I accidentally memorized 16 poems last year. Here’s how.

On a Friday evening last March I was sitting next to a stranger at dinner. We’d just started a weekend poetry retreat so we pretty quickly got to talking about our own writing practices. That’s when I heard myself say something that changed the rest of my year: Musicians don’t play only their own music.… Continue reading I accidentally memorized 16 poems last year. Here’s how.

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A Winter Poem

On Saturday some friends and I marked the winter solstice together. We met just before sunset in a local forest, with the darkening waters of the Salish Sea just visible through the trees. Winter was the first season I ever felt in my soul. Or at least the first one I was aware of feeling.… Continue reading A Winter Poem

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Let the Wind Dance You

This little poem is about a shivering little tree near the top of a mountain (see a video of the actual tree below). But it’s also about giving yourself a break. There were taller trees lower down the mountain that swayed more elegantly in the wind. And even lower were old growth Douglas firs—timeless giants… Continue reading Let the Wind Dance You

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Look to the Sky

I wrote this poem about a month ago while watching the sky one evening. It was based mostly on an intuition and a gathering sadness about all we’re losing in the world. I wasn’t sure if or how I was going to share it. But then today the New York Times published this article: Birds… Continue reading Look to the Sky

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Vows to the Mystery

Think back to the very beginning of something you were excited about. Maybe you’d just gotten a great new job, or started dating someone you were really interested in. Or maybe it was a new artistic practice, or a new identity you were stepping into. Whatever it was, you probably felt a sort of electric… Continue reading Vows to the Mystery

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The Space Between Us

This is the poem I wrote for my wedding. I spent months on it. And on Saturday I finally got to see it do its work in the world when we used it to open our wedding ceremony. Elizabeth and I both wanted to stay away from talk of “becoming one” in our ceremony, with… Continue reading The Space Between Us

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The First Promise

This is a poem of permission. A lot of people wish they could push pause for a little while, but they’re afraid to show any uncertainty about the life they’ve constructed for themselves. They’re afraid it would mean they’ve failed. That they’ll be forgotten. That they’ll disappear. But if you don’t step back sometimes, chances… Continue reading The First Promise

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Permission to Lose Interest

Looking up through the windshield atdark wings and a white headcrossing high above I-5. “Just a seagull,” I hear myself say—permission to lose interest, permission to close downthe aqueducts of wonder. How quickly I abandon my enchantment, like it’s a grenade about to bloom or a great eyeopening. Because really I know that the shape… Continue reading Permission to Lose Interest

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It’s in Everything

It’s in everything, this dancingof something that’s more than just life.Look at the trees near the shore,how they shimmy and wave over the bright face of the Salish Sea. Meanwhile the waters rush in—mad for the moon—and swirl aroundthe outstretched hand of the point,kissing the forehead of the beachbefore they rush back out again. I… Continue reading It’s in Everything