Posts Tagged ‘weeds’

How Much Wider?

Tonight the heart
is a vase filled
with thistles
and lilies, burdock
and roses, knapweed
and voluptuous peonies.
It is perhaps not
the bouquet I would choose,
but it is what is here.
But it’s hard to hold it all,
I say to the world.
And it is. It’s too much,
I say. But is it?
And I’m scared
the vase will break.
But it doesn’t.
Instead it widens
to contain what is in it—
stems of puncturevine
and poppies,
leafy spurge and
delicate lisianthus.
And so I hold it,
I hold it all.
And the vase doesn’t break,
but oh, as it widens,
the ache.

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Sticks and stones may break my bones
but words plant thousands of tiny malicious seeds
that remain viable for a hundred years,
seeds that spring up in any season,
pushing their basal rosettes
through the rocky soil of self-doubt.
I suspect you don’t even remember casting
the seeds, but I have weeded them
from me for decades, tugged at them,
cursed when the tap roots snap
and the thorned stems of those old words
come back twice as strong.

Sometimes now, there are seasons
when none of your seeds come up.
Sometimes, on purpose, I let them grow and bloom,
surprised that out of something cruel
something beautiful still manages to thrive.
Sometimes those prickly bouquets
help me remember who I’m not, who I am.

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One Persistence




in my thoughts

a tap-rooted weed

sometimes I notice

its beautiful pink blooms

before I pull it again

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Rachel and I walk the dirt track

around and around—there are

goat heads in bloom, and she pauses

to notice how beautiful the small purple

flowers are before they become vicious

and sharp-toothed, hostile and harsh.

How much aggression begins as beauty?

I have no love for the goat heads, but

now, seeing them sprawling and soft,

I can’t help but bow to the paradox

that exists in everything, even these woman

who walk circles in the middle of the desert

just for the joy of walking together. Something

in them has  grown hardened and sharp.

They speak of it and weep and laugh. Something

in them softens into tiny lavender blooms.


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after pulling thousands of weeds

all I see in the field—

weeds I’ve missed

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One Conviction




in the knapweed field

a butterfly moves

from flower to flower—

trying to quiet the part of me

that only sees a problem

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I used to loathe them,
the dandelions, the cheat grass,
the tamarisk, the whatever
wasn’t what I had planted.
I’d declare war in the field
and spend hours hunched over
removing the dark green rosettes
and ripping up handfuls of grass.
And likewise, I despised
sorrow, wanted to yank it
like a tap-rooted weed.
Wanted a garden without it.
It is not that I would encourage
sorrow now. Would not sow it,
nor plant a whole bed of it.
But nor would I yank it out.
It is not against me.
Perhaps the garden got bigger,
so much bigger that there
was more room for everything,
though I was not the one
who made it increase.
Perhaps it is that I can see
how much richer the soil is
with sorrow tilled in, too,
how now everything blooms
more beautifully, even all
those golds and purples
I would never have dreamed
of planting myself.

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I am not fit to tend that garden yet.
Though I walk by it every day. Though it
is on my property. Though there’s a thriving
patch of shoulds sprung up around the fence.

The gate is twined in bindweed, green and dense.
The rows are long-since overgrown with grass,
oregano gone viral, clover, spears
of mullein, dandelion rosettes. I’ve grown

familiar with neglect, at times forget
it’s mine to cultivate. But there it is.
Last week, I stepped inside the disarray,
took one long look at shamed disorder, tried

to see a place to start, and quickly left.
I am not ready for that garden yet.

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first the stars
then all the space between the stars
slipped into my tea


dried and dead
I leave them in the vase
the naked tulips


every cloud
a love letter


hey poet
get out of the way
said the poem


bird on the wire
for a few moments
we both stop singing


the weeds gone to seed—
and who is this one
who thinks they are weeds


another door,
another door, another wall
becomes a door

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