Selected Haiku andTanka...
beneath bare feet
of my animal nature
soaks into my skin
on a still night
bowlful of night
with just the right amount
a sprinkle of stars
that taste like old wishes
of the unnecessary...
what we can do together snowflakes
for a moment
her face has changed again
a sunrise, quietly
paints a new sky
with his words
tonight I console myself
the last morning star
fades into marmalade
Waiting for an answer
I breathe the stolen air
and cling to the nothing
left between the raindrops
beyond my imagination
steady from seeing
taking years to surface
deep ocean blue
with toy keys
to lock away what mattered
like a grown-up
the morning begins
with a shower
she asks for hers
in birdsong, hugs, coffee, purrs
and greens: both yellow and blue
alpine lake I wade into fireflies
feels like forever
return like old love
to prove the sunshine
just in time
for it to be over
the moon winks a crescent
then opens again
I had a winter once
it became a new spring
it grew its days to blooming
and greened most everything
the numbered days
my simple mind can hold
the rich Earth
dreams written in the dark I decipher scratches
adjusts its position
colors of spring
push through the soil
how many times
will the birds
I am a snapshot of now,
without the struggle or
as a flower in a vase,
I am cut roots, observing
and waiting for rain.
A still life of me
pinned to a scaffold,
a butterfly folded
in silent gaze –
exhibiting the shape but
not the substance.
A mannequin posed
in perpetual curtsey.
She would lie on the grassy hill –
The feel of the Earth behind her –
as they fell
They sailed through constellations –
She led the way fearlessly –
and flying free
Her sadness dissolved like the sky at dusk –
filled her with suns
The Fear of It
They say that
to something inevitable
makes it seem worse
than it is. Maybe the trick
is to give in,
try to increase the worry,
bend like a tree in the storm,
give pain its due,
find the center of it and look at it plainly,
turn it carefully
in the palm of your hand,
and realize it can own only so much
unless you give it more.
It is a balloon
that can get only so big.
Anything more is just the fear of it.
Being a Poem
I opened a poem – crawled inside,
felt its rough edges around smooth, concave walls.
I – the little spoon – curled knees to chin and speechless
in the warmth as I dreamed.
Cautiously, I crept out (time later)
and steadied myself on the Moon.
The poem still flowed through me like blood
as if I had been born from it.
Its rhythm in my veins brought a spark
to my eyes and a sway
to my hips –
The poem was everywhere I looked.
It was grass bending in a breeze
that traveled the world,
reaching with fingers of wind
to gently slip over its green length
from broad base to icicle point.
The poem was breath
as my lungs expanded like inverted trees
transforming atmosphere and lightly releasing it
like a song.
I touched myself as if touching the poem
with the mastery of self-recognition
only to realize that
I am a poem
that stirs the souls of the lost and found
before sailing like a wisp
of one who cannot be owned
A Heart Made of Hearts
A heart is made of hearts,
one from each loved one –
collaged in their keeper (that’s me),
an emotional cacophony
dependent as a colony.
What do the hearts do all day?
They pump as a matter of business, thud-ump, thud-ump.
Sometimes they meet for tea
to marvel at their filigree.
But mostly they bleed.
A heart so divided
is always mourning, always rejoicing, always terrified.
The hearts fill my heart like a project:
so bloated, contradicted and panicked,
desperate as an addict.
In this tapestry threaded with textured loss,
the patchwork finds comfort
while scattered loved ones roam,
leaving heart-trails through space-time,
like breadcrumbs to home.
What does the tapestry do?
It filters the flow, netting for a pearl.
It warms like a crowd huddled in diversity,
and eats like a vagrant in scarcity,
anonymous as a city.
I offer you my quilt of threadbare rags,
carefully gathered and colorfully stitched,
fragile in its hoarding like binding sheaves.
An obsessive curator of precious gems, grieving
and groveling to keep away thieves.
But all of this fades when I sail on your breath –
and my grounded heart,
heavy with hearts,
with a harmony that sweetly sings.
It’s been said before:
deep wounds are slow to heal,
if they heal at all.
But what if we owned the wounds,
the ones that became part of our ecology?
What if we stopped pushing them away,
even the boxed-up ones
that we tried to keep from our food-chains,
and in so doing, found a way to heal
Maybe we could swim beneath the scars,
clear the dark corners of the mind,
hold close the tender center of our center
like a precious baby,
feel the measured weight of it,
heavy in hand,
and let all of it breathe, finally breathe,
let the air come in and open it up,
and feel the strength of willingly becoming weak.
We could let the hurt rise up slowly,
billowing its mourning like incense rising,
decompress its darkness
like a leaky balloon:
releasing the nothing
that it once held to stretching.
The space that remained
could be a monument to those days –
days that are gone forever.
If we held it close,
we could listen to its sad song,
place flowers at its feet as we wrote it down,
then kill it like an enemy: with love, with love,
a dark sheep finally brought back to the fold.
And then we could dance, dance, dance…
just because we can.
I will surely rise
to slip between
the light of the stars
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