The legend of the Jacaranda tree
was told to me one Saturday in June.
I loved committing it to memory;
by 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon,
I knew the tale as if it were my own.
I swallowed Amazon mythology,
acknowledging old custom, little known,
and reveling in ancient legacy.
Admitting Mitu and his priestess friend
to join the pantheon of magic thought
I harbor in my head, I comprehend
that lunar wit and solar love was taught,
and luck befalls the pate that bears the bloom,
yet students in Australia call it doom.
A year ago, I thought I might be done
with sonnet work, except revising those
already written, read by few or none.
I’d take a break and maybe turn to prose.
I had a thousand little songs or more;
I figured I’d revisit all and cast
them into subsets in the cloud, and pour
creative vigor into other tasks.
But though the pressure weakened, still the tap
has not turned off; the current isn’t blocked.
I’m sitting less to write, but concepts rap
at me, conceits occur, and words unlocked
while walking spur iambic phrases yet
(I pause to text myself lest I forget).
Posted in Poetry, Writing
Two weeks ago I caught a simple cold
and carried it to Portland in my chest.
I didn’t think it much, but now I’m old
enough to feel a wreck and need more rest
than I arranged. Compounding as a cough,
it settled deep and durable in me.
It racked me and it threw my balance off;
it made me trip and sapped my energy.
I sacrificed a fortnight fighting phlegm,
endured a week of painful lower back,
concluded I won’t feel myself again,
or like my looks, or weather this attack,
until tomorrow, when I’ll wake and gauge
myself a little stronger than my age.
Remembering a comic who assured
us if we all agreed to not have kids,
then we could trash the place, embrace absurd,
and advocate what courtesy forbids,
I wonder have we reached that era now,
without restraining reproduction’s yield?
Are we denying future’s fortune? How
much more atrocity can be revealed?
What will it take to make us think aloud?
To put the mouse away, remove the bud
that closes ear and mind? Are we endowed
with wit, or have we lost our souls in mud
of misinforming Internet, and split
community? We’re stewing in our shit.
My father called me sedentary when
I wouldn’t leave my book to come outside.
“I’d say you were a vegetable, but then
that’s slandering the plants.” And though I’d ride
my bicycle, and walk more than allowed,
I gathered that he wanted me to like
team sports and sportsmanship. He wasn’t proud
of what I read or how I rode my bike.
We both were incorrect. I didn’t see
and didn’t know till I was 35.
That spring a medical catastrophe
befell me, tossed a challenge to survive,
and taught me that expending energy
addresses stress and spurs my cells to thrive.
A while ago I heard that if you let
a toddler choose what foods he wants to eat,
you’ll see a daily lack of balance, yet
if you allow your focus to retreat
and capture several days at once, you’ll view
a well-proportioned course of nutrients.
The child will compose a good menu,
with increased time between ingredients.
And though I’m not a toddler, I contend
I like variety as much as you.
I may have months of favorites, but they end;
I eat the same a lot, and then I’m through.
I mix it up as much as you, I say.
It’s just my yearn lasts longer than a day.
The nation is imperilled by the dumb
reactions of an unschooled populace.
The climate changes while the best are numb
and most are trending down to ignorance.
A hundred species each year disappear
as troubles co-evolve and companies
seek profit not regarding atmosphere
except as PR dictates tendencies.
It’s dreadful and I ought to feel depressed,
except our weather’s temperate as yet.
The gardens are so vibrant they suggest
a wedge of heaven. Walking I don’t fret
about the depredations of our race,
which seem belied by every local face.