of Cate Blanchett at the Hirshhorn

They look old, tired, sick
pornographically detached.
Past artistry gone over the edge
burnt filaments, so self-indulgent.

Mildly poisoned,
hypnotized by the mirror’s glare.
Apathy is one hell of a drug.

My madness has not been reckoned with.

When I was rock ‘n roll
I ignored my talents.
When I hold my talents
I’m not rock ‘n roll.

Eyes open.

– March 1, 2020

IMG_8714

Bird Bones II

If time were fleeting
like bird bones belied
by the irreverence of flight.
So tiny, insignificant
easily cracked and splintered
yet there they soar
triumphant.
Time does not flit
only we do
like a desperate moth’s
last dance
against the sheer curtain of dawn.
All in flight,
soaring and flitting.

– October, 2019

IMG_5323

Circus

The beginning of a morning
still life
oxygen molecules throughout
exhaled by the aspens pointing upward
a rocky terrain
but I have my boots.

Stepping up, I have no umbilical cord
just a navel, let myself let go.
Not so good at discerning
between boundary and defense
Le Petit Prince,
“It is the time you spent on your rose
that makes your rose so important.”

On the crest my own rose, I climbed here
with my boots
taking up space, demanding, questioning
beans traded and seeds planted.

I can still hear the music that plays
when Emma Thompson hears Dame Eileen Atkins,
“And death shall be no more, Death thou shalt die.
Nothing but a breath, a comma…”
Wit’s singular scene
planted
changed my major.

To earth we return physically
metaphysically who knows
But lives we feed forward for the ones
we leave behind
various seeds strewn so we can go,
gently.

Circus. Noun. Hysterically punctuated.
A ring,
a rounded open space.

– February 7, 2020

IMG_7668

Uncredited

She said she came so close back then.

Her driver’s license still shows the girl
fresh-faced, Native and black
when two more credits
meant mortarboard and gown
but that Baltimore Spring
early labor sprung baby
hospital gown for the fresh-faced kid
two credits shy to graduate.

She carries the weight
of her mother
three kids
a fourth enwombed
and two credits
leaning heavy on minimum wage.

She came so close, so close.

-October 11, 2019

IMG_9608

Leaflings and Breath

I’m watching the mulberry tree
exhale puffs of pollen
slowly, rhythmically
like a sleeping person pushes breath
through semi-closed lips
heavy and warm
unselfconsciously audible.

I didn’t plant it there
it just grew
strewn by the birds
perfectly poised against the fence
to block the blight next door
and lend foothold
to the invasively sweet honeysuckle.

Its leaves are ordinary
modest in the autumn
they brown, curl
fall without colorful fanfare
no blossoms in the spring
just pale green
leaflings and puffs of pollen.

Just existing here in my corner,
both of us rooted.
It indifferent to me,
and me watching it breathe.

– April 29, 2019

Image-1-5

Unclosure

It never occurred to me to grieve
the bricks, painted frames, moulding anno long ago
a crackling crushed white shell bicycle path
where fenced-in deer ate from our hands
Irrationally picturesque but real and still

Inconsequential but then looming hill on de Molenweg
conquering of which was once a triumph
my kid bike a boldly boyish green
our soapbox a plywood death trap
We courted danger with our legs outstretched
screaming like banshees
If you could find the pedals to brake in time
before soaring into two-lane traffic on de Eemnesserweg
Then you won

I didn’t know it was a severing
of roots and my umbilical cord anno a decade prior
just a Transatlantic bungee pulled taut
We flouted community with our arms outstretched
screaming like banshees
Intent to return with a new language and stories
of imposing sounding but kind of sickly Washington DC
We thought then

Here now, home in the dark
when the leaves smell wet and autumnal
Loss and detachment lightly sear
yearn for undoing, for pre-jump ignorance
of the disappointments yet to come

My small village an illusory womb
forever in tact because I left
prematurely and politely

January 10, 2019

40183365_959808104205712_5797635770000867328_o

Step

I vacuum and blanket
the seats in the car
He says it’s germs
but maybe just a test
I don’t care much, I’ll do it
How often do I mop though?
His socks are dirty
I have a lot of pets
so I’ll mop again

Can I make an experiment?
Yes
Can I help you bake?
Yes
Do you want to sit next to me?
Yes I do

I’ll bend backwards for you
It’s a good thing I yoga though
With that strong spine
I step up
and step up and up and up
to some platform
built not by me
that is somewhat solitary
Stand there in case I’m needed
Sit back down when I’m not

– January 4, 2019

d59addb1-b97b-4cbd-9b92-f261c3f9f4e1

Rest

Don’t forget
in the succinct blue bubble
exclamation mark at the end
to signal cheer
takes thought and effort
sometimes

When days take flight
January dove snow weighted
a dusting really
but cold and long the night
draws lines beneath
my eyes

March forward though
as seasons require
we’re grown
and days stopped waiting
for what we carry
long ago

Slung and knotted
heavy on a daylight budget
winter demands
we answer in sleep
but no time for that
little dove

-January 6, 2018

IMG_8220

Holy Days

A dusting
Fingers knotted twine
and beads
A feather here and there
catching dreams for Christmas
A place of honor
for the old train
he brought home history
Snowflake prints
left by boots along the path
to colors in the woods
Someone carried ornaments
for us all to find
Holy days

– December 10, 2017

IMG_7934

Storm Season

Beaten sturdy little sloop

Weathered vessel body

Solid planks and braided ropes

Frayed a little salt rubbed

Storm hewn etchings

Aging her ribcage hull

Sighing tides expand contract

Siren songs of seasons past

Not so distant harbored that

The melancholy doesn’t call

When Summer sails to Fall

– September 13, 2017