now it is sweetness
finally

a birthday this year
wrapped in

peace

two year before
saw me encased in a tarp

in the damp weather

of

the faroe islands
pleading for your return

sweetness of a lifetime
held in two years

not all who beg for one’s
answers

walk away whole
or healed

sweetness

of a lifetime
carried for two years

the season is here once again.
this time of year,
it holds the memory
of such transformation.
i remember it was
when the hummingbirds left,
when they began their
great migration.
the air was changing each day,
just a little cooler,
a little
cooler.
before the hummingbirds departed,
they came,
wings a blur in such great motion.
“give us the skins
you’ve shed,
the pasts
with no place here and now!”
they said.
we took off skins and
layers of self,
all the fragile surfaces
that took our breaths,
that hid our eyes.
then we let a stillness come.
a tranquility in which we could say,
“this is how i will remember you!”

the clock in the cottage
holds irregular time

it is cold at night
and stifling midday

i hang my shirts to dry
on hooks from the ceiling

i’ve sat here for some time
with a clock that lies

thinking to myself
“my god, this is so very perfect”

I gave my friend’s son
a book.
he’s just a young boy.
it was a gift.
it made us both happy.
he is six years old.
it is a children’s book
about the coast of Maine.
a book about my home state.
he wanted me to read it,
he wouldn’t let his dad.
“no,” he said,
“I want Jeremiah to!”
I wanted to share that
experience with him.
but my mind runs
too fast;
the words become a mess.
my mind moves
too quickly,
and they are not
the words on the pages.
this is my mind.
my words are here
and then they are
many miles
from my thoughts.
and my thoughts run,
and they are
in another world before
i find them.
it is this boy,
and his father,
and his mother
who will love me
and the words that
are not with the thoughts,
and the thoughts
that are not
with the words.
they will see me.
“I am very tired,”
I said.
“I don’t have my glasses,”
I said.
trying to excuse myself.
“The illustrations are
so beautiful.
let’s write our own stories,”
I said,
“let’s invent our
very own words.”
and he said it was “Ok,”
he said, “Ok, Jeremiah.”
that simple “Ok” held everything
i have lost with others.
it contained all
the forgiveness of my running mind,
and all the
forgiveness for my words
that didn’t follow the requests.
with him,
his father,
his mother,
i felt safe,
i felt home.


away / time does not hold / held
this / you’ve seen / time
held / here as lovers do / seen
you / in dreams within / away
time / you’ve away been / here
lovers / held in time / dreams
dreams / time does hold / held
lovers / held in time / you

this is time;
cedar shingles that
tell of seasons,
weather-worn and gray.

a question unasked.
a touch of passion
left hanging.
time is healing
in scattered pieces;
small fractions
of a face
once kissed &
now forgotten.
time is a name,
one called out
in a dream
& unanswered in
waking-life.
this is time;
a boy of innocence
becoming a man
far too soon,
holding steady,
holding shelter,
holding words.
time hasn’t moved,
just the distance
from my fingertips
to yours,
from my mouth
to your body.
this is time;
a face
aged by life,
wrinkled and worn,
with eyes
that burn with such
fearsome intensity.
a gift given by time,
only by time.

a tree is patient;
with gnarls about its
trunk, like old fingers.
it is sun-beached and
long since passed.
the days and nights
move around it.
we witness the blue sky,
so rich and clear,
and mistake our needs.
we forget tolerance
and say,

get out of the way
you old tree!
i want to see the blue sky
.

but the tree is patient.
by day
it marks the earth
with the movement
of the sun
across the sky,
not rushing it,
letting it be,
moment by moment.
at night it stands
almost sentry-like,
keeping watch,
waiting.
it never says,

you are gray today,
bring back
your blue sky
!

if it is unable
to mark the earth
as a sundial would,
it just waits,
gnarled and old,
like it was yesterday
as it will be tomorrow.