Grocery Shopping

Fluorescent lighting. The morning donuts are almost gone. Of those who hang behind: one maple, three chocolate, zero fritters.

No matter. In the bakery department today I am a simple passer-by. Would I have stopped had there been fritters?

The wide and waxed highways lead me instead to milk, or milks plural as there are so many, mayhaps too many.

A traditionalist, of course I choose to take you home, half-gallon carton whose expiration date reads my birthday.

It’s that time of year again. Sealed and untasted, but I adore you more than all the milks of the last eleven months.

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Where to Begin

The question of where to begin
is preceded by: what do I believe
is my purpose, acknowledging
aliveness and what that means
on scales large and small?
How much time do I have
(how much do I think I have),
what can be done with it, and
how do we ensure both a roof
above our heads and a wheel
of brie at the ready. Necessities.
Rosemary crackers makes three.
Fig jam makes four, but
I was not born for counting;
instead, purpose reveals itself
as testing the Universe with
parts picked apart as flawed
to discover time and again
it is this marred condition
the Universe responds to.
Full circle: where to begin?
There is not a where, really
just a when; only time and
who knows how much of it
other than: it is here now.

(written February 2019 and intended as the first post on this site, but I changed my mind at the last moment in favor of First Photographs, which was the first poem I read aloud to those close to me, and held this poem as a draft until now)

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Notes from the Floor

You know what I have discovered? Don’t laugh
but . . . the joy of the living room floor!
Two weeks back, moving the coffee table aside
left an expanse of freshly-turned blue rug
that beckoned: come be a child on me
and now we (Dog and I) are down here
playing with squish toys (his, not mine,
although truly everything he owns I own).

I have set up a watercoloring station
atop a local newspaper unfolded wide,
filled a plastic cup with water and brushes
and blended together the half-dozen shades
that comprise a New Mexican sky at dusk,
tumbleweeds tiny dots on the horizon
(my whale painting did not fare as well,
spreading into a seafaring Rorschach).

One day I laid on my back and listened
to guided meditations and new age music,
but have also sat with legs V’d outward,
a second mug of hot chocolate at my side,
watching halves of forgettable movies,
with predictable plots and English scenery
not thinking about who I am vs. should be
and if those people are the same (yes).

On my stomach I later read poetry aloud
to a visitor; he stoically crossed his arms
and I am not sure heard the lines about mice
blurted from my lips, nor did he join me
on the floor, nor play on the tree that fell
in the canyon. Wouldn’t anyone? I recall
that weightlessness does not belong to the
burdened. I know. I have lived there, too.

I would like to tell everyone the good idea it is
to go without furniture, how sometimes
matched living room sets (albeit comfortable)
are one of many ways we become slow adults
sliding aimlessly into cushions not unlike how
we assume college degrees, cubicles, crock-pots
and come to believe life is an arrangement
when it is in fact a nonsensical blip on the floor.

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Prayer for Spring

Three days in and your gifts,
tangible and not, have blossomed.
The earliest yellow buds peek out,
the snap peas climb and cling wildly.

Sun, we undo months of curtains
to let in your buttermilk warmth.
As your stay increases each day
so will I turn my face to the light.

Digging my fingers into potting soil,
my emerging naked feet on the grass,
the heart is ripe and swelling for you:
newly arrived season of growth, of hope.

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