filling the book

with what I don’t know about
trees, their loves and losses
intimacies with beetle and worm
higher math. how to curtsey in

and bow out, gracefully
to say no and graciously
yes, these distances between
and how to bridge them. why

a lover fades before your eyes
or changes, or you change. how
to get up every day, new
in the eyes of dog or child

to prevent disappointment.
why words come thick
(fast in your youth, in dreams)
then vanish like the bees

though all the scented flowers
lead like a jeweled trail
to or from your heart—
and all the silent waiting


watching the neighbors

dreaming crabapple, pomegranate-bright
paired cardinals, redbud, tulips bobbing
in tattered sunlight—I see people—
outside!—discussing the trim of a tree


how nothing in pendant birch-pods
questing tendril peas nor even flight of bees
suggests an asteroid skimming past
only five times farther than the moon


…but it happened…asteroid info here.


A Bee Story

They like blue flowers
also purple, yellow, white
(something about ultraviolet light)
but pink, red, orange are good
and a fragrance, not too sweet
(they love herbs, mint); bees need
a place to drink, shifting shapes
and new blooms as the season
wears on, gentle sun-warming
after a winter’s long rest—

Bees work hard at their harvest
bumbling from instinct to beauty
and perhaps in another life
I could be a bee, happily


I spent a LOT of time in the sun yesterday, planting flowers for myself and the bees. I have also been reading this beautiful new book I found at the library, THE BEE-FRIENDLY GARDEN, by Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn.

For next year’s garden

bring me canna lilies
red and gold, leaves bold
unfurling palm-like, shading
striped, streaked, splotched
great reedy canes
buds ruffled, spiraling
throats blushed
to bring bees, birds, bats
and if we can’t live on
through frost and dark
we’ll make paper, dye, beads
and music from the seeds

Playing with this prompt from Margo Roby: Wordgathering, also inspired by a gift of canna lily rhizomes from my son’s horticulture class.

Hoping for the Homestead

There’s no need to settle—
ever migrating, we light
on a blossom song
until we’ve drunk our honey-fill:
apricot, linden, clover
and by the lakeside listening
for night music, we dream
of trails wending west and west

Inspired by Margo Roby’s Poem Tryouts, “The Streets Where You Lived,” and including parts of names of several streets on which we’ve resided: apricot, linden, clover, lakeside, trail, west; with “night music” standing in for Mozartstrasse.

Once and Future

These years I have burnished
silver, shelved desire
as a thing to sip and sniff
parceled out love as if
the supply might dry up—
What use? Tonight, dozing
fireside, if snow-wind brings
blackbird note, I’ll swallow whole
a drop of hot sun enough
to build and howl and spill

and light my way
to riverside where summer
bridge glints gossamer
humming like bees—
only a step into the forest
fleet-foot past crone’s hut
to rain-hung green-washed glade
where he waits, my blackbird boy
dark-eyed, impatient
to take me to his breast