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Posts Tagged ‘vulnerability’

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Every year the pussy willows

surprise me with their willingness

to be soft in a time when the rest

of the world is stick-ish and harsh and bare.

 

There they are beside the low stream,

fluffy silver tufts, furry, silken, new.

But the velvet has purpose: protective hairs

grown to guard an imminent bloom.

 

I notice today how fear is like

the stiff casing from which the pussy willows

have emerged—necessary for a time,

until the tough shell no longer fits.

 

Sometimes softness is the key to survival.

I feel it today in myself—the courage

to shed what is hardened and old.

It grows wild as willows inside us: practical hope.

 

 

 

 

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Today I wish I were a potato peeler,

able to remove the outer layers of myself,

able to shave off any toughness I’ve developed

to protect, to safeguard, to shield. I want to give

myself to you, the inner sweetness,

the tenderest parts. I want to unpeel

any husk, any rind, any barrier

that would keep you from the heart

of me. I want to meet you vulnerably.

Today I want to take the long thin blade

and make ribbons of my resistance,

make strips of my defenses and watch

them fall like burlap veils. And if I cannot

find the courage to be the one who peels,

let me put the tool in your hand. I’m afraid,

but I am ready. Be sure, love. Be quick.

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no ribbons, no bows,

no fancy wrapping, no box—

you, the very gift

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It wasn’t until I had passed through security

and found my way into Concourse B

that I found myself sinking into a chair

across from a giant Vienna Beef poster

and began to weep. And once they began,

the tears wouldn’t stop. Nor did I try

to stop them. I had wondered in the ICU

where they were. Had wondered

again at my parents’ home. It was strange

to be so level—not cold, really, and not numb,

but oddly steeled. It was a relief, really,

to sob into my hands. To let grief take over.

To be a maidservant to fragility.

What a gift to be sideswiped with the truth

of our vulnerability. What a blessing

to be baptized in my own helplessness.

Over the loudspeaker, they announced

that a plane was delayed. As if any of us

really know when we’ll depart, when we’ll arrive.

When the tears dried, I stood. Walked

to my gate recalibrated. Called my parents

again because I could. Because I could.

In the window, I smiled at my watery reflection,

how it almost wasn’t there at all.

 

 

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Searching for good news? Enter Think Radio–a really cool endeavor hosted by Alan Wartes and Issa Forrest–in which they feature 30 minute interviews in episodes of Think People, Think Planet and Think Business. The videocast/podcasts are all focused on how to make a positive change in your life, in the world. My interview came out today–the art of changing your life by choosing your metaphors–all about language, frames, the brain, vulnerability and poetry. I’ve been listening to other interviews, too–Alan Wartes is an amazing host. Worth subscribing!

Think Radio featuring Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

 

 

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tossing my gloves

to pull carrots with naked hands—

this, how I long to speak with you

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pulling on my mask

as my nom de plume

unbuttons her blouse again

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Standing beneath the pinion tree

I am almost dry, while all around me

 

the rain almost attacks the road.

I lean my head against its shagging bark

 

and watch the world transform from dust

to shine. Thunder rends the darkened sky.

 

I knew when I began the ride

the rain was impatient.

 

I knew it would be no gentle shower.

How odd to trick myself into being

 

caught in a storm. How often I choose the gale.

Small bits of bark tear off in the wind,

 

fall to the cactus, the dirt. Eventually,

I am no longer content to watch

 

and pull my bike into the rain. Wasn’t

this what I wanted somehow, to be

 

unguarded, exposed, out? Within a minute

my clothes stick to my skin, and I shiver,

 

in part from the chill, in part because

I, too, have become a shining thing.

 

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(title is a quote from Amy Irvine McHarg)

 

 

here kitty, kitty,

she says, crooking her finger,

her mouse heart leaping against her chest

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Hi friends,

Yesterday my good friend Kyra Kopestonsky came over to play cello … she has a grant application due so we were making videos of collaborative pieces we’ve performed together before. What a great way to spend a morning hour, reciting poems and making music. It’s a little echo-y, but here’s a playful version of “Post Script”. I love the way the cello underlines all the fragility–proof somehow that through resonance we can support each other in our most vulnerable places. Good luck, Kyra, getting that residency!

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