Grief Stones

I posted an essay on Medium about what Riley’s death feels like to me.

breathe. my “one little word” for 2015.

breathealtarbowl

Rocks in a bowl beside my bed. Hippie new age shit, because why not. Pretty rocks make for tangible meditation/mantra reminders. Probability of magical rock juju: minute. Current mantra: Breathe in, breathe out that which does not serve me.

stars (a villanelle)

the stars are bright on the mountain top
above the sooty City haze
I lie here and take them in

the constellations, code of ages
a steady rhythm through the days
the stars are bright on the mountain top

they tell their story to the sages
high in the sky, a celestial maze
I lie here and take them in

and marvel at the wars that gravity wages
they still burn brightly all ablaze
the stars are bright on the mountain top

watching history turn its pages
listening to us sing their praise
I lie here and take them in

hydrogen and helium, their fighting rages
they hold me in their silent gaze
the stars are bright on the mountain top
I lie here and take them in

the man on the train

The balding man with gray hair and tan pants was leaning against the railing of the surging BART car, his iPhone in his left hand, and his black messenger bag placed between his two unstable feet. He was an old man, though he had not yet come to terms with this fact. His youthful self and his aged self stood locked in battle on the stage of life, in a tug-of-war, and his middle-aged years were clearly giving way to the pull of time.

The car jerked and jolted, as the train is apt to do. He didn’t have his BART sealegs, the ones that allow you to absorb the chaos and uncertainty of movement into your bent knees, into the bahnda ashtanga focus of your flexing abs. The car leaped and the man lurched forward into the crowded aisle, reaching flailingly with his right hand for the black nylon webbing loop that hung from the top of the car, nearly falling, while holding tightly to the iPhone, almost crashing to the floor. At this near-catastrophe, a young man jumped up out of the differently-abled seat (the seat that he should never have occupied), offering it the old man. The old man, both embarrassed at the commotion and angered that his young self was indeed giving way his elderly self, refused, and refused again. The young man stayed stood, and the old man finally took the seat, a little bit older than he was at the top of the turnstyle.

I See the Colorado River Flowing West

driving down the highway
I see the Colorado River flowing west
now alfalfa stacked high on a semi-truck

water diverted
into fertile fields, now
driving down the highway

the Delta lies parched
ancient fertile estuaries transformed, instead
now alfalfa stacked high on a semi-truck

I see the Colorado River flowing west
60 miles an hour
driving down the highway

food for cows
which are food for people, but just
now alfalfa stacked high on a semi-truck

Rocky Mountain runoff
hydration and nourishment for the thirsty Gulfo de California
driving down the highway
now alfalfa stacked high on a semi-truck

I Wake Up and I am Dreaming (villanelle)

I wake up and I am dreaming
Walking brisk on seaside trail
Full moon on the water gleaming

Falling stars in black sky streaming
Such is my midnight’s tale
I wake up and I am dreaming

Ocean waves the sand redeeming
Full force wind a salty gale
Full moon on the water gleaming

Thermal currents flight paths scheming; Eagle’s call a primal screaming
Freefall to the sea below; Direction altered by feathered tail
I wake up and I am dreaming

Pulsing sea below is teeming
Krill effervescent, Life abundant feeds the whale
Full moon on the water gleaming

Are these things real or are they seeming
On air and water I do sail
I wake up and I am dreaming
Full moon on the water gleaming

3rd grade haiku

a small newborn fawn
sleeping in a green meadow
awakes with the sun