When did we cease being

Wide eyed and curious

Of this velvety world

Not ever

Shouts blue rinsed grandmother

And sings her baudy war songs

To the chip chop chop of her brothers clumsy accompaniment

On stairwell piano with missing ivory

It was said

Parlor tricks began with family visits

Light a cone of newspaper on your head

A second from setting fire to your hair

There were jugglers in the house

Catching Xmas clementines by the handful

And ladies whose pure voices lifted up sagging furniture

Such the gratitude of survival

Friends of shared blood and homemade eye patches

When did we cease lighting candles to cast a glow

Making magic of things otherwise ignored

Not ever

Today, everyone is dressed in threadbare finery

Auditioning for heaven, the old ones say

And all I thought of was the last licorice stick

Staining the inside of my mouth like forbidden wish

We remain alive by sheer will, it is the rush of nature

To keep us tethered by thinnest string, weaving our own


The soft glory of being


The deers are not likely to come by this time of year

too cold for them exposed in cleared field

each morning she strained to see

not wearing her glasses incase they were not real

bidding magic requires another kind of sight

would they?

turning like red figures against thimbled alabaster

washing through low winter light

emerge long enough to reward

the little girl who stayed up nights

she believed then in miracles

and the warmth of hands

enclosed on winters sleep

revealing moments of pleasure

for drousy children to wonder at

the soft glory of being