Poetry 

 

You’ve been perhaps

wanting

normal people to like you.

 

Otherwise you think you’ll die

lonely and poor, because normal

people have all the love and all

the money.

 

But you are not normal and nor

is anyone else.

 

Say it a lot, until it just becomes

a funny sound—

Normal. Normal. Normal.

Normal, normal, normal, normal, normal—

or a small, furry, burrowing, blind creature.

 

You are not a straight rod; you’re a bent

and arching branch of the one

great tree.

Read More Poems

from Advice for Me and Maybe You

Advice for Me and Maybe You

The poems in this collection are different from those in my other two (see below). At the beginning of 2018, I read through my journal for the previous year and pulled out words that felt important to remember. I formed those words into poems and collected them in a book I call Advice for Me and Maybe You

(excerpts below)

Your life

is as bountiful

as you

can tolerate.

 

Tolerate more.

Probably every

person around you

believes and will tell you

with great

assurance

that you must think

of others, compromise, do things

to make them happy.

 

It’s tricky because this is in

the vicinity of truth

and yet off.

You can feel it.

 

What isn’t taught

is that you already want

others to be happy.

That’s part of you

being happy. In fact,

you love it.

Oh, except

when it feels

imposed.

 

Sleep in.

Find your footing.

Eat the last

donut.

 

Don’t gather

wood for

the fire. Be it.

The Morning I Married the Sky

A collection of poems

(excerpts below)

i tripped

 

i tripped

i tripped and fell

but as i fell

 

i invited everything

i passed

 

to fall

with me

for running almost

 

for running almost

every day barefoot

on asphalt for standing

in my driveway to listen

to wind

 

for averting

my gaze and not greeting

you with sufficient

effervescence for all this

 

and more i am proud

to be named this year’s

“neighborhood eccentric” i said 

to an empty veteran’s hall

i love the sounds

 

i love the sounds

that small creatures

make the scratch

of a sparrow’s feet

on palm fronds

i suppose i love more

that it’s quiet

enough to hear them

Read More Poems

from The Morning I Married the Sky

Free this Morning

A collection of poems

(excerpts below)

born again

 

 

“born again”

we get this phrase

from Luther, who thought it happened

not once, in a church, but each

morning when

you rise

soundless the sun

soundless the sun

this time of day.

i walk so slow-

ly not needing

to turn

my awe into words.

not needing even

to call it mine.

 

and i think of Vincent

and believe

that having died

he’d be now more

at ease and walk

with me as slow

as this.

 

i’d like to show him

the tree i stopped

in front of, the one

whose leaves i loved

and will

not describe

except to say they turned

 

each one

 

in the wind

like tambourines turning

light green dark green light

green dark

and we’d walk

 

past the tree shadows long

across the lawn

note the mallard

couple oddly

in the grass along the path

how the sun

splatters paint so thick-

ly on the picnic

tables and

i’d ask him

what color he’d say

 

the wind-

 

ruffled pond was

and it would take him

forever to answer

it’s my privilege

it’s my privilege

to be watching

a huge stretch

of the bay outside

this window,

noticing more

the sheet of water like steel

pocked by a trillion

hammers than

the two coots floating

in the foreground;

that is until a third

breaks the surface

without a sound, just

appearing—then

a fourth, a fifth,

and a sixth, all popping

up—seven,

eight, now nine of them—as though

the ocean—ten—

were hatching birds.

 

until i count twenty-three—

floating there,

as if nothing

had happened;

the orange-grey smears

and daubs

of a new day

behind them—just floating

calmly

in their ragged brotherhood,

as if they couldn’t give a shit,

as if the world

were not remarkable

Read More Poems

from Free This Morning

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© 2018 by Chris Dingman