Friday, January 28, 2011

Coffee Break Friends

you know
exactly who you are,
catching up
faraway lives,
simple courtesy check
occasionally animated,
in the conversation
for the other,
ready and steaming
to spill.
the tedious story
that is life.
Contents may be hot.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Weight of an Instant

grew up

sheltered life

a bubble girl

in a big world

finally walked out

onto a tightrope.

And that worked—

tightroping the line—

for awhile…

So I figured walking worked

and never,

never had to run

At least not until:

One day,


I felt the sharp grip

of razor teeth

grasping my ankle,

I made the mistake

of looking down,

down into the eyes

of a ravaged beast.

Locking eyes


just a moment

there was a time

where I forgot to run.

But when

the pull of that

death grip

began to make me


I woke up.

The pull of gravity hit me.

No longer a deer in the headlights.

Woke up.

And ran.

ran away

back towards the bubble,

But when I reached home

the bubble had already popped.

So now I stand here

at the edge of the cliff,

the remains of my safe home at my feet.

Where do I go now?

I know not.

But I do know this

Next Time:

there will be no hesitation.

I will Run.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What does it mean to care?

The gardener who whispers kind words

as he carefully waters each individual.

The mother who kneels down

taking her crying child in her arms.

The tired worker who

gives up her seat on the bus.

The lover who admires his beloved

before he wakes her with gentle kisses.

Each person taking the time

to tend. gather. open.

Is there a difference between all these actions and love?


Those who say they care, talk.

Those who love, don’t.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Granite and Glass

You are granite.

I am an empty wine glass.

You know what happens when we touch.

You laugh like the sun coming up laughs

at a star that disappears into it.

Love opens my chest,

and thought returns to its confines.

Patience and rational considerations leave.

Only passion stays, whimpering and feverish.

Some men fall down in the road like dregs thrown out.

Then totally reckless the next morning

they gallop out with new purposes.

Love is the reality,

and poetry is the drum that calls us to that.

Do not keep complaining about loneliness.

Let the fear-language of that theme

crack open and float away.

Let the priest come down from his tower, and not go back up.


from The Big Red Book

My dear and wonderful grandmother, Nanni, got me the most wonderful present for Christmas, that is perhaps my most cherished gift of all. The Big Red Book by Coleman Barks with poetry by Rumi, an Islamic poet from the 1200s is my new Bible. It is filled with some of the most beautiful words ever written, and such wisdom and purity is contained in the pages that it nearly brought me to tears as I sat reading it on the plane for the first time.

I just finished the first section of the book, and this particular poem stood out to me, especially the second to last stanza. “Do not keep complaining about loneliness/Let the fear-language of that theme/crack open and float away.” This is the reason I write poetry. To me, it is what cracks open my fear, my loneliness, it is truly the drum that calls us to the purity of love. When I pour my words from deep inside the place we call a heart, I cannot complain or fear, I can only open myself to the emotion that runs through me. And this is what Rumi demands of his audience through his poetry: to open. If I can aspire to a grain of the greatness that is carried through his poetry, I will be satisfied.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I live in a snow globe
a swirling protected bubble
nothing ever moves
forward backward
The empty yesterdays
and frightened tomorrows
shock me into scared silence
no guarantee that
I will feel
the same
when I wake up to reality
for now
let's just lie here
and keep pretending
that the bubble will never pop
and the snow globe will never drop.