being the middle child

one million poems, number two

you know what I mean, being the middle child, even if you were an only child, you know what middle means.

half so much of everything is still, everything.   what?   no matter what.

       don’t wait for an echo.   everything ain’t coming back.

no matter how many times paired, half remains everything.
if it isn’t, then it was never everything to start with.   this is recursive
truth.   the truth inside truth.   what’s so – is a less intimidating way to
say the same thing.
so in all the universe, this morning was the morning I got what love really means.   how it lands, how it looks.

when I give myself to love – that means I get everything – happiness, sorrow, desire, fear – everything.   it does not mean only happy times.   it means all times, all feelings, all thoughts.   we become transparent.

       is this how it feels to be a window?

       pardon my generous paraphrase.     (thanks Ren)

resistance is a kind of love; it is.   acceptance is also a kind of love.
we struggle, flailing, bouncing between the two.   then a moment comes,
we see we are the middle.

we are the river.   like water,

we are where the light flows.   we all, all of us, we are light.

how’s that for gospel?
what’s this all mean?   I’m not sure, but I’m sure it must mean
something, sometime, somehow.
maybe the smallest particle that makes existence exist is intention.

       what do we intend?    one million and two, counting.

living inside a word

       an epic poem in few words

       contraindicated some poets say
not what a word means, but who means it.

made friends with a few brick walls learning that.

who loves me?   raise your hands.

OK.   no hands.   let me explain.

there is a bowl.   two hands cupped.   see.

they nourish me when they can.   when they’re full.

but the thing about nourishment, obvious isn’t it,

what nourishes is something anything outside myself.

If Wishes Were Horses, she said it first.   me next.

used to be, I was a grump about being likable.

collective likable.   you know, like I write from heart,

maybe I work for hours, finding rightmost words for you.

then not even the word, but an empty box, liked?
you understand – don’t mean much to me.

blah blah blah.   me speaking historically.

then this writer rider I deeply admired, she’d like me.

it was not the same.   one finger touch, can move a world.

the right finger.   who it’s connected to.

now that’s also what I mean.   me.   sincere.   meaning

I’ve been here.   with you.

I don’t do moods

I want soup.   maybe crackers too.

or maybe I don’t.   these are the decisions

I face, alone is not an answer

even when I lie to myself

a pleasant diversion.   see?   another lie.

but no, really, I’d like some soup

crackers too.   and a spoon.
what isn’t soup, you can keep.

I had soup.

now I’m going to sleep.

so there.

are stars doing it right?

first off, yes, I think so.   I do.   is that an act of faith?

when you’re as small as me, maybe faith is prudent.

and someday sometime one star will say – enough.

and that will be that.
am I an octopus?   or even just like an octopus.

imagine.   would that be so bad?   maybe, beautiful.

maybe we are.

maybe we are, beautiful.
still looking for the best words to say to you.

you let me know when I get it right.
yes, I know it’s the same.   but that’s what it wanted to do.   don’t blame me.

being there


        maybe it’s not so much of a poem
        but it’s the truth

there comes a time
that’s what they say
you will only recognize

when you are being there

it looks the same, it does

as all the other times

whether you were there

or not there, except

this time it is, the same but different
and the only thing you can do is
being there
for my mother, for me, for my friends who’ve been there too

and maybe I have eight arms, but no, I’m not gonna explain.

was it a mistake, I’m wondering

was it a mistake that we learned to speak?

I know, I know, look at all the loving things we can express

but some others too, not so kindly meant.   both, you know.

I observe the critters, a living sea through which we stride,

see how they approach, how they greet with nuzzle and paw.

this is not a solution offered.   it is an observation.

one I might prefer from the inside, looking out.

maybe I’ll just curl up in your lap.

double dog dare you

        alright, my lyric here is more imagination than historic
        but so gimme a little forgetful memory break.     OK?

do the Hokey Pokey, OK begin

put your big foot in
take your big foot out

put your big foot in
and you shake it all about

you turn yourself around

that’s what it’s all about.

put your whole self in
take your whole self out

put your whole self in
and you shake it all about

you turn yourself around

that’s what it’s all about.
OK, still with us here?   are you smiling yet?

life gets different, but no better than this.
       time to dance, and oh yea, a bonus too

image:   Bryan Ledgard, Wikipedia
   PS.   how’s this for a loud noise?

make a loud noise like this

do you hear the plates move?

no, not the ones where you put your food,

the earthen plates underneath your feet.

do you hear the magma cracking rock

moving toward the beach.   here and

there, it wants to take a peek at you.

do you hear the waves when they speak.

they don’t always.   are you there when

they do, despite the ruckus storm.

do you hear the Sun when it shines,

it does you know.   fire makes noise.

do you hear the rain when it rushes

past, teasing your feet to go its way.

do you hear the hillside scrub painting

the air.   do you put it in a jar, then

bring it home with you.   do you?

open the lid.   let it loose.

my hand in the light

call me moth.
a pale reflection of something

almost lost.   I am like stars overhead

at noon.   I am a white flag in your eye.
whatever does that mean, no,

you, you answer first

else, I am a flicker that you missed.
I am not the moon.

I confess, I like being near to flames.

are you burning my friend?
I get to see Light reflected

back into me.   landing here

I get to know this unseeable face.

I get to know, it’s me.   but

it’s also you.

we bloom

the language of rain

there was a woman who pronounced herself – I am a multitude.
true said for the many of us here.

rain speaks with many tongues.

where does a circle start.   understand.
there’s a trickle coming from the arroyo wall,

climb down from the adobe home, empty plastic
bottles in hand, fill them full, not so light climbing
back up again.   yes, respect for water.

fresh running creek from mountain snow,

cold, shining wet, pure enough, cup your hands,
drink.   valley walls, hundreds times taller than me.
a long walk, thirsted, water satisfied.

silent white geese gliding down to land,

only the sound of air on feathers, where land is a lake,
come to rest.   we say a flock.    we say float.

land breathes, deep and shallow, both,

land is filled with rain, resting, like geese I suppose
moving up, rising high, eager for thirst to return.

ocean too, adores gravity, yet loves the sky,

here, my body is given up to you.   drink of me.
granting every wish of water circling home again,
rise, fly, soar, swim in heaven’s blue, turning round
like an ocean in the sky.

clouds.   more than counting understands.
now rain becomes a bloom on the mountainside.

        purpose well spent.    circular.
sometimes it’s hard to be small when the world is so big.

        thank god, rain speaks to all of us.
image:   Please expand this image to it’s very most full size.
                More than first meets the casual gaze.   Promise.   see the people?
photograph of the Sonoran Desert in Southern California by Cindy Knoke
Please visit and follow her website.   Cindy is a quietly gifted observer and photographer.   She seems able to see and show the nature of nature.

with thanks also to this season’s uncharacteristic generous rains.
image used with her kind permission