Bio Note: Twenty five years back I started the Thompson Peak Writers’ Workshop which gives me a small community of writers. I recently did poetry workshops for Lassen Aurora Network (now defunct) in Susanville CA funded by Poets & Writers and was delighted by the beauty in the poems written by people who don’t normally write poetry.
When I Sleep By
the Yuba River
with its quiet soul,
my sleeping bag
zipped to my chin,
& the moon paints silver
onto the trees,
my breath canoes
when it comes
like an empty milkweed
Wind on the Mountain Will Ripen
A bird lives in the bamboo cage that holds my heart,
and I can’t remember if the bird nestled there
is a bird in a nearby tree, or if instead
the cage is made of stars
sprinkled over water.
When wind blows through the bones of my heart,
a dulcimer’s twang escalates
up heaven’s stairway.
Beauty can break your heart—
the way we watched the moon crest
above the pines on Mount St. Helens,
and the abstract comets fell like trapeze artists.
How many times has a cat eloped with a dog
much to the chagrin of parents and grandparents alike?
Sometimes a thing festers, all that’s commonplace less so,
the newsfeed more contentious.
The dog might be in her igloo grinding up dream bones,
the cat soaking rays on the chaise.
For all we know or thought we knew
happiness walks barefoot summertime,
arms freely swinging. I’m not trying to be difficult,
only attempting to reveal odd possibilities,
which present themselves fresh, easy as picking basil.
So, when the cat slapped the priest’s signature
onto the marriage certificate, nabbed the dog and flew off
to Honolulu, don’t be surprised that the pilot let each try their hand
(or paw, in this case,) at guiding American Airlines onto the landing strip
where the tall dark spread out its oilcloth, the cat, a mischievous look,
telling the dog, A peach is a peach because it can’t be an apple.
©2020 Dianna MacKinnon Henning
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