July 31st, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
June 24th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
All afternoon clouds grew overhead
the vapor of mountain chill against prairie heat
and vice versa
I watched them roll east from sundown
and made prayers for rain
the release that animates and slakes
as it descends and rises
Just to see them smell them
to listen for thunder
Often still skies are near-silent static
make something of the day
This evening’s skies gave a blue rain
as chill and heat spread out together
on the garden
orogenies at rest
Where i live
clouds roll off mountains most days
I need do nothing
June 2nd, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
On the annual conclave of The Ancient Order of Firegigglers–mad musicians, singers, and poets–and the placement of Michael Adams’s ashes.
River reeds dry by bonfire
for tonight’s song flutes.
Their in-breaths taste burnt sugar,
their tones, night birds’
in the indigo copse.
We sit and sing to woodsmoke,
to auroras in the fire,
to the shoulders alongside us
that sway and shake like ours,
fail and square like ours…
Singing blue notes and lightning,
we affirm to the owl, the mockingbird,
we’re here, we’re still here…
Yet, someone on the hillside is laughing–
a crazy cloud, side-lit by sundown,
dances above his own cairn.
May 13th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
On Colfax today,
the aproned grocer asked about my pendant.
Were the copper characters on silver
the seven chakras of the body?
They say the central Tibetan mantra, I said,
that there is good in everything.
He wore a beaded mala on his wrist,
a string of buoys on a blue pulse,
as he gave my rolled oats and receipt,
calm as a cushion.
West on Colfax,
the bookstore cashier said,
–wherever your journey takes you, may it be truly beautiful–
And I thought, where ever my journey takes me,
it may be beautiful.
He only said the truth, he said.
I thought: the pond floats the lily.
From there, a young man’s hair waved
around the collar of his woolen coat.
He held open the door for me,
as an in-breath sees its exhalation,
as brother eyes see a sister on her way.
Here, on the retail strip,
where so many receipts
pass through so many hands
and get it over with.
Others go empty.
Today, it seems everyone could be fed
from the cups of each other’s palms.
We really must come back again,
like this, tomorrow.
April 23rd, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
is for something
I am not waiting for.
Fertile waiting is somewhat blind like that.
I don’t wait for thoughts that ride the narrows
when the canyons flood,
that scramble en masse through tamarisk,
on collisions of rocks,
or where one stops in mud,
dry but not dry enough.
My hope is for some thoughts better
than matter snagged
by woodier, stonier stuff.
Not something grabbed
It’s for the eloquence of canyon light
along its own blue shadow.
It’s the planet’s age alive in ancestral rock.
It’s for someone who knows like I know, this:
that the wren and the wind raise songs
when we aren’t intent on them,
that bees and bats make us bloom,
that ravens gorgeously outsmart us…
The planet thrives on beautiful tricks
played on our vigilance:
delicate flickers knocking their skulls through trees,
a cat’s firm selfness dissolved to a liquid slink
by a mouse in the garden…
same cat that looks at our eyes,
just no more deep.
Tricks like this clear the way.
No thing good comes whole
through a closed door.
April 8th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
comes from somewhere
and sits in your throat
like a wad of dough
a dumpling swallowed whole
that no vindaloo curry
no berry fool
can wash down
and no cough can force out
sticky in the narrows
and somewhere it came from
it must go
to find this place
you sleep for days
dream behind doors
while waiting outside
is anger proud
thinning to a ghost
the master with a cane raised
drops its arm
in a dumb trundle
and is gone
your throat blows breath
and your tongue
rings on lips
of its oiled bell
a feast of harmonious foods
April 1st, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
Don’t dig the brown sapling from the yard.
It was transplanted last year,
is in shock,
but its roots could give
a fresh shoot.
It is too soon to cut the dry one down.
Every day I see it
and make a meditation on beings,
our various ways of passing by,
on potentials that realize themselves
in our efforts,
though we claim the successes,
on failures manifested in individuals,
but which reflect us all.
The green shoot may come,
grow bark and branches,
I would care for it,
but now, while the brown sapling stands,
it is my teacher.
Neighbors may misconstrue it
as an eyesore,
just as I do,
briefly, but every morning.
February 24th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
and force me back to the life I left,
to be stalked by the vapors of battle,
to choke on sweet mornings.
But nightmares lead me
to shed skin in my sleep.
I sometimes awake refreshed,
a peeled peach.
Nightmares prodded me repeatedly
through Midwestern temblors
toward a harbor of young mountains,
toward breadth and awe.
Belonging to no one,
nightmares go where they want.
I don’t know where or when they rest
for such a vigorous vocation.
To nightmares, then, my love and gratitude!
For their guidance and compassion.
Thanks, and a sack of oats.
February 22nd, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
i am waiting for air to clear
i am waiting for greed’s extinction
i am waiting for eyes to stop only searching
the surface of the water,
below where worlds of sentient beings
shape themselves in connections
changing shores in inevitable tides
of breeding and dying.
in my subterranean springs
i know this is chaos
and am tempted toward the surface
yet i rely on the water to breathe
and must balance my mind
dunno if it will.
February 20th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
The fly wakes up in a pond of warm air
left by a cascade, a chinook wind,
pushed by a chill wind
through mountains to our high plain,
where it pools warmly, briefly.
The fly makes me recognize it,
announces its trajectory,
then returns to rubbing its filaments
on the soggy mat of grass
that is our garden.
So moist a sky today
it drips a semblance of Wisconsin,
and a slow tune
to an audience of napping birds.
It makes me look for flocks of ducks
returning to nest in the North,
but this is not the Midwest.
I live on the Eastern hem of the Rockies…
as crazy as a fly
with only minutes
to be awake
before the dictates of
the one or two last snows…
of the season.
February 12th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
The remaining silence holds on
to the last
then stretches until thin
with rays warming
our wooden floors
and silence fades first
coffee made for me
I pursue content
in a tangled Net
tune to radio tangled noise
journalists are silenced
Cronkite is gone
with footage of
foreign killing fields
but Scahill will show us
Murrow is gone
with questions smoking
through the cathodes
but Greenwald will tell us
I want this
telling truth to power
with my morning coffee’s
near the turn
when hush happens
is at hand
across our bed
in down-soft shadows
when we light fat candles
’til just before dawn
and we cannot
be made to remain
in sweet silence
January 16th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
The big one was plumply lopsided in October,
unevenly expressed fertility or turpitude,
was an orange thick bloat of seed-belly smeared with summer green
stationed as season-greeter by the front door.
It harmonized with Aspen’s leaves, more yellow,
the Maple’s, more red.
Nothing fazed it.
But, when lifted from the concrete step in November,
The little one was bright,
the right shade of pumpkin for table decoration.
On the cloth of harvest feasts
it was nonplussed, convenient,
and when relocated to the November garden,
it left no stain.
Inside, it had dried to fiber.
Freezes followed frosts.
Big ‘kin sat on limp grass
and the little one atop it.
In the yard, we watched it.
They blanched, alike, to lighter skins,
effects of warmth and cold were softening.
Lookalikes, there they sit…
Might we use them for a spring garden?
January 10th, 2014 by Deborah Kelly
Bear circles my camp in last dark,
before Raven’s first grumble.
It hums hunger under its breath,
from deep in its rib-cave.
Its head sways, tentative.
Intent, its belly.
known as, Love That Wants Food…
often, with its belly full,
it warms me so,
and with its hunger, makes music.
See how—and why—
I feed it?
November 22nd, 2013 by Deborah Kelly
From a detention center,
courage fortified by maguey juice
smuggled in by their daughters.
With loaded patrols all along the border,
daughters who run with babies
even in their mothers.
The jailbroke hens
toe the countryside with care,
walk the gusty sand
and frozen mud, traceless.
Some then are led by seed
to the roosters’ cornrows,
or by pennies to Northern orchards.
When hens outfox loaded borders,
They piece together homes,
full to overflowing.
November 14th, 2013 by Deborah Kelly
I want to push away from the chatter
with a teaspoon of blue agave between
my tongue tip and my throat
burning like the stroke
I want to try sometimes
to see with my eyes only
to get beyond the spat sprayed
to some little wisdom
like red leaves on bent grass
November 7th, 2013 by Deborah Kelly
hidden in a binary place so wide
it overlaps itself,
is minutely archived.
place and planet,
in this electronic skin,
are strange to stand on.
neither net nor web,
it surrounds ones like
the walls of a bubble,
fascia on muscle.
oh, the muscles.
tongue to heart
to the arch of one’s foot,
one remembers them,
some on sheets of social media.
while the garden’s gone wild.
one goes there,
tosses off shoes.
water and salt,
breath and blood,
among one’s familiar.
October 20th, 2013 by Deborah Kelly
like the layers that ring within trees,
is never overwritten by other summers.
it embraces interiors
while tenacious after light on its leaves.
birds rely on this,
wrapping their feet around the present twig.
the present is all there is
memory and imagination.
a tree burl is an opportunity
for a bowl to hold memory.
around seasons and burls
a tree rings itself new.
September 28th, 2013 by Deborah Kelly
When Michael Adams died,
I thought of pollen,
not ash, but pollen,
ripe, drenching the invisible air with
what light can reach and color golden.
Pollen must be dispersed
and breath must be made visible,
so they join with sunlight in that angle,
his steel valleys,
red wolf and white oak, live
more visible in poems than in photos.
And all the minds Mike lead to dance
his unstoppable songs,
move their feet in time over floorboards,
unfolding, joining, singing themselves awake…
for the sight
of Mike in an angle of light,
as always, across his pages.
Colorado poet Michael Adams died on 26 September 2013.
His webiste is: http://www.michaeladamspoetry.com
August 24th, 2013 by Deborah Kelly
A young man stands
in against a river
to bend its course against his body,
to bend its course against his courage.
He singly challenges a river
shaped by rooted landforms
and metamorphic knobs,
by cataracts of snow pack,
the sweat of muscular clouds.
Once and again,
he discovers the river licking trillium,
glinting under the Pleiades,
finds it drinking duff,
He uses the heat of words
to fortify his body,
to dam and redirect
a Tigres, a Nile, a Mississippi.
He insists, repetitious, on the shape he declares,
and grows too old.
When the river enters his bones
his skull sits, a nearly still bell
that vibrates near silence
with particulate movements.
He croons along,
he howls and hums,
letting it in, letting it out,
even letting stillness fill
the creases of exertion.
That is how he greets the ocean,
when he arrives,
with a river that feeds rogue waves
at it’s riffling delta.
August 10th, 2013 by Deborah Kelly
In the tattoo parlor
to be etched permanently…
And that’s the problem with permanence:
it doesn’t exist until it always has or always will.
Pain and skin and pen and ink and pain.
Stoic, transcendent, present.
Try making some noise!
I gave the long out breath for a long black line
the vital rib-vein of a leaf,
voicing the breath: aaaaaaaaAAAhhhaahhhhaAaaaaaahhh
Singing pain out, out
from behind eyelids into orange eyelid light.
Rising or falling,
buzzing or ripping,
I learned that pain respects an honest song.
I learned to focus on singing
or the pain in the mind would out-shriek
pain in the body.
and no derision,
no thought of an idea.
Only the song.
Sensation comes and goes.
Only sing an honest song.