Posts Tagged ‘travel’

After the long winter,
we choose to travel north,
choose to move deeper into winter
to wander fjords and cobblestones.
We choose again the gray,
the ice, the snow, the cold.
Now I know there is something freeing
about choosing to explore
what isn’t easy.
There’s release, somehow,
in being on the path less warm
when it’s a path
I feel I’ve selected.
So I don again the coat,
the hat, the down.
I wander the streets
with their chill winds
and think, I want to be here.
And it’s true.
There is joy then,
in the bite, though some days
it goes deep.
Joy in being so present
in winter I forget
I could choose something else.

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Dear Friends, 

I’m back from two weeks in Estonia, Finland & Norway where my husband and daughter and I stayed in a medieval village (in Tallinn) and spoke with shopkeepers who remember the Singing Revolution of the 1990s when Tallinn became an independent country again … and then in Finland with my host sister and her family (I was an exchange student for a year in Espoo in the late 1980s) … and then in the fjords of Norway. it was such a wonderful rich time. Every day I wrote a short poem and here is a large bouquet of 17 of them–and now we will return to our regular routine of me sending daily poems! 

In the meantime, so much happened–I have podcasts and poems and videos and so much to share with you! BUT MOST IMPORTANT!!! In two days, on Tuesday, my new book, All the Honey launches, and I hope you will join me and my beloved friend Kayleen Asbo for the lunch launch, 11 a.m. mountain time, Tuesday, online. There is much more about All the Honey, plus the link to the lunch launch in this email just below the big bouquet of poems. Please scroll all the way to the bottom for lots of goodies! 

with love, 

Baltic and Scandic Bouquet
            poems from Tallinn, Estonia; Espoo & Helsinki, Finland; and Tau & Oslo, Norway

beside the eight-hundred-year-old wall
this yellow crocus
hours old


slipping into
the stone fortress windows—
thick scent of spring


medieval cobblestone streets—
how many dreams
fell through these cracks?


in the fuchsia voice
of the old shopkeeper
memories of gray


in the bay
the sea moans beneath melting ice—
perhaps forgiveness sounds like this


inside me
scent of cardamom and coffee—
our conversation delicious


swimming in the ice
with my sister—
our hearts impossibly warm


beneath these umbrellas
walk thousands of life stories
I’ll never know


stranger in this beauty—
every step a chance
to risk opening the heart


in the ancient church
saying the prayers
only silence can speak


every day it’s new
this ache
of missing you


after the hike
is over
enjoying it


gray spring day
all the leaves still dreaming of green
this bush an insurgence of pink


and if tonight
it hurts to be alive—
then be alive, heart, be alive


full moon
above the fjord—
even loneliness falls in love


calling card
of some unseen angel—
this white feather on my sleeve


letting it scour me
this ferocious wind—
becoming the white space of a poem

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Staying in the Canyon

I imagine the trees saying
it is not such a bad thing
to show up day after day
in the same place with the same
walls and the same light
and the same soil.
All that moving around
is one way to live.
Staying rooted is another.
I notice I want to argue.
I notice I want to relent.
I notice they have no sense
of lack. Their days are full.
Their heartwood strong.
I imagine them saying,
so much can travel inside you
when you never move at all.

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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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