When Mud Was Our Friend

IMG_6992Remember when we used to run toward the rain

back when we were in love with the world
and it returned the favor?

when we couldn’t
let raindrops fall to the ground
without our tongues
getting in on the action

or pass a body of water
a pile of leaves
without jumping in

and mud was our friend?

and shin bruises
arms drawn with scratches
numb fingers from
staying out too long

were love bites from the world

and just the clouds in the sky
could evoke a song?

now, is it that our only sunset
is the one that’s a perfect 2×4
through the Device
with Valencia filter
that we heart?

our only storm the one
we can prepare for
adequately informed by the “they say-ers”
three days hence
so we can
take cover?

the only mud found
on our Goodyear tires?

no mud shalt touch thy feet!

I’ve heard that once in a while
a happy moon person comes
out to play in the sky

but to see her,
you have to put some things away

I don’t know if it’s true,
but I might
take a peek this month

I just might even try
to run towards some things


Drinking the Season

IMG_6974November comes to the forest
as an ocean on the head

something finally dissolves
and a man turns to mist
as struggle takes its leave

most birds play it safe
but some brave birds still sing
the rain makes the kid in them
get up and dance

Their whistle and the tappity tap tap
on the roof of the 20 square foot hut
are the only sounds

though sometimes the man swears he can almost hear the moss
grow by the minute
greening boulder
and bolder yet

conquering the forest
with Greenness
and thereby
settling it once and for all

drinking the rain
as the night drinks the dark
and the man drinks the season



Poems’ll Cut Your Head Off

IMG_6958He thinks poems are angels.
You think poems are angels?
You think poems are angels?!

Maybe an angel with a sword

tuck you into bed at night,
cut your head off with a golden scimitar

Sweet things they are not:

“Don’t let the amber color of my beautiful words fool you”
she didn’t say,

but her eyes gleam it,
diamond serious

Lumps of Poems Lurking In My Pillow


I just stepped on one this morning,
wasn’t looking where I was going.
Ran into tree.
the last remaining old growth.

Or was it that I was only
looking where I was going?

That’s a good way to miss where you need to go.

One jumped out at me on the bus
and from the eviction signs at Here There
on the border
between everything
singing, “just let me live!”

I tipped my coffee cup and found
one clinging to the rim,
asking for a drink.

so addicted, these poems are
to being heard.

that they’ll even drop in on your conversation
with a friend
and interject their opinion, whether you want it or not:
“…..Loves Fear!!”

and shout at you for a 3 AM feeding.

“What’s so important that it can’t wait until morning, like a reasonable person?” I ask.

It responds, “I’ll tell you, how much time you got?”

“Ok, OK! I’m all ears, just let me turn on my solar lamp and put my glasses.”

It starts reciting before I can get even in a yawn.

Turns out it’s just something about life and death and love and rabbits and nostalgia
and moon and grandfathers and imprisoned people and bows and arrows
and pain and plastic shit-bags and teachers and wind
and fear and dancing and watersheds
and eagles and reciprocity
and justice.

Nothing much.

I go back to sleep,
but I can feel the lumps of poems
lurking in my pillow.

They’ll just have to wait until morning, I think.

But dawn arrives, and they’re no longer here.

Oh well, the poems hiding in the sky and mud and streets await.

The First Syllable

IMG_6045In the middle of the forest
in the part
of the darkness
you ordinarily avoid
an old live oak lives
with limbs covered in lichen
–fern green, pumpkin orange, gold–
a cozy jacket ember warm

ki* has a name (See Note 1)
but it cannot be told

among the roots
a beating heart
within ki’s chambers
blood bright as stars
flowing beyond sight

within the blood
a flurry of birds
singing “Yes!” in all the languages–the first syllable

when a herd of deer steps out
of the bird’s mouth
you will peer into the buzzing light
of each other’s eyes

suddenly you know that they know
that they are you

and they will go back to grazing
and forgetful

as you will too

whose blood is it?
whose heart beats?
the Great Oak, the One Star, the Ancient Stone, the Blessed Dark, the One Beat, the Cosmic Eye?
Who knows?

the Great Circulation
on and on and on

Note (1): Ki is a proposed alternative pronoun by Robin Wall Kimmerer to refer to people of the earth, to avoid objectification that comes with using “it” in the English language. See her exposition in Yes Magazine or in her brilliant and beautiful book, Braiding Sweetgrass.