said the mountain

we didn’t thrust ourselves
up from the oceanic crust
that many millions years ago
so bored hikers would have a
place to toss their
plastic water bottles
even if they are
aptly named with words
like cascade and purelife

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I Forgot You Then

The sun was sleeping
And her people too
A quiet unstirring
Disturbed only by
The lake water
Lapping against
The granite shore
A blip, a splash
An unsteady rhythm
Repeated infinitum
Carving and tumbling
The rocks
Softening their edges
Dragging grains of sand
From shore to inland sea
Lake ebbing and tugging
As if it were begging
All sorrows
To follow her seiche
To the ends of the flooded earth
Where only fish and water exist
Or swimming souls
Find their freedom

Shed the roots
Shed the dust
Shed what troubles

Water is the body
And in water
A body floats
Or so the ancient story goes
From a wet womb
We birthed
And to her
We shall return
Earthen memory washed clean
It matters not anyway

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She wore a soft hat
That flopped slightly
And shaded
Her right eye
Sometimes she tripped
On roots or curbs
From the shadows
That hat threw
But still she tromped
Down alleyways or
Through bramble fields
Always in the hat
And her step
Somewhat askew

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Until Then…

moth on flower_iona beach_sm
I find myself in need of help. There. I said it.

What a humbling and unexpected thing to say. A crippling thing, really; it leaves me hunched, almost crying, grappling for words, not wanting to say anything because to be misunderstood is more painful than a dart though the eye. It’s incongruous too: I’m a warrior, a fighter, fierce and tough and ready to fight or drag heavy loads up long arduous hills. I might bi*ch and complain along the way but I don’t give up. Quitting is for quitters, which I am not.

I said “almost crying”. Because that’s the problem. I can’t cry anymore. Can’t feel anything at all, really. Can’t taste. Can’t feel. Can’t smell. Can’t smile. I just can’t. Most importantly, I can’t write. No poems. No songs. Nothing. Words belong to someone else. And for me, there is nothing if there aren’t words flowing out of me.

Of course there are words for what this is. Words from other people, layered on me, heavy like woolen blankets, weighing me down. I don’t need those words, I live them.

What I need is the buzz of a bee. The stopping of a clock. Time to let the haze of a summer day settle on my skin. Time to marvel at the winding tendrils of a delphinium, watch wily squirrels jumping, hear chickadees dee-dee-dee-ing. Is that a house sparrow or a song sparrow? Do butterflies mate for life? What do the needles of a spruce tree look like? Dang, who knew an air plant needed more than air to survive? I need time to buy five more air plants, and permission from the air plant society that I’m allowed.

But I have hope. Somewhere, buried deep in the loss, under the relentless layers of demand, the heaps of pressure and worry and sadness there is a word. And that word will stutter and crawl and claw its way out…it will drag other words with it and they’ll lock arms, entwine limbs, march together in unison. A sentence will demand backup and suddenly a poem will shove out its chest, refusing to back down. That poem will breathe. That poem will have wings and legs and fly from flower to flower. That poem will adore bees.

Until then…xo

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