I don’t want to be the ant

I don’t want to be the ant!
Crawling my way to and from the ant hill
Traffic snarled in little ant paths all snaked
Through the world we can’t see from our
Small ant eyes. We see only the backs
of the other ants.
We know only our objective.
Walk straight, find food, pile it on your back,
Walk straight back.

Work, and work, and work. One after another
ants working long after you are gone.
Please, no!
Let me have a will to say,
“No, I will not be the ant!”

I will be
the bird above.

sunset while house-sitting

watch how the light slants
across the garden and lights red
the empty old vines
across the yard from the back
farm woods fields, the mysterious “back”
and notice,
the jungle gym no longer has swings…
when were they taken down?
years ago.
lifetimes ago.
feel the light grow brighter, hot
on your cheek through the glass door
like a warm hand
remember your grandparents waving goodbye
from their door on Charmuth
and your parents
top of the hill
low lingering light
silhouettes waving.

the chair

Even at 80 mph
I knew what the chair used to be:

green cushions with white buttons
it sat on a patch of astroturf
in a screened-in porch.
Faced a small glass table where
ice tea was served and fresh tomatoes were stored.
And in winter,
its cushions were stored and it sat bare-chested
braving winds that fluttered its
white thick-strapped spine.

Spring cleaning meant
cobwebs were removed
and the chair was bathed on the deck
with soapy water the kids
sprayed on each other.
The cushions were fluffed, tied gently back on for
another lazy season.

Until one strap broke.
The kids moved out, and
when there was a sale at Sears, the chair
was left to face west on I-95, naked
to the elements
and the drivers hurrying home from work.

alone with time to think

slight respite
from a day wrought
with surprise, I
believe this silence
punctuated with breaths
this alone on the floor
time to think is
an exceptional rarity
to be cherished
held carefully in quiet
long hands
with tiny spots of age.

[biographical note: I have just, in the space of one week’s time, found and moved into a new place, received news of my sister’s engagement, been offered multiple jobs, and been told the date of my half-sister’s wedding. I also eagerly await news of my cousin’s new baby and am dealing with the realization that I will be 30 this month… among other things! This follows 4 months of relatively static stale nothing after my life fell spectacularly apart in Jan. As you can imagine this quiet time is welcome today!]

an accidental spill of ammonia and bleach

just when your
guard goes down
when you know that
incredible happiness
the sun looks
your laugh more
contagious, when
fellas smack your
back and say
you are untouchable”

that’s when
a careless mistake
an invisible vapor
drifts undetected
into your lungs
and that tender life
constricts with awareness
and your ground
is actually air
and when you look down
it’s over

to pay attention is
the lesson my brother
pay attention.

to Alexi Murdoch (breathe)

just home from DC, event at the National Press Club (very cool) and a great lunch with a publishing friend. pleasant day to be sure! listened to lots of Alexi Murdoch in the car and was hit by this… scribbled it while my knee did the driving (sorry drivers around me!!) and here it is (song link is below)~

to Alexi Murdoch (breathe)

sitting cross-legged
Siddhartha I am
in that ancient form
letting all in my cells
escape in a steady
stream, imagining your voice
deep and beautiful
in that ancient chant
letting the sound of the song
sink me completely down
until you compel my face
to break above

and my eyes open wide
as the fresh air
rushes in.


Upon Reading Annapurna

For some reason, I can’t stop reading Himalayan books, adventurous accounts of men and women who have conquered the highest highs on this planet. I needed to jot this down now~ hoping it will lead to a more full-fledged poem. let me know your thoughts!

Upon Reading Annapurna

somehow the ocean child in me
has been consumed by mountains
striking blue glacier passes
towering ice faces
impossible crevasses and
threats of avalanche
Annapurna, a beauty I’ll never know,
doesn’t whisper or whimper
Annapurna roars her mind’s will
imposes all in her frosted shadow
captures us blasphemous ocean fools
and lifts our flat horizon
straight up to the moon.