It Occurred to Her


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My family is here, and it is nearly Christmas, and tomorrow is our day. We’ve always gone hard in the paint on Christmas Eve. Santa comes with the big gifts on Christmas day, but we do the family presents, all extensive and thoughtful, on Christmas Eve. Anyhow, it feels nice to have my folks here.

They brought me a chapbook of Richard Roberts’ poems, and they are brilliant and thoughtful, and true. One of my favorites is The Door:

The Door

I bought a door
And hung it in a hole
to swing and leave an opening
or make a barricade,
For coming out and closing in,

It was a choice I bought
And it hung well,
For swinging with a touch
Or locking.

I bequeath this door to you
to bequeath
Until its wall is fallen, and in is out, and out is in.


I knew this poet, but in all my years, all near to grown, I did not know he was a poet. All I knew was his art, just the ink and lines.

I’m feeling all warm and gushy, so I’m going to write about that. Christmas spirit and whatnot. It is better than humbug.

It Occurred to Her

It occurred to her, blank and alone amongst the trees, that this is what she had desired. It visited her briefly, the thought that the truest love makes hermits of the best of us, and that all mountain families are happy in their own way, which is alone, alone, alone. Who else could take the pulses of trees and make a chorus out of the creek? Only the loneliest and most comfortable together, the ones who desire nothing but the other in flannel pajamas, nothing but visions forgetful, of board games and rock stations and a love all vibrant and recharging with each touch. Yes, this occurred to her, while she listed on the lichen and worried about the stain on her pants, yes, the she realized that was a big love like the sighting of a new planet, that it was holy like a funereal for the brave, all holy like the October rain. All in an instance she thought, upon looking up at the house, that there is no place like home, and never will be, not ever again. The car door bent under the weight of that decision, the one to come to a big love, to warm clothes, and wool drying, and the partial cold, and no one in this orbit can remain idle, no one can stand idle against the car. But some can glance upwards, some of can look for stars up in the freshest dark, like a newcomer, all searching and new.


“I trust you with the memory of me, we are on one, and always will be.” –Richard Roberts.

Hugs to you, my poem friends, on the eve of Christmas Eve. Happy Tuesday.


Poem for the Lonely


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I am done with Christmas! I’ve gotten all the gifts, and tonight I am going to wrap them up pretty tonight. I feel accomplished, especially because the work of gift-giving involves crowds, which I dislike tremendously, and involves the spending of money, which also causes me unending anxiety. The only time today I got all humbug was when a super shiny Infinity pulled out in front of me without looking, and I got a little jealous of the fact that all the super awesome stuff I wanted to get all the my lovelies the ignorant and thoughtless person in that car would be able to afford easily, but then I got over the consumerism and relaxed for a minute.

Sometimes a poem’s job is to transport, but often it is to convey the immediate. I’m going to write a poem about the now of today, and then go wrap presents. Soon, very soon, I will be in the single poem-digits. Woot!

I’ve written enough poems about the stupid weather lately. I’m in dire need of some great images, and today provided some.

Poem for the Lonely

A poem for the lonely at Christmas is a lousy thing to attempt, and so it is best left all forgotten. The one day of crowds and commerce is hideous but for the people watching. In the line at the health food store, all yoga pants and shades and puffy neon, because of the untimely weather, everyone is hip, and cool, and no one, no one but me is in dirty paint jeans and hand-me-down hoodie, and the spirit is fake and stretched thing by traffic and accounting. At a lunch break at the taco place, there are two young Seattlelights in long coats of quilted wool that broadcast their leaving, and outside a woman in torn tights walks a small dog, chow like, whose fur has been dyed aubergine, just around the face. Everyone is home now, or so it seems, given the gangs of twentyish men frequenting the local neighborhood pub, it seems, it is said, that the young have come home for a bit, to sleep, eat, and do laundry. And all their strange costumes and shiny cars are strange hurts to the lonely and alone at the holiday. Every shiny package is a brief recognition when gifted, and some are lonely, and waiting. Sorrow never skips a day, and there are a sorrowful many on the day of the birth of a saving babe. If only a babe would come and save us. And quick, for there is much to be saved, yet.

Hmm. A Christmas Shopping poem. Shopping is an intense thing for me. I dislike crowds, and traffic, and people. It makes me all yucky. Happy Monday before Christmas, poemfriends.

The Longest Night


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It’s forty-five degrees and sunny on this Winter’s Solstice. Jeez-louise! Where is my winter?

So, I wrote the above nearly eight hours ago, before working my last long night before my real vacation begins, and now it seems silly. Really, though, we are facing a Christmas without snow, and I don’t actually remember ever doing that before, in my whole life. What I did, in protest of the fact that I had to work on what already felt like vacation, was sit on the couch all day and read the entirety of Graham Green’s The End of the Affair. Because I do what I want.

It is a good sign that the longest night of the year fell on my last night before vacation, because it certainly felt that way tonight. I’m short on patience, and many of the more trustworthy and less-boistrous teens are off campus, which means that only the rowdy remain. It was a night of aural overstimulation and much contemplation over the question of why they must be so loud. That said, it was a fun night at work. We had an amazing couple of historians/musicians out to talk about oldy-timey stuff, and they brought lots of cool artifacts to show off. It was just a fun night that left me unable to listen to music afterward, because of how loud the teens had to be afterwards. I don’t know why that happens to me, but it happens frequently.  I just need silence to get the quiet back in my soul.

My inner Siberian is back. I crave the big snow and deep freeze, and the sound crushed crystal underfoot. I know I write that all the time, but it seems that winter is taking a long time to get real. At least the roads are good.

I’m going to write a Solstice poem, do a snow dance, and get to bed.

The Longest Night

The longest night gets rough-cut and rowdy.
Much can be done, much mischief accomplished, on the darkest day.
It is, or should be, a day of silent dark, and a day to think on infinities.
It might be a day to wonder on why we yearn for some infinite, and a day to realize that the light will return, at first in minutes and then in hours, and that after the unwinding of this season of cold and rest, yes, the light will come pushing back. At first the pain will go to the pupils, but then the warmth will enter the bones, like a small sweetness after the long dark sleep. And maybe there is snow to come.


  Now officially off for a bit of Christmas break. I have a lot to do in the next few days, to pull off this magic mama/Santa thing I’ve promoted. Happy late, late Sunday, poem-peeps.



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Eleven bottled up poem on the wall, eleven bottled up poems, take on down, pass it around, eleven poems on the wall to go up. Yikes. What a long, poemy year it has been. I did have some good poem shards while Christmas shopping with HP today (thank you to my dear friend JJ for entertaining the Ds, and in such great style. Actually, they’d rather live with you, now, they say), but I’ve lost them all. One was so great that I reached for my pencil, but we were in the middle of a mattress store, so I was outta luck.

I am, like always, behind on Christmas. We got the Ds done today, but I still have to get gifts for HP, my brother, my sis-in-law, my Hp’s sis and family, and stockings. That’s a lot.I also have to mail cards, since I actually got some this year. So actually, given that, I’m not as behind as most years.

It hasn’t snowed hard yet. Maybe that is what is given me the humbugs. Maybe I should write a poem called Humbug. Gonna.


If the land wore white and became sculptable, in inches fluffed and compacted and audible, maybe then the joy would come, and I would get over the carols in minor keys, and find the joy, and not be visited by time spirits. If there were nutmeg in the house, and cocoa, if sledding were possible, then maybe I could drown out the news, and ignore the rain, and enjoy the dark. Maybe I’ll stand and scream at the sky, or maybe I’ll bend to the earth in prayer, and maybe it will work and tomorrow will be lost in cold cold cotton, and messy roads that slow us up and make us still. Yearning for ice is a strange thing, a thing that makes us Northerners, people of mountains and seasons, lovers of the downhill, the swoosh, and the sodden mitten.


Sweet little poems lately. Think snowy thoughts, poemfirends. Happy Saturday!

To the Eddy


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A vacation poem. What a sweet relief it is to be on break, to have my girlies here with me to bake cinnamon rolls and make ice cream, and yes, on vacation that can be dinner.

It is also a huge relief just to be home, at our house with the creek, watching all the Christmas movies and taking naps under the tree. All my cares have vanished, suddenly.

I’m going to poem about that and then get to wrapping. I do wish it would stop raining and turn to snow. Tomorrow, the report says.

To the Eddy

The trees list, and the water pushes up through the rock. The creek is roaring, and continues to roar. With perpetual motion, as we continue this games, safe here in our mountain home, safe at the base of this mountain, safe but not leaking, we take luxury in this grand lounge. I feel remote and sheltered by needles, pine and cedar, all rural, alone and secure. This is the sound of my art, the tapping of letters, the quicksand knowledge of water and where to step when the rocks are wet and shiny with lichen. This is when the landscape speaks and brews up colors to assault the eyes, and this is the living body, of water, that objects to us, the human, this is the stream that carries us, dead and weightless, to the eddy.


Happy Friday, poemies. I’m glad this is done early, so I can get to the baking of rolls and the making of ice-cream.  Happy hols, friends.



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The block is over! Woot woot! My grades are in, and I am happy. I don’t know what to write about, though. Maybe that feeling of relief that happens at the end of the semester?

I’ll try it.


The grades in feeling is the same as the finals over feeling. It is the same sweet relief, all refreshed like a waking from a big nap, all done with the grownup duties of life, all stretching and uncurling of toes. The feeling of being done is a precious one a three times a year one, a let’s stay in our pjs and eat breakfast all day one. If there were snow enough it would be a night sledding deserves a quiet night night. A night for a glow-in-the-dark sled, a bonfire and outdoor speaker night. But that is yet to come in this, the dark midwinter.  I’ve no packages wrapped, not much under the tree, but what I can give you, what I gift with ease, are the silhouettes, of dark pines and fires beneath the blue light of mid-Deccember.


Brrrr. It is getting colder out there. I wish it would snow! Happy Thursday, you.


The Calculus of Guilt


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Wicked Wednesday. Fortunately, it is the last Wicked Wednesday before break. Today was not particularly wicked, but my dear friend Jesus Q likes it when I call it that. Got my grades done ahead of time. Yea me! I did not procrastinate this block! Woot woot.

I gotta say, though, the world has me bummin’. The news from Pakistan, the torture report, the news of handgun accidents involving children, the inexplicable evil in the world, it’s got me feeling the feels. Overwhelmed. I’m going to try to poem it and go to bed. Do I write that every Wednesday? Feels like I do.

The Calculus of Guilt

Empathy can only get us so far, here in our seats of relative peace. It is hard to imagine the cult of belief that would lead to the slaughter of babes and their teachers, hard to understand the calculus of evil in the world, that always seems double, or triple the shining moments. The question is always of hope. Is it worth it?

There’s something bougie about feeling overwhelmed by evil, surrounded by all this peace and running water. The guilt of privilege is sleepy cult, can’t teach in circles around this monied security, can’t without the graphics they would never see if it was our own massacre, can’t learn ’em a damn thing without toppling these castle bricks of safe, safe, safety.

Justify the job like, if these cash-holes learn feelings, and if the lesser-off learn honesty, then the job is done. The ones with means can learn the lessons, if the teacher is just and fair, can learn the lesson of a deficit of attention, can learn the whole tired world, ff there is anything left of the teacher to give.

Because I don’t know Calculus, no actual poems were injured in the conjuring of this poem. Happy Wicked Wednesday, poemies.

What Parts Would You Hold


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Hp told me I could write about this, so I will. I will write another sad poem about sad things, and that is okay. It is one hundred percent okay for me to write sad poems about my missing friends.

Here is a poem for tonight:

What Pieces

What parts would you hold?
What joints and sinews would you count as yours?
Which, exactly, which pieces would you count in the measuring?
When did you ever show up with a tape measure? Only always,
in the lengths that counted. Sometimes, measured in stitches of satin wrapped around and around and around,
sometimes do you wonder about the parts you would hold in case of the brutal accident? Don’t you ever worry about the the parts of us to which we might cling,
and don’t you pace when you care alone, back and forth on the back deck?
Take hold of the crocheted heart square
Hold it, and take it like a the piece of this afghan here, take hold of this square like it gets to have a say in your life,
go ahead and get lost by minutes and feel like getting lost in these dark woods every second. What parts of this life would you like to hold or touch?
What have we made that might be leftovers, leftovers, leftovers.

The phone repair guy was here. Our phone and internet are fixed. I kind of like it broken. Happy tuesday, poem friends.

Just Now


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Just rewards. Internet and phone are getting figured out tomorrow. I went from being just fine with being offline, and wanting to know nothing, to yearning for it all, all the fingertip knowledge so much.
Don’t have a lot left today. Worked and did grades and talked to crazy teenagers all day long and then went to The Nutcracker with the Eugene Ballet at t the Panida Theater in Sandpoint tonight with the Ds and Grandma Jackie tonight. I wonder about how our memories match up. Mom’s and mine. I wondered, tonight, exactly how many times she heard that symphony while I was growing up.
D1 was enthralled again. D2 was scared by the giant rats (and who wouldn’t be?) and asleep by the Waltz of the Flowers.
Don’t really want to write another ballet poem. Instead I’m going to write about celestial bodies colliding, and call it good.
Just Now

“In our village, folks say God crumbles the old moon into stars.” Makes sense, the collisions of celestial bodies. Makes good sense to me. What if nothing holds universes in check? What if the biggest question is optional, and it is, am I nothing? What it winks yes, the starset? Am I nothing but a minute? Nope, I answer. Nope, just now, nope. Just now I might be nothing but a breath. Might be nothing but big bad smashing that sets orbs on colliding paths, with trajectory and mass. Just now.

Huh. It’s okay, giving the length of my day and the amount of sleep I’ve achieved lately. Equals not a lot. Thanks for being there in the last days, poemfriends. Happy Monday.

See Also


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“At any rate, that is happiness: to be dissolved into something complete and great”. –Willa Cather, My Antonia.
Oh, graduations make me sad. And happy. And then sad again. But also happy. Today I said goodbye to one of my all-time favorite students. More precisely, I couldn’t even get the words out to begin to say goodbye. This is a top-five all time will-be-friends forever kind of student. I am grateful for my job on days like these.
Chrissy is an amazing poet. She is a highly-sensitive person. She carries her damage and the fire. She is remarkable. Tonight’s is for her.

See Also:

See Also is the hastag of yore. See also: missyoualready. See Also: don’tgetdistracted bythemeteorsordo, theleonidsithinkormaybepleidiesidon’tknowthosearetheonly showersiknow. See Also: disreguardanyworningievergaveyouaboutteachingitisrewardingandyougetpaid to talkaboutbooks. See Also: morecharactersthantwitter, ihavesomebooksandalettertosendyou, includingsomeyougotsmuggledbutwasn’tactuallyoutofagreement, allyourfriendsweptforhours, cryingisokaytoo. See Also: sendmetitles, and comebacksoon, let’schatonthemediums, andifihadn’tbeencryingi’d’vesaidthis, You are brave, and I am here.

So much love today. Happy Sunday, poemfriends.