Possible side effects may include

Possible side effects may include
dizzy spells
fatigue
nausea
a debilitating sense of wonder
dry mouth
actually getting excited about vegetables
or at least trying really hard to
that feeling of melancholy that comes
like the tide, washing your feet
and then receding
but also soaking into the skin
tree envy
chills
the seasons passing before your “I”s
getting sentimental at odd corners of the 7-Eleven

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Your Monday Blessing: Earth TV

Relax, because the aliens
watching you on Earth TV
must be into stripped-down, artsy,
not-overly-dramatic cinéma verité,
if they’ve been watching you, faithfully,
thus far.

So you can do without the car chase,
and just swallow, with a slight furrow of the brow,
that cutting remark of the overworked supermarket teller.
This isn’t Sopranos. Your fans
don’t need to see every vendetta explode into light.

They must, for their own reasons,
like the way the way that you put the bags in the trunk,
and then take a moment,
eyes squinting under the sun,
thinking about something or other,
there on a Tuesday afternoon.

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Your Monday Blessing: I Went to the Market and I

a slight chill in the morning

a slight chill in the morning and
peace in the heart

a slight chill in the morning,
peace in the heart, and
a room to clean

a slight chill in the morning,
peace in the heart,
a room to clean,
and a cat

a slight chill in the morning,
peace in the heart,
a room to clean,
a cat, and
the world on fire, as usual.

a bit of a chill in the morning,
peace here in the heart,
a room to clean,
a cat,
the world on fire, as usual,
and me, wearing this sweater, breathing in and out

a slight chill in the morning

a slight chill in the morning

a slight chill in the morning and
peace in the heart

a slight chill in the morning,
peace in the heart, and
a room to clean

a slight chill in the morning,
peace in the heart,
a room to clean,
and a cat

a slight chill in the morning,
peace in the heart,
a room to clean,
a cat, and
the world on fire, as usual.

a bit of a chill in the morning,
peace here in the heart,
a room to clean,
a cat,
the world on fire, as usual,
and me, wearing this sweater, breathing in and out

a slight chill in the morning

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Arjuna at Antietam

At Antietam,
Arjuna looked across the sunken road,
at his brothers and his teachers,
gathered for the slaughter.
And he turned to chariot driver, and asked,
“Great teacher, show me America.”

And Uncle Sam pulled down his beard,
and in the gun barrels of his eyes, Arjuna saw
the Vegas Strip and the pre-dawn hunt of the Lenni Lenape,
the shade of mountains on the Colorado River,
the thousand-and-one colors of the Kwik-E-Mart.
His lips shot off fireworks and wrote the blogosphere;
jewels of sweetgrass and petroleum,
gems of methamphetamines and glutamate hung from
skin as radiant as the fires beneath the space shuttle.
in her multiple arms, ze held the first flight of the airplane,
and a mournful trumpet in the French quarter,
and Harriet Tubman making her way North, and back South again,
and the atom bomb,
and beef brisket, and the first sight of Ellis Island,
and the steps Coyote made for the Salmon people,
and the runoff of Dow Chemical,
and a man, lynched under a tree,
and freedom,
and music,
and the local school board elections.

All this, and more, Arjuna saw, in a single muzzle flash.
Afterward, he sat upon the ground.
“Get up now,” said the charioteer,
“Enter the field, and find what glory you can.”

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Losing Faith

First, we lost our faith in the old man in the big chair,
and then we lost our faith in God.

We lost faith in the New York Yankees,
the military-industrial complex,
progress,
and the Electrolux microwave oven.

We lost faith in the absolution of the electric chair,
and the grace note of education.

We lost faith in Jimmy Swaggart and the Holy Ghost.
And Casper, the Friendly Ghost, went out the same door.

We lost our faith in Dr. Fauci, and the Bomb,
the Princeton Review,
and the milk of human kindness.

We lost faith in the earth’s ability
to be larger than we are.

We stopped reciting the Pledge of Allegiance,
stopped singing Staying Alive,
stopped believing there was really no business
like show business.

We lost faith in Captain Jack and Aquawoman,
and all their teams of lawyers.
We lost faith in men,
and then stopped believing her.
We don’t even believe us, anymore.

We lost faith in the historical record,
and tell no tales
without first consulting our lawyers.

We lost faith in clipping coupons,
and personal computers,
and redemption,
and cast all upon the heap.

We put aside childhood dreams,
at the appropriate time,
and grew too old, even, for wisdom.

We wandered out from once upon a time,
threw out the old unicorn bones,
and yet discovered no home
in the present moment.

We lost faith in conversation
as our opponents tore us to ribbons in the press;
we lost faith in conversion,
as we saw nothing in our opponents
worth turning to anything.

How very good we are
at scorching everything
that is no longer useful to us.

Still, I have heard it is in the desert
where faith is found.

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Your Monday blessing: At Least

At least
an elm tree
sitting amidst birdsong
under cloudy skies

At least
this much peace
right now

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Passover

Even today, Passover is a miracle.

Last night, there were houses not skipped by plague,
Bullets found their way through windows and bone,
And in so many guises, the horrible
moment – the long-feared moment – paid its visit.

This happens again and again,
to those who break down at the bedside,
and those who toss and turn within.

And you, who have woken to a so-called ordinary day,
you reckon all these things and curse God,
you wonder at the makeup of the stars,
when even now, the moon of your heart
is gazing at the world, waiting for your permission
to turn itself towards mercy.

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Friends of the Red Bird

There are a few creatures on this earth of ours,
that I like to imagine
know just about everything
there is to know:
cats, of course; and the cherry blossom fully illuminated;
and Mary Oliver. The cat rushes
to his square window and I to mine,
desperate for confirmation of some murky desire of the heart
that has not – in us, at least – blossomed into words.
Mary Oliver has read Socrates, and just the other day
Socrates saw a red bird:
and so he I think he will forgive me
for saying that the only true knowledge
is a sparrow flying under the wings of an American Sweetgum
whether or not I am there to see it.

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Holiday

Climate change is bad, but
the all-expenses-paid trip you took
to Bermuda today
with everyone else in the Tri-state area
was not bad, really, but good.

How to account for it? Maybe
soak in the rays, extend joyful
islander vibes to the other souls
lucky enough to live here,
and, if you can manage it,
buy no plastic.
And if not, hold more to the heavy weight
of grace than that sin, already wafting away
on the breeze.

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Changes

He woke up one morning, from fitful sleep, to discover he was now an average-sized human. It all felt a bit unreal at first, and he wasn’t really interested in getting up. He was aware of the vast space around him, and a vague loneliness engulfed him. But then, seized by the energy of the day, he swung his legs over the bed and discovered they functioned quite well for the purpose: one quick shake and they were over the side of the bed, and then the feet provided an adequate base for his wobbly body on the floor.

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