The Inspiration

The Inspiration


For students who have chosen to leave this earth

       For you
       we stand
       arms out
       reaching grasping
       longing missing
       crying howling
       through holes
       in the air
       where you
       once stood.

       Our hands
       hang empty
       at the ends
       of our arms.

       The piles
       of ideas
       words papers
       maps charts
       essays books
       ink blots
       chalk dust
       false starts
       brave conclusions
       our connections -
       these piles
       tip over
       topple scatter
       pour out
       spill splatter
       bleed and
       we stand
       arms out
       hearts falling
       faces closing
       bones showing
       skins hiding
       knees knocking
       wishing wanting
       reaching grabbing
       for ghosts
       shadowy impulses
       of you.

       Seconds days
       years eons
       click fly
       tumble by
       until finally
       we are able
       to stand
       arms out
       letting you


Paradoxical Earth

       click click click

       The earth moves
       in measured paces
       across the skies.
       It's a predictable march
       through time
       but the wanton gem
       of the universe
       defies predictability
       as she glides all night
       in her shimmery, glimmery
       sequined skirts
       as she dances her days
       swinging and swaying
       as she spins through space
       her waters foaming
       in great swirling wakes
       as she trips and trails
       through the universe
       my beautiful, measured unmeasured
       paradoxical woman, Earth.



Drifting-on-air days

       What landscape is this
       where women float by
       on crisp blue-sky air
       laughing about their past?

       Or is it their laughter
       that is drifting,
       lazily along,
       under the warm autumn sun?

       Either way, the air
       is perfectly warm-cool
       when the women gather
       floating on their laughter

       the way only Colorado
       September-mountain-air days
       can be brilliantly forever sky blue
       the way only golden-orange
       aspen leaves ripple
       and below them
       breezy streams tumble,
       shining all the way down.

       This is the landscape that-
       these are the women who-
       hold me up

       and in me, their glow shimmers
       even after we descend
       from our blue-sky-floating
       drifting-on-air days
       to the everyday lives we lead.

       This is the shimmer
       that holds me up.


Following your hum

       Following your hum
       through autumn’s thin air
       reminds me
       of chasing dragonflies,
       longing to see up close
       the blues and greens
       and golds of their wings.
       As you hum bits
       of song endings,
       float and flit
       with a strange fragility,
       I long to see through
       your translucent skin
       to your tiny bones,
       long to know
       the beginnings of your songs. 


Circling: Under the Yellow Sun


       For years
       under the black shroud of night,
       I have been alone
       with my own voice
       echoing through the chambers
       of my brain.
       Night after night
       I cling to wakefulness,
       do all that I can
       to avoid the hulking monsters
       of my dreams.

       For years
       in the warm yellow light of day,
       my eyes closed,
       I’ve been dozing,
       comforted by the blanket
       of familiar noises:
       my husband cooking
       and folding clothes,
       my daughters
       circling and circling around me
       in hopeful spirals.

       Sometimes I feel
       two girls’ eyes  
       peering into the place where I reside
       and the black birds of their sadness
       settle heavily
       as one great flock
       in my ribs.
       I choke on the grief.
       And so I fight 
       to share in their daylight,
       pin my lids open
       until I can see,  finally,
       the warm yellow sun
       spilling over
       their warm yellow hair,
       and for a while,
       the flock of birds
       lifts off my chest
       releasing me
       from its weight.

       When they’re grown,
       I hope they don’t wander in a daze
       for too long,
       feeling alone and abandoned.
       I hope they know
       the electricity of the yellow sun,
       the safety and softness of night,
       and so I fight my way back
       through the tunnel
       of backward nights and days,
       to join them,
       to circle and circle in dizzy spirals,
       loving them so much
       under the yellow sun.