Sunday, March 30, 2014


After the biopsy, after the bone scan, after the consult and the crying, for a few hours no one could find them, not even my sister, because it turns out they’d gone to the movies. Something tragic was playing, something epic, and so they went to the comedy with their popcorn and their cokes, the old wife whispering everything twice, the old husband cupping a palm to his ear, as the late sun lit up an orchard behind the strip mall, and they sat in the dark holding hands.

—Patrick Phillips

Saturday, March 29, 2014

I heard a Fly buzz – when I died


I heard a Fly buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –
Between the heaves of storm –
The Eyes around – had wrung them dry –
And Breaths were gathering firm
For that last onset – when the King
Be witnessed – in the room –

I willed my Keepsakes – Signed away
What portion of me be
Assignable – and then it was
There interposed a Fly –

With Blue-uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

–Emily Dickinson 



Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Long Afternoon at the Edge of Little Sister Pond


As for life,
I'm humbled,
I'm without words
sufficient to say
how it has been hard as flint,
and soft as a spring pond,
both of these
and over and over,
and long pale afternoons besides,
and so many mysteries
beautiful as eggs in a nest,
still unhatched
though warm and watched over
by something I have never seen -
a tree angel, perhaps,
or a ghost of holiness.
Every day I walk out into the world
to be dazzled, then to be reflective.
It suffices, it is all comfort -
along with human love,
dog love, water love, little-serpent love,
sunburst love, or love for that smallest of birds
flying among the scarlet flowers.
There is hardly time to think about
stopping, and lying down at last
to the long afterlife, to the tenderness
yet to come, when
time will brim over the singular pond, and become forever,
and we will pretend to melt away into the leaves.
As for death,
I can't wait to be the hummingbird,
can you?

–Mary Oliver


Sunday, March 16, 2014

despite it all


There are times in your life when, despite the steel weight of your memories and the sadness that seems to lie at your feet like a shadow, you suddenly and strangely feel perfectly okay.

–Kevin Brockmeier


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gravelly Run


I don't know somehow it seems sufficient
to see and hear whatever coming and going is,
losing the self to the victory
of stones and trees,
of bending sandpit lakes, crescent
round groves of dwarf pine:

for it is not so much to know the self
as to know it as it is known
by galaxy and cedar cone,
as if birth had never found it
and death could never end it:

the swamp's slow water comes
down Gravelly Run fanning the long
stone-held algal
hair and narrowing roils between
the shoulders of the highway bridge:

holly grows on the banks in the woods there,
and the cedars' gothic-clustered
spires could make
green religion in winter bones:

so I look and reflect, but the air's glass
jail seals each thing in its entity:

no use to make any philosophies here:
I see no
god in the holly, hear no song from
the snowbroken weeds: Hegel is not the winter
yellow in the pines: the sunlight has never
heard of trees: surrendered self among
unwelcoming forms: stranger,
hoist your burdens, get on down the road.

–A. R. Ammons


Monday, March 10, 2014


Saturday, March 8, 2014

merrily, merrily


That man’s life is but a dream -
is what we now come to know. 

Its house abandoned,
the garden has become home
to butterflies.
—Monk Sougi


Friday, March 7, 2014

not to worry


Jenny Holzer

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ash Wednesday



Once I thought everything
has a soul
Then I learnt only
the fool fears the tree—
It is empty—
So too the wind
that sends it which
way and that—
Now I know God
is such a wind
from which we
are rent—
The heavens take
the tree
from the tree—
leaf by leaf—
Being gone, taken,
is what means Heaven—
It is full—of wings—
A music of what
is missing
since nothing
but men have souls
tho, it appears,
not many.

–Kevin Young


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

not to worry


Death has nothing to do with going away.

The sun sets, the moon sets.

But they are not gone.

–Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī