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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’




Standing beneath the plum tree
picking ripe plums with my friend
and my daughter, the air thick
with the guarantee of rain,
I am certain of the goodness of life.
Pulling the fruits to my lips,
sticky juice spills down my chin,
and the golden flesh turns to sweet hum
in my mouth. There are times I forget.
Times when betrayal, loss and fear
flood through me thick and indifferent
as the mudslide that slurred
through the yard later tonight
leaving piles of rubble and sludge.
This is why, today while picking plums,
when they rain down on us like
tiny purple proofs of glorious abundance,
I dog ear the moment, try to cache
just how it feels to be so convinced
of life’s benevolence, of grace.

*

By the way, friends, we’re fine. The house is fine. But man, what a giant mess! The yard is a disaster, in some places feet of mud, branches, root balls, rocks. My husband luckily has a tractor and he plowed out our drive–wholly moly, but it will be a long time before the massive clean up is done. 

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Perennial




Sometimes even a small sweetness—
a kind word, a kind act—

is robust enough to take root,
and though its perfume soon fades

and its petals wither,
the roots persist so years later

when you least expect it,
there in a forgotten field,

or perhaps in your own well-tended yard,
you catch the scent of sweetness

and follow it until you find again
the fragrant bloom of it, not at all

diminished by time. No, maybe sweeter
because it was forgotten.

Sweeter because with roots like that,
you now trust it will come back again.

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            for Marne


And though we have not spoken
in over thirty years, today I invite
the memory of my friend to walk
with me in the garden.
That girl would laugh
to learn I’ve become a woman
who weeds, who waters, who grows.
We were uncultivated together,
unrooted, unmanicured,
and blossoming anyway,
windblown and wandering and wild.
I bring that sweet madness now
into the tidy rows and marvel
at how things change.
For a moment, I am running with her
over a hill and spinning
and crashing and laughing.
For a moment, I am again that girl
who is more dream than flesh,
more wish than should, more
me than I ever could be.
How beautiful the song of that memory,
how it rhymes even now with whatever
is green in me.
Even now, I am running,
spinning, crashing, though anyone looking
at the garden might think
I am peacefully deadheading flowers,
talking to the spinach,
painstakingly pulling the weeds.

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For Ivar


Today as we gently
spread mountain dirt
on your ashes
I think of
that snow blown day
three years ago
when we
at two below
were laughing
at how cold
we were and
how sticky
our skis.
It amazes me
how out of
bleakness
comes blessing.
To this day
your smile—
crooked
and wide as the mesa
we stood on—
still warms me,
your real smile
the only part
of that long cold race
I remember.

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Cheers, Friend

The day bubbles up
like champagne, a burst
of effervescence, bright rush
of intoxication, a golden
stream of goodness—
and I, walking the trail
with my friend, find
I’m tipsy on laughter
and old love, forgetting
for the moment life might
be any other way—
remembering only
celebration, indulgence,
scent of white flowers,
a sparkling that lingers,
the glass somehow
always, sweet miracle,
so full.

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Sometimes
in the silence
between
the small talk
a whole life
is lived—
a life
in which
you are
exactly
yourself
only more so,
a self without
name, a self
of no
where, a
self unselved,
which
is to say
that sometimes
in the silence
of a minute
you find
some vision
so vast
so true
that you weep
before saying,
And how are you?

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In the picture, we are laughing,
snuggled onto a bench in a bar,
falling all over each other, a heap of joy.
Julie is as always the most solid of us—
a mischievous, wicked and grinning foundation
for whatever we pile on.
Rachel leans on Julie, her head flung back,
her dark curls ribboning down her shoulders,
eyes closed, her smile dreamy and fixed in an eternal
air of happiness. And I have nearly
collapsed on her chest, my face contorted
in laughter that is forever about to burst.
We are like puppies, squirmy and vulnerable,
our bodies unguarded and innocent,
cuddling and twisting and vining
around each other, knowing ourselves
as skin and warmth and tumble of love.
We knew nothing then of how our own bodies
would become weapons, how bursts of breath
charged with laughter would be perilous,
how dangerous our bodies would become.
Staring at the photo, I ache
for the sweet wine of connection,
the benediction of touch, the wild joy
of curling into each other, animals that we are,
staying safe by keeping each other close.

photo credit Kit Hedman

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Wild Iris


 
 
From a handful of wild iris
planted years ago,
dozens of slender spears
and stems now rise beside the pond—
their pale purple flags
wave in allegiance to spring
and each other.
They know how to grow
not just up but to the side,
how to send out lateral roots
that will someday be new blooms.
Old friends are like rhizomes—
connected by invisible roots,
resilient, perceiving the light as good,
but knowing, too, how essential
to grow through the dark.

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for Heartbeat, singing together since 1994


Every week we sang, sang blues
and ballads, folk songs,
rounds, pop songs, jazz,
love songs, chants. And we
didn’t just sing, we touched
and hugged, leaned in and loved,
ran our fingers through the waves
of each other’s hair, laughed till we peed,
and jostled and shoved and teased
and offered tissues and kissed cheeks
and brought the shared melodic air
into our bodies and returned it
into the room in currents of ecstatic song.
Oh we sang, how we sang, as if
singing were a life raft that kept us afloat
on the aching broken world.

Now, I sing alone in the kitchen.
Sometimes I’m haunted by the part
I sing—a harmony line unanchored
by the melody. With no tonic,
the tune feels off. There is so much
that’s missing, that’s lost.
Sometimes I make up a new song
and sing about what is here. 
Good morning, hummingbird.
Good morning, loneliness. Good
morning big empty room.
The air holds the notes like shimmering drops
that sometimes leak out of my eyes
when I think of how we sang, the music
a life raft, and your voices, my friends, the oars.

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even as we devour
the apple
scent of apple blossoms

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