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To the FedEx Kinko’s lady,

Thank you for the walk down memory lane. Those days of IBM Selectric typewriters are so distant now (that backspace correcting key – a Godsend!) and yet, my memory of typing dozens of papers in front of the Duraflame logs on the floor of that apartment on Beacon Street are as vivid as if it were yesterday. Armed with White-Out and the weird eraser brush thingy (pictured below, but whose name we couldn’t recall). Retyping entire pages if I missed a line. Technology is not like that today, and I think I’m grateful. And thanks for sharing your memories about Seattle. You made my day brighter.

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Seattle, Washington.

And in honor of one of my favorite poets, who passed away today, I’d like to share the following poem. Reminiscent of my Weekly Wednesday Poems on this blog — I know some of those were Mary Oliver’s. Rest well, Mary, and swirl in the beauty of words and other worlds.

White Night by Mary Oliver
All night
I float
in the shallow ponds
while the moon wanders
burning,
bone white,
among the milky stems.
Once
I saw her hand reach
to touch the muskrat’s
small sleek head
and it was lovely, oh,
I don’t want to argue anymore
about all the things
I thought I could not
live without! Soon
the muskrat
will glide with another
into their castle
of weeds, morning
will rise from the east
tangled and brazen,
and before that
difficult
and beautiful
hurricane of light
I want to flow out
across the mother
of all waters,
I want to lose myself
on the black
and silky currents,
yawning,
gathering
the tall lilies
of sleep.
#yearoflove

Mugs
Some days I want to drink my coffee
From a mug that reminds me of my mother.
It’s one on permanent loan from
The work kitchen of a now-defunct employer.

It’s gentle curves are like a mug my mother gave me,
A fine sheen, ivory and green, embossed with seashell art.
I lost that in the divorce, along with many things,
And drawers and cabinets full of pain and dead dreams.

My mother doesn’t know anything about that.
She died before it happened.
I often wonder
What she would think of me,
My life,
My choices,
Now.

But this curved mug
Is brown and green and embossed with trees
Like the ones my mother loved so much.

One of my favorite images is of her
Hugging a pine tree
In Rocky Mountain National Park.

So when I fill
The mug that reminds me of my mother,
With Folger’s crystals like my father used to drink,
It is as if I am having a small cup of coffee with my parents
Each morning.

That is a very fine way to start the day.

20160329_091003
Denver, Colorado. (This is my alternative mug, purchased for
me by MKL. I love it.)

Quote of the day: “I am the way a life unfolds and bloom and seasons come and go and I am the way the spring always finds a way to turn even the coldest winter into a field of green and flowers and new life.” – Charlotte Eriksson

Daily gratitudes:
The flat fall of Snowmaggdon
Favorite movies on a snow day
A super snuggly cat
Experimental eggs
Having a warm spot on a cold day

 

The Edge

I stepped too close,
found myself looking into a dark hole
that held my future
which looked like nothing.

The edge of that abyss
that is called depression
is exhausting
sickening
terrifying
and compelling.

When hope feels as hard to find
a shards of glass in moving water,
and light is as faint as the echo
of a match blown out,
that edge crawls with seductive whispers,
promising ease.

Never forget that depression lies.

A Frozen Spring

First a winter that would not cool, and now a spring that will not warm.

Snow flies thick as fruit flies on old bananas in summer,
Heavy flakes full of the icy tears of angels crying for the lush heat of heaven.

The cold crushes spirits, makes us walk with heads bowed
not in prayer, but in submission, or perhaps penitence,
as we watch our world disappear in a swirl of unforgiving white.

I am still, crumpled in despair by a garden
never to bloom or so it feels,
the only heat that of my blood as it pulses slower, slower,
slower
through my fading body.

 

(Note to readers: Even though National Poetry Writing Month officially ended yesterday, I realized that I am seven poems short, so I am going to make up for the missing verses. Besides, I’m really enjoying writing poems again.)

Surreality

The shadows surround each parked car,
glooming up,
swallowing hoods and fenders,
lurking in front of darkened headlights,
stealing away as my eye
catches their evil.

Innocent bunnies
bare fangs
and have a Mexican stand-off
in the middle of the street,
dashing off angrily in opposite directions
when I approach.

A dog barks deeply
the sound lingering
in my backyard,
spreading out thickly through the
cool, damp, air.

I do not have a dog.

It is snowing in May.

I tremble from exhaustion,
fumble with the light switches
curl up in a soft bed
and live inside my dreams.

Across The Bar

At a certain time of afternoon,
The sun spills across the tops of the mountains
peeking out beneath a layer of cool woolen clouds,
Bathing lucky in souls in rapt light
Turning the ordinary into gold
And each of us – briefly –
into Midas.

On Regrets

I once gave you a two-headed coin
to protect you from fates that hurt you.

Now, you choose to hurt me with your words,
again
And I am thrown into the River Styx,
again.

I do not want to be here,
again,
trying to breathe.

I hope the ferryman
will accept that coin as payment.

Please ask him to take care
not hit me with his oars
as you pass by
for I have been hurt
enough.

The Fiddlehead Ferns of Fate

The passionate young man in overalls
has aged gracefully.
He tends his garden as he tends his children,
lovingly and in such a way
that each progeny,
be it flesh and blood
or root and leaf,
knows that it is treasured.

The wildness of soul is –

For now –

Expressed in a mystical empathy with beautiful beasts
and in decadent desserts.

He has danced in the pouring rain
and judged the quality of absinthe in a dim cafe
and always remembered a single promise.

A man of such heart
deserves
the cool and wonderous touch of fate
found in another’s hand to hold
as he passes through
this sun-dappled world.

I hope
he finds it
somewhere admist the ferns.

A Writer’s Spring

In a different realm,
the road to the future is paved with words.

They spiral before me on a natural path,
scrolling and spilling.

Spirits tell me
Some words will be kicked aside
and some will be embraced,
but just now,
no one knows which will
be which.

It is finally time
to take pen in hand
And turn
down the path
toward a writer’s spring.

 

Under A False Sky

The gondoliers drift idly by
Singing sotto voice for the tourists
As they ply their poles and their trades
Through the blue waters of the canal.

In the square, statues come to life,
If you watch with care,
And buskers play and sing for coins
With carefree abandon.

A wandering wench sells masques
To help you partake in the pleasures of the city
In safe anonymity.

And the sky changes from cerulean blue
To rose-tinted,
Blending with muted gold
Drifting into midnight blue
As the square lights brighten to the darkness.

You can almost forget
where you are.

Almost.

November 2019
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