Pandemic in Springtime

News on the poetry front: a recent poem of mine was included in “Through the Window, Across the Road”, a publication of writing and art made created between March and July of this year. I’ve posted it below.

Pandemic in Springtime


I awoke on top of a mountain of sadness
With no place to go but down
the vista was splendid and it cut,
like roads winding through a valley of naked limbs
Farmland smeared together through my prism of tears
This is all one long run on sentence
Driving down from the mountain along the edge of a jagged scream
I stay within the lines and I don’t dare veer
Not even for the deer
Not even to stop as I pass by a pen of spring lambs
Pulling with their tongues the last of last summer’s hay


What business is grass, to stain this already strained world
To live so close to the earth, the warmth of the worms’ work gives you life
How is Spring never closed for business? Why am I angry at air?
Feel punished for breathing, for singing?
All I crave between days of snow and silence
Is to inhale the tang of manure
as it lofts downwind from the fields.


Robins fatten up, red bellies bursting with grub
The trading post of my life
Fills and empties with homemade bread, seeds, masks
The economies of connection
banked with coins of despair and dubloons of hope,
A taming of the wildness within,
And a need to be seen
New tulips sway in the breeze
Holding a scent I cannot yet consume.
Sheep in the field

Thanks to the editors for including my work in this edition. You can purchase the folio here.

Traveling Through the Haibun

Guest blogger and poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil ties together baking, babies, and a primer on haibun on the Ploughshares blog. I first learned about (and tried my hand at) the Japanese poetic form from her workshop during my first year at Kundiman. The unique hybrid of dreamy prose and haiku easily allows room for fantasy, emotion, and mystery. I have a long way to go before I am natural at it, though.

One of the first haibuns I wrote is based on a dream (actually all of the haibuns I have written are based on dreams): Continue reading

My child died on a night like this.

My child died on a night like this.

The world was buried with snow then.
I rocked her, heavy as a stone on my shoulder.
I have read that death has square toes.
It is a house without walls.
Or is it hardened, malformed heart?

I stayed through that last breath.
Nothing sang and nothing sings yet.
No one holds my heart like a chin.
Or claws the numb within.

published in The Leaf Gatherers: Pocket Poems by River Poets Journal and Lilly Press (c) 2008