Star Struck

Today a blond boy on the kindergarten steps
told me about a man who pulled a car with
ropes that were hooked to his eyes.

It was to be famous, he said, to be
in the Guinness Book of World Records.
I am not the world’s tallest, nor smartest,

nor do I have the longest dreds. I have not
dangled the heaviest weight from a swallowed sword,
eaten the most cockroaches,

carved the largest pumpkin, or typed
the most books backward. But perhaps,
I thought, I could submit an entry

for writing the longest string of consecutive
poems on love. Or for using the word sidereal
the most times in a verse of thirty-three lines.

Sidereal. Sidereal. Sidereal. Sidereal.
I could impress the judges, perhaps, with how
frequently in a single day I remind myself to surrender

to whatever is. Sidereal. I have a rather large collection
of black pants, seemingly a pair
for every possible event. And in my heart

I have tattooed innumerable times the names
of the people I love. Sidereal. I do not have the most
albino siblings. I’ve not taken the longest

journey by tractor nor balanced the most spoons
on my face. But I have juggled a million million thoughts
of how much I love to hold you while I maneuver

through the rest of the day. I don’t want to be remembered
for anything, really, except sidereal perhaps
the way I sidereal am a raving student of joy,

how even when it’s darkest I am lucky to notice
a sidereal sidereal light, intoxicated by ten billion
teeny white flowers that only bloom at night.

*this image, “teeny white flowers that bloom only at night” is from Bernalillo at Dusk by Stewart S. Warren

271–Whole Earth Catalogue

my daily bread these words
i feast on the food i cook for
company here it’s mostly a
meal for myself typing in the
wee hours like this is listening
to what i hunger for all day
long long wait most always
i’m hard of hearing in my
other kitchen yesterday i
tried to quit the garden
marred by potato bugs
eating much more than
their share i spoke with
the gophers who along with
their other mischief had
pulled a whole tomato
plant with its fruits into
their burrow disappearing
my beloveds without warning
but today

Can’t Fall Off It If We Try

The path today is lined
with tiny strawberries,
star gentian, hawk’s wings

with their dark brown fangs,
russet buttons of boletus edulis,
orange chanterelle bouquets,

and thin wands of purple fairy clubs.
So much wonder in every step,
and there is no one to ask Where?

The only answer is here and there.
And we are both. And every step
is prayer, is gratitude, is radiance.

And aren’t we always on a path,
though we stray from the thin strip
of trodden dirt that bisects

the meadow, when leaving
the path is the path.

Parts, Yearning for a Whole

The river has shifted
since the last time
I was here—the
current now flowing
on the other side
of the grassy island.
There is a wide beach of smooth
stones where clear water
once was, and the coyote
willows have raced to claim new ground.
The sound is the same, in that
it is constant. All shush shush
as if there is some wonderful
secret. Shush shush. Shush shush. The scent
is the same, that fresh wet smell
that rises only at the edge of a river.
So not everything is different, I tell
myself. But everything is different.