Blog category about writing
Blog category about writing
Dominique Larntz * July 8, 2012
Every child walks a mile as my child
and they make a trail of sacred steps
back to you, beautiful son.
I see to the needs of those around me
as if the mended ghosts of their wounds
will sing in the electricity around you.
I bathe the concave wombs I can save,
fill them with loving soup and soil,
set them out in the sunlight, let them go.
Dominique Larntz * July 2, 2012
Her body cradles the sorrow
in a canyon so deep
you can’t hear a quarter drop
when you let it go over the edge.
She’s been saying it’s fine
for you spin words of delusion
that swaddle her up to her throat
like a spider’s web.
Her body can’t heal any more
unless she follows the path
of rest and peace and joy,
taking every nap she desires.
Her nerves need a bath of love
and the culture is a river polluted
by overstimulation, by addicts
rushing to destruction.
Her cells weep in blood, the only
language they have, calling for life
to be lived, enjoyed, cherished,
preserved, flowed, balanced, loved.
Dominique Larntz * June 18, 2012
We might use cars like shopping carts,
picking one up a block away,
returning it after one use,
using it only when needed,
needing it only when hauling
Dominique Larntz * June 17, 2012
After this time of feeling
bruised by judgments,
it is enough that the woman
on the front porch of Kellers Farm Store
slouching on the plastic chair,
muttering into her cell phone,
maybe talking to her dad
on this father’s day morning,
paying no attention to me,
saw me return the cart
on my frail hip,
in my complete way,
pushing it into the others
as if I had never used it—
instead of leave it as a guidepost
to the ghost of my car.
It’s enough that she saw–
and not my husband
or mother or step-kids
and especially not
my unknown father
whom I’ll never shop for
and who will never know
if I have character or integrity or
if I do any small thing
to make the world more
navigable for others.
Dominique Larntz * June 7, 2012
I was walking down steep dirt in the desert
with the same hurt hip that visits daily
in my forties, and each next step became
the uncertain place that pain makes
its bed frame since the accident.
For a few steps, I relied exclusively on the right,
placing my left only momentarily where I knew
its sole would not slide amongst altitude’s tiny granules,
and landed gracelessly with several hard gaits on its companion.
There’s a shooting pain in this sort of imbalance
that no poem can soothe, because it is outside the words
and inside the music of movement in the space
surrounding what I call myself and my body.
I stopped moving halfway down that hill
and I started to meditate instead of hike.
I took my eyes from the bottom of the crest
and focused on the rock right in front of me.
I changed my mind’s calculation
from counting the steps to get to my car
to noticing that I am in this step.
I told my left hip, I am here for you now.
I sustained a simple, humble change
of awareness in each step,
and the pain dissolved quickly
in an unexpected surprise.
Surprise because I was just
trying to finish the walk without falling down
and I had no eyes for easy steps
where each side supported the other.
Wherever else uncertain,
I am sure to take this walk again,
and I may not always find such easy relief,
but I can dig my heel firmly into faith
in the restoration of balance
over an uneasy terrain.
(With kudos to Thich Nhat Hanh For his Walking Meditation which inspired my walking meditation today.)
Dominique Larntz * June 1, 2012
I have borne weight
like a snow flake
in an avalanche.
stress over ever-increasing
momentum of reaching
the wrong goals for me
and my type of life
sure take a while
to slow down.
Instead I would like
to make my next choices
like a seed in the soil.
Reaching down and up
at the same time.
This is a slower life,
and it requires a lot
Dominique Larntz * May 27, 2012
When I am gone and there
are trash bags full of silly things
I kept in drawers like band buttons
from when I was a fan at sixteen, things
I thought about tossing twenty times
and glues I wanted to try to bind
books with, I hope you can find
time to read my secret stash
of poems too.
I hope in addition to clucking
about my many abnormally
large faults, looking into them
like you would gaze at yourself
distorted in a carnival mirror,
and shaking your head about
how if I had just done this or that
I might have had a different fate,
you might recall that within
my many mistakes,
I loved you.
Dominique Larntz * May 25, 2012
It’s questionable to go through my kid’s stuff
but Twitter and Facebook matured
right along with him
and when I found his pixelated picture
on the Internet after 16 years
of indirect mothering,
my heart started walking into rooms,
forgetting what it walked into them for.
I found out I kept trying to make him proud
through things like salary leaps
and being kind to complete strangers
because I didn’t cradle him
against my chest with the permanence
to reassure us both that life longs for us
to spend our days peacefully,
in deep union with one another
and in a spirit of compassion
for ourselves and others
and any space between.
Dominique Larntz * May 24, 2012
My Summer’s just arriving
and I’ve read Emily’s poem
on letting go of hers
I keep the secret of seasons
like a rising loaf of bread
on my kitchen counter.
I use the knowledge
of the middle of life like
you pump air toward embers.
Dominique Larntz * May 23, 2012
What do I fight for?
Yesterday I heard
a news broadcast
and my body responded–
arched blood pressure
and clenched muscles.
I am self-aware
enough now to feel it
and that is something
spectacular to me.
Previously, I just ignored
my physiological response,
played the part, did my job,
assignments, projects, tasks,
and one could say my blood,
my body, was automated,
programmed to pretend
to ignore itself.
I am slow and mellow,
in a fast world.
In a fast world,
messages arrive in bulk
and slow processors
and when we say stop
stop stop stop and stop
we are told we
and before we
can process that
we are usually
Fast world, what would
the headline read
if you stopped
and accepted me
just as I am?
Dominique Larntz * May 20, 2012
No different than many, it was a morning
when I ran into each red light on San Mateo–
but the guy at the garden center said,
“Ma’am may I take your cart back for you?”
after I silently heaved huge bags of
the potting soil I bought in bulk
to save money from cart to car.
Wow, that is so nice.”
He was just the guy
from the van next to me,
not an employee,
joining my returning cart
with his wife.
A gesture like that is simple
but so profound
in a complicated life.
For a long time I feel
I have been paving
an easier road for others
while driving my own gravel
and glass-strewn path nervously,
wishing sometimes for someone
to supply a smooth surface.
Giving and receiving arrive the same
in the brain’s chemical composition,
and mindless expectation
is a young person’s mirage.
But the relief of the moment
when the wheel turns and
I can allow myself to open
to the traffic flow of grace
from strangers as they freely offer
what they are able–
feels so good,
it is almost a secret.
Dominique Larntz * May 19, 2012
The Social Lab
Three times he lingered
at the end of my driveway,
his handsome brown eyes
could not seem to stray,
and finally I said quite out loud, you’re a beautiful brown lab,
and we will get better acquainted another day.
Dominique Larntz * May 11, 2012
Is our chemistry
if I love you
like cake batter
at three hundred
and fifty degrees
for an hour
you will rise
to meet me
so that a tooth pick
inserted into the core
of our union
will come out clean?
Dominique Larntz * May 10, 2012
They propped up his vein
and I keep wondering how that would be–
to have the most tender pathways
inside me opened up by doctors and devices.
I trace a line along my sternum with my finger
when he is not here and when he is beside me,
run my fingers along his chest, trying to feel it.
I place my right ear against his heart,
feeling the gallop of it inside him,
grateful for his life, grateful for mine,
feeling him as intimately
as I feel the inside of my eyelids.
He is the resolution of my life’s projections
and almost losing him to a heart attack
helps me know love the way you see space
only by the things that fill that space.
Dominique Larntz * May 9, 2012
There’s no one to blame
but my stress started in the womb.
I have only begun to mother myself
and I am amazed at how much more
nurturing I still need to receive
from the wiser parts of my life.
The rush of scheduled achievements
has been a distraction—a stoppage—
from true growth.
Dominique Larntz * May 8, 2012
Conversation with the Corporate Manager
“Well, what did you do?”
“Did you try this? Did you try that?”
“Did you call him? Did you call her?”
“Did you follow the procedure?”
“The procedure is unclear.”
“What could be unclear about it? It’s right there in writing?”
“You could read it two different ways.”
“Weren’t you in last week’s conference call,
when corporate said we would read it the way they say?”
“I think I recall.”
“You should remember. That’s what we pay you for.”
“What do you want me to do about this broken thing now?”
“Can I use my corporate credit card?”
“Of course not! There’s a freeze on credit card usage!”
“How do I get a replacement then?”
“Fill out an equipment request,
and I’ll run it up the food chain
to see if I can get it approved
by my manager
and my manager’s manager.
Once I get it approved
we have to order it from our special
vendor in Costa Rica.
We have a contract with them.
Finally, what’s the cost
of the replacement part?”
Dominique Larntz * May 7, 2012
My desire to grow tomatoes is so deep
that I wonder if they desire me too,
if the tomato seed dozes and views
the arising images of a farmer placing her
gently into the soil, and how the tomato seed
experiences love in its swaddled dark
arid bed just after it is tucked into
the dampened dirt and dolomite
so that it feels safe to respond to the sunlight
in the days that follow.
The dormancy of the seed,
the dormancy of that desire
and its potential that will build
from a rigid tiny thing you could have dropped
from your fingers before it was ever planted
into the fragrant desert blossom that will feed
and fulfill the entire lush autumn season
reminds me that spring is anytime
you can find the environment
to feed it.
Dominique Larntz * May 5, 2012
My tears ran with the shower
while I contemplated our conversation
about the environmental scientists
who committed suicide because they’ve
deduced an impending cataclysm so hopeless
they decided they did not want to live through it.
These small droplets of compassion from my naked body
during its daily ritual that feels like rebirth to my mind
each time I hear the faucet engage
will end at the same place all water ends.
Tears will travel through pipes provided
by people who have achieved such wonders in
engineering that even I, with a tiny house
and a small schedule, can take for granted
a shower in the desert this morning.
Dominique Larntz * May 4, 2012
Such a pregnant moon holds the souls of last week’s suicides
and I can hear the earth whisper that she misses them.
What hopeless creature attaches itself to the backs
of the type who cannot still themselves to wait until it passes?
Suicide is a pest; a spiritual species that travels around
waiting for a host body to identify with it. When it moves through,
if you feel its claws take hold of your anxiety like you might
take hold of a puppet–just rest and wait.
If it doesn’t kill you, the rule seems to be
despair and hopelessness must move along,
like the moonset and sunset.
Dominique Larntz * May 3, 2012
A cat purrs
not only when she’s
but when she’s
My heart flourishes
not only within the wet
landscapes of youth,
but during these desert years
when the next visit
to a full well
Dominique Larntz * April 30, 2012
The dry soil absorbed me as quickly
as the drops of Lady Gray tea
slopped from the side of my cup
while I leaned the opposite way
to feed the lemon thyme Shauna
gave me for my birthday–
the perfect fit to replant
in the stands we made
just outside our front door.
My eyes kaleidoscope
on the radiance
of the escaped sky.
In its heated airways,
Summer is sending its missives
each day now, announcing itself
by thrilling our skin into moistening
and making intimate embers
where we are bare.
I know Summer will bring baking heat.
I will tend the garden,
tend myself and my frailties,
the skin that burns too fast,
the sense a transplant has
that it wants to wind its way
back down to sea level
and find a way home to the ocean.
I am as impermanent
as anything else
and the desert
is one of the most
to plant the idea
that we all root
in foreign soil
for a while.
Dominique Larntz * April 29, 2012
Crater Lake Blue could be bottled
and then I could hold onto stillness with them—
my grandfather and my uncle.
When I talk to my grandfather now
through the gauze of Alzheimer’s,
I am no longer asking him if the travel
trinket I am buying is too expensive.
When I talk to my uncle through
the twisted lips of drug arrests
we don’t mention when we see
each other once per decade,
I can only thank him for teaching
me how to drive stick-shift
in South Dakota parking lots
when I was sixteen.
My moment with them was at Crater Lake,
swirling my sweaty hair up into
a knot at the center of my skull
and I felt safe with them on the road north
through California for a few days
in the middle of a chaotic childhood
but I was probably bored
and I had no idea it was important
to the forty-two year old woman I would become
who needed to know that at the heart
of each fractured person—
of each person who falls beyond cliffs
from which they can no longer send us
words we can decipher—there is a deep crater
of being that is as alive as the earth.
We don’t have to communicate in language
to love our families; we can sit together or
if we can’t sit together we can use their
illness as an opportunity to ask for help
or to help others whose faces remind us of theirs—to
widen the very concept of family
until we learn that there will be no saving
ourselves or each other. There will only be
a deeper, an ever deepening, cratering, caring
that pools in our spirits for us to gaze into
when we need space.
Without using visual description.
You listen and Chuck’s voice is deep and warm. His hands turn with the clock-tick of each syllable and hold you too long when he hugs you until you just go with it and drop your to-do list.
Exercise from a writing workshop. Nothing perfect and done in only a few moments, but worth the experiment.
Dominique Larntz * April 17, 2012
It has been loud for too long
I invite quiet into our space again
for a long visit.
Imagine him walking through
our curved front door with his
traveling bag that holds
the tender smell of silence.
He eases open the clasps
so we can pass it around
with the smiles loved ones give
to sacred treasures as we enjoy them.
You can feel yourself enter silence
like you slip into cotton sheets
or into wonderful sandals.
Let profound peace be my brother
who knows he is welcome in my home;
who knows he is loved here.
Dominique Larntz * April 12, 2012
On this birthday, death exhales his musings
into my carotid pattern and I wonder
if it is as stable as ever. I am in the middle–
this precipice point where I have let go
of the potentials of birth and I have begun
to embrace the vague details of death.
I care less and less about celebrating
the day of my entrance into this body,
but the fact remains that it is still marked.
I know the date, the time, the year
and the desert place in which my small fist
leaked out into this mortal blossom.
The date of my demise is unclear.
I might celebrate it in some sort of heaven,
dancing between layers of golden scarves
in a semblance of whatever my spirit
will know to be naked abandon in the afterlife.
There may be appreciation
for this sort of visceral joy.
We may gasp ourselves
into death with a breath
we do not yet know.
We might work ourselves to death
because we are in some sort of
reaching to grow into something spectacular
so that death is another birth.
In the womb of death’s wooing of me,
I am comfortable with the outlines of my mortality today,
stretching into the sky with fingers
that are large to my pupil but tiny to the moon’s eye;
exploring with legs that are huge
compared to the models of my culture
but small compared to the waves of an ocean;
kicking with hips that rotate open
to uncover a chakra base
tunneled into an earth
to sustain me for a long curious life
that for the sun is only the time span
it takes to glance around at its planets
and assure itself they are still there.
Today, I am thinking about people I care for,
primarily the people in my blood family.
I can feel them in the pulse at my neck as I breath.
They are as close to me as my carotid artery
and as far from me as the nearest stars.
I have been writing them secret love letters,
knowing I may leave first.
I hope they arrive.