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Holding The Ocean Together With Duct Tape

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How old am I? Old enough
to discover there are no permanent fixes,
no single moment we can call ourselves
Complete. We are held together
with patches and duct tape.
The tape has softened to silk
frayed along its edges, unsticky
where it’s picked up lint along the way.
Let’s pray it holds as we move into deep water.

And if it doesn’t?
A leak, a break in the line that
sews us together,
that sows a line of seeds—
tears and trials and travels
laughter and crowds, books and the quiet
Oh the waves of experience and emotion
the moments we move through, they
roll in and out like tides and storms at sea.
Who are we that these tides recede to?
Who are we that these storms become when calmed?
What ocean are we?


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The advertisement
flashed by
it said
the apartment was an

So I took it.

Moved in
that the apartment
would take it from there.
I pictured
boxes of books and bowls,
green trash bags
stuffed with clothes, pillows,
raggedy towels, old fleece
would unpack themselves
fold and stack their own shapes
into cupboards and shelves
While I read a book or took a nap
breathing deep the luxurious
efficient air.

Another Weekend at the Lake

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Another weekend at the lake
ends. Laden with leftovers or hangovers,
packed up, sleep deprived,
we launch a return to the daily.
Daily looks dusty and quiet and less—
less frenetic, less enormous
less thick with the weight of lists

Remember the moon Saturday night
so huge and orange on the ground
we didn’t even recognize her?

Now the quiet is softer
the weight and beauty of our burdens rising
from laughter and talk, from listening and
listening and being listened to



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“I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.”   Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, quoted on The Writers Almanac, 1 Oct. 2019

So no matter our mood, how can we claim
to live in a world without magic or mystery?
We walk around for years, we hear and see and
wander with our minds.
Early or late, we each of us bump into them
in libraries or schools, laundromats or the
bookshelves of old boyfriends–
These are people.
They are fashioned from
26 shapes, cousins and courtesans,
shop keepers, a shepherd we recognize
shuffled again and again
into new people with surprising worries,
unfamiliar clothes and wars and weddings,
errands to run and meals to eat while
outside it begins to rain hard
here in this, the happening world

The Weight Of This Might Be What Makes The Leaves Fall

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morning ladies walk
laugh and talk in a gaggle,
sweep across our town

overhead, the geese
call and gossip through the sky
echoes snag in trees

all of them, above and below
full of grace, ideas and noise
an urge to hurry forward
with so much to say
in haste
to each other

Before The Noisy Daylight

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I wake even earlier
It’s still dark outside–
and dark.
I share this space with crickets,
murmur of early walkers,
truckers shifting gears on the highway,
commuters humming or grumbling
later, with the snow plows and the snow

We all, by love or necessity
share this early quiet, this soft dark hour
deep breath of our mostly sleeping world
before noisy daylight
hurries us forward

On The Care Of Cardboard

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This battered box of memory
is where I keep them—
my childhood, and yours.
Instead of packing tape
I reinforce the corners with
Exercise, Healthy Living.
To save the box.

Across the street,
there’s his box
disintegrating from
age, misuse, and disregard—
The cardboard softens into
material pliable as cloth,
loses its shape, leaves it—
abandons the work of holding


The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

The Sketchbook


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

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry