Pressed (poem)

Still, realizing real life pauses are important.

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My mind speaks

“We can never represent it accurately”

My hand is pressed, cold palm to forehead

My fingers nestle deep in warm hair,

curve their nails lightly into my scalp

like waves of the ocean, brush by the tides.

But my eyes pause,

draw themselves closed, clothed, contorted overload of the land.

light, too bright, when I remember outside is night.

New moon, too soon leaves the room

slides by, hides, so sly.

Not I.

Sulk, slack, sit unseen.

Impressed with yourself for not wearing Maybelline.

It’s so obscene, you’re so damn lean.

Forgotten serenity, the entity of totality, til I’m almost ill.

Still, realizing real life pauses are important.

Pen poised, patient, prepared for the perfect timing to touch the paper,

to express a thought worth thinking (doesn’t happen a lot)

inking, indecodable, quotable quips.

Quick trip for some, an “oh yes, fun” then they “have to run”

always jump the gun… not saying I’m never one but what do they do once they are done?

I’d want a refund, but realize I refused to retrain my brain to refrain so I’d abstain~

Written 2002, Dec. 10th

 

Meaning (poem)

sadly structures rarely represent realistically

repeating rhythms

shaping sounds

making metaphors

 

sadly structures

rarely represent realistically

 

most meaning whittled away

with words

well intended

and poorly placed

 

*refound, written in 2001.

Whirling (poem)

…as I dive, derive, arrive again.

whirling

wheeled by a feeling

fresh unrest undressed

decompressed

dealing with etched out eroded bones

bursting with unburdening, done.

Dovelike tail spins, spun

as I dive, derive, arrive again.

Tho I shutter with shivers unuttered, I don’t stutter but

become unfettered, refeathered

free

ever a time

is there ever a time

when everything comes together in your mind

the perfect tug unravels the yarn ball tangled thoughts into a single line

clear vision lays before you

crystalline in acceptance of everything?

deserving of anything?

I get glimmers,

though any attempts to hold on,

only makes the clarity retreat more swiftly

so i must settle, for now, for here, for this

for it is all a gift.

i will try to remember on days long forgotten,

that there was ever a time.

“we”

“We” are special until we think we aren’t.

It still takes two to tango, even if we never learned how.

faults are natural, they occur.

they occur in the streets, in quiet spaces, in blank faces, in every nation.

no one can explain it all, nor understand it all.

but traveling widely it seems the world’s majority people are seekers of good, are good.

may “we” not fall into their hatred

may “we” be bigger than that.

 

shame

it is the number one thing I feel writing this, after being so absent for months. I would hope I was digesting, adjusting.  perhaps that is true.  I would like to see it so.

in truth, i hesitated even finding the words, as my mind searched to remember this place.  only to find that the key was already unlocked. it has just sat here, waiting for me.  patiently, as good things seem often to do.

but right under that feeling and maybe even pushing up from under, like a child using his arms to hold up the top of the fort, I feel joy.  Joy that I remember the feeling of contributing, that I can get better at it.  That love is worth sharing. That telling stories is part of who we are as people. That art affects.

Realizing this, I will try to begin, bare chested. Forgetting heaviness, letting go, filling up light airy lungs with good, with truth.

 

 

 

 

 

For my grandmother (poem)

For my grandmother:

There is somebody who will remember

the map of your skin

and the candy you chose

to fill the heavy lidded,

solid fitted,

multi- faceted

bowl of your life.

I will remember

the powdered rose scent

of your bathroom

and what you chose

to surround you.

your unmatchable smile,

the way you giggled,

your love,

all still keep me company.

 

 

The flesh of this fish (poem)

From the moment I felt too close to you

Blushing at touching

Overlapping and apologizing

There was no denying

As we were filleting

More than the flesh of this fish was

Going to be exposed.

Because your eyes on me

Made me fumble

I was jumbling words

and stumbling for sentences

Everything got slippery

Scales shifted

You showed me the way

And made me try it for myself.

 

 

(I liked it.  Even if I don’t remember how to do it again in the future.)

(artwork by me in Notan Printmaking tradition)

Thankful at 13 degrees

While shoveling I felt weirdly peaceful knowing I no longer have anything in this cabin worth stealing. The most valuable thing was the security equipment that was stolen… I think this is a great lesson in both how real life is in Alaska sometimes and how freeing minimalism can be.

170222  Today was a day of days.  I taught 2nd grade all day in Fairbanks, then I threw a bunch of stuff in my car trying to catch every microsecond of light I could for the 2 hour drive ahead of me in snow flurry filled conditions.  I have no idea where to begin the thanksfuls for this day, so I’m just going to begin at the start of my car trip.  Thankful that the library in Fairbanks opts not to fine people for late books, they will simply charge you for it if it’s a month or two past due, and if you bring it back you get your money back. So I didn’t have to detour to the other side of town to return my items due today.  I was also thankful that the flurries subsided around the same time the traffic died down about 1/3rd of the way to my cabin.  I arrived just as the darkness began to overtake the sky and didn’t have to decipher the road or ditches so hard for those tanks we call moose.

I arrived to my cabin in late Feb for the first time since just after Christmas, and I had that knowing feeling when I saw the drive buried in over a foot of snow and a set of tracks from the end of the driveway to the house.  Without walking on them I followed them all around the house, leaving me to wade through foot and a half deep snow and find my back door broken open.  I went in and found the only thing that appeared missing was the game cam that was for tracking intruders…apparently not well hidden enough.  I gathered myself and went back to the car the only spot of warmth around where I could collect my thoughts for a moment and quit moving.  Thankful that the weather was over 10 degrees and the car was still warm now that my jeans were soaked and cold.  This one is so big I can’t even say.  If the weather had been even -20 which is an easy possibility any winter day here, then every thing after this point would be 3 times harder with 4 times more stress factor.  You can’t mess around with your core warmth when you are arriving to a cold cabin.  I was so thankful for my trusty Blaze King stove and kindling that was quick to light.

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Though it would be a few hours before I couldn’t see my breath inside, it went right to work.  Then I changed into my reliable underarmour fleece pants.  Thankful.  Also thankful for the few minutes left of energy in my phone that make a quick call to let someone know my situation before it died and would not charge for a few hours until everything warmed up.  Thankful for the long snow shovel in the shed left by the previous owners so I could carve a parking space for my car in the driveway.  And thankful for years growing up in Minnesota winters so I can competently use a snow shovel.  And thankful for the know how to break up the work.  Stop shoveling, get some bags from the car, haul them to the house.  Check that the wood stove is still keeping fire.  Go back out and shovel some more.

Thankful that Taylor and I had chainsawed and stacked wood over the summer to prepare for winter warmth. Thankful to have the woodstove at all since the back up propane fueled Toyo won’t start.  And so thankful that this summer we moved the power pole got the electricity reactivated so I can turn on lights and see, and even have outdoor light for my shoveling.

While shoveling I felt weirdly peaceful knowing I no longer have anything in this cabin worth stealing.  The most valuable thing was the security equipment that was stolen…   I think this is a great lesson in both how real life is in Alaska sometimes and how freeing minimalism can be.  There were still some totes upturned, and crates rifled through, but I think the thief quickly realized there wasn’t much (s)he could gain from this house except bedding, kitchenware and home repair.  I am also really grateful that the person did not do needless damage to my things.  This is the fourth time my place has been broken into, and I feel like I learn a little bit more every time, and I let go a little bit more every time.  And weirdly have a little more faith in humanity.

(Side note: Today I also realized it’s hard to be creative when your time is consumed by basic need fulfillment.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in action!)