Monday, April 30, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Thirty


This is fair.
This is good.
This is the sadness I can name
embroider my initials on
knit around me
like a prayer.

This is the sadness of loving
just the right amount
from open eyes
from letting go at just the right moment
like the wind catching at a kite
and delivering it up to a perfect
blue sky.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Nine

Wolf at the Door

Sometimes I can hear
his hot breath on the welcome mat
and sometimes
it is the sharp click of paws
as he paces, waiting
for the other shoe to drop
for something to go terribly wrong
an accident

Sometimes he sleeps
and we step gingerly
over his furry back
as we go in
and come out of the house.

Some nights
he sits in the yard
and howls at the moon.

Some nights
I do too.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Eight

To know the way in
does not make the journey
less arduous.
The night is still long.
The dark wood presses in on all sides.
Pray for compassion.
Pray for light.
Don't forget the path is ever before you.
Don't forget the ones who have gone before.
When you arrive
you have to knock.

Friday, April 27, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Seven

Late Matinee

We stumble out of the dark theater
a little tear-stained
and way too full
of popcorn
to contemplate dinner.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Six

It Is Good

It is good to know
when to surrender
when to give up
on things going
the way you imagined / rehearsed
and to open
your hands / head / heart
to what is truly and utterly
 in front of you

blemish  imperfection  chaos

the humanness of it all

which is also beautiful
in a way
you could never have conceived.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Five


Halfway through
the rambling description
of yesterday's sky I realize
this is going

It would certainly help
if the grass were not
so damn green

or if the light did not insist
on shoving itself
through the blinds
so provocatively

if dinner did not want
so desperately
to be prepared

mushrooms leaping off the counter
and the fish leaning suggestively
toward the oven.

I find it impossible
to clear my head.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Four


Today is the day
when it just may not happen.

Tell that to the sun and shadow
playing on the front lawn
or the tiny brown birds hiding
in the tall grass of the backyard.

Tell it to the vine of morning glory
climbing so patiently up
a strand of yarn
it is almost heart-breaking.

Tell it to the familiar chaos of the desk
or the happy accident of the clean kitchen table.

Tell it to the sausage singing in the pan.

Monday, April 23, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Three


I know I have given you
about as much wind in the wind chimes
as you can take
but it lends such lovely counterpoint
to the echoing hammer strikes
and whir of saw going on down the street
where a neighbor is erecting
some mysterious
square something
in his backyard.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty Two


It takes so little
to completely
undo me
nudge of disappointment
tiny rock of sorrow in my shoe
leaving me
near tears
at a loss for

Saturday, April 21, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty One


Today it is full sun
and leafy breeze
a walk around the block
tell those birds to get a room
sit on the porch
listen to arena rock with the windows open
sweat through your sunscreen
kind of day.

Friday, April 20, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twenty


While we ate our salads
and laughed and talked
the sky darkened
and the tops of the trees
began their slow sway
in the wind
and the rain
washed the whole world clean.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Nineteen


The car in front of me
in this morning's traffic
sported a glittering tangle
that I worked hard at deciphering
every stoplight
an opportunity for speculation:
a sequined bra
flashy belt or suspenders
maybe some clunky jewelry
rearranged by the last
backseat passenger?

At the final light
before I headed west and over
the river
the sunlight shifted
and revealed two white plastic hangers
commanding just enough of the light's attention
to make them shimmer
and I drove ahead into my morning
transfixed by everything
in the morning sun.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Eighteen

Last Time

                                        for Max

I did not want to
talk about lasts

because I can see next year
coming with its pockets full of firsts

but seeing you last night
sitting with your cello

for the last time
in the elementary school crowd

choked me up - more than
I care to admit.

Before the concert
as the high school kids

moved through the rows
tuning, I knew with a certainty

that was hard to swallow
that will be you someday

and when the music swelled
on the last number

I could tell your eyes
were filled with tears too.

Flush with love
 for all the yous

the past, the future
and the wonderful now of you.

These are the first lasts
you will remember -

that lasts I will never forget.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Seventeen

Grocery List

apples  kale
tiny pocket of time
as many limes
as you can carry
look at the steaks
as long as you like
something sweet
but with a little kick
bread  wine

Monday, April 16, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Sixteen

Memory from the House on Palm Street

Surely I have written before
of the birthday party/poetry reading
the handsome Italian cook
the feast
the candlelight
and the poems themselves
read with such breathy love
I am surprised we did not float
up to the ceiling or out the windows
and into the night sky.

How after all of it
we washed the mountain of dishes
and lay together
in the cool grass of early summer
holding the next twenty years
in our clasped hands.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Thirteen


To see my sister
we had to unravel cryptic directions
take one wrong turn

turn around
pass Story Street
on our left

to finally arrive
for a dinner of voices
chaos and laughter.

As he was falling asleep
Max said:
Aunt Karen
kissed me
on my ear.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Twelve


I looked everywhere for the poem today.
Twice I thought I saw it
out of the corner of my eye
but it was gone
scurried under the couch before
I could turn my head.

I will leave a bowl of food out

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Eleven


The first light
that falls
on the backyard's broken things
makes everything appear
sad and tragic
can easily lead the morning
down the path of not
enough and despair.

I could easily spend
half the day
stuck between
the unused tomato cages
and the old limping table.

Light shifts though

and the flowers on the porch
give off a light
all their own
and a walk
around this familiar block
can shake things loose.

I might catch myself singing
a song while I wash the dishes
or watching ordinary birds at the feeder.

I might just finish that book in the
nick of time and find myself
wandering through a long
stretch of hours
scribbling words
that just this morning
I thought were impossible.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Ten


When you've
got nothing
it is
probably best
to admit it

Monday, April 9, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Nine


I carry this
little cup of light
into my day
and it is hard
not to spill it
or have it snatched away
in line at the store.

It is hard
not to misplace,
set it down somewhere
and forget.

It is hard
to hold it
in the hustle and
hurry of the day.

It is hard
not to put it away
because I just
do not

I carry it
in both hands
as best I can.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Eight

Morning Glory

My seeds have come up, grown leaves
and are just beginning
to twine themselves
around whatever presents itself.

I assemble a yarn and wood
in the hopes of training them
up and over
the side of the porch.

They seem to have other ideas.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Seven


Some days
this is all you get
the small lull
between the creation
of dinner and putting it
on the table

the little intake of air
when things are not
quite ready

the table clean
and not yet set

candles not yet lit

that moment of pure
pure potential

white space
between the title
and the very first word.

Friday, April 6, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Six

Good Friday

All day I looked for the perfect image
just the right amount of drama
for this dark part of the story
something visual
to marry with the tolling bell.

Solemn is the word.
Rending. Torn.

I have nothing but this:
the pink of this morning's sunrise
against the even darker blue.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Five


There is nothing particularly poetic
about the swarm of muffins
mixed and baked
and left to cool all over
the tiny kitchen table.

Nothing remarkable
about the flour on the floor and in
my hair or
blueberry stains
in the sink.

But let me
show you this -
one tiny yellow bird perched
on the window sill so close
I could see her breathing.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Four


In the radiology lab
where last year I was
(if not the star of the show
at the very least a very special guest)
given a lead apron and
invited in
as co-conspirator to ease
cajole and translate instructions

today I am
discarded at the waiting area
and he is guided
into the dark room without me.

They shut the door

and I am left
to wait.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Three


In yoga class I watch the sun
The sky grows dark
as I remember the window
is down on the car and perhaps
it is happening already.
My seat soaking up Spring rain.

It comes in waves.
Like glimpsing a once familiar
movie as you slip past
late night channels.
Suddenly you know just where
that slant of light
is going to fall
and what will happen next.

Up to my elbows in hot water
I question every decision
I've ever made.

Monday, April 2, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day Two

Rejected Lines

the wind the wind the wind

imaginary bees

Donny's mother drives too fast

a word you can only whisper

judging from this ramification of birds

the heart beyond breaking

five steps down

darkness is par for the course

song I cannot stop singing

Sunday, April 1, 2012

National Poetry Month: Day One


It is easy
to be grateful today

the story told without forgetting
one single thing

an unexpected cake

the accident, minor
and incidental

the plot
not moving forward
but ripening before my very eyes.