Posts Tagged ‘present moment’

Balanced together on a paddleboard
my daughter and I float across the pond.
Already we’ve splashed and tipped
and swum and squealed. Already
we’ve followed dozens of blue dragonflies
with our eyes and greeted
the crawdads that cling to the reeds.
We’ve wrestled and tussled
and dunked and dried and now
we lie on our backs and glide
in the late August sun
and warmth seeps into our skin.
She tells me stories, and my eyes are closed,
and I think, This is why I am alive.
And if the moment is somehow made sweeter
because we’ve been intimate with death,
that is something seen only in retrospect.
In the moment, we are sunbeam and story
and the tickle of damselflies
that land on our skin. We are the aimless drift
from light to light.

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The way, of course.

Your mind, your head,

your hope, your heart.

Face. Your footing. Virginity.

Shirt buttons. Coat buttons.

Breath. Bearings.

Balance. Your deposit.

Your dignity.

Respect. Perspective.

Quarters and pens

between the car seats.

Your accent. Your appetite.

My trust. Baby teeth.

Your innocence. Sunglasses.

Your job. Your cool.

Your shirt. Your gut.

Your grip. Your hair.

The key to the house.

The key to your car.

The key to staying calm

when something crucial is lost.

Like time. Like memories—

the ones in which we had no clue

just how much we had to lose.

Like our nerve. Like our fear.

Like this day, our only chance

to show up. Like this now,

our next chance to let go.

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It could happen any time, tornado, earthquake, Armageddon. It could happen.

                       — Yes, William Stafford



It’s Saturday and I’m choosing to sit on a broken fence,

the logs all weathered and fallen.

I am choosing to sit in the sun on a broken fence

beside a dirt parking lot in a high desert.

Perhaps I do not really believe

that this is the only moment that matters?

Perhaps I don’t trust that I could be gone,

that all life could be gone in one blink,

in one bomb, in one meteorite.


Or is it that I choose to sit on a broken fence

beside a dirt parking lot with the scent of pine

edging each breath and the sound

of cottonwood leaves rustling then stilling

because this, too, matters, this willingness

to treat each breath as if it were the first,

to treat each place as if it is the last

and give it my full attention. To be like the birds

sitting on the barbed wire knowing now, now

is the moment to sing.

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Enjoy yourself. It’s later than you think.




And so Socrates says, Enjoy yourself,

and I tattoo those two words

into my thoughts, but then, no matter

what the clock says, no matter

what the mirror says, no matter

what Socrates says, I tell myself,

I am right on time.

Like the moon, which this morning

still hangs in the west as the sky

all around it turns red.

The moon isn’t late, isn’t early,

isn’t anything but the moon doing

what the moon does. Do that,

I tell myself, staring at its light

as it drops through the rear view mirror,

at the same time keeping my eyes on the road.

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Mom, just relax. Let me take you to a place where there are no bunions, no bruises, no violence, no Donald Trumps, no unhappy thoughts.

            —Vivian Trommer, 10



Start with the scent of chanterelle cream sauce

still lingering from dinner. Throw in a few stars—

you can’t see them, but you know they are there.


Add a tickle. A giggle. A kitten-ish squeal.

Rub tenderly. Then hard. Then forget for a while

to rub. Add a hum, and the dark that can’t enter


the room. Add moon. And cocoon. An impending

soon. And the sound of the river never ending.

An inkling of joy. A hunch of perfect. A hint


of this can’t last. Choose that. Distill to precisely

this moment. Any sorrow or pain

that might wish to rise, it is only a background


flavor that shows up how sweet this magic,

how sometimes the best recipe is the one

that uses exactly what we have on hand.

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Golden Tanka

just before they are gone,
I treasure them most,
the aspen leaves—
please let us not
love like that

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Sing a new song. —Psalm 144:9

That song I sang
so long, so long,
so brimming with
I hardly can
recall the tune …
though it was something
like duh dum,
duh dum, duh duh dum …
or was it duh dah dum
duh dah dum …
I almost forget
I knew the song
at all, except
today a strand
of tune wound round
my thoughts just like
a scarlet ribbon
tied around
the pinkie finger
reminding me
I should remember
something, something
once so vital,
so important
now a blurry
And then the errant
strand of tune
was gone. Gone?
How could it end?
I sang it everywhere
I went. I lost
myself in its glissando,
fermata, sforzando
and painississimo.
I sang it ferocious,
I sang it tender.
The song, it was
my everything,
That’s all I can

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When I think
of all that had to happen
to constellate this moment

in which I stand
beside the road
with my whole face

buried in the lilac bush
I almost weep
overcome by the pure

purple sweet of it all,
how perfect, how
unlikely it all is—

from the star exploding
to the first simple creature
pulling itself out of the sea

to the seed being planted
before my parents met
to the woman who is me

finding her way
to the shoulder of highway 145
where the sun has just set

and the bushes are heavy
with good perfume
and the air is still warm

and the stars are just
beginning to show
their old light.

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