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Wright’s Beach

If I am caught
hold tight the strings
against the seagull’s squalor

and tight against
the fading light. The children
shriek a sandy progress

and to my expedite delight
the winds that harness
heaven’s hurry take these

piercing shrieks far from me.
Far, far above the landscape
the corners of me

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Surf Guru’s Three Rules

The waves on south shore Oahu are limp during the winter months.

Adrenalized surfing doesn’t take place until April (really mid-May), when surprise swells from the Tasman Sea rip into the bays of Waikiki and Ala Moana. Sudden waves barrel on top of longboards, chipping them against the coral heads exposed during low tide.

And such a surprise swell last April!

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Gutted

Three days before, the slip-on NR bicycle lamps on our handlebars were swiped. A neighbor reported seeing a black SUV pull up to the front of the apartment building and a man run to the back, trigger the motion sensor lights, and run back to the SUV. My landlady suggested other places we could secure our bikes, and we considered them. 

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On the Will to Move

Better to be an amateur.

Better to gather knowledge like a drink from the river on a hot day, fistfuls of books and essays on life itself.

Better to equip myself with “permission to continue”.

I stand near my kitchen window in Oahu, listening to zebra doves on the telephone wires outside cooing to each other in the midmorning breeze. The mountain trade winds sweep down the Manoa valley and fill our one-bedroom apartment. I have never before been so lucky. Or so itchy. So itchy for movement, for callousing my hands against the bicycle handlebars in the heat of noon. So itchy for sweat beads carving dust lines through my face. 

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The Road to York

 

Days ebb into days again
nothing so precious
all chokeholds relax —

I feel the spring breeze
become the spring breeze

the warmth of the morning sun
the morning sun.

With my eyes so rid of this fixity,
I see peripherally —

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Announcement!

Available in paperback and e-book, Articulated Soul is a collection of 50 poems in five categories (Kansas, Austria, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Hawaii). These poems catalogue the many fragrant emotions of living abroad on one’s own, the sites and smells, the insecurities. Supplementing the angst are 25 original collages, expanding the metaphor of influence and creativity.

Grateful acknowledgment is made to the editors and publishers of various publications in which some of the material in this book first appeared: Anak Sastra, Jerry Jazz Musician, JMWW, Literary Yard, River City Poetry, Scarlet Leaf Review, Vita Brevis.

Please see “The Book” menu tab for more details, including contact information and pricing.

Starting April 23rd, I will cycle solo across the USA and thus transition to posting a mix of creative nonfiction and poetry. Please keep an eye out!

Peace and blessings,

Josie

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Approaching the Alphabet

 

Flight control signals
hard           against            the             rain
which whips
>>>                                catastrophic!
against the slick window panes
salt and pepper ocean waves
corn soup flavored popcorn
the day                          is Friday
and the rain                 is here.

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Righting It

 

Did you ever think you could live this long?
That the tongue which rattles the potato-burn
ridges of gum would grace the scoop of inner teeth
to say love? That love could hold your hand for twice
as long as you let it & still remain to brush teeth
together in the cool evenings —
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Working From Home

 

Sometimes you have to unlock the chest
and hurl your throbbing heart into the afternoon air
so stuffy and hateful &
perfectly taunting
fighting back against the restlessness in those tippy toes
to stand up tall against the counter
and count the screams from the windows.

February falls not far from the wandering tree
these winding fingers this sloping house
the floor on which I stand is coated in crumbles
and my feet slip in their bareness.
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Still Life with Figs

 

 

I know about the dough
in the oven. Hot and wild tempered
left a little too long on its own, I know

the shoots and bangs and whirls
the catastrophize the inner workings
of my Bosch broiler. With tiny white rings

on the brown crusted boule I know
the tilt of the rise, the slashes I placed
the claws in claws out. The timer ticks

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From the Balcony

 

Bird says, “set the coffee here, please
and oranges if you have them.”

Between green wings, that of a bamboo shoot
so light green it’s almost wilting, Bird

grasps the white ceramic handle and lifts
the mug to his beak. From his high perch

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Pacific

 

I sit in my ribbed backed chair and bow towards Autumn—
springtime blending in with the leaves of winter & summer
shooting arrows into the black-backed brigade

I wonder at the weather these days
taught and tense in the morning &
easy, nearly sweeping, in the morrow

my own marrow sucked by the cascade winds
that ravage the lonely landscape
looking west for sunshine.

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