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Steve Tomasko

Here, Now


                        Cunard Lake, mid-June



There’s the floating, yes,

and the sunsparked water,

the heron who lifts her long gray self

out of the reeds easy as breathing.




There’s the lake, here,

you say, just being all the time.

We sip coffee, listen to the mew

of the sapsucker.




Once, fishing on a rickety dock,

a woman I did not know walked up

the slanted boards and told me

(I guess as an alternative way of greeting)

that sunglint on water triggers a wave

of endorphins in our brains.




Large green dragonflies land

on your shoulder, your legs.

You watch their abdomens pump air,

ask what their compound eyes see.

Wonder how anyone would know.

Before you knew me, you said

you would have screamed,

swatted them away.




The endorphin-story woman stared

a moment at the water. Walked away.

I kept fishing happily catching nothing.




Yes, there’s the floating, the drifting

in our canoe. The sunreflecting water.




There’s a kingbird, you say.





The other day

I let go of perfection.     

Not that I ever really

had it, damn eel, damn

desire to have it all.


I let go and an ease

came like a sigh

like dropping on

to a down pillow

after a long day.


I gave up my desire for blight-

less tomatoes, a weed-free lawn.

Kicked flawless out of my vocabulary,

don’t care if I ever finish my life

list of North American birds.


I let go—a 

bird in a nest

beak gaping

having faith

something will come.



Steve Tomasko thinks about the dust mites that live under the couch and the eyebrow mites that live on all of us.  He muses about the 5,000 species of bacteria that live in our mouths. Someone has to.  He’s been published here and occasionally there.  Steve lives in Middleton with his wife, Jeanie (also a poet), three cats and half an empty nest.