Wednesday, June 24, 2009


The river...
how did I not know,
not know... 
not to fight against it,
the current,
the density of me,
the weight,
the lack of control,
born in the kid days,
of summer...
not wanting 
to know how
to float, 
to flow, 
to go with the ride... 
instead of direct it,
to breathe...
instead of gasp,
to inflate...
instead of deflate,
to float... 
instead of fight.

To find this peace,
in the hushed rush 
of mute water,
the quieting
that released me,
let me be...
ten again,
with this
step off the edge,
off the edge, 
of control...
to discover
the only way to fly
is called 

Monday, June 22, 2009

Swimming Lessons

Look, I want to love this world as though its the last chance I'm ever going 
to be alive and I know it! 
Mary Oliver

What to do with a day when you wake up 
and don't want to?
when your first thoughts are about the 
thing you lost... 
or are near to losing, all that you will 
inevitably struggle with today
And your second thought? Is the 
usual uncomfortable "I hate my life."
And the only thing that launches you 
from your bed
into the too bright of day are the cats, 
thought to be the perfect pets
for their independent reputation and 
are now the reflection of your own 
extreme neediness
and all three (yes three) 
take turns incessantly licking 
any exposed body part. Ugh!

Then comes the mental litany of all 
the things you wish were different, 
the multitude of poor choices that turned 
into mistakes, 
that changed everything in a single 
irreversible flash.
Wanting someone, anyone to save you, 
but with no life raft in sight...
and an inability to swim or keep 
your head up...
Recognizing this is the swimming lessons 
for your soul?
So what will you do next?

First you will pray to God or angels 
or anyone's spirit 
you believe in for your ability to breathe,
then you will exercise to music and drop 
the one sided 
"without conclusion" conversations with "them."
Then seek out impossible beauty and witness 
nothing but maybe 
the ground you are standing on
the grains of pebbles or sheaths of grass 
poking thru your shiney healthy toes.

In my case, it is the endless outstretch 
of desert, 
that to the poet is not just lifeless brown 
but an array of shades in sienna 
and burnt umber,
the wild and beautiful, with unseen life
And maybe that is all that matters for now 
(that and the happy well exercised 
angel of a dog 
sitting beside me who likes swimming 
less than I do!)

So this is THIS minute
the next...determinded by the mental discipline 
to continue to stand, to continue to breathe 
and to pray, to move thru the minutes
believing this "too shall pass" 
and surrender to the many 
things of grace occurring 
even if its in the disguise of 
"licking cats."