Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

 

I pull out two chairs. One for me.

One for the girl who didn’t want

to become a woman. The girl

who, at night, would use tweezers

to pull out any hairs that tried to grow

where her skin had always been smooth.

The girl who tied a bandana around

the small lumps of her breasts

to keep them from growing.

The girl who wanted to believe

she could stay a girl. I know

she would rather be outside

by the lake, fishing. Or exploring

the woods, looking for treasures.

Or making potions out of bark and grass

and berries in her mom’s old silver pot.

But she sits here with me, awkward,

slouching a little to pretend she isn’t so tall.

She tells me she wants to be a poet. How she

loves to play with words. How she knows

the other kids tease her behind her back.

How she sometimes thinks she might disappear

into light when the sun streaks through the clouds.

I just listen and nod. I know exactly how she feels.

I know she won’t believe me if I tell her

she’ll lose the battle with the hair.

That the bandana trick worked, perhaps too well.

That the joy she finds in writing will never leave her.

That she’ll forget the names of the kids

who teased her, but she’ll always remember

what they said. And despite all these tethers,

she’ll learn to disappear into the light,

to give herself completely to the world.

It will be so beautiful.

But for now, this reluctance,

this longing to remain a girl,

this certainty that there is magic

here in childhood that she never wants to lose.

Read Full Post »

Ode to the Patty Pan

 

 

 

I can imagine not everyone would look

at this plate of grilled pattypan squash

and start to salivate. I was one of them once,

 

those who think they dislike zucchini, crook necks,

patty pans. I, too, shunned the spongy flesh,

the seeded core. I was a scorner of squash.

 

I don’t exactly remember when it changed,

when I stopped wishing it off my plate,

began to grow it myself. Began to crave it—

 

and not just grated into sweet bread.

Not just sliced and forgotten in a rich tomato sauce.

No, I came to delight in the very squash-ness of it—

 

the way it embodies the abundance of summer.

The way it takes on other flavors but never

abandons its own. And here, tonight,

 

stacked on my plate like small green suns,

blistered and sweating from the grill,

the pattypan squash are luscious, delightful,

 

so utterly themselves. How hard it used to be

to appreciate them. I remember. How easily

it comes now, this thrill in what summer provides,

Read Full Post »

 

 

Aphids are born pregnant.

I don’t want to believe it,

but it makes sense, considering

what’s happening in my kale.

And Google confirms it.

They are born pregnant.

And their embryos are also

pregnant. Three generations

of garden cripplers in each tiny

soft-bodied bug.

No matter how much I hate

and curse them, I have to admire

such insistence, such dedication

to survival.

 

It is like gratitude,

I think. Sometimes, it seems

as if there’s not much to be grateful for,

but if I can think of one blessing,

then often, buried in its belly

is another blessing,

and that gives birth to another.

Soon there’s a teeming colony

of gratitudes. And although

the news might try to squish them

or wash them away,

they persist.

 

Yes, all those tiny feasting gratitudes,

how easily they find a way

to thrive. How impressive

their tenacity, their drive.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

watching the mama moose

wade in the shallow lake—

remembering to breathe

 

*

 

clear night

inside the tent

raining by dawn

 

*

 

beside the campfire

singing an old song

no one else knows

 

*

 

night so quiet

I hear the river roaring

inside my thoughts

 

*

 

the world so itself

and inside me

the blessing of blessings

 

*

 

even a crow

can be trained to talk—

come, hurt, find your words

 

*

 

everywhere we step

a ring of mushrooms—

oh if a path could laugh

 

*

 

eating wild strawberries—

the heart, too, is accustomed

to bliss in small bites

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

The stomach replaces its lining

every four days. Every four days.

Because it’s so highly corrosive,

every four days it remakes itself

and becomes completely new.

Love, this is what I want to do.

Because sometimes we are acid.

Because sometimes we are cruel.

I want to start over every four days.

Every four days, let us be new.

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

We start with more.

But then, as we age,

there’s a lessening.

Where there once

were 300 bones,

there are now 206.

Where there once was cartilage,

now it’s fused and stiff.

What used to be flexible,

now refuses to be rebirthed.

What once allowed for rapid growth

now considers itself mature.

And how do we get it back,

that willingness to grow?

And how do we unstiffen?

And how do we unknow?

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

They know that birds see many more colors

than humans can—and they know that

their plumage has become, over millions of years,

more colorful, more dazzling, more bright.

But why, they wonder, can the birds see

colors they do not have in their feathers?

Why haven’t they developed the ability

to produce ultraviolet yellow or ultraviolet red?

 

I know that there is beauty I see in others

that I do not yet see in myself: People

who leave bottles of water in the desert

of west Texas. A 94-year-old man in Iowa

who has given away 6,000 Hershey’s

milk chocolate bars to connect

with the people in his changing hometown.

A 13-year-old girl who has raised $80,000

to save dogs from being euthanized.

A woman who chooses forgiveness.

 

I want to believe that to see is to invite evolution.
I want to believe that through sight, my own heart will develop

the way plumage might, more dazzling, more bright.

Read Full Post »

 

 

Perhaps one day they will find the way

to take all the empty space out of our atoms—

condense us to our essence. Then

the whole of the human race would fit

inside a sugar cube. It would serve us right,

expansive buggers that we are, we who stamp

our atoms all over the earth, we who now

leave our footprints in space.

Like our electrons, we exist too many

places at once. Or, perhaps one day,

we’ll learn to embrace all that space within us,

and instead of plundering, conquering, developing out,

we’ll go in, travel in, enter grace.

 

Read Full Post »

 

 

 

beside the koi pond

trying to breathe underwater—

if only, if only

Read Full Post »

One Bummer

 

 

 

dang, how the songbird

mutters sometimes, and slurs,

forgets how even the most

discordant song can be beautiful

when it’s sung clear

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: