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Newborn foals, hats, and roles, & curiously balanced cats

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How You Might Approach a Foal:
like a lagoon, like a canoe, like you
are part earth and part moon, like
a bloom, like deja vu, like you
had never been to the brink or the Louvre,
like straw, like air, like your mother had just this morning braided a dream into your hair, like you have nothing to attend to, like you had never heard a sermon or a scathing word, like a fool, like a pearl, like you and new to the world.



The little poem above first appeared in The New Criterion, was later reprinted in Best American Poetry, was set to music twice, was the subject of a Youtube discussion with high school kids, made its way into a dear friend's Tedx Talk, was the subject of a comprehensive review in Borderlands, appeared in RCAH Center for Poetry,and will appear in an upcoming anthology entitled Here, with an introduction by the Dalai Lama.  Except for its first appearance in The New Criterion, each of these inclusions and collaborations and requests came as a complete surprise to me.  The poem, or should I say, the …

Hestia and the Art of Staying Strangely Sane

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Hestia shook her head. "I am here because when all else fails, when all the other mighty gods have gone off to war, I am all that's left. Home. Hearth. I am the last Olympian".  (rick riordan)





One fire, many campfires. 











I have been asked by a dear friend to speak on the radio on the subject of the domestic arts.



I'm still mulling what sort of useful comments I might have to contribute. I suspect the Arts are all the same in that there are no rules, and one need only follow one's own impulses, but it sure helps to have learned one's scales, 




to make good use of what's on hand,



to be still, and mind the sentinels, 



to reap the many benefits of wintering



and summering, 

A Thousand Blessings, a Flock of Thieves, and a Band of Angels

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I have been thinking a lot these days about penguins, parachutes, poppies, portable potties, and intellectual honesty.  
And I have been pondering the difference between guilt and responsibility, generosity and miserliness. 
Not in the other guy, but at the prow of one's own vessel.  
I have reached no conclusions, thank odd.  I only know what I suppose I have always known: that poetry at its best has something to do with raising the frequency --  or perhaps  grounding the anchor. 



In recent months I have witnessed within a ten mile radius of our home, a Weeping Serbian Pine in a blistering terrain, a grape of bronze and aquamarine, a secret monument to the tribal archetypes, some bulldozers, the ghost of a pine, Mars, Venus, Jupiter -- and I have glimpsed the dance of the rain in a broken grain of sand.  
Well, who among us hasn't ?  


I live my life in growing orbits
which move out over the things of the world.
Perhaps I can never achieve the last,
but that will be my attempt. 

I am ci…

i.m. Nathan Carson, Nov 2, 1979 - Aug 11, 2018

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It's strange, The way that people pick puppies.
In a cardboard box Off to the side of the road On a whim Instantly forming a bond that lasts Forever. I have tried to do the same
With people.

- Nathan Carson 






I first met Nathan fifteen years ago at an Open Mic at a little place called The Planet Earth. 

While everyone else carefully approached the mic and nervously read their painfully personal poems, Nathan bounded on stage reciting Baudelaire.  It seemed a remarkable pairing: a fresh faced, skinny kid, reciting hellish, beautiful verses. 

I later approached him, as any good elder should, and told him he was far too young to be reading Baudelaire.  He looked about fifteen, though he was in fact, college age.  In any case, he lifted his shirt and assured me that he didn't just read Baudelaire; he'd had his words tattooed down his rib cage. 

Thus began a friendship that was at times exhilarating, other times, poignant, other times devastating.  I began inviting him to all manner of liter…