When North Proposed

lupineWhen North first proposed,
West was taken aback

Questions filled her up like
a new creek after the big rain

Was this a storm in the night
a mysterious blessing
or just my imagination?

Both thrill and worry were ants
climbing up and down
her love-drift spine.

Will I lose myself?

On the one hand,
they had a lot in common—
they both were committed
and deeply rooted
and had a lot of mutual friends

On the other, they were very different seasons—
North was a Winter Man,
used to getting people through a tough time
and could be no-nonsense sorta guy
and she, well, she was an Autumn girl
collector of colors and nuts
and crimson leaves and twigs in her hair
was her idea of a fun afternoon

and all he ever wanted to do
was drop them to the ground

And yes, North is handsome and wise,
and the needle always points his way

…all the what ifs
kept buzzing through her night-time bones

Would we be like two blue dragonflies
flirting together above the water
or co-dependent like mistletoes
strangling each other’s tree?

I speak freely now,
but without North’s deep connections,
who will hear me?

I can do what I want now,
but how can I find the summer of true love
by nightly descending into the bedchambers
of the Western sun?

And what house could be large enough to hold us both?
I need a big sky and a basement to match.
My habits are sacred!
I need the moon and shadows!

And then suddenly, with a gentle eastern breeze
Spring arrived all lit and innocent
offering her beautiful mansion.

Come live in me, she said,
and when my brother summer arrives from the South,
we can travel to the mountains together
and frolic in a meadow full of silver lupine.

And then a stirring in the body of the West
and a leaping in her hot blood

before she knew it, her left foot was jumping
and then her right—

Yes, North! Yes, I accept!

And when persimmon dawn blinked her eye open,
West took North’s hand in hers
and as Spring wrapped her arms around them both
the red finches perched on their shoulders
whistling their bright and purple nuptial songs


To Where the Windows Are Open

fotolia_7998602_l_sky-clouds-grass-and-open-door-resized_edited-1-700x250To where the windows are open, withdraw
but give up on all avoidable walls

where fences are figments of imagination
and rainbows are more real than nations

cast out the keys to the kingdoms
and let your eyes find their feet in the world

and the slightest gesture of dawn
pricks your holy ears

to elude the noisy net
that daily casts to catch

the dragonfly duet
of your pitch purple patch

Let the rhythms hard and soft
imprint themselves in your luscious blood

and trace the long-journeyed tree
spinning through the four gates of fate

a dance that cannot be seen
without committing to the seasons

Find yourself one day
on the other side of an audacious sea

the secrets spilled
by every gust and guest of the glade

and a cheek against the pin oak skin can
tell you the password again

The Last Poem of The Last Poet

IMG_0436In the way summer never catches up with fall
and fall never catches winter,
and spring is a dream of winter
that winter never lives

In the way that
each unfolds an invisible season
from within,
she went up to unfold herself
into the mountain
one last time

to paint the sunset of her life
with words of affirmation

and share some unadorned moments
where the sky has eyes
and the rocks breathe fathomlessly.

She felt the lichen on her skin
before she saw them

arching her bare back against
a great granite boulder
bronzed belly
sipping the autumn sun

“There were so many I never got to,”
she whispered into the mountain’s ear.

“All my ahitas, the little aha moments
and sounds begun but never sung
barely sketches, mere glimpse of notes
could not be caught, will not be rung.”

“A title is all they have.

A memory of a True Account of a Conversation with a Worm
Got her musing about the Secret Chord
that the Sun-Eater plays, always
One Shore Beyond Desire
in his Wounded Vision
Drinking Water From A Wooden Bowl
Until the Bright Logic Is Won
and the Carefully Calculated Collapse
evokes all the Sextillions of Infidels
and we shall all be Moderately Immortal.”

“Perhaps a future poet
will find them scattered on this mountain
and make of them what I could not.”

From below in the mist
it had all looked so grey,

But now, above the clouds
atop Mt. Parnassus
there was nothing that was not
overflowing with color
there was nothing that was not

Including the splendid cerulean Sierra sky.

“What a great word,” she thought,
as sun bent seaward.

Turning her body over in wide embrace
her cheek pressed softly
against the hard rock
warm from late afternoon
flecked with silver, green, and pink
like stars trapped within.

“The moments I fully met are enough.”

Her breathing slowed
to match the mountain
inhaling and exhaling
in the marrow of her bones

“All is sound and color and texture,
a great coming together
and pulling apart
when we come to this place.

Have I been brave enough to feel it all?”

The great western eye closed its lid
as it sunk into an unseen sea

and with a tremendous sigh of love over fear,
she too closed her lids
lending her final syllable to the Deep Breath.

The Earth Exhales

rainBeen waiting to sing you
sky song plunging
ocean oldie
making mud

been waiting to inhale you
breath of Mother
wet winter wind
scent of new
petrichor roar

been waiting to track you
on my face
footprints from the sky

been waiting to hear you
treetop woosh
giant raven wings

been waiting to dance you
jazz on laurel leaves
flamenco in the forest
tap tap on the tent roof beat
cha cha cha

Everything Arrives On Time

IMG_4391“It’s the wrong season
for this unfolding,
this bright and painful
spring apprenticeship
to cracking
and bursting forth,”

I whisper heatedly in the blossom’s ear.

Because, damn, I could have used your purple body-heart wisdom
when the harvest moon
peaked over pine mountain
high over strawberry fields

back in that simple season of music and fire.

Where were you when the caterpillar
was wandering around in that big garden
eating the wrong things and
stumbling over its entangled legs?

The blossom replies:

But does the full moon ask
why it wasn’t whole last week?

Does the apricot tree
complain of its flowering?

Does summer arrive mourning winter?

The big hard sun dissolves all
and calls forth new things
in the silence of summer’s eve

Perhaps everything arrives on time