River At Night

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Photo by Sergey Pesterev on Unsplash

The river behind the house at night
has so much more of a voice
in the darkness, rushing
toward the ends of the earth as if
this is the journey of all journeys.

The world I was born into has hurried
me through forty-seven years, never
stopping to place me where I belong:
I want to lie firm and wondrous in the arms
of the river, a boulder of great faith.

Then when it hands me the moon
shimmering and full, and gathers
the rippling stars in close, I am part
of a circle of sisters, sharing stories,
named in their alphabet of light.

Ask me then about ecstasy,
and I will say it runs gleaming
through the secret universe
of my body, that it calls me
home.

An older poem, first published in North Shore Magazine, and included in my first chapbook “Stealing Eternity”. And since its writing, happy to say I found where I belong.

The Climb

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A hard uphill climb past faultless
rocks and towering tribes of trees—
heart, leg and arm muscles
pumping steadily, sweating so much
I become a sea of tiny rivers
heading for a self-determined shore,
my lungs emptying, filling, in an
incoming, outgoing tide of breaths

bridging the centuries:
I breathe the air of the living
and of the dead, of heroes and
villains, of those asleep—curled
tight as buds, and those who’ve risen
to reap the blossom of their genius.
Molecule by unforgotten molecule,
the gasp is laid against the sigh.

Now, simply inhaling the storied air
between mountaintop and valley
and returning it, warmed, into the world
becomes historic and intimate,
an act of love in the arms of creation,
a means to living largely in the smallest
of ways, like the length a lotus stalk
will grow to uphold a lily pad.

How my lungs still heave! – as if they
know that breaths not deeply breathed
will amount to a life not fully lived
in the carnal kingdom of the body,
its ecstatic depths not drunk from.
That if I thirst for this, and cannot speak—
so parched my lips—I must climb then
the trail of every tear that can.

An older poem, inspired by the mountainous landscape in which I live, first published in North Shore Magazine before being included in my earlier chapbook “Stealing Eternity”.