Both

We never know.
That morning

I kept my hand
+++on our ailing cat’s belly
+++as he purred.

In communion with him
+++even while
+++grief tore through me.

Some say not to borrow grief
+++before time
+++but to
+++stay in the moment.

Yet

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Bardo

Self-portrait (2/11/2023).

I’ve been trying to be immortal.

Now I can’t pee right,
and my foot is swollen.

 

 

 

 

Friends have died recently. Others are facing it first hand. My younger siblings have already experienced the death of a spouse or a stroke or

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Flow

"Poise," by Mike Shell. Red leaf floating in water on blacktop, with reflected light. Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah National Forest, NC.

There is nothing in this moment
+++that stays.
+++Nothing to guide me,
+++Nothing to hinder me.

Those are all thoughts and feelings
+++that rise and fall.
They come from nowhere
+++except from
+++previous thoughts and feelings.

Yes, there is sensation and emotion,
+++the brain’s tools for
+++sifting through

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Nothing comes

Twisted Snow Gums, Charlottes Pass, Kosciuszko National Park, 14th May 2009. Photo by Jack Heyward.

So difficult to sit doing nothing
unless enforced by the presence of others.
Alone, I want to be busy every moment.

What makes me uneasy with stillness?
Uneasiness itself?

I’m not doing anything!

You are breathing, pumping blood.
Holding down the chair.
Filling space.
Dying.

No. That word
came from elsewhere than cleverness.
That word is
closer to the bones.

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How did the poem “Fixed” come to me?

I’ve not tried before to retrace in memory how my poems come into being. Yesterday a close friend’s response to “Fixed” move me to do so.

This poem came to me, as most of them do, in much the same way that spoken ministry messages come to me during Quaker waiting worship.  I am inspired by something, perhaps something very minor, that crosses my awareness, and suddenly there is an image or word or phrase.

My usual morning practice

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