morning lines #127
cacophony of crows not phoning it in,
they’re murdering or marauding,
from a comfortable distance,
wire hanger wingspans,
with nothing to wear
morning lines #126
black-backed and stunning, murky motor oil or grounded plum,
amid the charcoal-dead hush of tree after dead and dying snag,
set ablaze by whatever means,
pecking, drumming, tattooing, at bark, existing borehole,
and my dead and dying eyes so that I might see, woodpecker
morning lines #125
Animals and insects, spirit messengers of later adulthood, and none more than the honeybee. Avoid getting stung at all costs says the kid in me. But now: Eat its honey, watch its brethren buzz-bomb at the precipice of extinction, and you takes your chances. An affable arthropod, it’s the singular species of bee to sting at its peril. With a nonretractable stinger, it leaves behind needle-sharp dagger, abdomen, and digestive tract, along with stray bits of muscle and nerve. Avoid at all costs causing this kind of ruination in another creature says the aging adult in me.
morning lines #124
it’s never too late for naming the western trees,
never too wrong for a slip and slap in the weeds,
never too late for height and wisdom and wonder,
never too wrong for besting or beetles or blunder,
never too late for lesson-learning the knave,
and never too wrong for love, a sigh, and a wave
morning lines #123
there’s a chair in the corner of this lair, gathering in layers the light of all the gunmetal gray mornings until it’s grayed out and begins to stink, no, sink, in the mire of tomorrow, yesterday, and all the days cum grano salis
morning lines #122
The birds have nothing to say today,
here in the dawn’s half-yawn,
a raspy near-light,
that fingers throat feathers
across the lawns and up into the
maples, maidenhairs, oaks, sycamores, and more,
and yet not a peep or shriek,
just the silence of trees holding tight to their leaves.
How can it be the birds have nothing to say today?
morning lines #121
hiking up the steep slope of a narrow trail,
the weather perfect as the summer day is long,
leaping over lupine, foxtail, and timothy,
the sun shining, a bright chill—the rarest comfort to a body in motion;
in the distance, San Francisco and Marin, a simultaneous shoulder shrug,
to the layers-thick blanket of fog still weighing them down;
a foggy color no one has ever seen before—bruised, disagreeable gray
morning lines #120
Before me sits the wide white box of anxious construction, a box made of wind-whipped desert sand, fluttering moths, eggshells smashed under foot, broken bird bones, and clouds bereft of air and water.
It’s easy to pretend the box isn’t there because it blends nicely into the wall. It’s easy to pretend the box is the representation of all that’s calm and clean and bright—the incandescent angel in our midst.
I find the edges at the top of the box, unfolding its whisper-white flaps, allowing all the white-hot days of my life to emerge, shyly at first, but then with a blinding force that destroys everything outside the box while pulling me safely within. I mix among the chalky remains of shell, sand, and bone.
Eventually, I find my way outside the box, where it’s easy to pretend the box isn’t there because it blends nicely into the wall.