……….I wish to be touching you always, said he.
……….I concur with you, said she.
……….Then accompany me my beamish Girl. We’ll jump from the tip of the Tektek hills and join Sin in the Moon!
……….Saying so, they flew a stovepipe into outer space and lost their heads along the Day but feasted from platters anyway.
……….I’ll wear a beard of Lapis blue, said he.
……….I’ll turn round as Alabaster and sing him something that no one has created before, thought she.
……….With Sin they crawled in to the Moon (it’s hollow you sea) and he hung her from the highest hook and spread her like clay around the dome inside. He spread and she spread until the Full Corn Moon was all Girl from curve to curve.
……….Your turn, smiled she.
……….My beam, smiled he.
And he stood in the center of the sphere, vast and empty of all but Girl and he reached first one appendage to touch her wall, then two, then three. He grew like a Tree, branching and rooting arms and legs to touch and touch and touch her so close, so tight until you couldn’t fit a word between them.
……….Now my love? asked she.
……….Know my love, said he.
……….And together they flexed and swelled to make the Moon’s glass crust splinter and dust, letting fall to Earth what remained of Sin, all matter once formed and expelled from the Stars.
……….Then it had always been time for them to take their leave and they took with them the tides and the pools and the morphic jellied life. Tight as a ball they took the highway from the Sun and the judgment of the birds to the fiery constellation Salamandros, their will in abeyance to the gracious stars.
……….I am you, said she.
……….As I am she, said he.
……….While it lasts, said we.


NaPoWriMo Day 22

Silver Won’t Grow on a Walnut Tree

Daughter of mine
listen to me
silver won’t grow
on a walnut tree

I have no gold
to give but pears,
no legacy but
your raven-black hair

You can buy the river
with the pearl of your song
The birds of the air
will all sing along

The King of Spain
wears jewels on his feet
but his ginger and
nutmeg taste no more sweet

So love hills of gold
and the bright jeweled sea
silver won’t grow
on a walnut tree

The prompt was to “take one of the following statements of something impossible, and then write a poem in which the impossible thing happens…”

I used my own impossible line…and then it stayed impossible. So it fails the prompt, but there it is.

Lost Notebook

This week – sometime, somewhere – I lost a composition notebook. Out of the 100 pages, I think about 30 were filled, front and back, with poems, stories, teaching notes, and journaling about my daily writing struggles, including a long examination of the history of nonsense poetry. Jot 100-Sheet Classic Black & White Composition Notebooks

When I discovered it was missing, I drove back to my workplace at a community college 60 miles away to retrace my steps. Some rooms were closed, some I slipped into through doors left unlocked, some I had keys for, but none had my notebook. I took the train back the next day to get into the rooms which had been locked, but still no luck.

I am not sure what upsets me more: losing all that work or the thought that someone is reading my embryonic and personal thoughts. I struggle with social anxiety disorder all the time anyway (so teaching was a great job choice, right?), and this kind of exposure really shakes me.

I guess I’ll bounce back from this. What choice do I have? But I just don’t feel like writing anymore. I think if I do, I will finally give in to technology and use a tablet with its password protection and cloud docs that save everything as you write. I will miss the texture and smell of paper and the smooth line of my Pilot G-2 pen. In this digital world of smart phones and texting and websites and blogs, the simple pen in hand always gave me a historic, even ancient, feeling of lineage with writers: Kerouac with pencil and composition books, Stephen King and his Waterman fountain pen, Mark Twain with his Conklin Crescent, the first self-filling fountain pen, and all the way back to Sophocles who wrote using a reed pen on papyrus.

It’s all a bit lofty and definitely silly, but the feeling was real. And I can keep writing that way at home, with notebooks that never leave the house. I wish I had a better memory so I could get back what was lost. All I can remember is one short poem, and this is an approximation at best:


each morning I am sealed
inside an aluminum can
vended thru the Oakland machine
top popped, I am poured out
into the job
until empty
then sealed up and shipped
back home
to be sold again


Last Day on Kauai

Side by side we swim with sea turtles following evening
tide away from land, our hands and feet unfit for ocean swells
thrash like fish reeled up into sudden sunlight. The turtles glide 
past, shells round as boulders yet light with squirming life
inside. The rocks near shore are worn to globes, poking
heads above water between waves as if almost-drowned statues
covered with green wigs of moss swaying in the currents.
You tire, unable to swim back or fight the waves
pushing you against rocks, pulling you to open sea.
Underwater, your hair floats like kelp around your face
as you sink. I wrap both your hands around my right leg
and swim us both to the beach while turtles glide against us
like cross traffic at rush hour each intent on reaching home.