Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Our Secret


                                                                                  for Delaney

And now you will assist the Raven, your daytime and night sky guide.
There she is, do you hear her?
your mother always asked, out strolling with you.

Spot her high wire nest and eyes for you, secure 
in coat of twigs and twine. 
Forever more, your overhead soul surveillance. You will find sustenance

just pluck a practical feather to edit

the dark and the sun drenched.  You who spotlights supple ballet
ankles and disappearing glaciers. Right where you are, at the shore,

born with assurance, little squirrel. String the smarting disappointments 
and the pleasure bubbles like perfect baubles to make a sturdy necklace

Know the bond between what disturbs and what soars. 
Orange on black. 
Chuparosa headdress,
sexy red lipstick, and a soft lavender scarf.

Hidden twitters in the narrow botanical garden reveal themselves.
You walked there with your papa. You brought the outside

home to pour like cleansing water
through your broken mother’s hair this year

Indigenous trees frame the artwork and
the artist, you
editing until there are no longer jagged breaks 

Until near perfection bleeds kaleidoscopic ink and wishing breath

Dark feather flawless

sure portal for birds
Our secret, this maternal caw caw.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Upon the Death of a Sister, Brittleness



In my belly a bowl of constriction, 
of awakening to inevitable grief

In my palm a rest for breath but
what is it that brings anger to the market

puts knives in our pockets when we cross
paths, when death reminds us we are mortal

and we scissor up instead of fall to our knees
landscape of sharp rocks

One's stances are prompted by old film 
footage, or for another, softer song of river 

naps and stars to protect her from what is 
incoming at night. The edge of the seat of 

unforgiveness is wearing 
away. The grain of the true old

wood visible. No splinters but of little 
support when holding so tightly 

to inextinguishable righteousness.
Out of place. Yet default.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Lookout

I pick up this stick pin. Fifty cents worth of ink. Consider animals on my path. Whether there is luck - good or bad. The dead visit me or I stand at the highest lookout, searching for their ghosts. Rippling Monarch butterfly reminiscent of mother, gone. Or patient hawk, like devilish departed
step father on a tall roadside lamp post. Seeking meat and broken eggs below.

We are carnivore though we don’t eat our young. Together, as children we learned of a heavenly place, were directed to picture the old dead greeting the newly dead. At night, my mind cannot cast out its doubts. Weighted foot blanket, grief. I conjure necessary recipes like dog-eared leaves of the Bible passed into granddaughters’ hands. Photographs mistaken for memories...


...Neither epiphany nor revelation. Only the faith to keep us in the circle. Dizzy and in concert with ground and sky and the envelope between.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Ojo Caliente

The body worker lifts one word 
from each visitor as she finishes. 
Erasure or clue. Fatigue
sawn off. Placed in a pot
in a warm window just
outside the narrow room. 

Personalities linger there: 
belly dancer, concrete breaker, 
elementary school teacher.
diamond, chisel, pencil.

honoring all who falter, Easter weekend, 2018

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Broken Bits and Mending Tape

Sacred stones roll around on the floor of my car, carried in over years of scavenging. Pocketed. Parceled. Placed on dashboard or grave. Markers of present coloring past. The sun bathes the windshield just so and the secret messages written in mud or snow show themselves for the innocent blessing that they are. I walk into this side street cafĂ© with my bruised heart in a purple and black satchel and am greeted by a circle of banjo players and one free seat against the window. Chairs like we inhabited in elementary school when things were still made of wood, grafted together at the corners with metal, corners rounded and smooth. We kept our notes in desks and lockers, wrote whispers of names we adored on the plain brown wrappers around our math books. Took broken bits and mending tape, carted cassette songs of guitar players who have since died or changed their names. Like mantras, directions to the river canyon where we could picture the rough rope as magical swing over the cold water. The perfect drop into the uncontrolled. The seconds of our happy eyes opening under water to witness the consecrated. To hear every thought in the perfect suspension. The rattle of the sacred. Pocket. Canyon.

Friday, February 16, 2018

#7: Marigold

Photo Marcy Albin
To take the sturdy
and pungent spike that rims this
flowerbed border.

Ward off tiny invasions.
Ants and snails, sluggish
ships. Snip away what’s withered

to live instead with
this regal red lion’s head.
Misfire severed from


body ducts now on their own.
Clear and untethered
from the weathered pressing down.