Sunday, November 3, 2013

Stark Contrast

Day started with nightmare
Loss, loss, loss, loss, loss.
All day gratitude hovered
No loss, no loss, no loss.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Owl Asks

Down by creek
In dark of moon
great horned owl
six times asks who.

Who do I need?
Who do I feed?
Who is next to die?
Who is next to cry?
Who don't I see?
Who will I be?

Down by creek
In dark of moon
great horned owl
six times asks who.

Friday, November 1, 2013


House downshifts after midnight.
Let sleep ring in with windchimes
Time to snuggle under quilt,forget
 five people four horses drowned in flood.
Time to snuggle under quilt, forget
teacher's bloody face after car hit bike.
Time to snuggle under quilt, remember
child's bright voice spelling new words.
Time to snuggle under quilt, remember
kitchen aroma of beef stew with bay leaf.
House downshifts after midnight.
Let sleep ring in with windchimes.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Repetition Reclamation

Comfort rests in memory
of  ordinary patterns shattered.
When fire consumed all hope,
death deconstructed dreams,
despair threatened life force,
I put foot in front of foot,
stumbled sightless until
path emerged from mist..
When ordinary patterns shake,
Comfort rests in memory.
What I have done, I can do
now and again and again.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Come autumn equinox
life flickers, veil thins.
Doubts rise, death peaks in.
Who will I be? Who have I been?
Where will death take me? When?
What will begin and what will end?

Come autumn equinox
life flickers, veil thins.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Perhaps Grace is a mockingbird
who mixes up the songs
to make the broken whole.
Perhaps Hope is mountain mist
which floats in and out, out and in
to tempt the weary to begin again.
Perhaps God is a shapeshifter
 who flows from form to form
customized for each seeking soul .

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mirror Prayer

May the mirror I face
on the day of my death
reflect the essence
with which I was born.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Not Trash

Whose daughter is she?
Drinking Bud from a can
leaning on the street sign
holding out her own sign
"Can you give a girl a hand?"
Easy to dismiss her. Loser.
Trash. But what's her story?
Whose mother is she?

So Bright

Mountain fall
burns so bright
easy to deny
winter white.


Mountain stood
tall, triangular
green with spruce.
I turned my head.
Walked ten yards
Admired maple flame.
Looked back, found
mist had erased
mountain. Gone.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Both feet on ground,
wherever I stand.
Breath out, breath in.
Sanctuary is trust
I can connect to truth
wherever I stand.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


For a long time
I kept every stitch
you ever sewed.
I thought I would
unravel if I ever let
a single memory go.
Now I know I can
pass your love on
with each stitch I sew.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


She remembers that morning clearly,
the morning she pushed her first born
out into the air - pure urge, exhilaration,
amazement, awe, ravenous appetite.
Nurse laughed when she ate two trays,
rushed to kitchen for extra cherry pie,
described her daughte'rs suckling lips
as a tiny rosebud, opening. She couldn't
remember how to dial the telephone
but knew exactly how to delight
in warm curls between her breasts,
heavy head trusting her strong hands,
tiny fingers gripping her thumb for dear life.
She will remember that morning forever.


Compared to him
I had life easy.
Compared to him
I took death hard.

Compared to him
I held on fiercely
Compared to him
I kicked and fouight.

When he died
I lost tomorrow.
When I lived
I found today.

When death comes
may I meet it  
with  good grace
I learned from him.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Two Lives Ago

She read the letter again slowly.
The handwriting was hers,
recognizable if neater, loopier.
She hadn't exactly dotted the i's
with hearts, but stopped just short.
She'd been nineteen, two lives ago.
She read the letter again slowly.
The themes still were hers,
connection, hope, phases of the moon.
She'd chosen blue rice paper stationary,
His eyes were a deeper blue, azure.
She'd been nineteen, two lives ago.

She read the letter again slowly.
The spirit was still hers,
though the man lay long dead.
She had laughed, loved, thrived
without him, as he'd promised.
She'd been nineteen, two lives ago.


Monday, September 23, 2013



I choose
how I
use it.

Remembering Joy

I am a serious person.
Laugher is not my music.
I seek peace, purpose,
forget to value happiness.

At new year I squirmed
when the rabbi extolled
as most holy, most precious
the gift of a happy heart.

Then I remembered earnest eyes
of oldest grand son when he
reminded me that strong words
go down easier with a smile.

I am a serious person.
Laughter is not my music.
I have to work at its tune.
I remember to value happiness.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Against the Unspeakable

Children writhe and scream
on cold hospital floor in Syria
Go still. Exterminated.

Orthodox Jewish virgins
naked, hid tender breasts,
fell shot into pits of Baba Yar.

Emit Til smiled at a white girl,
floated up beaten, bloated. Six
church girls exploded in Bombingham.

Tootsie, Hutu, dead, dead , dead,
crunched under wheels of jeeps
on river roads in Rwanda.

I vomit. Response is limbic,
Deeper than words, Unspeakable.
Shame. I cannot face my reflection

I  know I am of the species of
monsters who. laugh and kill
gloat and justify, dehumanize.

Rage. I am of that species.
Can't deny I imagine Adolf Hitler
handcuffed to a chair, me avenger.

Scimitar to his throat and  smile
on my lips. Howl in my throat,
his blood on my hands. No remorse.

Helplessness. Hitler is long dead by
his own hand. Today's genocidal killers,
psychopaths, monsters, I cannot touch.

I have no power. I can only hide and cower.
Today, tonight tomorrow, they may come
for me and mine. We will simply die.

I wash my face and remember.
my ancestors did not cower and die.
They fled Portugal's Inquisition, started new.

Sewed their gold and jewels into
the hems of their garments, faked a
costume party, chartered a boat,

Shame paralyses. Rage self destructs.
Helplessness is a deadly illusion..
King of Denmark put on the Jewish star.

Paul Kagame saved refugees in Hotel Rwanda
Nelson Mandella persisted in prison.
Rosa Parks sat. Dr. King marched.

Anne Frank wrote her diary, Otto Frank shared it.
Billie Holliday sang out lynchings strange fruit
Aushchwitz survivor wears Jewish star. solid gold.

I will vomit, but will wash my face,  find my feet.
In face of the unspeakable, I will struggle for words.
I will remember love has triumphed and can again.

I will not cower helpless, but will fight back, escape.
I will not be ashamed. but will immortalize the victims.
I will not rage but will organize to prevent, protect.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


hold fast to belief that
whatever happens
I can choose its use.

I will not release need
to transform energy of pain
into, service,

I hold fast to belief that
each choice in each moment
is freedom, is power enough

Monday, September 9, 2013



No delete key in life.

Good, I think.

Too much responsibility

to decide what to undo.

I regret, repent, make amends.

Struggle to use each harvest,

assault, connection, loss

to grow, create, serve, love.

Friday, February 1, 2013


to find
any hook
to hang
hope on

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Port in storm is illusion.
Trick is riding the waves.
Storms pass. Weather changes.
Sea may be pearli by morning,
or green glass like seeds of the moon.
Sea may be warm as back porch buttermilk,
or chill as jangle of phone  past midnight.
Storm clouds will gather again.
Trick is riding the waves.
Port in storm is illusion.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Where is God?

In every choice,
one way, or any other.
Trick is discernment.


Cancer offers
no retribution,
steals what it wants
on it's own terms,
conceals  proximity
holds prey immobile.