tongues.

Today I sat beside an old spruce tree

for an hour and never understood

what it had to tell me. I tried.

Perhaps that is the problem, the trying.

I don’t know how to do it any other way.

Oh Scarecrow, I know too much.

Me and all my certainties. I’ve made walls

out of what I took as wisdom, and now

I cannot see around them. I made

stories out of facts and histories, and now

I cannot hear the spruce. I can barely

hear my own wild heart as it shouts

in some strange language I have

filed away or perhaps I never knew?

Oh this brain, how it costumes

everything else into terms of risks,

probabilities and rules.

How I long to listen clearly

to the flowers, to the rain,

to my heart, to the spruce.

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Two Tendernesses




while I shovel

and fold clothes and wash

bowls and chop

yellow peppers, all day with both hands

I cradle your heart




while I am walking

you are all around me,

you go on as far as I can see—

I have no stars to offer you,

you hold me, anyway

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Two, If You Let Me

in the forest of you

I will find the empty branches,

become a song bird


don’t get me wrong—

I, too, love silence,

shall we speak it together?

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It could be as simple as a log placed over the distance
that separates me from you. A fallen cottonwood tree.

But it’s never that simple, is it. That was not really a question.
Look, I have my shovel, my level, my concrete blocks.

I have support beams and metal straps, planks and nails.
I am ready to do whatever it takes to build this bridge. But it doesn’t

take an engineer to know that foundations need firm, fixed
dry ground. And you and I, we are moving targets.

Whatever I think I know about bridges is not serving me now.
Time to consider a new kind of span. Something elastic,

adaptable, accommodating, and, is it too much to ask,
durable. Perhaps the problem is that we ourselves are the obstacles

we’re trying to cross. We want and don’t want to be close.
We sabotage our chances to meet. I am going to start thinking

in new metaphors. Like migrations. Like rivers. Like wind that churns
and touches and bends every blade of goldening wheat.

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When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.
—John Muir

and so when I tug at the blue green ice
that marbles the top of the river, it’s no
surprise to find it connected to those mornings
when I was a girl and the lake was frozen
and I could skate all the way to the middle,
could follow the cracks and skate so far
I could hardly see my small yellow house.
I would lay down, face to the ice, and feel
the way the cold rose up to sting my check,
feel the chill seep through my winter clothes.
I would roll over and stare at the white sky
and wave my arms and legs in the angel pattern,
though there was no snow. And I’d stay there
a long, long time. In this way, I learned
it is possible to be warm even held by the cold,
and tugging at this, it is no surprise
to find it connects to everything.

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The miracle cannot be separated from the mess.
—Teddy Macker, “Christmas Morning”

Every time I connect the dots
I get it wrong. It never turns out
to be an image of a tree or a cat

or a happy woman. Always a mess,
lines scratched and scrabbled
and crisscrossed. And always

I wonder if someone else could
get it right? Could make a coherent
picture by connecting the facts instead

of this jumbled thatch of misdrawn
links and errant nexuses.
Oh this strange longing to get

it right. This urge to make sense
of separate points. There are nights
I stand beneath the moonless sky

and realize I don’t know how
to constellate the stars in the ancient ways.
And instead of trying to draw

the lines, I simply look at the stars
and notice how beautiful they are,
how unfathomable the space

that holds them, that holds
the woman staring at the stars,
holds even her longing to get it right.

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in the tall grass, the way
a small purple ball might be lost.
It would take a long, long
time to be found,
maybe never.

But the Truth Is

We all long to be found.
Even when we shout
at the other person,
Go away! There
is an equally
powerful voice,
one that we squash,
and it says,
I need you. How
we hate for that
to be true. Easier
to believe that we
don’t need anyone.
Easier to say to oneself,
in a voice loud enough
to drown out any other voice,
I would like
to get lost in the tall,
tall grass, the way
a small purple ball
might be lost.

(with a nod to Art Goodtimes, who sent me a poem of his own with the title in the middle the other day … what a great new way to play with titles!)

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My favorite part of the day today
was the part when you looked at me
across the silvery breakfast table
and said, Look how bright
it is outside, and you knew
and I knew what that meant,
and we both knew that no one
else would know, and the smile
then that we shared was one
so only between we two that it
made my heart leap out of synch—
it was the kind of moment
one might blink through.

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bringing the far
in close,

a reconciliation
of opposites,

that is what he said
he was doing

the white cloud,
the dark branch

connected on canvas,
a meeting of what tumbles

and what rises, though
everything eventually falls

and then rises,
how could I not

think of you and me
a far and a close

still searching
for the frame that

can hold us both

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Sometimes the only thing we see
when we look at each other

is the other’s eyes—not so much
their color, nor their shape,

but the way they soften, the way
they seem to say, “I see you, I see

all of you, and there is no reason
for you to hide.” And for us who have

spent so much time hiding,
it can be shocking to be seen.

In our dreams, perhaps, we
allow it. But to be seen awake,

to be seen when we are messy
and messier than that, to be seen

when we are tired and hurt
and not sure where we stand?

In that moment, to be seen
by eyes that say without a blink,

“Here I am,” that seeing is a window we
can climb right through and land

in a field of light. This is what
the soul remembers—how to love

without judgment, how to love without
should, how to live with the defenses

down. This is the gift we can
give to each other. This softening.

This tenderness. This allowing
each other to stop looking for a cure

for being who we are and to simply be
ourselves, masks off no matter what,

to know ourselves as love.

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