Mirror of the Sea

The tide is all the way out

and the sand underneath

feels packed and rippled

with roan speckles

spread along the smooth hide of an appaloosa,

carefully combed down with the pulling,

clawing fingers of the waves.

 

We are standing on a vast,

magnificent mirror,

a thin sheen of enchanted water

stretching wide into

one sky, one sea, seasky, skysea,

interrupted only by the slow grin,

open mouth of the gnawing, breaking waves.

 

Expanssssssse

broken by the first shift of the guard.

The mystery of tide change from

out to in again.

Who orchestrates this wizardry?

The flat window of glass cracked by

some new creeping.

A change of pattern, ripple, shiver

bubble, sparkle, slide.

Blessed light flickering,

mixed with youthful winds.

Perfect ridges now disrupted,

pulling into the four directions.

 

Two creatures

daringly hold their ground ahead of me,

testing their muster against the waves.

It is the most still I can remember them,

playing this game of feet

buried in wet...

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The Ladies

It is finally time.

 

The afternoon weather considerate,

warm enough for lace wings and a life outdoors.

When they feel the liberation of open air,

a rush of adrenaline sweeps through,

an invisible lattice of electricity.

 

The sunlight massaging their bodies with instinct,

they either take frenetic flight or they rush to the oranges,

A sudden ravenous hunger,

their long black tongues, phallic and searching

the lemon sunlight, the citrus juices, the candy breezes

flooding us all with sensual pleasure.

 

When it is time to say goodbye,

some leave without a glance,

confident in the pull of higher currents.

Others climb on us or wander close,

flying and returning,

wary of this big sky of freedom.

 

But one refuses to leave at all.

We name him Linger.

He sits on his orange slice drinking and drinking and drinking,

seemingly unmoved by any rush to change his status.

He graciously gives me time to admire him.

 

Golden green fuzz,

tiny hairs illuminated and...

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Don't Mess With the Nest

Every morning I am born into the kingdom of Crow.

For weeks now my window has been shrouded with black capes opening, swooping, the exhausting labor of feeding their young. A little nest, well camouflaged within the top of a pine tree, crouches hidden right outside my bedroom window.

The first signs were delicate twig collection. I observed the mother/father crow steadily hop, hopping along thicker branches, testing smaller twigs for strength and breakability. Each piece of wood meticulously inspected. And I thought, oh my, clever one, your nest will be wide and sturdy. How lucky I am to be the uninvited voyeur into your inner world.

But despite being outside my window, their nest stayed stealthily concealed among the bushier, upper branches. Once the nest was secured, there was a strange silent waiting that settled its weight through their branch. Checking in on them in every weather, I observed little movement. In a late spring deluge, I imagined them snug in their nest, dry...

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CHANGELING

The forest slipped her dry clothes in the still of the night,

waking in the morning wearing some damp, but puffed ball gown

of chartreuse.

She must of drank some spell of sky water

growing twice her size in the untrustworthy mist.

She urges me to shapeshift too, change my form and

try on a skin of damp feathers.

 

She tells me she has a hundred different smells in this rain

and I am convinced of her argument:

Rain on red flowering currant, resinous and musky.

Rain on decaying grandmother trunk, moldy disintegration.

Rain on white flowering mushrooms, hushed step stools towards the sky.

Rain on invading vine of tangerine honeysuckle, unnatural sweetie.

Rain on fields of ancient fern and newborn fiddleheads.

Rain on soft creaking bridge cautious of my weight.

Rain on smoothed breast, heads tucked down,

Shhh, quiet time now say the birds.

 

Slugs become rowdy noisemakers instead,

making themselves known with almost every step.

Underground nurseries opening their doors to...

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Safe to Proceed

confidence Jun 05, 2019

We find so many ways to stay put. We think we couldn’t possibly start that exercise class because we are already so overweight. Or we couldn’t think to start teaching that poetry class because our life is not yet perfectly managed, the kids keep waking us up at night and we are still getting grey hairs.

Still.

And this is the thing about confidence that we bungle up. We think it is supposed to come in the beginning, that we need it for the starting. We think it is the prerequisite to action, some mysterious igniting force. But we have a serious flaw in our expectation and understanding of how this sequence really works.

Confidence arrives in the end not the beginning. It magnifies in the doingness, in the tryingness, in the one-foot-placed-in-front-of-the-otherness, sometimes even in the falling flat on your faceness.

Hey, you could just continue to wait it out.

But the truth is that your confidence may never really kick-in the way you want it to. Never. Ever. You will...

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BEE'S SONG

Everyday magic is upon us now.

A simple chair by a simple bush,

soaking in a cacophony of pollen rapture.

A common hedge of blooming laurel

turns into whizzing contrails of sensual vibration.

The bee’s song translated in the earth’s tongue

as one great tuning fork.

 

A rising swell so insistent

that its passionate quivering

physically presses against my skin,

persuades me against my distractions

to look up and find

bumble bee, honey bee, mason bee, sweat bee

all in agreement,

their electrical pulse a cry of aliveness.

 

They remind me that the world is full of signals

we can’t hear, we don’t perceive,

oblivious to the vast vibrational matrix

that the rest of the living world shares.

What a myoptic lot we are.

 

An urgency is upon them,

some internal clock ticking down

the brevity of their mission.

Rear saddlebags overflowing with yellow,

I can’t imagine that they will not keep this

pace eternally.

 

And where will all of their...

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WISHIES

earth medicine mothering May 15, 2019

A symbol of pastoral freedom,

their shape shows up on nursery wall decals

and whimsical business cards.

We hold some fascination for these sky sailors

the way they drift and coast,

suspended by their milky parachute ships,

entrusting fragrant breezes

to take their precious cargo,

a single darling seed

to some loamy port.

 

It starts with just one pluck

and as I blow I have to fight

the inner urge to stop “spreading weeds.”

I watch the downy white feathers

separate from the bare and speckled middle

of their mother,

and I feel the tender heart of separation…

disintegration,

embracing the wide smiled joy of individuation.

Take flight, my little dandelion hatchlings!

 

My son has been watching all the while

and he rejoices in this unspoken permission to blow

not one but bunches and bunches of seed fluff into the air.

Oh there are so many paths we can take in this life!

Some come to rest on blades of grass,

shyly postponed.

Others drift to the sidewalk in...

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THE MEDICINE OF THE GREAT PHARMACY IS ALL AROUND YOU

alive medicine wake up May 07, 2019
Dignified, timeworn panels of beautifully preserved pine. Sturdy, ancient shelves stacked high, always brimming to bursting.

Rusty hinges holding the welcoming glass doors stuck, never straying from their open-armed position. These are the visual swatches that come to shape and bind my vision of what I have come to know as the Great Pharmacy. Swelling with its stocks, this chest contains a reservoir of medicine, all of the tools we could ever need to feel into the poignancy of being alive.

It permanently and patiently waits for us, whether we know it or not.

But most often we do not see its bulk or smell its earth. And even when we do get wafts of its presence, how easily we get distracted with something else, hurriedly whisked this way and that by the winds of our mind.

Lovingly brushing the hair from our eyes, this medicine nudges us to remember that in the exquisiteness of existence we are stripped of thought. Noisy chatter freely gives way to a sense of absolute, genuine wonder....

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DINOSAURS

earth medicine mothering May 01, 2019

I tell my son he has dinosaurs in his backyard.

Sparks burst within his eyes, momentarily,

expectantly.

Until I reveal that these dinosaurs are the

trio of redwoods

that greet us with rusty lustre.

That these gorgeous woody elephants are

the great-greats of some long-ago tree fossils.

He just shrugs and runs off.

 

I tell my son he breathes dinosaur breath,

That these very same argon molecules

(quiet drifters / petulant loafers)

have been recycled, moved around, tumbled about

nauseously, ad nauseam.

These microscopic instigators of oneness

have somersaulted through the lung tissue of his least favorite teacher

and the garden snake that lives under the creeping blue phlox

by the front steps.

This time I get a “yuck” as he runs away.

 

I tell my son that he drinks dinosaur water.

That the shiny miracle fluid in his glass

Is part of one continuous loop of

lake, evaporation, cloud, rain, river, body, and so on.

I tell him to watch for tadpoles in his shower and...

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Feeling Possible to Ourselves - Using the Essential Oil May Chang

earth medicine march Mar 11, 2019

The birds have given it away.

The chickadees, sparrows, towhees, and of course, the glorious robins — their proud orange pot-bellies leading them forward — have begun their persuasive song of joy. Held within the steely grasp of winter, we would have forgotten them entirely. But they are emerging now from their dark tree caverns of rest, a raucous chittering piercing the winter hush.

Arms and legs shifting, the bones of Mother Earth are beginning to feel restless. We are on the cusp. That transitory time of agitation, a stirring, a preparation to move energy from root back out into branches. Woody fingertips twitching. The green drive to grow up and out.

I know it is early. 

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a soggy but rambunctious affair. It is her hope that keeps me living here, the longing for unfolding chartreuse petals and rose daphne whispers. This tender budding, these eager little shoots yearn to permeate the barren spaces of winter. Trees begin...

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