It’s not quite winter but some trees
have given themselves over to the sleeping
season, bare branches brushing the sky,
or at least low-lying clouds.

I’d like to remember what drew me here
without the specter of sentiment
meant for someone else, because maybe
there’s no redundancy when a heart speaks.

I watch branches shivering in a winter storm
like lovers dancing around foggy notions
of freedom, purpose, and what will be.

The small voice

My improbable start with the Benedictines
doesn’t fully explain the degree of
self-loathing that often has a firm grip.

The quiet and raging rituals were frightening
and it’s taken half a lifetime to accept
a small voice can be the right one.

Perhaps I didn’t have enough time
with the Baptists for more than a breather
or the Quakers with their zen waiting or
the Lutherans or the Presbyterians
before finding Methodists a middle ground
for my wandering and wondering.

Mostly, what I hold closest I find
in the woods or in a smile or in a cup of tea-
what I don’t understand, I now embrace.

My ice shelf

Parts of me are either exploding
or melting away. I think of mammoths
in melting ice. I think of fierce vikings.
I think “time is arbitrary.”
I also think despair is a silly thing to cling to when there things in the world like
a fine piece of chocolate (valhalla)
or the skill of enjoying a private moment
in a crowded room (thrilling).

I know I am never bored but sometimes
so lonely and blue, it’s as if I know I belong
buried in ice too, shaggy and preserved.
It’s facing another winter with its wind
and howling dark times that sends me
to places of wool and wondering.
I think that’s fine and arbitrary too.

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