Risk

P1010534It isn’t the broken shards
splinters of light
rain and hail
or the crackle and creak
of cicadas in the trees.
It isn’t the sun
blistering your shoulder
or the rocks, sharps in the stream,
poking underfoot like cactus spine.
It’s the step into the unknown
one day just like any other.

At a crossroads in the landscape,
forest folds into shadow.
Two worlds intertwine
and you’re thrust into a new one.

You could be Neil Armstrong
disembarking from Apollo.
You could be a fledgling
angling down from your nest.
Watch how everything settles—
the spider in her web,
the seed in its pod,
the red blush in the golden apple.
Even the arrow returns to the quiver.

But not without giving pause …
you turn, and the sun,
ever so briefly,
stops in her tracks.

Parsing Light

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Sometimes I want to live transparently,
like the spray of the ocean,
suspended before it crashes,

or translucent like stained glass
that casts no shadow but transmits light
in a mosaic of colors.

But I would settle for being opaque
as rock,
like the moon,
who reflects light:

the moon,
who, even when overshadowed by earth’s silhouette,
perseveres
and offers her thin sliver of light,
her radiance more brilliant
than that of all the stars combined.

Taste Buds

Kapok Tree 1
Wind shook the blossoms of the kapok tree, and the petals floated down.

I knew children who sucked the petals of the kapok.

I wanted to share that sweetness,
but when I tried the kapok,
the petals did not register sweetness on my tongue.
To taste the sweetness
of the petal of a kapok
requires taste buds
that know want.

Wind shook the blossoms of the kapok tree, and the petals floated down.

Though my days once blossomed with nectar
I think I know enough about lack now
to taste
the sweetness
in a kapok.

 

The Morning After

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Everything slouches
the day after
the big snowfall.

Snow, once light
as down feathers,
compacts and crystallizes.

In the tree, snow
shimmies down branches
to nestle against a trunk
or curl in a nest.

No longer pristine,
snow awaits
its day of reckoning
with shovel and plow.

The winter storm watch
may be over
but deep down
in the gently aroused earth,
the roots, and the embryo,
know this

is only the beginning.