Posts Tagged ‘travel’

The smallest change in perspective can transform a life.
            —Oprah Winfrey
They return arm in arm,
linked by elbows and laughter,
linked by memories of women weaving
and warm fresh tortillas and the girl
who begged them to bring her home with them.
They are the same girls who left,
only more spacious, filled with vast lake
and tropical rain and the generosity
of the people who live with little.
They are more citizens of the world, now,
having sat on the earth and around tables
with children and elders so different, so the same.
Having left in service, they return the richer—
oh sweet paradox,
how in giving of themselves they are beautifully changed.

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Why would she go to the beach
when she could vacation on Mars?
Plenty of sand there, well, dust, really,
but it’s almost the same.
Wild Rose wants an adventure,
not just a week of sitting on a towel.
Relax? She wants to make history.
She craves things she’s never done before.
Minus eighty degrees Fahrenheit?
She’ll pack down and polypro.
And hasn’t she learned by now to live with cold?
She brings her own heat wherever she goes.
She gives her notice to whatever she’s known,
becomes citizen of her own wild heart
sets her telescope for the distant shore,
so curious, so red, so new.

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Going Home

Today I am so grateful
we are the characters
who go on a journey
and learn to find the bravest, best
and kindest versions of ourselves,
even when the road is beset
with Lestrygonians driving white Range Rovers,
especially when Charybdis tries to merge
into our crowded two-lane sea
after driving in the eddies of the emergency lane
to bypass the long lines,
yes, we are the characters who learn
that we are responsible for our own soundtrack
and must sing to meet each moment,
must be our own sirens calling ourselves
again and again and again
to crash only on our own shores
then sail on more carefully, more purposefully,
our song all the more joyful,
more determined, and yes, more alive.

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Hi friends, I was off camping in the desert for a few days, then travelled to the glorious little town of Salida for a reading, and finally back home … here are a few small poems from the last few days … 



hell’s backbone grill—

the mouth begins to thrill

from two-hundred ten miles away




in the slot canyon—

knowing myself as water

moving through these walls




wind storm in the desert—

even my thoughts

fill with sand




this revolving door—

certainty, uncertainty, certainty





she sweeps the leaves

from the walk—

red carpet in reverse




waking in a blizzard

while in my ears, my scalp

still red sand



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I wonder who else today

in Concourse A

is traveling to see their mom

in the hospital, who else

has a parent with a surgery

gone wrong? Who else

could use some tenderness—

perhaps that woman in green

on the transporter? Or maybe

the young mother chasing her child

on the moving walkway? Or

the middle-aged man deliberating

over snacks? Today, it seems

so obvious that all of us

need some tenderness—

regardless our story.

And so when the man

in 31 C offers to lift my suitcase

and fit it somehow

into the overhead bin,

I almost weep with relief,

but instead I smile and say

Thank you, yes, I need help.

All day, I think of how

one small generosity changes

the landscape of the heart.

All day, I am met with chances

to be grateful, to be kind.

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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






surprised by the mama grizzly—

one hand on the car door,

the other focuses the camera




in a field of avalanche lilies

each one

the most exquisite




clapping for Old Faithful—

thrilling at predictable





sleeping in a puppy pile

between my grown children—

oddly glad for cold nights




morning alarm—

raindrops on the tent

each one pressing snooze




june snowstorm—

the morning takes its bikini for a drive

and slips into a hot springs




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




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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