Apr 13

When I was six I watched The Lion King again

The way I blew out candles 
was like the wind whipping scarves 
then pinching the nose

lifting the smoke like 
baby lions over a waking land.

The dark room would eat the fire 
like princes at a long table 
would engulf the sweets.
I watched the grey birds

ascend the table, 
watched the horses run into waves, hooves barely licking the sand.

The screen looked dirty 
in the bright afternoon light 

the color burned out as the 
little dusty wishes lifted from the couch 

I threw myself into my seat 
careful not to spill my plate of popcorn 
and apples 

I imagined how many birthdays I had left
how many candles I could get to
before I sat empty in my seat 
with no breath to extinguish them.

How many times I could be lifted over 
a world that could love me 

Before I knew my white privilege had given me
Jan 28

Birds Don’t Live Very Long

I like hearing the birds
teaching the trees how to perch 
like broken seagulls.

I like the fierce ocean
the fish dancing 
and shoring the breath they fly.

I like waking under bright trees
eyes shuffling the new day like playing cards
the sky is a million leaves away,

The patience of a tiger
counting its stripes 
and becoming an arrow for each one.

Young birds twice their wings
fly higher dive deeper 
because life is short,

Why choke on tiny moments 
when the birth of a new life is subtle 
To walk down the road

and look lovingly at each stone
to buck the smog 
and live among trees.

nothing can give you reality 
like the clovers holding bees
like the foxes carrying mice 

with gentle red teeth.
I live in a world that bites its own tail 
and heals it all on its own.

I like birds 
Jan 28

Prone

Night wraps the worry in unexpected paper 
pretending to give me gifts
Everything gets empty.

Oceans washing my scalp 
tides are certain, shells are not
The body is like the tide 
and the mind is like the sharp shells

I am prone to thinking the seaweed 
is biting fish

I am prone to dipping my feet in and 
imagining my whole body fighting waves

I am prone to taking a life vest in the water 
because I think it will be a boat

I am prone to thinking I am the only one 
slipping off the dock

I am prone to telling myself I can swim 
after almost drowning 

I don’t know if I trust my arms to 
handle waves

because I am prone to throw 
shell after shell after shell
instead of getting out of the water
 
Jan 15

How Many

This world looks at trees
and sees none 

How many trees have supported your paper?
Your ideas are full of tree dust.

How many trees have built up your home?
Your life is lived in tree matter.

Where are the protests for the voiceless?
Where do we sign up
to march for trees?

Because I treasure their silence 
I treasure the gentle leaves 
they are like wind chimes.

I pressure the silly doubts into gold
the tree is like glitter.

How hopeless can one lonely voice become
when the trees that surround her 
are thrown down like dirty cloths?

Do not wash your hands on trees
do not choke 

The tree
stands like a yogi
I sit at its roots

and become its silence 

 
Dec 20

The philosopher girl

The philosopher girl turns the page 
and pretends the story isn’t over 

The philosopher girl looks out upon 
a field of pollen and contradicts 
those who only see enough flowers 
for their bouquet

The philosopher girl carries her body 
like it is treasure 
The philosopher girl carries her body 
like nobody has ever told her 
it isn’t good enough 

The philosopher girl looks like a crowd 
and speaks with the cry of the many

The philosopher girl knows 
the planets must be depressed 
Circling the same path
each foot knows its place 
like the finger to warm clay
Knees orbiting jaw
teeth like headstones to a shattering voice 

The philosopher girl peeks 
under her own skirt to taste the blush 
a wet hand tries to return the blood 
a vulgar foreshadowing to womanhood 

The philosopher girl
lifts her shackles to prove 
Dec 16

With These Roots

One tree
was the tree I leaned upon 
while I had my first kiss 

One tree
knows that secret 
I trust trees more than people 

With these hands 
I build the soil around you like blankets 

With these roots
I entrust each pillowed seed in your spine 

With these hands
I force upon you union and temperance 

With these roots 
I curtsy on every stepping stone 

With these hands
I hold the sunshine to my tongue 

With these roots 
I gather the rain to my skirt 

With these hands 
I wish you prosperous tides 

With these roots
I curl your love into paperchain glories

With these hands 
I push you not light but warmth 

With these roots
I ask you to be mine 
 
Nov 29

When You Mark Your Grave

Consider what flowers will flavor your soil
what honey bees will carry pieces of you

Where your great granddaughter will sit
and reply with glasses of poetry to water you
when you are finally sleeping

Consider which birds will want to rest unpon
the head of your bed and which butterflies
will wake you again with churned kisses

Do not overthink
Do not think about it on the drive home
Do not think about it when you are cooking 
or shopping the next day
Do not think about it when you bathe
in your happy memories
scrubbing off all the grime and worry 

Do not muddy the waters you wish to drink

Do not think about it when you are falling asleep 
let it go and go and go
its getting farther away
 
Flowers sit on your porch next morning
and you wish you remembered what they were for 


 
Nov 29

Time Capsule September 2020

Long before you reach the sunflowers
long before the cement turns to dirt and potholes
long before the dry earth 
brings about her grounded suns

I don’t have the patience for you
but the sun is a star.

I ride the summer on dusty roadsides
drinking in your exhaust like ragweed pollen
you see me on the wood edges
too afraid to leave alone
too afraid to pick

You see me making 
once cultured fields my home
I am always the second place
hand-me-down worthy
middle child 
bottom class weed

But

Call me wreath donning brow
call me day stalk of the roadside 
call me bright melancholy 
call me hidden under brush
call me the fishing rod to the sunny children 

call me
that one dancer...
that makes the sunflowers
and buttercups

swoon 

 
Nov 29

Nature is The Only Chorus

With every step singing,
each note breathing you another 
illuminated page.

Meadows digging deeply into the music,
and all strands of grass clinging to 
each stroke of the clock and string.

Chiming under the whole slate of sky, 
a ringtone to the universe.

Sit all things down to your table
and give them equal tea. 

Keys stumbling, 
pushing through the crowd to be first. 

Lyrics holding more than 
just a gentle rhythm 
to guide all voices into their own
standing ovation. 
 
Nov 09
poem 4 comments challenge: Onward

We have work to do

Small victories are victories 
but we have work to do.

The hate has grown and grown,
unruly, spiteful gardens 
made to strangle.

The weeds have slipped up under
our stockings and the burrs
are clinging to our knees
like tears cling to lashes.

Small victories are victories 
but we have work to do.

Our gloves are muddy
so we will use our hands.

Callouses splitting on palms
and bruises digging on fingertips.

Unearth the sleeping dahlia bulbs
and rescue them from the anger-caked plots.

Protect the quiet roots.

We may have won a battle
but there is work to do.

Small progress is progress
but it is not enough.

What is addicted to its own history
cannot move past its mistakes. 

We have work to do.
We have to start now. 

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