“but took that nasty” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Monday June 22, 2020
9:31pm
5 minutes
anti-immigration
Evie Shockley

I’ve put this off all day because I’m not sure
how to wrangle the fullness of this particular wave

Will I cup my hand and move it slowly left to right
watch the shadow throb on the wall

Will I wave like Lola does with the enthusiasm of
having just mastered something pedestrian and wonderful

I will not wave

That is not the summation of eight and a half years
of a daily pause or a daily play that in it’s collection

Forms a revolution
I will feel the heavy heart of a goodbye that has been

A long time coming
Goodbye catches on my teeth and turns to salt water

This gentle place has seen the best and the worst
The burning and boring

The empty and the quiet
The dark night and the wisdom of growing

Thank you for reading all the strange wonderment
Thank you for finding the pearl in the compost

And believing what you heard between the lines
Thank you for the patience and the listening

My brilliant beloved trusted friend Julia
Thank you for how you rise

Thank you for the passion with which you fill every second
Of these five minutes

“gags, oh gags” by Sasha in the bedroom

Friday June 19, 2020
9:02pm
5 minutes
Black Matters
Keith S. Wilson

You hold me like a malachite in a clenched hand
These fingers curled around the hope that this
Could be the time
the place
the person

the knowing
Knowledge is your scaffolding
Emotions are a weird frozen untrustable

Cut off the crusts of the
Promise sandwich and see how the bread dogs
Sogs
Yawns
Brittle and aloof

All the you’s and
all the me’s
Treading water in the same pool
of the same river

You hold me like a jade on your tongue
Eucharist of temptation
Sweaty small of the back begs questions
Words can’t ask

I take off my clothes
A corporeal deliverance
Contemplate the seven sins
The seven circles of whiteness
The seven years that held
a lot of dinosaurs
Spiderwebs
Foggy morning wetness

A lot of bones
Hymn to the light on the quivering horizon

“I didn’t blink when the water” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Saturday June 6, 2020
1:15pm
5 minutes
The Truth
Ross Gay

She says she can’t stop crying
and I can’t either but for
the same reasons
and different flooded shoes

Don’t take the bait of the snarl
a curly tongue wearing pepper and fear
the same reasons
and another restless morning

The distractions are numb toes
and scrolling clown faces
try to temper the burn
peel the puffed grave

“And you intend to remain there a few days” by Sasha on the living room floor

Monday June 1, 2020
10:39pm
5 minutes
Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie

You intend to remain in your sad place for a few days
build a little fire in the stove

fry some eggs in the cast iron skillet when you get hungry
You’ll write an angsty poem or three
Try to catch a frog

You’ll be pleasantly surprised when a dragonfly lands on
the tip of your nose

This is not the kind of event that you’ve come to expect

You had intended to swim out to the island a ways away
lie in the tall grass
tempt lightning

The storm blows over and you’re left with a sunset
that turns your stomach
loons calling to each other
or to you

“channel your energy” by Sasha in her bedroom

Wednesday May 27, 2020
2:41pm
5 minutes
From a fortune cookie

I lie belly to the floor
and listen to what the voice says
beyond the tension and the toil
where the ground splits and splays

Like a seashell to the ear
the floor tells stories that
might just be blood rushing
but might be the sky underfoot

“Think about the life you want to have”
my sister says and she’s right
It’s not about a decision
It’s about the life I want to have

All the threads are spooled in the moment
of this gathering together
sure to be frayed again by morning
but for now
ear to the whitewashed wood
I’m slipping towards the eddy

“Excluding any personal opinion” by Sasha at the dresser

Friday May 22, 2020
7:21am
5 minutes
The Death of Ivan Ilyich
Leo Tolstoy

Excellent extraterrestrial beings are congratulating their fellow friends
For the solid score of flesh eating disease on the high seas of planet earth
They’ve planted and sowed and watered and spit and shit and spat and moved
Their long fingers across the faces of the frozen zombies and they are

Goddamn delighted

That the flesh is finally falling off the bones and the frozen zombies are now
Sitting in their bathtubs filled with lentils and hairbrushes and they are
Scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing
The pure unadulterated extraterrestrial joy of a mission that’s been accomplished that has been in motion for millennia

“serious minds settling down to discuss” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday May 17, 2020
10:09pm
5 minutes
Dreams
CG Jung

It is not morose to think of death
all the little pebbles collected in the pockets of my jeans
I wonder why I feel weighted at the end of the day
Laugh as I line up twelve stones on the dresser top
swiped from a little mouth
stolen from a little hand

Death is as life is
Innate in our vitality is our undoing
The paradox of living is the constant dying
It is not odd to consider how we distract and fear this
It is odd to not consider
To stick our heads into the dry earth
Fill our mouths with cheese and grapes
Turn our eyes to the bright blue light

I walked barefoot on the driveway today
Didn’t mean to do it
But did it

“The cost of rural housing” by Sasha in the trundle room

Friday, May 1, 2020
11:05am
5 minutes
Life After the City
Charles Long

So being here with the robins and the apple blossoms
the sloping fields and the red winged black birds

the swamp and the cedar forest and
the big chest freezer and the turning garden

I think about rural living and how good
it feels to wear the same fleecy six days in a row

And add a log to the wood stove
while the girls make a “show”

Wildflower heart blooms ripe
I catch my own eye while brushing my teeth

And see someone new
Someone who I didn’t know I needed

Didn’t know I missed

“Higher!” By Sasha at the kitchen table

Monday April 27, 2020
9:22pm
5 minutes
Higher Higher
Leslie Patticelli

When the sound of the rain is louder than the sound of your breath
In your own ear leaving you closer to where you thought the pepper might be
Sneeze up and sneeze down and dream of the world that might bloom from this strange chrysalis of change and quiet

Maybe the busiest of the busy with the lists that run out like toilet paper from the bottom of the fancyfancy shoes
Maybe these people will learn to breathe in one nostril and out the other
Sprout cucumbers and raspberries in small pots

Maybe the scared ones the ones who keep their doors double locked and would rather see their strange Auntie on Skype than at the tea shop
Will feel like they finally belong on the planet that never really told them that they were wanted and that they were precision and that they were free

“After I hung up on him” by Sasha in the bedroom

Sunday April 26, 2020
10:03pm
5 minutes
Facts About Dead Trees
Lisa Baird

I hung up the phone
Didn’t hang up on
But did hang up
Pressed the red button
Was something strange
in the static
in the quiet
in the pandemic
“what even is this anymore”?

I kicked a piece of gravel
called “Why?!”
to a turkey vulture
who glides where
perspective is silky
where I am the rightful size

The sun stoops
to touch my chest

Right in the rise
where love’s hand goes
Feeling breath
Feeling life
Feeling “yes”
and “no”

Hours turn to days
and the cedar forest turns
bark to promise

A promise of black flies
zucchini hot from the sun
The river rising and rushing

Guiding me back

“I peel carrots and potatoes” by Sasha at Knowlton Lake

Wednesday April 1, 2020
11:11am
5 minutes
Ordinary Life
Barbara Crooker

I don’t peel carrots or potatoes. My mother taught me to leave the skin on.
Adds nutrients, or something like that. I scrub them, usually,
especially now. I use my fingers to pick off the nubby bits, to pop off
the spindly bottoms of the carrots, mouse tails, curly innocents.

I spend twenty minutes gazing up at a big red-headed
woodpecker working the side of a tree. Lola is asleep
in the carrier, a gentle wheeze from her snotty nose, her eyelashes
diving boards. I didn’t dress warm enough. I should’ve worn a sweater
over my plaid flannel, should’ve worn my winter jacket instead of this old raincoat from when I was a teenager canoeing the Spanish River.

I know something is very much wrong when I don’t know what to make
for dinner. “What do you feel like?” I ask Nadeem, as Lola tries to put
beams of sun in her mouth, tilting her head back like she does when
I pour water from a bowl in the bath and she tries to catch it, little bird
with a fountain worm. “Whatever you feel like making,” he says,
and I roll my eyes. The lake is completely thawed now.

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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”

“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

“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 Julia in her bed

Saturday February 1, 2020
11:48pm
5 minutes
Would You Mind
Hank Snow

I saw you first
I looked around and I took you in and I wanted you for me
I wanted you in general
I didn’t know I would fall in love with you years later or that you would fall in love with me
or maybe this is how I planned it
you looking at me like you were some big secret
something tack-like but hard to pin down
you saw me a week later and I wasn’t expecting that
but I wanted it
and I wanted you
and I let myself wonder at every eyebrow raise you let me see
every time you stayed looking at me two seconds too long
I would have wanted to see who’d look away first
who would be the brave one

“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

 

“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

“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.

“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

“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

“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

“He straightened up, roaring” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday September 27, 2019
9:41pm
5 minutes
Surface Detail
Iain M. Banks

His strange hurting is not mine to hold alone now
one way of building the house brick by brick
choosing the funny and misshapen ones
the burnt ones choosing the faceless and the wild
When I first met him I felt his way and I didn’t like it
Too much too close to leery to curious too much too much
I am a softer kind of animal
When I met him for the second time I did like it
I was ready for the rumble then around that long table
ready for the way these waves would crash against
the side of reality and wish and trust and begin again

Now meeting him for the millionth time
my mind still isn’t made up and maybe it isn’t about the mind
maybe it isn’t even about the heart
a five letter word overused to the point of letting the blood out
maybe it is about the guts that circle around the centre of the body
the body knows the body doesn’t forget the body keeps a tally
of all the doings and undoings

Earthquake comes when we are least expecting
we are not the choosers of the timing of the bricks turning
to sand turning to ash turning to memory

“The pulsating life force energy in such children” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Wednesday September 25, 2019
9:10pm
5 minutes
The Relationship Garden
Jock McKeen & Bennet Wong

Oh you
finding the timbre of your voice
the waterfall from
high to low
cascade down and
oh we are in raspberries
fields and fields of
pursed lips
emphatic cough
bumblebee giggle

the strength of your miracle

body
I am in awe of
how you kick legs
curl toes
grab with the power
of a herd of buffalo
propel forward
and back
forward

right to the edge

Oh you
five months old today
thigh rolls and curiosity
squeals of blessing
holding the gaze of
your grandparents
and strangers
holding the fingers
of love

clutching and growing
learning about the many
faces

of beauty

“Your arms would eventually tire” by Sasha at the dining room table

Tuesday September 24, 2019
8:10am
5 minutes
The Purpose Driven Life
Rick Warren 

You’re done with the holding of the sun
and the moon

The Milky Way galaxy
dotting the path towards
forgiveness and understanding

You’re done
Your arms are tired and the light
of these celestial orbs is blinding
so up close so luminous

There’s been lots of talk
of choice
of feelings
of love
There’s been so much talk

Here’s what I’ve come to

maybe

We don’t choose our feelings
but we choose what we do with them

Do we flock to the ember
that whispers our name
in a voice that’s unknowns
and possibilities
Over there across the road
the horses buck and cry

Do we fan the flame
of knowing ourselves
in the way we wish to know

the other

in the way we wish
to be held in the glow
of the night sky

 

“I am weak willed when I want to be” by Sasha at the dining room table

Monday September 23, 2019
11:36am
5 minutes
The Doctor and the Soul
Dr. Victor E. Frankl

I am a weak willed wildebeest when I want to be
I will cave under the smallest pressure
under the legs of an unassuming ant
pressing downwards downwards
downwards towards the middle

I am the tallest turning trombone when I want to be
I will reach for the treetops
touch the cloud bellies
make a sound that the small bird flying
up above the rest hears and
she laughs laughs laughs

I am a contagious celebrator cuttlefish when I want to be
I will blow every horn and fill the balloons to the brim
dance a jig on the hour every hour
repeating the names of all the good cuttlefish
all the holy schools
repeating gratitude from the ground to the tip

 

“The person we think we are” By Sasha in the backyard

Sunday September 22, 2019
9:46am
5 minutes
The Art of Purposeful Being”
Philip Winkelmans MA

It’s okay that things end up different
than we imagined and that the

way is feels is liquid and leaning forwards and back
Fingerprints of sticky hearts and winding maybes
lead a path towards the little house by the maple and fir
I knock on the door

thinking that you’re in there
writing in a pen you’ve whittled since before we met

I knock on the door

and it opens a little
a mound of sand my toes could get used to
an acorn drops
time stops with the thud of thunder and sleep

Someone is sitting on the floor in the corner
eyes closed
Three geese fly overhead in the perfect “V”
that represents all holy trinities

Is it prayer?
Is it contemplation?
Is it remembering?

It isn’t you
I know that most certainly
They don’t have your fireworks or your
steady breath

“But in a poem we can do anything we want.” By Sasha at the dining room table

Friday, September 20, 2019
3:41pm
5 minutes
Since You Asked
Lawrence Raab
She thinks before she speaks
a practise she tries on before bed
washing her face and the day away
brushing her teeth
“I think before I speak” she spits
the bubbles down the drain
a small “c” of blood
turns to “j”
turns to “L”
She tries to listen with open ears
but often she finds herself
thinking thinking thinking thinking
”Sorry what did you say?”
What happens when she really hears
what he or he or she or they are saying?

”I listen with open ears” a mantra
on her breath
maybe if she says it enough
it will be true
it will be born
it will be as real as the
hangnail on her left ring finger
The path of the virtuous
Oh the weight of striving
She thinks before she speaks
She listens with open ears
She knows the joy and the suffering
of loving and being loved and
losing and being lost
and leaving and having left
and breathing into the heart
of the sound of what it is
to not know very much at all

“Today, they target” by Sasha at the dining room table on Oak Dr.

Wednesday September 18, 2019
7:12am
5 minutes
Snapshot of a Lump
Kelli Russell Agodon

I didn’t think I’d be sat in the suburban dream
with manicured front lawns and dishwashers humming
with crickets and plush pillows
with beige carpets
beige table
beige couch

I wonder about learning a martial art
another language
(how would I choose which one?)
how to make croissants

how to learn to drive

Is that the only thing stopping me
from going to the woods for a few weeks
and howling the stains out
crying the confusion down to the
whittled tip?

Here I am
last night’s dreams on the coffee table
with the rattle and the book
the sun rising
towards all that is possible
etching light onto unknown

carving maybe on my toes

 

“You will find it” by Sasha on the couch on Oak Dr.

Tuesday September 17, 2019
6:01am
5 minutes
The Yak
Hilaire Belloc

You will find it somehow easier
than you imagined it would be
not that it’s easy but it’s easier

You don’t give advice in the offhand way
that you used to
You ask if it’s welcomed
You take off your shoes at the front door

You are tired of reading about
the end of the world
You are tired of questioning
your right to take up space

You walk by the water
with the sailboats skating across the horizon
You touch the fingertips of a tree
Make a joke with a hydrangea

You make dinner
make breakfast
make love
make amends

“Sorrows bring forth.” By Sasha on her couch

Saturday September 14, 2019
11:53am
5 minutes
Proverbs of Hell
William Blake

I wish the sorrow would subside with the bluejays
and knowing when they call that they are asking
for what they need

I dream in visions like the oracles before me
like the vision of this person that I would bring forth
knocking on the door of my heart
with her signature sweetness and presence

The sound of the rain against the window
is different here than there
and there’s space in that that I need
that I’ve asked for

there’s truth in knowing what you need
admitting it to yourself
amidst all the other successes and failures
wins and losses
amidst all the grey

“He shone with Heavenly Courtesy” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday September 13, 2019
3:34pm
5 minutes
Courtesy
Hilaire Belloc

Courtesy doesn’t mean what she thinks it means
what she learns it means to be treated well
See she was raised to believe that love looked
cock-eyed and dimpled
that trust was something that could be given
and then snatched back for keepsies

She doesn’t know what it is to be treated well
until she’s forty three and hiking along the trails
of the Pacific Northwest and eating pecans and
protein bars
and she’s tired and she’s lonely and she’s one
with the arbutus and the pines

She realizes that blisters and bloody toenails
and coyote calls and listening to the sounds
of the night are all her
treating herself well
treating herself with courtesy

“If ignorance is bliss” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday, September 12, 2019
5:07pm
5 minutes
The Benefits of Ignorance
Hal Sirowitz
If ignorance is bliss why then
I don’t want bliss
not in the form of head in the sand
fingers in the ears
not in the form of illusion dancing
in her opaque scarves
It’s been six weeks and all I crave
is protein and truth
seeing with the eyes of a woman
who has seen and been seen
as she knows is possible
as she knows is her birthright
Crunchy leaves underfoot
today on a walk in the neighbourhood
I found myself humming a song
that I taught myself in my dream last night
learned by heart on the strong back
of a premonition
that he only told me half the story
last night
Won’t admit fear where the spills are
where the stains are
won’t admit defeat
twirling his ring round and round
a quiet threat
I hum the song all the way back to the
garden and then I sit amongst the
butterflies and squirrels
the cone flowers and nasturtium
spicy open mouth
catching a taste
of what might be possible
I write him a letter in the major key
not to be predictable
not to be oppositional
but because the chord feels right
the timbre in my chest
my fingers playing imaginary keys
a new story
He loves me
that is why
don’t forget
It’s easier to know words
when they are put to music

“The courage that my mother had” by Sasha at the table upstairs

Tuesday September 10, 2019
12:25pm
5 minutes
The courage that my mother had
Edna St. Vincent Millay

My mother tells me that she
couldn’t have done what I’m doing

Not that anything is the same
Twenty-seven years between

what happened then
and what’s happening now

We speak of re-writing
of re-visioning

in a new tongue
built from rubble

and hope
I imagine a world in which

I do not need you
I do need you

Both are true
as this and that is

As faith and doubt are
love and rage

My mother’s courage
the bones that I build on

Flesh and sinew
teeth and tears

My mother’s courage
the rainbow prayer flags

strung up in the window
catching the wind

“I was so amazed” by Sasha in the garden

Saturday September 7, 2019
10:04am
5 minutes
Feasting
Elizabeth W. Garber

You give the credit away
clothes in the donation bin
shut it with a bang
and move on

Fill a closet up with new things
hope that the old things wear well
take good care of the old things
wonder when they’ll have holes

That credit is mine
thanks
I’ll know it as true
as the eyebrow scar
as true as the unknown

You’ll forget
that credit that’s mine
not owed but earned
I’ll try my best to remind you
Not overt
via a good song
via a deep breath
via letting go

I keep that credit in
a hidden breast pocket
ready to pull out when needed
ready to wait for the
right time

One day
maybe I’ll thank you

giving credit away
earned over months and minutes
marked with sweat
visions of Athena

birthing a baby girl
bringing life into being

Poems can hold this
nestled in next to
credit
love?
what is sacred

“So close to the end of my childbearing life” by Sasha on her couch

Tuesday September 3, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
The Girl
Marie Howe

It was never a matter of if
it was only a matter of when
and the knock at the door started

months before we merged
magic and satisfaction
love and hope

the knock of your heart
on my heart

”let’s dance”
”it’s time”

Christmas time
three years ago
he told me he wanted
to have a baby together

He gave me a pacifier
and I behaved strangely

given that I’ve always known

It was the pacifier

Pacify
Placate
I don’t know
I was younger then
I didn’t know what I know now

I cried in the basement
of my parent’s house
the tree aglow two floors above

“and the words still ring true” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday September 1, 2019
2:00pm
5 minutes
From Christy Webb’s Directors Notes (Lungs)

washer cycle turns and tosses
colours run and blue becomes grey
the soap suds make a song like
one you used to sing to the neighbour’s child

rocking her to sleep
oh oh oh the feelings yeah

maybe you’re singing to her
maybe you’re singing to yourself
or the her in you
the loss and the loving
the beauty of giving over to the
universal smackdown
that doesn’t kick her/your ass
in the way that they tell the stories
like these

like yours

someone hopes you don’t hate her
and you don’t
and you do

the words that rings truest
are the ones that don’t come out
in the wash
hanging the years on the line
all colours mixed together

birthday cards and photographs
train rides and waterfalls
beach fires and promises made

under the same sky
as this one

“Am I able to follow the spirit of love” by Sasha in her new home

Friday August 30, 2019
11:04pm
5 minutes
Quote by M.C. Richards
“Welcome home,” I whisper
to my heart
Split like a pea
pod askew
small green orbs
on the refinished floor
sweet and tender
”You’re here now,” I say
My mother just having left
to drive across town
back to where she lives
Good to be in the same city again
It’s been too long
It’s the first night my daughter will sleep
in this house
brick by brick maybe we will
maybe we won’t
but we’ll try
God knows
we’ll try

“We need to withdraw from impatience” by Sasha in her bathroom

Wednesday August 28, 2019
12:35pm
5 minutes
Quote by Carol Antony

She asks him to be patient
new skin takes time to lose

the sheen of the burn
tender to the touch

He lunges towards distraction
tells himself it’s okay to want

what he wants
”Choice” is a marble

on both of their tongues
hidden in a cheek

a pocket
taken out when it’s just the two of them

Patience is a practise
that begs full surrender

maybe this is as far as they’ll go
She sits on the balcony

counts stars
Looks to the Pleiades for guidance

traces her way back
to him

When they find each other
they are weary

”I don’t need anything from you,” she says
He closes his eyes

“There must be something to worship.” By Sasha at her desk

Friday August 23, 2019
7:32am
5 minutes
Quote by Henry Miller

Deity on the corner holding herself accountable
chasing sunlight like a dog tail
braiding love with something red and soft
wrapping it around her shoulders
keeping herself warm
We hope for the best and when the worst comes
we let him in and have him at the table
He eats a big plate of pasta and meatballs
and forgets to put the toilet seat down
”It’s okay,” I say
and when he leaves I wipe the surfaces down
with vinegar and an old cut up T-shirt
Morning comes like a locomotive
Deity brushes her teeth and tells herself
that today will be a good day
”Today will be a very good day”

“Art making as a playful, life-supporting activity” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday August 20, 2019
7:31am
5 minutes
Quote by Joseph Zinker

I get in there and put the words on the page
At least I do that now
and then and tomorrow
I let it go and see where it takes me
I follow it
I listen
I catch the tail of inspiration
sometimes clumsy
sometimes sticky fingered
sometimes grasping
I throw it up to the Gods and see what rain comes down
see the colour of the water
see the flow of the rhythm

Fall fall fall free

These are noble things I think really
these are noble things

I count them on my fingers and toes
lying naked beside the truth
beside the moon

I count these noble things
noble truths
I hold them as I hold
you as I hold me as I
let go

“and eyesight a lying sense” by Sasha at her desk

Monday August 19, 2019
7:28pm
5 minutes
Lives Of The Eminent Philosophers
Diogenes Laertius

Slithering between the here and the then
the truth evades
shadow with no sun
I thought I knew you like
the freckles on my arm and that was
the lie that I told

Monday comes like a swan song
like a turning page and we are
re-writing what was written
re-imagining what was taken
kissing visions of how things
might’ve been goodbye

I hold tight to the belief
that the sky opens when she’s ready
that we don’t know what we don’t know
that we are doing our best
that love shatters

The morning the avalanche came
I said to you
“I trust you”
Your face eclipsed
I saw the crescent moon
illuminated
gaping

“But he was never seen practicing” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Sunday August 18, 2019
11:01pm
5 minutes
Cato The Younger
Plutarch

Julie says that you’re all about family
that it’s my job to make sure
you’re close to your people
feel the tether to the roots
to the blood to the source
“Don’t put her in daycare if you can help it
Have Grandma or Grandpa there”

Neptune transits coming around for all three of us
and I’m wondering about right now
What are the planets saying
What are the stars shouting to us
across shine and bright
A beauty has settled in the space
where the day broke

Down to the bone we go
Into the marrow we crawl

Julie says that your Sun needs to be present
needs to be physically close needs to touch you
We both do
Sun and Moon
Your arm touching my arm
Your toe touching his belly

Good grief
these things that we try to lean on
scaffolding
house of cards

“stop valuing receiving over giving” by Sasha on her couch

Saturday August 17, 2019
3:15pm
5 minutes
Lectures
Musonius Rufus

Hahaha that’s funny
I mean
It’s actually the opposite
giving and receiving
receiving and giving
Is it a gender thing
A learned thing
A patriarchy thing
breathing down the front
of my shirt towards my
wisdom towards my knowing

Give give give give give
we are taught before we can walk
apologize before we speak
mind the Q and the P
Oops
I mean
It’s actually the opposite

In the stick of the final
nights of summer
this person tells me that
I am not very good at receiving
or asking or getting
and I am suddenly faced with
myself from nine years ago

the one slipping into and out
of all the sheets that stack
to make the book that I’m
only now starting to write

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Julia at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
8:27pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

Darling tonight did you hear me ask you
a less than hypothetical question about
our children and about the future that
might show you just how much I’ve thought
about these things?

You didn’t seem to clock it and that
didn’t bother me then but it’s bothering
me now and I wished I had said, Excuse me
did you hear what I said about our kids
without you leading the charge?

These are moments for me to reflect on
by myself I suppose, because did I say
it out of truth gargling against my cheeks
or did I say it out of poetry and the
persistent chase of perfect phrases?

Are you changing your mind now that
I’ve got mine on straight? It would be so
sad after all this time if we had found
ourselves on different pages again. It
might break my heart into weapons.

I think about this future family of
ours and where the hell are they going
to live? In this one bedroom apartment?
In this city that you said yourself might be
too soft for them and for us and everything.

“Slicing lake Ontario” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday August 11, 2019
7:30pm
5 minutes
Catastrophe that Nearly Brought Down a Plane
Sabyasachi Nag

We’ll fly east in nineteen days
over the mountains that grew us
over the peaks that destroyed us
We’ll fly above the colours and
the clouds above the petty
grievances and the monumental hurts

We’re leaving a place we’ve known as home
five years of loving and living
of making art and granola and love
We’re leaving a place we’ve kissed
and bled and thanked and known
where our girl was born
the greatest feat of all

We’ll fly towards family
towards whatever roots are left
towards who knows really now that
everything is upside down
Secure the mask of the person next to you
I wish that was the case

All I know is I need the pressure of
my father’s hand
on my back
when he embraces me
My mother’s salad dressing
My sister’s eyes

We’ll slice over Lake Ontario
towards a speckled sky

“sucking everything in.” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday August 6, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Across This Body
Jeni De La O

she sets herself on fire
it’s not the first time
but she burns differently

now that there’s the most to lose

ashes fly to the sky
flickering fantasy
floating towards the opposite
she explodes into all the

pieces of possible truths
colours like feelings
smoke of spirit
roar of the breaking

betrayal is a red
mixed into the blood

as she burns she paints
herself in the shades of
the now the ones
she predicted but always
wanted to escape

the true things
the small things
the things that are clever
and vicious

unknown

now that she’s nothing
she has everything
now that she’s here
she sees herself

whole
for the first time

“an overdose, the fire hall repainted red.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday August 5, 2019
10:42am
5 minutes
Orography
Alison Braid

I read you my writing
two poems
at the kitchen table
that’s grown seven feet
since this day last week

a kitchen table that sees
the pancakes and the salt
the chilli and the fights
the Scrabble and the worst

You meet me in the words
beyond the wrong and right
only by being present
but that’s enough for now

two poems
speaking the unspeakable
shrieking in their small stanzas
shaking ghosts from their pockets
sand from their ears

“retirement and investment savings” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday August 3, 2019
11:28am
5 minutes
From a piece of mail

I worried about money until other things came on deck
things that take more breath and bones than bills do

and that is privilege in action right

Fuck
I’m sorry

I used to think by thirty-three there’d be retirement
and investment savings but
well

that’s just not the case
like so many cases are not the case
and so many cases are
case closed
case re-opened
“In this case I…”

what is the case is broken hearts

and packing tape
and all our stuff piling up in a corner of a room
where I both do and don’t want to be
where I do and don’t need to be

healing hearts
hearts in throats
little kid hearts hurting so bad
wanting to heal
wanting release

wanting to teach our girl that
love looks like being true
and being true looks like vulnerability
and vulnerability is power

hearts in the hands of all the earthly angels that love us

I circle my mind
a low flying gull
ride her tail feathers towards destruction
ride her wings towards hope

“Redeemable exclusively at” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday August 1, 2019
6:47pm
5 minutes
From a Salvation Army flyer

These redeemable features
the striving for authenticity
the hope for freedom
What more do we want?

The crest of the lip
holds sweat and tears
The heart holds
more space
and then no space
and then more space

My smell has changed in these days
turned raunchy and rough
I can’t stop sniffing myself
smelling my fear
animal that I am
animals that we are
How we build from a series
of fumblings
stumbling towards
something true

“we always found a way” by Sasha on her couch

Wednesday July 31, 2019
11:10pm
5 minutes
From a thank you card

This is you, body coiled and then crumpled
naked in pillows, the baby thrashing
an arm’s length away

We have always found a way back to how we tether,
how we teethe the truth, a bone
like the dinosaurs on display

You want so much

This is the heart within the heart,
a love that I didn’t know was possible,
the ache that grabs my throat

licks my cheek,
tells me to grovel and snarl,
thumbs protected by fingers,

protected by the willingness to pretend.
I stick sorry across your torso,
your back, your jaw

I want so much

I see myself through your eyes
and she’s a famished feral one,
governed by hunger

frozen by fear.
I stick sorry on the tip of my tongue,
lick my arms, legs, belly

Hold up one finger to you
A white flag.

“no one would know me.” By Sasha at her desk

Monday July 29, 2019
10:42pm
5 minutes
The Landing
Marie Howe

I build a home for you
and you live in it
day after night after afternoon
adding your skin to the dust bunnies
adding your hair to the nests under the sink
adding your voice to the whispers
stored in the paint of the walls

I build a good home for you
for us
for two and then three
for the three of us
I keep the pantry stocked
and the floors swept
I keep the truth on the table
until we snuff out the candle
and say goodnight
I dream of a time before this
a time after this
I dream of a great undoing

A lighthouse fills my heart
dim tonight than ever before
I leave the light on
for you though
for myself
for the three of us
even in the crest of the tsunami

“your ability to project charismatic body language” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 27, 2019
5:38pm
5 minutes
The Charisma Myth
Olivia Fox Cabane

You do not know self consciousness
Your face the pure expression of feeling
You see the floral blanket and the joy
ripples from top to bottom explodes
out your tiny fingertips

It was hot last night and our naked bodies
touched through each dream and breath
Crescent moon eyelashes the very thing
I didn’t know I’d always dreamed of
Sweetness here now curled against my belly
the same one I felt a year ago in those
first appleseed days

Three months of knowing you
separate from my body
although that’s hardly true
Three months of you being here with us
giving back so much more than I thought possible
Why did I think it was going to be so hard?

Walking home from tying up frayed loose ends
it was easier than I thought
barely an effort really
effortless in it’s grace
I said to myself
“Why was I so afraid?”
and the sun on the sweetgrass growing
flooded me with the truth of
letting go

“I can’t handle this” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Thursday July 25, 2019
10:10am
What Every Body Is Saying
Joe Navarro

Sometimes
when the sweat is trickling down
the nape of the neck
the back is tight from slouching
the heart is weary from all the love
all the stretching

These times
one might think
“I can’t handle this”
Too full
Too sticky
Too messy
Too unknown
Too much

This, too
I say in a moment of
surrender
in a light prism of
yes
This, too

“Bishop Family Bees” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday July 20, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
Honey Child Apothecary

You and me
we raise bees in our backyard
only have a bit of space
a few concrete slabs
a tiny patch of grass
but it’s something I’ve always
wanted to do
and always feels closer
since we met grief at the dump

You build the hive out
of old shipping crates
scored on Craigslist
for free
I find second hand bee suits
for us
turns out more people
want to raise bees
than you think
but a lot of things can go wrong
and it’s hard work

I dream about being
covered in honey
arms-length of sticky gold
breaking into the comb
a bear in summer

“She heard a deeper vibration” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday July 18, 2019
10:50am
5 minutes
From a quote by Willa Cather

She sits on the edge of my bed
her body different than ever
but this isn’t about her body
for once
this is about her transformation
not that body and transformation are mutually exclusive
just that too much attention has been paid to form
and now it’s about something formless
more important

She’s wearing a burnt caramel
three quarter sleeved shirt
it’s her colour
when I see this colour in the wild it reminds me of her
She’s talking about gratitude
like it’s her new guru
like it’s saving her life
and it is

Shrouded in white
glowing aura of wisdom and wreckage
gratitude leads her back
to the place that broke her
heart
the first time round

“shoved me into the bathroom” by Sasha in her bed

Tuesday July 16, 2019
7:52pm
5 minutes
A Head Full OF Ghosts
Paul Tremblay

Hands around my hips
pushing me towards the open door
Is this the life
I always dreamed of?
Molson on my breath
and All Dressed chips
I wish I’d eaten something
better

We’re up against the sink
graffiti on the walls
Is this all there is?

“Why aren’t you into this?”
Who are you?
“Shit, I’m sorry…”
Down on my knees but he
pulls me up and back
and mouths and breath
and eyes and my mother
used to say that I had
a strange nose it didn’t
come from either lineage
it is all my own

Someone flushes in the
other bathroom
We laugh

“What’s your name?”

“your teeth glint” by Sasha at her desk

Saturday, July 13, 2019
10:51am
5 minutes
Next Time
Lucy Yang

Your teeth glint
refraction of streetlamp
and truth
Your mouth is bigger than ever
fizzing future
foaming present
shhhhh past

It’s July and it’s not as warm
as we’re used to this time of year
The only smoke is coming from
the change
the fizzing foaming shhhh-ing
At least for now
We’re lucky
I suppose

Keep reminding myself of that

I wake sweaty from a dream
baby wiggling for my breast
sighing in her sleep

Someone left their kid
in the hot car and they died

Water is the only thing
that brings me comfort in this
strange and stinking desert

Tears
Showers
Room temperature from the jug
on the counter

“contact the storage directly” by Julia at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
4:32pm
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

In my dream you were there as if
it hadn’t been 4 years of silence
When our other friends left the room
I looked at you, still there, shrugging
Was this night more awkward because you
and I haven’t talked anything out yet?
You wait to answer because the answer
is yes but you are there waiting for me
I didn’t know if you wanted to talk…
And now it is my turn to wait, to ask
myself, floating above my body if, maybe,
I do

Things are said but mostly not and
by the end of the scene we are hugging
deeply and I have said I love you again
and you have cried and said I love you back

You didn’t look the same and your calm
was foreign to me from what I remember and
yet I knew it was you there, wondering if
anything is possible the way they say it is

I gave you my answer and then I woke up,
glad that in the dream, after drawing the
card of Mercy, I could see what that might
look like even if no real action
had yet been taken

“contact the storage directly” by Sasha at her desk

Thursday, July 11, 2019
10:14am
5 minutes
From the Secure Storage website

I wonder if a time will come when
we do away with all the past hurt
stored in boxes in the closet
stacked one on top of the other
amidst the cleaning stuff and the
cans of black beans and chickpeas
paprika from Hungary
oats in a paper bag

I wonder when you will not be tight
and I will not be sorry

what will be between us then
the lightness and dust of these corners
a decade of daisy chain evolution
some flowers losing their bright
some gaining new growth
measured in commas and almost finished
stories measured in scratches
measured in letting go

I wonder what will come of this
and where you’ll put your righteousness down
what will be born of the true new

who will you allow me to be
in your paper doll cut out clothes
of not quite enough
torn at the places where you
stick them to my body
pin the tail on the woman
doing her best

“Taking a trip?” By Sasha at her desk

Tuesday July 9, 2019
12:02pm
5 minutes
From a TD Bank envelope

We talk three years in the future
a new language buried in our cheeks of
grandparents and long-haul flight snacks

We make promises that we know we can’t keep
but that’s what we all do right
that’s how we fool ourselves into the future
tumbling over and under
singing James Brown
singing lullabies

I’m always singing this song to you
especially on rainy days when the trying
gets tried and there’s nothing but
the birds on the balcony
trying to rustle up a seed
from the empty feeder

“because they don’t realize” by Sasha on her balcony

Saturday April 20, 2019
4:53pm
5 minutes
Real Roger
Harold Ober

How will I teach you how to love your body
in a world where a choir of voices sing
BE SMALL
HOLD IT IN
DON’T
STOP
YOU ARE TOO MUCH

deafening crescendo
coming from all sides
every time you leave home

at least that’s how it felt to me
often
sometimes
mostly

How will I teach you how to love your body
when the lineage of women hating themselves
runs as deep as the lineage
of love and water

That is my work
my task from the very first day

Strength and wisdom
in your muscles and bones
blood like fire
burning up towards a sky
that forgives all the hurt
carried in cells
all the shrinking

We will not shrink

You will hear me praise
how my body carried you
and made you who you are
and fed you and carried you

You will hear me celebrate
the stretch marks and dimples
and you will believe me
because I will be telling the truth

You will hear me speak of the beauty
of all bodies
ones like yours and ones like hers
and ones like mine and ones unlike many
and you will hear me
sing louder than the choir

A lone voice
a mother’s voice
swallowing the many
with the power of the matriarchy
that only knew what they knew
and now we know more

“And you arrive light” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday April 19, 2019
9:08pm
5 minutes
Summer Lines
Judy McGillivary

you arrive by light
a kiss on your lips
from the other realm
a story in your veins
that i know and
i don’t know

you arrive bright

you arrive by light
full pink moon asks
to expect the unexpected
line up the crystals
on the window ledge
throw my head back
and laugh at all the
ways I thought I knew

you arrive bright

riding on the tail
of a shooting star
teaching me about
surrender and chaos
and letting go
ripening me to the truth
a sliver of mango
sprinkled with chilli and lime
holding my hand as i

arrive too

“silence flourishes sea-green.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday April 18, 2019
3:33pm
5 minutes
Overdose
Seamus Dune

In the stillness
of the early morning hours
silent and ripe

This is the first time
in my life that
I’ve had this kind of
t
i
m
e
to rest and
be and
centre and
prepare
and rest

and meet
whatever guests
arrive at the door

“Every morning a new arrival”
Rumi says and it’s true
now more than ever before
it’s true

In the sea-green quiet
of three in the morning
I touch ecstasy in the
low down hiccups between
my hipbones
I touch fatigue in the
never-quite comfortable
I touch anger that my
mother won’t get watch
her love hold our girl
I touch the petty jealousy
that lives in clenched jaw
that smacks me around
when I’m least expecting

“Why are you still here?”

“Like the blueprint of a lake.” By Sasha on her couch

Monday April 15, 2019
10:53am
5 minutes
Weatherman
Norman MacKenzie

The wind is blowing south
and I send incantations into the
open mouth of the yellow tulip

When will you come?

The blueprint of my favourite lake
traced on my insides by your unborn fingers
We’ll spend hours on that dock
dipping toes into glass
fishes grazing the summer heat
spitting watermelon seeds
dragonflies flirting with newly
appointed freckles

When will you come?

I make another batch of granola
stock the chest freezer with soup
clean the dust bunnies from under the couch
read about the miracle of how my body
will open

the tulip

and you
in all your divinity
in all your grace
in all your knowing
will arrive

“a stretch of road, a write, and birch trees” by Sasha in her bed

Sunday April 14, 2019
3:04pm
5 minutes
The Death Of The Partisan Girl
Tom Wayman

Grief has a way of tossing around the heart
a big ginger cat pawing
the beating thing
back and forth and down
by the curb
a stretch of road ahead
that’s sketched in the colours
of a face you’ll never stop missing

You’re not the only one
who wakes up with tears on her pillow
the words to a song you haven’t thought of in years
swinging from the branches of the
dawn mind

You see other people rushing and hustling
and calling and tripping
and a friend tells you that you’ve changed

I have changed
you say and your voice catches
because isn’t change the only thing
that we can count on?

“concern also has been expressed” by Sasha at her desk

Friday March 29, 2019
9:48pm
5 minutes
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering
Sarah J. Buckley

You scrub the walls and dust the
hard-to-reach corners way up
way up beyond
where I can reach

I watched you ironing your shirt
this morning and talked and talked
and then I said

“I guess I’m feeling a bit chatty”
and you smiled
and it was all there
the waiting and the mystery
the stillness and the movement
the arrivals and the departure

The great letting go
required
on both sides

We are living in more
love than ever before and
I know it’s because
we have scrubbed the foundation
we have eaten handfuls of
clay in the face of doubt

We have come through the tunnel
and now we shield our eyes from
the exquisite brightness
of this living

“my mother is waiting” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday March 26, 2019
6:04pm
5 minutes
The Greeter
T Kira Madden

My mother calls
grace on her lips
grief crawling out
between her fingers
that thick sludge oh God
how do we bear
this kind of breaking
again she’s losing love
again she’s splitting open
she knows in a different way
this time

My daughter was a seed
in me in my mother’s womb
She carried us so well
grew us strong in heart
soft in hip
grew us brave

My mother sits
by the bed of her beloved
vigil in the stillness
in the nurses coming and going
speaks to him with the care
she spoke to my sister and I
when we were girls

“Falling in love is appropriate for now” by Sasha on her balcony

Monday March 25, 2019
9:02pm
5 minutes
Handy Tips on how to Behave at the Death of the World
Anne Herbert

today we called and told
you that we love you
and when i said it
you said “thanks, sister”

the tears were the
cord connecting my mother
and i across the mountains
the prairie
across the great lakes
a rocky expanse
full fledged
far flung

today we called and told you
that we love you
and you said hello
you heard us
you knew it was me and him
and this little one
nestled
and growing

today was a hard day
a soggy day
a heart on the floor
in the throat
in the guts day
soggy and heavy and
hurting

the only thing
left to say is
i love you
love is the only
word that holds
all the other words
in the bowl of the “o”
in the cup of the “v”

“a long, slow, squirmy moment for both of us.” By Sasha on her couch

Friday March 15, 2019
11:09am
5 minutes
Orange is The New Black
Piper Kerman

In the middle of the night
I’m listening to your rise and fall,
A breath I know by heart, tracing
the outline of your dreaming,
a sound in which magic thrives, a place
where the edges are soft, and there’s
good listening.

I walk to the bathroom, holding
my heavy belly in both my hands, tracking
the street lamp light with half-open eyes.

We found each other again in the tangle
of bed sheets and tongues, discovering
how to do this in all the Pisces
fullness. It’s taken patience.
It always does.

Back in bed I try to fall back to sleep,
turning from one side to the other, a pillow
between my leg, a pillow
where you were.

I write poems to our daughter
in the air with my pointer finger,
my counting sheep.

“He had to warm the guy up fast” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Tuesday March 12, 2019
8:03am
5 minutes
The Obsidian Chamber
Preston & Child

friend who is no longer friend
who the net couldn’t hold
who is gone now from this everyday
it’s not how i ever thought it would be
but i do know that love comes and goes
and open heartedness only gets us so far
always gets us to the truth

friend who is no longer friend
i hope that you are finally finding the peace
that you so desperately want
or wanted then i hope that
you are supported and enveloped in prayer
it’s okay that you broke things
forgiveness beads in my hand
counting to one hundred and eight
every morning and night

friend who is no longer friend
i don’t know if we’ll find our way back
to each other in this lifetime
but what i do know is that love is the god
i whisper to and who sings through
my voice moves through my body
water finding the same source
finding other water

“no matter how uncomfortable staying has become.” By Sasha in her bed

Sunday March 10, 2019
4:07pm
5 minutes
Devil With a Briefcase
Jan Janzen

You finally know what it is that you need to do
Now it’s just a matter of cracking open the outer shell
Scrambling yourself
Daring to be reborn

You sit with what it is that you need to do
for many long weeks
Sunday to Monday feeling like Winter to Fall
Time is a strange charade

A Sunday in March you dream about flying
your wings are the colour of the future
You can’t put your finger on the truth on your lips
but it’s there and it’s ready

You thought that staying with yourself
in all your stunning wretched you-ness
was just the practise of being alive
But it’s not and you’re not and now you’re

Pushing your fingers through the first bit of light

“Roads here are nuts.” By Sasha at her desk

Thursday March 7, 2019
5:40pm
5 minutes
From a text message

The cedars are telling me how
Step slow
Listen
Trust the roots

Moss on the undergrowth
Step slow
Eyelashes wet from dawn
Quiet like the beginning
and the end

In through the nose
and out through the mouth
Faith in the one foot
in front of the other

Surrender in the new
in the trusting
in the perfect
curve of the reach
of the fern

Rumi writes of the field
and it’s where I’m
going

I’ll meet you there

“breaks the silence” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday March 1, 2019
11:02pm
5 minutes
The First Treatise
Yara Farran

Sat by his bedside
day after day
The Don River moving
outside the floor
to ceiling windows
winter holds on
like holds on
How can we let go?

You astound me with
the openness of your heart
how it can break and bear
the greatest weight at the
same time
How you are capable
with your head in the
jaws of the beast

You both really like
the doctor this month
He’s honest
He reads poetry
When Death Comes

“faster than all your sadness” by Sasha at her desk

Tuesday February 26, 2019
9:13am
5 minutes
What To Look For In A Horse
Brett Elizabeth Jenkins

Underneath the layers
a stray fingernail clipping
a rose petal
a thank you card from a million years ago

Your sadness sits
next to the time your mother
forgot your birthday
on top of your first heartbreak
(you never knew it possible
to break without breaking
so fully)

Your sadness sings to you
in the hours when you lie awake
A song you know the tune of
but the words change

“nature acts.” By Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday February 15, 2019
6:49pm
5 minutes
A quote by Voltaire

The big joke is that
nature will survive
relentless and brave
It’s us who won’t

vulnerable and ignorant
Twins in the hole of
the big cedar
hide-and-go-seeking
hiding
not sure

It’s not the kind
of joke that we laugh at
it’s the kind that stops
us in our tracks
and makes us a little bit
sick when we’re trying to
fall asleep or make love

I find myself
wringing my hands
biting hangnails
scrubbing at the grout
around the tub