Category Archives: nature

Compass 

Mine
was plastic
orange
inexpensive
with a cord
to go
around
my neck
and it never
seemed
to make it
easier
to find
my way
when I
was lost
while yours
was internal
invisible
instinct
with a
built in
barometer
a feeling
in the air
a trust
you had
that the sun
could be
relied upon
to make
no errors
on its
course
so you
never worried
about
making
a wrong turn
or heading
in the wrong
direction
until
our paths
crossed
and now
we are
navigating
the dark
together
and I’m
hoping
you’ll feel
your heart
quiver
like the
needle
on a
compass rose
as it
gets closer
to mine
searching
for its
true north.

 

 

 

DeMaris
10-15-17

Zucchini

To get to your smile
I wrecked two homes
mine first
then yours
uprooting years
of complacency
years of good enough
and I knew
you might disappoint me
might be nothing
like a fairy tale
and you are nothing
like a fairy tale
but I am as far away
from disappointed
as Jack
when he discovered
the beanstalk
outside his window
because
you planted a seed
just for me
inside your garden
and for lunch
I sautéed zucchini
with butter and salt
and tasted
this fruit of your love.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
9-12-17

Meaning

So tempting
to think rain
must mean
god is expressing
emotion,
sharing
in your epic
melancholy—
or the collision
between the semi
and the car
in front of you
means you were
favored
over the two children
who ended up
in the ER—
and the dead
towhee you almost
stepped on
must have been
placed on the trail
as a reminder
of how quick
and unfairly
all this might come
to an end—
and the
coneflower
must possess
all the magic
of the universe
because it leaves you
with the truth
after you pluck
its petals—
“he loves me”
which means
you can ignore
all the other signs
that say he doesn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-29-17

Stop

 

You never think
STOP
when you’re speeding
toward something
beautiful
like a sky full of storms—

all you see
is the lightning
drawing spectacular
designs on the horizon
inviting you closer—

never mind
the pencil is electricity
and to hold it
would be an act of
defiance and stupidity—

all you want
is to feel brave
and unhinged
and there’s no amount
of shock
that will slow you down.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-4-17

 

 

How it Ends

The photo of you
sitting in a field
of wildflowers
made you seem accessible—
and the picture
of your body
halfway into Mosquito Lake
seemed to indicate
you lived for adventure—
but the joy in your eyes
as you stood on Mt. Rainier
was in fact nontransferable
to life down below
where love waited its turn
for you to find it
as beautiful a destination
as the mangroves
in Costa Rica and now
the Redwoods are calling
and you are almost gone.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-26-17

 

Sinking

How easily
the sunlit beauty
of the day
goes dark
when tainted
with words
that are not
lovely
and bright
like the call
of the wood thrush
in the trees
along the river—
words that
do not flow in
and out of me
smoothly
the way
this narrow boat
travels
mindlessly
on its course—
words
that do not
float pleasantly
around me
like I love you—
and I’m sure
he wishes
he could
tell me anything
without fear
of me
going under—
just as I wish
his fondness
for her
didn’t
have the power
to sink me.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-16-17

Sporobolus

He was just
a little bird
caged
in your love
for 13 years
by accident
because
he ended up
eating the
prairie dropseed
outside
your window
and you knew
he wouldn’t
last long
without
some kind of
domestication
from which
he must
have escaped
so you
lifted him
into your life
and
when he died
you felt
your feet
leave the ground
as if Sporobolus
was trying
to take you
with him
but you were
too heavy
for his wings
and you
crashed
onto the couch
in tears.

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-13-17