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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

 

 

Which, they say, is impossible,

but we all know the impossible

happens. If you dreamed

that you died, then I would

slip myself into your dream,

which is also impossible,

but now we’re on a roll

of impossibilities. So while

we’re at it, let’s say that while

I am in your dream, I slip

out of the dream and into

your room, which is really,

really impossible, but

wouldn’t that be cool,

to travel through dreams

into each other’s lives?

And then, once in your room,

I would watch you sleeping

and if you tossed and whimpered,

distressed by your death,

I’d lay my hand on your head

and I’d say, shhh, it’s alright,

You’re safe. I’m here.

And you would settle deeper

into your pillow, and I would

watch over your sleep and hum

a little song about home,

and the moon would hold us,

because this is a poem

in which impossible things happen,

and its long silver arms would

be warm and tender and soft,

and I wouldn’t wake you

in case it means I have to leave

the dream and find myself

unable to tell you you’re safe,

I’m here. I’m here.

 

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I watched it happen, the confrontation.

The one who was hurt and the one

with no inkling that harm had been done,

and my heart ached for both of them—

for all of us really—all of us fragile, all of us

witless, all of us longing to love, to be loved

for being ourselves.

 

Outside the window, the leaves

were brilliantly dying, burning auburn,

vermillion, a heart swelling show

of what it is we’ve come here to do—

to give our all and give some more,

to do it unreservedly.

 

It’s all a series of repetition, design—

the leaves, the fall, the hurt, the blame,

the confusion, the reconciliation.

It’s all a matter of pattern and letting

go, letting go of whatever we think we know

about how to give.

 

What I’m trying to say is if I have hurt you,

I’m sorry. I don’t understand my own thorns.

I think I am singing and it comes out crooked.

I think I’m supporting and it comes out cage.

There are so many mistakes in my blood,

all of them believing they’re butterflies.

 

My friend tells me the leaves in fall

are returning to their true colors—

how the necessary chlorophyll disguises

what’s really inside.

 

What I’m trying to say is look at the leaves

outside the window, see how vibrant they are?

I am trying to love like that,

every day, the colors more true.

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for Jack Ridl and all the rakers

 

 

Pulling the rake through the cottonwood leaves,

I think of Jack in Michigan pulling his rake

through beech, birch, oak and ash leaves.

I stop to lean on my rake and I think

of him stopping to lean on his rake

and talk to the gods. I’m not so sure I believe

in gods, but I believe in Jack. I believe in kindness.

I believe in friendship that grows despite distance.

I believe that these rhythms of raking and making piles

bring us closer together—all of us rakers, all of us

who step into the slow cadence of pull and reach,

and pull and reach. There is something unifying

in this annual act of tidying the world. Every day

the news is full of all we can’t set right. But we

can drag the rake through the yard so that we

can see the path again. And we can set the rake

aside and stare at the sky and think of all

the people we love and all the people

we’ll never know who join us in this simple act,

reach and pull, reach and pull, reach and pull,

the sound of metal tines grating, the beat

of our own hearts scraping against our chests.

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Up the Hill

 

 

You walk fast,

she said, and

I said, I was walking

fast to keep up

with you, and

she said, I was

walking fast to

keep up with you

and we laughed

at ourselves as

our feet found

a new rhythm,

our hearts, too.

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Reconciliation

 

 

We are all walking each other home.

—Ram Dass

 

 

There was that moment before

I read the letter, when you

were still invincible, that moment

when just seeing your name

made me think of sitting at your table

drinking wine, eating fresh tomato soup,

and my heart rose up like a good little dog

and begged me to read the news.

And then there was the moment

when I read the news. And read it again.

And let my eyes unfocus on the words

as I felt their terrible weight

settle in my chest, on my cheeks.

How soon the mind leans toward the worst.

It is hard to reconcile the two moments

together, side by side as they were,

the one so exuberant, the other

so grim. I try to imagine them

holding hands as if to steady the other.

As if they need somehow to be close,

fear and hope. If you feel a hand

slip into yours and no one is there,

perhaps it is mine, reaching

toward you through a letter

I will always be writing, the letter

of how beautiful it is to be alive

in this world so we can

shoulder together what frightens us most.

How beautiful it is to be alive

so that even in our most lumbered days

we might meet each other, hands open,

and steady the other, walking home.

 

 

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singing beside the falls

the sound of the water

drowns out our voices

but that isn’t any reason

to stop singing

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for Jim Tipton

 

 

Margaret tells me

that while in a morphine stupor,

our friend told her I am dead.

I take the news of my death

rather well, I think,

remembering that just this morning

I ate blackberries

and pulled on my shoes

and drove a winding road.

But my friend, he is close

to death, his hand so tired

he signed only half his last name

in his book Margaret sends to me.

Reading it, he is in the room,

his voice still baritone and booming,

speaking of high desert honey and mesas

and cinnamon. I meet him there,

startled by how close he feels,

and when the book is over,

how enormous the emptiness.

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with a line from “Snow” by Anna Akhmatova

 

 

The spruce boughs are empty

of snow as we ski up the old

railroad grade. And when we arrive

at the top, the sky opens up,

an enchantment of blue.

I want to ask her how it felt

to be caged, to be clipped,

to be silenced. But she looks

at me as if to say the mood

is too tender for talk. And so

we let the words disappear

like the snow that is not falling,

and we move together

as good friends do, letting

one lead, and then the other.

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wanting to be your lifeboat

when what you really need

is someone to let you swim

 

 

 

 

and if you live nearby, you may want to consider this public speaking class I will be teaching for the next six Thursdays through Ah Haa … http://www.ahhaa.org/calendarize/public-speaking-rosemerry-wahtola-trommer/

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One True Friend

 

for Michelle

 

 

dipping her spoon

into all the light of the day—

offering me the first bite

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