Posts Tagged ‘freedom’




In the movie,

that’s not being made,

the one I star in,

my character, who looks

exactly like me,

is mowing the lawn,

exactly like me,

only when I go

to put the lawnmower

away by the barn,

she just keeps walking,

pushing that red Toro

down the side of the highway,

oblivious to the drivers

who stare and honk.

And there’s no orchestra

swelling, just a single

bassoon with a dark,

warm reedy timbre.

There she goes,

in her flip flops

and sun hat,

obviously not ready

for what’s about to happen

and not caring a whit,

leaving in her wake

a trail of freshly cut weeds,

and the scent of spring grass,

her figure getting

smaller and smaller

on the horizon.


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We are perhaps

like the plover

who made her nest

in the rocks

too close to the river’s

edge. The water

is rising rapidly.

We never

expected loss.

We almost

forgot that we

have wings.


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This morning when she pours the milk

into the child’s cup, she doesn’t stop.

She pours until the cup is full, until

it spills across the counter, ’til it spills

onto the floor. She pours and pours

until the kitchen is flooded in milk,

it is up to her knees, it is up to her waist,

it is dammed against the kitchen door,

which she opens, then she floats the creamy tide

into morning, riding atop the pearly tide.

With one hand, she waves at her neighbors,

with the other she continues to pour the milk.

She is surfing now through the streets of town,

past the bank, past the school, past the crowd

who has gathered to stare. “Oh,” they say,

with a shake of their heads, “she has really lost it

this time, bless her heart,” and they step

on the curb to keep their feet from getting wet,

and she smiles and blows them a one-handed kiss,

and with her other hand she pours and pours.

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This Very Here

And then came the day
when I knew to stop asking
to be anywhere else,
when somehow I no longer
believed any other garden
was better than this one,
when I wanted only
these weeds and this field.
There will come a day,
I am sure, when I forget.
But today, oh the freedom
of being utterly tethered
to this very here with no
other dream, no plan
for other plots, just
a song on my lips
that I sometimes know how
to sing and sometimes
have to hush to hear
how it goes.

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Love Bent the Bars

hiding in this cage
felt so safe until
I began to notice
what else
was hiding in this cage

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The sea lion swims in the glass-framed pond
with his eyes closed. Lap after lap, he barely
seems to move his great webbed feet, his smooth
gray body flexes and curves. I try to imagine his eyes
are closed in contentment, but that is such
an utterly human wish. It is human to wish—
to see what we want to see, to believe what we want
to believe. The sea lion swims in his cage
with his eyes closed. I can’t stop watching.

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It’s an Inside Job

Before we can be what we are meant to be, we must accept what we are not.
–Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening , June 29

Bird in a cage
every day she drops the seeds
till beneath her
then all around her
a tangle of wild things.

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(though love be a day

and life be nothing,

it shall not stop kissing)

–e. e. cummings, Thy Fingers Make Early Flowers


Make me then a flower

that is unashamed of blooming.

And make me a river undammed.

Make me a leaf that surrenders to death

but surrenders even more in life.

And make me a dawn that keeps

unfolding, a book that has no last chapter,

a phone that rings only love.

Paint me rose and then unpaint me.

Make me the door that forgets

how to latch, and just in case,

make me the skeleton key.

Make me a black wing that gathers

the light and gathers the wind,

and make me the light as it breaks on the wing

and make me the homeless wind.

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One More Escape

I made a cage
out of my story—
love bent the bars

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It begins as a dark wing arcing up,
then cart wheeling high, swooping
down, then back up to a point before
diving as falcons do toward the earth
with great straightness, curving up
at the very last moment, in this case
before meeting the blue solid line, climbing
to intersect the first long arc,
then doubling back on its path.

The pencil wheels across the blank
page, it flies into another loop,
and another, pushes into a bow
and then bends, sweeps and circles again,
and the boy moves his hand, entranced
by the leaden record of its dance
as his thoughts appear on uneven horizons
until the whole page
is a flock of slender black wings
all of them rising at once,
that beating, that beating, his heart.

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