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All those moons ago
I plucked a stone from shore
and whispered my intention
with each waxing and waning.
I took it back to the sound today,
intending to sing a final goodbye
before casting it far into the waves.
It sparkled in the spring sun
then slipped from my fingers
into the sludgy low-tide pool
of barnacles and gooeyducks.
I simply walked away
and watched the gulls drop oysters,
fighting over what belongs to whom.

The waves will carry the stone to sea
the same way the green has returned
like the green in me.
A gentle and abrupt easing -
A slip out to sea with the tide.
First sun-warmed sand
First boots-and-socks-off beach
First ankle-deep stand in rushing water
First SPF rubbed on my face
First crocus pops up in the yard

Nearby, a young father begins
to teach his toddling young
how to fish.

Last high-country snowshoe
Last low-country woodstove fire
Last hot bourbon toddy
Last dreamy days of Pisces
Last longing for lost love melts away

Early over the mountain
the nearly-but-not-yet worm moon
spies the confluence and I below.

Here at the place where things change,
the wild world fills me
and I devote myself once more.

For one who is in love with the chase
And the glory of all things yet-to-be done,
The true rapture of Nature is in knowing
She is too Big, Wild, and Free to own.
(Like me.)
I am no gardener, but I do know this:
Perennials and orchards need the kiss
Of an early frost, a freezing deep,
To hold them whole through winter’s keep

A bloom in false spring, (winter’s hollow),
Before the heavy snows that follow,
Will have the cell walls bursting, cracking,
Freezing, thawing, expanding, contracting.

So too, must dreams lay dormant still,
Or else becoming Winterkill.
Much as I wish them to bloom, bloom now,
They must lay under the mulch and bough.

I tell myself, “Learn what you can from the season”
Patience, Myopia, Acceptance sans reason -
You are stuck in the wheel, right here and right now,
Hearing naught in the dark, muffled underground.

Yet I am no seedling! I am no tree!
Though my flesh warms and cools just as easily.
So why should I wait? Why be pinned by the cold?
Do I have a choice in the story that’s told?

Could I be a cold crocodile, nose above ice,
Or hibernate warm with the marmots and mice?
Why not come in from the outside to thaw,
And savor small tidbits of hope in my maw?

Could I choose to fly south, or to stay evergreen?
Must I really wait for the melt to be seen?
I wonder, though I’m sure from what seed I have come,
Is it winter that dictates what I will become?
I wonder if you know
how often I pass
that church door where we kissed
(and kissed, and kissed)

Or how I'd desecrate
a thousand more
just to do it again
(and again, and again).

It feels now like a deal with the devil,
and too good, it lasted as long as one would.
For rapturous blasphemy, for ludicrous bliss,
I sold all my fears for just one shot at this.

I wonder if you know
that we are our own devils,
that nothing's contracted
that can't be redacted

That we spin our own fates
and can re-thread our revels -
Did you know? But you must,
(you must, you must.)

Yet I'm sure that you won't
and that all that we built
is crumbling, returning,
To dust, to dust.
All of my targeted ads remember
that we wanted to go to Iceland
in winter
to see the Aurora Borealis,

and they bombard me relentlessly
as if marketing in memories.

This instance is not unique.

It seems
no matter how many buttons I push
in attempts to subdue
these bright incursions,

I can't mute you completely.
I have had enough of lovers
Wishing to be the sun in my sky
And creating diurnal dependencies
That block half its dome at a time.

To shine with such effulgence
Should be an honor all my own.
Who else is my constant companion?
Who else sets my caverned heart 'glow?

Instead, let all that is loved by me
Be a dazzling array of constellations,
Each brilliant Sirius and Betelgeuse
Whirling, returning through my seasons.

And if I should find such a Star again,
Let them be not Sol, but instead, Polaris -
Gleaming steadfast, in their own region,
Never dipping 'neath horizon's terrace,

Their simply existing
A northward guide
Keeping me truthfully
I keep saying,
"This would be so much
more bearable if..."
But maybe
it isn't supposed to be
more bearable.
Maybe I'll train
and find new ways
of bearing the load.
Maybe I'll feel
that much lighter and stronger
when the load is lifted.
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