Into the Night

Who knows the time?
I need no numbers to tell me
here is another sunset:
the back side of God
turning to watch the waking,
an orange glow evoking
the warmth one feels when
the sun says, you are chosen.

Once, in the light of day
I had driven along the lake
and thought to myself,
isn’t life perfect.

Keepsakes and cards
letter and notes, but
who can read in the dark?
My agnostic soul is praying
for a candle, a flame
a nightlight, anything
to bring back his light.

(first written in 2009)

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Button Daisies

Once I dreamed about a
downhill, quiet country road with
a pickup lazily parked on the side,
flanked by modest houses
and sided by aging fir trees.

One day while walking beyond
the church fields, I came to
such a road and realized
it had not been a dream, but
a partially-there memory
of something real from
many years earlier.

How strange to recognize
places we do not remember.
Places we’ve not thought of for years
suddenly exude history, home.

***

In my mind I picture button daisies
I am very young, picking them
one-by-one
from a sloping patch of grass
wondering how I might intertwine
their stems into a bracelet.

My family is nearby. Was there water?
I think I spy shoreline.
A building to my right is
remembered as a castle, but
given the tricks the mind plays
it was likely not so grandiose
(not a bad thing, to remember
the past as better than it was)

I must ask Mom about this memory
twenty-something years in the past
Where did it take place?
Are the daisies still there?

There are many things to ask, to know
before time runs out.

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How to Write Better

In the morning do not play music,
there are birds to do this for you.
Wind circles outside the window
and inside the small dog can
be heard breathing, in, out.

Make your bed if you like,
but consider it likely that
stacks of gently used books
will serve as enough decor
if it is a writer’s spirit you have.

The feet and the ground were
made to touch; during walks
stand planted in the grass.
Greet the earth, sliding petals
between thumb and finger

and when it comes time to eat
forgo prepping to spoon the
avocado into your mouth, do
no more than peel the orange.

Go without, give it away,
make room, and then
make more room.

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Nurse Logs

The forest knows about rebirth.
New life grows on fallen trees
one story deteriorating as
another sees first light, reborn
from what has been left behind

I waited once to be a nurse log
and imagine others have, too,
to take what can no longer be
useful, and from our remains
spring up anew and live again

How long does it take?
How quickly can this grow?
Hurry, forest, hurry.
We long to see you
with young eyes.

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