Saturday, December 29, 2012

Demeter Mourns Her Loss


She spreads her hands
where she stands; treads
through sands that shift
beneath the drift of Time's
lifted breath; she sifts
for gold -- for days of old --
but finds she holds only chaff,
chaff that is damp and cold.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Story

Christmas Story

Only open diner Christmas Eve,
somewhere between Kansas City and Abilene,
old bum, hobo smell -- hooch, rot gut breath
from toothless gums. Dirt and sweat and grease.
Peep-eyes and patty cakes,
arms that ache to hold something.
Such as these. Such as these. Suffer the little children
to come. Such as these.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Piece of Work

Kerry at Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads encourages us to write about "pastiche."

Piece of Work
(for R)

You would love
the sound,
so French,
and you, so
urbane, so
je ne sais quois...
I can see you,
lips a coral megaphone
against your small white teeth,


Pull the last syllable
like strung pearls.
Look it up,
you think it's you,
formed, as you love to say
from disparate sources.
Your parents
in their snarl and tangle
at its finest.

Standing as you do
inside the frame,
you count each stroke
a master,
adjust the light
just so,
the better to be seen.

Standing with the crowd,
I see pastiche.
Burlesque, mish-mosh,
mockery, send up,
cartoon. Take off,
a sham,
and you, my dear,
on your turquoise heels,
you wear your patchwork
like a queen.

Location:Piece of Work

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Beneath the Veil

Warning: if you've been a friend for a while, you can just go on back to whatever you were doing before the Mayan Apocalypse. You've read this already, since I post it every birthday.

A little background: I was born on December 21. When I was born, my face was covered by a thin veil of skin commonly called a caul. According to legends, children born with a caul are supposed to have psychic powers. That's the autobiography behind the poem. The rest is pure fiction set in the Appalachian hills. *My father is a truly wonderful man whom I love fiercely (just so you know).


Her father strayed from home again that night,
So neighbors took her mother to give birth
And waited for the errant man to come
And watched the snow that piled upon the earth.

That winter night was shortest of them all,
When caul-born child was laid upon the breast
Of woman filled with sorrow and with woe
For husband gone and child aborn unblessed.

The doctor said there’s nothing for concern,
That babies born with covered heads are fine.
He skinned the child of soft, encircling womb
And cut the cord and tied it off with twine.

A child so born had once been thought a boon
To ships that sailed to lands upon the waves,
And sailors paid a fortune for the skin
That kept them from the depths of watery graves.

But when her father learned that she had borne
A veil that hid a face with dark black eyes,
As black as dirt of coal upon his hands,
He hawked onto the snow and made a sign.

“Protect me from the evil eye,” he said,
“Of babies who can steal your dreams at night
And take the sleep from out your lonesome bed
And fill your waking days with fear and fright.”

“Doc should have let her stay there in her bag
To drink that water where she learnt to swim.
He should have left her to the will o’ God
And left us to enjoy the peace o’ Him.”

Yet as a child is wont to do, she grew,
A strange and somber fairy child, they said,
And every night before she went to sleep,
She turned her mind upon their loathsome bed.

The child brought forth beneath the wintry sky,
The shortest day and evening of the year,
Born safe within a lonely veiled cocoon,
Sent mother all her joy, to father -- fear.

With passing of the years the girl grew fond
Of rambling in the hills to learn the ways
Of women who could cut a willow twig
Or blow out fire or take a wart away.

But as she hunted ginseng root for tea
To make a heart beat strong or heal a wound,
She always thought of him whose thought that day
Was that she was the twig who should be pruned.

Her stature grew in magic and in art;
She bent their use according to her will.
To those in need she gave what help she could,
But unto him who bred her -- only ill.

One day as she was digging by the stream
That ran behind the tipple for the coal,
She felt the hair arise upon her neck
And knew that nearby lurked an evil soul.

She heard his jaunty song before she saw
The man of heart much blacker than the seam;
She hid herself from him among the reeds
And willed him to the depths to meet his dream.

He felt the pull of water and of thirst
And need to wash the coal dirt from his hands,
So down he stooped there on the river’s edge
And looked through swirling water to the sands.

Beneath the water’s twist he seemed to see
A babe within a bubble all encased
That moved beyond the reach of his long arms
But strained toward him for watery embrace.

He stretched his arms to grasp the thing he saw,
Said, “Eyes play tricks on me, I know, this day;
Or clouds have come to shadow out the sun
And hide the things of sense from sight away.”

The sand beneath his feet beside the stream
Began to fall then shift and then to run,
And up from out the reeds his daughter rose,
The one whose face was hidden from the sun.

He saw that face reflected in the pool;
Her eyes there darker than the darkest coal
That stained his mind and filled his evil heart,
The waterchild that sucked at his black soul.

He turned and clawed with hands for purchase there
But pulled away the film of soft, smooth skin,
A shimmer that had covered fine dark hair
And held the heart that he had scorned within.

He fell beneath the eddies of the waves
That washed the black of coal from off his face,
And in a bubbled caul he sailed away
Cradled by the fairy child’s embrace.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Twelve Words to Keep

Twelve Words to Keep

Now I lay me
down to sleep
I pray the Lord.

though I crawl
through the valley
of the shadow,
I fear.

it is well.
It is well,
I say again,
amen again,

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yea, Though I Walk

Yea, Though I Walk

If I could lose this loss
By stealth or wealth or any way...
If raging, sounding winds could toss
At end of day,
This heavy void as if there were no cost,

Then I would count none lost.
But there is so much more to this:
I, miser, clutch at my pathos;
Abandoned bliss
Becomes the Desert That I Cannot Cross.

In Valley I am lost;
The blowing sands obscure my view.
The hole I hoard becomes my cross --
My crucifix.
I worship now the sorrow that was you.

This form poem was suggested by a Dante Gabriel Rossetti poem and encouraged by Imaginary Gardens for Real Toads on December 1. I've been wandering through this particular desert for a week or so. Better late than never...I think!

Friday, December 7, 2012


After midnight,
her cells thirst
for something.

Synapses spark
along the wires
of her brain.

dot dot dot
dash dash dash
dot dot dot

Save this
old sailor,

adrift at sea
on a rotting

surrounded by salt
and longing
for drink.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

dancing with the sad bear

dancing with the sad bear

in happy town
where the girls
are teddy bears
and the boys
are shirtless
there's home
in the basement
there's cigar
and cycle
there's yard
corn and creeks
there's you
dancing with
the saddest bear
in the cage
by the road

Thursday, November 29, 2012

no parade for average

Forget it.
Vanilla, Milquetoast,
No way.
Not ordinary, bland.
Unique, unusual,
Ah, yes.
Oh, my.
Oh, yes:
Bring on the band.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Three Cups of Tea

When I'm between poems, I like to write to prompts provided at a number of sites run by great poets. A recent Poetry Jam prompt says to use the title of a NY Times bestseller as a springboard. I chose Three Cups of Tea (or it chose me), maybe because its subject is education. In truth, I own the book but have not read it, so it was easy to go in a totally different direction.

Visit Poetry Jam to see what other people did with this one.

Three Cups of Tea

As if her knees
no longer hold,
suddenly, she sits.
Her arms fold
upon her work;
her head falls
upon her arms.
Her heart listens
to the sorrow
singing in the rings
upon the wood.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

She Wishes for a Light in Winter

Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads suggested we write a poem using the pattern in He Wishes for the Cloth of Heaven by William Butler Yeats. So, with great hesitation and profuse apologies to WB, here's my stumbling attempt.

If you don't or haven't visited IGRT, you should do so. The prompts are always interesting and challenging and the company is inspiring!

P.S. Isn't he gorgeous?

She Wishes for a Light in Winter

Had I the glow of a winter moon,
The silvered blue of winter night,
The full or the half, the shrouded moon
That lights the night into half-night,
I would lead you through this forest deep:
But I, being blind, with darkness keep;
I stumbling lead into the deep.
Hold tightly, my love, for the forest keeps.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Final Word

The Final Word

Do you hear my hand upon the door?
I have a key that works just as before.
The narrow bed grows cold until my visit,
and I, as years of old, have come to sit
again beside your fire of bitter blue.
Stay still with me and reminisce a few,
our discourse now a long soliloquy,
that issues at some length alone from me
while mute remonstrance simmers silently,
as I at last the final word am given,
and you, my dear, must lie at last and listen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dreams Deferred

Turns out I am not much,
Just such as dreams are made on,
The stuff of feathered nights
That blow away
With advent of the day.

Turns out I am so small
That all I see or seem
Falls beneath the lines
And creeps away
On feet of clay.

Turns out I've died,
Dried like a raisin in the sun
That shrivels, shrinks
And runs away
As sticky, sweet decay.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crowned with Thorns

Crowned with Thorns

November bleeds
grey and brown.
Fallen leaves seep
into damp ground
and wrest away
the memory and breath
of summer.
You can nearly hear
the dirge of dying birds.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Preposition, Post


Moon behind the clouds,
knife in the windowsill.
You, full of words
on the floor.
On the floor, or under.
Knife on the windowsill.
Flowers set in snow.
The knife is on the sill.
Your words are swords
In the dark.

Moon, clouds.
Knife and windowsill,
You, wordful.
The floor, the floor,
The knife and the windowsill.
Flowers, snow-set.
Knife and sill.
Your words are swords.

Friday, October 26, 2012

In the Imaging Center

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Go.

In the Imaging Center

I'm six feet back,
avoiding exposure
as my mother makes
a sky chart of the screen:
The Milky Way.
Venus. Sirius rising.
It turns and spins,
a moving universe.
In deeper space,
sonar enters
a black hole that
pulls me into the
Center of Imagining.
The steady star blinks,
and six feet back,
a satellite orbits
the dimly dying light.

*the image is a sample, not today's actual images

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Breaking Out, Taking Flight

On a beat of the wind
Like the beat of a wing,
What I thought to be leaves
Blew from the trees.

On a beat of the wind,
They peppered my sight--
A murder of crows,
Breaking out, taking flight.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Whisper of the Wild

Whisper of the Wild

You bear it
in your
thick, tipped coat
and icy eyes,
howl it
in dreams
of climbs
through forests deep,
lift your head
and bay it
from your
pampered prison bed.

This is written for the Poets United prompt to write about a wolf. It is acknowledgement of the wild in even the sweetest, most domesticated of dogs.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

One Life

One Life

This is your one life
I told her.
Your one life,
And you spend these days
On those old things?
There's comfort
In the familiar:
Fall back;
Crablike, crawl.
Lateral is not
But death will find you
Upside down,
Or backward.
This is your one life,
I said.
I dare not say
The rest.

Thursday, October 4, 2012



Full juicy,
prickly maybe,
or hard as sun-bleached bone.

Perfume in the dark.

Break one open
and, copiously, it weeps
enough to feed you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Never More

This is a response to the Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads challenge. What a early fright.

(as an old friend says of Poe, rhyme is not a crime!)

Never More

In the thin place,
where Poe was lain,
between the naming stones,
we propped his book
for a photo opp,
beside the final tomb.
Then the rain fell hard;
its needles sharp
stitched us 'tween
there and here,
in the thin green place
where Edgar lay
beneath the sodden bier.
We could not move,
we could not run,
then came a fearsome sound,
and the lightning hit,
and the curtain ripped,
and the book fell
through the ground.
Then just as quick,
the sun was back
and all was as before,
except that bones now
trace his words
and whisper, "Nevermore."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ordinary Time

Ordinary Time

It's Ordinary Time,
when grasses sway in the light

of a day so white,
you almost close your eyes,

when the sound of mowers
mowing hay is the only way,

besides the sweetish smell,
to read September's hue.

Green goes into yellow
and already you forget

the feel of summer blue.

It's Ordinary Time,
and drowsy noon

against the mellow light
holds you so still

that Autumn's chill remains
A distant dream away.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bogeyman Blues

Bogeyman Blues

No prophet, I,
I'm a dresser of trees,
A pruner of blight;
A sniffer of disease.
Hide in upstairs rooms,
Shake the dust
From my shoes,
Send me forth with the word:
I'm the Bogeyman Blues.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Optics of Light (It's a Poem to Me)

Photo from flickr

Poem for my husband who questioned first

Visit Poets United (on my blogroll) for other poems about webs.

Optics of Light
(It's a Poem to Me)

What is that, he said,
In the sky over there?
It's a leaf in a web,
Floating high on the air.
What is it, she said,
What is it I see?
Just a web holding on
To a leaf from the tree.
What is it, they said,
Hanging over our heads?
It's a leaf; it's a tree.
(It's a story to me.)
It's a web that was spun
From a dream of the sun.
It's a chrysalis snug
It's a dream; it's a hug.
It's a wing; it's a swing.
It's a marvelous thing!
It's a leaf from the tree.
(It's a poem to me.)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

(Random, Capricious)

(Random, Capricious)

I like to think I'd save him
If I could start again,
But there he was,
All fat body
And stringlike legs,
Scrambling up the tub,
Frantic to escape.
And there was a moment
When I could have stopped it all.

Turn the knob and gently scoop him up.

Instead, I cupped my hands,
Like that.
And poured as a libation,
So he became a heap of swirling legs.
So small. So small.
So meaningless to me.

Is God, I sometimes wonder,
In spite of all that I believe,
Like that?
Pouring down on those of us scrambling for purchase,
Unlucky enough to find ourselves
In the (random) wrong place
At exactly the (capricious) wrong time?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Where Lost Things Go

Where Lost Things Go

From a distance,
It seems sudden.
In close up,
Not so much.
It's the things
You hardly notice.
Keys. Pillows on a bed.
A date passed by
To wherever lost things go.
Tell me, does it trouble?
Must you run
To keep ahead?
Instead, I watch your peaceful sleep,
With arms crossed on your chest,
And, "Lost?" I think.
Not lost, no. Not really.
Just gone where lost things go.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Obscurum per Obscurius

Obscurum per Obscurius
"the obscure by means of the more obscure"

It seems to me you need a concept
so obscure no one will admit
when they don't get it.
Take the woman who sits
embroidering beneath a roof of shears.
Patrons speak in reverential tones--
Clotho, with Atropos above, says one
to his companions.
Or maybe she's Penelope,
biding time till dark.
The artist, bent above her task,
serenely moves her needle in and out,
creating something white on white
that only she can see.
But maybe that's what art is:
a woman, seeming unawares,
stitching threads that mean only
what she wants for them to mean.
Every morning, in the darkness of my room,
I bend above these keys, hoping
to create anything at all,
stitching thoughts with whatever
makes this ink that is not ink
on this page (that's not a page,
but place card of invention).
Every day -- my nod to the obscure
before I move away, leaving home for work,
scissoring my hands before my face
to stop the unseen thread of a web
before it catches me.
She must have sewn in darkness all alone.
It makes me wonder, why do we call it art
only when we have to try too hard?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Almost Heaven

Almost Heaven

Leave me on the hill,
for I have seen the
great waves heave and fall,
pulling all beneath their salty grasp.
Let the briney deep
keep her crusted treasure
whose sightless eyes she hides.

The earth abides.

The rising hills
thrill me with their call.
All that I am belongs
in the song of wind
on tree and leaf.
Grief does not bear
with me there.

When I am dead,
I pray you, softly
lay my head upon
the piney floor in sight
of heaven's door.

Or what's a mountain for?

Location:West Virginia

Saturday, August 4, 2012

In My Place

In my place
Upon the worn path
With the tall trees
That lead to the lake,
I feel the heat lift.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012



It's an urge I can't get rid of;
It niggles at my mind.
Seven years or seventy,
Can't leave that itch behind.
It's a wish that isn't granted;
It's right there out of reach.
It's crawling through my body;
It tickles in the breach.
It tells me that we're human,
That to live is to desire,
To grab for things you can't have,
To burn with endless fire,
To twist and turn and totter,
To wiggle, scratch, and twitch,
To want and hope and holler
Until you've scratched the itch.

Friday, July 27, 2012



Raindrops splash
a Pollack puddle,
vertiginous azure, scarlet,
argent on a field of sable,
blazoning a stormy Southern sky.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


This is the photo prompt from The Mag. For other responses go to http://magpie


In the morning dark,
bare feet draw
from the grass
an unexpected gift,
earth's soft nourishment.
All day long, they are busy
back and forth. All day long,
They trespass over
undeserved treasure.
And when we end
beneath the sun's long haul,
right or wrong, we are judged
by the dust we bear on our feet
and by the promises we keep
and those we fail to keep.

Buried Treasure

Buried Treasure

Torn from her by the deep,
Piled with Neptune's measure,
Precious gold, a treasure
For which, as if in recompense,
The waves lay silvered
dollars at her feet.

Saturday, June 30, 2012


In the soft rain
and in the hard,
the brave trees,
especially the slender willows,
sweep their long arms
with the music of the wind,
wise enough
to bend with the rhythms
of the storm.
Other things, too proud
to bow, break and blow away
while these least servants
simply and gratefully allow
the shining world to lead.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


The Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads challenge this week is to write a poem that uses a Shakespearean quote as a line or title. I often think of this line from Julius Caesar when I hear someone rail against his or her "fate." I'm adapting the beginning of the line and ignoring the rest. That would be a very different poem!

Visit Imaginary Gardens to read other bardly work.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves...


The fault is not the stars
that line their nightly course,
ancient as the gods and unknown men
who named them.
We look to blame those
who hold only the wisdom
of distance. They speak to us:
patience. This, too, shall join
the list of long stillness.
This, too, shall fix its narrow bed
beneath our shining witness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This is for The Poetry Jam's prompt, "Whoops!" The idea is to write a poem about something you experienced that you knew then or know now was a mistake.

Nineteen-Sixty Eight

seen in blinking strobe,
fringes and long hair,
the smell of grass,
a woman on a table
squeezing juice
from the orange of herself,
the taste of fear mingled
with the the taste of beer.
This is no checkmate;
eighteen is a hoax.
This hazy hell is real --
falling from a cliff,
danger booming
like a crashing
Jefferson plane.

Sunday, June 24, 2012



A poem has
no grammar
but the slow
of mind and word,
of lines that heave
and quicken,
stains on virgin paper.

Thursday, June 7, 2012



Of all the words
for death
the best is passing --
passing by
passing through
passing out.
"She passed," they say,
and I can see her driving:
her scarf, red lips,
and jaunty little wave;
or passing through,
she shrugs, apologizing,
squeezing through
the crowd along the way.
Or best of all,
I see her at a party,
weaving, woozy,
grinning ear-to-ear.
Calling for her designated driver,
She snaps her fingers,
"Come and take me home."


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Poet, She's a Wicked Pal


The poet has no friends
but words,

smooth vowels that move
some imaginary One.

She feels akin to a pause
caused by a dash --

just so, you know,
the dramatory breath.

She cavorts with commas,
makes love to license that,

like incense, rises to her muse
to say that it's okay to use

like or as a thing,
like dramatory breath --

or dramatary-- come to that,
from just a whim.

She thinks of them,
letters, sounds, and breath,

the Someone and the Muse,
when writing about death

and still at other times
when feeling most alive.

The poet, she's a wicked pal,
you know, when you consider

how her only loves are those
who do her will the most.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Tramp Down Road

Tramp Down Road

Tramp Down Road,
it's a grassless path,
worn and weary
even of itself.
Jostles your bones
when you take that road.
Ask any gal who's been there,
she will tell you
it's a walk all day
and then some,
squalling, worthless,
down in the back road.
It's a work your fingers
to the weary, weary bone road.
Look behind and look ahead.
Poor girl says it don't never end
once you're on it. You're in then,
far as you can see,
you're in all skin and weary,
that's you forever walking
on that push down
Tramp Down Road.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Poplar Creek

Poplar Creek

Rocks covered with moss,
rough bark I scratch
against my palm,
the swarm jousting
in a patch of light
that sneaks beneath the trees,
the inimitable sound
of water fleeing
over sand and stone,
the silly smile I wear
when wandering alone
as a child wears
when hoarding secret treasure,
the need for pen,
for words, for record,
the small winged thing
that rides inside with me
when I come
to tell my pleasures.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Seeing the Signs

Seeing the Signs

Between the stoplight at the intersection leading into town
and the office where I spend my day on Courthouse Hill,
this morning, for some reason unknown to me
except that maybe I'm awake to it, maybe I'm not lost
somewhere as often I am on these familiar roads,
wondering at the end how I came this far,
or maybe it's nothing so profound; maybe it's just that I clearly see,
between the light and the hill, the signs--
Clip 'n Curl, Kingdom Hall, Baby Face, Fueled on Juice,
even one that says it's one mile into town,
as if, on this narrow road, you couldn't see or
there were any other place you'd go.
I can't help but think when I see these signs,
of our need to say, Here I am. Look at me.
See me. Need me. Buy me. Love me. Me.
and then I look in the mirror at my red lips
and know these for my signs. Know the me I want to be.
In the yard just before I left for work,
I saw a single beam of sun break through the trees
and streak across the grass to light a poplar trunk
from the ground up through the central branches
to the parachute of limbs. A single line of light,
a sign as sure as any, an announcement: Here I am.
Know me. Believe me. See me. Me.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Those Who Have Fallen Asleep

From those who have fallen asleep
To those who endure endless night,
Shadowed treasures to keep
Of those who have fallen asleep.
The dark hides the wounds so deep
Left by souls in their flight
From those who have fallen asleep
On we who endure endless night.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Art of Crossing

The Art of Crossing

Somewhere out there on the edge of things,
the young girl crosses a bridge
for the first time, her bare feet marking
a path through the dry dust of summer.
Crossing is the hardest part.
The houses watch; the water says her name.
If she stays straight, nobody sees --
she is a shining clear as glass.
They shade against her; they turn their eyes away.
The girl heads north toward the hills
and climbs to darkened doors
that open cavelike at her touch,
where, for just a while, she is just
a girl who crossed a bridge and climbed
a height before she turned for home.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Patio de los Naranjas

Patio de los Naranjas
They say the fruit is bitter,
But the air of Seville sings
Citrus, a chorus that lines
The ancient gardens.
Smooth stones make faces
On the ground, where every
Good boy does fine
Beneath a Spanish sky,
Where he who sings prays twice,
Where solo is an aria of orange.

Sunday, April 22, 2012



The poplars sway
Then stop as sudden --
A whole note rest
Alert for the baton
The beat of birds
The wind’s ornamentation.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012



See how I spend my days
As if time were a pocketful of coins
To hand one by one to a driver.
Five spent on the computer
Ten in front of the television.
Even the two or three I pay
To poetry clink against an empty cup.
I am forced to stand, imitation gold,
Stiff on the corner of eternity,
Playing for coins I spend on nothing.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Coloring Days

Coloring Days

In cups of dye,
pastel colors cover
smooth white shapes
that tip and rock
and slowly settle;
in a moment,
fragile shells
of yellow, lilac, blue
emerge, changed
as if by baptism.
Memory is like this --
it colors the days
with shades of what remains.
It weakens and submerges
but does not break us;
it holds us fragile,
and we come forth
what we were but new,
what we were
and who we are, but new.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Born To Be Wild


Old guy on a motorbike
parked at McDonalds
in the early morning air
with a latte in his hand.
Sets it on the sidewalk
while he pretends to inspect a tire
and think about where it is he wants to go.
About my age, I'd say, give or take a few.
White sideburns below the dark blue
bandana tied behind his head.
I wonder how many old guys I've seen
like this. Those same tatoos.
That sleeveless jacket.
Soon as I catch sight of one,
ponytail roped tight against his sloped back,
I see jungles like a Walter Cronkite newsreel.
I see Danny Maroney
in his bulky camo green,
tripping along campus in his too tight jeans,
smoking way too much of everything.
I see buckskin fringe flying as I dance
to the music in my head.
And Danny is long dead.
And this one must be retired, and tired.
Born to be wild nothing more than
coffee in the warm morning air.
For a minute, he looks up and sees me
in my SUV on my way to work,
and he thinks he knows me.
I'm that girl he remembers.
The one on the dance floor.
The one he came home for
all those years ago.

This is dedicated to my dear friend Danny Maroney who was killed in Viet Nam and died 40 years later. Rest in Peace, Danny Boy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012



Stars and stones,
insects and animals,
everything undergoes change.

After long winter,
the dreaming bear stirs,
and the world is green.

The rotted stump,
uncovered from the snows,
thrums with the industry of living.

We grow old.
We grow old together.
We persevere.

What else really matters?


Saturday, March 17, 2012

On Cleaning My Mother's House

On Cleaning My Mother's House

This, too, is prayer,
is worship, adoration,
a purifying altar --
a sacrificial cup.
This is a song of praise,
a calming of the water,
a bended knee,
a holy benediction.
I run but do not weary,
for here, you raise me up.