today i read

by Lisa Jarnot

Lake of Fire

I will make you understand, I, being who I am will
make you understand who I am, on a Sunday,
in the rain, when the ice is melting on the stoop,
beside the white water lily, having been made
to understand that I will make you understand, 
making you this, the one who understands, having
understood, standing by it, in the rain, understanding
where I stand I stand near you, the stoop, in the rain,
by the lily, who I am, making sense, understandable,
and smart, and also lovely, that you understand
that it is this, lovely, the truth, in understanding,
having said it, having been understood, like the
rest of the universe, stoop-like, egyptian, with a
lake of fire and the lilies and the train, beautiful,
happy, gleeful, joyed, and understood, this, I am,
who am to you who understands.

From the book Ring of Fire

today I read

Today I read a poem by Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer on her blog called…

Getting to I Don’t Know

Sometimes, too certain I know what love is,
I miss love.
It’s like thinking water is waves,
not seeing water is also the depths of ocean,
the muscle of river, the body, the air,
ice, snow, fog, clouds, mist.
Sometimes, longing to hear certain words,
I neglect to hear the words that are spoken.
Or craving a certain touch, I disregard
all other touch, and my skin believes it is starving.
There is beauty beyond beauty, love beyond love,
opening beyond opening, an apple inside apple.
Let my prayer be I don’t know.
Let me find the door inside the door,
the glimmer inside the glimmer,
the human inside this woman.
The god inside of god.



today I read

Found Text

The deer mistook their reflections for deer
and the deer mistook their reflections for
other deer and the deer apparently
mistook their reflections for sheep and
what the deer mistook their reflections for
isn't certain and the deer were removed
from the scene, being deer, before being
removed and mistaking reflections of the
other deer for the sheep the deer were
removed and the deer deciding to join
them joined the deer having mistaken
reflections of sheep for the deer in the
plate glass window

by Lisa Jarnot (from her book Ring of Fire)

Today I heard

Today I heard Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer read Ugly Things by Teresita Fernández

Ugly Things

In an old worn out basin
I planted violets for you
and down by the river
with an empty seashell
I found you a firefly.
In a broken bottle
I kept a seashell for you
and coiled over that rusty fence
the coral snake flowered
just for you.
Cockroach wing
carried to the anthill:
that's how I want them to take me
to the cemetery when I die.
Garbage dump, garbage dump
where nobody wants to look
but if the moon comes out
your tin cans will shine.
If you put a bit of love
into ugly things
you'll see that your sadness
will begin to change colour.

Today I Heard

Aimless Love,

read by the author, Billy Collins (purchased on Audible)

This morning as I walked along the lake shore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor's window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion, 
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door---
the love of the miniature orange tree,
the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida. 

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor---
just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always standing on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,
so patient and soluble, 
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone. 

Today I heard & read

Wild Geese

by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
        love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you about mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting---
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things. 

A poem by Alison Luterman

When I sprawl in bed in the morning,

he walks on my chest with his springy black legs,
stepping precisely down the breastbone
and
         over
                          the belly,
as if I were a statue he had toppled himself,
as if he were a god, surveying the wreckage.

Then turns tail and paces
up my ribcage to the chin,
his sharp paws sinking in-
to soft flesh, each step a painful delight,
and pauses, inches from my nose
looking deeply into me with his green-yellow eyes.

This kind of love unmakes my mind;
unspoken, unspeakable, and never fully known.

He is shy, a hoarder of pea pods
and rubber bands, stubbornly loyal.
On a whim once, he leaped onto my back,
was lifted like a conqueror and borne aloft,
only to hide himself for hours afterwards
in a pile of laundry.

He cannot tell a blanketed toe
from a mouse or a sparrow,
but attacks all with the same ferocious zest---
reminding us the word for tiger
derives from the Persian, "arrow"---
as he leaps madly on a shaft of sun
piercing through the blinds.

Alison Luterman Books