Posts Tagged ‘news’

Such Luck



Once again the flash flood

misses the house. And the cats

are not found by the mountain lion—


even now they curl on the chair.

The forests around the house

are not claimed by wildfire.


And though my right inner arm

bears a dozen red bites,

none of the mosquitos seem


to be carrying zica.

Yes, it’s a marvelous night,

just think how many things


are going right. Not one

broken bone. No earthquake.

No angry bear. It’s enough to


make you think you’re lucky

no matter what that letter said.

Just look at those stars


and that clear night sky

without even a chance of hurricane,

no tornado, no drought.





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Mom, she said, is it true? And it wasn’t

that I’d tried to keep the truth from her,

it just never came into conversation,

old horses are sometimes used for glue.


Yes, I said, wishing I could soften the message. It’s true.

She knew its truth already, but don’t we all

sometimes long to be wrong? New tears dammed

in her eyes before they fell. Is that really


the world I belong to? she rued, then buried

her face in the couch. Two hours later,

I thought her same thought as I read the news:

Anti-Semitism. Bribery. Child sexual abuse.


I wanted to hear the stories weren’t true.

Oh world, so broken, still, unglued, I choose you.

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            in response to The Good News by Thich Nhat Hanh

Good news. The ant on your toe does not want to bite you.
He is a traveler on the country of your foot, and he is teaching you
about the borders you have drawn around your kingdom.

Yes, the young sapling beside you has died, but there,
beside it, a new sapling is carrying on what it means to be tree.

The good news is that the daffodils, planted by some unknown hand,
have returned, and they bob their yellow fringe in the wind,
their cups filled with unspillable light.

The goldfinches find food beneath the old spruce.
And the meadowlark has turned the fencepost
into a concert hall.

And more good news. You noticed that there was a line drawn
between us and them, and you, with your ardent mind,
you picked up that line and refashioned it into a spiral.

And in this moment, the good news is that the sun is warm
on your shoulders and your eyes feel like closing and you
let them close.

The good news is that despite the passing hours, the passing years,
there is no end to good news waiting to be found
and you are just beginning to understand how infinite this special edition.

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And even as the countries aim their missiles at each other

and dangle threats and hurl names, the woman

in the hair salon gives you a deal because

in an hour you’ve shared dreams, shared fears.

And the bus driver helps you find your way.

And the tall man in the grocery store sees you reaching

for a box on the top shelf and offers to hand it to you.

Even as the congress argues and quarrels and stalls,

the little blonde boy you barely know snuggles into your lap

and tells you he loves you. Kindness continues to thrive,

Kindness breeds more kindnesses. Kindness

reminds you again that wherever you are,

you are home, that the world you most want

to live in is right here at the kitchen table,

right here on the noisy, crowded street.

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Dear Finn,




Full of seed, the bird feeder hangs

from the cottonwood tree

we planted years ago.

Even without the birds,

it is beautiful—

dangling midair

with its copper perches

and glass column.


This morning in the news,

we are going to war with each other—

either with words or with missiles.

It seems clear

that we are our own problem.


No wonder we try to bring beauty in close—

the garden with its open faced pansies,

the hummingbird feeder with its hold

of sugar water.


The battles are not

what will save us,

it’s beauty—not just

outside us, but in us.


All day, let us look

for ways be like this brown bird

at the feeder, see

how it gathers light

in its open wings.







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In the bedroom of my heart, kicking out the stinking news, opening the window to hear the river song.

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One After Terrible News




despite everything,

today, daisies in white bloom,

scent of mint, of bread


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In All Cases




all the more reason

to hug one another—

this great news, that terrible news

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After Reading the News

All day the dull gray weight
of hatred sits on me like
a heavyweight wrestler
and refuses to move.
The referee does not exist.
I lose the will to struggle.
Meanwhile, I watch myself
lie there beneath him, as if
watching myself in a movie,
and I walk away from the whole
sad scene, my heart
responding to some invitation
I wish would come …
to find love in me for everyone
I meet, even for that wrestler,
even for that woman lost
beneath his weight.

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It all began with the dark, of course, like any good poem.
And then there was the problem of how exactly to bring in
some light. Dawn, of course, but that just seemed too obvious.
Fireflies, but that would be too childish. Bioluminescence?
Too obscure. The need: something everyone can relate to. The poem,
of course, was not at all about the dark. It was about the teenage girl
who had killed perhaps thirty men for the thrill of killing. She lost count,
she told the newspaper reporter, after twenty-two men.
But that is too gruesome to write about: the knife blade, the blood,
the groping, the new husband in the back of the car waiting with a cord, the cult.
So the poem was about dark. And for light, not the moon. No.
Too sacred, somehow, and there are just too many poems
about the moon. Light bulbs, well, there’s a metaphor for you.
And a joke, too. But the poem was just not in the mood for a joke
and despite a surplus of 40 watt bulbs in the closet,
it decided that the dark was best, after all, and
just sat there, quietly, considering the dark.

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