Tag Archives: nature

Botany Lesson

Boneset and Snakeroot.
Black-eyed Susan and Yellow Coneflower.
Fernleaf Phacelia and Jacob’s Ladder—
wild beauties so similar
that I wanted to start paying attention
to the subtle differences—
differences that wouldn’t confuse
a botanist whose life was spent
studying the details
of leaves and stems
and the number of petals
that differentiate Rue Anemone
from False Rue Anemone.
And because learning takes time
it shouldn’t upset me
that I couldn’t identify
the man in my bed as toxic,
because he tasted sweet
like the wild raspberries
we picked in the woods—
but his thorns are still lodged in my skin
like a lesson I never thought
I’d need to learn—
but if I hadn’t wandered
into that forbidden garden
I would never have been able to recognize love
as unmistakable as Bloodroot and Firepink.
Love fragrant as Bluebells,
perennial and white as Shooting Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
8-27-18

 

Needle

The evidence of her joy is clear
in the photos they took of each other
on the water
on the mountain tops
on that fallen sycamore so old or so heavy
it had to come down and block the trail,
which is sort of what happened
when she learned
she was not the right size after all—
that her form was too female
too wide for such a narrow idea of beauty.
And what the photos don’t show
is his inability to see the needle in the haystack
even when his arm
is wrapped so tightly around it.

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-27-18

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

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

 

No One Else

I feel
your
warm hand
over mine
on our way
to those places
either one of us
could go
with someone else
and we could
enjoy
the flowers
and the river
and the woods
with
another body
beside us
but
there isn’t
another
set of hands
that
could
elevate
my body
into
the clouds
after the sun
goes down.

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
7-9-17

“The Lovers in the Poet’s Garden IV” by Vincent van Gogh, 1888

Waiting Room

I am not impatient this time
waiting for my turn
to lay back in the chair and open wide—
there are children whispering loudly
and bells dangling from the door
announcing everyone’s exit and entry
but it all goes on without me
like the volume is turned way down
on just another reality TV show—
I am lost in yesterday.
I am full of the heat that followed us
into the woods and I can only hear
the song of the warblers,
those black and white ones
who provided our sound track
as we kissed on the fallen hickory—
and after I am rattled into alertness
by the sound of my name
I’ve got nothing to do for 15 minutes
but close my eyes
and let both my hands rest on my belly
while I consider where you’ve touched me—
and I don’t even need five fingers to count
the number of times we’ve made love
but in this noisy and populated darkness
I am alone with your body
and we are filling up our hands.

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-12-17

 

 

Yesterday Morning

Floating downstream
in the middle of the river
I had you alone
to myself
and it felt like
we belonged there
as much as the turtles
and the great blue herons
startled into flight
by our strange wings
dipping into the water—
and it felt like calm
had finally arrived
to replace the doubt
that kept trying
to pull me under—
and for the first time
it seemed as though you
(who have never been lost)
might not be able
to find your way home
if we were parted
by the currents
and set adrift
in opposite directions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DeMaris
6-5-17