Sunday, June 23, 2019

Blue Child In Motion

 "Blue...songs are like tattoos / you know, I've been to sea before" --Joni Mitchell "Blue"

When I was a child, I learned
that not much falls from a blue sky.
Bored by the blandly pretty and never satisfied,
I waited on storms like rescuers.

When I was a child I tossed
my minnow-thoughts to gulls I alone could see. 
By the cold waters of Lake Superior one summer,
I listened for my native tongue from every shell.

Later, I'm not sure I saw myself or my spouses at all
through the bottle glass I blew with every word.
From inside whales and outside of any map,
I did find saving grace in my own restless nature.

Now, it comes to me with the red sky at night,
that the Argo and the Dutchman fly
with my childhood gulls, and if I seem melancholy or far away,
it is because I am, and have always been

this blue child in motion on the electric air of my imaginings.

for The Sunday Muse #61.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

June 21st (Green, Wild Green)

My yard is green, wild green
as generous as a lover two weeks past hello.
All of this profusion, it doesn't need me--
it simply is, bursting with itself because it can
and will
and must.

Not so long ago, these trees and this ground
was bare as an old steamer trunk,
empty as an attic. 
It didn't need me then, either,
even in extremity.
Any words or prayers I may have said were said
to comfort
my own mind. 

Lately, I find myself thinking
(as I sit surrounded by green, wild green)
about clouds that change their motion and mien;
about doors and blooms and lovers
that open and close, arrive and slip away. 
I wandered spring and summer until spring and summer were gone,
and now green,
wild green,
reminds me of what I never understand or hold for long,

leaving me lonely to the bone 
thorned by my own stupid and constant craving
in a garden of green,
wild green.

for the mini-challenge.

Thursday, June 6, 2019


Icarus, always out in the garage,
him and Dad fucking around with their wax wings.
Dad says, don't fly too high or too low, 
but Icarus has clay ears, he just wants to impress some girl.

What do I know? I'm just his sister.
He'd sooner listen to a goat.
Up, up, excelsior! Higher! 
First he is a feather, then he is a stone.

Here's what I am gonna do:
Men always miss the obvious.
I will fly at night when the sea is calm
and the sky has no distractions.

Up here, I can't tell stars from reflections on the water.
Is this my skin or my wings?
It's quiet--nobody heaving anvils of what-to-do my way.
Is it hubris to have my own heart?

I don't know whether I am rising or falling,
but I am in motion.
The ground or the heavens will open,
and I will glide in, Girl Astronaut, Queen of the One Big Try.

for Ella at Toads.


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Doing Dishes

There's letters in the box
and crows upon gate.
The boys stayed out there playing ball
until it got too late.
I'll wash these dishes if you'll stay and dry them.
I saw them years ago and thought I'd buy them.
Here's that book,
you take it, I don't need it.
I fall asleep 
each time I try to read it. 
Remember that old grill Dad had forever?
And how he loved that crazy Irish Setter?
There's letters in the box
and crows upon the gate.
The boys stayed out there playing ball
until it got too late.
One fall you almost married whats-his-name
til Joe took you walking in the rain.
Things work out
and every leaf stretches toward the light.
The boys are all in Bobby's room, 
your old one on the right.

My best *Jane* Prine  impression, for "Summer's End" HERE.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Anniversary Of A Breeze

It is the anniversary of a breeze.
Sometimes I look into the fire and see
wedding bouquets and funeral flowers,
party invitations and goodbye letters,
all burning in the same flame.

I don't care about any of it the way I used to.
My loved ones I will see again,
and my enemies are gone--why hate them anymore?

My yard brings me peace.
Every day I check the progress of every leaf
and enjoy astonishment that I am here
on this ordinary day, the anniversary of a breeze.

for the Wednesday Muse #9.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

I'm Not Waiting For You

I'm not waiting for you--
I'm just a still spot in a moving world.
I'm a headlight on a night road--
a moving object in a large stillness.

I'm not the same as I was
this morning, last week, or last year,
but my name is the same, and I still get my mail
general delivery, from the old clerk or the new.

See the sky? It doesn't care
if we kiss or turn our separate ways.
I'm not waiting for you,
but I'm here just the same,

seeming still but always in motion
like stars, like wheels, like a heart beating softly to itself.

for Sunday Muse #56

Thursday, May 16, 2019


She planted ice
and grew roses;
nobody knew how she did it.
Her sky was different
from anybody else's in that factory town.
She planted bibles
and birthed blackbirds.
Vines climbed the trellis
like acrobats swinging closer for her smile.

for this.