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My memory (to come)

My murky memory extrapolates the smoke,
pixelated recollections somewhere in the cache
that clears itself (a grasp slackens)
as I hasten to replace lost echoes
with reminiscences to come,
not forgotten among the ash,
rising if we dare stretch hereafter.

The future — always fuzzy like sleep
that won’t rub out of our eyes — changes
every time we look at it, as we push forward
carrying the momentum of those better angels
urging us to grow our own wings
and launch ourselves to join those
refusing to leave progress to others.

Time will tell what tales we create,
Proceeding only where we dare.

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A tree in winter

The tree stretches like a snowflake,
a white quilt whispering winter along
evergreen branches, lulling day
to sleep while cold quiet announces
the end of another year.

The tree earns another ring, thankful
for moderation in all things living
and dead. Moments of profound insight
from regular cycles leave a peaceful chill
in the air, holding me close, shivering
in the still afternoon sun.

In the end we still look to what comes
next, hushed faces in the setting sun
bracing against the cold, aware
somehow the light will return.

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In the shade (an awakening)

The festive shade arranges our regret
in dark circles beneath well-lit disco balls
that perceive more than they admit.

We can try to escape — reason born
of wisdom implores the effort of
savvy sailors drifting too close

to menacing falls — and if we find absolution
when awakened, free of misplaced remorse,
paint our knees penitent, prudent

while shouting in the winds of the future,
shaking but confident in the effort of
reclaiming the shade for ourselves.

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How absurd

The comprehensive volume
ate the details for a reader’s
digestion, its stomach aching for
absolution. How absurd is heaven?
Beyond life — an after life like a river
struggling to find its course while
bemused water fowl refuse
to follow the march to eternity.

The wandering fact
missed the hereafter, forfeiting glory
for eternal restlessness, light
balancing good and evil while
the judge looks bored in black.
What of the crowing girl who murders
a scarecrow? The last straw
dances in fields of gray.

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Winter scent

Just a murmur of a scent —
whispering as it passes in my nose —
announcing a chill with a hint
of pine (sweet as it burns) carrying
smokey remembrances of hot chocolate
afternoons on rising clouds
of melting obligations.

Those fabled days — when white
shrouded the world as far as
we could image — of mythic adventures
unfold like loosely packed snowballs
too ravishing for famished children
hungry to breathe in winter’s
husky bite too often now.

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Pinching

I am stuck
at the beginning,
pinching
at rice like
the expectant mother
pausing
out of breath
mid-stair.
The other side is often pregnant.

Intention grows
even in
chilled winds,
germinating while
we fixate elsewhere,
though
I don’t always recognize
its birth.
Tomorrow takes its own word for granted.

Ambition shoves us
forward,
though I wish
I could
stop long enough
to admire
the track, rushing,
stuck at the
start.
Light thaws in its own time.

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