chocolate is a verb

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Tag Archives: December

found poem: in the Rain

found poem: The December

found poem: the day

found poem: Dawn

found poem: The sky

found poem: shellacked

found poem: cloud


Extremely pleased and honored
to have two of my poems,
“Recession” and “Re-Wind,”
included in December, Volume 30.1,
pages 94-95.

found poem: December

found poem: shellacked

found poem: subtle



Between storms, Portland shakes off her gray sweater. The Willamette braceleted with bridges, trains snaking round tracked neighborhoods, rain-or-shine residents shed a layer to show shirts and jackets brightened with shouldersful of winter sun.

Downtown seems a random dance of street life, people sitting, standing, eating, walking every direction, each one clutching a phone, ear buds pumping an unheard soundtrack. I walk and wander, ride the bus and train, and for long minutes without reference to visible river or mountain lose my sense of direction. The natives are friendly.

A half-hour bus ride delivers us to a Thai restaurant that will forever redefine our understanding of the words chicken wings and back to the hotel, where we wallow in stupid television.

This morning, a snappy little wind blowing the last of the remaining leaves, the city is back in her gray. A perfect day for Powell’s.

December 31…

number 31A year feels like nothing to wrap and send on its way. Wisps. Yet it is marked on my face, on my belly and hips, on my skin. It is marked in this slow dune of words. In the crawl of the sun across morning skies. Poems written. And unwritten. People lost. It is marked by the unpunctuated litany of torment and greed and hunger and hope. By the onward roll of eclipses and solstices. By the urgent shouldering of salmon into streams. It is marked in a love maturing. Friendships deepening. In the garden’s young dwarf balsams and hellebore sports, the cycle of weeds, the drift of leaves gathered behind the hydrangea. It is marked by the raucous wheelings of Caspian terns, the eagles come to the river, the swans bent-necked in cropped fields. Colored lights. Kids on new bikes. It is marked by the shuffling of calendars, the best-ofs, predictions, resolutions, prognostications. It is marked, at last, on this final morning of the year, by a warming shawl of gratitude — for tenderness, for sharing and laughter and curiosity and delight, and for the continuing capacity to discover, in the world and in myself, something new.
number 31

December 10

December 8…

Papa and sibs, about 1915That’s my dad, on the right, scowling, age around 4. The brush, the comb, the clean white clothes, the socks and shoes, had all conspired with his mother to wrestle him into civility long enough for this one photo.

But he didn’t have to like it.

He’s holding something — a leaf? a feather? a miracle that it’s not a clot of mud, a handful of trouble to disrupt this one special moment.

Today would have been his 101st birthday.

Happy birthday, Papa.

Sunday morning…

another doe, another dayMorning clear and hushed, the dawn’s nightgown a hint of peach at the hilltops. Outside to fetch the paper, I notice the fuzz of frost that whitens the bare soil, the edge of the sidewalk and the neighbor’s grass, where the doe and her large fawn browse, alert, and look up at me, all eyes and ears. They’re fat, coats brown and thick for winter.

The doe walks to the neighbor’s fence, her delicate steps small icy crunches, stops just inches from the gate, then, effortless, without bending or any visible bunching of muscles, flows over the top of it into the back yard. The fawn looks at the grass, and at me, then follows with dry whispery steps and leaps, like the doe, but for the loud knock of her back feet against the fence-top. In the ensuing silence, all that remains is grass-colored hoofprints in the frost.

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