red wagon

is there a poem hiding here?
            The world is not yet done.
            David Bayles & Ted Orland, Art & Fear,
            Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
I brought a memory for you.   I brought it here for show and tell.

Middle December it was.   About four foot tall, four blocks from home
towards Grandmother’s house.   Small farming town.   Grandmother
Janet and Great Uncle Louis.   Now you know two names.   Morning,
it wasn’t cold.   A van stops in front, man steps out with a little red
wagon in tow.   He knocks at the door.   The little red wagon goes
inside into Grandmother’s hand.   Me a mere hundred feet away.

Oh Grandmother, is that for me?   The question was very ripe.
No, she says, for another young boy down the block.   No other
question followed.   Dare I ask again?   No, I dare not seal my fate.

You already surely know.   Just a ruse not to spoil the surprise.
To my falling wish, it worked.   For another week or two, it did.

Is it important to remember this?   I do.   Memory too, says yes.
             so what’s the closest place where judgements abound?
            myself, of course.   ripe and available.
            like memories?   is attending wrong to do?   thus even
            fair weather called foul.   why christen the vessel wrong?
            is there a line betwixt memory and this moment now?

                        grace says,      receive like water does gravity.
Maybe the phrase also is, tell the right truth.   Allow the story to be
what it wants to be.   How to be fooled when you’re moving in the
direction you’re supposed to be.   Understanding is a sort of booby
prize.   What you breathe inside is better truth.
Janet had an unspoken rule.   When I left her house she’d walk me
down the driveway to the street.   Then wave me off down to the
very far end of the block.   Another wave till I was gone from sight.
            Some gestures last a lifetime.

And now you know two names you didn’t before.
            And my wish for you.

That little red wagon, that’s for you.

See me waving.

rhythm is the face inside the words

          for real.
now stand near.   close your eyes.
I’m doing the same.   imagine now,
me imagining you,   standing near.
          to share a space!
to walk the same floors.   and hand to handle,
orange juice on the left, milk on the right.   the stairs.
the groceries.   the calico cat.   some ants.   sleeping.
tending our garden.   I do the watering.   some of it.
          blessing is this body of life.
it’s not so much your visceral intent, mattering.
it’s that you align with the intent that already is.
the writing itself, pen to paper on my fingertips,
takes me a step away from my shoes.   from you.
          think of mother remembering.
soft towels around her arms to keep her from drifting
out of her chair and away.   she did.   they brought her
home.   well, that day, that home was a hospital room.
nothing familiar.   memories free to put up a tent.
back in San Francisco.   I was just there with friends
this afternoon,
she says.   she’s back to the boarding
house for her meal tonight.   says, I look familiar.
          she’s glad seeing me.
I don’t take memory personally.
it’s an ordinary skill taken to heart.   I try.
think of this wandering like a ripe apple.
          you know.   something sweet.

feeding ground

what sharp teeth may appreciate.
there’s the child who labored, figuring it all out.
maybe not so successfully.

there’s the man growing older every day.
he feels the unconditional heft of gravity.
imagine your life.   afraid.   and release.
imagine telling.   all your truth.
imagine knowing.   what’s the truth of that truth?

gather me in like driftwood.   I am.   the same.

put me on the shelf.   souvenirs from the beach.
all bleached brown and scattered white.

a few grains of sand speaking in native tongue.
it’s because you’re near that I remember you.
your after-shower, exuberant, untamed hair.

early morning in town.   it is all too beautiful to want
   open eyes.   past due, observe.
palms on my seated knees.   my collar up but chill
breeze behind finds me anyway.   some minutes,
minutes yet before sun comes out from a green leaf
I miss your book being in my hands this morning now.
sun is now on the right side of the bench.
I’m on the left.   slowly.   closer my way.

Oh, I need This,   is said behind my right shoulder.
was it really behind?   closer to me?

sun creeps astride my paper coffee cup.

now here.      now me.      except my knees.

despite the warm glance, I shiver once with the
change.       the brightness of the moon.
you and you, and you, are in this poem right here.
you veer from thought to ink.   don’t need names.
         we align by height, near and far.

now to ask,   Is the daylight sturdy in these hands?

it happens like this

          And it’s all that knowledge
          that conceals what a thing is.

               Derek DelGaudio
there was a man,

this man had body issues that kept him apart from
most sense of physical experience.   what could this
man do?   so the man learned.   he learned to cut
his skin just so much as to feel some sense of body
connection.   to be awake.   what he now calls


in whatever way available to him.
seems like ample pain in this world.   real and imagined.
is there a reality where pain is received      in gratitude?
          just to be        alive.
the closer we look, the less we see of sky.

sailors say, some waves know your name.
many just ignore you, unless provoked.

if you don’t know how to do.   do.   allow,
allow not knowing to find its own way.

draw small circles from far away.   like we do.

which of these threads have only a single source?
to see a thread is to become that thread.   more.
          more than chemistry.

all this,
this is what I go to sleep with and,
and what I wake up with each day.

it’s not so much being brave about life.
it’s more about surrendering.     happiness comes.
like rain does,

two surfaces finding each other.
like planets do when they begin gathering.
gathering home.     this could be me.

a journal of everything

when I was this much tall.   inches.   now, measure
goes by another name.   yet still, I am this much tall.
this is not like me
write down your sins.
no, those, those you don’t want to say.
maybe not even aloud to yourself.
some say the real meaning of sin is simply not ripe.
      not ripe yet.
here, right here, have it sit right next to you.   cousin, me.
here’s why.   she said, dogs have a clear conscience.   do we?
write.   write your list or paragraphs, not that you
ever need show anyone.   it’s process that makes change.
excuse me while I turn my back.   some lessons are big,
but most are small.   like this here.
here’s how you know when you’re seeing right.
how we got there I don’t know.   but it is,
there are threads that say, who I am.
I am a child,   a son,   an aging man.
I am an observer,   a writer,   a forgetter.
I am willing arms.   I am broken.
I am shy on Mondays and Tuesdays.
I am alone.
I am forgiven, when the truth is said.
I am your friend.   possible.
you never see how many threads I really am
            As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not
            certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.

                        Albert Einstein

            Language too, I’m wondering?

gathering momentum


casting a net:  I don’t know what this is.    I do.
fish respond:  I don’t know what to do with this is.    I do.

here’s a lesson, and it’s meant for me

take some small slices of pie, you know, like
those people those cars those crows passing by,
beside some bench beside some city street.

now, say thank you to so many each as you
can notice.    individually, I suppose.    saying,

            thank you      in your thought

no matter the face and shape.
sincerity counts.    but observe,

is your silent voice genuine?    you already know.

be the willing effect of.    everything.    freedom is.

notice what happens inside.    your own thought.
does gratitude know the way home?    it does.

to whom?    when is the universe not listening?

making thanks includes who and what I might
think otherwise to hold at arms length from

being close?    what changes?    where?

where does distance first exist?    who, you ask.
do we dare our feet to move?    each motion matters.

is there intimacy?    linger with that on your tongue.
a moment of intimacy is.    each one.    one moment,

            swimming far.

and when I forget.      remember instead.

appreciation arrives.    like air.    breathe.

before light

who am I           no question mark
am I my feet inside my shoes.   no socks today.   a holiday.

am I the feet that when they said, step forward, I did not.

no question mark           it’s all continuous

before there was light

picture a blue barn and orange sky

I am not the blue barn.     I am.
I am not the orange all around.     I am.

each dawn I am, barely visible
some say eyes open is the sun

imagination           more than a word
      I do not expect you to believe anything you’re seeing or hearing,
      and knowing you won’t believe me, that’s the only reason I’m going
      to tell you the truth.

            Derek DelGaudio, In & Of Itself
arms and chest and hands      that’s how they arrive

for a few moments my world is just you.
embrace.   I’d forgotten.   but now…

the world is every possible way that it can be, including this way here.
are your thoughts affectionate?   am I myself?
go ahead define, conscious affection.
am I breaking up & apart?   glacial turning back to light?
the world is generous of grace,
yet seems some shy lest you willingly pluck each fruit.
we change.   I change.

Not that I’m not the person that my history has grown.
I am.   And I’m not the same.   Bigger, Smaller, I am both.
and when asked, the word is recognize.
the rest will grow from there.