From here…

Some fly high above and dream of everyone and no one

all at the same time, from heights beyond borders and lines

and roads and fields and porches and the rocking chair

where I look out into a world and only see shapes in your clouds

and don’t much wonder if you know me and all I know

about nothing important but I know you and feel bad

you fear others who have done you no wrong and probably

don’t care to do you harm but just wonder why you’re

not sitting in the next rocker so I can ask you who you are

and like whatever you want to say because…


People will say Hello to you…

I’ve always lived in places where you only make eye contact

with people you’re sure you know… or know you…

and casual kindness is always suspect (leading to wariness),

doors held open are attributed to patriarchy, and a

‘bless you’ to a sneeze is acknowledged reluctantly,

but here it is my game to greet as many strangers as possible

each day because they’ll respond with a smile and Hello,

yes, they’ll move on, and your life and theirs won’t

become intwined in some serendipitous tale or plot of

lost friends united or degrees of separation unknown;

it takes no bravery or risk – no penalty to being rejected

because you rarely are; this is altogether more friendly

and still anonymous as imaginable and also unsettling.

What if…

But what if, is a great question in any setting

except wondering what the promised love of

the one who you’ve risked everything – including

time and sunk cost – in an attempt to belong

to someone else, to be important enough to

be a risk of value to another, is altogether

hypothetical and the most valuable thing imaginable.


Not long ago there were just two choices when shopping for ketchup,

three for mustard, one for just about everything else we shopped for

and that made it all very easy with just a few thousand items

to spend our hard-earned money on to feed hungry mouths, but today

I faced the impossible task of choosing between thirteen different

chicken soups, and more mustards than I’d imagined humans could

imagine – it’s all so time consuming, so mind-taxing, to have to

constantly choose, compare, and if you’re like the woman next to me,

to research with careful care – we’re not in Germany, but if imported

German mustard is what you can’ t live without, they’ve got it, and

if spicy but not sweet pickles are what you’d die without, then

you’re live, and any food allergy or preference at all might end it all,

I’m happy to announce you’ll not suffer or cramp or otherwise

find discomfort in this aisle in this store in this life, you’re welcome.

The neighbors might hear you…

There are those odd expressions each family has,

and most are best kept secret lest the love hidden beneath

obviously rude words might be missed – like Go play in traffic

or Behave or I’ll sell you to the gypsies, or Were you raised

in a barn, or even Wait until you father comes home, but

we always knew we’d crossed THE line when a parent

gravely starred us down with The neighbors will hear you,

and that, of all phrases, betrayed the greatest fear

that the family hidden behind one’s walls was flawed

and our one purpose in life was to behave even if it meant

pretending to avoid acting like animals or brats or the

beloved children of suburban parents still finding their way.

In silence..

It’s that blessed, too short moment

amidst all the many words explaining

everything out of mystery and into

ignorant familiarity – what comes after

praying aloud, Silence is Kept, but

not before explaining the significance

and history and meaning of silence,

complete with instructions about how

to keep silent in a busy, distracted world

competing for our attention and this

silence is an act of nonconformity – our

protest – so after this 5 minute explanation

in words aplenty about silence, not seeming

silly to anyone but me, sitting in silence,

about to be ‘really so’ or so I’m being told…

but I stopped listening… because this is church.

Never ever…

I’ve never

done too much;

that is, there’s so much

I’ve never done;

never run with bulls,

jumped from a plane,

sheared a sheep for wools

or taken God’s name in vain;

I’m never

going to do much,

though there’s much

I could wish to do;

never spelunking,

ascending Mt. Everest,

busy with danger debunking

or a preoccupied degenerate;

I’m never

not doing much,

though much is what

I just won’t do;

never thought wasted

this ride that’s called life,

the ordinary I’ve tasted

and learned its enough strife.

Sometimes it’s the little things…

I think it was stitched on a tea-stained linen hanging

in some Grandmother’s home that it’s better to appreciate

all the little things instead of forsaking kindness

for big dreams… and that sounded so defeatist, so sincerely

an under-sell of what life could offer, and when I

looked around at the 40 year-old couch, the dark drapes,

the beams of mid-day light streaking through the dust

and the Grandmother not sure she heard me

when I asked about her day while I wondered about

her entire life and saw the consolation of small things,

as some consolation for dreams now passed and

days now tiring enough that forgetting is a blessing.

Splendid sufficiency…

The dinner went well,

tasty and sufficient –

two qualities typically

undervalued in a meal;

when the conversation

turned to conversation,

as if an interminable

debate over the meaning

of meaning, or how much

one loves love, or even

if words can be used

to say something in

words or without and

I chose to just nod at a

tasty and sufficient meal.