“There is a magic made by melody: A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep To the subaqueous stillness of the sea, And floats forever in a moon-green pool, Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.”
This tree knows how to make its small world full –
supports a blossom that should be impossible for its size and scale. It puts all its years into the effort.
This greenhouse under window, under rain will hold its magic no matter when you return –
like the tick of the clock in your grandparents’ house, the shine of copper pots, coffee mugs and conversation around the red-checked tablecloth.
It is the opposite of ephemeral. We may chase newness, but there are things that draw us back. We want to know the world we leave continues just the same. Not impossible, but rare – and enough to have it only there, and here.
They moved the satin quilt aside for a last look upon his face. Shock was a shield since he had died; they moved the satin quilt aside. It was on him their hopes were tied, Each unrushed moment given grace. They moved the satin quilt aside for a last look upon his face.
“Tornado, this is my child. Tornado, I won’t say I built him, but I am his shelter. For months I buoyed him in the ocean, on the highway; on crowded streets I learned to walk with my elbows out. And now he is here, and he is new, and he is a small moon, an open face, a heart. Tornado, I want more. Nothing is enough. Nothing ever is. I will heed the warning protocol, I will cover him with my body, I will wait with mattress and flashlight, but know this: If you come down here— if you splinter your way through our pines, if you suck the roof off this red-doored ranch, if you reach out a smoky arm for my child— I will turn hacksaw. I will turn grenade. I will invent for you a throat and choke you. I will find your stupid wicked whirling head and cut it off. Do not test me.”
to rip the seam to crumple the clay vessel to pull the crooked nail to erase the penciled writing to retrace one’s steps to the previous fork
Along with death and taxes, you can count on the machine that snags, the motor that stalls,
And yet, these objects that watch us blunder though all the things we never learn – the clocks that chide our tardiness, the stovetop made to burn our dinner, still extend unequal grace – They’re only human.
“Descending on her egg or draping her head along her back, she’s too exact and sinuous to convince an audience she’s serious. The natural elect, they think, would be less pink, less able to relax their necks, less flamboyant in general.”
“Our brushes cut the stone in watered arcs and in the soak frail outlines shiver clear a moment, things us kids pressed on the dark face before it hardened, pale, remembering delicate old injuries, the spines of names and leaves.”
There are answers I do not know and answers I know in great detail, and questions I have not asked and questions I have asked in great detail. I know what happened in that town but not where it falls on the map. I know how the vial that contained me was chosen but not why it got there. In the genealogy group others seek help translating postcards and headstones, determining when this photo was taken or where they perished. I want more than constellations in darkness and the black holes of questions. I want to see what my grandmother saw the first time she wore glasses, and play a hand at the poker game where my great-grandmother’s labor pains came, and decide what my uncle did when his draft number was called. I can wear the jewel-embroidered blouse now but I want to wear it on the ship. Even traveling through the land where I may be indigenous I cannot answer who it belongs to and neither can wars. But they try anyway. On that land’s edge I float in the dusk in the ocean’s silky warmth, where the answer is we are anchorless, yet when it is time the Cambrian waves wash us ashore.
“She told us children how the cows could sense when their own calves were marked for butchering, and how they lowed, their wordless eloquence impossible to still with anything— sweet clover, or her unremitting care. She told it simply, but she faltered there.”
“And let there glide by many a pearly car, Pink robes, and wavy hair, and diamond yar, And half discovered wings, and glances keen. The while let music wander round my ears, And as it reaches each delicious ending, Let me write down a line of glorious tone, And full of many wonders of the spheres: For what a height my spirit is contending! ’Tis not content so soon to be alone.”
A romantic comedy might have started when the purple-haired volunteer helped me out the double doors between tropical paradise and winter prairie.
We’d just watched a two-year-old have a total freak-out as one butterfly landed on her nose, me laughing overtly, Miss Purple Hair covertly – due to the dignity of her position.
I asked her what had happened to the button quail – Nature’s most dapper birds, who used to strut along these pathways genial and proprietary in their bow ties. She was not sure. She was new here.
I smiled and accepted her invitation even though it was to leave, and stepped into the mirrored passageway followed swiftly by a fanciful blue morpho, echoing feather-soft brilliance wherever it moved.
Oh, she said in a fluttery voice, that’s never happened before. I’m supposed to catch you, and I waited reverently as she shooed the escape artist back inside.