Category Archives: Thingishness

Lit Candle

The poetry of lit candle slips its flickering hand into wide palm of night like a trusting child.  Its slight touch bravely domesticates the slouching darkness, turns it into an overgrown black Labrador pup. Newly housetrained but still excitable, recklessly friendly and everywhere all at once. The shadows stand wagging their tails and panting a little. As if to say, “We are here. There is absolutely nothing to be afraid of.”

Newly Sharpened Pencil

The poetry of newly sharpened pencil sleek graphite-tipped wand freshly possessed of a point serenades fingers with the crisp eloquence of un-popped bubble wrap. Sings in the invitational tongue of inanimate objects that has far more to do with rapt listening than logic. The way hand listens to polished banister all the way up the staircase, the way child’s feet listen to puckish puddles after rain.


The poetry of feather is weightless whisper smooth against cheek. A singular sleek caress. Feather sings of bird and all that flies beyond the deciduous particulars of plumage. Wingspan dawnsong glittereyes sharpbeak lightbone and swiftness. Which of these alone is bird? Love is a coalescing defying dissection. Transcendent assembly of bewitching detail that conjures up more than the sum of its feathers every time.


The poetry of mirror is the poetry of small silver lake hung on wall. An odd fish with a face remarkably like yours swims to the surface every time you pass by. Sings to you truthfully, if slightly offkey: World is more glasslake mirror than we suspect. And our reflections so many rainbow-colored fish that glide and shimmer at the bottom of all things … until summoned by signals we keep secret. Even from ourselves.

A Lost Button

The poetry of a lost button is the poetry of a runaway member of the marching band. Still in uniform but no longer stepping in place to a rehearsed tune. Untethered from the narrow convention of holding day’s fabric together — what might it become? A small, shining disc rolling downhill on a sidewalk. Unnoticed. Picking up speed and infinite possibilities along the way.

Alarm Clocks

The poetry of alarm clocks is life’s urgency badly named. Alarm? As if there were not motivations of fear enough in this world. Pocket-sized machinery shreds night’s quiet blanket of dark. So many high-pitched horns wailing. As if day were a planned emergency, the body a hurtling ambulance. What if Rumi were to lean and whisper in our ears instead? ‘The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep…’


The poetry of axilla is the poetry of unsung hidden hollow where arm and shoulder meet. Carved out pyramid that flattens for reach and flex. Small cave of sweat and magnificence bone&muscle hinged. Secret junction of delivery mapped rich by artery vein gland nerve and node. Industrious, upside-down pockets whose proof of service we carry so comically. Like dirty socks (as perfectly natural and mildly embarassing.)

A Basket

The poetry of a basket is the poetry of a tribeswoman’s fingers weaving earth fiber into a song of symmetry. Form wedded to function, a durable embrace of emptiness meant to be filled, carried, used. A basket is art that participates daily and does not lean on leisure. Reminding those of us given to false notions of drudgery, that at the heart of all hard, honest labor lies a brave capacity for delight.

The Letter L

The poetry of the letter l is the poetry of the alphabet’s dangling leg. Letter that gives rise to so many words that have difficulty arriving and trouble moving on. Lingerer laggard loafer latecomer.  She felt an affinity to this slender consonant, being given to such things too. Always arriving it seemed, a few years after everyone else had moved on, and then wanting nothing more than to stay and listen to the grass grow.