“(Brooklyn) Is Magic” (poem) (mine)

(Brooklyn) Is Magic

Brooklyn smells like palo santo
and wet daffodils as I schlep
to the next set of stairs
that leads to someone
I love.
I’m never in the city
and when I am
every second
is so city
I have to laugh.
The dogs dressed better
than I. Everyone clutching
their phones
like children on a rollercoaster
in need of their mother’s hand.
Even the bookstore is curated
to please the eye
and it pleases me
to see people I love stepping off the subway
like celebrities
and it’s pleasurable
to be one of so many
planning
buying
laughing
at once
over brunch
and for just a moment
the weight of breakfast
is heavier and sweeter-smelling
than the spring clouds bearing rain.

“Summer Simmer” (summertime flowertime poem) (mine).

Summer Simmer

 

Soil air sky breeze

available now

no lease no

contract all

yours & always

open free &

more where

that came from

Jeez you’d think

we’d be cherishing

all this so hard

by now (picture

it: generations

of women

& men in love

with earth)

but no

we are shitting

on it more

than ever &

convinced of

the truth

of machines

You know

what I think

technology is

mostly harmful

also ugly &

expensive unlike

these patches of

black-eyed Susans

dancing from the base

of their stalks up

to the petals

in the fields

all around me

 

A marriage poem for abundance (mine).

Abundance

for Scott & Josh

 

There will be days of singing & days of silent throats

There will be days of bouquets & days of empty vases

There will be days of thirst & nights of drinking

There will be raspberry days & days of stale crusts of bread

There will be days of nails in the wall & artless days

There will be harvest days & long nights of winter

There will days to gather & days to await the gathering

May the thin days make the days of fullness all the sweeter

May your fruits be many and your backs be strong

as you launch together

into your days

of abundance

 

July 5, 2014

 

scott and josh first step

(photo of the couple’s first steps toward marriage by Misha M. Johnson)

Yesterday’s morning poem (mine).

Just your average morning shoving

 

three goatbutts into a bright blue Kia

then heading off to work. I drive

along the first branch of a river,

past brandnew calves, sideways barns,

and the sign that reads FROST HEAVE

AHEAD which no one’s taken down

because just seeing it makes the green

of the pastures an even sweeter sight.

The silos this morning are brimming

with the years they’ve seen, the guineas

bold enough to eat the grass that runs

along the road, and the local library

has its OPEN flag highfiving the wind.

On days like this, it feels like everyone

and their mother is pushing a wellworn

wheelbarrow in the direction of joy.

 

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(That image is a poemjoke. Do you get it?)

 

“The Sun Inside” (yesterday’s poem) (mine).

The Sun Inside

Winter’s over, shake me out, wash me deep

for the first & final time, says the cheap

winter coat I bought for its greenness and for the love

of its fur I could see myself nesting inside

for so many months, my face a cold photograph

in a frame of fuzz, and the goat blood

on the pocket came out as if the whole ordeal

was just a bad dream I could return with free

shipping! That hairdresser was right, you know–

after the initial shock of loss, my hair grew back

faster than ever. And here I am with my cowboy boots

and my cowkid plaid & my broken wristwatch

in the first wet warm days of a Spring I thought

would stand me up like a hot bad date, & the ends

of my hair are light not from dye but from the sun inside.

Poem of April 10th (poem of today) (mine).

The Girl Who Was Winter

 

I don’t understand how a house is built, the piece-by-pieceness of it all.

And why is a hamburger called that–it’s made of beef. Around here

people say “hamburg” and bang their boots together before swinging

their feet into the driver’s seat. Around here the streets are named

after families who still live on them. This I understand. And how quick

it takes a ram to mount a doe—I get it now. The world’s laid out

on the ground and everywhere I step, I step on it. I’m naming

each new season: after winter, white spring. Then mud, then spring,

then storage, then sticks, then logs. Then winter in her new fur coat

lasts long enough to answer everything. She’s the sweet caesura–

not the roadside flare lit as a cry for help, but the help itself.

***

 

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photo by Misha

“My Life as a Minister” (wedding poem) (mine).

My Life as a Minister

(for Kathryn & Andy)

 

To say “You may now kiss the bride”

is a treasure far beyond

most treasures I’ve known.

A treasure of love (my bests,

 

my only kind of treasures),

a treasure built of words (my tools),

a treasure said in public

in the presence of a trove

 

of dearest friends—

a treasure known by all, the words

learned early on, the script, that scripture,

holy words of matrimony, most of which

 

I banished from the ceremony. But not

those words, and not the kiss

which with light within me

I gave permission for.

 

You may now and you may always

and may you for all the days

kiss and kiss and kiss

the bride.

***

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