Cali, keep taking pictures

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because maybe inside the brine
these men in rubber waders,
can rescue the salty dog you
once found, who got away,
who you called for in the pouring rain
before slogging home hours later, — bereft,

because maybe somebody,
with a braided rope of twine
will pull out our magic tricks
from camp, — the ones which taught
us to be a family of six, with our own
face values, with our own cheat marks,

because maybe they’ll drag out
all the soggy strawberries
you picked from the hills, —
or the ever-living bees that never
stopped swarming because though
we tried, they sorely refused to drown

because maybe out from the dregs
they’ll return your big truth
eyes, — the ones opened two sizes
larger than dreams, the pair
which worked clearly before you switched
them out for a distracted side eye

because maybe from the rocking
ocean will come the stillness
of a hobbling hope, — that once
these sodden clothes are shed
you’ll run faster than your bout
of arthritis ever let you reach first base

Cali, keep taking pictures, —
to know yourself without confusion
to know yourself from whence you came
to know yourself from the baptismal
of lost and found
of far, and fair,

::

a picture for Kerry at Real Toads

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welcome home,

how peculiar
and obvious
this joy
this exultant
wildness
in forgetting
my own stunning
ordinariness
my three letters
scratched on top
of a desk
compared to
the letters
in green hope
piped across
this buttercream
iced cake with
all the charisma
in the world
tucked into each
storied bite

i missed you

::

for Mackenzie

Got my usual Thai tea–

in Thailand!! Kinda think Railay Bay
is actually Pandora:) Touched elephants,
temples, watched blind boxing! What?
Made Pad Thai, banana cake, ate bing soo.
(Bringing back cookbook) — Pretty sure
I’ll be the same person, even though Mom
seems to think I’ll come home different:)
Love & miss you guys! ❤ Mackenzie

::

18: for d’Verse

Week One: Queenstown

She is my daughter of adventure…not of brevity!
Mackenzie has journaled (or should I say catalogued) her first week abroad on her bloggy

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https://mackenzieinmiddleearth.wordpress.com/2017/02/23/ii-queenstown/

Pop over if you’d like!

Be Unreasonable

It’s up to you daughter. The sandal’s
on your foot now. I’ve been trying to
forget myself you know, but this
sanctimonious jangle of time keeps
getting stuck in my stomach
sending me back to that bend in the
Gunnison River, my bike transport
thrown down in a fit on the embankment.
A ridiculous book loaner in my hand,
a younger me perched on a rock
trying to figure out how to live a snake-
bitten lifestyle, despite my higher
calling to sunshine & writing glimmers of it
down. But back to you daughter. Please be un-
reasonable. It’s your decision to make.
This privilege will mean the most to you,
and these parts will unequivocally be
your strength.

::

for Mackenzie & submitted to Poets Pantry

“…if you could teach your soul to speak”
-Jim Harrison

50 Pound Limit for Middle Earth

Not that I’d know firsthand. But
you might want to bring a raincoat.
It’s probably green for a reason.
And hey, you might want to take
a flashlight that doubles as a
lantern, which also doubles as a
blunt weapon. I’ve checked. They
don’t allow tasers in checked baggage
or carry-on. Promise you’ll take a
couple of warm fuzzy jackets. Upfront
you won’t know another soul, and who
knows what a Wellington Winter is like?
You might have taken us too. But you won’t
gain a lick of independence that way,
so take our Go-Pro from the desk in our
bedroom. Just go, and break in your new
hiking boots, – their lovely blue spell
shell shuffling their way through Middle Earth.

[for Real Toads] some new shoes for my eldest daughter’s upcoming adventure studying abroad in New Zealand. I’m thrilled to announce she has also opened an obligatory blog to journal her travels to NZ and Thailand… you know, so her dad and I can see where all our money’s going:) Follow her at Mackenzie In Middle Earth to see her wearing those new Ahnu Boots we got her for Christmas. Her trip begins this February.

In Mother’s Attic

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment’s gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity ~

of fake flowers,
fairy christmas lights,
disassembled beds, lamps,
& commode chairs,
i need to pee.
a tiny mirror
falls out from the elastic band
of my underwear
&i see you,
teenaged daughter.
but you spook &evaporate
quicker than i can hang on to.

i hold: this tiny mirror.
still, this orphaned poem.

“Dust in the Wind” lyrical
inspiration at Real Toads

how do i love her?

how is it, my progeny, a genius, heralded with acceptance
into this prestigious university, stands with me here at the
park and pay while i insert my credit card this way and that?
holding up the village of the calm and collected forming
a well-dressed line behind me? uncool. the car i’ve parked in
stall 4. uncool is the amount of time it takes me to figure
things out: up or down, east or west, housing or campus tour?
how do i love her? i walk an extra mile, schlep up and down
the hills, stop asking extraneous questions, give her my free
cupcake, buy her lunch and an ice cream for the drive home.
i tell her, without reservation, that she’ll be the one to find
her way here. that’s how she knows i love her. i love her.

day 19 for NaPoWriMo
Poetic Asides &Toads

Postcards From the Garden of Hermit and Home

Some super light heavy reading
From: Mom in the middle of Ks.

A cow’s sticking out its tongue
“Who needs a beach?” I swear it

I could feel the spittle from
The 1,500 miles I was away

Why on Earth… I could hear her,
Was I way out there in California?

It could fall off into the ocean
At any time (According to Grandma)

I don’t write back. Not for spite,
But because I’m entertaining

A newfound idea of becoming a mermaid
(That’ll be something to write home about)

day 14 NaPoWriMo
for Real Toads

Approaching Absolute Brightness

have you dreamed
atmospheric pressure,
unbalanced forces
hurtling towards you
in the guise of art
&spiral sky galaxies?

have you dreamed
pretty atomizers,
appealing philosophies?
well, until you know
who you are {radiating}
sweetie,
bonding is tricky

but when you see it,
your breath bent
on an accuracy window,
the dream of the Cat’s
Eye Nebula will be
your litmus test

for NaPoWriMo
and Real Toads