Self Portrait as a Mountain Creek

Lazily sometimes,

Murmuring, trickling as I go,

and fierce at others –

a deluge of unprecedented force

that envelops trees and

tears them down in a surging

torrent of muddy water filled 

with broken rocks and blood

and the caracases of animals that ran,

fueled by fear till their lives were spent

and they collapsed, breathless before me,

kneeling, panting, watching, waiting for death, 

pleading, dying, breaking apart, becoming the surge, 

the wave, the flood –

that will go on bubbling slowly 

down toward that peaceful ocean

where all streams rage on the shores of the living.

Self Portrait as a Caterpillar 

They tell me I will fly one day, 

that I have to be patient 

and that my time will come. 

I try to tell myself  they’re right and

eat my weight in whatever

they give me each day

systematically and in spirals,

one bite at a time, endlessly. 

It doesn’t always sit right, 

and I get tired of the taste of milkweed, but

they tell me I will fly one day

if  only I keep eating.