The Mother

And so I call my mother
to thank her for
the strength

she gave to me, and also
perhaps especially,
for the joy, because this life

is just a small opening,
a momentary window,
and though

there are shadows
in the dark,
she gave me my hands,

with which to draw back
the curtains
and open eyes to see

the white snow fall
even as this night sky
lights up with morning.

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We Write This Poem Together

The mother’s wish:
to write a poem for the daughter
as a thank you

for walks along
white hospital hallways,
days blending into night,

for the car ride here,
where each small bump
felt like an earthquake.

And the earth does tremor
a little, or at least
your understanding of it,

as all of the walls
come tumbling down
and there is nothing left

but gratitude
and
poetry,

written from parent to child
to parent to child to parent
to child until

the end of time,
an old timey flip-book,
and the dancer dances faster

as the pages fly.
The wind flips the pages.
We watch in awe.

The clock flips the pages.
We watch in gratitude,
the mothers

and the daughters,
the sons and the fathers. We write
this poem together.

There’s Always More to Tell

This is a song I wrote a little while back for my dad…and with Father’s Day just around the corner and all…

I’ve been thinking about you all morning.
The dawn is rolling by in the arms of a storm.
I wish that I could give you fair warning
but they’re just like the tides,
these thoughts of mine.

Outside the trees are all in bloom.
I’ve been hoping to hear from you soon.
We’re sitting around making music in a morning room,
and you are on my mind,
most all of the time.

It’s spring again and I’m another year older.
I’m feeling fine, and the children – they are, too.
We’re living this life just a little bit bolder.
The stars keep going round,
and I keep missing you.

We used to walk down by the seaside.
We’d find those shells, and we’d find those stones.
You’d tell me everything’s going to be alright,
and then we’d head on home.
I know you’ve head on home.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve said everything.
That doesn’t mean there’s not always more to tell.
I’d like to play this morning song right to you,
and to know you’re doing well.
There’s always more to tell.

Island

i.
In the rainforest,
life and death
at the same time,
in various stages of
green to brown
and in between.

ii.
What is the gravity
of the white moon
on the human body?

iii.
Barefooting along
the forest path,
she describes
the information
that she gathers
through her feet.

iv.
We are water
and so
is the sea,
salty and
transient,
with false edges.

v.
Night music fills
the shadow places
of the half moon.

vi.
You pull a human skull
from the grotto. The spinal hole,
foramen magnum,
lets in the idea of sunlight
for the first time
in a century or more.

vii.
Three generations tell stories
of the things they have seen
so far. They pass the bread.
They pass the wine. Three
generations listen. They pass
the salt. They pass the water.