2021: Hour Fourteen – Imaginary Friends

Where do all the imaginary friends go
when the real children grow up

Do they gather together in a bus depot
waiting for the next batch of companions

Do they hang around playgrounds, outside of schools
waiting for the ones who walk home alone
to keep them company

what happens to the imaginary friends when they stop
getting invitations to tea parties

what happens to the imaginary friends when the children stop
calling their names 

do they find each other and keep each other company
while they wait for the next generation

2021: Hour Thirteen – Under the Rainbow

Once I was in a field
of soft white flowers 

running towards the mountains
in the distance 

it was as if I ran for hours and still the mountains
kept their distance and stature

The clouds gathered
the storm brewed
I was sure I would be soaked to the bone

and then a light
emerged behind me
and a rainbow grew

Once I was in a field
under a rainbow
and I felt safe

2021: Hour Twelve – Waffles

Waffles is my favorite breakfast
and also is the best hamster
who brings joy to my daughter
during our time at home
in the pandemic
making us smile
sleeps all day
runs all

2021: Hour Eleven- Sourdough Skyscrapers

It was the year of the spread.
The pandemic epidemiologists had been predicting would come, if we didn’t change our ways and beat our hunger for endless progress and economic growth.

The forest rangers, at least some of them, turned out to be the revolutionaries.

As they wandered what was left of the forest in their gumboots, we had thread the needle of zoonotic spillover.

As we destroyed habitats and pushed our development closer to the edge of the what was once the wilderness.

Under lockdown, fearing for our lives, we huddled inside.

The fortunate ones only had the task of figuring out how to spend their time and minds enclosed in their homes. 

Not able to visit the storefronts, the people turned to making things on their own.

We could build skyscrapers from the loaves of sourdough that were baked and glue them together with the starter they abandoned —

— for the next trend that clouded their minds.

Back to work, the new way, we all clicked on the periwinkle app to “be with” each other…
can you hear me okay? do you like my filter?  look at my pet. At least we can be together like this.

Sourdough skyscrapers — this is a sticky mess we’ve gotten ourselves into

2021: Hour Ten – Lost at Sea

Stranded far from the reaches of everything familiar
Solid land to stand on not seen for days

The moon has abandoned me
Darkened skies leave space for stars and planets
to send their distant light to meet my eyes
reflected on the surface of the water

The difference between sea and sky obscured
lights dance on the sky and the the water
is it bioluminescence of sea creature below
or charged particles dancing on the atmosphere

The velvet darkness, a palette for the speckled light
surrounding me in the stillest of seas 

Enveloped and dazzled, I slip into a reverie
of distant mysteries layered on the hidden depths of the sea

2021: Hour Nine – half a gallon per day

Don’t cry over spilt milk
Easier said than done

My household currently drinks milk
at a rate of half a gallon per day

That’s 1.89 liters for those who participate
 in the more sane measurement system

At 6 USD per gallon of organic milk
Every drop wasted hurts me a little bit

Mostly because it means the inevitable next trip
to the grocery store is coming sooner

I mean, I don’t cry about it, and I don’t yell about it
But, I do feel a little twinge, and then my brain tells me
It’s not worth traumatizing the children over it

I do offer to pour it when the container is full
for the adolescents whose newly longer limbs
are more likely to spill it

Then, I turn around too fast
The opaque droplets on the counter
pointing their little, wet fingers at me

After all that, it was me who spilled the milk

I mean it’s no big deal, don’t go shedding any tears
Because everyone knows, you shouldn’t cry over spilt milk

2021: Hour Eight – is it too much to ask?

shiny, dangerous and sexy — she glides in sophisticated and distant
crashes into the life of an overachieving, people pleaser

an unlikely friendship
results in a requested favor

seems reasonable until the days tick by
abandoned with the responsibility of her new friend’s child in hand

a body found, the mysterious shiny friend is dead
grief brings the father and the perfectionistic vlogger together

a new life unpacked and starting over
then creepy haunted moments
is she crazy or is the mother still alive?

little miss “do it all” turns on her nancy drew skills
discovers the murky history of a troubled past

Turns out twins were part of the plot
reunited attempts at extortion by the lesser known twin
ends in drowning, obscuring the identity and disappearing

Power of the internet and little cameras
the room parent vlogs out a confession 

everyone tries to kill each other
and little ms. perfect lives to vlog another day

2021: Hour Seven – Everything’s Normal

Is it normal for the weather to do this right now? she asks

Are any of us old enough to know what is normal for the climate on this planet?
Is it reasonable to apply my faulty memory of a few decades of weather and decide what is right and true and normal for the weather?

It didn’t used to do this 30 years ago, I answer

It seems like you used to be able to count on certain predictable patterns in a given region.

It seems like things are getting more extreme. If we look at the data,
once we got the power to really dig up, push around, dam up and cut down the world around us, that things started to really heat up around here–
–or cool down when it’s supposed to be hot.

How much more can the planet take?

The Earth? Oh, the planet’s going to be fine.
It’s the beautiful matrix of life that lives here that is at risk.

Most of it has already been driven out of existence.
And we’re surprised that things aren’t really normal anymore?
It would take something catastrophic to wake us up.
Something like a pandemic…
And it almost did…

Is it normal for the weather to be hot like this?
Here it is. But, there it’s not.

Will we learn to stop or just normalize ourselves into extinction?

2021: Hour Six – On the Path

Fir needles crunch under my feet
Their menthol scent wafting up
Majestic branches block the sun, keeping the forest floor in shadow
The heat present in the smell of the oils evaporating from their green tips

The rustle of animals around me
The forest floor disturbed makes them sound bigger than they are
It’s just a squirrel or a small bird
Wishing to catch a glimpse of a more reclusive creature

Something tickles the side of my shin
twirls of oval leaves dotted with delicate white flowers
crouch a moment to take in the warm vanilla scent of sweet woodruff

The small wooden structure peaks out behind the trunk of the
Douglas fir I like to climb to watch for visitors
It’s branches like a ladder and in the cool evenings
sometimes graced by the talons of an endangered owl

A tree stump for a step up onto the porch
The small boards creak under my feet
I stride across to my heavy front door
push it open as it scrapes an arc across the wooden floor

I breathe in the sweetness
of coming home

2021: Hour Five – Time Buried

Digging in the back yard
to plant
a tree sapling

we need more trees
to halt the overheating of our earth

My shovel hit something that made a
clinking sound

A metal box
unearthed and the dirt dusted off

A Wonder Woman lunchbox
rusty hinges moan and the lid is open to reveal

A cassette tape of Depeche Mode
A pair of off- white flats – size 9
A curling iron, still hot?
3 wrinkled pages torn from the journal, ink faded and blurred
A stick of frosted pink lipstick

The symbolic possessions of a 14 year girl that once was me
buried beneath my feet

time to honor her and put new growth where she once stood
time capsule of my youth in the fertile ground of the heart of my existence