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Posts Tagged ‘travel’

 

 

It was Concourse B that altered me

as I ran past old women in sarongs

and young wailing children and men

in red ties and couples holding hands.

At first, all humanity felt like a hindrance,

living hurdles between me

and gate B-14 where the plane

for Seattle was already boarding.

But then, and who can say why,

as I stitched past B-70, B-68, B-66,

I began to notice how beautiful they were,

the ones with dark briefcases and the ones

with strollers, tall ones and fat ones and

slight ones and crooked ones,

all of us constellating in the same place

at the same time, star dust

with dreams and goals and heartaches

and hopes. And as I wove through

the fabric of us,

I felt their blessing as they parted

to let me through,

and I blessed them, too,

with a thousand silent thank yous,

astonished at how different we are,

how very much the same.

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path through the jungle—

so much has to change

to stay the same

 

*

 

zipline so fast

even my shadow can’t find

a place to land

 

*

 

hanging bridges

above the deep chasms—

panic disguised as hope

 

*

 

a fourth star

in Orion’s belt—

in fact, a firefly

 

*

 

love starved—

instead of catching the bigger fish

eating the bait

 

*

 

dismantling the gate

at the chambers of the heart—

using the wood for a bridge

 

*

 

pouring out from the tree’s thorns

and army of fire ants—

nearby the ylang ylang spreads perfume

 

 

*

 

diving into the waves—

if only all chaos

had a trapdoor

 

*

 

beneath the waterfall

riding the rope swing, wondering—

does our joy release into the world?

 

*

 

meanwhile, in the rainforest,

the purple orchid peels back its petals,

reinvents opening

 

*

 

questions that start with why

are the hardest to answer—

the lizard walks on water

 

*

 

smaller than a thimble

this frog beside the river—

universe size, my wonder

 

*

 

this old oyster shell

worn by waves into a heart—

love this world, love this world

 

*

 

after two days,

the purple orchids are spent—

giving myself to the waves

 

*

 

the gray and brown wren—

its bright song a mailbox

red flag up

 

*

 

ten thousand times ten thousand

waves on the beach—

letting each one rename me

 

*

 

beside the great strangler fig

enjoying feeling small

in the big, big world

 

 

 

 

 

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We are entering turbulence, says the captain.

This plane does not do well with turbulence.

 

His voice crackles over the loudspeaker

just after the plane has begun to jostle in the sky.

 

I am not particularly worried about the plane.

The young engineer next to me in 14E has already

 

assured me that when considering safety factors,

the designers will double what is actually needed.

 

I am more worried about the captain’s choice of words.

It matters what we say to each other and how.

 

The ride will be turbulent, that would have sufficed.

Or perhaps, The ride will be turbulent,

 

it’s nothing to be concerned about.

The toddler in row 11 is screaming.

 

She would not feel better, regardless what

the captain said. Perhaps it is the mother in me

 

that longs to disregard the safety belt sign and go comfort her—

not so much for the child’s sake, but for her mother’s,

 

she looks so careworn and tired. I want to tell her,

It’s okay. This is just a short chapter.

 

I settle for a nod and a smile.

The truth is the world is full of turbulence.

 

The truth is it’s hard to hear anyone cry.

The truth is our work in the world

 

begins with comforting the people next to us,

strangers only until we take the first step.

 

 

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blue flax beside the highway,

ten thousand bridal bouquets—

 

each moment of the journey

saying, “marry me”

 

*

 

said the mama heron,

no more crawling

when you were made to fly

 

 

*

 

IMG_0757

surprised by the mama grizzly—

one hand on the car door,

the other focuses the camera

 

*

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in a field of avalanche lilies

each one

the most exquisite

 

*

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clapping for Old Faithful—

thrilling at predictable

astonishment

 

*

 

sleeping in a puppy pile

between my grown children—

oddly glad for cold nights

 

*

 

morning alarm—

raindrops on the tent

each one pressing snooze

 

*

IMG_0426

june snowstorm—

the morning takes its bikini for a drive

and slips into a hot springs

 

*

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searching every meadow for moose—

missing it like that kiss

from the boy I never kissed

 

*

 

a whole week

with no blue—

relying on the places

I’ve tattooed sky

on my inner walls

 

*

IMG_0230

seventh day in Yellowstone—

just another glorious herd of bison

and their perfect golden calves

 

*

 

the sing-along of a thousand miles—

even Julie Andrews asks

are we there yet?

 

*

 

said the desert,

you can’t smell the sage

going sixty

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One Dare

 

 

 

gas tank shows empty

and me in the mood

to play chicken

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Hi poetry friends, we’re back from a couple of weeks in the sun. Here are some tropical haikulings from our travels …

 

 

 

no answers in the sunset—

watching it redden

I forget the question

 

*

 

a warm wind blows north

thoughts become clouds—

I chase their shadows

 

*

 

enormous spider!

or just a scrap of leaf—

the heart leaps just in case

 

*

 

years after the wreck

returning to the wreck

this time with anticipation

 

*

 

this body

a million million doors

all of them swung wide

 

*

 

the further I swim from shore

the clearer the ocean’s invitation—

keep swimming

 

*

 

on the heart’s cracking walls

such tender graffiti—

you were made to love like this

 

*

 

the surf and I reach

for the same pink shell—

all day we play for keeps

 

*

 

in white sand

my fingers trace vague outlines—

what is and what is not here

 

*

 

butterfly farm—

everywhere I look

life reinventing itself

 

*

 

diving into clear water

I change from swimmer to wave—

gentle communion

 

*

 

in the arms of dawn

waking to unfamiliar birdsong—

oh rising urge to sing a new song

 

*

 

white underfeathers

of the osprey soaring—

my heart comes out of hiding

 

*

 

with a drill sergeant voice

he clips out orders for meditation—

deep peace arrives right on time

 

*

 

imaginary

this last piece of key lime pie—

still, we vote for who gets it

 

*

 

hold back, my friend says

but I fall relentlessly open—

red red hibiscus

 

*

 

after two weeks away

new birds outside my window—

or perhaps new ears

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United

 

 

 

 

For three and a half hours,

the man in 25 D and I

sit beside each other

and do not speak.

Somewhere, I like to imagine,

is a woman who wishes

that it were she

who got to be the woman

sitting in 25 E. I wonder

what she is doing right now,

perhaps twirling a strand

of her hair and remembering

the way his voice warms

when he says her name.

It occurs to me

that in every seat is a human

who loves and who wants

to be loved. A plane

of lovers, we are,

all of us politely minding

our elbows, traveling

with our seatbelts low

and tight across our laps.

And though we’ve never

met before and will likely

never meet again, and though

we may not even speak

to each other as we fly, just

think of it, all that love

traveling across the country

through a turbulent sky.

 

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heart leaf in the virgin islands

astonished by waves
turquoise beyond turquoise—
even astonishment deepens

*

never reaching
the destination they say—
but perhaps this is closer

*

in the passion flower
an enormous dark bumble bee—
smelling lemon flowers instead

*

from how far away
is it swelling even now—
the next wave

*

carrying disappointment
down to the beach—
this, too, goes on the altar

*

amidst palm fronds,
exotic fruits, red hibiscus—
my shoes still size 9

*

with snorkel and mask
the same world seen richer—
so, too, with poems

*

coral reef—
all my ideas of what is possible
swim off

*

before I loved you
there was a world—
wasn’t there a world?

*

after the tsunami
didn’t happen
a rising interest in geology

*

the ship can always slip
into the unpredictable sea—
your hand in my hand

*

scent of plumeria—
how many other surprise sweetnesses
yet to discover

*

holding my breath
beneath the waves just to feel
the rising urge to live

*

watching the white heron
something in me
grows wings

*

not one to knock
the morning dove delivers song
through the open window

*

surrounded by coconuts
I dream of eating
a cherry

*

wish that pickpocket
had taken this, too—
sense that something’s missing

*

beside the new dress
the threadbare dress—
choosing it again

*

dinosaurs, too,
heard this at sunset—
wind in the palm leaves

*

many times a day
I smooth your hair already
perfectly in place

*

billions of white shells—
falling in love
with their differences

*

staring in the mirror
someone else’s face
laughing back

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Two for the Road

driving through the stoplight—
too dark to notice if your eyes are green

*

after all that bad news
I teach the radio a love song

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Six Aimlesses

walking in the room
the dog sniffs the air
where the poem was

*

plastic bubble pipe—
what does this have to do
with infinity?

*

green exit sign—
wishing I could hang it
above my fear

*

empty dish—
the cat never worries
about her figure

*

no atmosphere, no
water, no life, Mars at least
you’re still a planet

*

in large white letters
the highway sign says MARVEL—
I pass going sixty

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