Posts Tagged ‘perspective’




it was never meant to last,

this life, though we tell ourselves

we’re different, though we tell

ourselves we matter. But the planet

is patient. And the sky is older than that.

The bones in the exhibit hall are proof.


Still, as I drive the seven hours to home,

I am careful to stay in my lane,

careful to miss the dead lump of what once

was a bird, to use my turn signal,

to wave thanks at the truck driver

who let me into the flow.


It may not go on forever, but

for now there is this chance

to learn about communion.

There is this chance

to see just how generous

we can be with these drying bones.

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carrying a candle outside

into the twilight, the whole world

revolves around the tiny flame

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stubbing my toe

the whole foot, the whole world,

becomes toe

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One Perspective




first stepping into the galaxy

to see that tiny blue dot—

now ready to watch the news

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Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
—Albert Einstein

Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?
Or bear who’s dreaming she’s a woman, lost?
I cannot find the answer anywhere.

One thing’s for sure, the bear is not aware
she might be dreaming. She is hungry, cross.
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?

The woman, on the other hand, she cares
if it’s dream. Are these her teeth? Her paws?
She cannot find the answer anywhere.

The she-bear lifts her nostrils to the air
and sniffs. She feels the edge of coming frost.
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?

The woman falls down to her knees and stares,
confused by her wide footprints in the moss.
She cannot find the answer anywhere.

It’s time to sleep? It’s time to wake? I swear
I cannot say. Are these my hands? Or claws?
Am I a woman dreaming she’s a bear?
I cannot find the answer anywhere.

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I grieved
that the rose had stopped blooming
when in fact
it was opening
only very, very, very slowly

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Another Look

Oh look! says Anita,
pointing to the window,
and there, where only minutes ago

we saw mountains
we now see only gray.
I think of how

I cannot see you.
How many veils
are in the way?

It’s no use
to try to pull them down.
They drop when it is time.

I know where you
are. The mountains, too.
Perhaps I am the one

who is hiding.

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Five on Seeing

Did you notice,
I say, the gorilla’s nose
is shaped like a heart?
Yes, she says, but my heart
is shaped like a fist.


Easy to see
I’m a wave in the water—
when I disappear
nothing essential
will be lost.


Harder to believe
nothing’s lost when my daughter
pulls the needle
out of my knitting
and the stitches fall off.


Ever notice
how hard it is to see eye
to eye when our
backs are toward
each other?


Solar eclipse
in Taurus and the window
between worlds opens—
eyes wide, advises my chart,
it’s a new day for your heart

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The biggest hope
I dared to hope,
I drew a circle
round it
and then
beyond the ring,
and saw myself
a small point
of infinity
how miniature
my greatest
how slight
what I
call me.

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Dad takes out the microscope
from a dusty old suitcase
and sets it up on the kitchen table.

Once again I’m six years old
and we are living near the lake
where he takes me out with a net and a vial

to collect the water together.
He shows me how to make a slide,
how to focus the lens, how to steady

my eye and how to be patient
and wait for the tiny world
to reveal itself.

My son and daughter are with us
today, and he takes them out
to the waterway with the net

and the vial and all their curiosity.
I’d forgotten how miraculous it feels
to look into a droplet and find

a universe with slender strands
and tiny spiraled globs of green
and all the unseen critters seen,

their eyeless, mouthless,
heartless forms nudging
at the algal threads or speeding

across and off the slide.
How big the world seems then,
and how very, very small—

how hard it is to know
where we fit into it all—
this world with its car bombs

and militant groups, adventure
movies and evening news,
Jupiter high in the springtime sky

and under the microscope,
single-celled things zooming
and worming and meandering.

Who could make sense of it?
How simple to be one of these
small creatures I can’t name,

how simple it was to be that girl,
six years old, beside her father
on the microscope bench

dropping beads of water
onto the slides, kneeling on her chair,

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