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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April 12

It’s beautiful so
beautiful but it isn’t

a friend. Turquoise
in the shallows

hints at depth
or deception.

There’s always a way
through even if

this isn’t
it. These rills

these standing eddies
like words

spoken without a tongue
unknowable yet

understandable
once you know half

of it is wind
and the landscapes

underwater
is most of the other

what remains
after that is equal

parts beauty
and fear.

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April 7

No pound of flesh now
but a pound of breaths

to be repaid
ruthlessly

unreasonably
but legally–

.

peculiar to lose
so much sleep

expend so much
grief

over something
intangible

pixeled numbers in
an online ledger

here and gone
quick as that

no action
required

.

I think I might
prefer the pound

of flesh
at least

it can put up
a fight (or flight)

.

numbers
circle my head

like dizzy
cartoon birds

(or flat-eyed
sharks)

it depends
on my mood
.

which depends
on whether

or not I’ve
remembered

to breathe
but do I even

own that
if someone

else owns
me?

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April 5

Loathe to return
from the sun-lit ledge
the valley below still
shadowed by peaks
and cutting across it
a dream of a lake
voiceless
for a while we didn’t
even speak just felt
the warmth of sun
the chill of wind
attuned and not attenuated
Emily’s right the soul
has its moments
bandaged escaped retaken–
all the way down
it felt like shackles
the hours closing in
again appallingly
close so terribly
still

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April 2 (NaPoWriMo experiment)

Strange to say a starless night they’re all still up there
god bear ladle monster man daughter

strange to think they also live and die
collapsing inward exploding out terribly
constant in middle age (and strange how none go quite the same)

and how we think we know them having given
them names still wishing upon them

strange how empty a place space is

how far away these sparks the speed of light
not speedy enough we very well may be wishing
on ghosts

photons from stars long gone
not strange however:

how we see ourselves in them being mostly star
ourselves elementally down to the fingertips
still used to trace and teach

Perseus Ursa Major Big Dipper Draco Orion Andromeda still

it’s strange to say as constant as the stars
(or misleading)

strange how they are more like us than we
might realize hardly eternal but older
than words and yet sometimes still

so very young

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