the caterpillar

The caterpillar is an insidious machine
all pistons and poisons and pincers, and pivotal
so pivotal to all: the caterpillar hungers,
always, devouring all good and green things,
treading them and ripping off shreds,
moving on, now, to unspoiled land,
until all land is spoiled.
And there it begins, toes on sour earth and eyes on sweet skies,
hungering more; a transformative hunger,
and so it spins, spins, spins,
spinning a silk of sorrows and suffering, swaddling itself in
all it has stolen, all good things regurgitated as
armor and arsenal; so it finishes,
hardened and uncaring, waiting a time,
brooding in a shell
and emerging with broad wings.
It alights,
and seeks new appetites.

Working with clay

to see you working with clay,
hands wet and sticky, leaving
fingerprints as you mold,
a tune of yours happies
the room, you
look to me and all dissolves to
sculpture and serenade,
the clay slopping over the rough spots
and mending them, the fingerprints
smoothed with song and scraper,
forgotten in the molding; now complete,
pleasant, soon to be dry and useful and
your hands, too, smooth and drying,
filled with softness and sweetness and
the promise of greater works yet.

to you who feels so little

a single spark is all it takes,
one ember left burning after the humiliation of water
(or, worse, a pit that knew neither
fire nor water)
a single spark is all it takes,
inside or out, a wisp of smoke can
burn the world, or something else –
the static from your socks and a busted valve can
level a city block, yes, yes, a single
spark is all it takes,
just one wayward thought
can be terribly explosive

Rung of Ripple

oh, new rung of ripple,
formed full, radiant,
spreading, long then thin ,
then replicated;
oh, how you resemble the impact,
and break apart reflections, how
you’ve built circles within,
circles without, how
imperfect an echo you are, my new
rung of ripple,
and how we are children,
all laugh and cheer
at this new start,
how you make us all feel like
we, too, are just a new
rung of ripple.