"A Day in the sUn on Turtle Island" Paired with my Pushcart nominated poem


Puccini Plays on Turtle Island


This morning I cleaned house and did laundry —

the underwear drawer well-stocked and tidy again.

Then it was my favorite path — through the woods

and into the used bookstore, on to the corner

cafe and home again where my sweetheart

bakes bread and has put on opera — arias

from the deep, perhaps the very same deep

the wild-eyed woman on the cliffs of Mendocino

told me she was trying to find her way out of.

Outside, the bird feeder is full. The cold trough

continues to push down from Alaska, keeping

the pear tree’s buds closed in on themselves,

lost in thought. The gray world out the window

is at peace with herself, even as she knows

the atmospheric river will continue to wash

all her loves downstream. What’s left

of my friends have scattered — Italy, Costa Rica,

the Otherworld, Japan. It seems I am meant

to sit still in this well-swept house —

in this eye of turbulent absence. It comes clear

that no one can save us from falling

from the edge. And now I think maybe

we are ferried on the back of a great turtle after all —

a tottering benevolent beast, content with time

and its machinations, content

to paddle over the channels of dark matter,

to hobble across the starry way.


forthcoming in Chautauqua Review, who have given this poem a 2021 Pushcart Nomination




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