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Posts Tagged ‘poetry’

One at the Chasm

 

 

 

just as I decide

I will never be ready

the unstoppable urge to leap

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beside the floodplain

acre after acre of pale blue

thousands of wild iris—

 

just thinking of sharing them

they become (is it possible?)

yes, more beautiful

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cross-state road trip—

traveling with my daughter

three miles per song

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Relearning

The world doesn’t want to be saved. It wants to be loved. That’s how you save it.

            —Richard Brendan

And isn’t that the way it is—

the truth that opened me yesterday

now puts me in shackles. Whatever

I knew about saving the world

must be lost. Today, the only truth

is the invitation to fall in love

with the world as it is.

Fall in love with the thorn, the sting, the loss,

the ringing in the ears after the shot.

Fall in love with all I’d rather not.

Easier when it’s metaphor. Harder

when it’s wound. Hate. Anger.

Dark snarl of contempt hurled in the face.

Harder when love feels far away.

There’s only one way then to save

the world. How we stand in the middle

of it all, lost. How we love anyway.

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One Return

 

 

 

like a book

that always falls open

to my favorite lines—

 

this memory of your crooked smile,

your open hand

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And after the lying and cheating

and scratching and beating

and lusting and raging,

deceiving and craving,

after almost three hours

we finally know

that no one, no one

is a hero.

And we walk

through the rain

on this imperfect night

to the stain of our cars

and our imperfect lives.

And it rains.

In the great cast list,

my name will be

listed as the woman

who always played me—

the one who never

quite got the role right,

but damn,

she showed up

with her lines

every night.

 

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Ode to Tears

 

 

The way day doesn’t fight

the dim before night. The way

shore does not resist the river’s rise.

The way air does not refuse

the beat of wing—that’s the way

I want to let tears come.

Why do I try to force

them from falling?

Not that it works anyway.

Still, this defiance, this struggle

to appear unmoved. And why?

When there are children who laugh

and a sky that blues and stories

that break us and laughter that

seizes us? Why try to pretend

we are not changed by the way

a child loves her mother or

a friend perseveres through cancer

or the way a math teacher reminds us we have

86,400 seconds a day to spend

and if we don’t spend them,

they are gone. It is logical to weep

when met with beauty, it is practical

to let the tears release instead

of all this stupid pretending that

we are too cool or too smart or too

sophisticated to be stirred.

No, better to notice when our toes

are dipped in the grand stream

that unites us all and let that water

move right through our eyes—

better not to try to explain it.

Better to wade in the course of tears

and refuse any boat that would keep us

from touching the water. After all,

we know how to swim. After all,

there are so many reasons

to give in to who we are.

 

 

 

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Pulling ten thousand

yellow-petalled weeds—

how many more millions

left to pull? How soon

will they be back?

Still, marveling

for a moment

at this small bit of

weedless dirt.

In me, how many

thousands of weeds?

And beneath them,

how many gardens

just waiting to be revealed?

 

 

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Shower

 

 

Beside the dirt road

we find a whole bouquet’s worth

of purple penstemon,

 

pink wild roses, orange

globe mallow, and countless

yellow weeds. My daughter

 

picks them, a bride to joy,

and though there is thunder

it doesn’t rain, except for petals,

 

yellow sweet clover, that

she sprinkles along the dirt

to leave a trail behind us,

 

just in case we get lost, Mom.

she says. Sometimes love

seems to rise right out of the dirt

and damned if somehow

 

on that one-way road

I didn’t get wholly, beautifully,

heart breakingly lost.

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In almost every garden bed,

the sunflowers seedlings volunteer—

and every year I dig them up

and find them a home along the fence

where they can grow extravagantly.

Oh exuberance, of course

I love the sunflowers, their crazy willingness

to grow amongst the beets, amongst

the greens, amongst the chard

and kale and peas. I love their insistence

on making beauty and reaching for light.

I love their great golden heads,

playground of bees, nodding until

all their petals are gone. I know

they don’t mean to shade everything else,

don’t mean to block out the light.

They’re just doing what they were

designed to do. Grow tall.

Be stunning. Gather light. Make more.

 

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