Jul 31 2012

the stillness of certainty

when what i want
is the chaos of doubt

and you

you hide behind
that smokescreen
of birdsong
and pretty sky

where blue
is the color
of everything

but purple

is my favorite


small planes
crisscross clouds
like geese heading
to triumvirate ponds

while two
grasshoppers vie
for one green leaf

and black eyed susans
force canned laughter
onto the stage


the catbird

its very name
an oxymoron

perches high

and watches
a storm roll in

grey squared
in one blind


Jul 28 2012

my tiny world


contains the sky


Jul 26 2012


This morning the world is fresh and green and sparkling in the way that only comes after an all-night rain. I can practically hear the flowers and trees sighing in relief. The birds are singing extra loudly, the colors all look more vibrant, the breeze is especially soft.

I sat outside last evening and watched the clouds fill the sky. They did not come rolling in, these clouds, but rather they crept, inch by inch, slowly, quietly, and without anger.

I sat and listened to the stillness, a sleeping cat in the chair next to me, a notebook in my lap, and there was nowhere else to be, nothing else to do, no one needing my attention.

The golden hour, when daylight shifts and shadows lengthen.

Another day ending, another night beginning, life cycling its way through the hours that always refuse to be counted. Tallied up by things accomplished, things to be done, lists and goals and wants and needs and never enough.

Except, it was enough. In that hour, there was an eternity.

I watched a grey lace curtain draw itself across the sun. I watched those shadows pale and disappear. Chiaroscuro became blur and faded into dusk.

I watched everything, and nothing.

A green heron flapped its wings through my line of sight, silently heading back to its nest for the night.

A dragonfly landed on the table near my arm.

Two grasshoppers spun past in a mysterious dance.

Barn swallows swooped through the air like bats.

Everything. Nothing.


The shape of time.


Jul 24 2012

aurora borealis

the butterfly effect
is the quintessential cause
of chaos

we cannot stop living
and so
we keep dying

time waits for us to look away
however briefly
to add tattoos to our skin

hope keeps us going
just long enough to walk into a room
filled with hopelessness

a snake sheds its skin as it grows
and glides into
a larger version of itself

mother nature’s patterns and
illusions only make sense
if you’re a cloud

refuse to look away

refuse to cry uncle

refuse to be broken

for just now

another set of wings
from a dried-husk brittle


blue and brilliant

flying home




Sending love and light to the victims of the aurora shootings
and those whose lives they touched.
dVerse poets Open Link Night



Jul 21 2012

there are no words

but there are birds and streaky clouds

(cirrus, i suppose, they look like streaks to me)

butterflies that flutter

and this robin singing for his supper

soft white flowers to become purple berries

food for bluebird, mockingbird and jay

bees and bees and bees

and grasshoppers by the dozen

(if you listen carefully, you can hear them munch)

roses always vying for the center of attention

a lazy cat sleeping in the best patch of sun

a swallow peeping as he swirls and twirls

no, there are no words

only life.


Jul 19 2012



so few things

in life


black and white.


Jul 17 2012

hand me downs,
heresy, and hope

the rules of karma
are hard to follow

…….so much is unintentional
…….and yet, pain is caused

…….i never kill spiders
…….but stay away from me
…….if you’re a fly

…….that hardly seems fair

…….i am biased
…….despite all attempts
…….at magnanimity

i sit here in this garden
i pull weeds that want to grow
i displace ants and snails
…….simply striving to survive

…….we all play god
…….in our own small way

bending rules
breaking promises


…….awards are given
…….for best posture

…….stand tall

…….reach for the sky

…………offer penance
……………..for a pittance

……………..next time,
……………..you will soar

Linking up with the fabulous dVerse poets for Open Link Night – Anniversary Week, join us!

Jul 14 2012


but what if the rains never come
she said

and of course, i had no answer

wanting to say
i promise

but instead
changed the subject
to ice cream
and good books

as the hard scorched earth
burned up through
the soles of my flip-flops

tomato plants wilted

we talked of dinner
and sucked on ice cubes
from empty glasses
of lemonade

and there was not one cloud
in the sky

Jul 12 2012

love in the time of cholera*

On Monday, my daughter was driving home from our camp and found a kitten on the side of the road. A tiny kitten. An injured kitten, one leg splayed off at an oh-so-wrong angle. A scared kitten.

She called to ask for advice, and I told her to go to all the nearby houses to see if it belonged to anyone, and if not, to bring it here.

Mind you, I have five cats. Mind you, I can’t afford another one. But still, it was the right thing to do.

She brought it home and I made some calls, and was advised to take it to the Humane Society, where most likely, it would be euthanized.

It was a very young black kitten, long-haired, with a face like a cute little bat. I almost took a picture, but then decided not to. I tried not to look at its sweet little face as we drove to the shelter. I tried to think about how we were doing what was best for everyone involved, I tried to think that maybe they would fix it, save it, put it up for adoption.

In truth, I don’t know what they ended up doing. And, in truth, I don’t want to know. I want to leave the possibility open that it survived. In truth, I wish I had taken it to the vet and paid a giant bill that I can’t afford and brought it home to become one step crazier on the crazy cat lady scale.

Oh, I know, I did the best I could. But I can’t stop thinking about that little face, so vulnerable, so sweet, so small. I can’t help wishing I had been able to save one more tiny kitten, or for that matter, the world.

Yesterday, I came across this quote by May Sarton: “The hardest thing we are asked to do in this world is to remain aware of suffering, suffering about which we can do nothing.”

Of course, I know this is about far more than tiny kittens. So much of the world needs saving. So much of the world cannot be saved.

But why is it that doing what seems like the right thing feels oh-so-wrong?

How is it that the person that actually hit the cat was able to just keep on going, and I can’t stop thinking about the poor little thing? I can’t stop seeing that little bat face.

Perhaps it is simply too much a reminder of the fragility of life. Perhaps I am projecting some inner sense of vulnerability. Or the kitten was just a dark, fuzzy metaphor for all the things I want to save in this world, but cannot. Perhaps I just have a soft spot for kittens.

Or, perhaps, I am just plain crazy.

Either way, sometimes the world is a cold, hard place. More than likely, I should leave the word sometimes out of that sentence.

I have to put that knowledge in my back pocket for a while and walk around with it.

I don’t know what else to do with it just yet.




From the book by Gabriel García Márquez

Jul 10 2012

the laws of attraction

sadness weighs
the opposite of happiness

and everybody wants to fix
the world

we’ve fooled ourselves into
thinking we’re in charge
simply because gravity is
kind enough to keep us here

but look at these clouds
painting mother nature’s

only she knows the truth

and being the good mother

she’s not telling

(for our own good)

you storm out
all stomping feet and
slamming doors

pretending it’s your job
to change the view
to make it clear
to reconnoiter

rescuing hope from
boxes marked fragile

playing god
and hide and seek

olly olly oxen free

at least, you think
you’re free

rain weighs
the opposite of

Linking up with the fabulous dVerse poets for Open Link Night, join us!
Happy Birthday to Open Link Night!