Tag Archives: 8

Happy

happy

Happy

Even if it weren’t happening now
As in a happiness in the past

Or a happiness anticipated
It can be read like a poem

Fixed in the climate of stars
Visible or invisible above us.

Not touchable but undeniably
Touching us like a breeze or shadow.

It’s not gratitude. Happiness gave its
Train ticket or last drink or favorite book

to gratitude and even if gratitude didn’t
Read the book it carried it on the train

And paged through it. Of course you can’t
Be grateful for a drink unless you drink it.

Gratitude’s empty glass. Book as a coaster.
The years of spilled thoughts. Happiness

Like apprehending the earth’s curvature
Or finding the denominator of God.

Whether you believe in it or not
It will keep saving you.

Talking after running

talkingafterrunning

Talking after running

The heart after running is less likely
to lose itself to ledge or leap. It has

Asserted resolve over a measurable distance.
So if the heart leaps after running, it is more

Than a magnitude of muscle memory. Doesn’t
The steady heart know the world’s greatest

Victories are like fireflies in a July field
I walk across after the night’s mile has cooled

Me down? Steadier than these glimpses
Of what threads through us, across time

And space. Yet it leaps as though into the light
for words it might wander toward

If this path did not already describe it best.

Remembering oceans in early July

seawilmingtonaurora

Remembering oceans in early July

So it is surrounded by mountains
Fine grains of memory wake me like the light sand

on a Cape Cod beach that stay
In your sneakers till autumn’s almost

Another half forgotten friendship
Or like the harder brown southeast sand says

You won’t remember because it will never
Leave you long enough to become the past

Heat splits into horizons and in this world
of horizons we are strangely upright

Thoughts try to stand up beside us
but at best bubble like clouds out of reach

Memories fall flat another shelf of sand
To be worn away by the liquid nature of life

The sky a giant tv screen between stations
Bright gray and vibrant starts telling its story

I am here where the ocean renews itself
Among ridges reaching to the sky and when the sky

Reaches down the late afternoon rain
Darkens the road except

Reverse shadows in the shapes of trees
Where the street is still dry what does it take

To absorb our shadows what does a storm-bred
Streetside stream know before giving itself to a creek

In this valley what will I know before I am gone
Before all memory of this storm passes

 

-photo by Aurora Schwaner

Mother’s Day

3mothers

Mother’s Day

They’ve come back     the leaves
Though they are all different this time

Their shadows are ancient heartbeats
Hands on the breath of memory

I have seen you exhausted from your efforts
Seasons sleeping in the guitar on your breast

The crickets whispering for the first time this year
A dog’s lonely bark from blocks away

I have seen you joyous and quiet
Smooth stone on the riverbed of night

There’s a sound in your bones
Harmonizing with your daughter

An image developing across your ribs
Your boy wading across the shallows

Leaves drifting past his ankles
It’s been half a year the leaves are different

And a year’s a long time
And every spring is tender

Friday, near midnight

peony

Friday, near midnight

Put a penny on the day’s good eye.
Cars parked in the road after dinner

Tick like patient bombs. Each interval
Lengthens toward silence

Like the stems of peonies
Slow their sprint to the May sky.

While we were not looking
One terminal bud becomes

a thousand pennants waving
In tight but unpracticed formation.

Or it is a signal, a coded message
Saying this kingdom will never come

Again. Overhead an unbroken line
of streetlights blinks, then holds

Like an eye chart that wants to help
You but loses sense as you gain focus.