Friday, April 30, 2010

May What I Do Flow From Me

May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back. . .

Then, in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing to you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Too many people are taking up residence
in a life parallel to their own
making me miss my children,
the ones born in another time
when motherhood suited.
They come to live in my eyes
causing the soft dirt beneath my doubt
to shift and stir.
And I wonder if this is all me,
in this moment,
if this is all the me's I'll ever be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Every Way Is Perfection

Every day
every day you come to me,
a lover bearing fruit to assuage the hunger pain.
Sometimes you are hidden in the forest leaves
or riding in the evening air
but always you are the soft curve of lust
that eases my doubt.

I cannot deny you when you come so clearly.
I cannot dismiss you when it only requires
the intake of breath to find you again.
I will take you as you come -
imperfect or stilted,
concise or clipped in tone,
sonorous or gently sung.

Every way you arrive is perfection.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Would If I Could

Maybe I could write a book of you,
reverse engineer all the steamy bits
and find out how you tick.
I would be that writer,
determined and barking at strangers
when they dared to call.
I would write you on an old typewriter
that clacked away the ocean's waves
outside my door.
Secretly, I would write myself into your end notes,
a road map of where and when we intersected
as if that could explain
how we no longer meet.

You would consume me.
And I would yield.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What the Lilac Blooms Can't See

I close my eyes
and turn my head
and let the lilac blooms
pretend they can't see me.
Eyelashes and lids
are smashed together,
and I beg belief
to make these trees
forget my shortcomings
(just for a moment).
I wish change was as easy
as a new thought -
which it is, in a way
and is not, in a way.
Lacking a path,
I have only the choice of
the next moment,
and the next,
the hope that I will choose better.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Where God is Near

From the archives, something I wrote years ago and found while going through old poetry journals:

Blessings from the moon low and bright
Comfort from the sky in darkest night
A holy song sung mouth to ear
In the onyx fields where God is near

Friday, April 23, 2010

I would tell you if I could

I would tell you of miracles if I could.
I would weave stories of laundry and kisses,
groceries and love,
and spin dreams so fine you could only see them
by the morning dew that hung on their threads.

I will show you the miraculous when I can,
squeezed in between lunch and evening tea.
It often sits disguised as tattered rugs on wood floors
and quiet cradling, soothing hands.

I will lead you to the sites of healing,
the places which hold the history of man.
What a journey it will be when we find our start again!
We will see that it all lies within us,
in the grasp of our imagination,
in the circle of our souls.

Every miracle moment blooms, precisely timed
for the heart's knowing.
This is how I will show you,
by coaxing every petal of you to open to the world.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I stay for hope of you

There is a pulse I hear
in the distance,
it beats with my stuttering heart.
I listen for you,
thinking surely you are close.
The room smells of dampened sleep
and fairy dreams
and secrets so deep
they wind into chromosomes
of thought and creation.
Did you pass these dreams on to me
when you left?
Am I playing some part in your
life's last breath?
I will stay for hope of you,
I will breathe for love
of the thought of you alone.
I will not break
even when doing so
would bring us together again
and ease the only true heartache
I own.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mr. Owen

Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.

-Wilfred Owen
(excerpt from "Strange Meeting")

I worked in the library all four years of college. It was the first job I had ever had, and even though I was young and probably not the most ideal employee, it remains my favorite job still. I was in college just as the Internet was coming into being, so there was still a nice piece of time when people still did actual research with books. When out and about in town, I got used to people looking at me and cocking their head sideways a bit, wondering where they knew me from. "Oh, you're the Library Girl" they would say. It always made me smile.

When I was shelving books, I always had the habit of reading the first and the last sentence of a book. Sometimes, they were funny as hell. Sometimes dull, too. It was in one of the books I put away that I first came across Wilfred Owen. There is something in his talk of war that speaks to me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The Empress card rules strong tonight
in dusk and wheat fields,
the womb of motherhood.
Even moons hang low,
four edges to tell a fortune
of power not claimed
and wolves chained close
to broken hearts.

You stand apart, the King of Cups
with eyes that sting from seeing justice blind
but calm the barrenness
that comes with age
and tell me it is not my fate.
I will swing a crooked sword for you, my love
and not lose faith when empires fall.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Holy Doubt

I think that I have no poetry in me today,
no stillness to beg the muse to come,
no holy attentive sight
to place the ordinary things
in shrine shrouded garlands of thought.

Instead I have doubt,
a freshly caught trout
all gaping maw and flapping gills
and dying
as it's brought into the light.

I will rend it from bone
and swallow it whole.

Maybe it will be my holy thing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Love So Fierce

There's a fingernail moon
hanging by fire smoke ashes in the air
while the sweet dusk surrounds us
on the night lake.
There are familiar voices
to sing us quiet
and patient hands
to stroke our backs.
There are dampened breaths
and calloused thumbs
and love so fierce
the dark begs for morning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


Every day I put on this bracelet, arming myself with Rumi's words.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Call Again in Morning

It's late, I say.
Too late for calling at this hour.
There are still strings of lights
and bunting up,
still wrapping on the floor
and plates in the sink.
I see you think
for a moment
and push your gaze past my ear.
You see confetti strewn hearts
beating proud
(but bleeding nonetheless)
on kitchen tile.
You see the clutter and the mess
and the remnants
of the soft dissertations of love
that clamor still
in the quiet of evening.
You slip away,
promising to call again in morning.
I softly latch the door.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Where the Magic Happens

Thought I would share a peek into the books where the poems are stored. I would say where they are written, but that is not completely true. Sometimes they are written on post-it notes at work and stray napkins and scrap paper from art projects. But I try to wrangle them all into the same few places. I made the bottom journal from a Little Golden Book - The Little Red Caboose. The top one I made quite some time ago - leather cover and a little elastic band to keep everything in. The pages are up-cycled graph paper, maps, accounting ledger paper, etc. I like it because it makes me feel very bohemian when I write a poem in it.
You can see that I tuck quite a few stray pages into that small book.

Sometimes the poems take a little working until they have the cadence I want and the message I want. I started writing the poem shown above (Twain) on a trip back from Multnomah Falls on Easter day. I wish I could tell you my writing looks this way because I was in a moving car when I wrote it (which I was) but when writing poems, it almost always looks this way. My brain is moving too fast and I settle for just getting the words on the page before I lose them.

And sometimes, like the post-its you see on the left, the poems comes out of my head neat and clean and done. See, nothing to it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Rhyming Sort of Poem

I thought I would provide a break in our normal programming of sad-ish sorts of poems to share a bit of whimsy I wrote for my boss today in honor of. . . some of the sorts of things we, um. . . come across. It is not so much good as it is written in a rush with the help of a rhyming dictionary. When I e-mailed it to her, here is what I said:

Here is my poem
In your inbox so full
It kind of sucks,
That’s not any bull.
But quick it was written
On post-its and such
Between questions and answers,
Dr pepper and lunch.

And without further ado, here it is:

If I knew all
the kinds of Not Looking
and had a list handy
to reference and check,
I might see then
how you use so many
with whimsy and flight
and ne’er a regret.

There’s the Just Walking By
(you’re so good at that one)
and the Look But Not Read
(you’re skilled here as well).

There’s shouting and marching
and stomping your feet,
there’s plain old Denial
and Failure to Cede.

“It’s the law,” I explain
In the most patient of voices
You say, “Surely, you’re wrong!
There must be more choices!”

I’m sad to inform you
(Even if I wanted to help)
Regulation is binding
No matter how loud you yelp.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You Call Me Love

You come not with the blue and red flashing lights of alarm
but the soft yellow of warning,
down the road
past blooming, ivy-covered trees
and around the bend
where my heart is laid failing and arrhythmic.

In the evening's dusk you are a stuttering slide show
of strobe light flashes, questions
and gentle probing.
I want to tell you not to bother,
that I will not see the coming of dawn,
that my heart cannot find its home in this strange world
but the shape of my words are lost in your boyish face,
drown in the gentle touch of curiosity.

On that empty, quiet road
suddenly drenched in caution and care
you whisper
and call me Love
and I let go.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Ridge

I am riding the ridge of rain
that pushes into this dreary street.
So much potential is held captive in cloud
and waiting,
waiting so patiently
to fall when every root
dare not whisper a word
of prayer
for fear the ridge
will cackle and burn away,
leaving nothing slaked
but the desire for more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I dig for you like treasure

In deep nights I dig for you like treasure.
For all I have seen
that clutters the surface of my world
is poor and paltry substitute
for the beauty of you
that has not happened yet. . .


I'm working my way slowly through his Book of Hours because they cannot be consumed so wholly. So many of his words are followed by a resonating "Yes!" in my mind.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hazy Lovers

I imagine it as a story
I will tell someone
(many years hence)
of how I took a lover
and explored the countryside of desire
with the abandon of youth.

I imagine him serious
but strangely light in my hands,
fire on my tongue
that lights the room
in a scarlet haze.

In my imagination
I do not see
my broken heart
or the drowning inequality
of unrequited love.

I do not see the years of loneliness
settled into brittle bones.

I only see
the nape of his neck as he bends
to flare as a match once again.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Measure of Days

It is the measure of my days,
this gauge of how far to push
and how to step.

I accommodate, I do not live.

For once, I yearn to be
and clumsy,
crashing valuables to the floor
in my exit.

I do not struggle, I only drown
while you sit satiated and safe.

The only thing is for me to turn,
closed like a fist,
against the pressure of your

And you would judge me for it,
thinking I am unkind
to tend so haphazardly
to my own soil.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Catch Me

I'm on the edge
of falling into you -
all light and sparkle,
an endless net
that spreads out over me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Pollen Sort of Rain

The pollen sleeps
from its raining days
running yellow
and green with the nights dew.

The music of a distant road
brings rest on its heels
in a dream I know not
for love of you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I am at the intersection
of my selves.
All of my existences
pass through this one moment
in which I am
Divine essence.

Monday, April 5, 2010


On the island
between my state and yours
green buds form
on yearly trees.

They reach for the river
that splits and weaves
among the sandbars
and cleaves
our hearts
one from the other.

These depths separate us, my love.

But they are held by the one earth
(in the grip of creation)
so we may never truly be parted.

We have never been so twain
as the island would suggest,
but bud
and flower
and leaf
in seasons time
to return to each other
as channels to the sea.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Your Love

It makes me the wind
and the bending bough,
the flowing water
and the ice
in one mixing sea,
ever moving
but unbending in permanence.

You have made me into
desert rain
that gives life to needling things
under tarmacs of blistering heat,
hidden crevices that hold
the next life
and the next.

And beside me
you are all bluster
and hope
and safety
wrapping like ribbon and salve
around all
my sharp edges.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Library of You

Tags and rows
of numbered things
like the list my heart keeps
of your smiles.

The smell of dust and ash
an our ghost's slight of hand
to bring the book of us
crashing down
on linoleum tiles.

There are hushed words
among the categorized tomes
and not enough room
on the shelves
for even one more
happy thought.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


There is a foreign cadence
I somehow know,
kept secret and holy
in memory.
My deepest cells
remember your name.
They are suns
within me,
dripping stardust
in hunger
to breathe your air again.