Monday, July 21, 2014

Timekeeping


Your focus is absolute.
Your sticky fingers cup each apricot, giving it a gentle turn
to find the blush of ripeness. You have not seen the thundercloud
that’s slumping overhead, grumbling with the weight of rain.
The bird calls halt into an urgent stillness. In that hush
the pears become pendulums, the flagpole a sundial,
and Time slides by between canal-banks.
I barely keep from leaping in to gather up the water to my body,
to pile it and hoard it, anything  to hold on to your babyhood,
which has left you while I wasn’t looking, swiftly as the apricots
that ripen overnight.     
Already my memory fails me.
 I know that when I’m older it will wash away
and leave me clutching only silt and this:
a photograph of you at nearly four

running through an orchard in the rain. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Storytellers

We are the dregs of the civilized,
the afterbirth of ego;
loitering professionally in libraries,
alchemists of metaphor,
the most artful of liars.
Is a paper offering worthy?
For the makers of stories
are the keepers of all the world’s brothers.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Embracing Chaos

Today's blog topic (hi everyone! I've been gone awhile because I just had a baby) is inspired by a quote from a friend of mine, Enrique Pina, who told me once, "You need rabid foxes and craziness unicorns in your life in order to make sense." He meant that each of us must find a way to face and even embrace the frightening and the absurd, lest their unacknowledged presences warp us. I do this best through writing poems, although trying new and risky things (like skydiving a few years back) helps me explore what frightens me, and interacting with my small children helps me embrace the absurd.

Readers, do you make a conscious effort to do these things? If so, what are your methods?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Am Not Your Tender Flower



I am a weed.
I did not ask your permission.
If you withhold the water,
I will wait for rain.

Do not walk barefoot
across my arid earth.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

30/30: The Things You Thought You Needed



Those golden slippers will not fit you
after your feet callus from  gravel.
Your amulet to save you from witches
was hasty; it nips at your dreams
like papercuts, now that you’ve
started hoarding white sage, eyebright,
and rosemary. And all the men
on white horses that pass through this town
are looking for women sleepier than you,
who prefer their kisses stolen, not given,
who wake only to promises less pedestrian
than a dog’s warm lick and the thought
of sausages on a cast-iron pan.

Monday, April 28, 2014

29/30: The Blue Boat



Our tenants, the neighbors,
have purchased a sky-blue boat.
We live in the desert,
it has no propeller,
and they have skipped the rent.

From my window I can taste
the salt spray off the Eastern coast.

28/30: What You Gave Me



The best memories involve some blindness.
There’s a reason we close our eyes to dream.
Nightfall, or in this case a matte white mist,
your finger’s point, a hush, a fog-gray fox
who felt invisible beneath our oaks.

Each night, the stories, the self-respecting epics,
nothing with the stink of grade school on it,
another last chapter, until your eyelids drooped,
slowly turning your own words to dreams
as we held in our collective breath.

Dozing in our clothes, waiting for the moon to set
so we could match the punched-out patterns
in empty tuna cans up to the autumn stars.
With handfuls of constellations, we felt
big enough for joy beneath that vastness.

You neglected your yardwork but made a maze
through the head-topping subtropic grass.
We lost each other by flashlight each night,
hoping if we lingered long enough,
our bedtimes and the daylight world of baths,
neat lawns, and back-to-school would fade
like tired fireflies, our mother
would give up calling us and live a life
of clean quiet houses and grownup chats,
and we’d be left to grow shaggy and wild,
to live on berries and the smell of earth.

For my father