when I didn’t die

pneumonia in Nevada in the snow.   frozen diapers
outside on the line.   I got over it but it left me with
a leaning into cough.   mother said, never happened,
but.   that’s not what my body says to me.

when I could’ve been trampled by elephants.   there
was this guy, two, three times a week he’d rub a stone
on the street corner lamp post.   why so, I asked of him.
to keep the elephants away, he said.   some thought him
odd, but gotta say, yea, no elephants, not one.
when that relationship became a fork.   you know the
one.   the one that went the other way.   like smoke,
me following.   felt like dying, didn’t it.   over and over.
some seeds, harder than others are.   I didn’t die.

when being lost felt like being dead.   but,
       I didn’t die when I died.

every day is being on the brink.

     now.   still now.

when words arrived like leaves.
when I was afraid.
when I smiled.
when you smiled at me.   I didn’t die.
     look, really look

Pneumatic Arts Flying Trapeze Arise Festival 2019
Cogi Haggerty   Nat Street   Blair Aued   Jordan Tribble

Live,  Love,  Fly   an act called, “Consciousness”
if you’re wondering, poem came first, then the pictures.

some words begin

some words begin with a.
some words begin with a-boy.
some words begin with a-boy-and.
some words begin with a-boy-and-hat.
some boys will die.  hats-don’t.
some words end with a dove
or maybe sky or maybe love.

some words begin-and-end with
you.  my child, who was-and-is.



I will be a child of the Dalai Lama.

I will be a man I don’t even begin to know or understand and will befriend a young boy, near broken in two, and be as father for the one who wasn’t.  like I said, I don’t know how, only that it needs to be, and I will.  sometimes I will be a man, else I might seem as wind or rain or rocks by the side of the road, but it will be me all the same.  the child, he will know, what is, and what isn’t.

I will be a butterfly beside the creek who flies into the wind.  or maybe I already did.

I will be husband, lover, your best friend.  the horizon sky will be both dawn and dusk.  we won’t say dream, we’ll say – this life.  meaning you, meaning me.  it is a vanity we will allow with gratitude.  in god’s dream we are the breath, the poem that speaks like water does.

I will be an old red truck who holds two lovers kissing in the late night rain.

I will be a sail who rounds the Cape of Good Hope.

I will be a child who is lost in the woods and though they search and search, is never found, so instead becomes a bear, a mother who tells her cubs what it was to be a man and writes her tale into the bark of trees for all to see and read and understand until that winter’s snow when she lays down and passes from sight.  her poems nest upon those trees for hundreds, hundreds of years, maybe even right now.

I will be a tree who lives a thousand lives.

I will be a star with limbs that reach to the first note of time.  I will sing with light because God asked me to.

I will be a poem, the honest poem that has been wanting a pen, and says itself rightly, with only brightness for a mouth.

I will be a leaf first borne on the far far light of a star, then drink rain, drink earth, bloom like green, then in autumn become amber and fall with uncounting cousins where I am raked and rattled into a pile and am leapt upon by an excited child.  good life, leaf thinks to itself.

I will walk with you and when the question is asked, yes.

I will be, again, the fallen faded leaf who befriends a spirit sitting on a bench and who notices me that one day even though wind would seem to scatter such relationship.  I will be there the next day and the next and the man will find me again and again and understand love is always implied even in the smallest fragments, even when he thought love would look like someone else.

I will be a woman with her ordinary unknown life who, one day, right there on a street corner for all to witness, holds up a sign surely meant in some other way, yet when a man near lost of faith passes by and reads, it will restore him from despair.  then she will in turn be passed by just the way most angels are, never knowing herself, that is who she is.

I will be the color red, an orphan of the China sea, a good fortune wedding dress, with stories to tell, but I won’t.  instead a woman will write poems about my fingertips and the soft curve of her tongue.

I will be a man who writes a list of names, a list just like this, save for the one he is being now.

me, again.

read footnotes about this poem