Posts Tagged ‘home’


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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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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A tune with no words

weaves through the day.

All day I let it find me,

do not try to turn off

the imaginary dial

that would make things

quieter. It is a comfort,

this tune, knowing

there are still words

to be written, still harmonies

to be found. The song

baptizes me, brings

beauty to what I fear

is a dark time.

It is a home inside

I take with me

everywhere I go.


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When climbing the inner branches

of the largest spruce we can find,


and finding the prickly lattice

an easier ladder than we imagined,


we might climb high enough

that we forget if we are climbing


to get away from or to move toward,

might climb long enough


that at last it is neither tree

nor land nor sky that feels


like home, but our own

limbs as they find the next place


to step, to pull up, to rest.

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Scrounge and Comb

The heart is like

this small brown bird

who finds in the lawn


a bit of dead grass

and flies it away

to build her nest—


sometimes it takes

so little to build

something beautiful.

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I Pushed Him Away

I pushed him away
until the loneliness in me
recognized the loneliness

in him, two awkward birds
still afraid of sky

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driving past that dirt road
my mind takes the turn
while my body goes sixty

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There are no direct flights
from anywhere to here.
Say you make it to Denver.
Say there is a car. Then the long road
though it’s only four turns.
First at the edge where the orchards
meet the layers of desolation, barren, striated and high.
Next at the intersection of depression
and loneliness, where an old
wooden sign with faded red paint announces
that there were once Friday night drag races here.
Turn right at the stoplight of indecision
where it looks uphill no matter which way you go.
It is. If it is summer, there will be lupine,
purple, and golden mules ears in the alpine meadows,
though the peaks will still be secluded in snow.
And if it is winter, there will be tracks
from the elk herds trailing whitely into the spruce.
Pass the turn off toward distraction.
Pass the cliff that was formed around the same time
the dinosaurs went extinct, and then turn left at the drive
just past the ponderosa, how much taller that tree
must be now. There will still be a river waiting for you,
perhaps even a lifetime.

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A Little Self Talk on a Snowy Evening

You are surely lost.
When is the last time
you knew the way home?
Was it back at that gas station
where you bought the chips
before you pulled out into the night?
Though even then the snow
was hurling its white fists into your lights.
But that was before your heart started
leaping like a startled deer into the
oncoming lane of your throat.
Oh darling, who are you kidding.
You were already lost even then.
Sure you could have pointed
to a dot on the map and said,
Exit 179, Here I am. But that
is just the game we play.
Something to satisfy our jumpy brains.
You have been lost since the day
you first could say your name,
the moment you knew yourself
as other, as separate, as something
that could be lost. Sometimes,
like now, when you think you
don’t know where you are,
see if you can lose a little more.
Your certainty. Your words. Your ideas.
Your shame. And maybe then,
off the map, out of hope, exposed
and unknowing, maybe that
is home.

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