The black leaves are sharp against the sky, and that is more important than most things I will do today. So is the way the sky softens over the glowing mountains, a gentle dusk. There is something vast and sharp and a little sweet here, something that tastes like bladed poems do. It is out of reach. There is something there, but the sky is untouchable, and the day rolls out instead in a long dull road of dishes and notepaper and forgotten coats.

(petals #2)

It is all beautiful and unfurling,
it is only that there are so many layers of petals to breath through
and they are all twining and curling
quite bluntly through my lungs.

I am sure it is quite all right,
if I can only take deep breaths and move more slowly
and remember it does no good to fight
stray thorns that trellis up my heart.

(petals #1)

The world is interlocking,
detail building on detail like petals on a rose
all of it in motion like swallows flocking
in shifting perfect patterns across the sky.

Sit very still in the center
or a corner; it is the same place for you.
Be quiet. Your heart lies still as the naked winter.
The whole sky folds in fractal blooms.

2019: no gentler than expected

This year, I stopped…

writing letters.
reading books.
writing stories.
going dancing.

I stopped.

But here are some things I did do:

I took the intensive one-week training known simply as Leader Week.
I took a summer leadership course.
I passed the Wilderness First Responder training.
I juggled a long-distance writing internship and a full semester’s class load.

And, friends, despite all they’d have you believe of knights and dragons, I set out on an adventure with Crusader, sword-and-flame side by side.

I’m still here. Still not sleeping. Still not giving up.