by Wren Tuatha



Bigger than Birdseed


A day, a measured unit. A twirl of the world.

It had its bells and whistles, its come/go/ebb/flow.

I threw Friday words at

you like birdseed…in my ATM way…

and moved through you, running the bases of my

lists, hours before the violence that

silenced your orbit.

I saw your body.

It didn’t care anymore

about the goodbye

I would have wanted.

It didn’t want an



for my failed

promise, made at Lammas, to

always keep you


It lay relaxed, honest drapery,

exposed meat and entrails…

TV cops would have dubbed it

an undisturbed crime scene.


And I stand/sit/stare/stammer,

looking for Saturday words

bigger than birdseed.



a black line


Forty Different Jaspers


Spread them out.

Tickle and tingle and touch.

Candle and wash them,

ready for ritual.


The weight of a collection.

Pencil lapis and lovers.


Forty different jaspers,

obsidians, agates--

dyed Brazilians

in seductive slices.


Gaia seducing my eyes

with mottles and swirls,

my chakras electrical sockets.


Picture jasper,

desert divination.

I see the landscape of

my thirst.


My amethyst pendulum,

swaying drunk. Smokey quartz

to see through darkly

at phantoms waltzing.


I am a stage, a yoga mat.


Apache teardrops,

volcanic glass at the

bottom of a cliff to

remember a massacre.


As if looking through

darkness to see a tear

were magic.



a black line


Purple Movements


Purple Dawn on the hill

would open orchids

with mental jaws-of-life,

boldly blazing,


But a quiet moment

has Venus flytrapped her,

mirroring her bravada,

leaving her limp.


Wilted! Just add water

and she'll daisy dance,

teaching Crayola-cheeked children

the sublime cartography


of tripping on joy,

of squashing trailers,

of walking on hot coals

with matches between your toes.


It's a vision worth

open eyes

every time she climbs down




a black line


walking meditation


the walking meditation class is poised

watching pumpkins swell

watching crow's feet creep

time lapsed


to chronicle

an epic

of an

opening orchid...

a sunset...

high tide...

or charles remembering that

if you walk slowly enough

you need only stand still



a black line


Broom Zen


Charles’ mother is dying.

He has planed

800 miles.

Now he sweeps

her kitchen.

He sweeps the hall,

2 seconds per stroke

by the mantle clock.

“Get the stairs while

you’re at it,”

his father says.

He sweeps the living room

and the porch.

He sweeps the lawn.


His mother is awake.

She asks about his plans.

He talks of job changes.

She takes out 3 papers

and crunches numbers

on the first.

Charles makes

clarifying calculations

on the second.

She rests.


And Charles waltzes the broom.


He spreads out the pages—

her handwriting, his;

The choreography of cursive.

And one more…

He takes the unused page,

with a pause for

all symphonies in the ether,


and drags his dust pile

onto the page

with his mother’s broom.


a black line

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