first this, then that

29 Dec


first breakfast in polka dotted pajamas

then on a highway in the rain

without remembering the transition

in between.

first walls closing in

then wide open fields of marsh grass.

the same for so long, as far as the eyes can see,


to a hospital emergency

or shattered glass in 10 million pieces

requiring immediate attention;

how miraculous – preordained –  all appears.

grasping the immenseness of the mossy rock’s world,

clutching the car keys in a fist,

dropping a towel that was being shaken out,

a shoe not fastened, a cell phone in the water,

forgetting to go to the bathroom for hours,

until like a child running to make it in time.

all the same –

the clear blue sky,

nothing but blue and sun


on the horizon, a wall of gray, now navy, now black

marching clouds – an approaching army of mountains.

now, flip flops in december and stripped down single layers


around the corner a character with icicles on his nose

dances to his delayed entrance,

hoping to lick the bare skin

of those who dawdle,

with his frozen tongue.


what is there to do?

soften the gaze

and let the mouth hang open:


as is clearly mandated




20 Responses to “first this, then that”

  1. Hariod Brawn December 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm #

    Extraordinary, isn’t it, that we knit all of ‘this’ and ‘that’ together and regard the whole as our own perfectly ordinary life? Then when we look to see just how much of it belongs to us, was caused or driven by us, and even how much of it was truly experienced by whatever we think of as ‘us’, we finally begin to see what it actually is, which could be ‘this’ or ‘that’, yet never the ‘other’.

    Happy New Year Marga!

    Hariod. ❤

    • marga t. December 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      why does this revelation never stick for good? Never the other, never two, yet again and again, categorizing goes on… Enjoying the not twoness with “you,” Hariod. New Year Blessings back to you! xo! marga

      • Hariod Brawn December 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm #

        “Why does this revelation never stick for good?”

        I guess evolution is a gradual thing; a bit of a creeper. 😉 Then again, perhaps God has unfinished business; or is just a sloppy worker? 😉

  2. M.A. December 29, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    Or perhaps, if seen from the right perspective, all simultaneous?

    • marga t. December 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

      Oh, that seems a deep thread, beyond my human perception this morning! But I suspect from a zoomed out perspective, absolutely! New Year blessings you your head, Michael. xo! marga

      • M.A. December 29, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

        Beyond my perception too, but something I find helpful to consider when I’m afraid–that the moment I’m fearing has already come to pass and already is whatever it will be. In short, that the outcome is beyond my reach and all I can do is what I’m supposed to do now. Okay, now my brain is starting to get tangled! I wish serenity for you in the coming year. Peace, Marga

    • marga t. December 29, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

      Michael, I cannot not write when you enter into this terrain; there is such power in this perception of yours! That opening of some time gate between then and now is where I think we can find courage, healing, and power to not only visit the past and strengthen our present, but also to walk into our future – without the overwhelming feelings of powerlessness. You are mining such a rich vein in the cave today! 🙂

    • marga t. December 29, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Oh, forgive my chattiness, but there is a certain irony to me that you are a present manifestation from the past, for me. You revisit me here in the now, from a memory of my past (and probably from the messiest part of my path as I recall:). Ok, I’ll be quiet now. I am reading your post on poetry from december…so excellent!

      • M.A. December 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

        Actually, I have been feeling myself in a stuck place for the past couple of weeks, so your words (always welcome!) are even more gratifying and encouraging to hear today. I’m happy for you to be as chatty as you like. Thank you. Peace.

  3. smilecalm December 29, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    how wonderful
    to allot the time
    to recognize
    that awareness
    has happened
    or not
    in our busy
    stillness 🙂

    • marga t. December 30, 2014 at 3:22 am #

      how clearly
      you see with your
      smiling eyes!

  4. Michael December 29, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

    Marga, this is exactly what I was talking about vis-a-vis a good road trip. I confess early on I was momentarily concerned you had had a recent and direct encounter with automobiles on misplaced and converging trajectories, but cannot reconcile that with the cogent, slack-jawed reminiscences that shine through here. I see now that this time and that time appear to be the vehicles hurtling along converging trajectories, colliding into this Now you have captured in all of its 10 million resplendent pieces. We’re all Disney characters in these Ice Capades, dressed up in our polka-dotted costumes and twirling across this freshly surfaced rink of being.


    • marga t. December 30, 2014 at 3:37 am #

      I re-read this post after your commenting here and the cryptic writing does sound connected to a car crash, to me now! Heart grateful for safe passages and no crashing. What seemed clear when I hit publish now seems needlessly opaque. You are such a careful reader! The broken glass images did come from a mishap with trying to defrost the boat fridge yesterday. A glass shelf was smashed with a falling ice bomb. What I was trying to express was the way a sudden emergency occurs without notice and compels a sort of doing that is absolutely clear. I had 1/2 hour to get up a million tiny bits of glass. When someone is hurt, the aiding is obvious. Yet other times, life flow feels much more arbitrary. While I don’t necessarily long for emergencies, I think I appreciate the clarity of what comes next in those moments.
      (Your skating rink image made me remember how much I love watching the Zamboni go round and round, leaving the ice a solid, unmarred whole! Haven’t seen that sight in years.) Marga

      • seeingm December 31, 2014 at 1:16 am #


        Wanna meet up for a midnight veggie burger? -xx.M

      • marga t. December 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

        This is the part where lol stops being a cliche and becomes an actual description. I call shotgun on that ride! :))) x0!!m

      • Michael December 31, 2014 at 9:38 pm #

        I think I know what you mean. The urgency or clarity that comes with situations or circumstances to which there is really one one valid response renders thought moot. It’s like a cosmic pallette refresher… 🙂 I think in a way, the last couple months of being very busy were an extended version of that, a way of keeping me immersed in the moment, without recourse to questions of why or what for or what next. It can be helpful, I think, for such moments to come along and help us shift perspective, and also to deliver us an experience that is heightened in its immediacy due to lack of viable distraction…

        Sounds like the Airbnb is getting some visitors!


  5. Alison and Don December 29, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

    And when we do that – “soften the gaze and let the mouth hang open” – at the wonder of it all, there is nothing wrong. I swear I read “soften the gaze and let the mouth hang open at the wonder of it all” as the ending of your poem and was quite confused when I re-read it, as if there’d been some miraculous switching of words. But either ending is true, and thank you for the reminder to soften the gaze.

    • Alison and Don December 29, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

      I just understand where I got it from – your poem in the email from WP ends that way. No wonder I was confused. ❤

      • marga t. December 30, 2014 at 3:43 am #

        You found out about my tinkering with the words. Something about hitting publish today made me keep wanting to clarify until the point changed entirely! And now I return here again after a long day, and I wonder who wrote any of it! Such is the flow of thoughts and words. I hope you and Don are well and enjoying Hawaii. I will check in to see if you are indeed still there! (I checked a lovely couple from Melbourne into my boat just now. He was a Thai chef. I’m getting to meet interesting people with this little adventure, lately.) xo! and happy new year to you both. Marga

      • Alison and Don December 30, 2014 at 4:03 am #

        Happy New Year to you too. We are in Canberra, my Aussie hometown, for holidays with the family. Fun.

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