DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Night Traveler

Night Traveler

Something happens that
unravels me from myself, unties me,
sets me free.  I do not, in fact,
sleep.  I fly.

REM is absent, my brain alert.
My dream body lifts, and falls
with each breath.

Inhale.  Exhale.  

Beneath me in darkening pastures
flatulent cows chew and belch and fart.
Highways flow with automobile lights rushing
like red and white cells through arteries.
I fly over the rooftops of cities, I leave
this world I love behind.  I fly
until there is nothing but air.

Inhale.  Exhale. 

When the sun has set, stars appear
on my left and on my right, above me,
below me, and I pass a boundary.
On the other side, I am the only thing moving,
and the sun is just another star.

One Story

One Story

In our bed
my old cat purrs softly
in the bend of my body,
the sound coming
from some plaintive internal tunnel.
Her eyes are cancers.
They have shaved her to the skin.
Her sad pink body gives off
a kind of light.
She shudders with the explosions
of her own sound, claws working,
heart beating.  The wave of it
climbs and then plunges her
into cat-dreams.

In the white shimmer
of early morning we sleep,
my cat and I,
our heads together, filled
with winged things:

     slow, incautious sparrows,
     cabbage white moths,
     and archangels.

This is one story.
I hate knowing the ending.

Friday, June 08, 2012



My stone 
 Sleeps in the cradle
Of my hands
Drinking my fire
My stone grows hair
In wonderful curls
Down its mossy back
It loves the ice
That breaks me
More than it loves me
It sings of bare feet
Of blackbirds dying
Of the cracking of heaven
My stone knows black and white
Was there at the hour
Of my birth
My stone knows my name
Understands cemeteries
Knows grief
Talks to God



I am from light, yes, a spark
from the Great Intelligent Light
that set the universe afire,
from love, both spirit and matter, yes,
and from the green living body
of the earth:  oceans and saltgrass,
rain and roots.  I am from amoeba,
invertebrate to vertebrate,
from Lucy.

I am from Ephraim, from ancient Celts
breathing haze rising from peat bogs.
I am from tassled cornfields in Cornwall.
from the fires and peppered spices
of Spain, from El Cid.
I am from salt miners on salt barges of Cheshire,
I am from their empty bellies, and of
the porridge and buttermilk that filled them.

I am from sailing ships and steamboats.
I am from children walking behind handcarts
crossing the vast American prarie.
I am from their frozen feet wrapped in
gunnysacks, from weary feet dancing polkas or
Fylde waltzes and Virginia reels.  I am from
fiddles and string bands.
I am sego lily and lumpy dick and
bread 'n with it, from white salamanders
and the Three Nephites, and funeral potatoes.

I am from gold miners and lumberjacks.
I am from red-headed women.
I am white beans and pot roast,
macaroni and cheese.
I am from books, from the  undying omniscience
of Wordsworth and Keats, from Burns and
Steinbeck and Bradbury,  I am from pleasure
and pain.  I am paper and ink,  and a perfect
brightness of hope.  I am from wings.

Monday, June 04, 2012

A Kinship with Water

A Kinship with Water

"If the millions of women who haul water
 for long distances had a faucet by their door,
 whole societies could be transformed."
                   -- Tina Rosenberg

There are poems that tell us how water rises
as mist, and returns again to rivers and rooftops
as music, or as a white calligraphy of snow.

Shapeshifter, water  fills our glassware
and our gutters alike, disguising itself as birds,
or dogs, or elephants and tigers drinking

from the same shallow pool.  It manifests
as boys on a soccer field, as coffee in cups,
in wadis and in gardens.

There are words that say: sweet water,
bad water, holy water, words that whisper of
water flowing into baptismal fonts, where our sins

 float away like fat turds, or where hidden water
 runs under cities in sewers, or as ice-sheets
 melting at 0.7 millimeters per year, warming

the currents of our rising oceans.
Are we not, ourselves, made of water,
our cells swollen and wet, our blood

a red tide that follows the moon, knowing
kinship with  desert women hauling water
long distances, thirsting, measuring, each drop?

jed 6-2-12

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.