old vines blooming

this periwinkle faith
through sunless seasons

what of your pleading attempts
to will it into being?

now green so clear it hurts
stretching sunward on nothing more
than instinct and half-forgotten roots

not to be pressed in a book
or plucked to judge its shape

but let it spring lush where it will, overspill
your stone-built walls, all in a night
when no one is looking




what leafing follows
like a river from your roots?
were you made (inevitable,
complete) or do you knit yourself
from the inside out, glorious
short-flowered, incandescent
with doubt?

what light-shine sun into muddled heart?
how to grow, how to know, where to direct
this heat and soul, your doubt-seed
flowered into hard, black fruit
bitter and somehow

I wanted to do something a little different for this year’s National Poetry Month, so I made myself a journal called Yes Words to doodle some inspiration.


Task for a Muse

How do I shout
entwined as I am
about the doorframe
bounded by the step? A thorn
or two to snag passersby
(when one strident voice
is no more heeded than another
or silence) heeded not at all.
I have been rooted
in the earth fluid only
with the wind’s desire
and though I sought voice
after voice, bearing flower fruit
year on year I am nothing
no arms to move you but
my whispered song



No wildness here. Fountain, nest-box, feeder—
the pond itself—all man-made. We walk across
the hospital car park, half-empty in summer evening
with its surround of tame plantings, neat
golden daylily mounds, cerise scentless roses
bricks, benches, sidewalk. We can still see the highway
stoplights in their cycles, but ignore the traffic
all faceless humanity; we are only this family of three
and we have come for the swans. We pause
at the prescribed seat, admire them at a distance
with their attendant ducks. Our girl tugs us onward
and the male now sails his wings, drifting close
stern-eyed, closer still, huge and real and fearsome
but here are the young with their mother, pearl-gray
slight, arching their necks, sipping the water
learning majesty, teaching joy in small doses


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.


Like any prejudice, deep-rooted:
we don’t want you here. Why?
A yellow flower, salad-worthy leaves—
we like yellow flowers (even salad)
when we intend it, neat rows
boxed, potted, or climbing well-behaved
on a trellis. But you have this way of popping in
when and where you please, rough-edged
oblivious to convention, blowing wind-wild
teeming in open fields, invading
our careful plans. What use
for this free-thinking sunny vigor,
this relentless hello?


Off-prompt again for NaPoWriMo Day 21. It’s true, you can have your dandelions and eat them, too.