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Mindietta Vogel May 2019
Less definite, less rigid, less certain, lest
We forget what love is and how to begin again.
At each tide, the sand concaves and convexes
into feathers too heavy for flight.

Sand shapes itself into mountain ranges,
River basins, and pools that vein new life into the sun.
I am beholden to the promise of a new day, a new wave.
I have stamped these sand shapes, here.

Loneliness is improbable as grains reverberate
You back to me, back to you, back to me.
The sand shapes then swirl into the belly of a wave.
I whisper, “You’re sublime, everything is sublime.”

Meekly reverential, I swell and the ocean takes residence
In my marrow, and I am sand shapes and weightless.
Mindietta Vogel Apr 2019
In Arizona last week
the migrating Painted Lady butterflies
were dancing and flitting
in stunning numbers.

In waves across the desert,
they'll live for about 6 weeks, if lucky.
Over the course of generations,
they'll migrate to Alaska.

One soon-to-be summer day,
a distant relative of this Painted Lady
will float on the breath of Eagle River valley towards
Mt. Susitna to waltz in the light of the midnight sun.
Mindietta Vogel Apr 2019
​​I went to investigate a gently flowing stream
and discovered that it was
trickling up from the massive rock
we were climbing.

The water gurgled up and out,
then down onto smaller rocks
and then into finer rocks
that pooled the water so slightly.

Next, the history of “taking the waters”
trickled from the Romans
into my palms, and I
splashed wellness on my face.

Eyes closed, coating my flaming cheeks,
the cold water squeezed a gasp from my lips.
I splashed again and gasped again,
and again, and again.

This, with such certainty, wells up in me now:
So much can be drawn from words.
​We go to the forest,
​for rest
Mindietta Vogel Apr 2019
On Monday, my husband waits until I get home to say the words.
I go to unload the car and carry back tears.
Sitting, stirring, I begin to take out stitches on
a strayed shawl for the third time.

An artist and an adventurer, she sipped Dickle and ate meat
and raised chickens. She slept in a small house to live spaciously.
Erin was tall and never knowing of how she showed me to
express, explore, expand, to exist.

On a long ago Friday, with frayed Carhartt pants, we were
chatting about women, and their depictions in magazines,
Erin says,“Well, they’re not shaped like a real woman.”
For a lasting moment, I see from her wise and lovely eyes.

Erin is a stitch unlooped from our tight knit.
A drafty gratitude, a sudden shiver. She was here, with us, with the world.  
And now we are looping onto each other, tenaciously.
Even so, what are we to do with slipped stitches and this hole?

May we purl pain into artistry. All we have to do is add the t.  
So we will paint. And we will climb mountains.
We will tear and we will cry and live and bleed and die.
Until then, we have no other task than to knit ourselves together.
This sad poem of loss inspired in form and subject by Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Dirge Without  Music" =
Mindietta Vogel Apr 2019
Xtra Tuffs, forgotten. Ten mornings to go.
Let us start with ten miles to Ewan Bay.
Passing Granite Bay and rocks that crowd Junction Island,
seals furtively eye us, and orange-footed Oyster Catchers
stay grounded while gulls erupt into flight and frantic shrieks.

Zip, peal, zip: from dry suit to tent.
Storm teacher. We learn water below,
water above, water without, and water within.
At Bog Island, fingers are colorless, wrinkled fruit, and we
must think of wetness in layers.

Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit.
Bog Island becomes a convalescent home, made of polyester tarp.
To stay warm, Yoga in the rain. Two are napping.
While we rest, beached ice become snarling growlers,
I see and listen in the quiet way.

Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit.
Before crossing Jackpot Bay, we visit a waterfall.
While we lurch to avoid bear ****, dark blurs leap into vertical flows.
Tonight, we tuck our tents under a canopy
of alders against a rock wall, slicked with falling water.

Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit.
Four days of dampness and heavy brows. The sky teases with streaks of blue
that enliven ice-green bergs. Suddenly, sun spills over clouds.
Wordless gasps and elation melt our moods.
Glacial air chases warm rocks. We race to dry our gear.

Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit. Again Island found, in Gaanaak Cove.
Blueberries drip from the bushes like the rain of the past four days.
Yellow arnica stand like sunflowers, and I feel her here.
The commuting breeze sounds like morning traffic on the Glenn.
Chenega, that achy glacier, growls like a distant tarmac.

This morning, rays of sunshine dance on my tent for a few seconds.
Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit.
We arrive to Nassau Fjord as unwelcome, party crashers
To hundreds of seals lounging on their icy chaises.
Don't Go, I think. We were uninvited.

Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit.
Haibun, Didactic Cinquain, and Diamante:
These formulas are like the handrail method Jonathan teaches for reading a map.
Intentionally point off course to the stream that goes into the lake,
or veer to intersect the road to the parking lot.

Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit.
At Dual Head, the tide is a mirror to itself.
The echoing waves, equal and opposite to my breath.
I relish the watercolor and poetry on the beach under our
first and only setting and then rising sunshine.

Zip, stuff, zip: from tent to dry suit.
Despite the small-craft advisory in Whittier yesterday,
We are delivered from the Sound on calm waters
​as we reunite with family and former self.
I believe I am more than I was.
Mindietta Vogel Apr 2019
From far away, everything is glazed with whimsy and ease.
Pebbles to rocks, rocks to boulders,
which an ancient Titan, surely, piled one on another to mold
the slanted peak.

Mytikas is the tallest peak in Greece.
Ch'atanhtnu was the Dena'ina's name for Matanuska,
"the River from Which Trail Comes Out."
Who decides what is remembered?
Mindietta Vogel Apr 2019
I can see it in mine, and yours too - the corners
of eyes and mouth sag, weighted by our slushy urban slog.
Unurbane, we melt into the night like Dali's clocks,
Counting, counting the minutes of loss.

Soon I'll look into the sun that cleans
every corner and highlights the dust,
and diamonds the snow, and delivers
from darkness my laden soul.

I bargain, beguile, beg for ten degrees
to turn disconsolate rain into sanguine snow.
So snow now,
               so we may play in the light of the darkest day.
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