5 April 2021

in the morning the snow is velvety white and ribbed
we skiers call it corduroy
I like to weave in and out of it
always looking to lay first tracks

we marvel at our luck
what a huge mountain to be traversing
our kid in tow, slow behind us
but eager to descend through the trees

at lunch we sun ourselves on the deck
and you remark how this is a nice alternative
to the blustery winter skiing we are used to
I wear sunglasses to shade my eyes and smile

by afternoon the snow has softened
given in to the weight of skiers and boarders
we skiers called it mash potatoes
your quintessential spring skiing

soft mounds of snow piled haphazardly on the slope
we navigate carefully around, over, through
hitting a mud patch will lurch you forward
foregoing any grace and style there may have been

But this is the price we pay
(and what a price it was)
to steal away for a few days
in a tiny A-frame, er, cabin
in the woods
to chase the remaining snow
that winter supplied this year

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on the day of our travels
4 April 2021

I left my notebook where I wrote a poem
on the dining room table
in a rush to get out the door
make good time
get on the road

We actually did it
left the house while it was still considered morning
slated for arrival in the late afternoon
the front seat filled with pride

This seems like ominous poem
that ends with a car crash and tragedy
but it doesn’t
we pulled into the the A-frame village, and found ours among them

Unless, of course, you consider the forgotten poem scrawled on a forgotten notebook.

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The wind
2 April 2021

I couldn’t feel the wind in the forest
under the canopy of budding trees
parked at the campsite with the picnic table

I did feel the cold sting of winter’s lingering breathe
fighting against the thawing earth
throwing snow sideways against the trees

On the mountain top there’s blue skies and sun
the promise of spring already visible

Winter cannot survive much longer
and together we will smile and laugh in the sunshine
squint up at the heat
swat away flies
seek shade among the thick forest canopy.

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A poem for you
1 April 2021

I no longer yearn for poems written about me, for me.

The torment that used to come with such… pleasures?

The dissecting, the wondering, the tug at the heart.

What does it mean?

There was an unspeakable manipulation.

The last ditch [first ditch. middle ditch] effort for attention.

Pay attention to me paying attention to you.

These days there are no more poems to worry about dissecting. I’m free of the wondering.

My emotional energy is spent elsewhere, with people who’s intentions are genuine, loving, sincere, meaningful.

I’ve acquired real friendships that aren’t wrapped up in subtext and need. How freeing it is to love whole and openly and without condition.

Without the constant threat of abandonment.

.

.

.

Without the constant threat of abandoment.

.

.

.

There it is. Another aha moment. Add that to what I’ve learned over the past six years.

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[POEM] When I am among the trees, by Mary Oliver

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

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28 March 2021

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Little anxieties
28 March 2021

It’s now warm enough in the mornings

well, some mornings

to sit on the porch of this tiny house

overlooking the tiny mountains above the tiny town

this morning began with hot coffee – cream and just a little sugar

crows and rain

and a sweater – the earth still chilly

there’s a difference between getting caught in the rain

and starting out in it

that’s the logic we employ when deciding to migrate outside our comforts

the rain slows

a tap tap tap from from the water retreating from house to ground

song birds replace crows and

the skies try to lighten, maybe a little

but the clouds seem too thick

the rain will begin again

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Ten acre pond
March 26, 2021

I drive here knowing there will be sounds I need to hear today. A dozen different frog sounds from the vernal ponds, collecting around thick wheat grass. The bigger pond is mostly silent, except for the ripples casting silent whispers.

There are birds, too, ones I can’t identify. Starlings, yes. And red-winged black birds. A pair of ducks. That’s all I know. The others fly anonymously from tree to tree.

It’s a wonder I don’t fuck this up too. Just sitting here by the pond. Maybe because there’s no one else here. If I don’t talk I can’t keep making mistakes. The words come from my mouth before they enter my brain.

Six years ago half of my mother’s brain stopped working and she collapsed on the laundry room floor and laid there for four hours alone until my dad came home from a long day of being a CPA during tax season and found her in a pile of fluid and blood.

She survived, somehow. But she lost her speech and the movement of her right side and nothing has been the same since. If I could trade places with her I wouldn’t keep fucking up. I would be speechless and motionless. You can’t do damage that way. My mother never says the wrong things now. She used to, like me. Or me like her. Not now. Now she’s just always there – half a working brain, with all her emotional capacity and memory still in tact.

I need to emulate my post-stroke mom. Keep quiet. Listen. Don’t say the things. The things are stupid. They get you in trouble. Be the person friends say “you never talk anymore” to. That’s what I aspire to be.

For seven years now my heart has slowly numbed. I hate the platitudes about heartbreak and that it means you loved deeply. I hate platitudes. But heartbreak lasts a lifetime. Reoccurring heartbreak leaves scars that aren’t particularly lovely. I feel empty of love. I feel alone.

While flicking ticks off my pants I hear a loud crack in the woods, not far away. Far enough that I don’t run. I hear it again and watch a tree let loose and fall to the ground. It is magic and terror. I can’t tell if the tree was dead before it fell. Regardless, the wind has its own plans for the trees today. I decide against wandering farther along the path, farther into the woods and retreat back to the pond.

There are unspoken paths around the water that present themselves during dry spells. I make my way to humped land above the far end of the pond where the starlings and black birds have nested. They group together and fly away, to the tree tops across the pond. I am a birders worst companion. There is no grace or elegance in my presence. But I was attracted to the view and the downed trees and the vibrant green moss. That green moss gets me every time. I have a thousand pictures of: moss in forest. moss on rocks. moss on trees. moss on moss.

If I just keep silent, everything will be ok.

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morning walk
25 March 2021

the smell of damp ash and smoke
the image of ruins and rebirth the same
sounds of highway and birds and electrical humming
but not footsteps in front or behind

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