“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


the aftermath

my neighborhood.  last night.

image by katie wintters langham.

after midnight.  the middle of the road around the corner. 
there and back was just a few steps through the trees,
the perfect ending to a long hard busy week.
i like the way we scooched all the chairs closer as the evening wore on.

all this after an earlier party a few blocks away.  it was a day full of cakes and strawberries.

stories were told.  we tried our best to understand the ones spoken with a french accent and laughed loudly at the secrets too funny not to share.  there was wine and water and food served under skies that threatened to rain.  there was lightning.  jingle bell cat is sprawled in a spot off to the right where you cannot see him. there were dogs playing and children and music.

this morning i struggled my way awake to find katie on the back porch in rain boots and gown, wrapped in the sheerest of soft teal shawls, writing her morning pages in a notebook of the same color, the day hanging gray and misty around her. she looked like a fairy tale.



he was thinking 3 dimensionally

we were grocery shopping,
or really he was,
before i drove him home to his piece-of-shit shack,
and he was standing in front of all the cheeses,
standing befuddled, lost in space,
looking for the one he likes the best,
and i'll be honest, i wanted him gone,
(let's get this done and you home,
i love you but you're driving me crazy, crazy)
 so i asked what he was looking for,
there in the confusion of his eyes,
and he said a half moon cheese,
and he said i can't find it.

so i looked
and i saw crescent moons
and i saw full moons,
and then finally, there,
just where the display turned an oval corner,
a half moon.
this? i said, holding it up,
colby?, i said,
cause you know, what do i know?
and no, he said, a half moon,
like a ball, cut in half.

he could see the dark side of that moon when i could not,
and i understood for a moment the tower of babel.


poem #3, for napowrimo
and for my brother
and for our inability to communicate.


where we all fall off

we go cautious near the place where the fence stops and life begins;
one foot into the nothingness, followed by the other, followed by a gasp of breath
surprised hands scrabbling i changed my mind into the dirt grasping at leaves
too late.
the fat lady sings her own song at the end.


we go three times across the street,
one for the sun, one for the moon, and once for good luck;
fallen petals spilled across the wet road,
to be circused away by bicycle tires,
flattened beneath the footsteps of tourists,
tasted by raindrunk birds flying from the edge of here and now to there and away.

we go two times against the night, one for you and once for me,
the sound of honey suckling,
the secret whisper swoosh of evening moonrise and breath of darkness falling,

we go one time, together, into the empty places, onto burnt ground,
where my hands speak a language known only to them and wait for answers,
where your birthday candles are all afire, still, unfilled wishes wisps of smoke.

the air smells of a sparrow's fear and leftover lightning no jar can contain.


for napowrimo.  30 days of poetry.
this is my second.