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Poetry Required

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Some mornings require
a joy filled, ecstatic poem
Subject: Cold is grand
Winter, majestic—
toss in some darkness
even though it’s morning
and add a concrete, telling detail:
an engine that won’t start
a sidewalk turned ice rink
Oh, by now I love this kind
of poem so much that
I’ll take two, at any price
if one will rev the engine
of my body, two will fuel
me through this frozen day

Waning Gibbous

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ghost moon, morning sky
low glow behind walls of mist
days lived long distance
drifting, behind these worries
in this world slowed by winter

Here, Below Zero: A Juxtaposition

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upstairs, my toes and mind
warm enough for rhyme
tumble sounds around
build some small poems
while one leftover word
sharp-edged Juxtaposition
carries astonishing cold
tucks the wind to bed
so cold can build something too
which creation is best
some warm words above
or the frozen foundation
that iced my kitchen pipes?

the next blizzard

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the next blizzard or
the one after that could be
your last blizzard so
listen to the storm’s voices
revel in snow and cocoa

This Secret Language

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The Secret Language of Dreams
arrived yesterday
in a plain brown mailer

this morning, still dark,
I open it and read the epigraph
because I believe in beginning
at the beginning. But since I
also believe in soft lighting
the words are hard to see.
the epigraph, which begins “Dreams
are a conversation with oneself”
emerges in my mind’s eye
a garbled translation into
are a conversation with angels”

Oh, imagine. Imagine yourself.
Imagine me. Imagine us becoming
angels to ourselves.

A Mary Oliver Reading List

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Sad news. Just read that Mary Oliver died yesterday. Last night, before I knew, I read her poem Invitation to my yoga class. I hope you already know and love her work. If you don’t yet, here are some suggestions to begin. Everything in bold italics is a title or a quote from Mary Oliver. Dive in. Dive deep. And remember to say thank you to whatever or whoever gave our world the gift of Mary Oliver.

Begin with Invitation
or anywhere
Attend to Wild Geese
and absolutely turn to
From The Book Of Time
visit The World I Live In
to marvel at that life, lived.
Read The Poetry Teacher and
any other poem she wrote
about dogs
or about wild foxes or
any other poem she wrote
I could go on for a long, long time
holding up one gleaming shell after another
artifacts, each still damp from that inventive ocean
where Mary Oliver dived deep.
When Death Comes may we be able to say
we spent much time in her company
May we be able to say we learned
the lesson she taught over and over
“for sheer delight
and gratitude…
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world”
Because like our intrepid guide, at the end
“I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Traffic Report

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all the traffic here
is off-road—
trees proceed
at their own pace
over the hills

use caution this morning, as
conditions are a wintry mix
thin icing of white on every branch—
no sapling wants to hurry
and risk shaking off that sparkle

be awake, says the traffic report
today, your commute may be
by beauty

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 Poetry Practice

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry