December 10, 2018

In late November, I had an odd sensation in the night of not being able to breathe properly or easily, especially when lying flat. Upon going to urgent care, I was told that I had a small amount of fluid on my left lung. This led a three month fall into a dark hole of worry, as the common causes of fluid on the lung are serious: congestive heart failure, a pulmonary embolism, or the appearance of lymphoma, just to… Read more

December 3, 2018

I’ve lived long enough to know that every sigh opens a story, the way a mouthful of water inflates a dry sponge to the form it had when found in the deep.   My grandmother, for example, lives in the mezuzah she brought from Russia, though I can hardly see her face. And I feel her son, my father, in the awl and chisel I have, all weathered from his hands.   And to say your mother was kind holds… Read more

November 26, 2018

I was raised like our backyard, only tended with a sigh when I began to grow wild.   You ask if there were good times. You’ve asked before. I’m sixty and have spent most of my life dealing with their absence, many years of un- locking what I never had. So I know how to face what went wrong. I even know what made them so frightened and angry, children of the Depression, unsure if they wanted kids, saddled with… Read more

November 19, 2018

The old Asian man is playing one string so completely that the hymns of the Universe part the air, making me stop, unsure where I’m going. He’s surrounded by dollar bills and petals, each a currency we can’t do without. It’s giving ourselves to one small thing that makes beauty come out of hiding. Like when you led the baby robin from our garage and it hovered once free, as if to thank you. Today I feel like an old… Read more

November 12, 2018

I wonder where you are tonight. Each of you. You who I lived with for twenty years. You who I grew up with. You who I almost loved.   Are you searching for a sweater as the sun goes down? Are you running from the law? Or from yourself as we did so long ago?   I feel you dancing with each other in the basement of my heart. When I call, you hush each other till I’m drawn into… Read more

November 5, 2018

Often, the delicate grows within the harsh, the way the milky sweetness grows inside a coconut. Yet all of it is wasted, if the sweetness never comes out. Many of us hide the sweetness or save it for an emergency. But long before the wars erupt, before the prejudice hardens, before the fear makes us recoil from each other, we have this choice. To let the sweetness out.   A Question to Walk With: Describe a something delicate within you… Read more

October 28, 2018

When on the go, there are more places to go. When stopped, I’m surprised that everything that matters is where I am. Still I go and stop, fall down and get up, love and get hurt. Though I see all for a second and nothing for a long time, I believe in all. Though I wanted everything quickly, I now want everything to slow. Now I wonder about the majesties that no one ever sees: the glitter of quartz in… Read more

October 22, 2018

All the meditative traditions encourage us to be still and to drop our thoughts and feelings, so we can breathe our way below all trouble into the flow of life-force that carries us. This is wise counsel. It gives us perspective and sometimes peace. But being a poet, I enter that Universal space and just take notes. I lean into the stillness with an open heart and listen to everything, including my thoughts and feelings and the entanglements of life…. Read more

October 15, 2018

As a broken door lets in the light, a broken heart lets in the world.   No one likes this, but we can’t grow without it.   And no matter how we try, we can’t hold on to everything.   For the mind is a net and all nets have holes.   But you mustn’t worry, because the heart is a sponge.   Still, it’s easier to fall in love than to stay in love.   Easier to have a… Read more

October 8, 2018

He was thirteen before he knew what a hand drill was. His father saved and bought him one for 75 cents. Before that, he made holes in wood by twisting coal-fired nails into the grain. It was his job to throw wood in the fire after school. When red hot, he’d pinch a nail with a pair of pliers and twist it through the wood, which went soft and dark until there was an opening. Now his skin is thin… Read more

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