Posts Tagged ‘possibility’




anything is possible

but only one thing will happen—

tulip blooming on a dandelion stem

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A dozen dozen crystal balls

and not a one will tell us how

our story ends. Opaque as pearls,

they show us nothing of our world.

A dozen dozen crystal balls,

all of them unreadable.

And still we try. We want to know

just how the future will unfold.

Instead of crystal balls, my dear,

let’s try using a handheld mirror.

Or better yet, a windowed room.

Or better yet, some hiking shoes.

Let’s see what is unfolding now

and join it in its opening.

Already much more is possible

when we don’t know where we’re going.

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You never really recover.

That’s what the woman told me

her friend had said.

We were talking about

eating disorders.

There’s no way to make

that line sound poetic.

Her friend ran a program

at a hospital for other women

with eating disorders.

Her friend knew the subject personally.

I remember, I told the woman,

when I believed the same thing.

Until one day, it happened.

I just didn’t know

it was possible because

for so many, many years

it hadn’t happened to me,

though I tried, I tried.

Whenever it happened,

there were no fireworks,

no symphonies, no ecstatic dance,

no revelations written in clouds.

No rhapsody, no reveille, no

parade, no streams of light.

It happened so quietly I didn’t notice—

not for days, weeks, perhaps months.

Now I lean in when I hear myself say never.

What a fine time to get very curious.

What a fine time to get very quiet,

even quieter than that.

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Between the moth wing

and the fire,

between the river

and the road,

between the moon

and what we’re told,

between loss

and a kiss,

there is this sense

that anything

might happen—

a wound, a word,

a wondering,

an opening

to the world

just as it is.

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I would like to find you
in the shade of an apricot tree
with rounded white petals
caught in your hair
and the hypnotic humming
of bees in our ears,
and we would lie there
draped in the scent
of warm sage and sweet bloom
and stare up at the blue
through the flowering limbs
and forget who we are
for just long enough, perhaps,
that anything could happen.

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in the night air
scent of rain
that does not fall—
sometimes in the kitchen
scent of tenderness

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after Wendy Videlock

Like an empty bowl,
like a submarine,
like a mirror, like a tooth,
like a tambourine,
like a pen or a puddle,
or a maker of hay,
like a rusty machine,
like a fiancé,
or as if you speak
in eddies of river,
or as if you’re an arrow
just pulled from the quiver;
like shoes without laces
thrown into the corner,
like rain, like a scalpel,
like a barbed wire border,
like a guillotine,
like witch hazel blooms,
like a horse, like blue,
like an unsung tune,
like a poem that doesn’t
know how it will end,
like a leap or a stone,
like an open hand.

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Choosing Your Battles

You can’t unpick the mariposa lily,
you can’t uncatch marlin from the sea,
you can’t unsay words you didn’t mean,
you can tell your fears to me.

You can’t refeather the macaw in black,
you can’t put meteors into reverse.
A broken heart can’t be returned,
but you can apologize first.

You can’t unburn a charred marshmallow,
you can’t change a marmot into a snake.
You can’t uncry or unscream or unhit
but you can learn from your mistakes.

And you can be renewed by a mountain,
you can replant the seeds of marigolds,
you can unlearn what you thought you knew
and make gratitude your goal.

You can’t uneat a mushroom,
and you can’t reschedule the moon.
But you can unneed what you thought you must have
and you can unshould yourself, too.

Where a mustache has rubbed, you can’t unchafe,
Are Martians unreal? I’m not sure.
But the reins were never really in your hands,
though you truly believed they were.

The magnolia blossom will never refold
into a tiny bud.
But you, if you choose, can revive and rebuild,
and repeace and rehope and relove.

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From across the parking lot
on an early spring afternoon
you see a yellow butterfly

just before it disappears
behind the roof of the grocery store
and I am certain no scientist

could ever prove this, but
in that moment on the pavement
in the swirling chill of breeze

you are somehow saved, though you don’t
have a hint what that might mean, except
that it feels like, at least for that instant,

everything is possible.

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sometimes it's clear

Lost: One woman, fortyish,
brown hair, tall, hazel eyes,
wearing black boots, jeans,
maroon sweater. Last seen
walking toward the edge of
what she thought was
possible. Can be identified
by a freckle on her left
pinkie finger. If seen,
ask her if she found the edge.
If she says yes, tell her to go
get lost again. That any edge
she can find is an illusion.
Tell here there is no
reward for her return.

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