The Little Things







it isn’t dying i mind
it’s just that i
imagine when i do
i’ll never again
need to search
for the words to describe
just how that surface
of cracked prairie mud
baked hard in the sun
reminds me of my dad’s
weathered hands
or how a waving
field of barley
carries me home
you can’t dig a fingernail
into the furrowed bark
of a poplar
when you’re dead

are there
lichen-covered rocks
growing on a hillside
in the afterlife
do ladybugs transcend
can you hear
the crackle of
fall leaves
and will my
bones know
they’ve turned to dust
it isn’t dying i mind
it’s just that i imagine
when i do
those tumbleweeds
along the fence
might miss me

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not one plant
nor a single bird
not even a spider
cares about
your swagger

trees don’t bow
reeds won’t bend
roses don’t blush
so never mind
your swagger

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she blew in on a hurricane
a designing whirling dervish
she carved curves in concrete
bent buildings with her will
tore men from podiums
broke steadfast barriers and rules
she threw our cities into space
and dragged us headlong into the wilds
of her kaleidescopic mind
where it flew, our future as a flag

Rest in peace, Zaha Hadid

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swapping six

you can have your six parties
you can have your six business lunches
you can have your six makeup lessons
you can have your six tech fests
and when you’re done
you’ll find me
outside on the grass
tending to a beetle that
lost his way
in the urban crush and
you can tell me all about what
you’ve seen and done
and i’ll tell you about the beetle
and his six legs

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These Autumn Days

This year, fall roared in and set the blueberry ablaze. It reminded me of a poem I originally posted a few autumns back, so here’s a re-post of it.

2015-10-18 11.51.32

These autumn days
have lost their social graces.
One minute, flamboyant,
splashed out in amber light,
the next, they’re curled
under a quilt of somber grey;
they can’t bear to face themselves
or drag their bones
through the week.

Grasses fluff themselves up
as best they can,
under the weight of
heavy Mondays,
denser Tuesdays,
and mountainous Wednesdays
from late September to
past Remembrance.
Maples and poplars
burdened by longing,
send their leaves
in search of brighter times.
Dressed like butterflies,
in yellow, orange and brown
they launch into flight
but drift helpless to the ground.

Yet, these wistful days
dare to lay themselves out before you
face up, arms open,
backs crackling and pained against
a bed of fallen leaves
as their pigment
gently drains away.
Resigned, they
offer up their best funeral smile,
make it stretch a weekend
if they’re lucky,
before they heave a collective sigh
that you mistake for the wind.

But come, say the few
optimistic October hours,
look what we’ve dragged out for you;
these soggy sheets
and layers of rot
may seem
more endings than beginnings,
but kneel with us,
crouch and peer into
the gravel bottoms
of fast flowing streams
where sliver salmon
prepare for their afterlife
and you will have the answers
we’ve saved for you.

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Travel Light

Just for once I’d like to be the calm, cool traveler who gets a complimentary upgrade to first class, instead of the disheveled maniac whose luggage rips apart in the terminal and everyone hopes they’re not seated beside.

When my bag broke and the rock tumbled out, a fellow traveler rushed to point out that if I hadn’t carry rocks around in my luggage, it might not have torn apart. I had no defense, & since the rock was potentially pilfered plunder from an abandoned gold mine, it was best to keep quiet. Don’t draw attention to looted gold whilst passing through security is my motto. I didn’t bother telling him that it might have been the set of weights, bottle of wine and pound of paper on the first leg of the journey that may have contributed to the bag disintegrating like a hasty marriage in Vegas.

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Upstairs neighbour
throws another verb fit;
chomping up the silence,
pounding her
grandma’s chair
through my ceiling.
We turn up the heat
to roast her out
but there she goes
snap, crackle
against the
rice paper walls.
She’s a fire cracker
a peace hijacker
who dictates
the house
with her rat-a-tat-tat
and her bang bang bang;
Stucco on the outside
staccato on the inside
and a mouth like a war-zone.
We really gotta move.

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