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.

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.

half way back to being a fish

some say we came from sea onto land,
some went back again.

but that’s not what I mean.

is this really my home
Yes, water says.

did I forget.

I still see me inside as when I was a child,
body changes but essence stays the same.
you know.

why then don’t I see me when I was a fish.

but that’s not what I mean either.

do fish write?   I don’t know.

there’s this place.   first as child, then adult.   same me.
I looked from above, from a stone-hand shoreline cliff.
the green sea water toes below, wiggling between the
rocks.   fish and seaweed moving in their liquid sky.
stars too, embracing sea hewn stone shoulders.
   don’t touch.

and I was thinking, that’s where I’d like to be.

and being honest, true to say – I was afraid.   some.

I am some afraid right now.   sixty years farther on.
I am afraid.

but not all.   and not the point either.
I am the poem that my life is.
that’s the meaning of what I mean.   are we following.
we keep looking.   looking.

are you my home.   I want to see you that way.   I want
your scent to sit like kin right next to me.   I’ll know
when you do.
land itself does not breathe
ocean does nothing other than breathe

with our lives we carry that breath onto land.
unspoken here.   mother.   there you are.

and here, here’s the middle part.   one foot in,
the other foot out.   circles inside circles.

you, you know this part.   a fish out of water.

standing on your own two good feet.

as you were asked, you answered.   whether
or not you know.   you do.   you’re doing it
right now.   even while you hold your breath.

here’s what ocean says to me

memories, they only happen in one place.   now.
contemplation brings consequences.
all the mistakes I have made.   then moments
when I leaned the right way.   Light moves like water does.
the seagulls are flying back.   morning comes.   I find
comfort in writing you.   I asked a question once,
are poems real.

when you speak to me, I answer, Yes.

    if you are willing to turn your back on the Sun
    everything else is illuminated.

          Derek DelGaudio

If you want to see a dim star, then
look just to the side of where you think it is.
       eyes work like that.

we carry the ocean inside us.   tall mountains
reside inside the sea where we dangle our feet.

        breathe, make clouds.

        breathe, fill the ocean, far.

I am a forgotten fish.   do I end where I begin.

I am a billion bubbles, and I know how to find your toes.
I am a billion bubbles, blinking.   blinking awake.

moving east.   moving west.   I find you inside this tide.

be with me,   water speaks
header image:   New Wave #4, Gavin Libotte
used with his kind permission.   Please do visit his photography website.
I felt kinship with this amazing image.   It told a story, how I feel two ways, becoming one.
     insta.   @gavinlibottephotography
     web.    Gavin Libotte Photography

other image references:  (previously used)
Ritual Procession (image 04), Judith Wasserman 1977
Contemplation/Tidelands (image 12), Maureen J Haldeman

what’s the big deal about being true



      the truth, the whole truth, and Nothing but the truth
      is there another choice

my tongue, yea, made from stars
but what we deem consciousness
that’s the same as the space between the stars
meaning, the greater breath of the universe.

maybe Father’s hat.

I’ve looked at my screen of perception and
thought, what am I looking at, or, that’s a cow
driving a bus, what, oh no, a boy on roller-skates.

she wrote, In the late fall, the oyster mushrooms
look like lilies from a distance.

suppose that’s what iceberg sailors thought.

so how does the universe seem, from way out here.
       behind your eyes.

remember, no question marks.   why.   because.
maybe because everything is a question, because
I’d rather you see them for yourselves.
in youth I labored to find the one true answer.
bright in the dark.   but look, one nature of this universe
       is illumination.
older I get the harder to choose just one thing.

sailor beware.   what star casts judgment rather than
       simply Light.

surrender being-wrong.   remember, no more sin.
choose.   which bubble are you.   now
was that choice or observation.

image:   “Contemplation”, part of the collection, Tidelands
                 Maureen J Haldeman, MJH Fine Art Photography
image used with her kind permission.   and my sincere appreciation.   one might ask which comes first, image or text?   sometimes it’s more like two strangers meeting in a room and a relationship comes to be.

                 please give her fine creative website a visit.

somehow I think that old exclamation, it’s full of stars, applies right here.   amazing universe in every detail.

my hands have always been a source of mischief

tearing things apart.   unneedfully.

rubbing things the wrong way round.

being the instrument of their own hurt.

happy tales included being shy.

        negative space, I suppose.

sculling in place.   be the better heart.
there’s always a second start.   again.

a bowl leaps into my lap.   well, one leg.

        well, might have been a cat.
by these palms no outside harm arrives.

palms splayed.   one handprint wide,

        a fallen leaf.

even when words begin to burn


even WHEN silence is not listening.   the body does.

surrender, a much maligned form of negotiation.

       here, scrunch over.   make some room.
at lion’s first sight of antelope.   described as honest desire.

not a threat.   appreciation.   the lion said.
       you are me, the lion said aloud, being literal.

       every morsel.   all the way to the end.

no less a noble life, becoming me.
see my feet my legs.   how swift I am.
        fanned into flame.

       I am a grounded bird.   hovering.
       here I am.   on your lap.   you are my nest,
       she spoke to me.
every day is another prayer.   a circle drawn.
       a question framed.

       toes kept inside the rounded thought.
       wet nose on a cold dry night.   familiar.

       then some rain.

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.

a deal with Chaos

          my god, there are stars inside.
these hands, they foster doubt.   don’t stand too close.

pointing the path where we meet.   coincident.

reconciliation needs must pause until.   contemplate.

no, not lonely being apart.   lies.   like this.

where have all the flowers gone,

          they sang.   a strangers voice.   a crowded bus.

          each ticket buys a memory.   recursively.

here, on a mountaintop, this much closer to you.

          a myth I tell myself.

not unhappy, standing alone.   more lies.   like this.

trade for half a candy bar.   sweet teeth.

camel-hair smells like dog when wet.

sometimes a blanket, call this shadow home.

no doubt about what’s left behind,

          one birdhouse and

          something else.

but I forget.    that’s the deal.