Posts Tagged ‘resilience’




Amidst the sirens

and the horns,

tucked in between

the skyscrapers,

we found a garden

with a fountain

at its center

rung with trees

and lush green leaves

and purple hastas—

and there, inside

that sudden peace,

my dad and I

sat side by side

and didn’t solve

a goddammed thing

but listened to

the sound of water

falling, falling,

and watched it

rising up,

rising up again.




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For though it is cold and bitter,

you raise your bright faces

and radiate loveliness—

as if to prove what is delicate

can thrive in adversity.


There is so much chill,

and sometimes I forget

I can meet bitterness with softness—

I think I, too, must learn

to speak the language of sharp.


But you, pansies, purple and yellow,

white and maroon, you remind me

that softness can be resilient,

that one small beauty

changes everything—


and if today we are able to shine,

despite cold, despite callousness,

then shamelessly, splendidly

let us shine.





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One Resilience

my heart a cottonwood seed

landed on rock instead of soil—

love says, time to trust the wind

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My brother thrilled to pummel and punch

that red-nosed clown again and again—

an inflatable plastic sack with a round weighted base—


and always the clown returned to standing.

Forty years later, I still don’t want to punch anything,

wish, instead, I could be more like that red and blue Bozo,


could roll and twist and spin each time

life knocks me over, and though I wobble,

though I bob, I would defy the laws of physics


return to standing, yes I would,

and find a way to smile.


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Trickster Ridge



At the edge of the cliff

the wind tousles the snakeweed

into a riot of waving fronds.


They dance and still, and dance

and still, resettling into their natural state

before being danced again.


All morning I have been thinking

about resilience, or more rightly,

resilience has visited me,


not as a thought, more as

a mandate. And here, the snakeweed,

golden flowers lit by sun,


leads me to the edge of the cliff

where the wind whips everything

that dares show up,


and the snakeweed—

stirred, disturbed and rearranged—

has never been more itself.


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Blowing and gusting

and pushing and rushing

the wind tugs at every

surface it finds

and pries and whips

and shreds and flips,

overturns and tears

and ravages, wears down

and frays, unravels

and loosens in an entropy

dance, and to all

it touches—willow,

leaf, clothesline, fence,

it whispers

resilience, resilience.

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I tell her, well, if you continue to work with horses,

before long you’ll be kicked and bucked and bit, too.

She smiles solemnly, slips back into her boots.


If only the heart could wear boots, I think,

something to make it feel a little more invincible.

No, I think. It doesn’t work that way. The heart,


though rolled and kicked and bucked and bit,

must never feel invincible. It must always know

it is in terrible danger of being hurt


and return to love anyway.



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