Tuesday, November 6, 2012

PAD 6 (Right and Left)


Do right.
Don't worry.
if you are
left behind.
Do right

Distilled ( PAD 5 - Write a text poem )

text like poetry
distills to essence
simple, clean.
core, core, core
poetry like text

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Widower (PAD 4 -"beneath" )


Beneath forced composure
boils agony of fresh loss.
She cannot be gone.
I cannot go on.

Beneath agony lie memories,
sweet as a kiss on a narrow bridge.
She cannot be gone.
I cannot go on.

Beneath memories lie pain.
that only memories remain..
She cannot be gone. 
I cannot go on.

At the heart of all the hurt
lies love, always only love.
She is and is not gone.
The only way is on.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Terror (PAD 3 - a poem that scares me)

Edge of cliff stops us
where I expected trail
Fire behind us burns
my back.  Child in my
arms clings, struggles
to breathe, goes limp.
I scream for help
and make no sound.
It doesn't even matter.
No one is there anyway.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Full Owl Moon (PAD 2)

Full owl moon peppers lawn
with puddles bright as white.
Puddles shift into shadow..
Lawn is sea of mystery,
not quite solid ground.

Truth is never simple.
Shadows shift, in, out.
Puddles of bright white
wash us in one llight.
Life is sea of mystery.

Not a Match (PAD 1)

I don't feel old in my body.
I don't feel old in my mind.
Out in the world I realize
my images, context, have
been replaced mainstream.
People believe dated is bad,
have to update the decorating
even though this year's right
will be dated in a decade.
Matters if I call an IM an
email or a text a call, details
of technology lables date me.
I float in new alphabet soup.
I can learn the code, the rules.
but not to care which is which.
Twentieth century mind in
twenty first century world.
askew, no longer a match.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Through Owl Eyes

Death is delusion,
owl hoots all fall.
Death is illusion
All we loved remain
real as heart beat,
unseeable, unseen

Faith Alone

Muggy night clings
heavy as despair.

Can't  even imagine
cooling kiss of breeze.

Change drops no hints.
Hope flashes no sign.

But I know radar shows
norther blowing in fierce .

Just ten minutes utill chimes 
in oak sing in frst north wind.


Mama whispers worry to Daddy
over coffee in immaculate kitchen.
She just doesn't face reality.
Confused, I contemplate scarlet
pear leaf just the size of my palm.
What could be more real than this? 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Harvest Cycle

Every season has it's harvest.

First kiss, spring flowers,
fresh green,  new dreams.

Kids running in the sprinkler
Summer fruits,, indigo evenings

Family cooking thanksgiving feast,
ruby leaves, warmth against chill.

Forgiveness, satisfaction, stories
by the fire, winter come full circle.

Every season has its harvest.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Between contractions,
Hospital bag packed
I checked  LaMaze list.
Tennis balls for back labor,
hard candy, God's eye for focus,
phone numbers, birth announcements.

Careful, I eased full body to floor,
 opened child birth book last time,
 read one page. Most intense stage
of labor is transition. When you think
you can't stand any more,  you likely
will  kiss you baby in twenty minutes

Next morning, I labored, nauseus,
screamed  I can't stand this anymore.
Out of nowhere, question, surfaced.
Am I in transition?Affirmative answer.
 I can do anything for twenty minutes.
Held our new daughter to breast.

When you lay dying, exhausted,
 I helped you move up in the bed.
You screamed in pain,  I wept.
Familiar words seared my brain.
I can't stand this anymore.
And I remembered transition.

The worst came before the peace,
and in the end you were not afraid.
In the end you opened your eyes
and saw me smile oe last time,
and your breathig stopped and I
held you pain free, finally again.   


Aging parents label
conjures Depends,
Ensure, walkers,
What are we going
to do about Mama?

Aging parents label
conjures dependency,
annoyance, obligation,
parents as objuet not
subject of sentence.

Aging parents label
sounds pathetic, topic
for bad jokes,, put upon
sighs. worried phone calls
between tired siblings.

Sometimes age steals
competence, not often,
Person trumps age.
I' strongly reject
Agiing parents label.

Owl Moon

Waxing Crescent

Slim crescent rises sets,
red as autumn maples.
Death's messenger glows
bright as spring green birth.


Muggy night, half past
fire fly summer. Oak leaves
gray in place, tired echoes
of spring's green hope.
Girl and I stand barefoot
in grass still green,  gasp
in one voice at brilliance of
silver light from half moon.
She wonders aloud how
bright it will shine when full.
Awed, I wonder,  what truths
will shine out under full owl moon.

Waxing Gibbous

Lopsided lightbulb,
No inspiration balloon.
Message, meaning elude.
Hope shimmers askew.

Full Owl Moon
Full owl moon peppers lawn
with puddles bright as white.
Puddles shift into shadow.
Lawn is sea of mystery,
not quite solid ground.

Truth is never simple.
Shadows shift, in, out.
Puddles of bright white
wash us in one llight.
Life is sea of mystery.

Waning Gibbous

Let my awareness remain
even as less light glows.
Let me remember mystery.
Let me hold the truth .
There is only so much
that I can ever know.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Grabbing hold, being born,

Letting go, dying.

Every moment inbetween

balances both energies.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Last Time

Last time I saw you, you taught
me how to cut shelf paper to fit
silverware drawer of the mother
of our husbands.You worked fast,
precisely, with steady nurse's hands.

Couldn't tell you were bald under wig.
You didn't look sick, but we both knew
Fourth chemo had failed. You told me
maybe the fight wasn't to beat cancer
but to beat the need to beat cancer
You told me you were almost ready to
accept God's lessons on God's terms.

I wonder if I've seen you for the last time.

Hands on Politics

I worked for my candidate today

in a stuffy warehouse instead of

packing picnic for walk in woods.

I made myself call strangers on

cell phone I don't use on my own

because I believe future depends

on citizen commitment to remaking

government of, by, for all people .

Seductive trap to accept passive

role as consumer of government.

entitled to argue, lament, complain.

I worked for my candidate today.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Question for the Candidate

Young friend showed up at door
soaking wet with rain and tears.
took an hour before she told me.
She invited him in but just expected
to watch a movie but he was big
and wouldn't take no for an answer
and could she call it rape because
she'd invited him into her room.

So Mr.Akin , if that had been
your daughter, what would you
tell her about legitimate rape?

When is rape legitimate?
Only when the woman is sober
and doesn't know the man's name
when he's homeless and she's rich.
When she's old , fat, ugly, a nun.

When is rape legitimate?
Not if she's young and hot
and was wearing heels on the street
Definitely not if she wanted the first kiss.
Never if she's been drinking with friends

When is rape legitimate?
Women are just asking for it after all.
We don't know our own minds,
are cock teases, secret masochists,
need to be taught what we really want.

When is rape legitimate?
How would you answer Mr. Akin
if the woman was your daughter?.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Summer Nights Remembered

No air conditioning in my grand parents' house,
Texas heat blew through open windows
along with cicada chorus and roar of trains.
Don't think my hair got dry all summer.
We pushed  beds sideways into windows,
lay on top of damp sheets to catch  breeze.
Luckiest  slept on screened-in porch
over green  garden, after  singing stopped
and we put away dominoes, kissed goodnight.
Best nights flashes of fire flies, shooting stars
fell into bright dreams that lasted until dawn.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Same Summer Night

I snuggle under quilts in airconditioned house
on hot summer night, books on shelf next to bed,
sleeping love  beside me, his breath my lullaby,
House lies quiet under stars,.I settle to rest..

She spreads her blanket outside Walgreens .
Man runs up, slits her throat with samuri sword ,
stabs, stabs, stabs,, hate her final serenade
Homeless, helpless under stars, she bleeda to death..

Easy to think good choices keep me safe.
Easy to judge bad choices let her die.
My life could loose traction, slip of the rails.
Her life could have grabbed hold, glowed.  

I look at the children and wonder who will die
in the gutter and who surrounded by family.
Easy to think we can guarantee outcome.
Humbling to know we can only teach and love...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Regarding Button Shorts

I hate button shorts.
You're only three,
telling truth in
the dressing room, but
There's that word.

I picture children
cowering in closet
of Wisconsin temple.
Blood on the floor,
I have to speak up.

You don't like button shorts.
Eyes glow with acknowledgement.,
Yes, I hate them.  I do!  What now?
You want shorts with no button.
Wide eyes, Yes I do.  I do!

You can have the shorts you choose.
These  green ones. no buttons.
 But we don't say hate.  Wide eyes.
You hug the shorts.  Giggle. Repeat.
We don't say hate.  A start.
Hope to Cope

Hope symptoms mean nothing.
Hope for benign biopsy.
Hope they got it all.
Hope  chemo will work.
Hope for minimal side effects.
Hope for a miracle.

Cope with with diagnosis.
Cope with uncertainty.
Cope with hair loss, Cope with emotions.
Cope with chemo failure..
Cope with  meeting death.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Last year this time you
kept your colors to yourself..
Excited, afraid  to start high school,
ready, not ready, you flashed
palest lavender, bare mist of green.

Pale with frightened promise,
ahaky in flight, tempted to fade
to invisibile. Instead you caught
the light, glow peacock purple
emerald green,  ready to  be seen.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Cancer strengthens hold.
You weaken each day.
I cannot live without you.
I scream, rage, cry.
I cannot live without you.  


You grab me hard, hold
me eyes to eyes to soul..
You will if you have to.
And I know this is true.
And this truth holds. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Out of Drought

Out of Drought

Exceptional drought
all June, all July.
burn bans in August.
Field lies brown,
flowerless, absent
chorus of frog song.
Scorched grass
scratches legs.
Sun cracks earth.

Night of September first,
single thunder storm,
lasts only one hour.
Come sunrise field
glistens white with
fresh congregation
of glorious rain lilies
Sometimes regeneration
doesn''t take much.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stories Unbidden

Darkened theater
in Aurora exploded
like shattered heads
into thousands of
unwelcome stories
Life plans spattered
like arterial blood.
Nothing is the same.
Evangelists tell us
God was not in the
theatre because we
ban him from schools.
Cell phones ring in
dead kids pockets,
will ring for months.
Freshmen in college
dorms will get new
room mate assignments..
Never will know why.
Mothers will struggle
for words to describe
fathers kids won't
remember. He went 
to see  Dark Knight
Rises and a  crazy
man shot him and
he died, but he
always got garlic
butter on his popcorn
and  he loved you.
Kids will wonder if
the killer saw himself
as a dark knight.
Parents and husbands
will go through closets
and tell themselves
stories about what
their child or wife
would want them
to save to remember.
Friends will make
up stories about how
their friends felt when
the dark exploded,
about who froze and
who was brave.. I will
have to decide whether
to say yes to next teen
plea for midnight movie
based on the stories I
tell myself about madness
and chance and what
happened in Aurora..

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Wisdom weighs heavy,
Colors  how we live
build, love, destroy, die.
Silences impulse to
grasp, hurt, boast,  flee.
maximizes love's glow.

Nonsense offers reprieve.
No pressure to believe.
No need to doubt
Wild winged horses,
Swiss cheese moon,
Pot of rainbow gold .

This short poem was written for Poets United Vice/Versa, where the four words to use in your writing were the antonyms doubt & believe and the antonyms wisdom & nonsense. 

Avalanche Lily (for Heidi)

If cancer isn't an avalanche, what is?
Crazy cascade of cells crushing out life.
Path of mestasis, Path of avalanche,
lies unstable, mined with looming danger.
The miracle is she smiles, remembers
a birthday, bakes a pie, dances in the wood.
Avalanche lily, she blooms where she must
and teaches me to put down roots,send up
shoots no matter how uncertain the soil.

Monday, July 16, 2012

She Worries

At sixteen she worries
her boy friend's friend
and her best friend will
break each other's hearts.
She worries her breasts
too small, her nose too big.
She worries who will die
next and when and how,
She worries her top doesn't
go with her jeans, her  dad
will  drive drunk, kill someone,
kill himself, marry a woman
who doesn't like his kids.
She worries she will fail
chemistry, blow out her knee
she won't get the solo or she will.
She worries she will disappoint.
She worries she will get hurt.
She worries she will hurt others.
At sixteen she wories.


Sunday, July 15, 2012


Friendship is slippery.
Got to chalk my hands,
Hold fast. I want it simple,

Tell all, share all, know all.
Doesn't work even when we try.
Words cast confusing shadows

I  only know what I hear
not all you work to tell me
even if you tell everything.

You  only see what you see
not all I'd die for you to know
even if I strip off my last mask.

Fragile and imperfect we
hold hands on the narrow bridge
over chasm of isolation.

Hold fast. It isn't simple.
Please chalk your hands.
Friendship is slippery.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I'd Rather

I'll sleep safe in my glass slipper.
Screaming through the door
can't shatter me with fairy dust
on my pillow and if you put your
hand between my legs my unicorn
will kick you and carry me away.
I'd rather turn into a pumpkin
than let you under my covers again.

This was written for the 'daydream believers' prompt Mary Mansfield gave over at Poetry Jam. I didn't expect to go to dark protective daydreams, but I did.  This one isn't autobiographical.


When I believe I know in advance
what is significant, I look for that,
forget to observe what you do and say,
ingnore the essence of your message 
dismiss as trivial your most precious truth.

Written for Poets United Vice / Versa where the antonyms to be used are trivial/significant and observe/ignore

Friday, July 6, 2012


Twenty six years ago this moment,
you opened your blue eyes
looked up at me and died.
It was that simple.
You died.
I lived.
It was that simple
That moment sliced my life
clear from the future we planned,
Stranded me alone on uncharted ground.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Case for Forgiveness

I have hurt you.
You have hurt me.
It will happen again,
Only with remorse,
Only with  forgiveness,
Can human love hold.


Lack stiffens back.
Proud masks shame
covers hurt, shuts heart..

Abundance opens.
Humble is luxury
allowed by love.

This was written for  Poets United Vice / Versa  where the antonyms to use were humble / proud & abundance / lack.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hard Night's Wait

What will be will be.
What is, is. 12:21 A.M.
No phonecall, email,
No posts on Facebook.
No news of recovery
after surgery. No news.
No word, No tears. Nothing.
Silence feeds dark thoughts.
Silence makes for a
hard night's wait.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In My Office

Hot sun streams through stained glass branches,
cooled from bright white to soothing green.
I rest in leather chair, worn to my shape
by hours of stories heard, told, remembered .
Four generations of books build coocoon,
muffle sound, soothe, remind, inform.
Crystals, feathers, paintings done by friends,
journals, knitting needles, unworked yarn.
Peace, memory, possibility surround me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

To Starting Over

Urge to build is common enough.
Urge to destroy far too common.
Discipline to rebuild, rare, sacred.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Spiral Path

Come in, if you want to know me,
past sunworn outer layers,
past  roles, titles, clothes, voice.
Come in, if you want to know me
through stories and silences,
Learn what makes me tremble.
Come in, if you want to know me.
Listen to my nightmares. Trace
their shadows in the morning.
Come in, if you want to know me.
The door is open..The path is spiral.
Listen. Follow. You are welcome.
Come in if you want to know me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I wish

I wish I had given her some money,
when she asked me on the path
last night, dark braid down her back,
voice resigned, skinny five year old
daughter clinging to her leg, eyes tired.
It could be me needing, my daughter.
I could have spared five dollars.
I spend that for fun, not thinking.
i wish I had given her some money.

I wish I had given her some money
there on the River Walk with drunk
singing blaring from the bars and
a man videotaping four beauties
line dancing on the sidewalk.
People laughed when the college
boy fell into the river on purpose,
came up laughing, playing the crowd..
i wish i had given her some money.

I wish I had given her some money
even though my husband and my friends
make sense when they instruct give to
charities, shelters, not panhandlers
who might be con artists or just
wanting a drink or a fix to get through
one more night on the steamy streets. 
I shouldn't enable their habits. It's sound
advice.  I still wish I had given her money.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Lack cuts like dull rusty razor,
leaves ugly wound, jagged edges.
Abundance alone  heals nothing.
Forgiveness, trust, time work together
to heal poverty's injuries smooth,
Even then, faint silver scars remain.  

This was written for  Poets United Vice / Versa, a revived Poets United feature.  We are challenged to use two sets of antonyms in our writing.  The antonyms this time are jagged and smooth; lack and abundance. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Losing Her (nightmare)

I hold her little hand
as we step off the curb.
She looks up at me, smiles.
Her curls catch sunlight,
And then she is gone.
Just gone. No curls.
No warm hand in mine.
I chase absence into
busy road.  She is not there.
She is nowhere.
I cannot find her.

That which is precious
I cannot keep safe,
cannot hold close.
Mystery snatches love.
I can't be good enough
to protect my children
I can't be good enough
to keep love safe.
Effort is not sufficient.
Dilligence may not hold.
Loss lurks in the sunlight.

Message to the World

Update StatusUpdate StatusAdd Photo / VideoAdd Photo / VideoAsk QuestionAsk Question..

Everything that affects anyone affects anyone. Acting on self interest only is a time bomb that will get us all in the end. Considering the universal good is a survival strategy as well as being kind.

      This was my response to the prompt at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - to write a message to someone in particular or to the world in general and to actually make it move, to sendit out there.  I posted mine on Facebook, just the way it appears above and intend to leave it around today in every public place I visit, written on a piece of paper.  I strongly believe my message and like having this opportunity to share it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Morning Celebration

Surfacing to sunlight,
first sensation your breath,
easy, peaceful, in, out.
Cheek to warm chest
Your steady heart
assures me we are
both here to start
another day together.. 

Monday, June 11, 2012


Thoughts and feelings collide
air masses in  summer storm.
Too much, too many, too hot
to handle, too cold to bear.
Got to grab this comet by
its tail to make poems again.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Just Walk

Terrain provides the challenge
but movement makes the road,
defines the path, step by step,
determines changes of direction.
Just walk, the road will follow.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

On Mortality

Everybody knows the sun
that rose so red will set.
Everybody knows green
seasons fade come winter.
Everybody knows babies
don't stay little long enough.
Everybody knows death
 will soon come knocking.

Nobody knows what color
clouds will grace this sunset.
Nobody knows how many
 days the green will hold.
Nobody knows what dreams
will enchant or fail this baby.
Nobody knows what doors
 dark death may open.

 Everybody needs to stop
 and breathe the colors.
 Everybody needs to store
 up stories for the winter.
Everybody needs to kiss
the baby good morning.
Everybody needs to live
and love while slowly dying,


Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I knit my nerve ends together,
stitch by repititious stitch,
no counting, no purl, just knit,
row upon row, scarf after scarf.
Fresh color combinations, texture,
sparkle add delight to necessity
but mostly, stitch by stitch,
I knit my nerve ends together.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Woke to nightmares again this morning,
zombie daughter cradling dead baby,
unwilling, unable to say what happened,
Nazi death squad in and out my window,
lost child, lost child, don;t know her name.
Something afwul is happening, about to happen,
or maybe not. Maybe no warning, just nightmares.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

U- - Umbrellas (for Diane)

Umbrellas are for cowards
she taught me, before we
knew her words were numbered.
Umbrellas waste time, before
we knew her time was short.

Let the rain soak me.
Open heart uses no umbrella.
Tears pf loss flow wet and hot
salty with life force,
Fair price for joy of love.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Bowl of Stones

Sits on tiled table
between therapy chairs.
My niece made it in college,
heavy in my two hands,
deep green, smooth, cool,
piled with white pebbles
from wild Washington beaches,
speckled river rocks from
high Rocky mountain hikes,
polished spheres of amethyst,
smoky quartz, mookite, blue
lace agate, rose quartz heart.
Take them in your hand, roll
them, balance, examine, hold.
Before you go I will ask you
to choose a stone to remind you
of your own unique soul.
You will hold it like a treasure
and I will smile, because
that is absolutely true.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

R- Real

Real is better than perfect.
Perfect is an illusion.
Real is what I can give you
right here, right now.
Real is what you can give me
not what you wish you could.
Real is better than perfect.


Patience is a decent
substitute for understanding.
When nothing makes sense
sometimes all there is
is to patiently abide.

Monday, April 2, 2012

O- Over rated

Good looks

All over-rated

N- Now




Sunday, April 1, 2012

Each Day

Each day
I am I
as fully
as I know
how to be.

I let it be

As fully
as I know
how to be,
each day,
I am I.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Men and Women

Male female differences
are fun in bed,
make interesting talk,
but are over-rated.
Men and women
are equally human.
No battle of the sexes.
fight together for humanity.


Love that splashes
like a warm wave,
rings all the bells,
brightens colors,
counts for nothing.

Love that listens,
abides illnesses,
works toward peace,
embraces all
counts for everything.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I don't believe in karma.
don't look for reasons.
Birth and love and death
happen on their own terms.
What I seek is a handle
to carry all with grace.


Justice is too abstract for me.
I can't fly high enough to see
the whole woven web of connections.
i can only do what seems to be
the next right thing right now.
Justice is too abstract for me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I am the only one
I know will be present
at the moment of death.
I owe myself presence now.


Three choices
when I hurt,
beat myself up,
hurt someone else
or find healing.
If I don't make
choice three,
I'm doomed to
repeat one and
two forever.

G- Giving

Giving is receiving.
Receiving is giving.
That simple. Always.

F- Freedom

Freedom from
is beginning
of freedom to.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Random E


I didn't know an elephant
could/woud eat a pumpkin,
just wrap it in her trunk
and pop it into her mouth.

The elephant wouldn't know
she would/could eat a pumpkin,
if my kind didn't dominate
her kind and keep them in zoos.

E -Enough

Enough should be simple,
enough, not less, not more.
what I need, not what I want,
not what I believe I deserve.
enough, not less, not more.
Enough should be simple.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Random D - Daffodil

Daffodil blooms bright
and early, brings hope
that spring and spring
and spring will dance
lightly one after another,
and I can forget that
one will be my last.

D for Do

Do the next right thing.
Do it now. Mood irrelevant.
Do the next right thing.
Doesn't matter if you want to.
Do the next right thing.
Do it now. Do it while you can.

Random C - Cancer

Hard C cancer breaks the
gentle safe soft C
cycles of natural circle
of birth and death.
Heard C cancer breaks like
tsunami, making sacred sea
suddenly the enemy.

C for Connection (short)

Connection keeps me walking,
writing, dealing with the details.
Without moonlight moving through
my blood, your tears on my face,
unnamed spirit energizing action,
need to know the end of your story
life would be too much of a slog.
Connection keeps me walking.

C for Connection

What is the meaning of life
you asked on the deck as we
inflated bright balloons to celebrate
to celebrate your brother's birthday.
I didn't have to think. Connection

What is the meaning of life
as we huffed through butterflies
and columbine to top Hamilton Mesa
and dip toes in the mouth of the Pecos.
It was almost a joke now Connection

What is the meaning of life
counfounded by color and line in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, the
day you introduced me to your love.
Easy fit this time. Connection

What is the meaning of life
now that biopsies, blood tests, scans
keep coming back bad and every day
seems both trial and priceless treasure.
Answer means more now. Connection

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Random B

Blue bonnets, Texas lupin
illegal to pick in our state.
Blue bonnets, happy background
in baby's first spring pictures.
Blue bonnets, mirror for big sky,
sign that cylcle of seasons renews.
Blue bonnets, scarce two springs,
threatened by drought, global warming.
Blue bonnets, blanket of new life,
will they be back this year?

B-Benefit of the Doubt

Benefit of the doubt
allows us imperfect
people to bump, whir,
turn in crazy circles
and still come back
safe into loving arms.
No benefit of the doubt,
no long term love.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Random A

Apples baked with cinnamon,
Postre panne thick on fingers.
butter, brown sugar, more cinnamon
You always let me lick my fingers
made sure I washed up after,
on my blue stool in your kitchen
You seemed ageless in your apron.
had embroidered mine with roses.
I was three, four, five and couldn't
imagine my world without you and
apples baked with cinnamon.

A for Abiding

seals souls
to one another.

is sufficent
to maintain
however life
or death assault.

requires only
only breath
welcomes life
cradles death.

seals souls
to one another.

In the Night

Guitar chord in the night
Why are you up so late?
Guitar chord in the night
Did a nightmare wake you?
Guitar chord in the night
I want to tuck you back in.
Guitar chord in the night
I will always be your mother
Guitar chord in the night
No different than midnight poem.
Guitar chord in the night
You will always be my daughter.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Benefit of the Doubt

So much depends on
whether I read your
brisk preparation to
get out the door promptly
consciencious or impatient.

So much depends on
whether you read my
need to move with calm
deliberation, no hurry
anxious or inconsiderate.

So much depends on
benefit of the doubt.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Chia's dance
would be flamenco.
Back straight,
arms strong,
palmas clapping,
feet stomping,
skirt scarlet,
eyes flashing.
Flamenco would be
Chia's dance.

This poem is written in honor of my friend Mary Marsciano who died last weekend. She wrote, lived, loved with spirit and passion, never stopped learning or working to better our world, especially the lives of women and children. She died at 72 - sobers me. that's only ten more years and I have no idea if I'll get that many, but even in the best of circumstances I can no longer see life as flowing out before me in vastness. Time to live mindfully. i guess it always was, but especially now.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Don't fence me out.
I know it is your right.
It still hurts.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Every life,
every marriage,
every family,
is an iceburg.
What we see
does not tell
much of the story.
Need to remember
to give each other
benefit of doubt.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Loss upon loss upon loss,
pretty patterns fade fast.
Ribs, spikes, textured curls
surrender to infinite patience.
Sea hones shell down
to essential spiral

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I Know

There's something I know.
Death taught me.
Darkness and light
are both the same.
Death taught me.
Coming in and going out
complete the same journey.
Death taught me.
Future is uncertain
Love now. Live now.
Death taught me.

True River

The poems
change me slowly,
River of truth,
erodes confusion,
dissolves illusion.
River of truth
creates new channels.
carves out canyons,
polishes me naked
to stone, to bone.
The poems
change me slowly.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Body Blow

Sorrowful news,
long forestalled,
still hits like
body blow, stuns,
slows reflexes,
speeds thoughts,
pounds in head.
Fear, empathy,
transmute into
physical pain.
Easier to suffer
a migraine than
to get my arms
around your death
closing in now.


My fingers play with the stopper.
I recognize the texture, rough
threads of fear, smooth curves
of distraction, jagged excuses.
I built this thing myself.
I wiggle it a little, feel
the press of captured words
fighting to fly in full truth.
A few scouts escape, dance out
their tentative fragile patterns.
Sky does not fall. I keep breathing
My fingers play with the stopper.


I just want
to sit and knit
simple scarves
no pattern
one stitch
just color
Worst I can
do is drop
a stitch.
No one cries.
No one dies.

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I am afraid to write my thoughts,
my feelings, to let the feelings
flow into words - who knows what
lurks beneath the silence.
I hope I will let myself know.

Friday, January 13, 2012


If death is a cloud,
then life is a river.
Same element, same mass
only the form changes.
If life is a river,
then death is a cloud.

Magic Recall

This poem is a response to a prompt at Poetry Jam, a photograph of a laughing elderly Polish American farm couple in 1940 New England. Both are laughing uproariously and he seems to be hitching up his pants. The prompt was to post both picture and poem. I don't know how to repost the picture so here is the poem.

You hitch up your pants.
Is your weight loss
caused by cancer?

Tears catch in my throat
Then you laugh, sharp
as morning rooster,fresh
as first spring thunder.
The magic works again.
We stand in the fields
rain-drenched, you stripped
to the waist, glistening gold,
seventeen, strong as stallion.
me your yellow daffodil, all
sunshine and tomorrows.
I laugh with you then,
before we know the graves
at which we will both cry,
the harsh winters, thin shoes,
before I know how much more
I will love you after the storms.
Magic works. I laugh with you now.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sunday Wordle, Jauary 8

Not Forgotten

Breathing quickly,
hearts fluttering,
They kiss at the gate.
She gropes for words.
His words come bubbling
out by the thousands.
Each smile, touch, kiss
is a stone in the creek bed
polished by flood of feeling.
Each tenderness adds strength
to the shelter they thatch
together with hormones and hope.
Will this love flash and fade,
or will they build and rebuild
until it glows steady, warms
and feeds, hearth of home?

written for Brenda's Sunday Worldle The words we needed to include were: thatched, hearth, flash, rebuild, thousands, bubbling, forgotten.
I couldn't pull it off this time without changing some of the tenses and numbers.


Head lice
do not discriminate
among hosts.
Just have to be human.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Sweat on neck.
Hauling wood
feels good.
Body still works.
Work satisfies.
Simple equation.
hauling wood
feels good.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Winter Palate

White on white, silver on silver,
mist over water, moon on bare tree,
Silhouette, outline, translucence,
owl over meadow, slow fade to morning,
infinite shades of grey, brown dance
to north wind's delicate demanding brush.
Scarlet flash of sudden cardinal sings
of vivid seasons packed away in paint box.