three word poem, gone astray


oh sleep

(eyes, blinking open.)

you see?   that’s enough, however look
I’ve made up thinking more.

too eager?   a judgment certainly.

what’s in that brimming bowl?

sweet forgetfulness (oh, yea, I understand).

my muscles, not holding rigid thoughts.

a space for dreams to see their stories right.

light.   at least a bushel’s worth.

one white butterfly.

ask, if you’d be fond of a spoon in your hand.

counting pebble skies

thirty-eight birds on a wire.
clear bright spotless blue otherwise.
shadow limb roosted leaves unmoved
in summer middle-day heat.   silent green.

slumbered earthen white truck beneath
claws itself awake, clears its’ throat.
unexpected growl.   startled all
into flight.

feathers leap into elliptic waves all
in less space than one random thought.
become a broken road round river


oddly enough, fifty-three return.

one is white.

prompt:   write a poem about something that takes place in a near instant (say five seconds or less), and keep your observations attentively direct without consideration toward meanings.

and oddly, birds on my mind.   so this.

gilt-edged tanager hatched

          all the words I had lost or abandoned returned to me,   Kerfe

in the beginning I wasn’t a bird.   I was a circumspect rendition of what feathers might become.

in the beginning I was black.   well, everything was black, no hint of color.
     except for my Creator’s eyes.

     these eyes were given me.

in the beginning I walked the Earth.   then Creator said, oh, I meant for you to be kin with sky.   so Creator lifted me above the ground.
     then I was given wings.

from such heights I can see far away, or close, very close, like inside.   I see

          my blood is blue.   my blood is green.   ochre is my blood,
          the name I respond to when you call to me.
          I was an egg, and then

I was the lips of the Creator when she looked at me.   I smiled.

          I became the colors of blood.
I looked, saw companion stars and moons, and you.   I looked and what I most wanted to be in all of this creation was – free.   unbound.   no cage.   no leash.
     no treat tempting me to roost on a fingertip.

     then I am the fingertip.

I might be a djinn.   no, I’m a bird.   but really, how’d you know?
I don’t live in a bottle, but I do sleep in a tree.   no ropes, no hoist.
     just the sharp embrace of my prayers.

and every day I sing the colors you might become.   a room with more wings.

          first there was air, then there was us.

even to the shade beneath each leaf.   what it is that you expect,
but afterwards, obvious.
one story, one nest.   a binary heart.

close circled.    close.   manifest.

feather threads itself into wind.

wind becomes a wing.


found are

feathers, one sharp stone, obsidian.   a ribbon to cut.

a pebble shaped like a wave.   faith (maybe a fish).

happenstance.    genuine toes, one pair.

image:   gilt-edged tanager, draw a bird day (ink pen with watercolor), Kerfe
                used with appreciation (and kind permission)

without a leash

                 a conversation ensconced in only one Spoken

these aren’t the words I want to say.

maybe there aren’t words to do what I want to do.

like I’d like their meaning to matter, being words.

       merely words.

       rough hewn, on the loose.

she says abstract.   meaning something else?   but, yea.
I wanna say I understand.   I wanna say I understand
everything.   including not the words, but what they
mean without the tethered word.

like me, like you, like sun, warm touching, like animals
with four feet, like close enough to know your scent
(like my cat used to do with my dirty shirts on the
closet floor), like that.   (if you know, you know what
I mean.)


like what understanding really means without the
cloak.   like how process means removing what isn’t
to finally get to what is.   less, but meaning more.

       process, more than result is my breath.

like love.

yea, like that.   without hint of shy or fear.
what’s it like when love leaves your body?

just passing through.   like they say.   like that.

       a conduit.   nothing held in your hands.

       can that be imagined?
nothing wants to be less (or more) than it is.
another stray cat who comes home with you.
       gratitude is a mirror.   I long to be
       your words.
what walks on four feet, but doesn’t come when
you call?   poems, yea, poems.   by tooth and claw.
       affections second face.

       here’s a high-water mark.
death in the abstract, she says he says.   sometimes
(well, only once actually) I’ve considered the possibility
as possible.

think I understand?   no.   more than yesterday.
but the not-abstraction is more personal.

like they say, I’ll tell you when I know.
but no.   I won’t.

habits save my life.   habits confuse my life.
Alan Watts used to tell this story (and if he didn’t,
I’m saying he did) about a finger underneath a blanket,
poking the blanket up into sky.   when finger is moved
away – the blanket remains.   it is just a change in
altitude.   so where do we identify?
       draw your own geology.

yea, laundry, and dirty dishes.   they make demands.

but also, yes, it is within the smaller details where
I roost.   a particular fallen autumn leaf, even as
it continues to morph away from sight.

       these bits and pieces we measure here.

what to do with an injured bird, she asked.

they aren’t endangered or anything, he said.
       yea?   that’s me you’re talking about.

how to turn inside out a breaking heart.

        that’s a verb, not a noun.

    I said thus.   unblemished.

    be the stone in the middle of the creek.

    use your words.    speak.    speak now.

Houdini says, given time all will be made clear.

devotion found

          ten fingers, ten toes.
he thought it might be a problem,
the lion nibbling at his feet.

well, he thought, I’ve got two of them,
one enough more to share.

wait, that fur is black leopard print
and not toes but fingers in his mouth.

should I be worried, he worried to himself.

then said the leopard, no frets, no strings,
I just like your taste and

nothing more to doubt than just
my affection, lingering

on an eager tongue.
you know perfectly well, this is
one of your fondest dreams,

being loved by a love that could
effortlessly eat you right on up,

if she wanted to.

you’re right,  he said.

then smiled.

notebook entry from under the bed

          even those thoughts disparaged in one moment
               are gospel in another

if I could see my whole life in one sight of knowing

if I could tell you every year and day and hour, knowing

if I could say, it would take every year, day, and hour

if I could that’s how my life would be, with you, with you

       beloved, my life, with you, one more time again
and if I could, I’d let it all go that we might begin anew

as if we could, for the very first time

          played against the backdrop of orchestral music

          if only I find you for the very first time

in good wilderness

in absence then, my heart will speak for you.

so dear the conversation, I cannot be away.

here, two legs, one for the each of us.

I am more grounded thus.   like cradle Earth.

good heart.   good sky.

thus was it made, and meant to be.

we are joined.

here replied.

making home.


two feet on high

she sat beside the lake,
was that a smile on her lips?

but it’s a lake, not the ocean,
he said.   foolishness stuck

to his skin.   like memory.

but see, how close the stars
are here?   one of heaven’s

gates.   her response.

yes, he said.   then lets us
be the moon.

how close can two stars be?

this much, two fingers close.

one to the other one, is one.

     ty wg   nov/pm

encouragement like this


sometimes it’s to look at a painted tree
without looking away

unblinking reveals what goes blind
while asleep

yes, maybe I’ll change my face
today, be someplace else instead
of me

another life, a different street.

all those memories will be
painted over.    forgiven,

water lapping against the hull,
left to drift free of lovings

not even Autumn would disagree.