Though I Cannot Fly Yet

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Though I cannot fly
airborne as an arrow
still I feel the airstream
the way wind fingers my hair.

In my fingers I feel it too—
my breath escaping through
the pores of my instrument,
my fingers hovering over fingerholes.

Though I cannot fly yet
with you I would take the risk,
our breath releasing from our lungs,
our lungs inhaling like a sail.

Breath by breath, we spend
down our days, prodigal
as maple’s winged seed pods
floating down to earth.

My breath escaping through the pores
of my instrument,
hollowed and hand-carved
light as bird’s tibia or femur.

Our breath released and restored
in fits and starts-—you at the keys,
my fingers at the ready
where flesh meets breath.

We too are winged seed pods
spinning from the maple,
falling breathless—

Iron Creek Trail

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All week the poet
cast lines of poetry.

When it was time
to resume a morning hike,
the notebook–
lodged under a log–
was forgotten.

The fisherman advised:
“Catch and release.”

Innuendo

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I’m a getaway vehicle for passion,
an accomplice to crime.
I swoon and I swelter.
I sip.

Bar hopping
from blossom to blossom
I imbibe
but leave no trace
of my coming or going
save for the slow swelling
of seed into fruit,
save for my jointed limbs
replete with pollen.

Love falls where it will
as Cupid shoots his arrow
so too the wind carries
the wings of the maple
and acacia seeds set sail
on the ripples of the stream.

How seeds travel and hitchhike
like love letters
or pollen

Or time travelers
stealing glances,
the electricity between us
answering the primitive call
of desire.

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.