catch and release


   words are meant to fly, so
   don’t keep them in your mouth
Oh No, I know, it’s a color I mustn’t

admit to having in my pocket, somewhere

between a lovely shade of lavender, and

but did I already say, a rabbit in the hole

or was it hat?   yea, it was hat.

reach in deep if you want the ears.

I remember now what I forgot.   is that a fib?


I can hum jabberwocky too, my way
three times before you spell

       miss issippi.   lovely girl.

wait, no no no – it’s fall in love

at the drop of a hat
that’s me.    good boy, fetch.
if you knew me, you’d know
I’m not that polite afterall


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

thirty poems number twenty nine

sheltering     this pacific grace
I was here.   when the storm arrived.   I was here.

not long walking here.   alone.   well, not alone.   wind touching me.

making me more real, more like the found ocean inside of me.

each wave, a horse, white mane painted face.   continuous.

best shelter is a roof, no walls.   company needs enter unafraid.

no judgment cast.   only rain on my face.

not nice to say

and not angst, because it’s not
sometimes you just gotta be brave, stupid as that is

          does pain need a place to be pain
what was your first ever memory

          not in body, but in the outside scene
a grilled cheese sandwich seventy years ago

          walking west down the street, away
they called it Murphy’s Peak, just a big old tooth of a hill

          from grandmother’s house.   why there.
do you believe what you hear.   a ruckus noise.

          safe home, yes, but short arms length
now promise, at least six feet away, yes, upwind

          otherwise.   like.   a black lump of coal inside.
it was Christy’s house, lusted to be just outside the door.

          even wished for – is how black it was.
so this magician, he reaches all the ways in, pulls out another hat.

          children see the truth.   why didn’t I.
lay your young hands upon the radio.   listen.   believe.

          but I knew a child would see it in me.
stand to the side, they are bigger than you.

          age what, maybe ten.   decided
we built a fence.   OK.   it was a wall.   no permit.

          no children allowed in my life.
crazy-cat, that was her name.   the very first one, ever.

          because I couldn’t explain.
laid out end to end, starting here.   how long is a memory.

          I wouldn’t dare.

should have remembered all of it.   to tell the truth.
unless you enclose a space on all sides of that space,
then it can be said the space goes on forever, which
is a whole big heck of a lot.   I’m exhausted.

then we ask, so how many spaces can there be.

is that a good question, you think.

it’s a mouthful, I apologize

no children were harmed in the making of this poem
we’ll call it fingers interlaced, if you like

thirty poems number twenty eight

forever then
She stands in silent stone, I stand bleeding, warm.

She is gone.   I am here.   touch.   I breathe, I respond.

who’s got wisdom now.   I’ll lose mine, soon enough.

I used to admire permanence.   I did.   past tense.

what is forever now.   uncomfortable?

what was before, is now and
dark matter, meaning, we don’t know.
but something.   we’re pretty sure.   then
spider webs.   no light, but Light gathering.
stars, then rocks flung all round about.
then fish, then us.   we were from the
beginning.   implied, you see.   who and
where is that intention do you think.

do     you!          hear it whispering
image:   Cleopatra

thirty poems number twenty seven

a very very small instant of truth
       what’s come over me
look, look at the world, all of it

everywhen and everywhere, so

many lives lived and living.
billions.   how could I ever choose

who to be.   but maybe I did.
this one.           me.
I think that was pretty fucking brave all things considered.
postscript.   I do have rules.   my own.   these thirty were unofficially meant to be five or six lines in length, that’s all.   me learning to be brief.   already broken, a little bit.   but now, a BIGGER bit.   but you see, it just belongs here in this family.   so be it, as they say in bible talk.

if I Am

if I am lion, all muscle and claw,
I’d call you kin, because.
if I am ocean, here’s what I’d say to you,
I remember your feet, inside me.
if I am sky, I’d say to you,
I remember breathing you, going into you.
if I am Moon, I hold my tongue,
thinking myself envious of your sunlight face.
if I am an old pair of shoes, you thought me comfortable,
but that’s what I thought about you.
if I am a white butterfly, you know, you’ve seen me before,
I’ll keep flying beneath your eye, pleasing me.
if I am a cool hand on your forehead, a hand that fits,
here’s a story I have for you.
if I am blood, warm inside your face,
I’ll blush for telling the truth to you.
if I am desire, flown away
then all things are possible.   anything.
image: public domain

a particle of life breaking loose

this is not broken, this is becoming aware.

this is not a handle, this is a spout.

drink.   I’ll wait for you.

so far, oceans, not yet born.   I show no impatience.

let me show you how I’ll float in you.   legs dangling.

thus we know where center is.

what was, what is.   I know, we’ll call that time.

four walls and feet.   but please, no roof.

leaving room for heaven to touch our face.

sure, space for doubts and broken toes.

breaking free means yes, starting where you don’t know.

wheels need be reinvented.   counting starts at zero, see.

       second verse.

there is a matter of risk beneath my feet.   some of it sand.

I might not be enough, I might get lost, I might forget, I might run away.

fear is one consequence of being in the garden.   we wonder

is this moment a birth.   is this moment a death.   I wonder too.

I don’t know.   a more common refrain these days.
       a parting verse.
love is a better approximation of truth than is fear.
we move, not knowing where.
image: public domain