The World Holds It
To enter into silence
you must be willing to let your life fall,
the weight of what remains
tumble to the ground like worn stones.
Spring creeks settle in the riverbed;
leaves from sycamores pause
as the wind stills, forgets its destination.
In the quiet language of peeling bark,
you remember how it is
to listen to only one thing,
here, in the secret place
beneath the world.
I woke up today with a poem
on the forehead of morning,
demanding to be scribbled down.
It bubbled and squawked,
an outrageous toddler, pulling my hand
to pen and paper, verse rushing out
insistent on its shape.
This then is writing, the gift of dictation.
Bow to each line, a royal family,
landscapes born in momentary madness;
crocodile next to canary,
grief following unexpected joy,
this spiral of the world,
its patterns falling on me in early light.
Live this long and you
know how the rains come,
when the waiting
has been so long,
and the dry land stands forsaken.
When the downpour comes,
the river overflows,
is strained with broken limbs,
the forest floor’s debris,
and finally reaches down
into the ache the earth feels.
In the morning I walk the damp fields,
each hard stone of my history washed clean.
Something held lets go in the tall firs.
Birds call between the oaks.
Acorns fall on softened ground.
Nothing is wasted.
|After the Headlines
I would like to sway in a tire swing
over a lush green lawn,
a safe black anchor,
to slow the swirls and eddies of this life
and let me rest awhile without direction.
I’d like to be called into dinner,
already prepared, sit down as a breeze
lifts the corners of white paper napkins
and gentle conversation runs
down the table like a stream.
Right now all I want
is to be passed the peas.
Afterwards, I’ll lie on the carpet,
letting the low mumur of grownups
pass over my head,
while I try to decide between
cornflower or cerulean blue
and concentrate on staying
within the simple lines on the page,
a sailing ship on the calm sea,
so uncomplicated and easy to fill in.