+

Jakarta Postal System: 1; Josie: 0

I spent my birthday in Thailand, fleeing Indonesia for a week in order to renew my visa for the second half of my internship teaching English in Jakarta.

In Phuket, I watched sunsets set the ocean on fire. During the days, I trekked along the rocky coasts and lounged amongst the stones, staring at the ocean, swishing my feet in the changing tides to cool off.

I made very little effort to engage with the others around me. Phuket seemed comprised of 86% half-naked Westerners doing their best to be Westerners, and 12% locals trying to squeeze money off the eager creatures with promises of “hand carved buddhist statutes made in China.”

Continue reading “Jakarta Postal System: 1; Josie: 0”

+

That man, there

 

the one at the corner table
with a steady drip, drip, drip
of the rain gutter run off on the vinyl table
which splashes against his wristwatch,
even I can see the water drops
on his wristwatch
even I, from my middle table,
my table
safe
under the wide awning,
safe from the refuse of rain
that pads the streets with puddles
that collects in the gutters along Lorne Street
and drips,
drip, drip,
upon the vinyl table
at which that man sits.

That man, there
with hair slicked back
slicked so to show
a grey rimmed grimace
tucking lips into cheeks
holding up downcast glasses
which otherwise
slink
down his lowered brow–
but for all that, manage
to cling, limp,
to the tilt of his frown.

Continue reading “That man, there”

+

A Walk on the Beach in the Evening

 

Sun shades ripple
over black ant dunes
and I,

cast,
with earth toes spread
uneven

relaxed
am tall
and small

and quiet.
My hair, golden
unkept

electric
the rogue wind calls
my soul responds.

Continue reading “A Walk on the Beach in the Evening”

+

Shadow Dance

 

As I nap in the currents
of undiluted ocean
with its vibrant sea salt
cleansing my salty soul,
I notice:
I am taller here.

Cast long,
with the shadows
uninterrupted by
anything–
my shadow is graceful
and still
and I wonder:

what might she be thinking?

Continue reading “Shadow Dance”

+

The Great Bellowing Taranaki Wave

“Okay, we’ll stop here.”

I let the fins of my kayak paddles rest against the smooth ocean, just as my right shoulder was reaching its throbbing limit. I was relieved I wouldn’t have to ask for a break; when I told David I had kayaked before, I had failed to say that “before” meant five or six years ago.

I wondered what effect the shoulder throb imbalance would have on the following morning.

Continue reading “The Great Bellowing Taranaki Wave”

+

Scrubbed

 

A good scrubbing was in order—
or, so they told me
when I sat cross legged
to meditate.
I tried to explain
my shell theory—
but they had left
before I had begun.

Continue reading “Scrubbed”

+

This Seat is Warm

 

This seat cushion is warm.
Like my skin
after I take off my sweater.

That someone has left
their heat for me
is not as gross
as I used to think.

I find that I am
comforted.
As if it were human
to leave behind
impressions of warmth.

Continue reading “This Seat is Warm”

+

Trampoline

 

the woman clasping
the legs of her child
as he sits on her shoulders
and they jump together—
their blond curls floating
in the afternoon wind
just above the white fence.

Continue reading “Trampoline”

+

Composting

When my body wakes me. It’s still dark.

I open the window above my bed. The whispering dawn snuggles down. Down into my hair. Down into the space between me and my sleeping bag. Which I sleep in despite the closet full of sheets.

The whispering dawn lifts me out. Out into my running shorts. Into my cheetah print bandana. Into my bright blue shoes. Into my head torch. I’m lifted out, to embrace the dawn. I’m taken to the end of the drive. I’m waiting for that car to pass.

I’m running.

Continue reading “Composting”

+

Poem Toes

 

I’ve noticed, today, that
I gotta write
with my shoes off—

with my bare naked
happy toes
wiggling hello

to the world;
else this mirror soul
be closed til June

Continue reading “Poem Toes”

+

Secrets Make Friends

 

When I look at her,
those moons of fondue eyes,
she tilts her chin to return the gaze
and in this intersection
we share a secret.

My lips spark all the way
to my ears, which
wiggle a bit
as my eyebrows raise
and in response
her tail wags quick—

I know it.
She knows it.
In this intersection
we share a secret.

Continue reading “Secrets Make Friends”

+

Half a Year Away, Away (and Happy 300!)

Half a year has gone by since I left Kansas. I’m still learning various currency exchange rates and the metric system, so still going strong (relative phrase).

Relativity is a fickle friend.

If I think on some of the travelers I have met—Liz and Hadyn in Assisi, who have been backpacking the world since summer 2016, Sara in Mostar, who traveled alone for three years, John in Fes, who has been biking around the world for the past six years—my little bench mark seems flat.

Then to swing to the other side: I think of all the family two-week trips that took ages to pack for, of all the one-month missionary trips my friends raised money for, the summer two-month exchange trips to Argentina I was so eager to hear stories about.

I get puffed right back on up, because relative to that, six months is a hefty amount.

Same goes for my second benchmark: this is my 300th blog post.

Continue reading “Half a Year Away, Away (and Happy 300!)”