Posts Tagged ‘time’

I am all too aware of that permanent track
with its strict rails of duty and ties of to do,
how it structures my days
in inflexible ways, allows the engine
of time to move only on pre-regulated paths.
I would love to lose those tracks of time,
veer off the underlying subgrade
and stroll on foot through the fields of hours
and lay in the lazy tall grass of warm days.
Or so I say. And yet I commit
to new rails, new track that I pound in
with the iron spikes of yes,
like a pioneer hellbent on progress.
No. I did not lose track of time,
but perhaps I lost track of me.
Perhaps I lost track of you.
Perhaps it is not too late.

Read Full Post »

One Memoir

these beautiful thoughts
old pages turned yellow
every word still true

Read Full Post »


Time lost its shoes.
            —Pablo Neruda, “Too Many Names,” version by Anthony Kerrigan
And if the day
has lost its shoes
that doesn’t mean
it won’t walk barefoot
toward midnight.
Yes, even if it loses its feet,
the day will still crawl—
will slither till its raw
if that’s what it takes—
to make it to tomorrow.
Some days this feels
like a threat, but today,
that certainty, old
and Jurassic-slow as it is,
is the only thing
that keeps me
moving my own feet
toward the next hour.
And the next. And
the next.

Read Full Post »


In two nights, the killing frost will come.

Because I know this, I wander the garden

and talk to the broccoli, the nasturtiums,

the cilantro. I thank the beets for their willingness

to grow. I tell the onions what is coming.

Tomorrow I will pick enormous bouquets

and fill the house with orange flowers.

Tomorrow I will sit in the garden

and try to store the beauty in my body

though I know it doesn’t work that way.

Please, just one more day, just one more month,

just one more life to try to get it right,

just one more chance to be as attentive

as I am when I know it is almost over,

the basil dark green, the marigolds crinkling with gold.

Read Full Post »

            for Merry

I loved to sit on that green and white swirled couch,

loved even more to sit on it with my grandmother.

Everything about her was soft. Her wrinkled hands,

her sagging face, her bosom-y body she was forever

trying to slim. Her voice was cloudlike. Her laughter,

fine gauze. And her eyes ever met me with silk-strong love.

Why do I always return to that one afternoon

when she let me sit beside her, reading her poem

after poem, as if she had no garden to tend, no meal

to make, no hymns to practice for Sunday’s service.

Forty years later, in my kitchen, I’m still with her on the couch,

hoping we’ll stay that way just a little longer.

Read Full Post »




My own fault for not reading all the directions

on how to make puff pastry from scratch—

how after the shaggy dough phase, you shape

and then chill. And then roll and fold and roll

and shape the dough. And chill. And then roll

and fold and roll and fold. And chill. Then roll

and slice. And chill. And fill. And chill. So often,

mid project, I find myself thinking I would never

have started this project had I known

how long it would take. Flour on my pants,

on the floor, on the table.


Six hours later, nearly midnight, my daughter

and I baste the chilled triangles with water,

sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar,

then put them in the oven at last. We are tired,

but the house fills with the sweet scent

of baking apple, the home-rich scent of crust.


What is life, but a big project we are in the middle of?

A project I’m in no hurry to finish.

In fact, these days are like puff pastry dough,

guiding me to take it slow, slower, to rest

between steps. I haven’t read all the directions.

For now I am laughing. It’s so much more

than I thought I was in for. But I’m here,

hands ready. I’m willing to work, to clean up the mess.



  • photo by Finn Trommer

Read Full Post »

Not the What but the How




Mostly, we forget.

Mostly, the singular moments

that felt so important—

remarkable, even—

slip like raindrops

into a pond.


Most of my life

is blur, is watercolor.

But let me clearly remember

tonight, dying my daughter’s

hair blue, singing along

to the radio, laughing

about nothing in particular.


What I want to remember

is how little it takes

to make a moment light up

from within, light up

like dew infused by the sun—

each moment a teacher,

our own home the temple.


Read Full Post »



And what did you do with your lost hour?

            —Harry Teague



Well, I didn’t sleep, that’s for sure,

nor did I bake bread. Didn’t practice piano

or write a poem, skate ski or do sumo squats.


Neither did I throw javelins.

Nor fake my own death in a gruesome car accident,

nor steal modern art nor moon rocks nor whiskey.


I didn’t spelunk. Didn’t sink in a ship.

Didn’t crawl through the sewer.

Didn’t get a tattoo. Didn’t twerk.


Perhaps there was part of me

that did what I am always trying to do—

untether from time and lose all sense


of who I am and what I think and

what comes next and how it’s supposed to be—

yeah, I’d like to believe that for a lost hour


perhaps some part of me thrived and joined

with the universe so completely that it knew itself

as the dawn that comes when it comes.

Read Full Post »

One Simultaneous




driving white knuckled

in the blizzard, meanwhile

a white camellia blooms

Read Full Post »

One Almost Miss



catching the plane—

five hours later this heart

still rushing to the gate

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: