the first Red leaf

As long as you feel the air around you, you are fine / as long as you feel the day around you, with its tendrils, its curling spine, the wandering light and the peak of cold dipping in between the shadows, you are fine ;; focus your perception on the senses around you ;; your wild ears that get to hear the birds call, the grass whisper, and if you are so lucky, a body of water that sings back –– if you are so lucky, sing towards a new day — collapsed words, endless day, crease towards branches that are still buried in the muck, in the marsh of summer –– carry your sadness as a totem around your neck, march towards tomorrow with abandon ;; what have I done to deserve this endless day

The communion, the way things all touch and touch back –– the way it is all of the things : the whole forest all together at the same time, and each singular piece and its own existence as well ;; each leaf each tree each root and all the same entire mountain all together

Because everything is a relationship ; a way of interacting with the world

Fall in love with the world over and over again / fall in love with the world a hundred times over / fall in love with the fresh, first breath of air in the morning ; with the first Red leaf that falls from the trees in September ; fall in love with the small rocks on the path ; with the moss covering the ground in shades of emerald ; fall in love with the bark on the trees ; the eyes that look through everything ; the conscious Forest ; the bones of the mountain pulling up out of the ground every so often ;; the whole beast of it, and that we get to enter into this world // how alien to be formed / what a gift to be formed –– I get to feel so many things, so many wild, insatiable things : but the wind and the clouds and the roots perhaps know not of the horrible pain, the exhaustion in the back of my spine, the wild and wonderful thing it is to exist in a body

the sacred is just a seeing space : a clarity of mind
the recognition of the sacredness of every single thing around you
the divine is just a set of eyes

september welcomes you with gentle, warm rain pattering on the roof and a still languid chorus of insect chatter

be gentle with yourself, the world is still a spinning web trying to find you;; the hearts of insects still beat in the night, the fluttering wings of flowers still are yet to open — curling days sit on the edge of the bathtub with you, everything sits in silent splendor at one moment or another — and yours, truly, is always here; is coming endlessly; a silent train on the endless tracks of rubber and steel that forge their way across the roots of this country; or any country; any wild moon will thump through the evening’s mist, but this one today is everlastingly yours

cambridge, maryland

River blossom marsh water, in the squish of it, along the lines of curving pathways — the houses cobble together old pillars and silent wood frames , to arrange themselves an the ornamentation against gravity. On the Chesapeake Bay the water laps against our boat and we sail past small islands, seaside houses — opulence betrays the eye, the oysters hunker themselves at the bottom of the Bay; waiting; depleted; filtering what they can through their small and stony mouths ;; the bay drinks itself through its own tongue, lungs gasp at the jellyfish; we walk along the dock, three quarters wrapping around the brightest lighthouse on the eastern seaboard, it seems; the twilight comes to meet us as we walk towards it; and night comes to sit with us — the echo of something grandiose and wild laughing in the light tapping against the dock, pearling in the boats, the sails touching the twilight colors as well; the drift and bounce of the rock as they sway, a lullaby enough to sing the last fireflies of August to sleep. You run desperately to catch them – a poem in your own feet, laughing, and a gentleness you have now learned to approach these bugs with — they settle into the grass, tired now it seems, from a whole season of dancing — they too want to slumber now, tuck in and turn off their lights; but the horizon still glows on the edge of the dock, and you still have questions to be answered — and I will always try to answer them by showing you the light reflected on the water — answers enough for anyone

historic courthouse, centreville, maryland

Hollowed out firmament of Justice; bricks painted white , stacked by hands whose ash now billows about the roots of these structures : these structures that never deteriorate , the perfect path lined with green grass , the perfect lilies placed around a statue of Queen Anne ; the endless monarchy and oligarchy of something we come to pray to :: the precipice of judgement whose hand sits in gavels long-since hammered away ; hammering away sentences, not paragraphs — just sound bites, not full context — just pieces of pieces of lives lost; and laws held and upheld like a handful of marbles jangling, with all the light that passes through them, and all the air that sits at the edge of the spherical shape;; the way we hold on to history like a sack full of old coins that no longer hold any value — but the sound of the jangle pleases our ear so; the jangle of the jail cells ring too; the clink of old metal and salvaged chunks of wrought iron that once brought the iron fist to some wishless land;; the wish-list landed on this lapping shoreland; this Plymouth Rock-edged cliff; the sound of the jangle observes us observing it; and continues to sing

On the day you got engaged, I wished you well, packed you up in an old shoebox and sent you down the river ;; I am so happy to see your heart shining right through your smile, what you always deserved

The days have collected like an echo of a song, and nothing more, or paint chips and the peace of just listening ; the glimpse of stars I can see out of my window, the courage of building my own home for myself — I cannot quite put the past few days in to words, even though words are normally my solace ;; the heat reaches towards me, I am meltwater and July eyes, but still full of so much more summer — the days still spin out , I still have so much to create ,, words begin to clung to the walls of my new home, just waiting for more words to flood in to them, to fill in the brand new creases

Well ash is my mattress now, and flame my heart, my little walking beat — and the mastery of the air at the absorption of all this light is truly a sight to behold — and gosh how everything is littered with ghosts now

Benny, you’d be astounded by what’s happening – you’d make the funniest jokes, you’d lift us off our feet, you’d pour us the largest drinks, you’d smile the widest and most brave smile — you’d have found a way to make us feel safe in these wild times ,, you’d wrap your unkempt and reckless smile around us all, let us know it’s all just a joke between the universe and us, it’s all an outrageous joke

first day of 6

First day of being 6 – you shine bubble eyed and wide hands ;; you laugh and cackle ; you tenderly caress our sweet puppy ;; the fireflies come out at twilight – dancing in your midsummer birthday // the fullness of everything that you are , you graciousness , you sweetness nestled up under the blankets like a perfect wish I do not know how I have been blessed with // you revel in your accomplishments — you say you can do it yourself , and you can // you do not even finish your piece of cake / free art flying feet must race you out the doorway — so kindly jumping in a puddle of splash with our neighbor Lucy // squealing with delight at her gifts — giving everything back — you race the length of the yard back and forth / your elegant body flashing through the air like a dart or a beam // I am ready to see all the things we shall see together this year – and every year — I am ready to greet every warm and cool day with you , bundle you up and tuck you in , read with you and learn from you , everyday and every day after , let us live forever together

this day and every day

This day and every day, the lilac covered branches / the rage in the streets ;; not just this day, but every day – a fumbling, present moment that must burn ; like a fossilized remain of an old world no longer serving, no longer in service, but expecting the service of all those who fill the blood-filled coffers with their own sweat for the money machine / of classist clashed cash mongering / of the flood of stolen lands and stolen hands ; ideas filtered through a language of a paradigm no longer worth a dime // the crass cash grab , a hole that can never be filled ; the endless burial ground we walk upon ; the world we have the burden of explaining to our children ; and the burdens I do not have a right to place on my own shoulders ;; but the grief I feel endlessly for those around me ; the anger that I see lacking from my fellow man / the rage that does not spark or ignite , which is subdued nightly by the daily taste for coffee just the way they like it; subdued by the daily taste for buying new mini fridges at Target just the way they like it ; for scraping the bottom of the barrel just to top the icing on their cake just the way they like it ;; to the tragedy of comfortability which keeps us all complacently tucked away in an our deliverable postage-paid-to-Amazon houses leveraged with promises paid in lifeblood to the mortgage, to the bank, that spins the hamster wheel faster and faster ; that bleeds out the desire to fight back faster and faster – for the payments on the couches we have not paid back yet – for the things we have to be able to couch in the left hand corners of our brains – for the futures for our potential children we have to leverage against equality right now, right here – the ever present presence of the reality of a mortgage against a society we are never willing to upend – we owe too much on it ; to the injustice and the helpless way we are helpless against it fractured in the wheel / the way that taking care of one another sounds like a nursery rhyme too trite to be anything other than a story to put our children to bed with ; put it to bed, the silly sound of the idea of taking care of each other ;; of recognizing our human duty to one another ; our human responsibility to view each other as a humanity ; and beyond a humanity –– a collective, a globe and Earth that we hold responsibility to ; the plague of our individualism relieving us of the age-old duty to see each other as a whole / what a relief to only have to worry about myself ;; what a plagued postmodern concept – the ugly face of individualism / we have the knowledge now, we have the tools to understand ourselves as one and to dismantle the illusions of separateness which have plagued and beleaguered us ; kept us weak and small for so many hundreds of years ; and somehow we turned inwards on ourselves once again ;; find new ways of classifying narcissism ; of selling self-care ; of using nurturing ourselves as a weaponized tool for continuing to not look at one another as brothers and sisters ;; we find new ways to continue the stratification of class and wealth and the normalization of other-ing // to only need to take care of oneself or one’s family / to lose the vibrant bright eyes of global responsibility ;; to sharpen them down two small thumbs pointing at your own chest only ;; the individual responsibility to only care for your own 401k and your child’s college education fund ; the higher these prices are kept the more we can justify endlessly only worrying about our own child’s college education fund and not the whole ; the rapturous togetherness which is so obviously and clearly The Only Thing Worth Fighting For ; the whole heart of love which seeks not the depravity of individualism but the full bodied loud rapture of all of us differing and disagreeing and seeing the diversity of culture and tradition and life and valuing it and valuing it above profit and valuing it above margins and valuing it above normalcy and fighting the long long hard fight towards the beloved community ;; believing in it at all ;; that they will not even let us envision the beloved community without deeming it naive or socialist or simple is such a powerful tool // the fact that we couch each individual idea in and of itself and fight in a separate box and do not boil it all down to the same one –– to the same fight –– always towards the loving respect that we need to all care and take care of one another . the fact that we split it up ; disassociate ; reassociate ; connotate ; confuse ; obfuscate with political agenda ; with he said she said ; there is only one agenda :: there is only one fight we should all be having :: the endless fight toward the beloved community :: towards a new value system which values quality of life ; which values people taking care of people as a baseline measurement of a society ; which values caring and sharing and loving as the highest indicators of health ; not GDP, not the fiction of money – the paper that is printed and circulated at the will of the federal reserve ; but the heat of the heart that wraps around the nation, the globe, the friction of giving and caretaking, the safety and trust of a society which allows for creativity to breed ; the collective responsibility which is cultivated ; the rapturous joy which is kept sacred ; the ingenuity of creation which is harnessed ; the flow of knowledge which abounds ; the natural beauty which is protected and honored ; the pride of strength, weakness, hardship and rebirth which is valorized ; the history which is kept brutally honest, threadbare and widely known ; the opportunities which abound and expound ; and the glory of unending and universal love which is prized above all else

is it ok

Is it okay, I ask: that I am still wild?

that I still do not know from where the wind is blowing ; or why this turtle is sitting stock-still waiting for the air to glow // is it okay ? can I drift in this in-between moment for a small eternity (that somehow has begun to speed by) ––– is it okay that our world is collapsing and our minds are mixing and our temperatures are off the charts ? are we safe still , on our little dirt paths winding down the broken everything // is it okay that the leaves still rattle in the summer heat ; and the Green catches everything ; the absolute overgrown wilderness of this season ; the everything time — lush and ecstatic // is the season still hunting towards new light ; are we still allowed to create new things ; hold new ideas in our hands // will we ever create again –– that endless beauty we want bask in :: the swell of lights ; the smell of wooden stages caked in dust and sweat ;; will we all ever again hold on to the rafters ; laugh into the sides of wings ; cackle together in green rooms ; or hold words hostage – hungrily singing them again and again in our memory ;; will we ever play again ; will the future greet me gracefully –– a knock on the front door finally releasing us ––broken out into the satin silver world that should be ;; the world of the beloved community ; of the firm hand of love and justice ; finding that universal hope baked into the Earth’s crust ; are we cooking and when will we be done ? am I okay , I ask , is it okay that I am still free ?

new types of memories

New types of memories I’ve never had before pound their way through this week ; like pulling my tiny house on to my own land ; like watching it bound down the street and avoid trees and climb hills all while my heart is bouncing out of my chest with anxiety ;; just praying to get through the next 30 minutes / pulling it across my neighbor’s lawn / cutting turn after turn with a truck attached to my 22 ft long house / with all of my money , all of my savings , bounding down the highway or River road / driving right through downtown lambertville ;; people staring and making audible comments on the sidewalk ; the neighbors cheering as we pull down my new Coleman Lane // the sound of my own Street ;; of a ringing I have never known before :: the new tasks ahead of me I have never approached ; and doing it all by myself ; getting to decide all by myself ; getting to put things where I want / no man’s clothes to have to deal with ; just mine , and my own space , my special space for Jamie and I ;; the exuberant Joy of getting to fill it with my own things slowly and carefully ; the feeling of my own grass under my feet ; and the endless options and opportunities :: where do I want to place gravel , to make a parking spot , how am I going to get a mailbox , how do I hook up electricity ;; the wild unknowns streaming before me and circling around all the possibilities ; all the new adventures ; all the new joys // I want to remember this fresh Joy // encapsulate it ; this promise to take care of my space ; the fresh inhalation of new wood ; smudged clean with sage ; a sacred space now ; the fresh open-endedness :: no mistakes yet ; countertops cabinets dry flush toilet in the shower ;; the feeling of watching the wheels rumble finally safely onto my yard ;; the insane relief – after months and months and months of worrying – visualizing this one specific turn – how on Earth could this possibly happen // to be settled and figured at least in this moment is a blessing I cannot fathom

I try to take each day slowly ; devouring the moments slowly ; enjoying this ritual ; each unpacking ; each symbol strange ; the Joy of simply laying out a spoon ; of folding up a sweater in my own closet ; i try to take each Joy in for as momentous and sacred as they are ;; hold on to this newness ; and be endlessly grateful for it

quarantine looks like endless stretches of time – like time enough to watch the sunset again ; like time enough to slow down ; to notice the things growing ; to be in touch with the everyday natural path of the world around me – with the spindly growth of my own plants – with the spinning towards our star everyday – the adjustment to the light ;; the long hours playing with Jamie’s five-year-old mind ; his sweetness , his brilliance ; noting his words ; noting his mannerisms ; taking them in as if I could capture them ;; it is making salads for lunch and plucking kale from my garden ; having enough time to luxuriate in the shade ; it is reminding me of what is important; and what is not ;; of what I want to keep everyday –– in the slowness and carefulness of my attention –– of my reverence towards the day , and towards the nature and space around me // it is crafting, and finding new things to craft – with my hands, with wool, with thread and needle ;; it is the freedom to explore new possibilities ;; it is the release from the worry of the day to day clock –– the ticking, the endless ticking ;; it is the gratitude and appreciation of my parents and the time we get to spend // the days are sweet : much sweeter than I expected ; and this time is a gift –– much more of a gift than I would have ever expected // thank you // and to all of those for whom this time is not a gift, but a struggle –– a slog and a fearful time of instability, stress – a loss of routine and normalcy ;; I wish could I could salve those wounds ;; I wish that I could calm those fears ;; I wish that I could provide that security for someone // and I wish that our country provided that security for its citizens or was able to ;; I pray that everyone be given what they need to feel some level of joy and comfort –––– everyone deserves joy and comfort ;; and nothing else really matters but that

no beginning and no end

Solstice sunset – pull home the light – stretch it from here to there in cosmic elongation –– the season breathing towards me ; a series of breaths of the purest oxygen beset the new day ; the summer falling towards me like an old promise ; howling towards endless Love ; resolute romance of the sky ; the walking feet of a ferris wheel that no longer spins in this season of solitude and separation / The strangest summer we have ever greeted ; the longest way towards the indefinite horizon we have ever watched go sinking just passed our line of vision ;; Greet the season today ; send farewell to the light and let the flight into this new heat take us past where our awareness has not yet met with these eyes or this pair of hands / teach me the tools of the unfolding of newness which approaches me as I approach it / teach me to walk into the solstice midnight –– to the dawn stretch of starlight –– as long as it will last; as long as we move towards endless newness ; towards endless rebirth ; and the cycles which move us endlessly on the great wheel which has no beginning and no end