you look as though you could use some

it is a steady rain.
a blinding shower 
a rush of water, a shriek of mud river 
catching branches, buckets, trees 
we can do nothing but 
wait for it to take our breath 
raging, singing out into the night 


flashlight on water 
concrete people 
the scene of some long intended crime. 


can i offer you some of this water? 
it seems as though we have too much 
and you look as though you could use some 


the heart beats faster 
trembling 
a tiny bird caught in the chest 
a rattle inside the net of fragile jewel-encrusted bone.
how to shield it from that dangerous hope—
it always gets me in the end
the river marches
a glint in its eye—a story without a finish 


i am afraid to be always the ones scattering the seed
and watching the flood carry it away.

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Mary Oliver :: 1935-2019

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When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

*

Thank you beautiful poet. Your words have nourished us.

Coming back :: A Poem

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today I look for you in batter
and swirls, in the fridge, 
breaking off a piece of ice,
wiping the counter
everyone left the kitchen messy last night
I’m achy in my bones
evidence of too much time spent away
“Coming back,” he says,
“in Hebrew it means coming back to God”
so I am coming back
into the shape of my eyes
my house
the clutter of family and dishes
a tomato, a single shoe, evidence of life
small perfect things.
You are everywhere, 
I don’t know why you continue with me
but you do
and I
(with my paradoxical longing to be with you and away)
I am coming back.

*

Ps. Thanks for your patience. In the wake of a book launch, I always find myself a little bereft of words.

Monday poetry.

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All that is there

Flipping through photographs
when all that is here is not here
My thumb on a crease on the corner
this is the way we are forever
this is the way we live.
A woman
steps into the street
looks both ways
finds the little white dog
and calls her back.
She buys groceries
remembers her manners
looks for love
forgets
looks again
gets up when she doesn’t want to
fights off her fragility
wants to be strong.
The bricks
the walls
the harrowing escape.
Open, empty hands
the creases in them that tell the years
Oh, we loved you
We failed you but we loved you
I hope it will be enough.

We/ A poem.


(This has nothing to do with July 4th, or 1st for that matter. My mind is elsewhere this year. But happy celebrating to you who are running around with sparklers.)

We/

We come
As
We bring
We/
    Well-  Here is a story
shaped in sky
Song of one tree
angling around the clouds
in its own particular bend
That
curve
one blackened branch/
I thought I was better alone
until I was alone
and all my songs
were quiet

The book won't fit on the shelf/
The mynahs copy the sounds of saws sometimes
metal on metal

You shrug it off but you have
that bend now
And it isn't grief
It isn't the trap you have
been avoiding

It isn't the zipped suitcase,
smoke disappearing into the air
Water takes the form of its container
and the color of its companions
But water is always water
filling up
pouring out
running down

It wasn't the heavy stone I thought it was
one tree in the forest bending
a story of roots and sky
I told you when we were driving
I told you in the car
I remembered him as my brother
but I knew I was his mother
I was no longer completely my own
but I didn't belong to anyone else either

And
We all
He was
We couldn't say
It was the blood in him that died first
Oh- The perfect donor

I’m trying to
I can't
Maybe/
what they say is unhealthy
the waiting for breath-
we are caught but they walk away glowing/
we redefine health
they walk grooves into the floor
they finally look into our eyes
know they are beloved
maybe/
our way in the world is different
maybe/
water will find a way to run clear

It wasn't the stone I thought it would be
song of one tree
sharp branch against the sky
It looked lonely
but it was surrounded by trees
We came
We couldn't say
You have to want to be changed
you have to ask
We bring
as
water is always water

We
come
we couldn't say
We/