Earth calls
asking us to pay attention.
Will we remember
how precious our breath
if, even if,
the fires calm down and the viruses pass?

Tonight I will be warm,
safely entangled with only my cat creature, knowing I will have food in the morning and ways to make art all the days I choose.
I recognize the immensity of this gift, that should be a right, that should be so normal as to need remembering only in the daily prayers of gratitude,
not the prayers we make when something is missing, when desperation the only food we know, that makes only more of itself.
Can we let every relatively easy breath be a doorway to truth?
Can we hold the paradox of preparation free of panic, the complexity of trust free of complacency,
remember sacredness without scarcity,
and preciousness without possessiveness?
Oh, these precarious, perilous times.

I wash these hands
I touch warm fur
I hold color and keys
I dream of skin that will not transmit illness,
and the warm embrace of shared breath,
for now, I find it in the skin of drum
the breath of sky,
the pixels of a beloved face brought into focus across miles and quarantines,
the fire held safely in wax and wick and distance

I will keep yearning for you,
across the space that protects us,
reaching for you beyond the stories that wound us,
loving this life beyond the fears that haunt us,
treasuring the future memory of your warm arms,
even as I carefully wash my hands.



The sting of hot tears

pierces the jadedness

shielding my eyes

from the intricacies

of all these tragedies

as feeling 

finally bubbles over the edge 

of my heavy cup.

Too many people have died this year.

No explanation can encompass this wrongness.

There are no words for the depths of this despair.

But we will see millions on our screens:

to proliferate opinions,

manufacture complacency, 

ensure continuing consumption,

and rage against whilst perpetuating the machine.


I am weary of reasons.

Mind has ruled long enough.

Anything is justifiable,

twistable, edible,

ostensibly inevitable

when given the proper spin.

“No more ‘why’.”

calls this aching heart,

finally breathed into enough

for shock and disbelief

of humanity’s capacity for inhumanity

to melt into sadness.

Perhaps instead we grieve.

Grieve everything:

the lives of the victims, 

the lost genius of the perpetrators

twisted by the insanity

of the ones who pay for guns

to wreak the havoc on the world

they will not look at in themselves;

grieve the viscous dystopia we find ourselves in

powered by the fear that hides 

under every act of hatred.


And when enough tears have fallen, 

like lava rising from the unrestable depths

to slowly and steadily transmute everything in its wake,

the heat of feeling beyond reasoning 

will burn through our comfortable numbness.

Maybe we can start 

to put our words

and our money 

and our actions

where our hearts live.

And “why” will become the rallying cry 

of hands planting seeds

of love made visible through lives indivisible,

and the memory that tears can also be of joy.


{Listen to this poem here}

waiting for you to be what follows

when the lump in my throat dissolves.

When I finally check off everything on my to-do list,

for you to be 

there with hand outstretched,

inviting me on an adventure.

Wishing that your presence 

on my contacts list,

the last words we sent across the web

still visible,

frozen in time like your pixelated smile,

meant that I need only push a button

and wait for your response.


The ache of emptiness is its vastness.

the unquenchable yearning for it to be filled by something remembered,

something treasured.

Feeling the value

of what cannot be held.

Finding the fullness

hidden in every breath,

wisdom whispering at the edges,

like the echo of your laugh.

Abiding in the patient expectancy

of a life beholden

to cycles and seasons,

comings and leavings,

birthings and dyings,

I cannot help but look for you

when the spin stops

and my eyes turn to sky.

when my heart wonders who to call

to remind me of what is true.

But as wind can only be seen

by the way it dances the trees,

you only appear

in the salty warmth of my cheeks,

my poignant smile of gratitude

my pen on paper, witnessing

the unburdening of a heart 

that is bereft, and full, and following,


offering to life through art.

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© 2018 by Medicinal Poetry