May 21

A reluctant return, a drag
behind the motion, why?

I still think of you now
and again. A year, five, a loss

of distinction, like water,
difficult to define

or bind. Is it because
I’ve stopped trying,

trusting blindly in gravity,
sheer weight of will,

pale and barren but
exerting some pull?

Another year condensed
into a drop, the phase

changes, properties
too, but the laws

are adhered to (but
which? but whose?)

If the night were a note
I think it would be low. And

if I were a moon I think
by now I’d know.

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May 17

Robber jay
soft gray to belie

an edge
a storm of feathers

around a head
to take

from a hand
like that

so flagrantly
and to plan

the thievery
in pairs

in silent skeletal
trees rising

below this scraggy
summit

against a bare sky
no view no hint

of the drop
just mist

bright like bleach
and to live without fear

is to be free yes
unless

you’re casting it off
onto others

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May 11

Thinking of a river, thinking
of a lake, of water, cool and far
from here, and of passage,
if not arrival, of what comes
after endings, and also
beginnings, what’s beyond,
what’s more–

Thinking of the forest floor,
gestalt of cast off needles
and moss, how gracefully
it accepts a weight, gives way
but doesn’t break, and with
each year how it grows– in place.

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May 5

In the distance the sky
a turgid pewter gray

to a lowering blue but
here it was just a bit

of wind
and waiting–

.

Catatonic in the elevator
the woman said how is your day

going my husband just fell twelve
feet but he’s going to be ok

I think he’s in surgery now
and asked for positive vibes

.

It never did thunder
so I did instead

but a peal or an appeal
it’s hard to say

.

It always is

.

Especially here

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May 3

Waking in a city of birds
a scaffolding of songs
scrapings in the gutter
guttural divine calls
beyond the open window
half-closed curtains half
-closed eyes the only way
to know the ephemeral
nothing quite present
slow departure slow
arrival this one beginning
among many others and
a motion not a place

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April 26

To fill a void
one must first

acknowledge
it exists–

and failing
that expansion

must go outward
unbindable

highway 2
at dawn

a woman possessed
but even at

these new falls
bigger than the last falls

even with their
most conclusive roar

and electric moss
rocks and clean air

I still think here
here’s where

that hiker fell in
and went over

yes nature giving
but yes nature taking

away even at the lake
the clouds never burned

off chilly
and hesitating

and so we parted ways
earlier than expected

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April 20

I know it’s a glacial lake
hence the hue–

unearthly erethral
more green than

blue I had seen
photos imagined it

for days and when
I went it looked

the same but
of course different

it’s a trick
being too well-versed

in imagination
I sometimes think

I know every thing
but then the tell

like some alpine
salamander

swimming out past
the wreck of

some half
-submerged log

casting tiny
ripples

minuscule shadows
but what a delight–

and the heard
not seen avalanches

cascading off
a semi-distant peak

all at once both sharp
and dull and I know

there’s still room
in this heart of mine

but oh what a ways
I go these days

to find
it–

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April 14 (NaPoWriMo experiment)

[A dialogue of self and houseplants]

I:
I gave all the orchids away
too intolerant of their constant
demands

Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium:
We were victims of your
inconsistency–

a season of doting
and then, the droughts

I:
I bought small cacti
to replace them

trading bristles and spines
for fragile delicacy

Escobaria vivipara:
And yet you’ve only
just noticed

that our flowers
are fake–

dried crimson
hot-glued in place

for shame

I:
And the lovely jade
in the antique pot

has rotted,
twice

Crassula ovata:
And yet I never died
each gummy stem

each fat-thumbed leaf
you saved and rooted

to form new plants

I:
A boundary then
between neglect

and outright death
needing a sign of distress

to break through
the too-full days

Schlumbergera:
A disappointment
at Christmas,

my namesake,
but in April now

a shocking surprise–
I defy convention

with my cascades of blooms
so it’s not only dire

things that catch
your eye–

such joy for
the unanticipated

the unanticipated
and good–

I:
I could do better
if things were better

but this is a good
reminder, if nothing else

once a year things
can go right, so very right

they command attention–

Schlumbergera:
We gave a gift–

Phalaenopsis, Cymbidium:
And you gave us as a gift

Crassula ovata:
And living is forgiving

Escobaria vivipara:
This is the lesson

Crassula ovata:
It bears repeating

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