In Spring

No orbital saturation
like the lime baby grasses
of springtime. Bath
of color, and all ballast
sinks to the bottom
of those tender shoots.

Tender like us,
though I’m not sure why
we spend so much energy
pretending we are not.

Let’s push up through
this fertile dark, exposed,
and let the long winter
deliver our bodies
to the raw green courage
of a fragile and glorious bloom.

Runny Noze Blues

Little cold bug, little bugger, little slugger,
why you got my nose?  All sneaky and leaky,
why you land here? I been washing these hands dear,
after the car and before the jar,
after each shakin’,
before cookin’ the bacon,
but today you are takin’ me down.
All the tea I am drinkin’,
the children, they’re thinkin’
I have too much more I will drown.

I got the runny noze blues
inside these slippered foot shoes,
can I just press the snooze
one more time?

But work, it is callin’, and lunches need made,
and I’m not in the mood to discuss the math grade.
The tissues they’re pilin,’ while I try to keep smilin’,
but the phone won’t stop ringin’,
I feel like I’m whinin’
my lover, he’s waitin’,
and my mother, she’s writin’,
but the trash can is fillin’, and oh good god willin’
this hot toddy ain’t just lemonade.

Said the pillow, so soft, to the noze,
my dear, it’s high time for repose,
when your thoughts start to wander,
git that bed over yonder,
go tuck yourself in, despite your chagrin,
let a new day begin!
If you drip in the night,
it will all be alright,
‘cause tomorrow you will change your clothes.
You will!  Yes,
tomorrow you’ll put on new clothes.

Jedi

On the day you get into your first fight,
you tell me that now you understand
Darth Vader, how he reached
his tipping point,
and never came back,

and how the dark thing
welled up inside you
until you shoved harder than you ever knew you could,
how the other boy flew
three whole sidewalk squares,

and with the red blood
still wet on your lip, you apologized to the boy,
before the front desk buzzed me in
to gather you up, you had already
found your way

toward your own peace.  So together
we clean quietly the beginnings
of this new and storied scar,
Darth Vader never came back, you say,
but I’m a good person,

so I’ll recover.

For Mary Oliver

There are teachers
who make a home
in your mouth,
teachers whose words
fly inside thoughts
before you make them,
whose soft hands,
or so you imagine,
hold gently your cheeks
as you drive
toward a different horizon,
perhaps terrified,
and feeling alone,
which of course you never were,
since that day long ago
when white nests
of wild feathers, she wove
in your pockets.

In a Blink

Last night, as Jupiter
danced with Venus,
I thought of you

and you and you,
and all the lights,
in our varying

brightnesses, depending
on the day,
or early dawn as it were,

and how,
when we come together,
and move apart,

it is enough
to break a heart,
or open one,

these many arrivals
and departures,
while Antares

blazes on, a light
that left for Earth
600 years back,

such a long time
and short
time ago.