Summer House: The Ferry, To and Fro


The Ferry, To and Fro

At summer’s start,
the ferry leads
west, to escape,
to sanctuary.

We leave behind
the daily life
of alarm clocks
and automatic
coffee pots.

Drink in
the slowness
of the rhythm
of sunrise
and sunset.

This is a new life
in a place
not ruled
by wires.

At summer’s end,
some head back
east again,
where the office
waits with an
inbox fuller than
the busiest tide pool.

But some of us
stand on the south shore
of the island,

watching the ferry
as it becomes smaller
and smaller.

We turn to smile
at each other.
We are not on board,
and the summerers
have left.

And the quietness
of the days

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Author’s note: This concludes Summer House! Thanks to all of you who read it. I enjoyed writing this exploration of change and the ways that, sometimes, change leads to good things.

I’ll have a new series starting up shortly, Ten-Cent Tarot, which will be more typically SimLit, even featuring some of the pre-mades, if they cooperate! Don Lothario–I’m looking at you!

Summer House: Surface and Depth


Surface and Depth

Across the plane
where two worlds meet

light shines,
as if it claimed the right of the real.

Beneath this,
in the depths,
over stones and mud
and sunken drowned leaves

the trout swims
slowly, without hurry.

Your face reflects back
as you bend over the pond.

The trout swims
through you

and in the wake
of a tail and fins

you disappear.

Two worlds meet
in a plane.

Through the reflection
of one
lie the secrets
of the other.

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Summer House: Thicket



What entangled treasures wait
inside the thicket?

A winter wren’s nest
in moss-woven globe,
five tiny eggs,
cream with red spots?

Tree frog
climbing lichen
on the bark of a fir
with padded feet
and golden toes?

From the fallen limb
in thick humus
a huckleberry bush
stretches to light.

What red jewels,
sweet, tart,
full to burst
with dew–

–this grows
from rubble,
storm ripped,
from the rotting
mass, cedars
once towered
past the moon.

And now,
in the tangled thicket,
we search for
treasures spun
from ruin.

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Summer House: A Gardener’s First Lesson


A Gardener’s First Lesson

Out by where the lavender grows
my grandfather planted rows
and rows of carrots,
parsnips, radishes
and beans.

Out by where the lavender grows
I asked him how he chose
which seed to bury.
Was it simple as
it seemed?

Out by where the lavender grows
he said, “Listen. Your finger knows.”
He set a hard round
nugget in my palm,
brown and green.

Out by where the lavender grows
I felt a spark through my toes.
Soil can sing. Listen.
A seed bursts with light,
a sheen.

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Summer House: Open Doors


Open Doors

Kitchen doors open
to let loose the scents
of stew, roast squash,
steaming peas,

Kitchen doors open
to send free the sounds
of humming the song
that grandma sang,
the C major scale
played by stumbling
fingers of a child,
the shouts that
supper is ready,
that the cake
is done,
that it’s
time to

Kitchen doors open
and in you come,
with your hurried
laughter, your
impatient joke
your muddy
across the

Kitchen doors open
but you fall silent
with a sigh.
must wait
for a different
door to find release.

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Summer House: Purpose



In  my grandmother’s kitchen,
everything had a purpose.
Everything had a place.

Two steps, turn.
There’s the fridge.

Two steps, turn,
to the stove.

The sink,
the dish rack,
the cotton towels
with each check
in place.

But inside,
in the noisy
jumbled darkness
of the ever chattering mind
the clutter rushed
with every shattering
flash of light:

A nightgown soaked
red with blood.

A child’s name
never spoken.

An empty carton
of cigarettes
a shot glass,
a gin bottle,
broken on the tiles.

No purpose.
No place.

My grandmother
never showed
these dark corners
to me, except
when it was
nearly too late.

In one rushed
confession, the words
tumbled out.

It’s okay, Grandma. 
Shhh. Shush.

My kitchen has no
center of order.
The spices spill
over the counter–
sage and cinnamon
mingling in scent.

The fridge stands too far
the dishes piled on the table.
The empty paper bags
nestled in the corner
with the spider web
and dust’s dandelion fluffs.

But inside,
in the quiet
perfect darkness
of the everstill night,
there is no purpose.
There is no place.

No walls,
nor borders,
no barriers,
no duty.

Only the quickening
pulse of life
that surpasses
any sense
the mind
might impose
in chaos
or order

Only the felt sense
of now.
Of presence.

I am the grandchild
of a woman with outer order,
only my peace lies

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Summer House: 200 Eyes


200 Eyes

Two hundred eyes stare
at the front of the room
where I stand, baring
ideas, insights,
and thoughts.

Eyes judge
to find wanting,
searching for cracks,
fissures open to

Eyes long
to desire, wanting,
owning, dressing
and undressing,

Eyes admire
to respect, idolize
and capitalize,
buying a piece
of belonging.

I run from the lectern,
stand on the bluff,
in the wind, raw,
escaped the gaze
of two hundred eyes.

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Summer House: Waves



Waves crash again,
again, again

on rocks, on cliffs, on bluffs,
on mud, on sand

through estuary, through
beach, through dry land.

Pulse throbs again,
again, again

through ventricles, through
veins, through muscles and skin

The fascia of the earth
holds form together

until the waves crash
through substance

the pulse breaks through
the blocks inside

and out.

Erosion of form
of pain, of loss,
of resistance.

Crash again, again,

Until all that’s left
is space.

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Summer House: Grass



They say grass is simple,
those who look without looking.

A monocot
the lines flow
in parallel

leading together
toward the inflorescence

Have you seen
a grass flower?
the dancing stamens
the twirling anthers

And the roots
in fibrous swirls

From grain
from baskets
from the base
of every village

The world rests on grass.

They say grass is simple,
like me.

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