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Dear Poetry Friends,

Thank you so much for the sweet notes I received while I was on vacation letting me know you missed the daily poems. I should have mentioned ahead of time that I would be taking a break from nightly sending. Then, yesterday, the motherboard on my computer went out and I understand it will be at least a week before I have it back … so we will be on a limited posting schedule again until my computer returns. Luckily, through the grace of iCloud (how is this possible) my poems from our trip still exist on my phone. What a great technological twist to a story about a technological bummer!

AND NOW FOR TWO WEEK’S WORTH OF POEMS!

 

Bouquet of Poems from Florida Keys

 

changing blues in the water

trying to name them as if this way

I will remember

*

riding rusty bikes

every pedal an invitation

to sing along

*

after facing new monsters:

the ankle grabbing bubba, the dunka—

the swimming pool safe at last

*

between domino spots

infinite space

for laughter

*

drinking lemon drops

with my mother—

afternoon sunshine

*

sea breeze so strong

it makes of all my thoughts

a kite

*

training to believe in luck—

at Boondocks mini golf

hole in one

*

once swimming in the waves

how soon I forget

stench of beached seaweed

*

how quietly they become

part of everything—

all those dropped petals

*

on silent streets

walking with midnight—

never once feeling lonely

*

what shall I listen to—

from far away

a song on the wind

*

after thousands of years

what new is there to say

about waiting

 

 

Bouquet of Poems from Washington DC

 

unable to see stars

I find a tree about to leaf

wish on a greening bud

(at Yoko Ono’s “Wishing Tree” in the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden)

 

*

we wade into the black

sea of names, deeper, deeper—

salt water on our cheeks

(at the Vietnam Memorial)

*

above the wall of the dead

a field of tiny blue self-seeding flowers—

how peace begins

(at the Vietnam Memorial)

*

night of a thousand sirens—

meanwhile, above the orchestra pit,

the Russian ballerina bows

(at the Kennedy Center, Mariinsky Ballet, “Le Corsair”)

*

surrounded by beauty

he finds only reasons to complain—

rain of cherry blossoms

(beside the Tidal Pool)

*

beside the empty cherry tree

the message of Martin Luther King

still blooming

(at the MLK Memorial)

*

in a room of Rothko

I find it inside—

my horizon

(at the Phillips Museum)

*

Lincoln’s giant marble fist—

staring at it until my own fist

opens

(at the Lincoln Memorial)

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

She watched herself on stage,

and though she wept for the sad parts,

she didn’t wish them away—

they made the story better.

She easily laughed every time she forgot her lines.

And several times, though the play wasn’t done,

she gave herself an ovation.

Why not, she thought. I’m doing

a damn good job up there.

I wonder what took me so long

to see I got the lead. I can’t wait to see

where this play is going.

Read Full Post »

 

for Phyllis

 

 

in the long darkness

she makes lanterns of poems

guides us one light at a time

Read Full Post »

 

 

grief and celebration

share the same bed—

one keeps stealing the blanket

the other

keeps knitting a beautiful new one

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

The spam email was simple. Subject: Why?

Body: Answer me. And I thought of Einstein,

who wrote a brief letter to Miss Marion Block,

a woman who had written first to him,

overcome as she was by two world wars.

 

He wrote: The question “Why” in the human sphere

is easy to answer: to create satisfaction

for ourselves and for other people.

 

Almost 800 years earlier,

Rumi answered the same question, saying,

Oh soul, you worry too much.

 

I, too, like Miss Block, like the spammer,

like the soul, I, too, have stood beneath the stars

and asked Why, Why?

And this week, I received in the mail

a typed letter signed from The Universe,

saying, You know this, but may have forgotten:

you have been given a special task

to complete on Earth … the world needs you.

 

And the words from The Universe

leap from the page to form new constellations

inside me and I see so clearly

that I am one of many, many stars,

no longer capable of thinking I’m in this for myself,

certain that we shine for each other.

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

 

some flowers bloom

only at night,

 

so it is with certain conversations,

that open in the dark,

 

the whole room

blessed with sweetness

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

One Bowing to Basho

 

 

 

venom from the boy—

reminding myself

that this, too, is the moon

Read Full Post »

One Near Miss

 

 

walking right past

that man she would later marry—

fruit still green on the vine

Read Full Post »

 

 

She wants to go see the bluebonnets, she says.

This is after she tells me they’ve said she has three months to live.

And I want to find her vast fields of bluebonnets,

acres and acres of white-tipped blue bloom.

And I want to send her more springs to see them in,

more days to live one day at a time. I want to remove

the pain in her belly, the pain that aggressively grows.

I want to make deals with the universe. Want to say no

to the way things are. I want to tell death to wait.

I want to tell life to find a way. I want to hug her

until she believes she’s beloved. I want to give her

the pen that will write every brave thing

that she’s been unable to say. There are days

when we feel how uncompromising it is, the truth.

How human we are. There are days when the bluebonnets

stretch as far as the eye can see. There are days

we know nothing is more important than going to see them,

a billion blue petals all nodding in the wind, teaching us to say yes.

 

Read Full Post »

One Staff

 

 

 

all those beautiful notes—

letting them fall from the score

and not rushing

to arrange them again,

listening as new songs arise

Read Full Post »

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