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and not of yellow bricks

your job is to smile today
at those so many decades
younger
their heads full of
different concerns
but all of us
awake and moving
forward through the day
the years a path
we make as we walk

early riser

crickets fall silent—
to get a jump on the day
rain starts before dawn

this time

Here, I said
and handed myself the
gift
of time enough to
hear
your
self
think
or better yet
breathe

maybe turkeys

on the lake road
big flock of maybe turkeys
or turkey buzzards
waddle by the car
as we debate
who they really are.

fruit of the season

soft summer weather lingers
even in the rain—
but I’ve already turned away
towards every thing autumnal
pumpkin spiced or pumpkin colored

I eat the last peach in the bowl
ready for apples

elephant corn

another thing about a cornfield
the way you can measure the days
as it grows so fast you hear the rustle
all summer, tiny sprouts tugged up
into stalks taller than the eye of
even the tallest elephant
till you can walk through it,
drive along its flank
become tiny in a cozy way
as if this herd feels tender towards you,
your bumbling presence tolerated
as it snuggles you close

art of the day

Across the road, my father
ages badly, measures all as loss
So I try(I am trying) to treasure what is
given as we age. Today, words
shuffle themselves as if they might
be a poem but I trip over the dog who wants my
attention and in that flash of frustration—
for one moment
I remember All these moments,
All these years, when attention is
scattered. This minute when our specific art
whatever we hoped to create
is just out of reach, tantalizing
poem or story, painting, song, sculpture
or intricate sweater or that cake, five layers
of lemon crumb, with dark fudge filling
frosted in pink ganache—
for the hundredth time, life interrupts the
Idea of what we want to Create.
kids dogs spouses jobs parents bills errands cats
step in, jump up and down shouting Look!
over and over and over to help us learn
Let go of that tight breath, that lost poem
that cake which is not the true art we build.
Here is life, so patient and maybe
some days,
eventually,
we are old enough to see—
we are building not a sweater not a story
but our shared life and attention is all we
have to give, attention is what creates this,
the only art of our lives.

friends of a certain age and temperament

autumn night together
lakeside at camp—
we wonder
is that a full moon?
as we all look up, no one
reaching for their phone

September 17 Happiness

Today I think of those sappy old comics
With the Happiness is tagline
But I am. My daughter is healthy and happy
and made it through all the choppy years
to reach this moment. Fog is lifting
on this morning road, the dog beside me calm and
glad to be chewing the cardboard coffee sleeve
and on the radio Alison’s* voice sends Christina
Rosetti’s poems out over the hills —
And it all rises up in me and names itself.
Nothing for it but the truth. This? This is happiness.

*Plus, I just wrote my first poem with a footnote! Hurry up and listen to Alison McGhee’s poetry podcast, Words By Winter. You’ll be so glad you did.

poem to my feet

So far, so good
thirty minutes into the day.
The way each year my friends
thank Guinness for being their
music festival sponsor
I remember to thank my body—
this body short and strong enough
carries me, my soul and my heavy zigzag brain
through all our days and specifically
I say thank you to my feet—
these short squat toes
nails painted fiery orange
Hello, I say, thank you, I love you
to each chubby digit now
wiggling a bit under the weight
of all this unexpected attention

A Hundred Falling Veils

there's a poem in every day

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

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