Paradise is an Inside Job

Imagine you got a ticket
to paradise

Ride on the finest train
Eat the finest delectables
Sleep with 1000 count sheets
See rainbows every day
Laugh with funniest friends

Imagine you arrive in paradise

Befriend exotic animals
Befriend celebrities of every era
Befriend ancestors on your family tree
Befriend seasons and elements

Imagine all of this ruined by minutiae

Fly in soup
Bug in grass
Sand in shoe
Sun in eye
Hair in nose

Can anyone give you the joy of paradise

but you?

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April 28, 2017 · 4:47 pm

We Poets

We are among the crowds
we watch and study
and put it down on paper later

We write about the journey of the heart
or the journey of the people

We blend in
the best we’re able

No special uniform will give us away

We discover each other
by accident
when someone casually mentions

I have a poem about that

We will pull them into community

Come as you are
into the circle of writers
the circle of poets, dreamers, inscribers
the circle of storytellers

the circle of me and you

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April 27, 2017 · 9:53 pm

Arrival

When I arrive
at the mountain’s peak
I see myself dancing with abandon
singing
even when I have company
telling friends I love them
laughing
at everything
laughing
for no reason at all

When I arrive
atop the highest point
I see myself healthy
balanced in every arena
tiptoeing across high wire
no longer a feat

walking over smoldering coals
easy as carpet

unafraid to look down
all the way to the plains
to the beginning
the place where my foot
inched out
timidly advancing

where I reeled
back at the stiffness of the grass
the sharpness of rocks under soft feet
the unfamiliar, cool earth
the shift in the panorama

back to the place
I began
becoming

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April 27, 2017 · 5:04 pm

To Get Out of a Poetry Reading

Once you have mommy’s attention
from your squirming
grunting
writhing
in the adjacent seat
and you have stage-whispered

Mom, I have to use the restroom!

eye her with seriousness and panic

Praying never hurts

Gleefully lead Mommy from the auditorium
away from the angst-filled breaths
away from the pacing footsteps
away from blood-spoken verbs

Casually mention the woman’s restroom
closest to your seat
is closed for cleaning

Adventure through library upstairs
and downstairs

The girl’s restroom
in children’s section
also closed
for cleaning

The librarian will ruin
everything
giving you the key to the boy’s room

In the boy’s room
take your time
since Mommy paces
all the way over there
in the hall

Breathe the silent stench
Sweet absence of talking
Refuge from riddles and rhyme
Fortress from verse

Count to two-thousand
forty-three

When at last you exit
Mommy’s pleading voice
hastening departure
drag feet

how

slow

can

you

go?

Back in the second row
the second-to-last poet
leaves the stage

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April 26, 2017 · 5:09 pm

I See You

I see you
over there

all this space between us
held
just for you

I see you
struggling
with your conflicts
relationships
health
money

I see you
yearning to be free
longing to float
eager for joy
thirsty for effortlessness

able to see the staircase
but not the stairs

I see you

I call to you

No answer

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April 26, 2017 · 4:45 pm

Blade of Grass

I am a blade of grass
upright yet not proud

I take in nourishment from my roots
my community
my ancestors
my former homes
my current home

I breathe in the air
inspiration
muse whispers
cleanliness

I soak in sunlight
friendship
family
intimate loving

In return I turn bright green
Soft under feet
Beautiful in eyes
Freshness in lungs

I give back

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April 25, 2017 · 4:51 pm

Rapping Against Rapport

Iron sharpens iron
even just by listening
even by opening its door

tea offering
to friendship

Choose the hardest metal
the softest shine
the purest grade

and watch those sparks fly

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April 25, 2017 · 4:29 pm