friday’s self-reflections
September 30, 2011

Things that float

there is a heart beat
sending out ripples underwater.
This heart is a manatee
encased in its mother’s womb,
dreaming of murky waters.
It moves and the waters tremor,
she breathes and
her bubbles disturb tranquil surfaces.
(let it out, let it out, let it out)

there is something held in a hand:
a chestnut,
smooth in its oils,
touched by the same fingers
morningly and nightly,
over over and over.
It is sometimes in the pocket,
sometimes nestled in the palm.
(let it out, let it out, let it out)

there are things within other things.
I am one of those things.
I am between ribs and fingers,
between mirrors and bathroom doors.
I cannot breathe underwater
but I can swim.
I have air within me.
(let it out, let it out, let it out)


free verse
May 1, 2011


Fall away from the world
and from your limbs;
believe in the promise of relief,
if you can,
and conceive the significance of the sieve
that tries to hold everything in
but through every tiny hole,
lets everything go.
You, with your sieve-fingers
that can hold onto nothing,
trip yourself tiredly on
and step past all the things
you have left behind,
all the words you have let slip
through every tiny hole in your mind.
They are the things that water every
portrait of spring planted in April;
they are the things that hail the
post-apocolyptically pre-dawn darkness
that will come when you have
let every ray of sunlight slip
silently between your
pointer and middle fingers.
You, when you have let slip
every magic word you know,
float up past yourself
to the level of the clouds where
your words have evaporated
and live as drifting vapors
for the geese to fly through.
Inhale them into yourself
again through every tiny hole in your skin
and when they have filled you up
to the brim and the tips of every hair,
fall back to the earth
and march across its deserts
and swim the length of its seas
and lose your words again.
Give yourself up to your sieve-ness
and let the plankton live
off all the things you let slip
through every tiny hole in your heart,
let them feed the whales with their syllabic bodies,
the whales who never see you
as you swim by
but feel the waves you leave behind.
You, let everything slip by.
You, you are destined to lose
everything and to regain it all.

free verse
March 28, 2011


I dreamt last night of setting sail
into a blue oblivion of clouds and waves
and the sky above me was the same
color as the misty blueness
beneath my boat and the night sky
and all its brilliant glistening dew drop stars
reflected off the water and I didn’t know
which way was up until I remembered
that gravity was telling me how to stand
and I took up the oars and turned the rudder
in some direction that seemed better
than all the others and rowed almost
until the end of time because in dreams
my arms never wear out but I knew
somehow that if I stopped the boat
made of tulip tree leaves and moss
it would fall apart and I let it
and I was floating between the stars
and the jellyfish glowing beneath me
and I reached up and took a star
out of a constellation and ate it
because I was all empty in my fingers
and it filled my lungs and veins and heart
with a billion brightly burning passions and
I exploded and woke up in moonlight

March 10, 2011


Hydrogen and Oxygen go well together.
They stopped caring about man-
made things with their first rain puddle on the concrete.
And even after years past counting, they are still making love
and trying to figure out how to make rain fall up.
They want not to lie about in puddles on spring evenings.

Their existence is so different from our quiet evenings,
their bond not quite like the way we are together,
even though we are made mostly of the same stuff as rain, being human,
even though on summer nights, to feel the left over heat, we lie down on the sidewalk concrete.
Because I do not say what I have for you is love,
but I am lying next to you every early morning I wake up.

Hydrogen and Oxygen are flying up.
They are dancing through all the evenings
of their lives.  They are lying with their heads together
in the cold nights when they are far away from all things human
and when they have left everything but themselves lying on the concrete.
They are wandering wild and are everything, in love.

Hydrogen and Oxygen are in love,
always.  They know the up-
ward feeling of their bodies evaporating from tea kettles on Sunday evenings
when they can’t help but be together.
They are embracing and dripping off of maple leaves, and, when no human
is looking, leaving dappled raindrop footprints in the concrete.

We never drew our initials in drying concrete;
we never thought to shrink wrap and flash freeze our love.
What we have is not so much a giving up
as a settling in – into our little life worn couch cushion on Sunday evenings
when we can’t help but be together –
when we can’t help but breath together and be human.

In the cold nights when we are far away from all things human
and when we have left everything but ourselves lying on the concrete,
let us wander wild and be everything, in love.
Let us fly up.
Let us dance through all the evenings
of our lives.  Let us lie with our heads together.

Hydrogen and Oxygen are in love with being together,
and as we give ourselves up to the concreteness of our humanity,
they, without worry, let their evenings pass by.