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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

even as we devour
the apple
scent of apple blossoms

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The only rule:
keep the chain intact.
I didn’t know
in the grade school gym
it was a way to practice
meeting all that would try
to break us apart,
practice being bombarded,
practice calling in our fear.
Red Rover, Red Rover
let sickness come over.
Once it felt like a game.
Now—oh friend.
Hold on to my wrist.
I’ll hold on to yours.

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Thank You


            for all poetry friends
 
 
I am perhaps the crow
who, parched, unable to fly,
arrives at the pitcher
and realizes
I cannot reach the water.
But in this story,
there are no pebbles nearby.
In this story,
there are other crows
who arrive, each
with pebbles they drop
into the pitcher.
You, my friends,
are the crows.
Your words
are the pebbles.
And slowly, sweet miracle,
the water rises.
 

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Not by writing another poem
about how much you miss them.
No matter how many red-wing blackbirds
you put in it, the poem itself won’t trill.
No matter how many elephants
clomp through the stanzas,
the poem won’t make the earth tremble.
No matter your skill with language
even the ripest metaphoric blood oranges
cannot quench a very real thirst.
Pick up the phone. Press the button.
Call the one you miss.

I know, I skipped the hours
where you worry about how much time
has passed, how every silent day
becomes another thick brick
in a taciturn wall between you.
Perhaps you’ve started to believe it’s impassable.
But a call is like a wrecking ball.
One sincere hello knocks down even a thousand
days of separation with just two syllables.

What happens next will only happen next
if you clear a space for reunion,
if you pick up the phone.

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            for AOI


Unforgettable nights! The sun was committed
to great service, shining low and golden.
Impressive wide variety of laughter,
and the high-quality conversation
made me as if I belonged in my skin.
I don’t remember a thing I ate
or where I stayed or even much of what
we said. Mostly, I remember
walking the large selection
of quiet side streets, grinning,
feeling lucky to be alive,
and you whistling flawless and clear.
Atmosphere: Usually I’d say five stars,
but truly there were at least
two thousand stars visible,
and I’d use them all for this memory review
in which I first met you.
Only complaint, the weekend ran out of time.
Highly recommended to remember again,
especially the way our smiles slipped
from something we practiced
to something immeasurably true.

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 My tears mingle with yours and the dry world is watered again.
            —Jude Janett
 
 
Parched and dusty,
the inner desert
forgets it was once a wetland.
Barren of confidence,
arid with self-disdain,
it forgets how to grow things
not covered in thorns
and spines.
 
Then you with your love
reach across the afternoon,
a brief shower of words,
and the whole inner world
remembers how it is to be lush,
to be nurturing, to be green.

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for Michelle


Today I feel too clean to play,
but oh there was that day
when you and I
walked past the mud puddle,
all slick and ooze, a miresome mess,
and we reached our fingers into the sludge
and smeared the muck
onto each other’s faces—
thick mud, gray mud, slippery
and unctuous mud,
wide swaths of heavy mud
that slashed our cheeks,
bedecked our foreheads, mocked
our love of spotlessness.
Not war paint, but joy paint,
cool liquid earth on our skin.
Besmudged and besmirched,
we baptized each other
in the dirtiest of water,
a murky blessing,
our laughter blossoming
between us in the air,
a many-petalled prayer,
a jubilant lotus
startlingly (how?) so pure.

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For Auld Lang Syne


 
 
We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet,
says the song, and I would give you
the cup, friend, would fill it
with whiskey or water or whatever
would best meet your thirst.
 
I fill it with the terrifying beauty
of tonight’s bonfire—giant licks
of red and swirls of blue that consume
what is dead and melt the ice
and give warmth to what is here.
 
I fill it with moonrise and snow crystal
and the silver river song beneath the ice.
With the boom of fireworks and with laughter
that persists through tears. With
Lilac Wine and Over the Rainbow and Fever.
 
I toast you with all the poems we’ve yet to write
and all the tears we’ve yet to weep,
I hold the cup to your lips,
this chalice of kindness, we’ll drink it yet,
though the days are cold, the nights so long.
 
 
 
 
 

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            for Jennifer and Jennifer


And once again I am twenty-four
and I walk out the door
of our master’s exam and meet
my classmates down by the lake
and the day is hot and we drink cold beer
until we think jumping off the end
of the pier is a great idea, so
we kick off our shoes and run fully dressed
to the edge and launch and splash
and swim until we arrive at a party barge
full of men who pull us dripping
and life-giddy into their midst
and we do shots of something
that blissfully burns before laughing we
return to the open lake and side stroke back
to the shore where nothing’s the same
as it was before, though it still looks the same—
metal chairs still orange, our hair still brown,
the humid sky hazy, loud cheers all around—
but our lives will soon hurl us
in different directions—
to lovers and children and unanswerable
questions where the real tests cannot
be studied for with friends, and life’s master’s
degree doesn’t end till life ends, but oh,
for those few moments on the terrace,
soaking and shivering and whooping in glee,
my god, we were free, we were free, we were free.

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One Devotion

these darkest days

teach me

the light of you

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