Sunday, September 15, 2019

What she left behind

There was the leaf

tucked behind the string
on the kayak

that she had found on one of her kayak trips
and placed under the string

never thinking
that this would also be something

that we would find
months later

and touch it lightly

knowing that she had also touched this leaf


this leaf

this tiny fragile leaf


that somehow is still here






A lifetime to lose

Dear Will,
When you first died I couldn't grasp
how devastating it was
to lose you.

And the more time that passes, the more I can feel.

It takes a lifetime to love someone.
It takes a lifetime to lose someone.

It has taken me 11 years to grasp your absence.
It will take so many more.

You were my first favorite student
and at the time I didn't realize
the gift you gave
by showing me the joy of teaching.

I'd like to think I'm still teaching because of you.

I'd like to think you're still teaching me.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

the cove



In the morning, 
the ocean was gone.
I walk on the mud, the rocks,
waiting for the tide to come
to fill up the cove once again.

If I rest on the muddy bed,
will I wake again 
at once floating, 
at once drenched

Will I ever see it fill and wane,
or is everything just
here
gone
here
gone

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Amazon is Burning (lyrics)

The Amazon is burning.
I can feel it in my lungs.
Can you feel it in your lungs?
Greenland ice is melting
I can feel it drowning me.
Can you feel it drowning you?
There is plastic in the water.
I can feel it when I breathe.
Can you feel it when you breathe?
There are children locked in cages.
In my heart, it’s hard to move.
Do you feel it’s hard to move?
There are gun-shots in the schools
I can hear them,
Can you hear them too?
In Puerto Rico they dance corruption out.
I feel the rhythm in my bones.
Can you feel it in your bones?
In Hong Kong they link their arms together.
My arm is pressed to theirs.
Do you feel your arm held too?
Janna, Greta, Emma*
are the youth leading the way.
I will follow,
Will you follow too?
Maya Angelou writes -- I rise, I rise.
I can feel my soul fly higher.
Do you feel your soul fly too?
The song of freedom is getting louder
I am singing,
Are you singing too?
The Amazon is burning
I will link my arm in yours,
will you link your arm in mine?
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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Tradescantia (Wandering Jew Plant)

In the window you grow --
Tradescantia
Are you searching for home
Or wandering for mystery

Purple queen dancing above
You have so many sides
You shine like silk, you draw in light
But oh how easily you die

You grow, you rise, you shed, you dry, you break, you root new life.
You grow, you rise, you shed, you dry, you break, you root new life.

Purple queen, you are my heart.
Your leaves are woven into me.
I grow and break alongside you.
I've been wandering my whole life too.

I lift upwards as the sky.
I draw in light as the sun.
I crumble as the earth.
I begin again as the seed.

I grow, I rise, I shed, I dry, I break, I root new life.
I grow, I rise, I shed, I dry, I break, I root new life.

But who is the tender?
And who is the plant?
Which roots are mine?
Which roots are yours?

For we are the forest let the deer rush through us.
We are the fish, swimming through the sea.
We are the sky, let the birds glide through us.
We are the flowers in a field.
We are the meadow, let the water pour through us.
We are the seed becoming more.
We are the earth holding the seed, we are the plant that has grown, we are the plant that has dried.

We grow, we rise, we shed, we dry, we break, we root new life.
We grow, we rise, we shed, we dry, we break, we root new life.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

something else

There is the driver that almost hits the biker, not because he wants to, but because he doesn’t see.


There are the people walking by the vagrant guy who is singing with so much soul,
not because they want to, but because they don’t hear.


There are the thoughts in my mind that keep asking me to look back instead of being here, right here.


And so many couples quarreling about very tiny things,
mostly because they have forgotten something very important.


My piano student who is fighting for his life, everyday,
and that beautiful woman I knew, who gave hers away.


The soil in my garden that is somehow rich and fertile after a long winter
and how everything -- every little seed always remembers where to go.


The friend from out of town that reminds me of the world. Somehow it’s all connected.


And my little mind that is partly in brooklyn, partly in the past, partly in the future, partly in fantasy.


I don’t want to be the same person you thought I was yesterday, and also, I want to be known.


There are the weeds that we pull that become mulch, protecting the seeds.


All this waste that could easily turn into soil, and then back into food.


A simple molecule that could be upcycled into something more complex
(at least that’s what my friend told me).


The blood that leaves my body. The blood, that could pour into the earth, nourishing new life.
It makes me dizzy, my mind fragmented. Today, I am less myself and more of something else.


The purple plant in my window which so often crumples and dries. I break it into pieces,
place the parts into water, watch new roots sprout, plant the new roots into soil.
Again and again. The crumpled leaf is the purple, shiny leaf. Its death exists within its life.


There is this moment. There is that one.


There is the feeling I had with my friend like my world was getting bigger and bigger
just by having him in my garden. I had forgotten about change, about hope.


I want to connect with everyone I know and I also want to hide.

I want to have intimacy, to touch, to feel --
and also I want to be alone in my bed, to feel the stillness, and to sleep.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

For Ellen (lyrics)

Where are you now?

is your laughter the rain
is your music the wind
is your smile the sunrise

is your sadness the sea
is your brightness a star
is your stillness the moon
is your song the birds' song

and did you know, did you know
you were loved

did you know, did you know
you were loved

did you know, did you know
you were loved

are you floating in flowers
are you flying above
are you sparkles of light
floating by in our eyes
are you sliding down rainbows
are you jumping in clouds

is heaven what you hoped it would be

and did you know, did you know
you were loved

and did you know, did you know
you were loved

can you feel, can you feel
all our love

can you feel, can you feel
all our love
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dedicated to Ellen O'Meara

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