WILDFIRE SKIES

Once again,
in the height of summer
mountains shrink behind
curtains of haze
conjuring the familiar dread
of winter’s opaque skies

But it’s different, ominous
the way the sky brims
milk-white
replacing the meticulous
clear blue of
Seattle summer sky

Collectively we wonder,
the air feeling thicker
than usual, if this is
our new normal

The dim sun pressing
neon rays through
layers and layers
of crispy trees,
houses, anything
flammable

 

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Seattle, WA • Photo by Ryan Adams

PHILADELPHIA, NAKED.

It is a wonder that my eyes
may see the city from such
varied perches, day to day:

By bus: elevated so that
I may gaze indulgently
into wet, dirt-caked
cavities of construction sites
hidden when I am

By bike: so that the flawed
contours of road, frenzied
traffic patterns spill soft
city breath on my cheeks,
ever still when I am

By foot: so that I may watch,
observe, stop at the apex of the
Walnut Street Bridge and see
(for the first time) clumps of
bright clothing, remnants
of bicycles, water bottles
sticking to the concrete
embankment below.

 

SIDEWALK CLOSED

Giant square holes
of missing earth
Caramel mud

And the great striped
barrel of the cement truck

Painted like a carnival
sliding liquid armor
into the ground

stopping traffic
starting anew

AUTUMN MORNINGS IN PHILADELPHIA

What it takes is
not thought but
action, rejecting
the snooze button,
flowing in a
a soft pocket of
warmth into
the early morning
chill.

The silver
diamond-patterned
food cart on the sidewalk
puffing its essential
oniony fumes
and kaleidoscope
reflecting
a new sun.

Gone is the summer
air, which incubates
into stew of
nothingness.

Autumn mornings isolate
on white, like a museum
of scents held hostage.

Punched into the
sweet aroma of
wood shavings from
the lumber warehouse
as I turn onto 18th,

suddenly grateful for
the icy tug at my
ankles, the blue
wind pulling
gentle fingers in
my auburn curls,
wondering how
to dismantle that
snooze option
altogether.

my philly

Philadelphia.

Bathwater Puddles

how quiet it is
in the rain:
no people sounds,
only the soft
swish-swish
of falling rain, the
hum of motors
pulling their
big metal
bodies along
the warm,
wet asphalt
and

bathwater puddles
scattered about
brimming with
cymbal
pictures

The Future

 

(An accidental poem by Andy.)

people who envisioned
a future full of flying cars
& silver spandex suits
had it all wrong

what we really want
is the ability
to communicate

 

two

Drive to work thoughts

When I was younger, everything
was new.

Living in a city
was new. Finding relationships
was new. Going to work
was new.

But the older
I get,
The more I need
poetry to
make things
new again.

Otherwise, I am on
autopilot various
times per day,
Coasting through
everyday reruns.

Prone to frustration,
irritation and boredom.

It is a poetic mindset
that urges me to
start noticing again,
start finding the newness,
the beauty, the miracle
of being.

 

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A digital living room

Opening a laptop
is like entering someone’s
digital living room

Browser tabs tell a story:
half-read articles,
something you thought
about buying, someone
you thought about
sleuthing

The potential
of what we could
learn / see
laugh at / watch
read / understand
be

pinned against
time & attention

Which is why
(and listen close)
we must close every tab
(every once and awhile)

Release those possibilities
Let it all go into the ether

 

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Longwood Gardens | Pennsylvania

 

The last sunset of summer

A slow breeze
brushes across
my cheek, sways
easily through
many leaves

Summer synonymous
with comfort

Warmth with
moderation, inviting
a couple of layers
or only one — both
will do

Abundant views
that look like paintings:

Bluish mountains revealed
(like magic) when the
clouds vanish midday

Liquid gold peeking
between buildings
obstructed by cranes
at dusk

 

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Seattle summers are delicious.

The case for solitude

What do we really
lose when we are
n o n s t o p
entertained,
distracted,
stuffed full
of other people’s
ideas, words, pictures

What do we really
gain?

Anxiety: but am I
doing this right?
Confusion: where
shall I find direction?
Malaise: does my own
voice count for anything?

 

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Elliott Bay, Seattle