6/30/16 Dream-wake

I found myself walking on an empty road
with endless dusty plains stretched out
before me, as I turned round and round.

I could see over there, an intersection
and a sign, yellow, diamond, the marking
unknown. I, so clearly a stranger
in a marked but baffling world.

The two roads surely crossed, and yet
standing in the center of the ‘t’,
all of the directness of each way
came together,

all paths became one.

I mean this literally.
The roads up and moved right on top
of each other. And now they were headed


I saw the sign from here –
and from this everywhere
it was clear.

But if I spoke of it from here, with you
over there, you wouldn’t understand.

So get lost on a road,
and come find me.

4/23/16 To bear

The dates are so close together,
the windows so narrow,
almost nonexistent,

but not.

We honor their lives anyhow,
these souls who come for so brief
a moment, the ones with us
a day, an hour, a month,
or three.

Oh how much love is written
along these stones,
how much grief.

To bear.

To bear a being into this world,
and so soon, to bear its passing.
How did this one come and go, or this one –
Andrew, or Lilah, or Ala?

The bare slithering body,
slipping from a wet womb.
A mother exhausted, or in pain,
ready to receive life, and alas,

Or the ones that lived from
March till July, just long enough
to be seen, touched, nursed,
coddled, celebrated.

Or the ones that did not even
have a name yet, but are still cared for,
noted, remembered, gazed at
ever so honestly – baby girl, baby boy.

And I feel my own beating heart, my own
feet meeting this earth, the weight and levity
of these bones and chest
as I stand and breathe you in.

I, a lucky one. I, so near being like you,
or perhaps even moreso, the opposite –
stranded, motherless.
But not quite.

My birth spared us both, and now –
mother, daughter –
we feel the pain once more,
we birth anew.

Life’s unending maw, changing us together.
We, the lucky ones, we
the ones who made it through.

4/18/16 Naming


I cannot remember all of their names.
There is only this one, and this one,
and this one, and on and on.
And there is the way that the light plays
against their leaves,
the leaves shaping it, and holding it,
gathering it up
as the breath of the air makes it all
into a dance.
You tell me this is Columbine, and this
is Hollyhock, and this is Lupine.
All I see is light, light, light.


At three you are speaking,
whether understood or not.
You spell your name with pride –
You feel and are fueled by our excitement
over your proclaimation of how to make an H,
“down, down, and across!”

Everything is slowly coming together into
the world of names, a great big net.
Only sometimes, things slip through,
like when, in such excitement, you called
our names, around the table –
“Sassy, and Betsy, and that one, and this one!”

I’ll take “that one.” I am happy to exist for you
in the way that I feel the plants in the garden –
a shimmering, shifting mirage,
unable to be pinned down.

After all, aren’t we all really unnamable?


Everything is starting to simplify.

I see you, playing with Belle,
your worn wrinkled hands meeting
her fleshy smooth skin.

The cycle is completing itself,
a great spiral,
hers widening, yours closing.
And here, the meeting point.

Both of you innocent to the
complications of the world.
Both of you, alive and meeting
in that innocence, in a way that
many adults cannot.

Yes, for you, there is only this
one bright moment;
everything else forgotten,
everything else unknown.

12/5/15 Two salamanders

Two salamanders
dug into the mud on
the freshly rained road.
Tire tracks marking the path
of carelessness.

And isn’t it so?
After all, we call
the fallen ones

We, us, far too
casual about the
lives of others.

The carelessness itself
a war on our hearts.

Silent. Deadly.

11/13/15 Here are the trees

Here are the trees,
all beset in lovelight.

The leaves, grown dark,
are quieting –

their pitch of activity now
a low hum, soon to be silent.

And I, a mammal,
who has been given

feet instead of roots
am playful and rising

in the cool evening air,
running, spinning

wheeling on this hilltop,
body singing –

for how could I not play
and laugh with this world,

so wholly given in mystery.

11/13/15 Sister Spider

A floating line cast
    out into the world,
        so light it floats, adrift
            in the soft hush of dusk.

The smallest filaments
    invisible, and only
        where it has clumped up,
            overlapping itself

in it’s tidal ribboning,
    has it become thick enough
        to be seen, a white tightrope,
            only not tight at all, but fluid,

wafting out from this
    twig into the sky – a bridge
        to the soft pink and deep
            black horizon.

And she – this tiny being,
    so small I nearly missed her –
        dangles down. My mind knows
            that she is held there

by a similar
    thread – but I could
        swear she is verily
            suspended in midair

by nothing but her
    own lightness
        of being.

11/13/15 Voraciousness

I cannot
help myself.

One mouthful
after another
the need
of the body
making itself
heard, and
my hands,
giving without

summoning up
this unquestionable

I am called
by my bodily
and by
this deep

Oh earth,
what blessings
you have
given me:
hunger, appetite
and all manner
of beings who
answer that
giving life
my blood,
that I may
breathe and
live and
feel this life.

11/12/15 Step me into your hand

Step me into your hand.
I cannot help but rush forward,
with such ferocity, such abandon
of all control.

You, this earth, you have
given me the power
to feel and you
have unlocked my voice.

My feet carry me onto
your palm, the hillock
by your thumb, looking out
to the fire-lit trees of your fingers.

Birds speaking, their
small bodies alight and
at rest. The grass growing
soft with this week’s rain.

Another night I would call
this play of patterns
serene, quiet, even

But you have
given me eyes that
will not close and a heart
that cannot stop

10/12/15 Turning

Your brother and his wife, of just
a few hours, are holding each other
close on the dance floor, turning.

Here – on the cement slab that was
once your basketball court, now aglow
and gilded with flowers and lights –
they circle slowly, feet inching bit
by bit, around and around.

And here am I, under the vast sky,
watching. We have all gathered here
around them, orbiting these two bodies,
which are turning and merging beneath
this deep and bright milky way.
The stars in all their countless number,
each with its own orbiters – planets and moons,
asteroids and comets – are here in the dance,
turning – as are these two,
as are you and I.

Each of us is here just now, standing at the center
of an orbit of loved ones, that so surely circle round.
And all witness to the changing alchemy of
sky and planet and place and heart.

We are all so far from being alone.

9/29/15 “unknown”

At my feet in the grass, two graves marked “unknown.”

We do not know the lives that have come before us.
Still, we walk through and amongst those lives and their
sweet tendrils, the vines that have unfurled from a distant seed,
which is always beyond our knowing.

Who made the world and the lessons it prepares for us?
Where does this web begin?

With flowers left at a grave marked “unknown.”
With hands that have held babies and grass
and earth, forks and shoes and life itself.
Hands I shall never know the touch of –
other than by feeling my own.
These hands. These.

I come from somewhere. I come from everywhere, and nowhere.
I ride on an endless ocean of breath, filling and emptying us all,
so subtle and loving, a great pulsation merging to a hum –
singular and anonymous together.

This life. This.
The known unknown.

8/10/15 – I am the rabbit and the hawk

I am the rabbit and the hawk,
the rising tree and the flowing water,
the orca and the great whale,
the goose and the lichen.

All of these I take unto myself.
All of these I issue from.

The piercing vision and the crouch of fear,
the playful hop and the breach of joy,
the stillness of grounded root and the ceaseless movement,
the borderless lover and the sensitive breather.

None that I touch is outside of myself.
None that I feel is beyond knowing.

She holds and pierces us all – a sword right
through the heart – and delivers us to the
present in all its joy and pain.
Love. Mother.

Do your work, the Great Work.