Jul 30 2015

singing quietly
in my own backyard

And pausing to listen.

Because it is a small world, after all,
and the internet keeps making it smaller.
Social media becomes a too-crowded room
where everybody’s in everybody’s business,
and three square meals of outrage
are served every day.

For dessert we have your choice:
a call to arms, a call for slander,
a call to harm.

The world is full of terrible things,
foul injustice,
heartbreaking stories of inhumanity.

Mankind is flawed and we want perfection,
or at least the appearance of it on our screen.

We want everything our way,
the only way, the best way,
and tout this using words
from the list we’re allowed to say.

Celebrity rules and we feed it with our frenzy.

The throng and the masses have all the answers
and nothing ever changes.

 In the minds of the mob,
silent observation becomes the same as cowardice.

Working behind the scenes
is seen as indifference.

Not speaking out, even if you agree,
makes you less than those who do.

Yet if you speak out and say the wrong thing,
you will be thrashed or hunted or publicly shamed
with a virtual scarlet letter.


Hush now.







The answers always lie


between the lines.




Jul 28 2015

passing myself
on the way to savannah

and all the other places
i’ve never been

never seen
never learned
to love the light of

that’s bad grammar
i know
but i’m talking about life
and loss and nevers

and there are no rules
no platitudes
no built-in panaceas
to make my knees
stop creaking
or my hands
look any less

don’t get me wrong

i wear my wrinkles
like jewelry
cherished accessories
of sentimental

and i smile
when i drive and they remind me
i’ve forgotten to apply


dry skin cracking

me up

and five times a day
i get surprised
by my own reflection

remembering i’ve aged
only when i see proof
or try to get out of bed

hides in patterns
paisley pretty and
just as intricate
as the web
i’ve spun
into my
crinkle crackle

but my shadow
retains the shape
of youth

or at least
remains smooth
and unmarked

by the scars
of regret

and i sip
from the cup
of forgiveness




Jul 25 2015

from every angle

and then some

over-analyzing becomes paralyzing

and i just want to dance

in the breeze of simplicity





Jul 23 2015

for dear life


Finding center in an asymmetrical world is never easy.

Balance is always elusive, and mostly, temporary.


But you can find your axis, even as you spin.

And that’s the piece you hold onto.





Jul 21 2015

widow’s peak

remembering the history of love
is not the same as living it

so much of it is
setting seed
and letting go




Jul 18 2015

clouds of clarity

pass by slowly

in a white-hot slice

of sky





Jul 16 2015

focused on the center
of acceptance

Or struggle vs. acceptance, and how to know which one to adopt.

These days I lean towards simple, where less always feels like more,
and grace, where struggle always dresses in silence.

And I’m not sure it’s wisdom.
I fought life so hard when I was young,
these days I prefer to acquiesce to the nature of opposites.

The good with the bad, the light with the dark,
the tears with the laughter.

It’s not giving up, it’s honing in.

It’s not compliance so much as forgiveness.

It’s arms wide open to whatever comes.

Life rains down upon us and washes us clean.
Again and again and again.

We live in the dust and we live in the dirty.

And then comes the downpour and we live some more.

Soaked and sodden, a bit downtrodden.

Bending in the wind that did not break us,
the breeze that dries our hair,

the sun that warms the shadows on our skin.




Jul 14 2015

drops of jupiter

in a sky mixed from paint and loose smoky cloud
sung by the song of ophelia’s left wrist
floating home on a river of chasm

we are built with such fragile temerity
says a poster on the wall of indifference

held in place with tacked-up tone diamonds
ripple-torn by the weight of overwhelm

it’s all too much and never enough

because cut glass and cold minded carbon
are futility’s intrinsic fossil

holding on to lost light with the fine-crazed frailty
of their own impetuous gleam

the stars will always hang high
in one corner of sky
but first you must swallow the darkness




Jul 11 2015

rain dance


in a forest of kisses

a flock of geese

bow their heads

with a nod

to the sun




Jul 9 2015

the undeniable loss
of refusing to open

The word I sort-of picked for this year was open. And it’s a word that’s served me well, a quiet, pleasant reminder to keep growing, always.

And lately I’ve been thinking about words (okay, I admit, I am always thinking about words) as labels. We have good ones and bad ones, but that varies depending on who it is that’s applying them. We can call ourselves old or fat or lazy or any number of things, but when someone else does it, we are hurt, or offended, or outraged. We also test this theory by calling ourselves positive things, goddess and badass and guru and warrior, things that pump us up and make us feel good (or better) about who we are.

But they’re all labels. Definitions. Closed books that allow the rest of the world to see nothing but the cover, even if it is one we drew ourselves.

I want to see what’s on the inside. We’re not supposed to judge books by their covers, but we do. I want to crack the spine and hold the pages open. I want to read every sentence.

I recently acquired a new label: Grandma. (One I love and am happy to claim, by the way). But when I ran into acquaintance and told her the news, she said something about how we were going to have to think of a better word to call it. And then I wondered why. Because I am a grandma. And a woman, and a wife and a mother and a runner and a gardener and a writer and a photographer and a poet and a housekeeper and a business owner and a laundress and an accountant and a cat box cleaner-outer. Labels.

I am an amalgam of labels.

We try to peel off the ones we don’t like, and pretty up the ones we do, adding scrolls and graphics and big bold letters. We wear those proudly, and the rest we try to hide, under clothing and posture and presentation.

But here’s what I say: Release them all. Refuse to let them stick, refuse to be defined.

Be a new word every minute. An ordinary word, an ordinary minute, a real, alive, breathing, changing, blossoming word.

Keep them guessing. Keep yourself guessing. Hold your arms wide open, and let the petals fall where they may.

Set your story free on the wind.

Watch where it goes.