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Even after all these years
of wandering this twisting path of self,
how is it I am still surprised
to find a new home inside the rush of river,
as if I haven’t been here
in this song of melting many times before?
How is it I forgot my home
inside the brittle brown grass of March,
home in the sweet moldering scent of spring,
home in the sun soaked day—
as if the great star of beginnings
is saying again to me, Come, friend.
 
How is it I sometimes forget to arrive
exactly where I am, especially in these days
when forgiveness arrives like the cranes
on great wings that charge the air.
These days when love comes crashing in
like western wind, breaking branches
and rearranging the yard, as if to say
it is here to change everything.
Sometimes I forget the world will find me
wherever I am and insist in the language
of willow and trunk and hawk and noon,
home, home, you are home.

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The Song Speaks

Lyrics from “Golden Slumbers” by Paul McCartney and John Lennon


 
I love when my lyric
slips into your thoughts,
when I float from your lips
for hours. Once there was a way
to get back homeward.
Sometimes I even believe
my own lines.
Once there was a way
to get back home.
Sometimes when you sing me,
I have faith in home.
Please pretty darling do not cry.
And yet you do cry
and make me want to forget
I am a song about longing,
a song of loss.
I want to be the song of finding,
song of arriving together,
song of coming home.
I want to be the song
that lies down to sleep
beside your heart each night.
I will sing a lullaby.
I want to be the song
that that makes you breakfast.
The song that dances with you
in the living room.
The song that always stays.
 

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Going Home




Today I am so grateful
we are the characters
who go on a journey
and learn to find the bravest, best
and kindest versions of ourselves,
even when the road is beset
with Lestrygonians driving white Range Rovers,
especially when Charybdis tries to merge
into our crowded two-lane sea
after driving in the eddies of the emergency lane
to bypass the long lines,
yes, we are the characters who learn
that we are responsible for our own soundtrack
and must sing to meet each moment,
must be our own sirens calling ourselves
again and again and again
to crash only on our own shores
then sail on more carefully, more purposefully,
our song all the more joyful,
more determined, and yes, more alive.

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Building the Snow People

We rolled them out of backyard snow.

How quickly snow balls the size of a heart

become snow boulders the size of a man.

We gave them features

to make them more like us.

Dark brown stems and leaves of dried mint?

Those became hair. Carrots for noses,

of course. Small gray rocks for eyes.

Plus knobby sticks. Rust-colored leaves.

Thin icicles from the eaves.

The wail of a siren going by—

that went into them, too.

Plus a prayer for those in pain.

And a slip of blue Colorado sky.

We walked among them,

these rare guests in a time of quarantine,

and perhaps we felt our loneliness lift.

What is a snow man but a temporary cairn,

a dolled up trail marker that leads us

back to ourselves, back to our own backyard.  

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Today It Occurs to Me

Not all journeys require leaving the house.

  Just this morning, I followed the hummingbird

    as it circled the feeder, then flew to the flowerbed

      and slipped its long beak into red nasturtiums.

And last night I wandered the garden rows,

  pulling long carrots and thick round beets,

    attending to the slow journey of ripening.

And all summer I follow the thin trail of loss,

  how it leads me from one sorrow to another

    my heart breaking open and then more open

      then impossibly more open.

And all this sheltered summer, I navigate moments of beauty—

  when I laugh at dinner until I fall off my chair,

    mornings when the river runs startlingly clear,

      the blue of larkspur, double rainbow over the drive,

        the tender silence inside the shouting—

          follow these moments like cairns in the wilderness,

            that lead always to exactly where I am.

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Prophecy

 

 

One day you will forget to question your worthiness.

No matter what door you walk through, even your own,

you will feel no need to apologize,

concede no need to defend.

You’ll set down your big suitcase of hope

and never ever open it again.

It will not matter if you are greeted by others

with kisses or with snarls, no, you will know

your own value the way milkweeds do,

which is to say, not at all.

Common as dandelions.

Complex as supernova.

Your worth will be that natural, that assumed.

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Always Home

 

 

 

And on that Saturday morning

when you feel isolated, alone,

no matter the time, or even

if it’s a Tuesday, call me.

I won’t be able to fix anything,

but I will remind you that you

are home, right there in your body,

you are home. And I will listen

as you weep. I will listen.

And though I won’t sing

in a way you can hear,

I will sing for you. I will sing

a circle around you,

I will sing you home.

 

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Not the What but the How

 

 

 

Mostly, we forget.

Mostly, the singular moments

that felt so important—

remarkable, even—

slip like raindrops

into a pond.

 

Most of my life

is blur, is watercolor.

But let me clearly remember

tonight, dying my daughter’s

hair blue, singing along

to the radio, laughing

about nothing in particular.

 

What I want to remember

is how little it takes

to make a moment light up

from within, light up

like dew infused by the sun—

each moment a teacher,

our own home the temple.

 

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Please pretty darlin’, do not cry.

            —Paul McCartney, “Golden Slumbers” adapted from Thomas Dekkers’ “Cradle Song”

 

 

And if the candle noticed

that I played the song six times,

it didn’t say anything.

 

And if the pan were aware

that I struggled to find a harmony,

it kept the failure to itself.

 

And if the kitchen noticed

that I continued to sing the song

long after the recording was done, well—

 

The onion did its best

to mask any tears

that no one was there to see.

 

And if once there was a way

to get back homeward, well,

perhaps, perhaps it will appear again.

 

 

 

*To listen, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbcvf8a5BwM

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Expansion

 

 

 

When I started to fume,

God grabbed me in his arms

impossibly strong and tender

and said, dear one,

don’t build our house too small

and I dropped my hammer

and nails and noticed

how fine the breeze

without walls.

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