When I’m alone and still
A tree, a rock, a wild, silent
This is when I’m most astonished
By the life that unfolds
Around me, all at once.
Vast carpets of grass, each
Stump suddenly a throne,
The very ground is alive
And moving, the jumping bugs,
I always call them.
Each green insect signals the start
Of a nightly announcement
The day of deadlines
Drawing to a close.
My boots fill almost instantly with
The sharp stings of stalks,
Golden hay snapped by my clumsiness,
But each barb is a reminder that
I may be welcome but
I do not
My presence a peace offering, and I
Never want to offend
This magical, wide-open
There is no sadder day to me
Than this one, the day
The Golden-Crowned Sparrows
Suddenly, are gone.
Without warning, though I
Knew it was coming,
The abundance of sparrows
For months, I’ve been preparing
Emotionally, telling myself
It will be ok, that this is what
Must happen. Nature.
This morning, I knew, I
Felt the hole in the bird song.
The sunrise chorus missing its most
Somber, treasured notes.
To Alaska they’ve flown, in staggering
Flocks. A crew with a mission,
They have done this before, and I wonder
How many times?
In the months to come, I will
Look out upon my grass and long
For that day in September, when like magic
The sparrows will return to me.
What did the Scrub-Jay see?
As it surveyed the scene below,
Everything tinged an angry orange.
Ash hanging in the air.
Even the brilliant blue of its
Feathers obscured by
The fiery red of the sky.
Entire homes, people, treasures
Burned up, in seconds like
They never existed.
Their remnants blow in the wind, choking
Our lungs, begging us to
The breezes move in cold, dry air and
None of us can breathe without
I woke up that day, and it was
At noon that day, it was
Darker, more ominous.
I stepped outside to see it…
I open my eyes, and I could be 5 or 15, 10 or 3. Every vacation starts the same way: my dad, freshly shaven and harried, calling up the stairs to his 4 bleary-eyed children. We frantically grab our overstuffed duffels bags, each with our first names written in all capital letters by our mother. It is usually about 5AM. To a kid, a morning that is still shrouded in darkness brings its own sense of excitement, of stolen intrigue. Am I up really late? What grown-up things will I get to see? Shoving our things into our…
Trying to keep up with someone who doesn’t exist is a game we were never supposed to win.
Every photo of pore-less skin; every spotless home with meticulously styled children and furniture; every long, lean leg, free of cellulite or visible veins or hair. I never once stopped to question these images, never once paused to consider that each was false. That each was out to sell me the very dissatisfaction with self that feels ingrained, born with; the kind of commodification of self-loathing that inhabits every cell of my being. A young, vulnerable me was inundated with imagery of…
Being a female is complicated, and not complicated at all. And yet, as a 33-year-old woman, a mother now, a wife now, I cannot believe at times how difficult it is to just BE. I cannot believe all of the many “truths” that have guided me, have harmed me, and have informed so much of my younger life. I remember when I first read of the “Male Gaze,” and how I instantly felt sick to my stomach, as if every questionable encounter I had had with a man suddenly came rushing to the forefront of my mind. I suddenly remembered…
Words, Birds, and Daydreams.