“They’ll be able to describe it” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Tuesday March 24, 2020
10:49pm
5 minutes
Teaching a Child the Art of Confession
David Shumate

We will be able to describe these strange limbo weeks
one day
In the future
When things are (aren’t) back to normal

My father says that the data shows that after a big event
People want things to return to how they were
They don’t want change
They want their coffee back
Their subway to the office back
Their Tuesday game night back

On the radio today
The broadcaster says that the funeral homes in Italy
Can’t keep up with the bodies
They are sending them to an ice rink
I gasp
No one can gather to mourn
so priests are holding rites online
But many seniors don’t have the Internet

From the corner of the back deck where I get reception
I speak to my sister
A world away
Three hours away
In the city

She says that they’ve run out of some fruit
some greens
And won’t be able to get stuff delivered until Friday

I make a mental note to update our inventory spreadsheet
Today we ate four eggs
Kale stalks
Green onions
Cilantro
Three pieces of bread
Avocado
Millet
Corn
One can of black beans
Dried mango
I must be forgetting something

The call keeps cutting out so I find myself
shouting into the melting birch forest
“I can’t stop thinking about that the babies and kids are safe!”
Something barks or howls in the distance
I turn around to look

“The spring is compressed” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Friday March 20, 2020
10:08pm
5 minutes
A Brief Lecture on Door Closers
Clemens Starck

The spring is coming
This is optimism in the shape of buds on the pinky’s of trees
temptation of the thaw in my chest as I flirt with a step on yawning ice

The pussywillows sway as the phoebes sing
Sun speaking a brave prayer as she opens her mouth wide
This is the light that encircles us all

I unpack weeks worth of groceries into the droning fridge
Spinach and oranges
Apples and cheddar cheese
Bread and half a mango
Tofu and a jar of red lentil soup from the freezer back home

Nadeem starts a fire in the wood stove
The roar catching in my heart as it lets down
As it feels the quiet in ventricles and chasms

Mom sent an email about ticks
And how we shouldn’t go walking in the woods or let
Lola crawl in the tall grass 

Especially as it gets warmer
Trading vigilances
Swapping one worry for another

This is the light that encircles us all

“FEEL YOUR FACE” By Sasha on her living room floor

Thursday, March 19, 2020
7:02am
5 minutes
Burma-Shave
Traditional poem

FEEL YOUR FACE

(AFTER WASHING YOUR HANDS)
THE FACE THAT YOU’VE ALWAYS HAD
AND WILL ALWAYS HAVE
LOVE THIS FACE THAT TELLS THE WORLD
WHO YOU ARE
USE YOUR FINGERTIPS TO FALL IN LOVE
WITH YOURSELF
THE WAY THAT YOU CARESS

A LOVER
OR A CHILD

THE TENDERNESS

THE PASSION
THE ADORATION
THE UNCONDITIONAL
I LOVE YOU NO MATTER WHAT
SAY THIS OUT LOUD
I LOVE YOU NO MATTER
STRAY HAIR
WRINKLE LINE
FRECKLE
PIMPLE
I LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE
NOT WHAT YOU ARE
CAPITALISM TELLS US NOT TO LOVE OURSELVES
JOKE IS ON THE MARKET
CRASHING LIKE A WAVE
JOKE IS ON US ALL
WHEN LEFT ALONE WITH OURSELVES
DO WE LOVE
DO WE LOATHE
DO WE LASH OUT
DO WE LAUGH
DO WE REMEMBER THAT THE ONLY
THING WE CAN REALLY COUNT ON
IS THIS MOMENT
AND THEN
THIS ONE
TOUCH YOUR FACE
(AFTER WASHING YOUR HANDS)
AND THANK YOUR FACE FOR HOW SHE’S
KNOWN WHAT YOU NEED AND TOLD OTHER’S
SOMETIMES WHEN THE WORDS WEREN’T THERE
THANK YOUR FACE FOR HER CROOKED NOSE
HER BRAVENESS
HER FULLNESS
HER HERNESS

“I would have missed so many smells” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
6:10pm
5 minutes
Ode to My 1977 Toyota
Barbara Hamby

I imagine that more poetry is being read aloud
and more people are saying “I love you”
More baths are being run
and shared
More parents are playing with their kids
actually playing
getting down on the floor and being alligators and fairies and brave

They say that the canals in Venice are crystal clear
and deer are walking the streets of Tokyo

In the breaking down of everything we know
something new
a shoot of green from frozen ground
a smile with a neighbour who I’ve walked past many times
my baby sleeping tucked in my coat
her baby sleeping tucked in hers

I listen to the sound of my heartbeat
the sound of my husband talking on the phone

the sound of my father’s footsteps walking up the stairs
the sound of my neighbour on her porch smoking a cigarette
the sound of the bus accelerating up the street
heartbeat these sounds
their own rhythm of here
now

I imagine that more bread is being baked
more songs are being sung along to
more phone calls are being made to grandparents
and long lost siblings and friends who felt a bit forgotten

“You will be very welcome” by Sasha on the comfy chair

Sunday March 15, 2020
1:43pm
5 minutes
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum

You will take yourself to the quiet of the centre of the forest.
You will tell yourself that you’re sorry for all the times you betrayed the quiet knowing in the space below your heart, the space around your heart, the pearl in the cavern of your heart.
You will drink from the well where your mother drank when she was ripping stickers from the life she thought she’d sewed. We never know. We really never know.

You will wait for dusk and greet him with a kiss.
You will paint your face with the colours of the sunset, relish in the dusty pink and cool grey.
Wink the happy birthday song, even though it isn’t your birthday, but it will be, and why not.

“Supposing the force of gravity in any similar medium” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday March 11, 2020
10:35am
5 minutes
Newton’s Principia: The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Sir Isaac Newton

The force of two hands pushing against each other
the friction of opposing desires colliding in the space between voices
shouting
The quiet of lust
The staccato of fear as it snakes and shimmies through the waterways
of the city
the country
the continent
the world

A daffodil sits on my kitchen table having opened overnight
How did she do it?
The light through the stained glass window
Lola eating a circle of banana
and then scrunching her nose as she smiles
Salve on my scared heart

What does your scared heart
tell you as you wash your hands?
Those twenty seconds of suds and warmth
a chasm between the possible panic
or possible breath
or possible love sent out to
the lonely
the vulnerable
the sick
the grieving
the ones who plug their ears and
pop their bottles

My scared heart tells me that
this is a time for slowing down
For phone calls and hot baths
and warm water in blue mugs

My scared heart tells me
it was only a matter of time
It is only a matter of time

 

“And when I thirsted” By Sasha in the comfy chair

Sunday March 8, 2020
10:07pm
5 minutes
Lines
Maria A. Brooks

You have changed my relationship to time
Before you the weeks whizzed by like wild horses
manes a mess of brown and white

Here and then the next thing I know
I’m looking over my shoulder
wondering how the earthquake happened

Some days there is a slow sullen trudging
one foot and then the other towards another day
that is both closer and further away

Thirsting for a bite or a drink or a look
Heart beat a great many hooves running
towards the sunrise sky a pink explosion

Doubt sneaks in only when I let her
When I’m not paying attention
Losing myself in the imaginings of the next time

Faith carries a basket of citrus and daffodils
offers me a juicy section of orange
A yellow bloom

“It is never too late” by Sasha on her living room floor

Saturday March 7, 2020
7:40am
5 minutes
Quote by George Elliot

It is never too late to change your mind
I write this in the bottom margin of my journal page
over and over again
a call to myself from a pay phone on the side of a
strange highway
driving fast
the trees turn into a thick brush painting

day after day I write

It is never too late to change your mind

and sometimes I think that I’m not writing
it for myself or
I’m not only writing it for myself

I’m writing it for you

like drawing a hot bath
dripping in six drops of eucalyptus
three drops of lavender
a quarter cup epsom salts
the perfect gift

My horoscope said to write it all down
if I want it to happen

That’s what I do here

Write and share and
wonder what dear heart
might be reading
these tired words
these lazy wonderings
these pen carvings
fingertip songs

It is never too late to change your mind

“Why won’t my baby eat anything but grapes?” By Sasha in the bath

Thursday March 5, 2020
10:48pm
5 minutes
Room To Write
Bonnie Goldberg

Full arch of a wet back
writhe and wriggle
steam and giggle
Words fail the dialect of freedom
Some people never taste this
body body of the body good good
Oh the tongue of pleasure
flicking the brain switch off
Yes yes yes yes yes 

You make a joke
when I close my eyes
Snarl and release
Let go of the colour
I thought it might be
It’s here

You are indigo hands
sweet like the sun dog
Bodies like celestial
like molasses
like heaven here on this familiar day
this familiar street
Thursday
a very good day
anticipated and counted down to
and then here
finally
here
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes 

This drug
this dress
this deep
this heart
this unknown
this all in
this Milky Way
this toe curl
this bellybutton
this vulnerable
this courage
this hope
this grain of sweat
grain of sand
grain of
yes

“I can’t tell you” by Sasha on her couch

Monday March 2, 2020
11:09am
5 minutes
For my friend who told me don’t celebrate the dead
Andrea Potos

I can’t tell you of the gulf between the dream and the dream
where the tide mixes with the blood and the maybes and the almosts
A new language born of how we build our own pipe cleaner world
How is the imperative
That’s what no one tells you

I saw him roll the possibility between his fingers
the hair of a forgotten song
turn it over and over
until it didn’t baffle with the same enthusiasm
That is how the dove sings to the reflection of herself
in the birdbath
in the garden

I saw him leave the body of light on the side of the road
tumbleweeds and stray cats circle
Pisces season

“I overheard” by Sasha on her living room floor

Sunday March 1, 2020
7:32am
5 minutes
My Book Life
Sparrow

I overheard the kind of sorrow that waves speak in
that salt won’t buoy and the tides won’t rinse

I had leaned in and looked into his tired eyes
they were not the eyes of the man I met a decade ago

Before losing one and gaining two
Before breaking and the gulf becoming an envelope

of unknown and hurt and unknown.

I lost my appetite for coleslaw and roasted
yams

Ran my finger through the soft
pull of spicy mayonnaise.

Maybe it was the closeness of the possible
yesterday or the possible tomorrow.

“I don’t make jokes.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 28, 2020
7:19am
5 minutes
From a quote by Will Rogers

Disappointment leaves wax on my favourite cashmere sweater
add it to the pile of things I need to Google to figure out

I sat with myself last night on the red couch in the basement apartment
closed my eyes and leaned back and said

”Why?!” It was very soap opera dramatic and alto whiney
so then I laughed at myself and what strange creatures we all really are

I unpack the bag of the things that I had packed carefully
Napkins and a yellow lighter and a small jar of butter to which

I’d added flaky salt
It’s a foreign city I’ve found myself in

Familiar house but foreign city
Missing a feeling missing a face missing a feeling of a face

“Because Wednesday” By Sasha on her couch

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
10:32pm
5 minutes
Dirt
Camille Dungy

On Wednesdays we wash our hands of the sins of Mondays and Tuesday
mid week clean slate giggle at the flirt on the bright screen

and wipe tired from eye corners
”Why are you making that frowny face?”
”Because Wednesday.”

On Wednesday the storm comes creeping in finger by finger
and the cars drive by and splash wetter water on wobbly legs
Instead of cursing I laugh because of course
It’s Wednesday
Snow hanging like ghostfruit from the naked trees

On Wednesday I go to Lou’s for breakfast and they cook for me
slice avocado and pear for Lola
We eat and laugh and talk about therapy and love and money and family
like we always have and we always will
but it’s also new somehow

Wednesday isn’t a comma or a period
it’s a semicolon
Even when the days of the week don’t really matter
or they don’t matter in the way that they once did
They matter in such a different way now

“The stunning couple” by Julia in the bathroom

Saturday February 22, 2020
12:42am
5 minutes
The Tree Sparrows
Joseph O. Legaspi

hush as they walk by
did they come from sex
did they leave anything on the table

do they walk like they have a
secret
pressed between their palms
wax paper
hot seal
a label carrying a warning

they leave together
the stunning
the stunning couple
to use the restroom
to tell a joke
they leave each moment together
and when they come back
something new has happened again
and still we are on the outside

look at how beautiful they are
the lie is a good one
the whole room is fawning
wishing they were them
wishing they had what they
had and
if they could is there enough
of this to go around

be quiet as they enter the room
feel the burden and offer to
keep its feet from dragging
do the looking
there is more than meets the eye
and isn’t that what we’ve always been taught
to wonder at what we see and
assume there is something more
something else
something worth whispering about
when they leave again
the door revolving
for them to go out and in
seamlessly

“When we love the earth,” by Julia on her couch

Thursday February 20, 2020
9:49pm
5 minutes
From a quote by bell hooks

we sit by the crow of sunrise and blow bubbles into the sky

we step our feet into mud prints squishing around and walking

a garbage can becomes a thing worth waiting for

a bee hive moves into the apartment complex community garden

we rescue two giant pussy willow branches from the corner of arbutus and 4th and walk them through the doors slowly

the water is dripping but we catch it in the kettle and find glasses to fill

“When we love the earth,” by Sasha on her bed

Thursday February 20, 2020
9:49pm
5 minutes
From a quote by bell hooks

Thank you for bringing me to the ravine
to taste the stretch of Eastern Hemlock
Squeal at a pickerel weed
nestled into the wet
Tell secret to the red pine
and feel her nod
of understanding
in my belly

Thank you for teaching me how to lie
on my back in the rib cage of a canoe
barely rock the boat
on my way down
starry sky splaying past present

and future
above us

Thank you for knowing how to play
getting down low

“… let’s just see what happens.” By Sasha on her couch

Wednesday, February 19, 2020
7:03am
5 minutes
For as Many Days as We Have Left
Pam Houston

Let’s just see what happens

I hear my
self say

Where did all the good ones go?

the sober one
the wolf one
the whole one
the wise one
the broken glass dodging
never flick the skin
always on time
one

two seconds and
it’s over and I’m
back in my body
wondering why
I lit the match
before arriving
bomb about to blow
here I am
thud
in these brown sheets
who chooses
that
colour?

shame wears
a furry hat
licks her lips
a fuck me
don’t fuck with me
smirk across
the red

Let’s just see what happens

I swing from the fan
around and around
it goes whirring
the spin right back
to where it started
and off again

looking up at it
the fan
watching you leave
the bed
hearing you pee
flush
turn on the tap

feeling
the cool air
on my nipples

“like being naked with someone you haven’t been naked with” by Sasha on the plane

Sunday February 16, 2020
11:11am
5 minutes
Hot Pulse
J. Jill Robinson

Trust is a slippery fish that wriggles out of hands back into lake water
swims down to where the seaweed opens and closes
Finds a small “o” and swallows it and burps bubbles up
Face pressed against the float
breathe in the small pockets of air
upturn or downturn
Will he or won’t he break my tired heart?

The scales change colour and flake off
The mind says
This is always how it goes
Exhausted tune that the ears don’t even hear anymore
it’s so embedded and cozy in a down duvet
heavy limbs finally resting like they haven’t since
Before

Throw the line in far and fast
loaded the end of the rod with the finest bait
wide eyes
freshly sharpened wit
tears like seeds that sow
connection
some very strong one liners
playing with messy hands messy hair
looking down and then up and then down again
a promise collected on eyelashes
volleying and rolling and diving
with each
blink

The fish comes up to the surface and sucks on toes
Three times the size that she was before
Don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing
Deep throat
Gills ablaze
Tail tracing the shape of the timing
Folding irony over tenderness
kneading a dough of the very becoming

that births a perfect risk

“I’ve never forgotten her bold suggestion” by Sasha in the living room

Thursday February 13, 2020
3:55pm
5 minutes
Once and Future Prairie

Lisa Bird-Wilson

It’s not a bold request or undeserved
Fair as dreams of ocean and surf
Charcoal on my tongue as I breathe deep
Say of course

The irony
oh the heavy funny sticky stuff
is not lost on me
What I’ve asked for
demanded
tear stained
or shrieking
or puny
quiet
smiling
and now this
asked of
demanded of
how quickly I give agency
over easy to default
find my voice somewhere
in the spokes of the umbrella
say what I hope to be the
truth

This twenty eight days already
all the things I want
all the words I wish to say
lined up
toy soldiers
young cedars

it’s nothing really
time to get clear
trace blue sky in myself
the chance for you to find
the foundation
a strong one
this I wish for you
a new one
rebuilt
independent
wise

these baritone voices
wants so loud 

they drown out the
upper registers

or maybe it’s the buzzing
of the high notes that
really takes the jaw
in the hands

nothing linear about it
hmmm
no story arc I know the shape of here
all circle and scribbles
whirlpools and maybes

I touch faith
on the upswing

“a performance of about two and a half hours” by Sasha on the couch

Tuesday February 11, 2020
10:02pm
5 minutes
Nibelung
Devon Code

Before you know the tension of this radical Wild West town
Grazed in it’s fire pastures and danced the waltz to the jingly piano songs
Raised a glass to your lover and their lover and the lover of the lover who doesn’t know their own loss of sight
(We hold him with stiff arms and narrate the colours and the faces as best we can)

Before you allow yourself to make up your mind about all of this
About me
(Strange speckles on my pants and hair messy and unwashed
A smirk of faith like peanut butter across my lips)
Ride a mare into the forest and see what the trees have to say
They are quiet today?
Listen from the place that you used to listen from before you had your heart broken
Listen from the place where children gasp and clap and cry
What do they have to tell you, dear heart?
Root systems feeling and telling and feeling the generational longitude and latitude
Braiding beliefs and twisting whatever it is your pearl of truth is

It’s noisy in the wrongdoing and rightdoing
It’s noisy where we clash and bang because none of us knows what the fuck we are doing
It’s noisy but we strain we stress we strain to hear the wisdom
in the way breath is when it’s still between us
when it’s night and the snow is starting
and the streetcar tumbles onward

“They should not be ordinary words” by Sasha in the kitchen

Monday February 10, 2020
9:21pm
5 minutes
What’s in a Name
Moez Surani

Try harder try better try more more more
Lift taller stand braver and quiet with the door
Go faster now slow down can you just simply “be”
Relaxxxx everything’s fine this isn’t about me

Self acceptance daring greatly breathe really deep
Laughter therapy let it out weep weep weep
Stay humble stay grounded stay open and free
Release your anger get present get happpppy

It’s okay that you’re scared and lonely and mad
It’s okay that you’re curious confused and sad
It’s okay that you’re unsure tired and tight
Release your jaw but there really isn’t a “right”

“The letter should be read out loud” by Sasha in front of the fire

Friday February 7, 2020
10:15pm
5 minutes
Anger, Boundaries & Safety
Joann S. Peterson

I buy two cards
the same cards
at the bougie shop
that I hate to love

It’s these firsts
that make me smile
gasp
yawn
I’m tired of myself

I’ve run back and forth
to Lola several times tonight

her rosebud mouth finding
my rosebud nipple
matching puzzle
the gurgles and gasps
tiny snores and reaches
I stroke her soft hair
and wonder what I could’ve
possibly done in this life
or the last one
to deserve such  grace

I walk in the rain
trudging the same daily path
a ritual of cold fingers
chapped lips
lilting toes
breath a drum
cedars touching heaven
roots touching mine

“If the leaf stem is long” by Sasha on the couch

Thursday February 6, 2020
9:43pm
5 minutes
Tree Finder
May Theilgaard Watts

I will pick you flowers and weave the stems together
and make something beautiful something like you’ve never seen
so many colours come with spring
so many colours come with friendship
between two people
who have lived a lot of life
in colour
in friendship
in the backpack of April and May
so many things happen
when we’re planning other things

I’ll always see you as I met you
a different version of who you are
but the crass and the soft and the savage
all there still
and now
all there because you’ve needed them each
desperately
survival of the beautiful
survival of the innocent

“If the leaf stem is long” by Julia in her couch

Thursday February 6, 2020
8:47pm
5 minutes
Tree Finder
May Theilgaard Watts

if the leaf stem is long then you’ve picked the right man
chosen the future that will grow old with you and keep you young
you will be a gardener, a keeper of soil, a planter of seeds
if the leaf stem is long it’s a good sign
that you’ve been paying attention
and this is the thing you’ll need most
This 3rd eye noticing 3rd eye seeing deeply, knowing truly
the leaf stem can be cut or shortened but you, you have received the longest one
the longest line that starts off so long cutting it a little won’t make much difference.

“Trust the face of expansion” by Sasha on the living room floor

Wednesday February 5, 2020
10:22pm
5 minutes
The Power Of Intention
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

Trust the face of expansion
Trust the open mouth of a new way portal taking you
back to yourself
back to the archangel who brought your spirit into
physical form
who told you riddle and
stuck a finger in your ear
and made you laugh until
you’re teeth ached like
ice cream
and chalkboards

Trust the signs
on the carpet in the strange hotel
that smells like bubble gum and has a rooftop
pool open all hours where no one has ever drowned
where you drink the mini bar pre mixed cocktails
and eat the small packet of nuts
and consider masturbation
but braid your hair instead

Trust the gas station attendant
who tells you to never chase a tornado
who gives you the best beef jerky you’ve ever had
who runs your credit card three times
and each time it’s declined
winks as though someone
might have your back

“Still the house built itself a corridor” by Sasha in the kitchen

Sunday February 2, 2020
12:00am
5 minutes
Yesterday
Marie Howe

I am terrible at putting myself to sleep
scrub the stovetop and wonder how to get the stains off
scrub the bits of sweet potato and squash from the floor
where very small hands fling broccoli and lentils
banana and oatmeal

The quiet is a welcome guest
comes to the door wearing linen and straw
I beg her to stay
beg her to have another cup of peppermint tea
eat another wedge of orange

There was snow on the buds this morning
coating the green like a premonition

Walking the familiar streets
and remembering
reaching backwards
the crippling nostalgia
the heat of a time that’s gone

I would like to tell you all the stories
of my youth and my future
my future youth
I would like to hear your heartbreaks
and your hope as I trace the Milky Way
on your belly
lean my head on your chest

“Would you mind if I tell you you’re the cutest thing?” By Sasha in the kitchen

Saturday February 1, 2020
9:37pm
5 minutes
Would You Mind
Hank Snow

It’s the way that your voice
lilts like a distant relative
(I still can’t put my finger on it)
I don’t mean that to sound perverse
(or do I?)
A familiarity in the cadence of your
arriving (unexpected)
departing (tragic)
I am reduced to wobbly knees
dolphin tummy
when you say the
syllables of my name
only two (!)
syllables all “s”
and “ah”
and “sh”

”ah”!

Today the sunshine
landed on my face
just as I told you the truth
and you listened
(attentive)
explained
(well)
I felt a weight lift
and rise
helium red
tilted my chest to the sky
blue
felt the balloon come back again
nestle in
a different colour

Love is the deep breath

the leap
(ahhh!)

Love is this place
a whole country between us
this place that isn’t a place
but a buzzing
a humming
a knowing
a pearl of big faith

the oyster
is several sets of hands
holding hearts
holding reluctance
holding the daring
and the danger

I’m glad for this:
the salty tongue
the razor’s edge
the giddy laughter

 

“You can see my baby’s heartbeat” by Sasha at JJ Bean on Cambie

Wednesday January 29, 2020
11:33am
5 minutes
The Kingdom of God
Teddy Macker

I meet your heartbeat when I meet my own
hands on swollen belly
twenty weeks
twenty weeks of you

I shriek the whole way to the lab
I have to pee so bad
And your dad goes over speedbumps slowly
takes turns slowly
I scream
He tries to curb his laughter

My heart was racing in a way
I’d never known
Knowing you were there
but also doubting
I don’t do that anymore
When I know I know
You teach me that

”It’s your first” the technician says
and I nod and she says she always knows
Let’s me pee half way
Smiles
Having seen it all before

Tears on my cheeks as I meet your black and white image
on the screen
I know you in the ancient way that feet know ground
I know your sweetness
your grace
your eyebrow raise
knowing smile

Lola Moon
Nine months old
My life’s greatest joy
is being your mother
My life’s greatest work
is doing well by you
and failing you
and doing well by you again

“The truth is” by Sasha in the living room

Tuesday January 28, 2020
5:30pm
5 minutes
Pea Madness
Amy Leach

There is no map to the place that we are going
there never is but we fool ourselves or follow in the footprints of our parents
follow the path whacked and weeded by hands that resemble our own
follow those rain boot steps
trying to match them despite their fading
where does the memory go of the waking to the voices
where does the cell carry the hum and the sob
match toe to heel
sole to soul
despite their different size
despite their different breaking

It’s good to be back where the rain makes sense
(and release and sense again)
where I can find the rhythm of my walking
the salt in my pores
the beat of my new heart
free from ice and noise
It’s good to be back where the crows circle and call
”You are exactly where you need to be”

I wish I could protect her from the breaking
the rattling knees
I wish I could protect her from the ground splitting open
but it will
and it does
and it will again
So it goes
So we call in the sky of chaos
So we make bread with the sand of the path those before us took
Spread it with butter and humility

“They are noble who” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday January 15, 2020
8:01am
5 minutes
From a quote by the Buddha

They are noble, those long legged wide shouldered birds of prey.
They shake their feathers at the insolence of the cartoon voiceover anthem.

It’s funny how the bones creak when the door opens and shuts.
A primordial memory. A language before tongues and shuttering.

The postural change of a tucked pelvis re-arranged around books,
twigs arranged into a castle, a waterfall of irony.

I won’t remember the exactness, or the date and time.
I will remember how it feels in my mother guts.

The temperature is dropping dropping dropping
a piano on my toes but they don’t crush they bloom.

“This is a test broadcast” by Sasha in her living room

Monday January 13, 2020
7:38am
5 minutes
from a text

I watch a grey squirrel scale a pillar that holds the house up
Ponder the swelling heart in my chest but not with my mind

with my fingers massaging the sinew between the ribs that
hold the quaking strange thing

think about the taste of your body peppery on my tongue
and when will it feel familiar when will it no longer feel so new

I used to count my blessings before bed
list ten things I was grateful for

but now I do it throughout the day
close my eyes and send gratefulness up to the clouds

and down to the roots
You are all ten things today

“The insufferable arrogance of humanity” by Sasha on her couch

Friday January 10, 2020
8:01am
5 minutes
Big Picture
A. Whitney Brown

Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you you were everything? Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you you were everything I wanted?Forget about a book deal forget about a play on a big stage with lots of eyes on it forget about a bakery, a restaurant, a food truck, sharing the nourishment of my heart with the world. Forget about activism and radio shows. Forget about a yard full of chickens and kids. Forget about all of that because you, you are the pearl at the top of the mountain buried in the moss and ice found with fingers that know the way home. Remember when I looked you in the eye and told you I was leaving because you being everything isn’t enough. You being everything is only the beginning but it’s not the end and the end is here and that is it’s own pregnant beginning. Funny how things unravel when you think you know.

“Those were the rules.” By Sasha at Black River Farm

Saturday January 4, 2020
11:03am
5 minutes
The Murderee
Martin Amis

Our breath freezes before it hits the air.
Icicles circling the morning mist rising
off the corn field,
touching the rays of sun, reaching
finger and toe beams
towards the frozen ground.

Breath holds the promise of the space between,
where we mix and merge, where the us lives.

We are writing a new book.

It holds others than us, lives that we
weave in with our pages, a purple thread
and a red one. We spill and splay,

the breath of these colours,
unsure of the chapter organization,
the editorial style, the font.

A flock of geese flies high in a V above us,
leaders and followers trading off with
effortless grace. I stop walking.

I look back.
Our footprints in the snow, leading us here,
the generosity of the clouds parting. I turn
my face towards the sun,
let her fill me up, let her breath
sketch the outline of my body.

“The dark thought, the shame” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Friday January 3, 2020
11:54am
5 minutes
The Illuminated Rumi
Tr. by Coleman Barks 

This is a bidding farewell at the top of my lungs
overlooking the snow covered fall towards the river
This is the release of the fear
putting her down in the brush beside the fox tracks
marking her grave with a stone
I won’t be back to visit but I will sing a hymn
to all the little places that are still afraid
all the little places that won’t be buried for
awhile yet

The grouse rises from the cedar forest
creates a sound in the snow like the breaking open
I jump
towards the open arms of safety
the open arms of the edge

This new year
hugs my hips
puts hands on my feet
pressing into the frozen ground
A sunbeam between my teeth
This body has shed and bloomed
splayed and healed
This body has birthed and wailed
released and reformed
This body knows the story of my mother
in veins that swim a full hearted yes
grandmother hands
daughter belly round with breath
round with trust and pleasure

This is the place where we laid ourselves
in the field encircled
We will keep coming back
coming back
coming back
coming back to the wide sky
the red barn
the practise of choosing
full hearted yes
the practise of love
a verb
bell hooks knows
a doing word

 

“Brought their wives and children” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Wednesday January 1, 2020
8:00am
5 minutes
The Trial of Louis Riel
George R.D. Goulet

It’s a place beyond the edge of the concrete
the layers that will remain when
we’re all dead and gone
when something new is here
something no one knows is coming

It’s a place made of wires and rope
boulders and blocks
pipes and fallen electrical lines
Siding and bits of boats and planes

Children play on old car seats
telling each other stories from the time
before the Place was a place
blowing kisses to the ghost birds
that fly overhead in the black sky

Adults skip rocks over gasoline pools
pry water from pockets between the concrete
speak quietly of where they might find more food
Look to their young for hope when it fades
from their tired hearts
scrape muck from the bottoms of their boots
only to collect more and then scrape
and then more and then scrape

“I would like to say, in closing,” by Sasha at Black River Farm

Monday December 30, 2019
9:03pm
5 minutes
Malcolm X Speaks
Selected speeches and statements

I would like to say thank you to all the love spent and found,
returned and exchanged, felt and grieved, tossed and held.
I would like to say “yes” to all feeling feeling feeling feeling,
the tidal waves crashing over what I thought might happen,
how I thought I wanted things to go. God laughs the warm
sun laugh of a knowing wisdom, a brightness beyond bright.

It’s been a decade of learning through doing, of leaving and
finding, of searching and twisting, of laughing laughing laughing.
Thousands of miles lived in the palm of my hand, in the ache
of my heart broken (open), steps stepped across the desert
of longing, no matter how much abundance reigns (rains).

The mountains taught me about gravity, about letting go,
about touching the clouds, but not imaging that we ever
truly know their texture and their pull. The ocean taught
me about ebb and flow, about vulnerability and strength,
about the goodness and truth of salt water, of being washed,
return return return return.

“They did almost everything wrong” by Sasha at her kitchen counter

Sunday December 29, 2019
12:13pm
5 minutes
The Body
Bill Bryson

trapped beneath the floorboards
amidst mouse droppings and dust
mildew and

the secrets of socked feet

bare feet
treading heavy
treading light

morning feet in slippers
shuffling in slippers
with worn soles

dancing to Bruce Springsteen
Massive Attack
Kanye West
feet that know the tune
know the rhythm
know the rhyme

feet that rage and kick
toddler feet and father feet
the language of the toes
the vocabulary of a flex
a pop
a crunch

the bones of this house
have seen love sprout like dandelions
yellow and awake
the femur of this foundation
words in the ground below
stories in the veins
coursing towards
coursing away

A breath in the sigh
of winter
the lights turned off
the night kisses
pursed sleeping lips

“They all would be knocking back a few” by Sasha in her living room

Saturday December 28, 2019
3:43pm
5 minutes
The Right Stuff
Tom Wolfe

These months I find the soft liquid
goes down easy doesn’t require anything
but an open throat

Takes the edge off you say and I agree
all curves through no edge but in the
catch in the
throat

I had to hold tight to the rules that I’d written
we all do right
It wasn’t just me?

But now that the gooey centre is on the outside
spread between fingers and in the bellybutton
I find my hands
heart
open instead of closed

These months I savour the sweet burn
sat on the grey couch under the window
where the birds roost and leave
roost and leave

their red necks
craning back as we watch

“You can do the job when you’re in town” By Sasha on her couch

Thursday December 26, 2019
10:29am
5 minutes
Walking In A Winter Wonderland
You’ve got your heart on your sleeve again
I want it in your chest
nestled where it belongs
beside walls and blood
contained and safe

away from the traffic and mouths

I don’t know why the naked truth of it
scares me
Maybe it’s because I’m still not sure about
all of this this this
this tender
this spicy
this open wonder
open wound
here’s a feeling that hasn’t been felt
in a very long time

Maybe it always has
the Humpty Dumpty possibility
seeing it right there in arm’s reach
in another
Easier to keep distance than
the inward turn

Brene says that vulnerability
is courage and I know this
to be true but still the very
rawness the very smell of
bone is enough to
send me running

“The first was of Saint Gabriel” by Sasha at Bowmore

Saturday December 14, 2019
10:06pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

I write out the names of my guests in cursive
the penmanship I earned
fingers tattooed with black ink
a fountain pen spilling forth
the dreams of the daughters of Juniper

I write Hildegard
sing to the stars that don’t show their faces
in summer and glow only when it’s cold
I write Gabriel
messenger and mover
guiding and lifting up that which is weighted
that which is torn
I write Rumi
A true love I’ve never met
my favourite kind
mystic and healer
I write Maya
caged bird released
landing on the branches of the olive tree

I light the candles one by one
with the purple lighter I found in a puddle
ran my thumb over the rough edge
and gasped at the flame

“And the show won’t stop.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday December 12, 2019
1:01pm
5 minutes
Theater
William Greenway

Gemini baby
Aries rising strong
Come at me starlight
nothing is wrong
Make a bed in snowflakes
Turn down the shine
Brew a tonic of newness
thistles and wine
We play our parts so well
Moving here and there
We say our lines clearly
We lift and we care
Oracle says I need the stable
the steady and the true
I chose the fire and movement
I choose it with you
Weave a new chorus
Chase a new line
Dive into the chaos
Everything is fine
I’m glad for the darkness
this time of year
Crawl towards the warmth
See what is clear

“Something continues and” by Sasha in her living room

Wednesday December 11, 2019
9:14am
A Birthday
W.S. Merwin

My mother washes leeks in a filled kitchen sink
Roasts rainbow carrots in coconut oil with cumin seeds
She wipes the counter with diligence and attention
wringing out the cloth
fresh water

The kitchen is filled with winter light
the brightness of these generations gathered
My father is upstairs at his desk
crunching almonds
unsure about these two women who are so close
unsure of where he belongs in the puzzle
are there two pieces or three

I come on Sundays to be with them
their only child
they wanted me so desperately they paid thousands
to make sure I was born with their
ears and eye colour and sense of humour

My Mom was almost forty when she finally conceived
eight miscarriages over six years
“Don’t wait” she says now when I say
I think I might actually want kids after all
”Don’t wait”

My father comes down and we are laughing
I’m picking the good bits of crunchy skin off the chicken

“since I let myself think about” by Sasha in the bath

Sunday December 1, 2019
10:31pm
5 minutes
I Never Liked Your Friends
Alexandria Maillot
Sharks swim in the water in the place where I live
circling and hoping for fearless playmates
oh the sweet innocent oh the venom toed hope
of any variety of any shape of any texture of any taste

I can’t believe that I’ve jumped in again
swirling towards chaos or the rush of being desired
I don’t even know what it all looks like anymore

I hate how heartbreak has made me better
in every sense of the word
the b touches the e with softness and smoke
the two t’s are lovers that no one knows about
the e and the r parents to a new thing that has

never been born before
I hate how heartbreak looks good on me most days
and the jeans fit just so now
just so I can remember the time before the time
the time before the second hand caught up
the time before time

I ride the shark into the black and blue
the coral reef glows fluorescent
tension expels herself from my form
I am oh
I am oh
I am oh

“I have eaten his emptiness” by Julia in her kitchen

Saturday November 30, 2019
8:36pm
5 minutes
Visit from an incubus 
Laura Murphy

it was 3AM
came to me in a dream
fed the beast
broke the cycle

didn’t tell anyone
didn’t believe it at first
wrote it down
walked around

by dawn there was none of me left
I had eaten so much of what was weighing him down
my skin held his emptiness

my arms lifted a different hope from their bones and one I did not recognize
one that did not belong to me

the dream kept speaking as if it knew better
and so I listened
one body freer of their limits and counting

“There are a lot of good reasons” by Sasha on Nassau Street

Saturday November 23, 2019
4:39pm
5 minutes
smittenkitchen.com

There are a lot of good reasons for endings
the clocks change
or the hearts do
There are a lot of good reasons to say
”That’s it, I guess”
to call it quits

to throw in the towel
to bid farewell to what was
and welcome in what is

There are a lot of good reasons
to persevere
to see what’s on the other side of
resistance?
Fear?
Blockages?

There are a lot of good reasons
to allow yourself to be lit by the streetlight
and only the streetlight
to turn off all the other lamps in the house
and feel the glow of only what comes through
the window

There are a lot of good reasons

“It begins from the heart.” By Sasha at Black River Farm

Sunday October 13, 2019
10:00am
5 minutes
From a quote by Shahla Khan

Here is the place where we held hands and hearts
where we wove futures and past and incanted the unborn
and the dead

Here is the place where we passed rings around a circle of song
taught in front of the wood stove
harmonies bending air between mouths of all the beloved ones
asked for witnesses in keeping us on the spiral path
mystery and possibility
leading us

Here

is the place where the sky was the blue of my father’s eyes
the earth the colour of home
a tent like a shady dream
we didn’t know we needed
the smell of goodness and grief
hope and healing
all the hours of dreaming
fighting scrawling spreadsheet poetry

Here is the place
where you climbed onto a horse’s back
the way you knew you needed to
her ribs leading you towards
the rhythm of your palms
on my chest
feeling the rise
the fall

Here is the place
that I’ve summoned
these long weeks
called up in my storm
like a lighthouse
held close when there
was nothing

this place
an eternal reminder
of the blessing
of a union marked in the stars
marked on the map of

This place

“We did all these things and more,” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, Oct 11, 2019
7:28am
5 minutes
We Did
Brian Doyle
There were the seasons of planting the seeds
of good fortune and picking out the rocks from the
supple generous earth
sticky resilience
honey under fingernails
dirt on cheeks
There were phases of freezing toes
and shouting under a starless sky
Crescent moon asking for more more
more more more when she finally came
when she finally helped
New like the baby’s first glance
like the promise of spring
deep freeze full of bones and secrets
thought there was nothing left to say
but there always is
wisdom a crystal buried in the basement
growing every day
There were years of abundance
years of bushels of apples
sweet potato pies
rye bread in the oven
trading this for that
no need to pass bills between
trusted treasures
There were summers of black flies
zucchini’s the size of toddlers
lake swims and fires
snaking smoke to the
Seven Sisters
birch bark friendship bracelets
girls laughing

“I can’t help but reflect” by Sasha in her comfy chair

Sunday October 6, 2019
7:12am
5 minutes
from an email

You are looking everywhere for signs
Under the sink between the garbage bin and the compost pail
In the sky amongst the light pollution and almost there Milky Way
In the numbers on the houses where we live

The numbers of the clock when you think to look
The things we say
or don’t say
Numbers numbers numbers so many numbers
But it doesn’t add up
or if there’s a division
it’s hollow and stale

It’s become an obsession
this sign hunting
Your inner compass a rudder that you no longer trust
It’s lead you astray before but this time
things matter in a different kind of way

I humour your hunting
I nod when you tell me of something or other
I like signs too
But I don’t hold to them as the gospel
Clinging to the spindly tree in the middle of a hurricane
I don’t believe that they are the only marker
of progress
of love
of resonance

“This week just got ducking crazy” by Sasha in her kitchen

Friday October 4, 2019
8:21am
5 minutes
From a text message

Hello Friday
Tired eyes and hangnails ablaze
Hello end of the week
but does that really matter
now that each day has a similar

different shape
kaleidoscopic Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
and here we are

Hello Friday
Coffee breath and dirty diapers
Laundry forgotten in the machine
stinks of what could have been
freshness
Oh well
Crumbs from last night’s toast
on the counter
A mouse turd under the fridge
Oh well

Hello Friday
labors into the weekend
a good time an inch away
a good time here now
Oh
kay
The prospect of a good beat
a piece of nice cheese
baby laughter
It’s here
All of it
It’s here

Hello Friday
You’ve got your nice party pants on
Mmm hmm
you’re looking fiiiine

“in search of a taxi” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday September 30, 2019
9:38am
5 minutes
The Rage
Gene Kerrigan

I am calling up into the sky
magenta and teal
for a sign
a lightning bolt
a monarch across the freckles of the morning

this is the right thing
the bullseye arrow right to the
rose quartz
oh good grief

I’m doing the good good work
trimming the brush back
finding the path towards

Pele told me a long time ago
in the early morning
walking on lava
and seeing where the earth
opens pulses gasps

that I would be one of the ones
who has to find the diamond
carved by pressure
etched by time
strengthened by temperature
and pushing