Friday, July 24, 2009

She Is Who Wakes Me

She Is Who Wakes Me
A Poem inspired by Jane Hirshfield's "Imagine Myself In Time"

Twenty years on, facing old age
who will my young self be?
What will she look like when I look back
from future mornings? The quality
of those mornings, a hidden mystery—no telling now
whether I'll find birdsongs, or birds.
Looking at old age, when it's closer at hand,
will I remember the way words matter now:
guardians of my heart, gates to others'?
Maybe one loss will follow another,
and widowhood will be less sudden.
Or I will walk naked into a sunny morning, forgetting
how cold the world still is at dawn.
I wonder if my older self knows how
to enfold time, piling years
onto her current moment,
now to then, then to now.
Saying, "it is only ever now,"
so that neither of us can utter a reply.
She already knows about me. Time folds.
She is who wakes me, today.

I started writing this poem in June but has evolved quite a bit since, and it felt time to share it with more people. It feels like it tries to capture a sentiment (or series of sentiments) that are close at hand for me this summer. If you read it and have any associations with it, or want to provide other feedback, please do!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Laughter, After

Laughter, After
(On "Faith Healing")

One can hear the phrase "Faith Healing" as the healing of wounded faith (as in: faith, healing). Or as the way faith, like nothing else, heals. I guess that it does. This way: I sit on a porch and I stare at the ocean, believing that this is time well spent. I understand our whole lives together hover above a small area of the Pacific and I stare. I listen to the family of quail looking for food on our porches, and it is literally a family: mother, father, and a very spotted baby. I am giving myself time, on a Sunday, a day you left, and have none left of. I trust that this is what I need and I listen to the quail, and I hear you say, about the baby: That. Is. So. Cute. And I am grateful for your voice in my ears. So my faith gives me gratitude which leads me to tears of what can only be called joy. So it has happened again: faith led to time led to gratitude led to tears led to joy. I am not past-tense healed, but I am healing. You are healing. Me. Despite the paradox. I bless you for being the wound and the salve simultaneously. Render and mender. Woe-er and Sew-er/Sower. Tearful and cheerful. Latitude/gratitude. Attitude/platitude. Food chewed. Mood-lewd. Quail-wail. Laughter, After. You are cracking me up, and I am back to real joy, and if I weren't writing these words in a roomful of people there'd be real tears, too.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Corn ears unfurling.
What did the babies look like?
Memory fleeting.

June 29, 2009