Poem every day

I promised myself
to write poems every day
springtime in my heart

     flowers blossom inside me
     I plant poems by the road


Outlines and Mirrors and Turning Away

I am reading
And the words go into my eyes
Into my brain
And I am connecting
Again and again
With a man I’ll never meet
Who doesn’t know I exist
But who is connecting with me
All the same
He is one of the rare ones
Who writes with his eyes
Into restless souls
And understands things
That he’ll never say
And when he turns the corner
With his mind
To avoid having to explain
I can see the outlines
Of where his words don’t go
The places his mind
Evades and avoids
And it’s as much a communication
As if he’d said it out loud
Is it wrong
To be grateful
For his suffering
Because it mirrors my own?
Maybe that does make me
A selfish monster after all
Far more than being unable
To cry
Or maybe we are all
Selfish monsters
Some of the time
And only believe otherwise
Because nobody is saying it
Out loud
And when I try to find the words
To say what’s in my heart
My mind turns away
Just like his
So as not to betray
If you want to really know me
Look for what I will not say
Even to say this much
Feels like handing the keys away
Handing keys to strangers
In a dangerous world
Well no matter
Because you need more than keys
To understand what you see
When you unlock the mind
Of a person
Like you, or like me
You can peer all you want
At the silhouettes formed
By my retreating thoughts
But if you come here with malice
Even just a trace
You will never understand
What’s staring you in the face
You’ll get twisted and turned
Around and around
Until you find yourself outdoors again
Dumped on the ground
If you come here as a friend
Then the key is all you need
Come in, you’re welcome
Let’s all plant the seed
For a tree of protection
To grow in this place
So that none of us need worry
About malicious strangers
With keys and with greed
You can drink the water
From the well in the ground
I will join you in a moment
And without a sound
We will look past the barriers
Look past the pain
And burrow a tunnel
To keep out the rain
Then you and I
Can be the kind of friends
Where the learning
And the sharing
And the joy
Never ends
I can feel you right now
Over thousands of miles
Hoping all the while
That there’s someone
On the other side of time
Crossing that line
Without leaving a sign
There are billions of people
And millions of years
And somehow we connect
In an underground village
Without fear
Without shame
Without disbelief
Though we shake like a leaf
At the wonder
The shadows we cast
Are taller than trees
But the light that creates them
Is brighter than anything
We can stand to see
One day we’ll meet again
Inside of that light
And there we’ll uncover
The end to all fright
But until then we live
In our burrow underground
And talk to each other
Without making a sound
And I’m no longer alone
No longer in pain
No longer imprisoned
Inside of my brain
I wrote my way out
I wrote my way to you
You wrote your way to me
And our life begins again:

Intimate Technology

It feels intimate 
Holding you in one hand
Typing by light touch of fingers on screen
People say technology is cold and merciless 
But you are like my feeding tube
Too intimately connected to my life
To be cold and detached
Each letter my fingers peck out
Is a message sent into the void
Hoping someone on the other side 
Is listening



I don’t think that this poem is good enough to send
It’s clunky and it doesn’t get its point across too well
But does it really matter if I think so in the end?

Five poems on ambivalence I’ve written in the end
Five poems on ambivalence, deleted, all, and quelled
I don’t think that this poem is good enough to send

I’ve made too many mistakes, it’s impossible to mend
From those corners of my mind where the bad ideas dwell
But does it really matter if I think so the end?

Each one had lofty metaphors that I myself had penned
But each was missing something, that even i can’t tell
I don’t think that this poem is good enough to send

I suppose if I worked at it, a poem could transcend
The ambivalence that so far has sounded its death-knell
But does it really matter if I think so in the end?

A poem about a poet who cannot comprehend
Whether or not to publish, is a perfect parallel:
I don’t think that this poem is good enough to send
But does it really matter if I think so in the end?

[This poem was written as part of an exercise where people gave me titles and I had to write a poem or story based on the title.]


Return to sender: no longer at this address

My mother is a wizard with plants
I kind of knew it already
But when my father was upset
Because he'd never see the morning glories
Bloom again in his life
My mother secretly coaxed
A morning glory vine
Out of season
To bloom, and climb, to bloom, and climb
And she took him outside
To show him the magic she'd done
And that's how much my mother loves my dad

My flowers are my poetry
I coax the words to bloom and grow
And climb and climb into his heart
Even out of season
I use words to express the wordless
And that's one kind of magic I have
And that's how much I love my dad

But one of these days
I'm going to write a poem
It will be full of obscure mountain lakes
And treks across the mountains to the sea
And forest floors that were so much more
And owls hooting up in the trees
It will show him every place
That I could feel his love
Without the emotional bombardment
Of living in the city

And it will be a perfect poem
For that time and that place
It will certainly be better than this one
It will show him that I care for him
(As if he doesn't know by now)
It will show the depth of love
That death can dredge up when you're lucky

And then i will get a phone call or an email
It will start out:
“Go and take your dexamethasone right now.”
And I'll have a sinking feeling
But I'll take the syringe of steroids
And put it in my feeding tube
Then go back to the phone or the computer

Then they'll say
“The news is bad
Your father has passed away
He was far too tired this morning
To check your blog today.”

And all that's left of my magic
Will be words on a screen
Words he may have understood
But will never hope to read

From that point on forwards
We'll be separated by time
We both will have existed
But from that point in time onwards
I will be here and he won't

I wonder how much dexamethasone it takes
To avoid adrenal crisis when your dad dies
I wonder how much magical love it takes
To stand the pain you feel when you realize

That you will never talk to him again
You'll never hug him again
You'll never sit next to each other
With an elderly cat spread across your laps
You'll never ask the questions
You forgot to ask when he was alive
You'll never play with his beard again
And there's so little time
There's so little time

But I'm wrong
Like people are often wrong about time
Eternity is all around us
That's all the time in the world
Eternity is where love exists
Outside of time and space
So even if he never reads my best poems
He'll feel the love that went into them
Just as he feels the love
From that morning glory vine

He feels the love from his two pet dogs
He feels the love from his wife
He feels the love from his three adult children
He says he's lucky to be surrounded
By so much love

So I'm terribly sorry, Ron
If some of my poems don't reach you in time
And i'm terribly sorry Ron
If I try to Skype you and it turns out you're gone
Just know I love you more
Than even the best poet can convey
I love you more than I could ever say

And love is the magic that made my mom
Able to grow those morning glories
And love is the magic that makes me able
To write poems daily after years of dormancy
And love is the magic that connects you to me
It's the way we can feel each other's love
Without any form of contact at all

I hope the place I built for you outside of time
And filled to overflowing with my love
Will see you through

And I hope that I'll continue
Writing poetry to you
Long after you've gone

And I hope it reaches you in Eternity
Or wherever it is you're going

And I hope that even the worst of it
Conveys this message:

I love you
I love you
I love you


It’s scary to let go of words, when you’re trapped inside them.

Because there’s a moment when you’ve let go of the words
And you realize that once you let go, they won’t come back
And you’re hanging in the air between the words and the ground
And you don’t know how high you are in the air
And you don’t know how hard you’ll hit the ground
Or how many bumps and bruises that will cause
Even though you always feel better with your feet on the ground
And you desperately, desperately want to be on the ground smelling the earth
But you’re afraid to fall
And you’re afraid to hit
And you’re afraid how much effort it will take to get back in the air
Or whether you can get into the air at all
So you cling and scrabble
Until your fingers break
And you hit the ground fifty times as hard
And stay there fifty times as long
Too stunned to take in
Everything you normally appreciate
About being on the ground


Fishing For Words

Sleep, when a word dangles on a hook
And I jump up to catch it
And fall back down with my eyes closed
Ready to sleep
But there’s another word on the hook
So I jump out of the water, again and again
Running out of air
To type words
Rather than sleep in my underwater home