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The Rid Yourself Of Excess Garage Sale

to include
the garage itself, with all its contents
plus
twenty-three coffee cups, nobody’s favorites
breadmaker, juicer, waffle iron, wok
all those clothes for someday
and in the corner, tattered cardboard box
of dust and magazines you’ll never read
years and years of conflicting messages
Real Simple and More
Start your own magazine, composed
entirely of air, title it: Enough, Already.

Fairy Lights

Strung along our walls
thumb-tacked and draped
close to the ceiling
early, late, every day
I held my breath
plugged in this antidote to winter dark
house rainbowed at every window,
joy for five dollars a string.
One by one, the strands
go dark, something hidden in them
breaks. I throw the dead
in the kitchen trash, though they deserve
A proper burial
for all the light
they gave, until they had
no more to give.
Down to one room now,
this room,
still glowing
Green, yellow, pink, red, blue.

Unexpected Recipe

Yesterday’s storm caught us
unprepared, separated,
stranded but safe.
Suddenly home alone
snowed in this Unexpected
Bowl of hours, I filled it
with shoveling snow
and making soup of the day
from what I had:
Chicken and coconut,
Sketchbook and sweater,
Worldbeat Radio,
Contentment and cookies.
Later, while the storm raged,
I filled a cup and sipped
the delicious day of quiet
falling everywhere, expansive,
soft and white.

Store Clerk Of My Dreams

After hours spent calling out, Next, please, fluorescent light paling their skin and making eyes water, at the end of their shift they go home to their quiet home, pet the big, gentle dog who greets them at the door, hang up their jacket and the handmade scarf that was their favorite gift, curl up in a chair with a borrowed book and a mug of tea—only heated water, only leaves and herbs, and by soft candlelight stretch into themselves, thankful, thankful, to not be who they served all day, those sad and desperate, ravenous shoppers with their naked needs.

Gather Is A Verb

An action word
can fool us—
Spinning in circles
is not the same as
climbing the mountain.

Spoon Rest

Spoon Rest

O spoon,
washed and dried
worn out
after the dinner shift.
Your work, as
necessary as a key–
to unlock our lips,
open our voices
over tonight’s
fine bowls of soup.

Two Umbrella Life

Tiny one left behind by children
who no longer believe in umbrellas
hangs by the door
eager as a puppy
ready to throw itself
at a chance to open.

Bigger one leans in the corner
lazy as an old but faithful dog
opens creakily, slowly
rousing itself from dreams
of other storms, long ago.

Silence Sequence

Silence: III
What the tiny noise
of a flickering candle
breaks

Silence: II
Fragile vase, clear crystal
Any fidgety toddler
could tell you:
It was meant to fall

Silence: I
Cosmos cut to save them
from first frost
lift pink faces
to the ceiling
searching for the rain

Conjuring Trick

Sudden as thunder,
the mind shifts.
In the midst of perfect August,
instead of summer,
your head fills with February.
February deep with snow and
cozy as a children’s story.
Fire in the hearth, soft quilts,
stew simmering on the stove,
Mozart on the radio.

Tap the window of this scene
and the woman inside
will look up, into the middle distance
as if at nothing at all.
I know what she sees.
In her red sweater
and thick socks, as she stirs
she is picturing August
and both of us smile.

Just A House

My old neighbor’s daughter says,
Mom’s been gone four years,
Dad even longer. I couldn’t walk
down your street, she says.
Couldn’t go past their old house.
But I scolded myself (my old neighbor’s
daughter is a very strict woman)
and said,
It’s just a house.
So a few weeks back,
I walked by.
Here, her stern eyes soften,
fill with tears.
So we make a plan,
there in the housewares aisle
where we met:
Next time, she’ll stop at my house
Three doors down. We’ll sit
on my porch and drink tea
to soften sorrow
while my house
is still mine,
no cause for sorrow,
nothing to avoid.

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

The Sketchbook

MOSTLY MONTREAL, MOST OF THE TIME

Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Ronka Poetry Practice Since 2014

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry