A selection of blackout poems — from a series of 100+ — created from the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Documenting the lunar cycles during a transformational time in my life, this series is a journey through the underworld and into the light.

I walk across
decades to be with
the light.
I cross deep-rutted
prints of memory,
leaving only love.


Relationships fade past mistakes.
Regenerating, the key is the difference.

VII. Conclusions
Renewal says
reciprocity is replenished.

VIII. Acknowledgements
The wind,
understanding the prayer,
carries the song,
to say thank you.

IX. References Cited
The Ancestors.

The question
far wiser
than you and me.

A compass:
”to come home”
the inhale and the exhale of
the universe
will always come back.

The story woven
with new ears of creation.
Into existence
rich flora and fauna
called the divine
sing of the Gods.
They melt away in the rain.

This trail sings
knowing what is myself
to set me free.
The golden sky releases me,
wind catches sight.
This story, lit my dreams.
The waves riding up
the river on its way
from the dark
a thousand feet below.
The story, I have written.

The exchange
between two people,
wild liberation,
is the same reason
it is given to us.
So time,
you can see.

Lives are ceremonies,
calibrated and ready.
Restored channels pulse
and gaze out to sea.
A single light is left on.
Into the night,
calling back home.

Summer woke
to consciousness
hazy songs and sisters
emerged from the sun.
Long white smoke
of many fires,
lifts the morning
without being told.

Grief fragments
along the river
my knees dig earth colored whisper.
The light roots from my heart,
restoring time and the buried stone.

Red tea
I soak,
side by side
droplets to let go.
A long moment
between the water
rising to fill
a sunken meadow.
A different river
than in October,
you stand here
a long time,
to know and listen.
Falling rain,
textured whisper,
it arrives with light,
branches reaching
over the edge.
Water falls, water collects.

The living world
could start by listening.
Refusal is a moral choice,
bought and sold.
Uneven devestation,
a story we have told.
How poor we grow,
in childhood fields,
waiting for strawberries to ripen.

Rain wrapped with cloud,
a clear distinction,
The river has told me stories
of shadow, the hyporheic flow.
It edges deep invisible,
intimate beyond,
I am listening.
Up against my back,
water dripping, tangled ends,
I see, drops,
the drops I know hang,
reflecting a woman created.
I, in residence,
like the full moon.

We hike through rolling stands
invisible boundary in a cool breath.
The conversation halts.
Hanging mist suffuses hazy silver ferns.
A featherbed with sun flecks,
streams through shadows.
Quiet, to the cathedral hush.
A long scar runs up.
Behind her.
Grasped in her hands, pulling,
the mountains and the sea.

All steps,
in the more-then-human world.
In my finest dress I sing,
so the waters dance for renewal.

Their faces are their finest clothes,
and wade in time to time
of a different kind.

Tidal waters dismantle lifetimes
of scorching sunburns and shivering rain.
The vital presence, we sit and listen,
to what our lives were like.

A drop forms at the end of
a momentary sparkle
over rocky ledges
on their way down.
I cup my hands and drink
the journey.
My home in a world,
for me today, offering
the sweetness of water
from the pure seafloors emerging
salt filled crystal palaces.
To season and preserve,
offered up, life.

Ready made—beginning,
you find it
in scattered black ash.
toward the sun,
to find
the light.


sings me to sleep
on wing orchids.
My body and soul
hold my thoughts
and I know:
Lifelong love
fanned the flames
to weave stories into mine.
Blessed guidance of wise,
they know
I have been listening.

Stars flying high on the horizon.
The ocean and the eagle
fulfilling their sacred purpose.
An open invitation
to sit in the shadows,
behind the glimmer of hope.
My heart will walk,
where sunflowers dance.