bookshop therapy

today: dazzle and overwhelm yourself
with riches of color, type, genre, taste,
the bargain-stickered tomes, deckle edges!
poetry of filigree border, fine paintings
that grace the scholarly set. smile
at brash color, mysteryromancesciencefiction,
the table’s strange mix, mash of dour classics
and modern beach read (bright tote on lower shelf).
close your ears to blaring country music, discounts!
endorsements, star wars toys and eager blurbs.
caress a spine, let fall the pages—or flip—inhale
vision, scene, mere arrangement of words an invitation
to your rain-bruised mind (heart, soul, whatever)
then come back to this desk and pretend
it was pure inspiration because you always knew
you couldn’t come out empty-handed

life is the network

it began with the rabbit
or with cutting down the shrub
roots bound in clay earthworms somehow
nourishing leafbud wet-scent soil
or with the motionless toad or
single butterfly plum-blossom hunting

with seedling kale chewed to the nub!
hyacinths’ sloped shoulders concentrating
rain-perfume or it began with
dog quivering the sudden storm
muscles smooth-bunched mud-grass torn
with instinct the terror scream

and now the rabbit
smaller than my two palms together
unforgiven for greengarden theft yet how
our hearts all race to collision
fruitless attempts to separate
life-sharp soft spring air


Title inspired by this article from NPR.


in the spirit of exploration

1. infinity has an edge
like this ring, now
pinged lunar surface
to be worn smooth again

2. every day you go out, come back
changed, convinced of nothing
left to explore in the messy joins
of the universe

3. if anything proved the vision
within bounds
don’t say it was
just a mistake

At the library this morning, I picked up a new book called Explorers’ Sketchbooks, by Huw Lewis-Jones and Kari Herbert. The introduction mentioned both the New Horizons photos of Pluto and Scott in the Antarctic…



to the playground with dog and daughter
dusk on its gray-day soft falling
we have not been speaking, much

the young dog balking at her leash
we try volleyball with two then three
move on so my eye is caught
by the bird nest, how it grows snug
over and around its branches

a labor of instinct no less than love
to withstand even yesterday’s storm
and certainly tomorrow’s—a thing crafted
stick by stick, thread by thread
has no good reason to fail in any season

makes a habit of staying past resentment
of being patched again by smile and sun
deferring to earthbound need


In Like a Hawk

sudden, you were there—or
sudden, I caught sight of you
there, in the crabapple, too large,
proud, still, as it swayed and bobbed

feeders wild-gyrate in the wind
that lifted your chest feathers
like an impertinent hand
(that blaze of white!)

but majesty is ever unruffled
and if there is a king of birds
in this yard, your calm red eye
sleek head turning, turning claims it

fixing my restless form
in these shadows behind glass,
behind curtains, hold-not-holding
my breath and how long I gaze
but turn away first, wondering

what sign, omen, message
did you bring: that I should keep watchful?
be patient, unmoved? make eye contact
and my presence known, then fly on
when no one’s looking