Category Archives: nature

Holding Together

I am sitting alone
in the kitchen I built
eating fresh blueberries
listening
to the birds
reconcile their feelings for me
as they enjoy the seed
but remember the trees
that once held their homes

I can hear those trees
coming down
falling over
creating a moment of static
in the crushed branches

I can feel the weight
of the first wall
as I lifted it into place
on the edge
of the foundation

I am staring
at the front door
that I installed
with not much difficulty
on a rainy day

I am remembering
the way it felt to be so high
on the ladder
putting in the windows
that have given me the view
of my childhood fantasy

below me
above me
all around me
are two by fours and nails
holding me together

holding in place
this dream I have
of sharing this nest
with a particular man
I like to imagine
walking through that door

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-29-18

Comfort Animal

Mine is timid
around strangers
and is known to bite
if he feels cornered—
sometimes I believe
he feels threatened
by the cage he imagines
I must have hidden
in one of my many rooms.
He lives for long walks
in the woods
where he can stop
whenever he needs to pee,
or has a wish to investigate
the marvelous array
of wildflowers—
and his endurance
is more than
(or at least equal to) mine,
and I can take him
almost anywhere
without worry he’ll run off
and never return—
his loyalty is a mix
of curiosity and restraint—
but I think his devotion
has something to do
with the way I scratch his ears
and rub his belly
and let him sleep in my bed—
but I suspect
he’s always ready to bolt
if I lean in too close
or hug him
a little too tight.

DeMaris
3-29-18

“Master Bedroom” by Andrew Wyeth, 1965

Where No One Can Follow

Rain all morning
nowhere to go
but inward
where the memories
are stored
where the only thing
that can reach me
is music—
a guitar
and a couple of voices
in harmony
that seem to be saying
all the things I can’t.

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-19-18

“Meridian Street, Thawing Weather” by T.C. Steele, 1887

Deep Winter

You are winter.
Stripped down
to necessity
but not quite barren.
Still beautiful.
Sometimes
I’d even say exquisite.
But mostly
your warmth
isn’t enough
to penetrate
what is cold in me
and even though
I long
for summer
I find it impossible
to believe
that once it wraps me
in its blue skys
I won’t long
long
long
long
long
for you.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
2-4-18

Sparrows

The sparrows
finches
chickadees—
all of them know
his kindness is reliable
even when, especially when
cold, frost and snow
cover their world in difficulty—
they know where to find his love
poured into the feeders
outside his windows—
they taste it in the suet
he prepared and stuffed
into the vacancies
of a fallen cedar
to give energy and sustenance
to wings of all colors
that flicker
like his memories
of a different landscape
a different decade
when he met a girl
who flew in for a closer look
and spread her love over his world—
he soared so high
it took him a long time to land
and by then she was gone—
so he keeps the birds near
to remind him how it felt
to be weightless—
and every morning
the sparrows return
and every evening
they fly away
and take with them
small pieces of his sorrow.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
1-29-18

“Snow Birds” by Andrew Wyeth

Snow Angel

Today, the future has finally arrived
giftwrapped in snow—
it’s the future I hoped for
doubted
questioned
when I hiked alone
around Yellowwood Lake
a dozen years ago
on a white winter day like this—
ignorant, then,
of how to tell the oaks apart
after their leaves had fallen—
back when I hadn’t a clue
which bird was singing which song—
all I wanted in those days
was someone to share that beauty—
someone
who didn’t need to know anything
about the plants
that grew in wetlands
or on the prairies—
I could have been happy
with a partner
who knew nothing
of the migration patterns
of falcons and owls—
I could have loved someone
even if he couldn’t explain
the differences between
cumulus and cirrus clouds—
but somehow
here I am
on my back in the snow
making angels with someone
who wants to know as much about me
as he knows
about every wildflower
he’ll name for me in spring.

DeMaris
1-15-18

Painting by TC Steele, “Early Snow”

With the Dead

It’s a cold night
almost Christmas
and I am wishing
it would all
be over
when I find myself
stuck in traffic
driving slow
parallel
to the ancient
iron fencing
between me
and the cemetery
and I pull in
as if someone
is calling my name
from behind
the skeleton trees
and I follow
the narrowing road
to its logical
dead end
and I kill the engine
and step out
to touch the granite
stones
that are so heavy
with what it means
to be crushed
by an accumulation
of days
and I lay down
on the earth
beside a man
named Jim
who died in 1913
and then I stare
at the moon
as if it could answer
the question
of how to feel
alive.

 

 

 

DeMaris
12-16-17