The Invisible Underground Jungle

Maybe 25 million

invisible plants and animals in the soil under my fingernail

And all that dances in my head is the last decision I made

and 25 million invisible calculations as to whether it was the right one or what the next one might be

Meanwhile I’m decentering myself in my garden

because I was boring the second I had it all

surely there is more to learn

Meanwhile 25 million things are busier than I’ll ever be

and none of them are getting paid in dollars

yet here we all are, dancing to music I just started paying attention to

wondering if we will still ruin everything

or get a few things right



With the quick snapping back of a wobbly neck

My foundation cracks, tears flow

I can’t keep you safe in their arms

And has your spine curved your neck too much today anyway?

Did I not do enough to stop it?

You didn’t eat much this morning

And we meet with the feeding team on Wednesday

They don’t see what we see

A happy healthy baby

They say you’re not on the right curve

So many curves you have thrown us already

Young Tiger

My legs are exhausted from all the tension

Grounding myself firmly so that you have a steady nap

Or so I can rock away your uneasiness


You always cry when we leave

but I never know why

Singing sincerely with breath as faint

As your hold on this world

Letting the song pull you into one more day

A caretaker

Urine on the bathroom floor

Driver, chef, roof shoveler

Will I ever know you

Will you ever know you

Holding pain close in clumps


A forever response to the environment
Dancing with a partner with a thousand arms
Ignoring or acting on our myriad desires
The need to sleep, eat, exercise, communicate, regulate

Breaking and forming habits
That sustain us through the winds of compulsion


Taking a bicycle out into the dark, cool night
Safety lights mounted
Blasting Ariana Grande from an iPhone
And racing around a quiet neighborhood in a stiff gear
Waving and smiling at peering residents to reassure them you are just living your best life
Feeling like an apocalypse rebel
So free to breathe and be happy in public

Staying connected
Wanting to be seen
Precisely in the best way we see ourselves
While hoping to be seen for more than our worst


Saying ridiculous things or singing stupid songs to free our minds from stress
The need to be rid of stress so strong
We are willing to annoy people around us

To express emotion
To scream in primal terror of grief unprocessed
Alone in a big room after a teleconference

To experience emotion
A sudden urgency
A push of pain, fear, elation, disgust, darkness

Or to repress emotion
And integrate when we are safe
To allow our feeling back into our bodies
Tapping them in, breathing them out, softening them through

As if they were no longer dangerous, or wishful
As if through feeling we give birth to something beautiful
Something that loved us unconditionally
And wanted the best for us

And when we are ready
The touch of another human
Without which our minds question our safety
The comfort of a warm hand on our back
Together being human.


Leaping into the unknown
Am I non-essential?
Wasn’t that the plan all along?
That if the world needed me,
I would be in a field somewhere
Twirling and learning how to gather up strength
And speed
For precise release at the right moment,
And let those who dream an American Dream
Run up the ladders to the treetops
That never stop fruiting
Stuffing apples into their overalls
And churning sauce for their young,
I dump a little water at the roots
And say thank you when an apple is tossed down.
“You’re just not needed right now.”
And that’s okay
Because while you were busy not needing me
I found ways to be myself
Deep and pure
Present and available
To nurture a seed
Tender and fragile
The most beautiful thing in the world.


Exploring all my options

Need some time off the grid

Too much of what you are saying

Can’t hear the voice inside my head

Too many years of listening

Gotta make art now

Art decides


One foot in front of the other, slowly
The walking escalator moves me past
So many faces
Hair colors, lengths
Somber expressions
One or two make eye contact
I’m relieved
So many don’t need me


Another late night over the Grapevine
Returning low-eyed from Bakersfield
Wondering if the country
Will stop corruption
Or just give in to the man of action
The coffee from Chili’s was just not good
But we all left satisfied
Feeling full yet gnaws the hunger
Of dreams just out of reach
Lana Del Rey crooning sweetly
Still loving men who disappoint us

Finding ground

Imagine being rooted in art
Generations of support for the craft and sacrifices
Imagine being grounded in anything
Does the grounding feel like a steadyness?
Like a destiny?
Does it smell like life and feed your hunger?
Is it a heavy anchor?
Or is it shackles and chains on all limbs,
Restricting all movement?
She was rooted in religious control. He was rooted in cruelty.
I flew away, tearing my roots. Feeling my uprootedness.
Finding new ground, wherever my heart lands.

A little longer

Slowed way down
Agreed to stop standing in bathrooms
Running toward parked cars
Happy to sit
Happy to work
Happy to take a backseat
What am I learning?
Turns out I’m not dropping my gifts
Just disappointing the large audience
Or learning not to
Not willing to be parted from my babies
They deserve at least that
In this world of busyness
All the disdainful distractions from what matters
Why bother breathing if you can’t share all the love in your heart?
No more laboring to feed the rich
My soul cries for more