I am so tired, she says, a cavern
submerged in the watery light of morning.
Incrementally, she raises herself up from
the folded fulcrums of a blue grey blanket,
as tears are falling,
shattering like broken glass.

she explains
like an echo,
not to me or to anyone, really,
I’ve done this before,
hurried and hopeful,
but now I know: take it slow
or else you cut yourself

she crouches close to the ground,
sweeping up the shards.

Hope isn’t hurried,
she whispers (a cavern,
empty of some things
but not others),
to me, perhaps, or not to me or anyone in particular,
like an echo,
Breaking is so brisk, but–

She stops (she is tired, recall),
stands up,
and the creaking of her bones
are utterances:
Hope rises like the tide-
softly, simply, but always
it rises;
so, does she.

She moves with
sound strides that are
like the small sea swells of Puget
that wash away dead and dry
cracked shells,
shabby and shirked by the
hermits who’ve since moved on;
with strides like waves
that wipe clean the slate of a grey shore.

Toil is the deeply buried treasure,
but it is also the sand that buries it,
and today I am the tide.

What like a mosaic
her tidal tears make,
the lines on her face like lines in sand,
like sediment and sadness
telling the story of a heart
that will heal from hurts
and has no shame
for living life in the voluptuous bosom
that breathes and ebbs
in brokenness.


upon speaking with gerard manley hopkins.

Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “I feel the fell of dark, not day”

Selfyeast of spirit a dull dough sours.
But which is being soured? The dull dough? The self?
Today, both; I feel the fell.
Breathe in, exhale.

The fear cuts through like a gale.
How can I stand resolute? I will lose leaf and limb.
Do leaves and limbs lost leave forever?
But wait! are my limbs and leaves the tree, or am I,
I, resolute with this trunk and these roots, these veins,
pied, stippled, counter, original, spare, and strange
The wind can strip me, but it will not fell me.

Yet I feel the fell of dark, not day–
yester was day, and I miss it.
I stumble until darkness lifts,
until dark rises instead of falls.
Veiled in these black hours,
I do not see what I would see.
Selfyeast of spirit, wait.
Wait and remember: glory be to God for dappled things
whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
–or why.

Admonish this panic.
It is neither of me, nor Him.
My selfyeast of sour spirit, this dull dough
will not be so forever

nor will the gale uproot me.
I am the tree–without leaf and limb–
but I am the tree.

Catch your breath.
Stand up. Adazzle or dim, do not wait; rise.
You are the tree.