The Insanely Precious, Ordinary Moments of a Life

Friday, April 7, 2017

Song of ten

The oldest truth holds steady, like a center
when groundlessess is the only choice-
love is transformative.

I fell into your warmth softly,
a gravity that held me
until I could again meet the rough beauty of life.

The enormity of it held me in orbit for a time
and I let go
and found a vast wilderness in the spin.

Dear one, you have never tried to tame my fierceness or lay claim;
instead you show up,
to bear witness and participate in the precariousness.

Every day with you has been precious.
Today, ten marks the years since we found ourselves on that street corner,
agape.

When faced with my own mortality,
my erratic heartbeat served only to illuminate
that you are a boundless star-filled sky,
and I am grateful to to stand, bewildered, in that light.

drift

I may have drifted,
but it was a favorable wind
and my sails were full.

My guiding light has been
curiosity
and love.

It's true that I have meandered.

An explorer,
never a conqueror.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

For My People

The following was based on an assignment to re-create Margaret Walker's poem "For My People" based on a group we belong to.


For my people who show up for class on Thursday night, gently shaking from exhaustion and longing for their children.

For my people who made Cum Laude while working a day job and staying up all night rocking their babies. For my People who were passed up for the promotion anyway to the young and affluent white guy who spoke Middle Class much better.

For my people who took out the loans though they knew full-well that they'd be paying them back instead of saving up for their own children's college, but had to take them to keep a roof over their child's head right now. For my People whose parents are just so damn proud that you finished school and can stand on your own two feet- the hard won result of all of their sacrifices.

For my people who remember where they were the moment they first saw with clarity that Justice For All was just a dream. For the ones who've been illegally stopped and searched for the crime of living in a poor neighborhood. For my people who've watched gentrification move toward them like a tsunami. For my people adrift and afraid.

For my people who not only have no safety net, but who daily weigh out the vacuum of need around them. For the bills you wish you could cover and the family members you wish you could comfort. For my People who still say “When there is only one loaf of bread left, we split it”. My people who have nothing saved up, but donate whatever they can, in earnest- for the world they can still envision for their great-grandchildren.

For my people for whom “self-care” sounds amusing but keeping your head above water means no time to rest. For my people who skip the self-help section of the nonfiction titles on their way to the used copies of A People's History and How to Unionize.

For my people who see our interconnected struggle. For my people accused of being subversive for telling the truth. For my people who take a knee anyway.

For my People who've walked through fire and come out unafraid; for my People relentless and fierce in spirit, unimpressed by money and status. For my people who meet heavy pity with rebellious joy. For my people who would never trade our gritty, interwoven, beautiful lives for an easier journey.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Field Bind Weed

"Another way is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing."
-Arundhati Roy

We never claimed to be unbreakable, but rhizomatous.

Snap us and watch a new iteration emerge.

These seeds are viable for centuries. Our roots go twenty feet down. Our vines stretch hundreds of feet up.

With stems thin as spaghetti, we pull down trees. We fill the fields.

Fragment us. Poison us. Tear us from one another's arms.

Persistence is imprinted in our DNA.

We are endless.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

home

Standing by the gnarled old maple tree,
The path to which is worn bare
By countless others who, like me, make the small climb from the park to visit it.

I sat here the day I learned my family was divorcing, and on an early date with the man who would become the love of life, and at eight months pregnant, and now-

I wonder if I will be able to keep coming here now that so many people love this place too. Displacement moves toward my family like a visible tide; a funeral march.

So let it come. The relics of my life are gone. The childhood homes, the secret groves, the family places, the manufactured home by the ocean.

What was that I swore at 18, backpack slung over a shoulder, leaving home?

Home is a living breathing being. Its form can change. 

Grief is the bone that holds our love together, and only what we love can save us.

To live is to grieve endlessly even as we are simultaneously broken open to the beauty and tentativeness that is living.

I offer the maple my thanks and turn back..

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dream

Last night I dreamt of a Tsunami.

The waves crushed everything dear to me and sucked my body into wild churning saltwater.

I struggled to keep my head above water, gasping as I went under for increasingly longer intervals until I began to fall.

As I drifted deeper in the water, I saw something solid and grasped for it- it was slippery and rough, with small grooves. I gripped as well as I could, my fingers slipping again and again as it pulled me to the surface and we moved forward. Finally above water, I saw it was a Sea Turtle.

All night I held onto this groundlessness, my fingers cold and aching, regripping every few moments over and over, but managing to hold on; failing and then finding again the rough shell, unsure how long I would manage.

Just as morning came I felt the softness of sand under our bodies.

Exhausted, I crawled, shaking, onto the beach and collapsed beneath an enormous tree. I laid on my back without the strength to move and watched the branches sway in the wind. The tree was endless, and on every branch was a nest filled with nestlings. The birds were so plentiful they looked like flowers. My mind was quiet.

This was when I heard growling.

A wild dog stood inches from me, gums pulled back over its teeth and hair standing on end. I looked into its eyes, and it lunged at me. It slashed at my chest and I began to bleed, but I continued to stare into its eyes. A moment passed, then it relaxed, turned, and left.

This is when I awoke.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Reach

Hand over hand
a dirt stained body rises.

Hand over hand
clinging to the coarse woven fibers;
Skin burning with every red inch.
Moment by moment giving up
and holding on.

Hand over hand, rising above the canopy.
inch by inch into daylight;
The breath a chant, a prayer and plea.
The expansive sky in defiance
of everything once believed to be closed.

Terns drift by on their long migration.
To the endless world, the climber offers a small cry
merging in a wild chorus with every pitch.