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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Digital Dark Age

Perhaps the angel of history has his face turned toward the past. He would like to stay there long enough to preserve each artifact, but a new storm blowing in gets caught in his wings with such intensity that he can no longer close them.

Maybe this storm propels him into a future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. Knowing that the once-living wood is what allows the leaves and roots of the tree to reach so high and draw so deep, like Scheherazade, he must adopt a creative strategy for saving the kingdom. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Evolution (with Tania P)

Perhaps the bicycle, perched in evolution between horse and car, allows a girl the modest means to ride just far enough away from home to leave home, to revel in the panicked flit of geckos into underbrush and the daisies expiring in patterned versions of their former selves, petals curling groundward on the very stalks that pushed them sunwards.

Maybe the bicycle wheels, larger than dinnerplates, spin off wordlessly into the air as they continue to evolve, growing in diameter the further from earth they fly, ultimately encircling distant planets with delicate, orbiting rings – just as we are encircled without beginning or end, without sides or corners, with all points equidistant from the center, by that which grows old gracefully – a bouquet of fiery petals risen from the mud which once sheltered striped lizards peering out from a crack in the wall, right angles framing the curve of their tails.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hummingbird's Complaint, a reading


video

In celebration of dear friend and poetic collaborator Tania Pryputniewicz’s new book release November Butterfly, we were reunited this week in Sonoma County where we snuck in a few minutes to record some of our collaborative work at Perhaps, Maybe. Congratulations, Tania!

If you haven’t yet read Tania’s book, available here at Saddle Road Press, or at Amazon, it is an exquisite collection of carefully observed accounts of the everyday that blend and weave with excursions into the lives of iconic female archetypes. In each poem, Tania finds a magical, mystical beauty in the commonplace; gratitude and healing in the sometimes sorrowful upwelling of the mystery we call life. Tania is a writer whose senses, heart, generosity and intellect open in every direction. It is a privilege to know her and to continue to collaborate with her.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Everything As It Was

Perhaps as leaves of cherished memory pass into thin black air never to return to the trees that created them, their faint leavings linger on in bright, abundant fields of spring wildflower and inspire small movements in the hush-hush snowy realms of frozen winter grasses.

Maybe all that has past is not a diminishing road but rather an open ocean, and as our dreams reassemble, blinking like ships lost at sea, they each carry a forgotten treasure from shore to shore, from generation to generation – dear and inescapable, greeting us in the cool breeze of the open window each evening.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Trauma

Perhaps trauma has no discrete edges. It bleeds from wounds and words and across boundaries, flying outward from the center before shattering, vase-like, in an extravagant effort to be seen: a container for wishes we attempt to piece together in the dark before a certain amount is suddenly too much.

Maybe when sadness becomes a seizure, stripped of any protective cloak or force, our hearts demand an experienced escort in response. It is here we keep our vigil, alert for some piece of magic. Catch something far away and draw it close.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Thin Places

Perhaps between dawn and dusk, matter melds from one form to another. Communication can be very subtle, so be ready to receive whatever comes: differences in skin, muscle, bone, bark, leaves, and wood.

Maybe like a flash of lightning that is a past event before it is even seen, you cannot compare this present experience with a past experience, you can only compare it with a memory of the past, which is part of the present experience. The clockmaker’s influence is everywhere.  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

PB & J

Perhaps home-made sandwiches are much more than nourishment, they are messages from home, love letters in clear plastic bags that say: You are not alone. Here is something a little special to brighten your day.

But maybe the knives that spread the love cut both ways. As harried moms and devoted dads rush to fill domestic orders, sometimes the fruits of their labors turn them inside out in a crazy-quilt of conflict and difficulty. Yet it’s the sort of thing one easily forgets when, at the end of the day, small clouds that obscure the lustrous moon loosen and glide smoothly and evenly away.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

One is No More, One is Not Yet

Perhaps alone here on the trail, the early morning sun is weak. Single strands of spider silk drift across trees. In a narrow passage the way is draped with silken threads and I feel them land gently across my face. Sorrow, outlined in silver light.

Maybe as I move carefully toward the clearing I stop to study you, uprooted tree – a tree reaching for sky, a sudden wind, your roots torn, the thud. I remember your face, and I feel I know you, but that you do not know me: a mere intruder spirited through the dawn from a dark realm of restless seeking. Looking for life, I find it here in your upturned root wad, now a perch for swallows.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Childhood #3

Perhaps a steady, rhythmic ticking first informed me of my whereabouts. I can still hear my father winding the chime whose weights had slipped down as far as they were allowed to drop as wooden hands with fine fingertips pointed to worn numbers on the face of the future circling around us.                

Maybe in the middle of a difficult night the hourly bell dispelled my fears like a smooth, tinctured breeze of unsaid things traveling easily throughout the house. How I miss being able to tell this type of time by sound. Today it’s like seeing red, the lit lines on my digital.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Eternity

Perhaps late in a day swept away by the memory of summer meadows in bloom, a leaf as large as two hands held together gently taps my name against the pink and orange glass of the kitchen window.

Maybe as I breathe in the sweet scent of buttered plum and ripe peach backyard lit by golden slivers of fading sun neatly penciled across the table, living itself becomes a fragile surface to be touched and be touched by: each perception a skin. And though my mind cannot easily carry away all the hours my life has to give, I still act as though I expect it all to come back tomorrow.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Call (after Remedios Varo)


Perhaps when summoned the true heroine ventures forward on a solitary journey away from the pale of society to a zone unknown – toward dark birds that will attend her from the hollows of nearby trees. Not the world in reverse, but the reverse of the world.

Maybe as light from the star to which she is attached suffuses her body with an otherworldly glow, the painter remembers. She does not paint time, but the moments when time is resting. Only the canvas is real.

in memory of Barbara Nell Hunt (1953-2013) - friend, poet, writer, wise woman, thinker, activist whose sharp wit, sense of humor and kind words probed the possibilities of a woman's creative power.  
http://www.legacy.com/EnhancedObit/EnhancedObit.aspx?PersonID=167077699

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Attempting the Impossible 2 (collaboration with Tania P)














Perhaps the cord that tethers ability to success is both loose and elastic. As you bring your hands together, fingers pointing toward heaven, face scrunched in abject concentration, clear visions of inevitability are often no more than eyes behind binoculars, or legs speeding the distance of a stationary bicycle.

Maybe heaven's frame is the body, heart exacting rent from the mind in a velvet purse that secrets a hole and thus never quite fills with coins. Sidling sideways like Chagall's bride drifting through Chagall's blues, the seamstress sleeps in a rocking chair on the front porch, dreaming of empty canvasses.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saved by a Smile

Perhaps the miracle does not conclude the tragedy, it removes it altogether, as light does shadow. It would seem a perfect joy to me to lie still in this darkness – to sink away, remaining awake. To be nothing but an arm across a pillow, a shoulder beneath a sheet.

Maybe when we stop making sense, then we have a chance to find it as it scatters unpredictably and floats in particles without wings. Halfway between sleeping and waking, I feel a tenderness between my lips. Real miracles make little noise. Nothing has been said. Yet everything is resolved.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Focal Point is Everywhere

Perhaps the steady buzz and whir of insects in the field around me draws my attention to a sparkling flower, no bigger than a snowflake. Moving my eye itself when looking at something that doesn't move deepens my sense of calm.

Maybe, with a simple tilt of my head, a different kind of world is made to appear that says: when too much is still not enough, or is an echo of what is yet to be, I should listen to the insects until I no longer hear them. Last week’s lilacs cast fragrant shadows against the curve of my wrist. Sun-warmed distances to be worshiped without ever knowing.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Solar Music (after Remedios Varo)


Perhaps a woman plays a stringed sunbeam with her bow, and the resulting music releases buds in the trees from their cocoon-like nests while causing grasses and flowers to spring from her cloak.

Or maybe like a soft, uncovered moon passing through the thickest branches of the evening, her hand rises slowly above all places to create the focus of the forest that encircles her. Reflected in a wheel of light inside water at the center of a pond, violet-tinged wings course across the face of her palette where a laden brush, in depositing paint on canvas, hardly registers a sound.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Realign

Perhaps the world looks bluer from blue eyes, in the same way that it is easier to spot birds when trees are not yet green and fully leafed and their yellow budded branches Shh the breeze.

Maybe sun-tipped blossoms carried on the backs of birds pink winter grasses at dawn. A rose halo mist circles my lips as I watch fish kiss the surface of ponds from underneath.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

There is Something

Perhaps there is something out there that loves you, that at night searches for you, like a past life desperately desiring the continuation of itself.

Maybe that something radiates outward in every direction, yet you can only detect it by focusing your sensitive apparatus, much as a distant sound willingly enters the asymmetrical gold-rimmed ears of an awaiting owl. I wonder why there is no category for things we experience without noticing – things that dart through the sparkling waters of our bodies much as birds flock into the long white sky to escape our counting.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Reflections (guest post by Cyndi Lloyd)

Perhaps fog is a temporary blinder that prevents me from seeing my surroundings – a veil shrouding the outside world in haze and silence.  I look inward and become reflective.  Once lifted, I pay attention and notice things I hadn't seen before.

Maybe on a cold evening, before the sun goes down, blemishes of dirty snow expose a beauty that has always existed – in a puddle of grassy water, a reflection of Gidget’s sweet face just before she takes a drink.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Attempting the Impossible (collaboration with Tess P)

Perhaps while on a foraging expedition into the landscape of language, we find ourselves sailing along a ribbon of verse that tells a story of the time when words crawled out from piles of sand and slumbering ponds and moved towards the fast-moving water of rivers. We feel it at the ankles, in our hands, as we speed along a breeze that is billowing the sails of our interest, heading toward a waterfall that breaks the world into movement and patterns reminiscent of the places we are headed.

Maybe the moon will someday spin out of orbit and all of the clouds, and rocks, and flying geese will be pulled along, tied to the ribbon of verse that we sang and in that song was the thirst of the moon who with its straw will tug and pull until it has emptied our ocean of memory, saving our dreams for the new wilderness.

Moon Blessing, a reading (guest post by J. O'Donohue)



video

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tidepool

Perhaps a shadow is all you will ever see of the living while lying on your stomach searching through the silt of what may have long ago been snow. Look a little above the shadows, in the direction of the sun. That is where you will find what you are seeking: decaying driftwood, salt, dirt, sand, shells, bits of plants and lost claws. All this death must return to life in time for spring.

Maybe, as the moon is sometimes overwhelmed by the shadow of earth as it races through its phases, we could do worse than search under stones in pursuit of what is bright and alive. For all, at last, return to the sea. Whether grotesquely bent or perfect, clinging to the spines of sea stars or spread like spiderwebs across the backs of dead fish the last bits of life slosh in the tide –  dark specks of sand that lift and whir away.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Winter Prayer

Perhaps winter is the hush of night settling over my thoughts. There is nothing to push against as a dark cloud floats over the moon and is immediately outlined in gold, burying the world’s bustle under the weight of no sound.

Maybe prayer is more than the silence that blankets the trail turning down a steep hill, more than the cold, glistening fog that dims the cabin’s light from all who approach; more than a warm gust of wood smoke emerging from the chimney lit by sparks that fly and swirl on a rising wind. Maybe prayer lives in the fingers of children who have touched their hand to the flame just as the body snatches it away. Why does the heat hurt? they wonder as they reach out to touch it again. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Lesson in Trust

Perhaps passion is the opposite of action.  Starved into stillness, past the hard alertness of his eyes, what does the robin see? A single point of clarity is set like a spring to seize the next worm life puts in the way of his beak.

Maybe this type of patience is the birth of joy, and like little children who climb onto the kitchen counter to make dinner when their parents don’t come home, this is what we had always hoped to find – a quiet place where everything becomes clear, and life itself pebbles the path that leads us into the living of it.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Baptism

Perhaps water rushing without a moment's rest - twisted and chafed in a heavy surging mass - plunges over the brink of the precipice as if glad to escape into the open air. In all the hissing, clashing and boiling clouds of spray, the years break up and pass.

Maybe amid the mist and foam my mind dances off with its own weightless reveries that surface briefly before being swallowed in the heave, watching as winds sway the whole fall from the front of the cliff, then suddenly dash the water flat against it.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Childhood #2 (with Tess P)

Perhaps like the fleeting scent of lavender soap, one’s childhood can’t be found for long in any one spot. With each living moment so much more than a mess to be cleaned up, funny how the insubstantial repeatedly spills the milk, how traces of sighs, whispers and hurried kisses burrow their way deep into the fabric of a warm buttoned coat.

Maybe the invisible thread of childhood’s fabric has wound its way around a brother’s hands, across a sister’s lips, made bracelets of a mother’s tears, and pulled itself through the eye of a needle that crosshatched your heart as you gazed at the clouds and even now you find that tug, that pulling at your core, a curious unraveling that serves to tighten the knot.