Posts Tagged ‘thoughts’

One Persistence




in my thoughts

a tap-rooted weed

sometimes I notice

its beautiful pink blooms

before I pull it again

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It is the child of cold and warmth.

It is right it should show up

both cloudy and clear,

this union of opposites,

shaped like a spear, piercing

the silence with dripping, dripping.

It forms itself

the same way it disappears.

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scraping snow

off the car windshield—

so, too, these frozen thoughts

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It’s not so much that you want the snow

back in the drive, it’s just that your back

felt so much better before the shoveling,


and so, using your sideways logic, you think

to yourself that if the snow were unshoveled

your back might unhurt. And while


you’re at it, you think you might unthink

those thoughts you thought the night before

shoveling the drive. Though they didn’t


amount to any action, now that you’ve

thought them they’ve become a frame

that’s changed everything. So you start


with the snow, because revising that seems easier

than anything else, but to shovel it back

in the drive would seem to exacerbate


the problem with the back, so

you consider ways the snow might unfall,

all of them fanciful. At least for a while,


it amuses you, the idea of ten million

million snowflakes rising, but then

the reality of drought returns and you


feel guilty for unwishing the snow. No,

better to put your hope in perseverance,

better to put your hope in healing.


It happens. And you walk up the drive,

so snowless and clear you can safely look up

at the sky and see all those stars. The snow


gathers whatever light there is. It can’t

unshine. You thrill a bit in the chill. Some

of the shine reaches into you. Some of it stays.



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Slow roasted,

the beets

become tender,


how I long

to do the same

to these hard,

red thoughts.

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One Track




in the loop

of my thoughts hooks

your finger

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the rocks move

more than we think they do—

after the ice floes,

the mudslides, high water in spring

take note, you stone-like thoughts

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Pulling tall grass

from amidst the peonies

it’s hard not to admire

the tenaciousness

of grass, admire it

as I rip it out, every

last blade.

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What Doesn’t Work



And so when his bridge was destroyed by the sea,

Xerxes I had the sea whipped. Three hundred lashes.

He branded the water with red-hot irons

and ordered his soldiers to shout at the strait.


I have tried to lash these errant thoughts,

have wanted to whip them to keep them in line.

I have wanted to make my mind eat soap,

have tried to force it to sit in the corner.


But the sea cared nothing about the lashes,

just as the mind is nonplussed by the soap.

The sea laps its tongues against my frustration.

Salt gets into my eyes, my beliefs, my throat.

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How I Stay Tethered

I return to the story about the monk

who put everything he owned into a boat

and rowed it into the middle of the lake

and then sank it. He did not give the stuff away,

not wanting to burden anyone else

with things. I would like to take

a red canoe to the center of a lake

and sink it with these thoughts—

why should anyone else need to worry

the ways I have worried on behalf

of the world? My only fear is that

they would displace so much water

the lake would flood and who knows

how many might be hurt then. No, I think,

better to take them for a walk.

Oh those thoughts, like unruly puppies,

biting at my ankles and running off—

and isn’t it like me to call them back

or run after them, afraid they’ll get lost.

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