There was once a man with very big maps.
He traveled the world with a hip-pity hop and a tip-pity tap.

He had big plans, he had big things.
He took big trips and he had big dreams.

He visited rain forests and deserts and sailed the high seas.
He went to the deep parts of the oceans and the tops of trees.

The world was big and round and full of things to explore. 
Everywhere he went, he wanted to see more.

When he'd hit the road, he'd stop for just a bit
Then run on to the next place to see how far he could get.

But just when he thought he'd seen it all, something new appeared. 
The day finally came when the two of you came here.

That day the world changed right before his eyes.
It was smaller and brighter and right there by his side.

Now the world was small and round and full of things to explore,
Like blades of grass and seashells on the sea shore.

There are worms and tree leaves and fireflies,
There are chemicals to mix and new foods to try.

There are toys to build and books to read,
Seeds to plant and ants to feed.

There are so many little things he had passed by for so long
That he forgot they were there and almost forgot where he belonged.

Now the world was not a huge place to rush through,
But a place to stop and smell the flowers with you.

He put away his maps and took out his tools -
so he could show you the ropes and teach you the rules.

He'll be there to help you explore a tiny world,
A world that will grow with you, my little girls.

You're already teaching me to remember the little things,
The crickets that chirp and the birds that sing.

The seconds matter now, not just the days.
I'll be there with you in every single way.

I'll show you how you how to use a fork and how to tie your shoes,
How to play baseball and chew big league chew.

How to paint pretty pictures and write birthday cards.
And how to blow the petals from dandelions in the yard.

And one day when you are big enough in your own self.
I'll pull the maps back out from off of the shelf.

I'll point to all the places we can go,
And you can tell me what you want to know.

We'll travel the world together and see so many things.
We'll see what adventures tomorrow brings.

But this time when the time starts to fly right by
We'll remember the crickets, the dandelions and the fireflies.

juniper trees and mountain laurels

There at the height of clouds,
He stopped and wiped his brow
He was close to death before he left
And he was even closer now.

He had come to the mountains to find some peace,
But his mind was at war.
He didn't understand society
Or what the people were fighting for.

He stepped toward the ledge
And he saw a simple way.
If he had known any god
He might have even prayed.

Suddenly the sky began to sigh
And he listened to the wind
A nearby tree caught the breeze
And began to speak to him.

It was there among the mountaintops
It stood there by his side.
He took some berries from the tree
And began to wave goodbye.

That Juniper tree had reminded him
That the earth connects to the sky.
The roots of it anchored in the earth
It's branches reaching high.

He began to climb back down the mountain
And make his way back home.
He left his friend at the mountain top,
To keep another from feeling alone.

When he returned home, he took the seeds 
From the pockets of his pants
Then he strung them into worry beads,

And held them in his hands. 

Time passed and he used the beads
In each passing day.
No matter how lost he'd get,
They'd help him find his way.

Until he lost the seeds themselves
And his fear all began to return.
He began to feel alone again
And his heart began to burn.

So he set out into the woods
To search for the things he'd lost
He walked along a river bank,
Leaving footsteps in the frost.

He stopped at a fork in the river
Where one split into two.
The pitter patter of his heart;
He listened as it grew.

He looked into the freezing water
And he saw a simple way.
And when he did, the wind picked up
And the trees began to sway.

There beside him a Laurel stood
and he saw it's beautiful blooms
He loved the Laurel and its leaves.
There was no more room for gloom.

The Laurel grew next to the river
Where all things merge into one
It reminded him that we are all connected,
As we move through life and the river runs.

He sat down on a large rock
And found pockets for his hands
There he found his worry beads
Which fell out in the sand.

The string had broken between them,
And they scattered all around.
Some rolled into the river
others rolled across the ground.

He could have felt panic
And rushed to get them back
But somehow he knew they belonged there
So he just picked up his empty pack.

He began his hike back home
And he began to think of the trees
They had led him to a greater understanding
They had set his mind free.

He was grateful he wandered upon them,
He felt whole for the first time.
He knew they would always be with him,
Down by the river and up near the sky.

Back at the river front,
A magical thing happened to a Juniper seed.
It began to grow in the soil there,
Beside the Laurel tree.

The trees stood side by side,
And just like old friends,
They began to wave at one another
As the sky brought forth the wind.

oh, how the years go by

hand with the poison
for the crops that grow in the neighbor’s yards.
it’s a dichotomy, this welcoming tradition that can’t be held.
gone are the days when the air brought it’s lungs.
and the dogs are panting like warm baths now, 
so taken away with your words.
given a home to the thieves and stolen time,
broke the skin between the ankle and the hairline.
a traveling flock of widow’s wives donate
blood and cleaning materials.
a little child tried to cry upside down
and plugged the hole in the ceiling.
it’s best this way, 
an empty room peering in from the outside.
an empty pill inside the throat.
and oh, how the years go by.

a heavy heart

Girls, it's with a heavy heart that I write this note.
This is not the world I hoped you'd be born into.
You'll come with important weapons, like the right to vote,
But you'll come with their weaknesses too.

Too many today have used these things to do harm,
To look out for themselves.
To protect their right to bear arms
But ignore books on the shelves.

They take the rhetoric to a dangerous tone,
And forget that their safeties also fuel our wars.
They protect investments in their own homes
As the rest of the world stays poor.

I try to see things from another point of view,
I think about losing my job and maybe my house too. 
As all the money goes to just a few.
Joining an angry mob or a military coup.

But I just don't have the hate I'd need
To be part of this very loud movement that's taking place.
I don't have the hands to make others bleed,
The eyes to see the color on another person's face.

And for that reason, that reason alone
I cannot see how we have gone this way,
I can't see people from elsewhere not having a place in my home
I don't see anything wrong with those that are lesbian, transgender or gay.

I don't see anything less in those with 'disabled' bodies or minds,
I see women as not just equal to men, but essential to this world.
I see the most important trait in a politician, in a person, as being kind
I see the beautiful world around us - we must protect it, my little girls.

I will do my best to protect you and those who are discriminated against
I'll try to do what is right and teach you to do the same.
For love and peace and equality we will take a stance,
We won't accept their agendas or play their games.

We will keep our heads up and raise our fists,
We will protect against the exploitation of universal truths.
We will create our own world where prejudice and hatred don't exist,
The world I'd hoped you'd be born into.

house plants

Walking through the leaves cracking beneath the feet
With no will and no legs to keep up the pace.
Some people only go to that side of town to get more drugs.
There is a slight chance of rain.
Clouds pace around in the sky,
Back and forth, to the drugstore for more pills. 
Any river with a grin on it’s teeth will due.
A place for the salmon to shiver in the cold,
For me to piss and for you to bathe.
Too much carbon dioxide in the room,
A house plant waiting to die,
Cannot breathe and then it bends.

mechanical birds

Little ones, I'm writing you from miles above.
From inside a giant mechanical bird.
It can take me anywhere in the world
as it carries all of these words.

It can take me to Alaska or Japan,
Puerto Rico or Peru.
But the best place it could ever take me
Is to come and see the two of you.

When you get older, 
if you move away
I'll get inside a bird like this
And I'll be on my way.

I'll come see you in the Pacific Northwest
I'll go wherever you are.
I'll visit you off the coast of Ecuador,
It doesn't matter how far.

Because these birds can carry you too, girls
They'll take you all over the world.
They'll take you to discover the pyramids
And to search beaches for shiny pearls.

These metal birds will take you on adventures
No matter where you wish to roam.
One day, they may take you away from me
But they can always bring you back home.

young wolves

Young wolves, you must always know,
Life can be beautiful and it can be cruel,
Others may try to eat you alive,
They may tell you to follow their rules.
But young wolves, you'll have each other
And so you will always be strong.
You'll have twice the strength of others,
You will always have a place to belong.
You can be in each other's corners,
You can be the bigger ones,
You can raise your little fists
And tell them to put down their guns.
You'll never be alone at the table,
You'll never have to be afraid.
Because you will have each other,
You can choose what you share and trade.
You can choose to be peaceful,
You can lead the protest.
You can help others who need it,
You can lay the wars to rest.
Young wolves, you'll have each other.
You'll always have your pack,
You'll always have someone rooting for you,
You'll always have one another's back.
When you hunt for stones in the river,
When you go to school,
When you learn about the world around you,
When you decide to break all their rules.
When you make your own
And you go your own way,
You'll always go together,
Because part of you will always stay.
Young wolves, you must always know
The world can be beautiful and it can be filled with greed.
But when you stay together
You will have just what you need. 

baobab trees

The places we'll go.
A step back into childhood
One forward into the unknown.

My dreams are filled with the tiny things
The future has in store.
Like bedtime stories every night
And the places we'll explore.

The tops of mountains
And the depths of seas
All folded in the pages
All building into memories.

Outerspace awaits us -
Nothing is too far!
We'll explore the forests
Where the wild things are.

We'll make green eggs and ham,
We'll climb the baobab trees.
We'll go to where the sidewalk ends
We'll set the seagulls free.

We'll fix all of the automatons
We'll let the giving trees grow
We'll Feed all of the hungry Caterpillars.
We'll run with the basselopes.

On the terrible horrible no good very bad days,
We'll help each other through.
I'll love you forever,
I'll love the little ones too.

There are so many adventures ahead of us,
Waiting inside the womb.

nuclear fission

We are nuclear fusion
Energy finds its time to bind,
Between students of science
And the human mind.

Elements of dancing light,
Close enough to become one.
A single subatomic particle
Spewing energy like the sun.

Rising and setting,
Something new begins to grow
From our light and love
Inside a warm glow.

We are nuclear fission.
Elements split from the core.
Isotopes in the reactor,
One becomes home for more.

Like the power lines that line the streets,
And the lights inside of homes.
They give the gifts of sound and sight
And begin to warm our bones.

The energy that brought us together
Begins to pull us apart
Into the best pieces of ourselves, 
In the electricity of tiny hearts.

bits of time

Time is behind us now
All those days are done.
Took the change from both our pockets
And holstered all our guns.

We put our cards on the table
And time played its hand.
We walked away with the winnings
But left behind our plans.

The future sat in the other room
And quietly listened in,
Wouldn't speak of where we're headed
But we know where we've been.

We pulled a full house from the deck,
Of all the random cards,
Held the faces up against our chests
And kept our hearts under guard.

Played the game as best we can,
Protect and pretend.
Be patient for the right moment,
Let time begin to bend.

Hold back all the emotions.
Don't celebrate too soon.
We're in it for the long run,
For all the days of June.

Here we are in July again,
And I've played all my cards.
I've done my best to play the game
No matter how damn hard.

I've put all my cards on the table.
I've crowned all of my queens.
I've given you all my diamonds,
Pulled spades and planted trees.

I've collected all of my winnings
And placed one last bet,
That time was always on our side,
From the very day we met.

lonely seagull

lonely seagull,
time has broken your wings.
gliding along the past,
you’ll show the sea how to cry for you.
lying upon the sands,
you’re choking on the air that once gave you flight.
you look into the beady eyes of death.
the winds travel past the sea oats giving them movement,
a cold reminder that grips your heart.
your breathing has slowed,
marked by each wave that brings itself closer to you
with the turning of the tides.
this morning, you met the sun with it’s rising,
and tonight it will lay with you as you sleep.