Tendrils hold one another,
timeless art expands my split second--
Margot Fonteyn’s arms pushing out the borders.
A bee burrows into a cucumber flower,
moisture dampens the buzzing.
STOP A heat wave hits three continents STOP More than 100 Barbie dolls are sold every minute STOP A global warming “tipping point” is closer than once thought STOP
Raindrops jump on the lake’s surface,
a tern hunts in thunder,
while a heavy-headed rose bows under the downpour.
Miniature frogs take to the paths,
pilgrims among the slick leaves,
STOP As the world boils, a backlash to climate action gains strength STOP The hottest July STOP Why Barbie Must Be Punished STOP
The aroma of tomatoes is stark and forbidden,
a wild aphrodisiac,
making roots heave.
The sting of nettle drowns in the rotting,
into a smoothie for the soil.
STOP Trump is crushing GOP rivals STOP Barbie on Bitcoin STOP Elon Musk’s geopolitical clout STOP
Beans bend the corn,
in tangled, heavy stocks,
submitting to gravity.
Golden hairs—a child’s or a witch’s? —befuddle the ants
over sheaths of white kernels
protected by a stiff green glove.
STOP Trump is indicted, again STOP Elon Musk on ‘white genocide’ STOP Summer of Barbenheimer STOP
Under the succulent grass is the straw bed,
a memory of the summer’s moods,
cushioning the earth.
Chantarelles defy the contraction,
African ochre in the musty decay,
skirts of whirling dervishes.
STOP How Quran Burners Got the Global Attention They Wanted STOP A Wedding Pushes Through Despite Floods STOP What’s in Trump’s Head STOP
Honey oozes through the sieve--
wax, pollen, and the dead,
all, work for ants.
Too-slow or too-fast, too-long or too-short,
nonsensical in the sweet lava--
yearning toward sugar crystals.
STOP Ukraine and Russia expand the battlefield STOP Can carbon dioxide removal save us? STOP Barbie’s 1 Billion Dollar Box Office Haul STOP
Morning brings the rhythmical rounds--
stir the honey, water the greenhouses,
clear the debris, rinse off the dirt.
Relinquish the conquest!
Spiderwebs will be cotton candy in the corners,
butterflies will leave their eggs in the kale.
STOP Disaster in Hawaii STOP What Should You Do with an Oil Fortune? STOP She Wants to Burn Down Hollywood STOP
feeding the illusion,
a dream of never-ending summer.
Bushes re-bud—could play be forever? --
but the gentle air holds the tension,
tired flowerpots betray our make-believe.
STOP Ukraine’s War of Attrition Draws Parallels to WWI STOP Death Toll in Maui Wildfires Rises to 89 STOP Gen Z’s Housing Anguish STOP
Wasps lick wood,
hungry for the cracks
in a life of twenty-two days.
Hornets scavenge for light,
under the window latticing,
STOP America’s Obsession with Monster Trucks STOP Trump Hit with Racketeering Charges STOP The Ruble is in Rubble STOP
The mature sun’s glory
bleaches highlights in the birch,
stroking the greying water.
The roses try for another round,
but their flowers are small, their scent timid
in air that smells of burnt sugar.
STOP See the Powerful Storm’s Latest Path STOP India’s Moon Landing Sets the Tone for A New Type of Space Race STOP Trump Inflated Property Values by $2.2 Billion STOP
The storms have come,
but the morning’s immersion continues--
The wind slices off the tips of waves, freshening my face.
The summer is over, but there is still time,
always time, neither friend nor foe,
a condition that softens us.
STOP Punctuation is too expensive STOP We don’t have time for it STOP We’d like to stop STOPPING, but we can’t STOP
A telegram from August 2023.
At your feet,
Curled up on the floor pillows,
My spinal fluids carry the message – it’s safe.
The smell of sweet tobacco
Drifts over me in our opium den, yours and mine.
A storm rages around the corner,
Outside, the smell of fuselage
Threatens this dream of peace with endings.
In my room are the empty boxes
Hungry for my doll whose hair I cut away --
For there is no turning back.
Your slippers watch “Mutiny on the Bounty,”
Loyal pets beside your reclining chair,
Their parallel-ness is my lifeline.
I pound to be let back in,
From the world, I can’t control,
But the air is cold and hard -- you’re gone.
Through a hole in the fog of my breath on the window
Our den is a home for mice --
Only your tobacco pouch remains in my pocket.
Remembering my father.
Listening to the sounds of his country,
Once more on the radio.
Tears swell over bloodshot eyes,
At a voice of his ilk, his time, his stripes.
One that heard the young and the old,
Offered itself as a stage
For an autistic youngster to sing.
The forgotten rhythms of an old way of talking
Charm the heart of a foreigner
Weary of too many me's.
A ditty rings out the golden hour,
Bittersweet as the picture of a gramophone with its shell-like horn
On white linen where a wasp devours a strawberry's flesh.
On watching an old Swede listening to one of the better programs on "Sommar," Sweden's favorite summer radio program.
A thing is at its most beautiful
When it is already dying,
The aura is brightest
In the knowledge of death's shadow.
Hands caress the dance
Because it is not forever.
A mother's birthing cries
Portend the pain of endings.
Only love can bear the burden
Of a petal's mortality.
Some hearts won’t stop beating,
Even a massive dose
Can’t take the Marilyn Monroe out of them.
Candles in the wind,
What was it about her that remains inextinguishable?
Two pink bandages
Wrapped around her forelegs, cover the holes they made,
Blood trickles from my forearms.
“Live! Live! Live!”
She barks at me from the floor,
Hind legs splayed, heart stilled.
For a beloved creature I once knew whose keen intellect was always guided by her heart.
I've looked askance at you with misgivings that I might turn to a pillar of salt which crumbled if I gave you my full attention. You might force me to become another uncharted soul rather than the one I know. You may be God's trap -- just another way to haul me to the cross, where my sins are on full display in those unsightly wounds.
In a room with others who are struggling, I say your names: "Reconciliation, Forgiveness," like two boulders that have been waiting patiently in my garden since the last ice age ended. The act of naming you is a start -- itself a reconciliation with you and a forgiveness of myself for not looking at your faces from the beginning. Even more, it is an exquisite taste of infinity. I look down the Yellow Brick Road and begin wanting to understand.
More words fall from my lips without warning, but they embrace my fears like the gentlest mother. Reconciliation is finding a way to meet one's past and the people who have played a role in it; a means of encountering one's shame and guilt with generosity and disarming them so they will never hurt anyone.
Reconciliation births forgiveness and more words fall: Forgiveness transforms difficult, negative feelings about onesself and others into empathy, even love.
Like Dorothy from Kansas, I still possess my soul. What is more, I have determined to make peace with the Cross. I know where I have been and why I have been there.
If only mirrors could whisper, they would say: "Carry on. Do not be afraid."
On visiting Örebro folkhögskola (community college) and discussing Reconciliation and Forgiveness with students whose families have endured war and persecution and the associated problems of social marginalization.
Please be welcome to take a few minutes to listen to Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel (Mirrors in the Mirror) to reflect on reconciliation and forgiveness in your experience. https://youtu.be/FZe3mXlnfNc
When letters burned, eyes were struck blind
When pages burned, tongues were muted
When spines burned, songs were silenced
When covers burned, the sweet smell of spring fled.
Show me a book that should not be read
Show me a sky that should not be seen
Show me the river that should not flow
Show me the grass that should not yearn toward the heavens.
Show me the fire that should not burn
But first, show me the book that is not us.
On the burning and banning of books.
The colors won't be still
meandering in water
Don't look for the lines
Sounds blend, accents bend
into no particular shape
Know with eyes
Flags frayed at the edges
hang crooked from balconies
The sun softens
Sisters dark and patient
pierce the gleaming windshield
There is infinity in you
On driving through the foothills to the Pyrenees.