Evening Class with Cormorant

img_2118Coastal breeze at dusk,

Cormorant offers night class:

Sit and dry your wings

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Cathing Gnats With a Butterfly Net

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Everything is a metaphor for everything else,
And language the jewel in the our crown,
Yet words are too flimsy a net,
To catch their subject.

Like trying to catch gnats with a butterfly net,

Our antique gossamer handkerchiefs,
spun from fine thread of speech,
Tossed casually or in earnest over barbed wire,
Falls apart at the first touch.

Compared to a purple artichoke flower,
Or the tentacles of an octopus,
A perfect golden ear of corn,
The canopy of the giant sequoia,
The midwest thunderstorm,
Words a such a silly, subtle way
To express or “capture” anything.

Even the lowly paramecium
Is more real than these words.
But that’s what we do–our gift.
We be so profligate with words

Like semen and salmon eggs,
ejaculating nonchalantly without effort,
The vast majority never find their target,
Don’t fertilize, never develop.
Dead on arrival.

Even the most poignant poem
Or soaring Shakespearean sonnet
Is the muddy bottom of a mountain meadow
through which the real river flows over,
Forever beyond our grasp,
Like sand through fingertips.

Wait! but all that’s a big lie, spun from a truth.
I’ve caught myself in my own spider web.
Just a cover. like the spots of a leopard, the shell of a hermit crab.

Rather: even the lowliest adjective,
The most sluggish worm of a word,
The most simple sentence, awkward and misplaced,
Is no different than the horse’s gorgeous mane,
Or the horsehead nebula for that matter.

The kitschiest contrived love letter,
The most melodramatic sarcastic slam poem,
Is no less a marvel than the courtship ritual of penguins,
The melody of a mourning dove,
The mating of jungle frogs.

So flimsy nets words may be,
but like girasoles and sweet peas
striving towards the Sun,
they reach ever upwards and outwards

Picking Up Pieces of Herself

memory-laneshe picks up pieces
of herself
with a delicate hand
and a nostalgic gaze

looking back
to grow forward
distant eras beckon
through a thin black veil

she juggles
has beens
and what ifs
and what nots
with coquettish curiosity

all these mirrors
reflecting parts
she hasn’t seen
in a while

she reaches into
tattered pockets past
full of lint
and glowing embers
and old tickets to theme parks
she only visited once
and fortune cookies
announcing fates
flirted with
but not fulfilled

amidst the treasures
she finds rare coins
of value to collectors
like herself
who know how to appreciate
a good find

she knows her value

Smiling, she flips the coins
into the air
and slips them
into her newly sewn pockets
a savings account
for launching
her resurrection

Because Words Are Food

step 1)Choose your words

step 2)Mix them together and  taste them

because words are food
chew on them
let them roll around
in your mouth
and dance
over the tip of your tongue
slowly and delicately
when you want to savor
every morsel
linger on every flavor
or gobble them whole
when you need to eat it all now!

Sometimes words are sour
or bitter
but you eat them anyway
because you know they are good for you

Sometimes they are rich
and delicious and sweet
your tongue demands more…
then a little more…
you can’t get enough..
just a bit more…
until every sensation is coaxed
from the rounded syllables
every flavor licked
clean

until completely satisfied
swallow them
and rest fully
at home
knowing the well-enjoyed meal
was prepared and served with love

step 3)Digest

Apprentice

turtle-dont-be-afraid-to-be-vulnerableI began the new year
with skin
exposed to sheets of rain

and an apprenticeship
to vulnerability,
a master craftsman
soothing a tenderfoot’s
tender heart
pierced with perceived
ruin

no protection
because there’s nothing
to be protected from
no fear
because there’s nothing
to fear
knowing that once again
water rolls
through a parched land

the same trust
that sees
even the darkest shadows
radiate
like a beacon
signalling home

Haiku for Living Where you Fear to Live:

unfurl and grow
your vulnerability
and strength will follow