another tree conversation (20220428)

i want to tell the tree
that in a couple of days
men will come and cut them down

this is not for anything the tree has done
but as a precaution
though they are too far to endanger the house

they are girdled and too close to siblings
too likely to take one of them down
when next the wind changes direction

i want to ask their permission
but how can those words be said sincerely
when the saws will run with or without it

instead i apologize
and promise to use every part
to reclaim the sunshine he has stored

putting them down (20220409)

i stand still in one spot
an inch of rubber
keeps me from sending down
roots from my feet

the earth waits
patient because she will be
be here after i am gone
whether I have connected to her
or not

but how much easier it must be
to return
if our roots have networked
the soft loam
burrowed past the worms
intertwining

shed skins (20160807)

the eucalyptus has shed
its bark
now a smooth white
shushing like sandpaper
under my palm

it stretches fifty feet or more
and twists as it grows
a split the width of my finger
the length of my forearm
rises up the trunk

how simple it seems
to grow this way
add a ring
lose some skin
start over each year
praying for rain
and easy winds

the coldness of the moon (20160711)

the feelings appear
like a sudden moon
shining in the night sky
darkness ripped away all at once

but the stars are so small
and so very far away
far away from me
far away from each other

i will own this sadness
though it’s not authentic
this melancholy that turns
like a record in a jukebox

that spreads its roots
like a tree growing
from my chest, bursting through
bones and sinew

i will carry it
because letting go is cowardice
and facing it is cowardice
and writing this is cowardice

—–

for
the secret keeper
Weekly Writing Prompt #45
OWN | TURN | SHINE | TREE | STAR

and
The Daily Post
Daily Prompt: Cowardice

Poem 20150507

i saw a fire burning in the sea
in the sea
in the sea
and within the fire grew a tree
grew a tree
grew a tree
its leaves were flames
its fruits were gems
and one of these a diadem

i saw an angel upon the shore
upon the shore
upon the shore
and in its hand a sword it bore
sword it bore
sword it bore
the edges of the blade were eight
made by heaven’s mysterious art
and with the blade it pierced my heart

i saw a tiger in the night
in the night
in the night
its skin was dark but its stripes were bright
stripes were bright
stripes were bright
its mouth was filled, a froth of blood
its feet were hands like those of men
its eyes were ice, its breath a wind

Poem 20150402

the cat
sits at the glass door
not making a sound
just watching
moving only her head
as the hummingbirds
zoom in
and
out
of view
her ribs rise and
fall
and she watches the phoebes hop in the grass
and up into the limbs of the young avocado tree
sporting their little black mohawks
and she thinks–
if cats think like this–
if this door weren’t here…
if this glass weren’t between us…

Poem 20150322

falling

a leaf does it
though i almost
never see the action
just the evidence
brown and split on the ground

tracked in wet and flat
on the bottom of my shoe
and always always near
the entryway
just in time for the cat to spot it

and in this drought
i try to feel guilty
for watering my trees
but i can’t work it up
because these are my trees
and their leaves

are