To Be

Don’t know if
(Future, always, all ways)
Any thing is meant
To be

But we saw, we see
(Past, what has passed)
Steps that led us here
To be

And this
(This shifting, singular point)
Is a good place
To be.


And in these intimate moments
With strangers
Sharing chemistry just by
Sitting in the same room
I realize that we are constantly seeking
And constantly finding
Without even entering awareness.
Sometimes closing your eyes
Can aid your sight
In this realm.
Beauty and ugliness mingle
Oil and water in a tense but balanced dance
Swirl and unite and repel
In each of us
In all of this
And entering awareness
Feels like abandoning awareness
But in truth
Makes us sublime.

Little Gifts

Does anyone else
Have an envelope labeled
“Magic Beans”
On their table?
My boys.
The forsythia was late
This year
And then I was late to
Bundle a bouquet
But now the table also holds
This lively staccato of yellow.
These and more
Wonderful poems
Like a meal laid out
On this table
Simply but sumptuously.
We warmed by the fire
With books and
Matt’s warm voice reading aloud
With funny interludes of observation
Cat photos from the internet
A dove on our porch railing
And one video of rescued ducks
Swimming in water
For the first time.
It’s spring and
It’s the weekend and
On this day
We thrill our souls
And each other
With little gifts.

A Whisper

Do we twist the tendrils of our words
Coy in the styling
And do you mean what you say?
A whisper.
A whisper
Becomes a shout
And flutters on a breeze
Catching an updraft
And soars until it dissipates
Into mist in all directions-
Strong and then vaporous
Caught in wisps and hints by a few
Who seek the source.
Who seek the truth.


Spring tests itself
With a litmus of green
Small flushes
Small waves from outside
Minute coursings from within
Hinting and slightly softening
The thin skin between the two
Almost imperceptibly green
A light touch, easy to see
Also easy to miss
And then suddenly
It’s lovely, it’s here.

Search and Rescue

I can spend hours reading
And it feels like a search
And rescue mission
Looking for myself
Trying to find the self
I want to be
She must be out there
Already formed
And so I read
And like the color plates
In old books
That weren’t quite registered properly
A ghost appears
Or a halo of cyan, magenta
And that place where the overlap happens
Solidly, yes, the part that is centered:
That is where I will be.


A force to be reckoned with…
And you get lost in your
Your reckonings
A force
Your recognition
And it’s this memory
This force
That continues to appear
A force
To be reckoned
And a trick to recognize
At first and
The first time.


My favorite spoon
Is the mismatched one
That’s tarnished and has
Old fashioned roses
Etched on its
Scratched steel.
It’s not quite my style
But I love that
It stands alone and
It almost seems
In its uniqueness.
I don’t use it
More than the others
But I’m always glad
For the occasion
When it finds its way
Into my hand
To stir the honey
Into my tea.

(Some of my favorite people
Are like this spoon)


I study
An old black and white photo
Of you and Dad.
So many shades of gray.
Memories seem crisp and
Matter of fact
Flattened fields with sharp edges
Only if we ignore the subtleties
And contradictions, continuous tones
Nuanced and still filled with mystery.
This photo is a question
Not an answer
And I promise I will
Tone down the contrast I will
Let memories swirl and be gentle
Continue to flow their stories
Into the present moment
Not a snapshot
But a continuum.

For my mom, Judith L. Arkin, 2/21/1929 – 10/19/2010, I will always love you and your subtleties, your poetry and your lovely poise.