Apr 18 2017


the face of truth
is marked
by shadow

you and i
we know better

but symbol
is all
in a world
molded by

we’re sure
we invented
clever acronym


we’re going
in a world
losing time

carving lives
from bits
and pixels
and love
from empty


so little

to recognize




Apr 15 2017

virtual reality

the world we sit in
and the world we live in
have become
two different things

by now
fifteen minutes
is the measure
of antipathy
and data
the construct
of worth

has replaced

i see you
you see me

we do not touch

i know one thing
about you

you know
three things
about me

it all adds up

we can’t
catch up




Apr 3 2017

dancing on the horizon
of memory

the ladies gathered every evening
tap-tapping with canes and shuffling mules
to talk about the storm that was always coming
and the girl that walked to Seattle
pain always sitting on somebody’s lap
and death on a bench in the corner
pretending to be ignored

no one rose up to kiss away the chip
on a bony-cold squared-off shoulder
no one was afraid and
no one was falling
for the pout on the face of resistance

by this time they were all old friends
acceptance was the belt
holding the bathrobe closed
and besides, thelma told
the best stories




Feb 20 2017

the sky is falling

you sing me songs of february summer
and i laugh at the absurdity
nothing makes sense anymore
and everything

is a tune
from those long ago years
when we believed
in certainty

i smile and i dance
at words
spilled from
wist and sunshine

so ripe with yesterday’s
short season of naiveté

when we were young
and you were golden
and i
was just a rose




Jan 22 2017

finding hope in tiny places


sometimes we have to take a step back

before we move forward

remember all the things we’ve forgotten

forget all the answers


the questions


there is always

beauty in life

life in growth

growth in pain


the cartography of tomorrow

is drawn from the pen

of present


tenacity is the bloom

of survival







Sep 30 2016

on tying up loose ends

it feels like that’s what this year has been, this year of racing the unknown, scrambling up a mountain of change, lying down in a bed of blind faith.

i keep all the knots loose, for easy escape, and, of course, to make room for new growth.

but nothing stays tidy for long, i know that now.

the sun and the wind and the moon and the stars all conspire to change the shape of existence, sculpting time into their own artistic vision.

so what if i can’t see what they’re creating?

so what if my eyes sting with the strain of trying?

so what if the swamp dries up and the trees bend with thirst and the field of corn across the street turns brown before it reaches four feet tall?

we’re all running, away or toward. we’re all breathing in this air that touches everything and everyone.

we are all this vine turning back upon itself when there is nothing else to hold onto.

breathing in light and exhaling silence.

the flowers that plant themselves become my favorites.

grasping opportunity or fighting for survival, it’s all perspective.

it’s all lost in the cold of winter.

there are always new seeds being planted.

there are so many questions without answers hanging high in a colorless sky.

i leave them for the night that promises results.

i leave them for the bird that soars through hunger.

i leave them for the child that cries to untangle.

tomorrow is always weaving a new story.

today is a word lit by inhale.




Sep 8 2016

we all have a heart

this year.

i can’t keep up with anything.

then again, most days i’m glad i’m not in the race.

it’s become the year of silence. of thinking. cringing. thinking some more.

but no matter how many ways i try to separate good and evil, noble and sinister, right and wrong, i just keep coming back to that same thought.

we all have a heart.

perhaps some of us have ours in the wrong place, but who’s to say?

not me.

i’m just going to sit here and watch the flowers grow.



hold tight to all the questions

and keep my own heart on my sleeve,

right where it’s always been.





Mar 8 2016

in the tomb of a room
lined with clarity

i wanted to tell you a story
but all these words
cracked open and bled off the page
all viscous and slippery
and dark with age

i wanted to hold them in the cup
of my oddly-marked palm,
or i wanted to hold you and stand
before that blank cracked distorted mirror
and i’ve forgotten

i wanted to give you something
called everything
but that box always comes up empty
no matter how many times i trap-wrap
and rosette with sincerity

i wanted to line your heart
with soft mirage memories of joy
but there was wool, only wool
all sharp and dry and scratchy
rubbing permanence raw


and again

and the ceiling

the reflection

of holy





Jan 28 2016

arbitrary thoughts
on out of focus things

The light is changing and the days run a few minutes longer and I tell myself this will be the year I get over February. (Though I say that every year and it has yet to actually happen.)

Last night I finished the afghan I started 6 or 8 years ago (so along ago that I can’t remember which) and I thought that perhaps this will be the year of finishing. Or maybe rather than thought, I hoped.

Listening and finishing. The map of 2016.

Of course, like all maps, there is a certain margin for error and I have factored in lots of room to get lost. And I know there will be times when I choose not to use that map at all, because I don’t always like to know where I’m going, I’d rather drift and explore.

I read this article and suddenly felt right at home in my mind. Vindicated in some small way. Okay, it may have been a big way. Whatever.

It was an answer. An answer to why I always, always, always prefer the questions. Which is a funny concept all on its own.

The other day I wondered why we’re all so obsessed with happiness. I wondered if that’s even true. I wondered if I want to be happy, and decided yes, but not all the time. I’d prefer to be okay with being sad or angry or bored or irritated or content or confused, too. I’d prefer to experience all of it.

I walked out to get the mail and the sun was shining and the sky was clear and not-so-winter blue and for a second, I felt pure joy. At simply being alive and outside with the sun on my face. I remembered then how much I need to be out of doors. Winter always makes me forget.

Doors. An endless source for metaphors.

I miss color. Even my face is white and pale. I miss my freckles. (Okay maybe they are age spots, but I’m choosing to call them freckles.) I miss the daily drama of my garden.

Everything is shifting, all the time. And then resettling. Shifting again. There is no solid ground.

In spring I will trim away the dead wood. Toss it in a big pile and start a fire.

Which will remind me of winter.

And so it goes.




Jan 14 2016

the heart runs straight through

Lately, I think about listening. How bad we are at it, how everything keeps getting louder, how we talk over each other, and even, ourselves.

We’ve forgotten how to be alone with silence.

We have so many things to do, so many places to be, so many lives to fit into life.

I spend time with my 89-year-old friend and everything slows down. She doesn’t hear so well, and our communication becomes a pantomime of gesture and shouting. I spend time with my 8-month-old granddaughter and see the world with fresh eyes. Everything is new and exciting and wondrous. Everything slows down further, because we have to take time to relish each new moment and every fresh discovery.

In both cases, I find myself listening in new ways.

At night I read, turn the ever-present television off, and fall into stories. My house whispers its own secrets and my mind takes off in new directions.

I try to think of the last time I did nothing, and can’t remember. I’m always looking for something: entertainment or enrichment or connection or experience.

I crave silence, but when I find it, I fill the air with sound.

I want to remember something, the feel of roots or earth or security. And promises.

I build fires to conquer the cold and my need for something primal.

Even the darkest of months offers sympathy.

A heartbeat is the sound of existence. A symphony of seduction. A sonata of solace.

I find myself straining to hear.