The joy of doing nothing

dusk and dawn and
the pages in between
the perfect ambience
of a quiet day
I resolve to write you to sleep
wake these weary eyes
after the guilt
of clumsy fingers subsides
ah, what sensual guilt
to rest in indecision
the horizontal body
against the star-filled sky
I fear these eyes will not wake.
together. we may weigh more than the morning sun.

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Remembering Possibility

Fresh opportunity,
you were like an infant
coming from comforted darkness
into an array of wailing fresh light.

Mama has always given herself up
to send you forth
into the harshness of thought,
grow your legs
from the moist clay of the Earth,
open your mouth
to echo the sorrows of visible truth.

When you find this sweet country home,
you will find life, growing up and growing old
in the confines of honest exchange
in the textures of embrace
in the borders regardless of need.
Rests in you is barren forgiveness
in its most eloquent form.

Pity what we have lost to these huddled men
more than our country
progress in its infancy—
recognition of the dark, indignant past
we have ignored for too long.

There is no returning home, or so it seems
when the possibility of one another is lost
this is my nation at war, grappling with its own humanity
silent at a time when people will soon lose their ability to speak.

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Teachers Never Give Up

Our communities own pride.
We flower the eyes of growing minds.
We let the wind ride by in broken possibilities.
We climb higher for hope.
He holds his voice inches above small minds
and the words fall, upon each
in magical sparks, igniting wealth.
What is our wealth, ideas—the wisdom rages
like wildfire in the congregation of youth.

Fire on, my people know flames,
we know the heat
we live to extinguish delusions and create warriors of truth.
I will teach you, just as before,
that you are a gift inside this growing world.
The mind is not for sale, not now, not ever.
Child, the oppressors cannot contain your fire.

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Confronting Evil

I talk to evil these days because
he feels like a bedfellow, a resident of my dreams
plunder in my eyes for the sunset, the heart
having no where to dig,
but beneath the ground for solace.

Before these days came, before,
when hope was allowed to leave our bodies—
I waited for you on the other side
with little in my hands, naïve I thought
that the hands could give little
and others would follow.

Now we stand irrespective of possessions
face to face with tyrants, all refugees looking for justice’s home.
Be it the howling residents of trees, the muezzins
of our towers calling people to prayer,
the humble congregations
voices of the heart ringing out and rising above the pain.
We now become each other, the shield, the weapon
that will defeat the evil determined to divide us.

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For My Ladies

In preparation for the Women’s March today, I look back on some poems I have written about the experience and the honor of being a woman.

Tomorrow and on the days that follow, we must not lose our resolve as women, as human beings. Too many have sacrificed for our sake, for the rights we enjoy today that are now in grave danger.

I march today so these sacrifices are never forgotten.

Kate Houck, Poems

We are some miracle, I think
on lonely days, that we come
back to time and place lips
on fresh wounds, bury problems
asunder even though they bleed
through the spaces of our unsteady hands.

I wonder at the places we’ve been
in our minds, the fantasies that they
can never hope to satisfy, the climactic
utopian visions we imagine of sex and
peace and religion. The epic visions of our faith.
Simple, possible unity leveled by an unruly gang
carrying testosterone and wealth.

If only the world of banks could
live in our minds, what wealth
to spend, what passion to eat.
If only they knew what was good for them
what a wonderful world it would be.

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To the pink insipid sky
to the illusion of unseen pleasures
to all that is woven in words behind your eyes
and to all that I imagine remains unsaid in your gaze
delicate man, those of your kind, pride in the clean
unspoken nature of norms,
am I guilty of scaffolding your victory with insincere smiles?

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