349–Of Carrots and Diamonds

Valerian dreams come sometimes
after the sleeplessness that drives
me to this tinctured herb i drink the
bitter old socks smelling liquid wait
patiently for some kind of snoozing
calm to kick in relax i tell myself another
day will come through sun shinning
begin again my dream of pale carrots
reminds me of all the old things that
used to keep me coming back for more
that this accustomed life is far gone now
peaked old enticements to keep going gone
i’m gone too down some other road
not even the one that everyone seems
to be driving toward i’m alone again
walking on the high wall looking over
into Jordan seeing what those on the
ground believe is not really there
i mean what can pull an old woman
out of hiding and onto the stage again
a wildly orange carrot dangling
ahead of her calling again as in the
old days shining like a diamond in
the sunlight of this very day though
i’m impatient with this weary old
world i can’t wait for this moment
to be here.

A Different Kind of Fearlessness

The strength that’s needed is the courage of heart to remain undefended and open.”
— Jack Kornfield

And so we open again.
Even though. Fill in
the blank. We all know

what hurt feels like.
And how many times
have we wept when

a certain song comes
on the radio or when
we read a line in a poem

or sometimes for no
obvious reason. And
still. We ask to be open.

We find the walls we’ve
built and tear them down.
We stand naked in November

and breathe. And think
how lucky we are
to shiver.

348–Planet Poetry

i neglect this old friend such
a long run of poetic days
two other blogs steal my
time as well as learning to
twitter myself silly checking
to see if anyone in our cyberspace
world wants to hear what i have
to say, so much more response than
here on the lonely planet poetry
yet i can’t stay away long the pull
like a thousand horses harnessed
grabbing at my fingers my heart’s
mind my lips opening to say
i love you but i’m an old woman
often angry at the state of affairs
preferring admittedly love affairs
but spending a lot of time whining
i think of Shakespeare’s “Now is the
winter of our discontent,” as if he knew
of this time in my life and the world
as if his words followed us to 2010
and perhaps he knew the heart of this cranky
old woman who also lives by his other words:
“And this, our life, exempt from public haunt,
finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
sermons in stones, and good in everything.”

At Mile 4 of the Turkey Trot

Cast to the side of the road,
a single black glove in the grass,
its fingers sucked in as if
pulled off in haste. And finding
it here you might consider
how easy it is to lose things.
It has been raining and grass
is puddled and soft and the glove
is damp and limp. You may
consider bringing it home,
despite its uselessness as a glove.
You could, for instance,
write a poem on it about
how lucky we are to have hands
at all. You could hang it like art
on the wordless wall. The afternoon
is windsome and gray, and the cold
finds its way through your hat,
through your coat, and feeling it
you might consider how fragile
we are, really, covering ourselves
as we do with these clothes
until our bodies are seen not so much
as bodies but as likenesses of flesh.
You aren’t sure, really, why you
pick up the glove, but you do,
and begin to imagine the hands
of all loved ones that you love to hold—
and the world deepens right where you are.
The day is still cold. The glove is still
empty. But inside you, a warmer
thanksgiving takes hold.

Staring at Renoir’s “The Laundress”

The spectacular truth is—and this is something that your DNA has known all along—the very atoms of your body—the iron, calcium, phosphorus, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and on and on—were initially forged in long-dead stars.”
— Jerry Waxman

For the longest time,
it looks like a white shirt
in a basket, rumpled,
in need of laundering.

Until you get closer
and see it is only paint
on canvas, eight strokes
thick with pigment and oil.

It is something like walking
on a moonlit night and
seeing what look like traces
of tears, until we see

these are the creeks we swim,
as salmon do, to the place
of our birth. How we, too,
are brushstrokes of the universe

something like the moonlit night,
something like the shirt.