free verse
April 16, 2011

Telling

Tell me I’m a windmill.
Tell me that you know my design
and how nature was meant to move me.
Tell me you know the words to say
so that I will turn exactly the way I’m supposed to.
Tell me that you can move me in the wind of your breath,
then prove it.
Speak the words that have been welling up inside your lungs
like storm clouds.
I am not afraid of your bad weather,
and that’s saying something,
because they could name hurricanes after you.
But instead I am calling every flower by your name
and kissing every petal that opened after your rains.
I am licking every rain drop off my skin
and I can taste you in all of them.

Tell me I’m a library.
Tell me that my soul is lined with Shakespeare.
Tell me that you want to check out all of my volumes
and read them in the dark under a sheet with a flashlight.
Tell me that when I breathe in my sleep
you hear pages rustling.
Tell me that you have walked between my bookshelves
and have found the back corner where I hide all the stories
that no one is allowed to read,
then read them.
Read me and speak my own words to me so that
I know that you know who I am.

Tell me who I am,
because some days I forget that I have memorized my own lines,
and I feel like a foreign country to myself,
and my fingerprints look like street maps
to cities that I have never visited.
But you have left footprints on all of my sidewalks,
so walk down my main street with me
and hold my hand and remind me of my self.
And when I remember the feeling of my own skin,
I’ll take you down my alleyways and past my city limits
and show you the creek in my backyard,
and we’ll catch minnows in plastic buckets with yellow handles
and whistle at barn swallows.

I’ll tell you I’m a cello.
I’ll tell you that you are making
every part of my being resonate
in swimming startime springlight music,
and I’ll tell you that if you bring a bow
and if your hands know what to do,
you can tune me by ear
and play me by heart.

free verse
April 10, 2011

Awakening

The lightning is asking me to shout thunder back at it,
and the wind is telling me to let my hair fly long and loose,
and I am listening to the entire world as it speaks to me!
I am opening every window of my house
and beginning the spring cleaning
and sweeping everything old and dusty and dank
out from under the carpets
and over the threshold,
and the wind is taking it all away.

In the night when the moon seems brighter
than every star combined,
I will sleep on the dewy grass
and leave a crumpled outline of my self
for you to find in the morning.

Won’t you join me here?
Won’t you let me bring you close to my self
and embrace you with my long bare arms
and let you see that this is part of
whatitmeanstobehuman?
Let us be human together!

In the night when clouds blow past the moon
and cast shadows that remind us that
light must be noticed,
I am noticing you,
you and your green eyes shining in starlight,
and you and your feet stepping silently on packed earth.
Stand with me at the brink and
hold my hand
and you will be alive with me
and we will feel the life of every bird and river
rumble through our bodies,
and I will kiss you once and
it will feel like a thousand times.

Pantoum
February 6, 2011

Spring and Light

There is a man of spring and light,
and he never knows the reasons why,
but he is one who knows the night
and raises trees to speak to sky.

He never knows the reasons why,
but planting seeds, he knows they’ll grow.
And raising trees to speak to sky,
Springlight Man knows what he has to know.

Planting seeds, he knows they’ll grow
and that the rains will come again.
Springlight Man knows what he has to know,
not asking why like other men.

He knows the rains will come again
and that the swallows sing at dawn,
and, not asking why like other men,
he accepts it when their song is gone.

He knows the swallow sings at the dawn,
and he is one who knows the night.
He accepts it when his song is gone.
He is a man of spring and light.