The Ecliptic
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mollyponkevitch · 56 years ago

Will and the Top Rung

These days I think of you
there is silver in the sky and planes
I know you watch as something
in you dances.

I don’t even think I knew
what trampolines meant
to a midnight mind
afraid of what would echo
through that hallway
and if anyone else was alive to hear it.

I don’t think I knew
the power of digging a hole with a single friend

of biking to Ace and using our $40.00
on a pulley to run our rope through
so there was no more friction
and our system for floating worked.

But mostly I think now
about how excited you were
not about yourself flying,
but watching me-

yours, the pulling arms, the vein
that bulged on your smiling red face
and I got to feel what it was like
to be weightless

even as the harness dug into
my thighs, burning
you were amazed I was so high
my body hugged in a Cherry tree
being up there
just being up there.

There was no fear in just wanting to feel
what it was like to hang,
to be breathless,
hoisted in Heaven-
a place no amount of church could make
only houses in the trees
and jumping the boat
and tying up to the highest branch.

Most days
we are standing in that hole
grass is the horizon
we never found the dungeon but hell
did we learn that seeing
has levels.

Today I sit in a hotel chair
and stare into a hotel mirror
thinking about what we would do here
in order to fly

but remember that the pain in my throat
and the frequency of my tears
is the hardening of feathers
that lets the infant Eagle soar.

6 notes
mollyponkevitch · 57 years ago



There is no time

like this when you are

the river too

mirrored, shattered consistent

you see your edges bend

you see your head collapse

you see yourself rapidly going nowhere

you laugh as a fish jumps out of your chest

then become stern about symbolism

Nothing breaks you

the way the river breaks you

integrate, scatter, integrate

like music, whose source and destination

cannot be found,


moves you.

Life has no shore

even upon death you slide

through a narrowed tributary

salt your fresh blood

and though no one has been waiting

you flood in, again, with abandon

to move and never arrive.

Photo by Bryanna Kotkins, edited by Molly Ponkevitch

1 notes
mollyponkevitch · 60 years ago

Gap Lonely // Only Mantra Knows Me // Un-
_._._._._._. _._._._._._. _._._._._._. _._._._

Underneath a cloud of pink
cacti shred ankles

In soft, amniotic desert rain
jack rabbits crushed beneath the wheel

Dropped in centrifuge, a sudden Dirvish
A spinning top, but also the field
Chandra, the deer’s head but also absolutely nothing
absolutely nothing
the unmanifest
which embodies all nakshatras

(Noone to be
 Nowhere to go)

All movement is sound
All sound is symbolic
All humans are passing deities

we spit on Gods
and bow to a plastic Ganesh

Irony is laughing somewhere
and the ecliptic is unchanged.

0 notes
mollyponkevitch · 61 years ago


My words brim at the lip of the mountain, effervescent
eager to rise as the sun
suspended at high noon
a porcelain pot full of blood
dripping itself upon a feathered skein.

My words make cities of homeless letters
classless cities, so if a person
looks always at the ground
all persons bend to their knees
to remind the sad
of which miracles are made
at eye-level.

My word vessel has been done to, undone and abused
but my words cannot be touched
only felt
As July wind heaves, the desert in labor
chollas pink lobes, plums dropping

This Ecstatic Breath
This Pipe of Divination

I cast a wor(l)d between us
beauty out of now(here)
beauty from no-thing
beauty needing no-one
a cordless chant at high noon

I am the witch
in the middle of the sun.

0 notes
mollyponkevitch · 61 years ago

Imagining I am someone who has lost a child
Seeing other people’s
children play,
I stand in the garden,
bottomless tears.”


Portland is hot
the heat transfers from asphalt to metallic building
and back
the smell of fried doughnuts travels swift
and somehow makes the air heavier

I see my reflection in cafe windows
older now but I always feel
the same
especially approaching the Saturday market
enveloped in its swarm of booths
and people in between booths
a formless mass wandering a maze.

As I search for dad
one air becomes many
pad thai to bum piss to funnel cakes
to arriving at the river where we will meet.

This part could be clear and sacred
but it is trashed with ratty sleeping bags
stolen carts, empty Olde English bottles, soiled khakis
and people so caked in the streets
they are more streets than people.

These scattered piles of detritus
encroach on me, but there is nowhere to go
where they are not.
I inhale over the river
desperate to pull its fresh movement up
and through this lingering moment,
or perhaps to permeate my hatred.

Twenty minutes have never felt so stuck.

Another homeless man comes over the grass
with his house on his bike
wearing a wife beater and blue jeans that appear beige
and I cannot feel myself

I cannot hear the geese screaming
the amplified blues singer, screaming
I cannot hear my heart in my chest

This moment is entirely made of seeing
my dad
come towards his daughter
come towards his people.

Suddenly hugged and held in his chest
his tears reach a patch of my exposed skin
I do not look up
I stay embraced

I see the homeless looking over
and normal is no longer my hierarchy
my eyes cease darting, soften
and let down the whole river
I held in

here, this hug
that nobody desires to hurt
and that because I am my father’s daughter
these are my people too.

5 notes
mollyponkevitch · 63 years ago

Watering the Peach Trees in Cerrillos

Like clockwork, I break from incubation
around 3 pm when the casita walls sweat
and home becomes a contracting womb

I didn’t know sound could physically bathe you
until I heard desert cicadas in the middle of June

Something about this oppressive heat
calls me to wear no thing
do nothing

except release
catchment water
feel it flood into the hose
and give it to the peach trees.

The floor of the earth is splintered
dried flumes meander around chollas and mountain stones
and in between momentary shades
I think about the water I’ve caught

in subtle, passing showers
in sudden minutes when the entire sky fell through

I’m sure I have water within me
but it only comes through when I remember
where I put the hose.

Summer is like this
pink cactus flowers opening
clay ground, dry and opening
bodies, with no other choice,
emitting the steam of cells

I am bewitched by the process of rinsing
the glaze the branches assume
the winged bugs that escape as water smacks their napping leaf
the sisterhood, the symbiosis, 
the remembered connection between equal parts
matter and numinous.

I see my shins are spattered in a paste of dirt and dry grass
continuing on, the tree at the edge of the yard is younger 
and her leaves are wilting
I water her more, she needs it,
while the thought creeps

She is too far gone, passed the line between alive and dying, there is no coming back”

The hose is swelling, and distant Piñons hiss, everything
in this moment is louder.

Is this me?”

One of those questions that scald you from inside out
that rush adrenaline through and out of your body
that make you less human and more hose

pumping the substance of your existence
to where, and for what?

“My water is coming”

bursting as a kid in the alley who makes worlds with chalk
flexible as the woman who is knocked
twisted and beaten, for she is the river 
and does not scorn the river bed
infinite, a well tapped straight between beaming stars
known in the difference between 
“me” and “through me”

visualized in a bold returning from 
“the point of no return.”

This tree and I
collected and quenched
drinking the quantum potential 
of hose water. 

2 notes
mollyponkevitch · 63 years ago

L'enseignant sans nom

Tu avais raison à propos du soleil
pendant qu’il a rampé
à travers la fenêtre de ta voiture
et peint Marley
avec sa lumière.

Qui est le peintre
à part ce moment
et nos cœurs qui battent…

Je pense au fond de moi,
«J’aime le silence de ton chien
et ce rêve indicible
qui t’imagine
éveillé et endormi.

J'ai la mer, la plage, le vent
dans mes veines
où le papillon est libéré de son corps
comme le pétale qui a quitté la fleur.

Toi et moi
Les traces de nos âmes
fredonnant les mélodies de la Nouvelle-Orléans
le ciel avale nos pensées

jusqu'au moment que je vois,

“La sagesse est fille de l'expérience”

J’ai perdu mes mots
afin de voir

L'enseignant au soleil
reflétant ses leçons sur la mer.

Magnifique Photo par Max Nouet
et édité par Birgitta Johannah Allen, Merci mes amis!

1 notes
mollyponkevitch · 63 years ago

Wait/Rest, the Wisdom of Smoke,
and the Oddity of Taking Orders

Behind brown waves,
shots of whiskey, customers talking
in the back parking lot

something silent in you
knowing it all

the chatter of stars
and your post-shift cigarette
blending the chaos of days past
in the diamond black smoke
of a single moment

lessons in pain
nothing to chase with
just You and your self
and the silence of cement 

(Photo of Jamie McDonald, edited by me)

3 notes
mollyponkevitch · 65 years ago

It’s only a matter of minutes 
until the sun rises
San Mateo sounds like morning finches and nothing else

I open the front door for the house to absorb 
any remaining cold
before the sun lay its sweaty palm
over the city

I like this hour
for the smell of cool, damp cottonwoods 
cool and damp only for now
or perhaps because sleep makes everybody no one
our robes and lack of words
our new and voided mind, we are
steeped in natural law, without trying,
almost awake

only to sleep again as daylight comes
sleep with autopilot flicked on
asleep in our agenda, our daydream,
we are not lucid

Black coffee coats my tongue
and absorbs quickly
burnt cacao, autumn smoke

“Does anyone really know themselves
or just assume?”

Beside the taste, I’m also drinking speed
less substance more pace
thoughts unchain and run naked
I extract the coffee
and coffee extracts me.

The impending swarm of morning shifters 
is gradual, then sudden
cars missing their light and going anyway
so hurried to own this life
finance it, commune with it, die for it.
Grammatically life is a noun
yet life is never had
nor kept.

The dog is antsy to leave, howling and mesmerized
by the ongoings through the screen door 

it’s odd that I dictate his life like this
and stranger that he obeys

he is so enthusiastic 
bound by the neck, controlled by my choice
of directions,
he does not see me
lost in what’s forward
immersed in his senses
distracted, constantly, by the moving world

I stop us at the red light
this one always feels like waiting

so time asks,

“Am I the hurried dreamer now?”


“Who is holding your leash?”

3 notes
mollyponkevitch · 66 years ago

Not Upon a Breast She Feeds

It is April in Cerrillos
the sun is making its way home
to scorch all impurities the desert has collected
over winter,
so those belonging have more room
to thrive.

I feel this in my womb
expanding heat,
downward rays of scarlet
leave me.
My blood is bled
just as spring shakes residue from Pinon limbs

I am not exempt from cleansing
or cycles.

Pink blossoms of this mountain orchard
have morphed into rubber leaves
upon which bees left their kiss

Trees are so striking
needing only themselves to conceive
to drop their sweet litter
through the ethers gap,
the canal between branch and ground

and once nestled in the earth, their kin
are violently torn
and swallowed by us, by deer,
by scrubjays and packrats,
exposing the seed
to its highest potential
of becoming a tree.
Somehow, destruction will always
beget life.

Blood flows stronger now, it is
a medium for eggs to flee
for could-haves to dilute in toilet water
for no-longer-me to drain through the trap.

My April child is nourished
by heart milk
She is made of words,
sacred visions, succulent
embryonic craving.
She has fallen upon paper
Our cord left uncut
as an inner sun purges
and empties me,
and Earth sounds its deepest bass, shaking

We renew in tandem all planes
ruptured, bled out,
anew, voided and fertile

suspended in
“the absolute silence between planets”
in pure, ravenous bliss,

We sit,
close our eyes,

open our eyes
and eat the placenta raw.

0 notes
mollyponkevitch · 66 years ago

Nan Facing the Washington Monument // Where Beauty Is

July in DC, there are so many people
Tourist buses unload like tributaries rush
into rivers
but somehow, there is silence between you and I
as the streets swarm and phones flash
our gaze is still
upon Lincoln’s chair
and then names of Vietnam heroes
and dimly lit Native quilts

Everything is so much bigger with you

As we traipse the Smithsonian
every single detail is considered
this whole entire place is intention-
What I did not know
was that you were teaching me to linger
where beauty is.

As dusk approaches
we stretch our journey
West, to the Washington Monument

The sun is leaving the sky
with remnants of pink, amber and scarlet hues
it’s absence more a marvelous transforming
than a disappearance

We are here now
enrapt in the monument, its towering presence
but more so its essence given
to the Reflecting Pool beneath

something so solid, at once a fluid mirage.

I see you
your body draped in Parisian clothes, neck wrapped in a silken shawl,
and topped with an elegant, fuchsia sun hat

but in the water of your life I see
your children, discerning and cultured
unwavering amongst reality’s turbulence,

and their children, supported in your reflection
inspired to wander the world as you have

I see hydrangeas, and Japanese maples, 
and garden goddesses making welcome the birds

Art of several shapes circulating
through your house, like cellular regeneration,
nothing is stale

I see memories made because of you
which reverberate through our lives
memories which permeate the substance of who we are

and when I see myself in the water
I see you
two life times composed entirely of moments
moments like these
unplanned, and simple
yet resounding.

Our eyes are still fixed upon the rippling pool
as city noise dwindles into twilight,

and I quietly say to you,

“Thank you for bringing me here, Nan,”

“It is beautiful.”

2 notes
mollyponkevitch · 69 years ago

Like late morning sun
on freshly bathed skin
or shrubs shivering against ankles
like floating, suspended in the sea
just past where sand meets feet
like lying in savasana

“I could stay here forever”

like standing on a cliff with eyes closed
or purposefully getting lost
in these woods

Our trail
We blaze
not for the senses
isn’t marked, secure
but perhaps guided
or else arriving
home with you
is both miracle
and accident.

Like knowing the answer
before being asked —
life so often depicted outside
right here yet beyond reach

but between you and me

hearts that swim
helices that bind

our greatest knowing
endlessly within.

Like days which feel as minutes
flying time
as the setting sun will have it
we too ripen

but no mark of skin
or silvering hair
quiets laughter
or dims vision
or arrests our love

Time is our counsel
lending wisdom of pace
we notice far more when
than running.

Like sips of desert air
and reading Neruda,

“You are like nobody
since I love you”

Like night drives
stepping out from the car
stretching my neck, suddenly


dead and undead but beaming

“Where does time begin?”

sudden, amazed and confused

you are

also space




Like this.
This is who you are.

4 notes
mollyponkevitch · 69 years ago

On some unsuspecting day
when my eyes only knew the ground
you were the sky
at once a short glance
suddenly infinity

and since I may only recognize
what I already know

and since love is also like this

my gaze is no longer in hiding
my fists no longer clenched

that you are here
and I am unwound

and when you laugh
everything is new

and when you cry
a whole world is healed

I will stand in your rain and sun
in your rising and setting hues
but knowing you are not that

you are the vastness from which all becomes
where I have felt your heart
beat out of unimaginable silence

to me, you are like no one
you are the sky
and love can echo forever
in unconceivable

2 notes
mollyponkevitch · 76 years ago

You are not there
but here in my heart

I think back to when
but you are not there, either
only as now
you are here

Because I touched you once
you’ve become always

I have heard your speech
though love you as undone
as silence
as unborn worlds
before anything can happen
I love you here

When action lands misplaced
it is done, but you are not

you will shake the field, still
you are here in my heart

Even away, home
some glimpses I fear you foreign
but beneath my skin
moves the immense swallow
of an old growth forest
here, I find you native

hugged into impossible realness
because you are
Love manifest as absence
as breath unseen continually
in moments makes us

the film reel is so rapid
and past re-members itself so solid
but you are not that

You are the common denominator
needlessly infinite
and even more so

because now you are here
in my heart.

3 notes
mollyponkevitch · 77 years ago

The city glistens
the hanging fern drips above me
How can it be, becoming
so far from everything 

at once so close
to one that matters

Perhaps it is true
that fear’s impulse is a siren’s call

but beauty still paints terror
children laugh though scared
mothers bleed in silence

even flowers lost
beneath the crush of sleeping drivers
know, again and again,
to find soil through cement

to know, not just to believe,

home is dendritic, engorged
home is infinite, the pink womb
and Love lives there

sweeping leaves off the porch
noticing you, somehow knowing
you were on your way. 

4 notes
mollyponkevitch · 84 years ago

The August Presence

It’s Friday and the sidewalk is blanched
by the sun, truly
so hot I feel my calves crisping from below
and in the radiation cars pull
the scent of freshly baked waffle cones
through the musky breath of Willamette —
summer, if nothing else,
is simply the smell of the air.

I could stay infinitely suspended here
but I am on a park bench waiting
for dad,
or mom really.
Whoever comes first, these days.

I can see the oaks here
are already starting to fall apart

it’s only August.

Are the infant others yet safe
from their dying mother
whose leaves are tinged yellow
whose flowers go limp
whose sound is swallowed
in overwhelm and decay?
Not that it matters yet
but the reminder is strong.

I feel absorbed
by the sky
it is so gentle, day dissipating
into lavender grey
but the pitch from twilight on
is jolting and sudden —
breathless, almost.

Any pleasant remnants of ice cream parlor smells
are infused with open dumpsters
the clanking end of work days
cement cooling beneath still hot air
traffic lights flashing on empty streets
the silent acceptance that no one is coming.

I miss today like tomorrow never comes

I miss today so completely
that she has become myself

and only now
in a wandering collapse of being

I don’t miss at all.

2 notes
mollyponkevitch · 86 years ago

Inside Out

Where we lay is not solid
                          not even formed
just gentle effervescence 
the Sun barely kissing the NIght
flooding her with silver,

until she knows herself
as light.

Where we lay is not solid
as stomachs croak and stir
they are simply the echo
of a sacral dance
              a  dance which ascends through all gates
We as the keepers
keep them open.

Where we lay is not solid
it is two curling arches
it is lacing thighs
it is the arms embrace, unbounded helix

and since Love is 

                             renewing and renewed. 

5 notes
mollyponkevitch · 89 years ago
She's Come a Undone (tribute)
<p>Inspired by Wally Lamb, and how this book has mirrored my own journey.</p>
2 notes
mollyponkevitch · 89 years ago


When my skin 
is the creased, equestrian leather boot
who will love me then?

When my body is stone
and not feather,
weighted, already, in my own hatred,
who will see me then?

When I am the singing hag
and not the soft,
submissive princess,
who will touch me then?

When I am tormented,
weak with tears,
while the whole world is walled,
who will know me then?

When I feel so much 
but do not look the part,
who will go deeper
and recognize me then?

When I am no longer
a servant to society
and will not pretend,
who will accept me then?

When the cocoon has ruptured
and wings unseen


will you still believe me 
a caterpillar? 

3 notes