I hop from branch to branch,
peeping & tweeting,
as I collect small sticks for my nest
I’m a goldfinch,
yellow & black,
tiny feet gripping the branches as I flit to & fro,
munching on sunflower, alder, & birch seeds
In my life, I’m busy:
Homework keeps me on my toes,
friends invite me to socialize & social events,
& the real world awaits.
But the mountains are calling, John Muir says,
& I must go,
the Misty Mountains are calling,
& dwarves are in my Hobbit hole.
The mountains, Misty or not, stand stock still,
as unshakeable as soldiers.
The streams gurgle,
the breeze whispers,
& the snow crunches like carrots underfoot.
There are so many things I must do:
I must prepare for my driver’s test,
& write a 400-word essay by tomorrow.
Showering isn’t a luxury: it will only take ten minutes.
My best friend is leaving for Washington, D.C.
The Sun does not hurry,
for it’s hot as hell below,
nor does it rise late upon Mount Sopris,
nor does the grass wither.
Remember, grass doesn’t grow like green piece of paper on trees.
Remember, life’s like a jump rope.
Note: italicized pieces are from the works of Blue October, Les Miserables (the play), & a quote from John Muir is also included.
There’s a tall glass of water on the counter,
& a tiny door in front of you.
It’s like Alice’s passage into Wonderland,
an oaken door to adventure,
to green parks & freshly painted houses all in rows
You’re about to embrace an adventure,
a road where no one has traveled,
where your bare feet will be the first prints in the dirt.
But first you must decide:
Is the glass half empty or half full?
Your answer will determine
how green the grass looks,
how bright the colors of the red, gold, & orange leaves will look,
how the children will laugh & shriek with delight, chasing blue rubber balls
& how clean the parks will be
once you open the neatly oiled wooden door,
Your blue-green waves
tug me from the soft sand & beckon me into your lapping waters,
where I splash you
with my goose-pimpled skin,
warmed by the sudden blaze of Volcanus’ heat from your undertow.
the sun shines brightly through the trees
warming me on the lounging rock
where I lie, stretched out on my back
listening to the whipper willows
and the sighing aspen leaves
on our walk, with snow squeaking underfoot,
we pass a yard adorned with a hopping robin.
“do you know what you do when you see a robin?
dad told me,” my sister tells me.
you kiss your thumb,
then tap your hands together.
I practice the motion of my grandmother:
I kiss my thumb, then bump my fists.
a kiss for a robin.
shushing snow flutters through the aspens,
tiny as pinpricks,
light as feathers of blue jays,
thick as a cloud of mist
heavy as a boulder on the mountaintop
white as the ivory keys on the klavier
white as the incisor in the dirt,
covering the earth like a wooly blanket,
stark against the darkness coming on,
the darkness rolling through the blue-black sky
like a horse-drawn chariot
german to english translation
so swollen with Gatorade-blue liquid
full to the brim of the bank
with fresh life blood.
you give us life
in clear cold droplets
of your blood
you are life blood for the scrawny brown doe,
life blood for the woman
and her tiny child only knee-high
with a ribbon of blue in her dark hair.
life blood for the thirsty pine and birch trees
for the tawny birds, fluttering their wings in your cool bath
richer than gold’s coveted glint,
more precious than any blood diamond
more coveted than the green dollar bills in my wallet.
Wasser fur alle:
this is my hope
flickering like a candle
in a gusting autumnal wind.
photo credit: shutterstock images
leben blut: life blood
wasser fur alle: water for all
Note: I’m trying my hand at using what German I’m learning from songs in poems. Let me know if my German words are incorrect! (I used the power of Google to write out my German phrases.)
the trees glow with light-bulbs
swinging down from their branches
shimmering with fresh dew,
the electricity snapping like twigs.
fill the autumnal air
as old bulbs break and
twinkle to the ground
the shards litter a carpet
of their red, yellow, and orange pieces
on the concrete floor,
creating a kaleidoscope pathway
for urban morning strollers.
photo credit: shutterstock.com
tiny trees flutter in the wind
bending with the blow of the wind
stretching their creaky limbs
with the older trees
tiny trees look up to the large pines
tiny trees admire their strong branches
“you’ll get there,” sing the pines on the wind’s song
“grow, my children,”
chirp the robins, the orioles, and the grosbeaks
“we’ll roost in you one day soon.”
I never did get to write you when you were here, on this Earth. I regret not telling you how much your poetry calms and inspires me to love the natural world. Still, this is me making up for it.
tiny trees listen
bending their branches
toward the hikers
traipsing through the earth,
walking the paths
carved by nature lovers
who took only photos
& left only footprints