BIGGEST CHEMICAL CHANGE

9A42E4DB-4BEB-4AD8-8F3D-00B258FDDAF8Perhaps we should cry
when we hear it

or at least get quiet
and turn in early

pulling the covers over
the unthinkable loss

But we don’t
because the words
ocean acidification
mean nothing to us

How could it?—It has no scent
and no memories attached to it

No Beatles’ song speaks of it
and it provokes no oxytocin
or adrenaline

Besides, I can still buy crab
down at the docks
and watch the early sunbird
settle its wings into the nest
of the sea

When they tell me the bones
of the sea are broken
and bleached

Something terrestrial
deep in me can relate

But I can’t even muster
a shrug
when they ask me to stop it

Meanwhile, I can’t even stop
my own blood from curdling
when they cut off the power
for 12 hours

or my flight to Paris
is delayed
due to inclement weather

when they tell me we might lose our vineyards right here
in the golden state

or there’s a guacamole shortage

or the price of bananas and gas soars
it hits me where it hurts

I may even write a terse letter
to the editor
or some damned CEO

but not mention
I’m asking for more acid
and broken bones
with each comforting word

AND BACK IN AGAIN

4904FBAB-58B5-4D58-9002-33888EEBBA51Why oh why is the seed of truth
so difficult to sow

when truth be told
I want to sleep, I want to not live
in some big love dream

but close my ears and fall
like hail in this storm

down on the weak, the past,
the false notes, the hollow bones of me

Yet even now I sing off key

Because I’ve heard (and not merely heard)

I’ve walked (and not merely walked)

I’ve lived in that country
where there is no guarantee
but the great river’s flow—
in those wild green moments
I live like a king

Still, why should I trust you,
big dream heart?

whispering calm assurances
when you just might be
my ancient superstition

you must know my need to rage
and rampage
across the landscape

I want my undammed energies
to crash upon the four kingdoms
of myself

to cast into stone
all unworthies
then break them to pieces
for not being…what?

Everything is what it is

and my guttural utterances
are silver-lipped thunder
striking terrible certainties
upon the world

But you, my mystery,
amidst all that,
you merely open
your dumb, soft hands

more silent than midnight

and I, that I that keeps slipping

keeps slipping into them,
and out of them

and back in again…

MY NAME IS BELONGING

A0661C0A-A30E-4E4B-AA43-8E752AFFF30CThey say the first step
is admitting
you have an addiction

So here goes
—my name is Mystery,
I’ve been here
a million times

and Yes, I take heaping spoonfuls of galaxies
when I should be sleeping

I gulp in the seasons
whenever I see one one
sitting out on the table

My name is Abundance,
and I swallow fat Oceans
calorie-dense forests
and whole fields of lupine
when I think no one is looking

My name is Curiosity,
and I look under rocks
and climb through dark caves running my hands
against the wet walls

My name is Insatiable
and I chew
on entire mountain ranges
just to get high

I have no idea what they say about the second step,
I wasn’t listening.

I was too busy sitting
on the edge of the cliff
watching the sun retire
and caressing the bark
of the madrone tree

My name is Belonging.

NEW YEAR’S EVOLUTIONS (or the Art of Leaning In)

904AC6BD-C5CF-4D6B-A1B3-FC7E289A2E0E1)Surprise myself more
2)Scare myself more
3)Take more people and questions out for walks
4)Listen more and deeper
5)Eat more garlic and rainbows
6)Drink more wild world
7)Be big star magnet
8)Climb more mountains
9)Compost all the grey lies within me
10)Reset the big habit & begin the beginner’s mind
11)Dismantle preposterous-isms
12)Scream more
13)Take more cross-country trips with people I love
14)Get more scratches & bruises from bushes & animals
15)Start 3 more hobbies; refine three hobbies
16)Play more music with more people
17Have more conversations with cetaceans, crustaceans, and lichens
18)Bury myself in more substances
19)Spark the grand spiral
20)Be silent like tap root