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Pretend it’s nothing.
It won’t stay.
Hold the hurt
far away.
Kept at bay, kept at bay,
such a busy, busy day.
Don’t you stop.
Don’t slow down.
Keep your feet
from off the ground.
Running, running
running ’round.
Busy, busy,
Can’t be found.
Start to stop.
Weary road.
Got to rest
this heavy load.
Here it comes –
gotta go.
Stay a pace
ahead or so.
Empty, spent,
Down you fall.
Struggle up
Begin to crawl.
Final gasp –
finished heap.
Now upon you
slowly creeps
deafening silence
and sleep.


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In every story there is at least one line,
one sentence that stops time, which captures breath.

A good story has several.

A great story plunges a knife into the heart.  And then it recreates.

I want a great story.
I want more than just arbitrary moments of wonder.
I need more than a breath-taking second.

I want wild abandon —
dancing through daisies,
singing with crickets,
weeping over brokenness and parts,
rejoicing at tiny tender fingers and toes,
listening to the earth sigh,
collecting and pressing multicoloured days between pages of years,

— so that when I’m gone
I will have left behind
a story worth reading,
a tale worthy of the storyteller.


Orb Weaver

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Petite predator
with long, lean legs
and bulbous paunch
carefully picks her way across the table,
much more nimble
on her gossamer mesh.

She carries her persian-carpet abdomen
with pride.

With his ruler
the unruly adolescent flips her onto her back
revealing bright yellow stripes
and a single, brilliant red heart.

Tyrannised and indignant
she waves her eight limbs
wildly in the air
in an attempt to right herself.

Called away at that moment,
the youth turns his head and attention
away from the arachnid.

With a victorious effort,
the humble creature
(thinking she triumphantly chased the giant away)spider top spider underside
flips herself
and hurries away toward home.


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Little bits keep falling out,
slipping between cracks,
sifting through fingers.
“Nothing’s lost,” he blithely chirps.
“Closed system. Closed system.”

And I understand him in theory.
But I can’t make it work in practice
because it might be here
but I can’t find it.

So, tell me again —
what’s your name?


Summer Night

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Toads saw wood
while their cousins bird-chirp —
a summer lullaby in two parts.

Suddenly up rush from the trembling blades
a flurry of fluffy four-winged ants.
In disarray they swarm about an outdoor light,
flying higgledy-piggledy,
smacking their bodies against my window pane.

Broadcasting pheromones into the thick night air,
desperate to find mates,
they throw wings to the wind
and couple.
Then die.
(The luckless land in mouths and digestive tracts
of geckos and cats and dogs and men.)

Just as abruptly as they began
so they go.

And the chorus of amphibians plays on.

poor instrument of thought

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Like a mantra
(as if repeating it a million times will make it so)
man proclaims,
“I am worthy.  I am good.   I am someone.  I am . . . I am . . . I am . . .”

no matter how many times I pronounce “sausage” over a carrot,
the vegetable remains orange.


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They didn’t stop tonight.
They cried into the eerie hours,
competing with the wailing wind,
each sustained exhale a bludgeoning blow to the heart.

In a small community
the ongoing sound of sirens from emergency vehicles
means someone’s not coming home.


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