Saturday, November 19, 2011

. saturday poem written for a sunday

the undergrowth

Sometimes my small sadness,
wound tight in my chest all week,
uncurls itself like a fern frond
and finds the forest lonely.

What’s the rule for sadness,
when there is nothing planned
for dinner, when the chemo’s
made her sleep all day, when
the ships come in with someone
else’s package.

How long do you let it grow?
I used to run down the gully
to hide among the undergrowth
and listen for the night owl’s
hollow call, the coyote. 

My heart was full of fear
and want and greed. I did not
yet know who I would be, or who
I would love, or who would be
taken from me and how.

I only knew the sound of my
father’s whistle, when he grew 
worried and wished for me 
to come back.

When it grows, my grief
is so lonely—
you’re not there.
Whistle and I will let it ease,
whistle and I will come back.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November, November

things I do not recall lending out

What happened to my love of birds.
Here, brushy woods, marsh and bay.
Insect, crustacean. But what happened
to morning? The call of towhee,
the hooded merganser of long runs?
Here is my boot, my pencil. Take alder, 
birch, the forest edge. Leave scattered 
savanna. Here, I am just waking. 
Where are your hands going,
as they move down my back?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October goes too quickly

how to be happy 

Why not sleep heavy through the night
like a child. Why not let myself be mad.
Last night in the bar, my first love’s father
was married. The bride wore slippers.
Why not laugh while crying, as the baby
did twice before he screamed.
Why not try self discovery which is not
the same as loneliness. Why not give
in. Why not sleep heavy through the night
on my stomach, cheeks flush, palms
on the pillow to catch my dream fall.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

happy sunday

Friday, September 30, 2011

all the different things you can mistake for a bird

Now the trees are a burnt sienna.
As songbirds move north over the city
you return from a trip east with your arms  
full of tomatoes, a new shirt. I am discerning.
The tomato was once said to be noxious
for leaves akin to deadly nightshade.
I don’t blame anyone-- even tonight
there are storm clouds on the radar
while the ground is dry as bone. 
I don’t care whether you see a cloud 
or a flock of birds: when you look at the sky
I see the underside of your chin.
We learn migratory birds burn muscle
for water during flight, not fat, and it is only
the leaves of tomatoes that can kill you.
Look how knowledge doesn’t expand, it
changes. When we met you were wearing
a different shirt, the trees were an asparagus
green, and I was with another man.
Tell me, what will you cook with your tomatoes?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

i'm not a player i just crush a lot

coming up later this week: crafts with purpose.

can you tell we're sisters?

i try not to look directly at the sun.

who can resist this face? i guess i will feed him.
house and dog sitting for my parents this week! good thing they like to cuddle. or else i'd be lonely.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

a lost poem

I can be glad I am up early

this first morning without you.
I have bought the good eggs
and the good coffee.

I do not miss your constant
checking of the weather,
or your work boots scattering
dirt across the hardwood floors.
I do not miss your heavy
morning sighs.

This is what I like about morning:
What I don't yet know
about the day.

I am content drinking coffee,
not yet knowing if the grey sky
will open, not yet knowing
what I will miss about you
when I walk out the door.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

What I am afraid of

The space between the hedge
and the house. Steep slopes
and spiders. What you murmur
yes to in your sleep.  Dead bolts
and dead batteries. Hour glass
shapes and the way sand moves
through small spaces. Waiting,
and waiting. The carcass with teeth,
the beach the day my tire blew.
The intangibility of these cells,
the gusto of my body’s body.
Mostly, how you sometimes look
at me and I have to look away. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

another poem about a pie

You were at the part of the pie
where you use your knuckles to shape
the crust. You worried about texture
and ratios of flour to water. All the while,
I was staring at your hands. You are
a man whose hands tell exactly
what you did that day.

There is integrity in kitchens too:
knife marks in the counter, creak
of oven, gurgle of ice maker. The pie
could not get in the oven fast enough.
There was flour in my hair, a clapping
in your rib cage. For a moment
we stayed very very still.

i know it well : august lately

chocolate zucchini bread


new tape on the borrowed Peugeot

my love bird loves to eat
as you can see.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Early Cascade 

Lucia Perillo

I couldn't have waited. By the time you return
it would have rotted on the vine.
So I cut the first tomato into eighths,
salted the pieces in the dusk
and found the flesh not mealy (like last year's)
or bitter,
even when I swallowed the green crown of the stem
that made my throat feel dusty and warm.

Pah. I could have gagged on the sweetness.
The miser accused by her red sums.
Better had I eaten the dirt itself
on this the first night in my life
when I have not been too busy for my loneliness—
at last, it comes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

i'll have half a diet pretzel: T-DOME Do's and T-DOME Don'ts (for mackenzie)

don't wear a shirt or shoes or have problems.
do give good directions.
don't call yourself everybody's uncle.

do wear a twenty dollar cowboy hat and a corona shirt. do sing vibrato. don't lose the keys to your big truck in tacoma.

do have this tattoo.

do bring a buddy.

don't complement your tramp stamp with a tiny leather vest.

don't get this tattoo.

do wear a belt buckle to avoid looking like you are going to a "jack johnson concert"

do let your country/ kenny flag fly. don't let your hair get in the way.

do wear purple.

don't and don't.

do get comfortable.

do get off your butt and sing along.

do stay svelte. do wear cut off sleeves. do introduce your songs with "this one is for that person in your life..."

Monday, July 11, 2011

some people make me want to puke with happiness


river float happy


my bedroom wall is a back drop

the boys weren't in the picture

because we didn't want them in it

Friday, July 8, 2011

for kori

I’m happy today

with poached eggs on biscuits,
saying to you: let’s do the strange
things we would never do.
Like leave the ice cream to melt
on the coffee table, travel
Spain one week with the boy
who will buy you anything,
turn down the job or kiss him
against the door frame
with the neighbors watching.
It’s partly cloudy,
yet your cheeks are flush.
Open the windows and the air  
circulates the apartment.
The walls are whistling,
and here we are again: done                                   
with sadness, our hearts rolled
out on the breakfast table, like
pie crust waitin on filling.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

i can't think of titles for my poems anymore

In spring, the kerria ate the rose,
and bush-tits gathered upside  down
and right side up.  But I barely noticed
the gray bodies against all that yellow.

Summer has ripened and you are gone.
It is warm in the apartment
and the forgotten rose has bloomed,
is wafting through the open door.

I don’t know if it is the thought
of you, or the height of the blushing
flower, but my skin is burning,
says I want you here.

Maybe that's why I keep looking
out the window to catch the lone
yellow warbler in the kerria,
which has surrendered color. Which 
ate the rose and gave it up again.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

so what if i took a lot of pictures of your dog: my friday in a nutshell

Judge is scared.

Judge discovers Royal

Judge enjoys the park

Friday, July 1, 2011

plants of the pacific

Heart pressed like a lily
in your field guide.
Queen’s cup and pink fawn lily,
blue-bead lily with a wolf’s berry.
The pricked ears of a deer
and a bitter milky taste.
I’m yellow glacier lily,
petal pressed to be permanent.

Monday, June 27, 2011

how i feel this late in june

There is cotton in the air

and a softness about us
like the ears of rabbits.
Every thing
parallels everything:
the cottonwoods let go
their lifted seeds and all day
I remember the smell
of your shirt in my hands.

To think the quiet den
of my heart was only brush
until your mouth half opened—
held my love, your love,
on the tip of the tongue.
There is no room to hesitate,
the seeds have settled.
I am not the same.