Tag Archives: grief

woven with green

the sound of big white chunks of salt
hitting a paper plate
as i rub them off before ripping soft pretzel pieces apart
and dipping them in the small plastic ramiken of ‘cheese’
a throwback to my work breaks
in the kmart eatery
the wild edge of sorrow
 sharon says as we walk the mown path
past the old homestead
whose main feature at this point
is the metal windmill woven with green leafy vines that climb up
and back down again
it’s beautiful  i say from the bench
alongside dennis’s grave
where sharon and i sit
sometimes holding hands
the rituals you have chosen
you are showing us
how to do this

the great golden and slightly pink light
(which makes me think of that rose gold jewelry)
showing in the west
while a sprinkle of rain pitter pats down
which registers as the recipe for rainbows and sure enough,
visible through a clearing in the canopy down by the sugar shack
just a part of the arc showing through
roygbiv in full effect

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like an egg

_______i’ve been having dreams about it (leaving, getting out)
and i never remember my dreams she says
how i make jokes about mushrooms and rainbows
and nebulizers and contact high farts
in the back seat
while we move through the wet green rises and falls
of the hills that make us
the grief i sit on 
like an egg
and how i practice passing it around
and how it mostly feels horrible
which is why i call it practice

the tufts of white and orange fur
that drift in the air after gibbous (cat) pounces on mama (cat)
for the second time in a week or two
the subject of cannibalism comes up and i say
ya’ll can eat me
as long as i get to eat the cake

the sound of spring peepers rising
everywhere in the dark
that comes at the end
of a day
hazelnutty flavor of the teaccino i brew/steep
in the french press i aqcuired at the quincy salvation army for a dollar

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a kind of surrender

the palmful of bobbe’s new mexico
blue corn seed that i funnel with an
open palm into the tiny manila envelope
that liana holds open

the tour includes but is not limited to:
the impressive piles of wood, hand chopped
seta’s smile and how she’ll crawl under the tunnel of human legs
the curve and wind of the acequia ditch
and what is guessed to be the three graves of a pet cemetery
that they have decided to leave alone

michelle tugging me to the counter
insisting she pays the artist’s way
to a northern new mexico 
calabacita enchilada meal
and later the trinkets from turkey
(the blue glass eye that is watching, 
the small notebook with the leopard print-clad
man on a horse on the cover and the 
shiny yellow fabric pouch that it all fits in)
that she shares

the squeezy goodbye hug
and how i call
love you! i call out the window
to the farm-dirty twosome
walking down the road past the
tiny co-op and ice cream shop
as we drive out, towards the river and away again
the way i lean in towards
(a kind of surrender) the mountain-melt
of the cold clear rio grande
and al the gray brown gold rocks
that color it
same kind of leaning
same kind of surrender
i might offer
a lover
the incredible dark blue of the jemez
with the incredible sifting of snow
on top under today’s incredible sun
as we drive south in the glow
the plane that david folds
from a piece of orange paper
on which he writes
come on over,
you’re welcome here
it’s our grief i say your grief is my grief
to molly who is overcome with it all
and, really, how are we not all
overcome all the time these days
seems to be a relevant question
and we could be comrades i say to terry
after the workshop
while we joke about me living here
and teaching creative writing at
the community college where she works

from the water world:
Floodwaters surround a playground in San Jose, California. Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate their homes in the northern California city as floodwaters inundated neighborhoods and forced the shutdown of a major highway. – voice of america, day in photos

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today i’d like to thank
the half moon and its dog
and the sandy earth beneath me
for being big enough
to hold all this wild grief

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anyplace home

the tiny shoe hanging
from the uber driver’s rear view
how i point and comment on its cuteness
and he says it was his daughter’s first shoe,
she’s almost nine now
her name is melanie

when one is dreaming
of vigas and lintels and instead
encounters the blond wood of ikea,
hollow walls
and a hybrid of hotel-meets dorm-meets fancy
but cheaply built condo from the 90s
the joy of unpacking/arranging/making
anyplace home
(flipping over the wildly patterned blanket
on the bed,
hanging a scarf on the wall with safety pins
just to have something on the walls
and the strategic use
of the warm candle-like glow
of a string of xmas lights)

frankie’s place i write
with a borrowed pen (amy’s)
on a strip of scotch tape
that i tack up on the sectioned-off studio
which, for the next two months,
is mine to work within

the trash can down the way from the hobby lobby
but before jambo restaurant
and the gas station not far from there that you paid
only half price at the pump
and the parking lot where you handed over
pregnancy clothes including the bird outline dress
on which you identified different families
of birds of prey

the small bouquet i arrange from stalks plucked
from three different types of plants
all the same winter golds/yellows;
one with feathery tops,
one with small white straw petaled flowers and one
that reminds me of a cotton plant
(and perhaps is, just smaller than the ones i’ve known)
its pods open and releasing fluff
pre-sunset, how the light lands
on the mountains to the east
the front section of them glowing
something like lime green
and the back section
shadow-cloaked and rising
black-blue beyond


earth grief frances weller quotes chellis glendenning
and goes on to say this beautiful strange otherness
was meant to be encountered every day, not once in a while
on vacation to yellowstone
it was meant to be a companion to our life
and when this companionship erodes/is dissolved
by domestication, we lose this connection
to the otherness
what we’re left with is grief and a sense of loss
and we don’t even know what to ascribe it to

12am the rustling of a plastic bag, no kidding,
heard through the hollow wall
separating room one
from room two

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the tiniest tiny

the day begins as it often does,
with the reading of the poem-a-day poem
in my inbox
only this time it slams me so hard and just right
that i email the poet and offer
to carry the weight of
her mother’s corpse for today

the bitterness of the mugwort
michael chopped into the morning hash
that he shares with me

the few drops of almond extract
in the small batch of pancakes
i flip in the medium cast iron

guitar and mandolin drifting
down from slater’s hill
(where dottie and ellena play
by the newly hewn old oak stump)
to me walking up/down the kale beds
where i pluck leaves and toss the
unusable ones into the wheelbarrow and
the sellable ones into the bucket on the scale
which i made sure this time
was weighing in pounds, not the kilograms dottie leaves it on
for weighing out flour for breadmaking

i know how you like it alyssa says
about the mulch while
pulling cart with pitchforks
and thick
ellena, trish and i
in the car on the way to frisbee
laughing about taking the open road
(insert thick ridiculous trying-t0-speak-spanish accent here)
to las montañas
break in the sky
along the horizon
where the single mass of grey cloud gives way
to orange yellow glow
of sunset

ellena pouring the tiniest tiny
of jacob-made black currant wine
into my cup
which is the most wine-wine-like wine
i have ever tasted
the fierce purr of birdie
as i stand outside karma holding her
as a slow-approaching car casts
crisp leaf shadows on bike-shed exterior
and what i think is lightning but
might be emory’s flash going off
blazes above in the lake-dark sky

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the outline of grief

small billows of smoke that rise up and out
from the rocket stove
before the fire takes
and when it does
the omelet sizzles and
so do the onions and garlic and
there is a goodness
to feeling the morning air
on my face while breakfast
takes its time

you’re feeling the outline of grief he suggests
but not the inside of it

get out from under the overhang
and into the inclement weather
and trudge your way to the top
(of your sorrow) and over
what do you need to pack, to shore up to get there?


tyler and i on the
bench/swing on the county highway main street
that runs through this town (of 100) that we don’t even live in
(but on the edge of)
him with his shake and me unwrapping my peanut butter cup
and it could be a scene
from some movie like
what’s eating gilbert grape
(the breeze from a passing semi
ruffling our hair
the only motion in the frame)
but instead, it is our lives
and how, even though i’ve been living on/in this farm community
for two years
there are days where i am still wrapping my brain around the fact
that this is what my life is like
(similar to the times i would bike across a bridge
spanning the widthe of the willamette river
pacific northwest air on my face and
exclaim to myself
i live in here!!!!)

sparkle-fest i leave my voice
from the greenhouse also known as the phone booth
on the phone that seems to be eternally trapped
in mercury-in-retrograde status
so that you will receive this message
complete, from beginning to end

it is the kind of moon
that pulls me off my desk-ward route
onto the dustier and dustier
gravel road
in the shred of still-lightness that
lingers in the dark-blueing sky
an hour, now, after sunset

necessity makes us braver sledge writes
about going under the river-house
to insulate the pipes

what strikes me is this
i reply about the photo of sledge on the kind of long porch
that many people dream of arriving at
after they have put their time in
to the machine of capitalism
you look like you have landed inside yourself

we are not just one muscle
i overhear liat telling the living room anatomy class
we are layers and layers and layers of muscle


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