Where We Are

comments 22

The weeds in my heart have gone to tassel.
They are purple and rose edged
in the soft light from Beyond.

The sun here is setting, rising, calling, giving, knowing, holding, flying, burning.
And I am listening, watching, walking, dreaming, dying, wishing, burning.
Shadows of the unkempt reeds are dancing together on the ground.
They are playing in the mud without getting wet.

A world without shadows, I whisper, is a world without magic.

I’ve been away,
waiting for the train,
adjusting my shirt sleeves,
leaning into the wind,
reading a magazine,
trying to get the skin of a green pepper
off the side of my molar with one pinky,
picking an argument with this one article’s author.
He’s of the opinion we need another opinion.
He is paid to have an opinion.
And I wonder:
Does he always have one?
Or does he wander, like me,
back to this place we’ve always been,
where opinion is like a flat washer
you find in your pocket
when you’re following some moonlit trail
through the wilderness.
It’s not particularly harmful, this disc of metal.
If you look through the middle of it
the bear staring down at you
from the other side of the valley
may come into focus.
Or maybe you’ll trip over a root.

This morning I happened to notice:
One, time is in charge of the décor in my heart.
And two, the weeds in this place have all gone to tassel.

People are disembarking from their trains
and I decide not to get on the train
so there’s a void that remains
in the space where everyone was. Now
all those leaving know where they are going
but me, and they are getting there, alright—
you can just tell,
and I think, for some reason,
not out loud, just for me and you,
that I am already there.
I am already there…
And you are here with me.

This is where we are.
Where is there to go?

They’re not really weeds, anyway.
Though they have gone to tassel.
They’re markers. Raised hands.
Beings with roots that burrow deep in the mud.
When I began to harvest them
they organized a conference in my mind
about raft-building and the birds came
and ate all the secrets that fell on the ground
from the crumbling tassels
and flew away
and now I am after them,
floating on the river of my heart,
and I’m picking an argument with the author
of this one article because I wonder how—
how could you possibly have an opinion
when you are a river lengthening forever
across the land from one end to the next
wondering where those birds went?

Onyx feathers. Blue feathers. Red feathers.
A splash of light and all is revealed.
My longing coalesces.

They are out there, just over the bank,
singing the songs that live inside them.
They are visible if I look through the tasseled reed heads,
through the empty place at the center of my flat washer.

They are defecating those secrets right now
from the tips of branches and hollow reeds,
Sowing my next breath’s crop of yearning.


  1. I thought of you and your blog, was it yesterday? and here you appear in the reader, and I am reminded of what a spectacular poet you are. 🙂

    So many layers, I’ll let Hariod sort them out for me, lol!

    blessings, Linda

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very cool, Linda. Thank you very much for the kind words… It was good to try this form again and get into some new territory. So nice to see familiar faces…! Hope you are well.

      Blessings to you as well,

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha. Thank you, Kristina! I hadn’t heard of poetry therapy, but I’d say this piece was therapeutic for me. Writing is in general. It moves things around in new ways, brings emotions out of hiding, allows for contacting them and experiencing them fully I think. As to the opinionated… sometimes the world seems loud, and it’s nice to come home to simple presence and not know what it’s all for or means… 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah! Thank you, Michael🌝 I didn’t realize how much I missed your poetry until I was in the middle of it. I wonder – I know he comes into focus but does the bear look larger through the washer?
    Hope you are well, my friend. Sweet Blessings

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lorrie, so nice to hear from you! Glad you enjoyed it! I missed writing this way I realize. Not knowing where it will turn. I have no idea about the bear in the washer! Seems like maybe the bear would seem closer anyway. Like looking through the washer bridges two points in the world somehow, brings them into contact, cuts away the noise and distraction or something…

      I’m well and I hope you are, too, Lorrie!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so lovely Michael. This spoke to me:
    “I am already there…
    And you are here with me.
    This is where we are.
    Where is there to go?”
    Indeed – where is there to go? When I catch myself leaning too far into the future I ask myself – “Why are you trying to get somewhere? You’re already here. And so are we all.
    It’s lovely to have you and your poetry back in my life again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much, Alison. I actually thought of you when I wrote those lines, as you often resonate with that shifting into the here and now. It’s such a powerful practice. Lately I’ve been reminding myself when I get frustrated with some arbitrary goal I gave myself: there’s plenty of time for this… relax… It really does help to not let the mind be in charge of every little thing! It was fun to write this way again, and I’m grateful for the responses received!

      With Love

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is really beautiful, Michael, tripping along lightly yet with acuity — a delightful read. But then, who needs my opinion . . . ? 😉 Thank you my friend, my old friend (I think we’re old friends now).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, my old and dear friend, who needs those opinions!? But when they go your way, they’re not unappreciated, I must confess. It’s great to have a few words to meet over, still, albeit fewer and farther between. Hope you are well!


      Liked by 1 person

  5. I needed to read this, Michael!

    Thank you for reminded me exactly where I am…

    “People are disembarking from their trains
    and I decide not to get on the train
    so there’s a void that remains
    in the space where everyone was.”


    Missed this form of expression that invites me in, easily.

    An empty train 🚂

    Liked by 2 people

    • So nice to hear from you, Ka! I’m overdue for a visit your way. I’m glad this one hit the spot, and it’s encouraging to know that the feelings behind it were shared, and that readers here resonated so. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but that kind of resonance heartens me. Kristina is onto something with the poetry therapy I think, because writing and reading this way really does shift things around it seems. Thank you for sharing in this moment with me…

      Hope you and yours are well…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. J.D. Riso says

    This one went straight to the soul, Michael. One of those pieces that come directly from that other place. Here and there simultaneously. Just breathtaking. A world without shadows is a world without magic indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That means a lot to me, Julie. Thank you. To expound on what I just wrote to Ka, to be understood and to pass through these strange rooms of being with another is one of the more profound magics of being human. Makes the experience that much sweeter. Thank you for reading, my friend!



  7. My mother calls me a ‘weed’ she says I can survive anywhere 😳🤫 feathers also provide direction 🤓 always appreciate your writing Micheal…a wordsmith indeed ☺️🤓 thank you for sharing ~ smiles Hedy ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good skill to have, Hedy! And yes, feathers provide direction… Thank you very much for reading and responding. Always a pleasure.


      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Michael, what a splendid piece of writing, I felt myself there – I felt myself feeling things, it was all very real and genuine. It was magical. Peace, Harlon

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s lovely, Harlon. To feel oneself feeling things… is it not the real magic of this world? One human being to another, we astonish one another with all that is real and genuine. Hope you are well, my friend!



  9. i find a most special weaving
    of reeds & weeds into a raft
    for navigating those harrowing
    passages encountered within, dear Michael!
    having no other opinion at this moment
    but happily offering it at no cost 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s a few harrowing passages in there, for sure, David! Ha! But weaving a raft out of what is right in front of us is all we can do. A simple acceptance of the life around us… Thank you for offering this lovely opinion; none other was needed! 🙂


      Liked by 1 person

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