They fit together like two hemispheres,
one enclosing the other.
Apart from each other, each is broken.
One shoulders the other,
draws her gradually to the light.
When one is warm,
the other is cool.
Each knows day and night,
but neither experiences it fully
at the same moment.
They fit together like two hemispheres,
like oceans and continents.
Neither is whole without the other.
It’s a balancing act,
like tide tugging at the shore.
One cradles the other,
feeds her.
See how they fit together,
day and night,
fullness and hunger,
mother and child.

Her eyes once reflected
love, cupped in my hands,
cradled in my arms;
my hair, a curtain
concealing our glances.

At night, the kerosene lamps come out;
they look like the water lilies that bloom in the morning.
We set them on wooden tables;
sometimes their legs are unsteady.
Kerosene lamps flicker;
they open up like white petals unfolding.
The kerosene lamp has a blue stamen;
its flame lives in a glass vase.
Water lilies float on the marsh surface.
Neither the water lily nor the kerosene lamp has roots.
You cannot hold a kerosene lamp
the way a child cradles a lily.

My daughter hides under
an indigo blanket
and covers my face, too.
The long thin woven strips,
the seams that give way.
Light enters
the cracks in the seams
as stars piercing the night-sky blanket.

When loneliness swells
like a girl’s pregnant belly
when night holds
you in embrace
little children run
through your dreams.
You feel their pain;
you cannot shake it off,
like the odor of a blue dye
that can’t be washed
from a blanket.

The little sister of the
teenager with gauged ears
has bought two paperbacks.
She gives a dollar to
the tattooed cowboy
playing classical guitar.
Old fired brick floors
cradle our feet.
We will wait here until
the westbound train arrives
here in this little town
without vending machines.
The granddaughter of the
bookseller holds up her skirt and
dances.

Sole mate,
partner
friend for the road
leather tramp,
we met
along the Way,
wayward
brother sister.
Home
hearth
health
dimming
behind
yet
homeward
pull,
hurling
us
heavenward,
hoisting
our haunches
through hills
and haunted
valleys.

Each leaf
is an aperture
of light.
Buds open
to admit the sun.
Each green leaf
courts light.

In autumn
the golden leaf of aspen
clocks the measured hours of day,
each gold leaf
witness to
the sun’s
divided loyaties.

 

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There are waves
that beat against
a wooden vessel
like the mallets
that beat a story
And in the hold
there are bodies
bolted down

And when the waves roll
and the ship rocks
there’s a clang of iron
like a hammer
coming down

There are waves
that rock against
a wooden vessel
and there’s moaning
in the hull

There’s an anchor
and a landing
iron clanging
voices coughing
as the ship’s hands
haul the bodies
in to dock

There’s a market
and an auction
and a mallet
like a hammer
striking
when a deal
is rung

There is iron
flesh
and silver
and a hammer
striking
“done”

There are judges
in the markets
walking aisles
to weigh
the cargo’s
worth

Then
there’s iron
shoulder
muscle
and a bullwhip
lashing
flesh

There are feet
that strike
the earth
like mallets
and there’s rhythm
in their labor
like the raging
in the wind storm
striking hull
and mast

There’s a roar
that shatters
iron—
and arms
that hoist a new flag
and there’s thunder
in a trumpet
blast

There’s a vessel
plowing oceans
with a stolen
human cargo
and there still
are many more
to come

There’s work in making a guitar.
It’s mostly in the bending,
steaming the wood
until it curves like an hourglass.
Trees bend to the wind and rain
like wood shaped and fitted
to sing. Wood yields to the song,
to the air that rushes through it.
Wood resonates with a player’s breath,
a finger’s touch.
Surely Mary did no more,
no less, when she said:
“Be it done unto me
according to thy word.”