her beautifully smooth skin,
fresh, her white teeth, her smile,
the faintest hint of fine peach fuzz
where the light graces her shoulders
and dances across her fine collarbones.
a summer frock, floral, blues and rose,
a delicate ring on her left hand,
the radiance of love.
Youth as it should be, full of promises,
of adventures not yet experienced,
roads not yet taken,
yet always knowing that there
is someone watching over her,
with some of the same freckles,
some of the same smile,
dimples made of the wrinkles
from many years of smiling
we eat at our desks while working,
I can see what he has for lunch today.
he has a kid and a wife and a new job.
I like him, but we are not friends.
we would be
if our time
was not billed out in
by the Corporation.
lose consciousness for long enough
to crumple to the ground,
a sprained finger, skinned elbow
and bruised knees.
I'm thankful for my head,
I am not sure.
to faint from terrible news,
from trauma or surprise,
I'd faint any day for a happy reason
if there was a pillow on which to fall.
I could fall from despair into
I love the picture of my kids on the computer screen,
both smiling, leaning in towards each other, so beautiful.
Imagining, with horror,
how the expressions on their faces would change at the news of
what could have been today, was so close today,
to hear the news of their mother, me, killed by a driver who
needed to get down the canyon a little bit faster,
having to choose between hitting the cyclist or the Mini-Cooper
that appeared out of nowhere.
In his mind, less damage done in hitting the cyclist,
Six inches or less,
A narrow canyon road does not have room for a cyclist,
and two cars on a blind curve.
I'm still here, still alive and imagining the devastation
to the lives of those I love if six inches became none.
Six inches from almost certain death.
it was hard to explain
my belief that we are trees
a spreading crown of possibility
so often we are stuck somewhere half way up the trunk.
he asked me if I would be disappointed to have ended
life only having explored half the branches
of my own possibilities.
and how to even know what exists up
that branch that is leaning towards the west
or the one that reaches highest towards the sun
I have no idea but it seems exciting,
having nothing to do with duty or the
expectations of others, only this open yawning
pathway to possibility.
why stop here.
I pulled over onto the side of the road
to step into the rain to admire
A rainbow, a double rainbow, straddling a
dirt road through pasture lands.
this is paradise.
Just me and the rainbow, no other cars
or people, not even a single sheep or cow.
just a vibrating power line.
only the sound of drizzle on the windshield,
the sound of droplets falling to the ground
from the open car door,
a distant sound of highway traffic.
this was the moment to stop at the side of the road.
experience tells me that such beauty is
évanescent, I need to stop now,
now, on the side of the road, in this drizzle,
in the moment, now.
I will never reach a final destination but I am on the road.
For me, it's full of rocks, but there are flowers by the wayside,
their brilliant yellows and reds lure the bees and hummingbirds to feed.
I can stop to watch, to catch my breath.
a friend sent me a book called Mastery.
I am in Category 3, starting slowly and improving slowly,
tenacious with painfully slow progress,
I watch the sun rise and set thousands of times
with no progress on this road,
the stones are the same ones and the flowers
bloom and fade.
I remind myself that I am on the road and the
air moves about me, smells drift by and the
minutae of changing scenery does not require
much movement on my part.
I must simply keep trying, never give up.
no matter the licorice,
heartbrakingly beautiful landscapes,
the wine, the fish and the poffertjies,
there is no place like home,
a drawer of clean underwear and pajamas,
my own soft bed,
the flute that has not been played,
the empty refrigerator,
flattened plants from snow and
spindly tomatoes from cold.
they are still mine, the missed notes
and mismatched socks in the dresser.
there is no place like home
and no such wonder as finding
new licorice and chocolate in other
corners of the world.
The question of the day is
Why a raincoat would have no hood.
The answers of the day
canal boats are covered because it rains alot
streets are empty and easiest to navigate when it rains
Even the Dutch don't like getting wet
We see ponchos flapping in the wind
Some are talented at holding an umbrella while
Riding one handed
Don't step in front of them
The canal boats glide by our window in the darkness
My love is breathing the gentle breath of
It might as well be.
When Happy Birthday translates to fijne verjaardag.
I can't even pronounce it
I can't even say hello and thank you in Dutch.
we might as well be going to Mars.
I'm packing for warm and cold, wet and dry,
for parties and for bike trails
it might as well be for windstorms and
travel by rover.
I'm never ready for anywhere,
wondering what to wear for when
and what, what do I wear when it's 50F
or 20, 70 or 60? when it's raining,
wind dervishes or red dust?
it's all the same
the uncertainty always slows me
last time we talked
you'd quit your job that you hated
with no prospects, no offers, no wife,
no brothers, most men in the family dead
and gone, murdered on the streets.
you fell into depression, a bad time,
you said, you stayed away.
I wondered if you were all the same,
friends for life who changed phone numbers
and moved away, never to be heard from again.
today you surprised me with your happy news,
that you met a good woman, were getting married
in two weeks, were moving away
tomorrow we'll talk
I hope it will not be the last time
I talk to you.
I like you.
now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
may the little seedlings grow since they are transplanted
into larger pots,
may the dishes stay clean
and the dog not wake me up earlier than I
want to be awoken.
May the health care bill fail in Congress
and may the EPA keep its funding.
May we start to say climate change again
without losing funding.
now I lay me down to sleep
I have practiced my flute,
although not as long as I should have,
and this poem is being written
as I write.
may the world have peace tonight
for that I would be especially
to those who explored the jungles in 1905,
I wonder at your bravery, perseverence and
ability to endure boredom and terror,
afraid for your lives, you continued anyway.
and to those who decided to cross the polar ice caps,
I wonder at your ability to withstand cold,
at your eyes which would be blinded in the
glare of endless sun.
to all who explore, who don the necessary
supplies on their backs, paddle canoes
down rushing rivers, to suffer such
physical and mental pain and anguish,
I wonder at you.
you are so different
to all those who profess to care
where are you -
I know where you are
having intended to join a cause
it seemed like too much effort
and a glass of wine, some TV
let the Armageddon begin
the Resistance has failed due to lack
does it matter in the end if
millions of others have no health care
or the coastal cities, where you don't live
are swallowed by rising seas,
someone else will stand for the others
since a new series is on TV, or
you just don't feel like slipping out
of your ground state.
but it's lonely here.
I wish you would join me.
it should matter to him
because it matter to her,
and it should matter to her
because it matters to him.
this is what marriage is,
when I think of all the "doesn't matters"
in my mind, the plastic strip that I left on the countertop
after I opened the orange juice
(back when it was packaged that way)
even though he told me it mattered,
the clutter on the table
even though he knows it matters to me.
I do the dishes when he watches TV because
he doesn't, but it matters that I'm doing the dishes
while he watches TV.
It matters to both of us.
it should matter to each of us.
all these "it matters" matter because if
they don't, then there is no one around
after awhile, no one to pay attention to us,
or us to them, when it really matters.