Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Annual Christmas Funk -- Poetry 2009

Life is getting back to a normal routine
after shaking off the winter holiday fever;
slipped into a “funk” a couple times…
Usually Thanksgiving signals the start
of the annual struggle to just get through
without a major emotional crash.
Everyone has reasons for floundering…
break ups, deaths of family or friends, job status;
the list goes on for seasonal confusion and despair.
Short light days when darkness descends
permeating thoughts - clinging to spirit…
plus its never the same as when you were little
surrounded by several generations of family;
gifts seem enormous to small eyes; the magic
of a tree glittering and glowing in the living room.
Children are not yet jaded or fearful, the present
is the present; the future is the next day without
the drag of past history, painful regrets or choices
paralyzing thoughts and coloring the world gray.


Blooming -- Poetry 2009

Tired of holding back the deluge,
I want these words out of my head…
Set free to dance across pages of paper
onto walls, ceilings and floors in full view.
Curved or straight, cursive to scribble…
lines wielding bits of my soul in each drop of ink.
Free to jump, shimmy and shake in wild
motion instead of repressed proper behavior.

Tired of holding back the deluge,
I want these visions out of my head…
Set free to samba across paper and canvass
onto walls, ceilings and floors in full view.
Textured squiggles and smooth splatters…
colors exposing my soul in each stroke of paint.
Free to splash, dribble, and pour in organic
gesture instead of frozen proper technique.
Second childhood or expressive freedom
for a late blooming button downed creative spirit.


No Stardust -- Poetry 2009

No stardust fell to earth last night…
Moisture in the form of fine mist saturated the terrain;
Diamonds from recent frigid days softened and dissolved…
Their radiance replaced with common reflections.
Dripping from bare branches to land upon sodden ground,
their whispers inaudible over hissing tires on asphalt.
The Corgis pad through puddles bending heads to catch
an occasional drink; dog tags faintly jingle and my
footfalls slap the soaked sidewalk… restored by nature’s
nightly exposition, we head home for restful slumber.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Showered with Hearts -- Poetry 2009

The paper punch bites into the red paper
with such force that little hearts fly through the air.
Time and again, hearts shoot skyward in various
shades of pink, red, purple and gold…
mini heart bursts scatter across my work surface
drifting onto my tattered studio clothing, slipping
to the floor when I retrieve more collage paper.
I work with my least favorite color to make cards
for my least favorite holiday – Valentine’s Day.
Lost in right brain activity, my designs pull
together charged with a multitude of hearts
for couples celebrating their loving relationships.
Focused on the process, the hours pass
quickly just as the years have passed since
you left and my heart was broken beyond repair.


Tumbling into a Dream

Tumbling into a dream beyond fitful sleep;
Pulsing particles of light flash the rhythm
of my heartbeat… warm sun and smell of the earth
fill my senses as I gaze upon my surroundings.
Picking up a faded quilt, I unwrap an 1850 school
house clock made of oak; setting it into the back
of my Subaru the clock face dissolves, slipping
off its moorings as a scene unfolds in full color.
The clock’s cabinet door latch pops free revealing
the shinny brass pendulum reflecting a group
of young men in western clothing riding horses,
shouting out to each other, moving at full speed
to toward the distant hills. I called to them to wait…
I wanted to ride with them, gallop across the plains
to where the sky caresses the hills but the horse
hooves pounding the prairie drown out my voice.
Carefully wrapping the clock in the patchwork
quilt, I drive toward morning full of disappointment;
instead flying to dawn on horseback, I have been
left behind confined in my car on solid ground.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bitter Cold

Bitter cold temperatures leave a heavy frost in place
throughout the full sun of day… not just in the shadow
of overhanging trees, shrubs or North sides of a roof
but on exposed lawns, gardens and sidewalks.
Previous night’s fog coated trees and grass with delicate
ice lace; these miniature prisms bounced messages
in semaphore to any who braved chill and icy conditions.
Evening brings blue gray distorted fingers of an incoming
front advancing toward open star studded sky; expunging
the setting sun, the lingering light is sucked into its inky maw.
Without direct light, the crystals descend into darkness;
Headlights, rectangles of house lights, street lamps circles
and my flashlight temporarily spring them back to life.
This dazzling display of frigid moisture is no match
for any holiday decorations no matter how elaborate;
nature’s magic and artistry inundates my midnight walks.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Thinking Too Much!

Images seem paired with each thought…
How do thoughts produce simultaneous
images or images in mind produce thought?
Thinking in color – dreams in black and white...
Do we think in dreams or is it happenstance?
This internal process is automatic with no
conceivable explanation; we take this
deceptively simple process for granted.
Deciphering what each thought formation
means is not the goal; it is to simply recognize
their presence ... thoughts themselves
for the most part remain unexplained;
thinking allow serious and personal thoughts
to proliferate crowding the mind. Release
from chaotic wanderings takes meditation;
slipping and sliding through space the
ramblings speed past with little attachment.


Heavy Frost -- Poetry 2009

Heavy frost in the garden this morning –
that's a white enough Christmas for me.
The kind that cuts out the need for shoveling…
A nip in the air but no snow drifting
to snarl traffic or delay arrival of company.
The lacy kale leaves resplendent in tones
of gray to purple turned fragile with frozen
condensation and fracture upon touch.
Curled tightly by the frigid night temperatures,
the rhododendron leaves resemble dark green
arthritic fingers unable to flex their joints.
Pond duckweed encased in a skim of ice
are immobilized and easily removed in one big
slice allowing morning’s cold light to reach its depths.
Frozen grass crunches under foot releasing
the accumulated dusting of ice crystals.
The dogs quickly do their duty; rushing back inside,
they bask upon the hearth in the fire’s glow.


Epiphany -- Poetry 2009

I woke to find a shiny new epiphany in my stocking;
A stocking not hung by the chimney with care…
when rummaging in my sock drawer, I came across
the hospital ID band from the surgery last December 24th.
Despite the months I needed for a complete recovery,
the concept of time doesn’t stop for a breather;
rolling on no matter what events transpire, the seconds
sequentially proceed in a determined order…
this syncopated seasonal rhythm continues relentlessly
for this moment in time will never happen again.


Midnight Christmas Eve -- Poetry 2009

At midnight last night, the fog diffused
the holiday lights around the neighborhood;
Pinpoints of color blossomed amid minuscule droplets.
Floating prisms of freezing fog drifted into darkness
and settled to earth, kissing everything with frost.
The stronger street lights reflected off a myriad
of crystals that at first coated leaves and grass.
Walking through a world of gray and glitter,
the branches and treetops began to glisten.
Not a soul was out but the Corgis and I to see
this magical transformation of moisture laden air
blurring boundaries of experience with nature.


Saturday, December 19, 2009


Midnight flight words plummet to earth.
Currents shift and I come to rest curled
upon my side beneath layers of comfort…
a song on my lips in a language unknown.
I grope for paper and pen grasping at notes
hung in the midnight darkness; the tune
resonates before fading to fractures.
The illuminated phrases spin out of context;
I fail to recall this paean… this gift of heart
and sound delivered deep in night’s repose.


Dream Catcher

Dreamtime has become dangerous…
I am wary to sleep; I am haunted by bullies.
Last night three rowdy men -menacing -
circled around until backing me into a corner.
Their eyes were hard as they bore into my soul.
Other people seemed not to notice my
Predicament; they went about their business.
The men started to grab at me… not listening
to my voice: Leave me alone, get away from me…
I tried to kick but nothing was there as I twisted away.
Gazing at the dream catcher hanging over my head
with heart pounding, I thought I must recharge it,
give it a good smudge with sage, sweet grass and prayers.


This Season

White could be my favorite color this season…
Symbolically it’s the Western color of purity,
the Eastern color of death, the spiritual light
of shamanic healing, the bright light of near death
experience and the color of a fresh start for a New Year.
I prefer the white of moonlight to sunny yellows.
The chill in the clear air intensifies shades of white.
It’s invigorating to walk through moonbeams
under diamond constellations in cobalt skies.
Days shorten, darkness descends marking
the winter season; I wish for the sparkle
of freshly fallen snow; I desire a traditional white
Christmas sparking childhood memories.
Typical holiday traditions repeated yearly:
making new ornaments; basking in fire’s warm glow;
inhaling the enticing scent of evergreens boughs;
decorating the Christmas tree, drinking spiced cider,
eating roasted chestnuts dipped in melted butter,
and the gathering of family and friends over home
cooked meals that bent the table low; love

and laughter filled those days with good cheer.
So unlike my simpler, less hectic holidays now...
candle light and evergreen scent, reflections
from heart shaped ornaments trigger a new
kind of magic – the turn of the solstice;
the return of longer days proceeds minute by minute.


Hysterectomy Anniversary

Coming up to the one year anniversary date,
does a hysterectomy deserve an anniversary?
Is this something to celebrate? Of course,
the positive side… the mass was not ovarian cancer.
Relief in one sense but saddled with surgical worries,
financial obligations, incredibly long recovery time;
I stressed as the December 24th date grew nearer.
Afterwards printed instructions were clear:
no standing or driving for the first several weeks…
House bound, discomfort with any movement, and
stirrings of deeper levels of trauma from this removal
of a discovered mass on my right ovary.
I strongly object to the word mass in medical records.
Isn’t a mass a sacred religious observation…
How does an abnormal growth become sacred?
Willing to lose an ovary, turned into “At your age”…
How did I manage to drive home with the weight
of a total hysterectomy compressing clear thought.
My life changing eccentric proposition that so many
women face as routine medical procedure... fate.


Wallace Stevens wrote,
"The whole race is a poet that writes down
The eccentric propositions of its fate."

Life Happens so Fast

Granddaddy passed away when I was five;
Tall, thin, wiry – he never woke from a nap.
His shock of white hair and smiling eyes
magnified by wire rimmed glasses reflected
sunlight while he walked holding my small hand.
I wasn’t allowed to attend the funeral…
Confusingly gone, I took to burying road kill;
under the shelter of maples, little stick crosses
marked creatures not quick enough to doge traffic.

A few years latter, anger surfaced once I realized
George was no more; next to Santa that mistruth
really upset me – parent’s lie about my best friend –
the wired haired terrier given to us by Aunt Chris.
Where’s George? After many repeats, finally
I was told about his last trip to a veterinarian.
I ran to my room slamming the door behind me
to wail for hours – some trust dissolved that day.

Hysterical after mutt Buddy was hit by a truck –
He was a replacement for George. A real Houdini,
He managed to escape frequently. I had called to him.
Hit by a truck, I felt guilty that I caused his death.
Not having a second vehicle, he lay covered in a basket
crying and writhing for hours until my dad came home.
No pets graced our house for a long time.
Birth, growth and death was still a puzzle. Cycle
of the seasons, cycle of life… but death is not unexpected.

At age 10 my paternal grandmother passed;
Why didn’t they let me go to the wake?
“An open coffin – no child should see that.”
What preparation was given for the meaning of death?
After the funeral, the farmhouse filled with family and friends.
Lost among the grownups, I was puzzled by their reaction
to her death; they told stories and laughed while eating
Pierogies, kielbasa, stuffed cabbage and other Polish delights.

Sophomore year of college, my material grandmother passed
just before Christmas; Why didn’t you wake me to say she died?
What a dismal time that was and it signaled the break up of the family.
Finishing college, many cousins had begun moving across country.
Senior year my Uncle Alfred lingered while cancer consumed his body.
I skipped senior activities while grief rode its course.

Until my mother died on the 23rd of December, I forgot the taste
of grief and didn't miss it. A co-workers son died accidentally
around that time; we would periodically burst into tears as the
pain of loss worked slowly from our beings. Some people seem
on the surface to recover quickly from death events of family or friends.
I guess it’s the surprise at the nonsensical way in which death takes place,
destroys routine and the opportunity for physical contact, for expression
of love, for sharing of memories, for hearing their voices and more.


Melting Clocks

Another winter storm moves in from the sea;
Dripping water falling from every surface
drifts into my sleep melting clocks: mantel,
grandfather, alarm, and electric models liquefy
to their demise with the soaking onslaught.
Dissolving their wood, metal, plastic, or glass
cases, their unique forms shiver and warp…
A slow collapse viewed in time lapse images.
Gears, pendulums, springs, and circuits engorge
as numbers slip from faces; hands drift downward
to Salvador Dali-esque fate of surrealism.
Puddles of a these former time keepers blend
fantasy and reality in monotone gray; seeking
meaning, a shaman examines the depths.
Peering into each pool, the congealed gelatinous
residue only reflects his venerable features.


Snowy Trail

Flowing white grosgrain ribbon unwinds around clumps
of silver birch and evergreens. Three inches of snow
defies moonlight hidden behind scurrilous low hung clouds.
Woodland path more visible than in a full moon pulls me
through an undersea landscape… trees bent under snow load
Resemble coral on an atoll; octopi flattened ferns upturned
to reveal sucker covered tentacles; pine cones, small branches
and leaves littering this mirage sea floor parallel pebbles,
seaweed, flotsam and jetsam. Slight wind provides the sea current;
I swim through this night sea bundled for warmth against the chill;
my breath sends a fine mist toward surface while my boot
encased feet leave a trail reminiscent of footprints in sand.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gray on Gray -- Poetry 2009

The sky slithered into Puget Sound.
Gray on gray – dissolving features
from nature: no surface ripples,
Cormorants swimming, seagulls flying
or tree line reflections marred the meld.
Not even man made objects …
Moored boats, buoys, piers, cranes
broke the spell of cement clouds
polishing chromed steel water.
The fine gray mist inoculated fog;
Inundated flat light, mesmerizing,
disorienting… extinguished landmarks.
Streetlamps glowered; the pinkish cast
spotlight spewed into stagnant air.
House and store front incandescent
lights foraged in the gloom; headlights
barely pierced the congealed atmosphere;
concentrated beams, cones of yellow,
dove into heavy vapor …
Evening sank into a sedated scene.


Sorting through Boxes -- Poetry 2009

Since moving years ago three boxes moved from closet to closet
finally taking up residence on the washer then onto a garage work table.
Studiously I avoided the chore of sorting the past…Who wants to go back?
The boxes of jumbled photographs from my childhood through my son’s accident took on moisture periodically spilling bits of their contents onto cold concrete…
Stooping to gather a handful, I was brought unexpectedly to tears by an old wedding photograph and remembered briefly what it felt like to love.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Lizzard -- Poetry 2009

Lizzie aka Lizzard - my phantom cat…
her characteristic slinking resembles
reptilian behavior; her white paws
propel her crouching form across lawns
or under cover of shrubs. I half expect
if I grabbed her tail it would disconnect
in my hand and eventually grow back…
What terrorized this marmalade tabby
whose fur blends with summer’s dried
grass or falls yellowed leaves?
If we mirror our pets, I relate to her
discomfort with humans to a degree:
Eye contact is difficult for both of us.
In part, I am uncomfortable in some
social situations - like Lizzie I become
an observer reticent to connections.
A classic wallflower enduring the event
until I feel its safe to slink to my car;
finding safety in my studio, I relax
into creativity until the next event.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Lace -- Poetry 2009

Highlighted tree branches
throw black lace shadows
saturated with alabaster glow;
embellished asphalt ribbon
so bright there is no need
for flashlight’s weak beam.
Puffs of breath develop
luminosity then disappear
leaving no trace in chilly air.
Moon’s platinum light blanches
surroundings to shades of gray;
Corgis appear black and white
passing in and out of cover.
Muted sounds, steady pace,
moonlight walking meditation.


Winter Storms -- Poetry 2009

Beauty and chaos:
High tides, high winds…
howling day and night.
Floating debris, gale salt spray
devour edges of existence;
Sand shifts; beaches degenerate.
Chunks of dune grass
dislodge beneath your feet.
Trees adrift - limbed anacondas -
writhe and twist in ocean swells.
Copse precariously perched,
undermined by savage assault
falls prey to oceans determination.
Grey shroud of scoured sky
hemorrhages with discordant sea.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

That Pause -- Poetry 2009

Have you felt that pause, that fearful pause?
The moment before things changed…
guts tied in a knot, throat constricted,
taking short futile breaths, body held
tight as if you could slow down
the inevitable by compressing time.
There is freedom within this event,
there is freedom without; either way…
Try to catch the deluge in a paper cup.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kismet -- Poetry 2009

So often it’s the tale of reaching
A certain point in your life…
Things radically open up.
If you are aware and ready
to take big risks nothing
can stop the forward progress.
A locomotive in full control
barreling down the tracks.
All the invested time and effort,
perseverance and sweat,
angst and renewal of spirit
overcomes all obstacles.
Synchronicity, kismet, fate…
Whatever you call being
in the right place at the right time.



Despite seasonal rains
drumming day through night,
my dreams have dried up…
withered to dust becoming
a thin film coating desperation.
Dampness pervades cells;
Rawness seeps into layers;
Sounds stick in my throat.
Density epoxies my tongue
trapping words behind teeth.
Inclement images rattle
evoking dark nightmares
that prevent restful sleep
during tumultuous storms.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What will my Children Save?

Even after all these years
so much of who I am rests
in my parents definition…
Their energy lingers within
treasures dragged cross country;
objects imbued with their
combined character traits.
Dad’s suspenders stretched
and stained hang on a hook;
he wore them and a belt.
His tool box sits in the garage
filled with his preferred tools.
When I do outside chores, I wear
the hooded jacket I made for him.
Mom’s scarves reside in a box;
The wool one is especially warm.
A Singer sewing machine,
her high school graduation gift,
inhabits a living room corner
ready to perform assigned tasks.
The Lane hope chest protects
wool sweaters and coats.
All lovingly cared for to last
their lifetime and beyond.


Storm Warning -- Poetry 2009

Storm Warning

Clouds scream across sullen sky.
Winds up dislodging tattered
leaves; branches barren of life
rattle and clack their bones.
Pushed to unnatural limits
by constant gusting torture,
limbs splinter - free falling
to lawns, sidewalks, roads.
Streets amass a thick coating
of evergreen needles, cones,
twigs, leaves; a sodden mass
of fragments ground to pulp
clogs storm drains; puddles
expand in circumference
responding to rain’s torrents.


Question -- Poetry 2009

In one sense, it would be the sixth one…
I question the level of my existence.
Am I too late to be an artistic bloomer?
When will the Universe and serendipity collide?
A big bang exploding into a proverbial break;
I dream about that meld of attention
infusing my art with importance to collectors.
A self critic rides my back with goading
disparaging remarks; negative mindset
erodes my perceived intrinsic value and worth.
Second guessing a direction, this introverted
being just desires to live in studio releasing
creative out pourings infused with Zen
sensibility, simplicity and mindfulness.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Trapped in a Box -- Poetry 2009

I can’t recall mom’s voice;
I can’t remember her touch.
She passed away
on December 23, 1992.
Browning photographs
in a worn album record her
early years; this life is fading;
brittle time line images are
mere shadows disintegrating…
loosing their substance.
My childhood recollections
and adult memories scatter
due to her physical absence.
Mom’s plastic box of scarves
perches on my closet shelf:
Silk floral, geometric designs;
Wool woven in Herringbone;
Stockinette knits with cables.
Carefully folded scarves
imbued with Mom’s scent…
one whiff momentarily
reconstitutes her presence.


Tasks -- Poetry 2009

for words;
but checks
on to-do lists
or capitals
for DONE:
bills paid;
laundry clean;
counters clear;
dishes washed;
beds changed;
food cooked;


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Character Chameleon -- Poetry 2009

In childhood I hid in books...
read every book in the tiny
NE Elementary School Library.
Stretching my imagination
to become the main character
who overcame every obstacle;
achieved success; saved the day;
and lived happily ever after...
that I couldn't imagine in my life.

Now I've fallen into daydreams.
I can be who I'd want to be...
overcome obstacles put in my path;
run away from the ho-hum; be wild,
consciously outrageous and free.
Work things out in the safety of mind
where repetition of an event
allows for a better outcome.
I'm all that I can't seem to elicit
from myself in the real world.


Higher Elevations -- Poetry 2009

Miss the invigorating snow...
winter storms back East
cleared to turquoise skies;
brilliant reflections off
expansive white snow equaled
a necessity for sunglasses.

Pacific Northwest grey
wears me down.
Pounding rain,
hiss of tires,
soggy shoes,
dull rain gear,
wears me out.

Admittedly a night owl,
short light days could
be slept through...
an artistic hibernation
due to late night
creative surges.

Traveling to the passes,
I could catch snowflakes
on my tongue,
leave boot prints
or make snow angles.
Winter at higher elevations,
would result in
experiencing raw cheeks,
numb fingers, and a nose
nipped by the chill.


Restless -- Poetry 2009

Sitting with pen in hand
mind wanders...
visions of dog walks,
grocery lists, cleaning,
art work to prepare
for upcoming deadlines.
Dishwasher water sloshing;
Dogs are out for the count...
storm squalls slam
their burdens
against siding and roof -
little respite tonight.
Restless, unfocused,
waiting with pen in hand.


Facing Blank Mat Board - Poetry 2009

Computer crashing
emphasized the amount of time
spent updating, emailing, blogging...

Visual euphoria!
Rampant creation of collages
occupies my time -
temporarily lost my words
to tangible tactile representations
on blank mat board
instead of blank notebook.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Pebble -- Poetry 2009

Winds up dislodging the last leaves
clinging to branch and twig...
evergreen needles release
and sail far from their base.
Out the door into a solid mist
hanging in the air... soaking
fur, clothing, and sneakers thoroughly.
Disintegrated detritus squishes
underfoot along sidewalk, road
shoulder or gravel park path.
Pest pebble wanders aimlessly
in my sneaker; jab... shift - jab...
shift... jab with every step.
Mist turns serious soaking
park bench or rock... jab... shift;
no dry place to remove the rotating
irritant... Wind gusts; heavy showers;
hitchhiking pebble poking; wet socks;
temporary discomfort for a short walk.



Drops of thought
drip down the drain
to be sanitized
by city sewage system.
Almost pure they flow
into Puget Sound
preserved in brine.

EMM 10/29/09

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Storm Front -- Poetry 2009

Half moon reflects strong light…
Moonbeam picket fence shimmers
across the woodland path.
Aspen trunks appear brushed
with iridescent silver.
A massive cloud bank pushes
forward a delicate skim of moisture
glazing the ultramarine sky.
The hard frontal edge races
to submerge the yin yang orb.
Moon’s halo engorges to double
its size within the time it takes
to complete our circuitous route.


Grandmother’s House on East Street -- Poetry 2009

Weekends found her small house pleasantly cluttered with family;
brothers, sisters, and in-laws gathered tightly around the kitchen table.
Tea kettle whistled; Woolworth 5 & dime white cups clattered on saucers;
weeks events unfolded laced with empathy, laughter and commiseration.
For the cousins… board games prevailed during inclement winter weather;
Spring and fall we were chased outside to leave the adults conversation.
Older cousins supposedly supervised the youngest… leading us astray
far from the house; they’d run off; leaving us to our own devices.
One time their dead eye aim - flinging mud balls from the brook –
trapped us on the upper hill for an hour; clustered flat on stomachs,
we had to wait them out without attempting to return the wads of mud.
Tea cups cleared to sink counter, milk to the fridge, reduced price A & P
pound cake back in the bread box, conversation ebbed - the night sped on.
“Time to go home” was our homing device; the light pouring from the open
back door was our beacon as deeper dusk settled over wood and field.
Older cousins checked in by the time we straggled through brambles,
overgrown pasture, finally crossing the demarcation line – the brook.
Safety found in our parent’s cars; a chorus of farewells resounded as car
doors slammed shut; engines came to life… headlights guided us home.
Carried from car to bed, cousin adventures occupied night dreams.

Wind Walk -- Poetry 2009

Wind clattered through branches;
A thousand pan flutes playing off key.
Exposed hands and face stung
from winds fierce kiss;
Breaths vapor ripped from nostrils.
Convocation of wind and cold
energized every cell of my being.
Corgis pranced with excitement.
String less leaf kites bombarded us
as gusts stripped branches bare.
Half moon and stars clearly visible
through naked deciduous canopy.
Dry leaves rustled and tumbled
ahead of us; wet leaves mashed
underfoot into the soggy path …
Accompaniments to the full throated
wind-whipped song of fall.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tinnitus -- Poetry 2009

Snug in bed,
ears ring so loudly
sleeping is impossible…
Distracted by pitch
and constant whine,
my eyes drift
beyond walls;
Waiting for inspiration,
thinking is impossible.
Poised for action, pen
rests on blank page
spawning an ink glob;
a miniature Rorschach
that defies perception.
words fail appearance.
EMM 10/23/2009

Delicatessen -- Poetry 2009

Slick Leaves
soaked by deluges
clump together
floated by run off.
Too heavy to move
in the wind, decay begins.
Chlorophyll long gone…
Yellow leaves diminish
to earth browns.
An earth worms
before winter’s freeze.


Midnight Walk -- Poetry 2009

Un-grouted mosaic
clouds overlay
the night sky.
Allowing chance views
of an occasional star.
Strung out between
cracks these random
light bits give no clue
or link to constellations.
Appreciative to be
of compass or sextant
for a midnight walk.

EMM 10/23/2009

Tires Whirl

Tires whirl heavy spray
from torrential downpour;
Four lanes of traffic
hydroplane on rainbows.
Burst of sunlight…
prisms rise in the air
encompassing vehicles
racing somewhere at top speed…
Sky rainbow touches
down amongst concrete ribbons
of I-5 both North and South.
Impossible to GPS,
It’s illusive location;
no one slowed
or bothered to try their luck.
Osmosis of riding rainbows
warm and dry sufficed.

EMM 10/23/2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Minding -- Poetry 2009

Minding my own business with simple
daily tasks of checking email,
updating website and poetry blog -
Abrupt demoralization descended-
The weight of my universe
convulsed stopping thought.
My body ached with emptiness.
A weariness and depression
stuck to me; clinging to this web,
I floundered in deep despair
unable to fathom the loss of heart.
With the advent of several tears rolling
down my cheek, a sigh escaped my lips
reminding me of the high pitched whine
of a web trapped insect fighting to be free.
Within a breath or two, hopelessness
reversed leaving puzzlement in its wake.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Sultry -- Poetry 2009

Sultry… this night air is positively sultry.
The wind direction must have changed
rotating the storm in from the south.
So humid that moisture mist floats
ten feet off the ground; miniature fog
drifts around houses in ghost fashion.
Drizzle starts - sounding like teakettle steam
building to a crescendo soaking my sweatshirt.
Tree branches and evergreen bough provide
cover over sidewalks coated in fallen leaves.
Tapering off, the drips begin… every surface
relinquishes to gravity the accumulated water.
A rich rhythm full of complex repetition and tone
resounds in the night; our soggy steps a steady
backbeat; intermittent traffic blends white noise
into the surround sound performance.

Denied Night Magic -- Poetry 2009

Denied night magic…
no stardust or moonbeams.
Constellation form and pattern
lost to the naked eye.
Cloud masses defy revelation.
North Star or brightest full moon
can’t blast though Pacific Northwest
layers of winter storm stratus…
dark and dreary even during night,
the squalls sweep in from ocean
loaded with moisture for deluge.
Under fluorescent glow of randomly
placed plastic ceiling stars, I wait
for a spellbinding spring night sky.


Tidying -- Poetry 2009

Pulled into a tidying warp,
I sort papers, move art supplies,
clear away mounds of clutter.
Fall descends shortening daylight;
Mid October brings the first winter
storms pounding day and night.
Horizontal rain smacks windows;
Time to hunker down – warm and dry –
Creativity expands; productivity thrives
despite leaden light from metal gray skies.


Sifting -- Poetry 2009

Sifting… shifting in night’s quiet.
Ink pen flows mimicking a stick
racing deeply through dry sand.
Inner windscreen words relinquished,
captured before disconnection
by elements or time.
Semi permanent black ink

adheres to blank pages...
longhand immersed into cotton fiber
reveal a soul’s reflection.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Alarm Clock -- Poetry 2009

Disturbing alarm clock beeps jolting me,
extinguishing dream world voyages.
Dim light seeping through the curtain
heralds the overcast sky oozing moisture.
Reluctant to abandon warmth infused
covers for encasement with day skin…
I hoard the comfort as long as possible
avoiding the inevitable layers of subterfuge.


Night Shivers -- Poetry 2009

Middle of the night shivers wake
me out of fathomless dream depths…
a one-of-a-kind chill – deep prolonged.
The private world of dreams,
a sanctuary from reality, invaded
by shuddering muscle spasms.
Awake, I wait willing my body
to relax despite clocks glow of 3am.
Somewhere between wakefulness
and full sleep, I float through a log
jam of thought – day dreaming –
sleeping a life away when awake.
Not really alive nor certifiably dead
but detached between realities.


Passion -- Poetry 2009

If you have passion why not dream…
but what if the dreams are all you have.
First I wanted to be a nurse like my Aunt
Beth - independent women for her time;
she bucked traditional role of homemaker,
marrying my uncle later in life... scandalously
older than him, they moved to San Diego;
a mentor removed from my proximity.

Declining the idea of oceanographer or veterinarian…
too big a financial investment to follow my true passion.
Glorified by TV moms, religion and exemplified by family,
a lifetime marriage culminating in a golden anniversary.
Typical by product of the 50’s, I only wanted marriage:
a happy homemaker, gardening and children.
My twist to this model life – a mini farm -
growing herbs, raising goats and a farm stand.

My oldest Aunt Chris dabbled in the arts.
recognizing untapped ability in her niece,
she encouraged me to pursue being an art teacher;
mom agreed as nursing and teaching were
solid choices for a women even in the early 60’s.
Shifted dream was to teach a few years, marry
and begin that happy family ever after.

Depression clung long after the dissolution
of marriage – divorce ended the happy ever after.
I learned the lesson that:
Life events can wear away the passion…
Life events can distract from a chosen purpose…
Life events can incinerate goals…
Dreams may be all you have.


Curse or Blessing -- Poetry 2009

An invocation, an invitation to magic…
My mind shifts whenever I enter my art studio -
what will happen if or why not try this.
Experimentation, ignoring rules, playing,
pushing technique and materials to their limit…
creativity is an unusual gift.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hands Crusted with Paint

Globs of sage tinted primer adhere in nonconformist
patterns to my hands; more than green thumbs
from painting my neighbor’s house exterior.
Absorbed in our individual tasks…
a spider colleague expanded a ladder segment web.
Dangling trapeze style as I repositioned the ladder;
swinging to and fro until set in place it would begin again.
Sun cast shadow of a spinner at work making a web;
My brush diligently applies a protective coat to siding.
Side by side a fall afternoon spent with a silent companion.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stargazing -- Poetry 2009

Waning moon ascends behind evergreens…
a halo extending into the cobalt sky.
Most of the world at rest while I inexplicably
propel myself through a habitual night venture.
Majesty of the night condenses solitude;
Lacking colors of day - reduced to black and white.
Routine progress interjected with past images.
Sifting through memories, pin pricks of starlight
or moonbeams give faint illumination to clarify
the random storage of long dormant events.
Reverie curtailed … stooping to retrieve dog
droppings enveloped in flashlights beam,
thoughts radically shift to plastic bag in hand.


Monday, October 5, 2009

How Simple -- Poetry 2009

How simple - so obvious
why I generate a consistent
mile concentric course:
Less distraction and quiet at night.
Muted sound enveloped in darkness
accomplishes moving meditation.
In and out of shadow, I wend
through fundamental thoughts:
dry, fog, or rainfall;
summer heat or winter chill;
with or without moon or stars.


Cildhood Beliefs -- Poetry 2009

"After one has abandoned a belief in god,
poetry is that essence which takes its place
as life's redemption." From Opus Posthumous
by Wallace Stevens, born in Reading, Pennsylvania (1879).

Childhood beliefs - including religious indoctrination -
remain behind closed doors in my mind along
with a jumbled collection - more useless information –
stuffed into a closet that occasionally threatens to burst…
Candace was her name – she was my very best friend
in Sunday School… she had cerebral palsy or something.
Twisted body, crutches, leg braces - her effervescent
smile touched me – we had a special bond.
Screaming No! No! No! When told she had died…
I cried hysterically in that dingy dusty classroom
surrounded by posters representing traditional Jesus.
At 6 years old, I abandoned belief in that God.
Oh, I continued to go to church – it was a family thing -
But I hated it and stayed on the outside observing.
Writing and art shifted to be my life’s redemption…
During extreme stress even that was lost for a time;
Safely tucked in pockets of my mind to be retrieved
when working my way back to the light through
word and image.


Bathed in Moonlight -- Poetry 2009

Bathed in moonlight, the Corgis
pad along in tandem their russet
coats crusted with moonbeams.
Tart night air nips at hands and face;
Steam locomotive puffs of breath
burst visible with steady rhythm.
Increasing pace, our course races
through Luna’s sterling shimmer.

EMM 10/4/2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waking from Dreams -- Poetry 2009

Tumbling around –
words dried in my mind.
I couldn’t get them to paper.
Moisture removed…
they crumbled
into bits and pieces of alphabet.
A lint trap full of potential
if I could scrabble
them back together.

EMM 10/3/2009

Fall Rains -- Poetry 2009

I prefer the dark of night for its solitude…
even so I dislike the short light days of Fall.
This season brings a very specific energy…
A natural slowing down, more observation
as the light slips away and darkness prevails.
Mid October signals the beginning of winter rains
that turn torrential by November as storms roll
turning the Pacific Northwest to shades of gray;
people dull down from summer brightness.
Liquid sounds mask normal conversations:
tires splash through puddles and hiss down streets;
a cacophony of drops and drips persists daily;
gutters gurgle carrying the excess to ground level;
winds rattle and weave through evergreens.
Reflections of other light forms dominate –
car headlights and taillights skim wet asphalt;
lamps spill light from windows across soggy lawns;
streetlights barely illuminate their designated areas;
the gray sucks the life out of frail light sources.
Concentrated city light of downtown Olympia
reflects off the almost constant cloud cover…
marking its place in the inundated universe.
Holed up with cups of tea or coffee, good books,
and indoor activities or entertainment the inhabitants
wait out the precipitation.
EMM 10/1/2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Good Read --- Poetry 2009

First rainstorms roll in to create a second
spring of sorts – plants relish rain’s onset
after summer’s extreme dryness.
My brains are in my back pocket.
So ditzy lately – forgetting simple
follow-up tasks equals disorganization:
piles of papers cover the desk and counter;
corgi hair tumbleweeds roll across the floor;
dishes stacked at angles fill the sink.
Energy rush to finish yard or outside chores
and put food up has petered out –
left me listless in the fall’s lowering light;
sunsets at 7 pm make for hibernation plans.
Allergies kick in… time to wrap in blankets
with large cups of tea and a good read.
EMM 9/30/2009

Isolation -- Poetry 2009

Isolation… the age of the internet
promotes dissociation while putting us
in contact with the world at large.
Addiction to the flickering screen
shifted from television to the PC.
No need for phone conversations
or handwritten correspondence…
just email, tweet, click on comment,
type text messages; marking – who,
what, when, where, why and how…
recognition of an existence
in this electronic based world.

Emm 9/29/2009

Stretch -- Poetry 2009

I need to stretch my legs;
roam in the wilderness…
watch the unpredictable
Mother Nature at work.
Understand that chaos
is inherent in all our lives.

Emm 9/28/2009

Clouds -- Poetry 2009

Guided by invisible shepherds, the cloud herd
of sheep ambles toward the descending moon.
Border collies keep the group close together.
Moving over treetops in a star dusted sky,
they disappear into the dark horizon.

EMM 9/27/2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Key -- Poetry 2009

Failing -
letting myself down…
Past habits
embedded so deep.
Faint light dusts
my translucent shell.
Blurring and misconstruing
Cramped and bound
I crouch…
preconceived perceptions;
for the key.

EMM 9/25/2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

If you have passion Why not dream… -- Poetry 2009

Somehow I …
strangled my dreams
with ribbons of defeat;
bound passion
with strands of disbelief.
Poisoned my mind
with critical messages.
Mired myself in ordinary,
normal, safe representations.

-- -- -- --
How much time is left …
to manifest my dreams –
to release the passion –
to censor the critic -
to rise above the mire -
to summon the courage to be unique –
to stand out from normal
How much time

EMM 9/25/2009

Working Meditation -- Poetry 2009

Repetitive Movement:
Chopping vegetables
Painting walls
Raking leaves
Walking the dogs…
Sets internal rhythm.
Soft breath accompanies
movement without effort.
Mind wanders.
State of awareness:
being without being
in a deep stream
of consciousness.

EMM 9/25/2009

Walking Earlier

Sensitive to change in light length,
the dogs wait as dusk descends.
Eyes gaze from leash to door to me…
Impatient with the extra preparation -
reflective vests, a flannel shirt,
flashlight leash, pin on flashers -
they wheedle, wiggle and whine
before blasting out the door
to catch a waxing crescent moon
winking between streaming clouds.

EMM 9/24/2009

New Base

I need a new angle on life.
A shift from soft round forms
to sharp angular shapes.
The strongest architectural
A seriously strategic focus -
the triangle…
Three points for consideration:

EMM 9/23/2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Creative Conflict and Economic Recession

My brush stopped dancing…
my heart vacant from lack.
The rue:
A numbing of my soul…
is my spiritual nature.

Piles of beautiful pieces

Fundraisers profit through

my donations.
Piles of sumi-e and collage

for homes –
lack of sales -
twisted view of monetary gains
for this special gift;
Production slowed to a trickle.
I wait for inspiration;
something to renew

EMMM 9/22/2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Raucous Winds - Poetry 2009

Winds a raucous accompaniment to our nightly walk:
Branches clack together, leaves rustle and evergreens whistle.
An actual bite to this wind… my cheeks are blasted a rosy red.
Launched leaves scurry across flashlight beams on asphalt.
Branches sway against the twilight stars to play peek-a-boo;
Streetlight shadows samba; the corgis canter side by side.
Everything vibrates with this intense gusting respiration.

EMM 9/19/2009

Shadows - Poetry 2009

“Last night, lying in bed with nothing to hold onto
but myself, I gazed at the emptiness beside me and saw there…”
an odd life lived in shadows resulting from childhood perceptions.
Locked in place by age 5, reinforced through unrecorded events,
trust dissipated and life habits were ingrained deep within psyche.
Miracles needed to undo my belief system that is not relevant….
Not what I want to express with my last years before my eyes.
Last night, lying in bed I gazed at the stars and made a wish
to hold onto hope and fill the emptiness I saw there.

EMM 9/19/2009
[“And the Cantilevered Inference Shall Hold the Day" by Michael Blumenthal, from And. © BOA Editions, 2009.]

Squalls -- Poetry 2009

Kodo drummer squalls in the night brought
restless sleep; rain broke into my dreams.
Discordant images pounding in time
to inundating water soaking window sills;
stomping forms whipped to a frenzy drooled
in anticipation of harming my recumbent form.
Morning mind groggy, body lethargic…
Suffering from insufficient REM sleep.

EMM 9/19/2009

Dark Recesses -- Poetry 2009

In the dark recesses of my mind, words float…
Sections of sentences drift in and out of being.
Block letters to script; illuminated or dull;
melted butter in color, they come into view;
Receding without connection, a chalk board
that absorbs surface scrawl. I fall back
into sleep hoping to capture their message.

EMM 9/19/2009

Friday, September 18, 2009

Night Encounter -- Poetry 2009

Into dusky woods…
Spider webs catch my face;
Twigs and dried leaves mute.
Through the mowed clearing,
we pad back onto the murky path.
A shaggy form greets the corgis -
Momentarily nose to nose…
“Molly” -
a specter’s voice directs
her walking pal to press on
leaving our way clear of webs.

EMM 9/17/2009

Exposed Garden - Poetry 2009

Exposed garden soil.
Ripped free of:
kale and turnips;
spent cucumber vines;
dehydrated squash plants;
withered tomatoes…
delegated to the compost pile.
Canning jar cabinet and freezer
full to the brim with fall’s harvest.

EMM 9/16/2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Clouds Ran Aground -- Poetry 2009

Clouds ran aground; millions of rain drops hitting
the tree canopy resonated with a prolonged sigh.
Our cloudburst umbrella - overhanging tree branches -
sheltered us from the fleeting fluid onslaught.
Negotiating the last few drops, our surroundings
transformed from monotonous to glistening scenery
under a star studded Prussian blue sky.

EMM 9/15/2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Webs - Poetry 2009

Sky perspiration coats everything…
Drizzled webs – once invisible are visible.
Anchors span distances crossing my path.
Delicate arachnid toil fails to hold me back.
Once broken, tireless web masters begin
repairs with spinnerets casting sticky traps.

EMM 9/14/2009

Scents -- Poetry 2009

Heavy perfume scents furnished by loads
of drying cloths tainted by dryer sheets
drift into the crisp night air.
The cloying odor lingers in my nostrils

long past its origin.
Relief to catch the park’s evergreen

and forest floor essence.

EMM 9/13/2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Poem - Poetry 2009

Contractions –
Powerful driven muscles propel birth.
Ebb and flow of intensity - focus on breath.

Writing -
Miniscule physical actions propel words.
Ebb and flow of energy - focus on thoughts;
Shifting to the right brain, a poem is born.

EMM 9/13/200

Words - Poetry 2009

Words torn from lips…
Trust thrashed on purpose -
This contraindication becomes a life’s purge.
Broken promises drift over a vacant continent;
Striped bare of intent and eroded to bone,
spirit is numbed in protection of lost love.

EMM 9/12/2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Achieving Strength and Voice -- Poetry 2009

Solace in walking late at night…
Each step: movement over the ground;
Blood circulates; large muscles tense and relax.

Solace in writing late at night…
Each word: movement over a page;
Thoughts circulate; fine muscles tense and relax.


Monday, September 7, 2009

Rain Walk -- Poetry 2009

Raincoat, flashlight leash, plastic poop bag…
stepping out to water dripping from everything.
Wet asphalt gleams from street lamp circles;
Puddles reflect dark clouds; moon breaks free;
the night world is coated in shimmering silver.
Moonlight and water magic pervades
our cast shadows of deepest black.

EMM 9/6/2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Behind Clouds --- Poetry 2009

Behind incoming dense clouds, the full moon rises.
Trapped the beams find weakness, a thinner layer;
piercing the sullen gray before being swallowed again.
Street lights reflect off the moisture laden layers
turning the intense grey to a macabre pale red.
This evening, dampness settles on everything;
A subdued chorus of crickets seems to anticipate rain.
Our footfalls are muffled in the heavy air; the fallen
leaves covering the path pliant under our feet;
asphalt to forest path to sidewalk, our mile completed
before the skies relieve themselves of moisture.

EMM 9/4/2009

Words -- Poetry 2009

Pen, paper and thoughts…
But my words won’t come when forced.
Painting the house, walking the dogs
or household chores become a form of meditation.
Repetitive task and movement shift my thinking…
Words appear with ease.

EMM 9/4/2009

Ocean Walk -- Poetry 2009

Shuffling to the water’s edge through soft sand,
endless sky and ocean fill my sight and mind.
My senses become engaged wading in the shallows.
Memories of past beaches invade my thoughts;
Seagulls call; cold water splashes rolled up pant legs;
waves pour forward to retreat leaving rivulet patterns.
Each breath tickles the nose with ocean scents…
Ripples reflecting sunlight create intricate designs
through the clear salt water onto mica filled sand.
Walking into the wind on hard packed sand
past sand castles, beachcombers, kites lifting in flight…
my soul sings to the rhythm of the sea.

EMM 9/3/2009

Mackerel Clouds -- Poetry 2009

Mackerel clouds speed North in an ultramarine sky.
The moist drapery encases the westward moving
full moon forming a halo ringed in amber.
Relieved of its herringbone cover, the reflected
illumination castes shadow as if sunlight;
the Corgis and my silhouettes stretch behind us
blending into the surrounding deep darkness
of the forest… linking us in this midnight hour.
EMM 9/2/2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Late August Evening - Poetry 2009

Cricket choruses sing to summer’s end;
Wasps huddle in crooks and corners.
Humming Birds descend from mountain
terrain while other birds begin to flock.
Our evening stroll takes us past gardener’s

harvesting, walkers picking berries and others
preparing their yards and vegetable patches
for transition to fall.

EMM 8/30/2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Letter - Poetry 2009

Floating like a leaf, the letter drifted to the floor;
Spilling from the surface, words became broken,
misshapen, their meaning twisting apart.
Gravity, velocity and impact scattered the remains…
Characters demolished beyond repair; illegible
smudges without structure, form or design.

EMM 8/29/09

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Habitual Loop -- Poetry 2009

Mare’s tails spread across turquoise sky
temporarily covering the rising moon.
Hide and seek ends as clouds dissipate
leaving the moon to track the setting sun.
Peachy colors brush the last wispy clouds
and slip through tree branch crevices;
dim forest needles, leaves and bark glow.
Evening advances - heat of the day fades;
Our habitual neighborhood loop is complete.

EMM 8/27/2009

1 am trip to the bathroom - Poetry 2009

Skylight full of constellation;
A star strewn night sky revealed
in a rectangular box above me.
Reemerging childhood wishes were once
cast upon these same stars –stationary or falling.
Myriad of simple desire attached to the first
star seen in the glimmering twilight.
Myriad of requests following falling stars silently
streaming through the inky atmosphere.
Myriad of aspirations trailing after long
tailed comets moving through space.
I fervently desire the magic wonder
that has temporarily escaped me.
I request release of childhood imagination that
Is held captive by worry…
I long to catch the aspirations linked to Haley’s
tail to celebrate life’s mystery.


Overdrive - Poetry 2009

Mentally visualizing chores and how to do them…
that eternal/infernal “to-do-list” puts my mind into
overdrive – sleep eludes me once again.
Summer’s drawing to a close; earth spinning
toward it’s seasonal change to fall invigorates me.
Neglect of house and yard due to illness is
passing; organization and repair reflect caring,
return to health, and now a choice to clean or not…


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Amber Moon Poetry 2009

Appearing to rest in fir tree tips
the amber thumbnail moon
casts no light on the forest path.
Plunging into the darkness,
memory serves us well…
we weave around sentinel trunks,
flowing fern fronds, and sticky webs.
Leaves crunch and dogs snuffle
announcing our ritual evening walk
with or without moon or stars.

EMM 8/25/2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Putting Food Up Poetry 2009

Blank mind faces a blank page…
Empty of thoughts worth writing down,
I return to making blackberry jam;
the cucumbers are salted for pickles;
canning jars are sterilized and ready to fill.
Shorter days prompt my need to “put food up”;
a fall task for sustenance instilled by my parents…
provisions for winter stored in root bin, shelves
of jars and crocks stored in the cool cellar.

EMM 8/23/09

Creativity Poetry 2009

Washed away;
Swept out to sea…
Creativity is stranded
out of reach on a sand spit;
I haven’t the heart or strength
to retrieve it.
My spirit is dormant;
My soul laments.

EMM 8/23/09

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Turn to Fall Poetry 2009

Shorter daylight marks the turn to fall.
Cooler temperatures clear the atmosphere…
The majestic stars appear closer to earth.
I take in the night mindful of the constellations
shift before the winter storms turn skies
gray with constant drizzle that impact visibility.

EMM 8/22/09

Back to the Berry Patch - Poetry 2009

Standing on dried grass
afternoon sun beating down,
I lean into the canes avoiding
spider webs, bees and thorns.
I gather berries…
primitive urge satisfied.

EMM 8/22/2009

Poetry 2009 Closer Tonight

Stars seem closer tonight…
Brushing treetops with silver
from light years away.
Burnt out eons before my life began,
they gaze out from an indigo blanket
illuminating my midnight walk.

EMM 8/21/09

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Poetry 2009 Visit

The house is too quiet…
Order has been restored from excessive visit clutter:
Suitcases, travel bags, back packs, ice chest and more
tucked into your car are traveling homeward to Oakland.
Beds changed, laundry washed, dishes done, toys, books
and more are put away for future visits – this mornings
cleaning has removed your presence – as if there was
no visit. Forgotten items are in a pile to be mailed…
Back to email conversations and blog entries.

EMM 9/16/2009

Poetry 2009 Leaves

Fallen leaves litter the woodland path.
Each day more layer the route fading from sun
yellow to raw umber… turning from flexible
to brittle misshapen forms that crunch under foot
breaking them down to refurbish forest soil.
Jagged edges resemble a thousand piece puzzle
designed with confusing irregular connections.
I mentally envision assembling them... interlocking
a quilt of earth tones laced with evergreen needles.
I leave the undecipherable pattern at my feet
to the heavy rains of the nearing Pacific Northwest winter.

EMM 8/15/09

Poetry 2009 Berry Season

Passing backs as I drive along –
Children to adults bending, turning, twisting…
reaching into blackberry patches along side streets.
Welcome to August in the Pacific Northwest –
Hands stained purple… arms and legs scratched
in an effort to harvest from relentless spreading canes.
Some bring implements of destruction…
Long handle pruners, hand nippers, and heavy gloves.
Some wear protective layers of clothing...
Long sleeve shirts, heavy jeans, boots and hats.
Some carry buckets or containers of various sizes
to rest on the ground or to hang around the neck;
filled to capacity with the sweet Blackberry harvest,
they head home nursing thorn wounds and purple stains.

EMM 8/13/09

Friday, August 14, 2009

Poetry 2009 Summer Downpour

Pounding on skylights, roof and ground
the torrential rain made visibility impossible.
Solid sheets of grey were all encompassing;
Thousands of drops per minute drumming
to earth drowned out all normal sounds.
Spilling over gutters, the cascade flowed off roofs
sweeping leaves, pine needles and small branches
in flash flood fashion down the slightest incline.
Patterns of debris covered driveways and streets
like low tide flotsam and jetsam at the sea shore.
Running water sounds complemented steady dripping.
Twilight reflected off natural and man made objects
giving them an unnatural sheen; highly polished
leaves, branches and grass shimmered silver
in standing puddles; surface water continued to flow,
drop into and gurgle through storm drains.
The smell of damp soil – refreshed from drought –
filled the moisture laden air afterwards.

EMM 8/13/2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Poetry 2009 Blackberries

Blackberries glisten in the evening drizzle;
Dim light from the overcast sky reflects
onto the canes and leaves that twist to hide
their treasure within a barricade of thorns…
the berries protection of gleaming red barbs
catch at clothing, skin, hair or fur alike.
Reaching between the tapered hooks, I gently
pull at the ripe fruit hanging like grapes; intent
on my quota, the purple juice stains my fingers.
Nimble Chick-a-Dees and Song Sparrows navigate
the inner defenses to snag the plumpest offerings.
Chatting their voices drift out from the depths
of the berry patch until rain’s pitter patter intensifies
causing us to head for dryer perches for the night;
Bellies and bucket filled with a sweet tasting harvest.

EMM 8/10/2009

Friday, August 7, 2009

Poetry 2009 Apricot Moon

An apricot moon is rising in the syrup of a summer’s night haze.
Panting dogs, tags jingling, keep a steady pace; nails
clicking on asphalt add another voice to our cadence.
The dirt path to the woods mutes the dog’s paws; field crickets
fall silent at our passing… the cool of the evergreen canopy
is a welcome relief from this day’s scorching temperatures.
Winding through thick trunks, deciduous leaves litter the path;
crunching beneath paws or feet, breathes punctuate our strides.
Pausing only while the dogs mark the trail, our orbit through
the woodland path ends; we are homeward bound – inching
through a cloudless sky, moon leaves the earth’s haze behind.

EMM 8/7/2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Poetry 2009 Moon Halo

An aura rises in an indigo blue sky.
Chakra colors gird the nimbus’s rim;
An intense white filling touches the orb.
Expanding moon’s circumference, the stars
appear dim in relation to the unusual cloak.
I imagine Goddess Diana on a twilight
hunt illuminated by streaming moonbeams;
Scent of evergreen pervading the evening air;
A slight breeze moving through field and wood
sweeping away the heat of a summer’s day.

EMM 8/3/2009

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Poetry 2009 Shadow Dancing

Bright noon light flooded the hallway sending
my long shadow dancing on the wall and floor
behind me as I stretched from side to side.
Cloned in multiples, varying in shades of gray,
we moved in unison past framed photos of relatives
that I brushed free of a week’s accumulated dust.
Looking into the past from the present, my shadow
penetrated the protecting glass to join the images
briefly encircling them with my presence.

EMM 8/2/2009

Poetry 2009 Stars Glow

Stars randomly placed on my ceiling glow
an eerie luminescent green in the night.
Their power is gleaned from incandescence.
Piercing the dark until spent, the mechanical
five pointed shapes mimic the Milky Way.
Scattered they remain static through the seasons.
Unlucky constellations, they charge and discharge
their stored light energy from a bedroom lamp.

EMM 8/2/2009

Poetry 2009 Thinking

Thinking too much to sink into sleep;
Random images flash past my internal
viewing screen… little video clips.
Nothing important, no earth shattering
revelations… just inconsequential bits
and pieces of the day consciously floating;
almost dreaming with my eyes wide open.
Images running differentiate my days of trying
to get life’s weight off my aging shoulders.
EMM 8/2/09

Poetry 2009 Nightly Walk

Dogs raise the call as we walk our nightly route.
Passing mini encampments, the quiet jingle
of dog tags and an occasional scuff of my sneaker
sends off a new round of alert from each house.
The Corgis pull harder on their leashes rising
to the challenge; their breath explodes in bursts
as they strain against their leads and pull me along.
Beneath the star studded sky we amble in cool
refreshing air punctuated by staccato yelps.

EMM 8/1/2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Poetry 2009 Something to Dream About

A crescent moon dances in evening’s twilight sky;
The setting sun tints clouds apricot while moon beams
slide through evergreen branches marking the assent.
Crows fly to roost; their raucous calls dim in the distance.
Day shifting to night… the warm glow from lamps slip
from houses creating rectangular patches on lawns
and flickering television sets blink a Morse code.
Increasing darkness slows the rhythm of daily tasks;
stars released from the sun’s overbearing presence
appear in the indigo atmosphere as they have since
ancient times – myth and legend surround them.
Something to dream about…

EMM 7/31/2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Poetry 2009 Synergy


Pencil point dulls from racing across a page
keeping up with my thoughts…
Scribbled words captured to physical form before
escaping the process; an endurance marathon
between synapse and hand; thought and movement;
reflection and response… stream of conscious writing -
a synergy of mind, heart and soul.

EMM 7/31/2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Poetry 2009 Prism

Light rays spin uncontrollably across the room.
Miniature prisms animated by air currents
hitting the sun catcher hung from the valance.
Confined to an indoor existence, radiant fragments
mimic rainbows and long for the sky.

EMM 7/29/2009

Poetry 2009 Sigh

Feel the sigh around me – radiating outward –
It dampens my aura with moist breath…
The automatic intake/outtake – the simple act
of breathing brings disruptive moisture that clings
to my body on this sultry summer’s night.
The fan does nothing but move thickened
air over my recumbent form.
Sweat soaked bedding and nightgown
steadily increase this night’s discomfort.
Unable to sleep, thoughts become jumbled
waiting for relief from July’s oppressive heat.


Poetry 2009 Night Journey

Floating among the stars;
Bumping into threads of light;
Drifting through the dark night…
Pin pricks from ancient nebula lead me on.
Cushioned in ambiguous fluid of dreams,
I head toward morning with a handful
of words gathered from midnight to dawn.
They stray across the blank page
coming to rest with first light.

EMMM 7/28/09

Poetry 2009 July

A July summer’s day of scorching
temperatures brings an equally hot night…
The fan’s white noise drowns out nocturnal sounds;
Sweltering heat slows thoughts to a trickle.
The whirr of the blades cutting through the thick
air bring dreams dusted with magic.
Dreams intertwined with childhood memories:
Catching fireflies to illuminate my bedroom at night;
Midnight canoe rides circling the flat glass surface of the lake;
The roll of bass near the shore as they rose to pull down a moth;
The clicking sound of bats dancing across a diamond studded sky.
Nights so still, so quiet you could hear the air move under their wings.
Scents of water, pine, flowers clung to clothing and hair.
Nights dusted with magic…

EMM 7/27/09

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Poetry 2009 Restless

Restless again, dreams toss me
from a sound sleep. Shadows
seep within the midnight hour;
A tight circle of light brings
quiet comfort in this dark time.
Pulling the blankets tight, the shades
recede into gloom escaping illumination.

EMM 7/24/2009
1st draft 6/2008

Poetry 2009 Lion's Mane

Lion’s Mane

Dry hair frames my face -
barbed wire gone mad…
Former curls now straight;
A lion’s mane of frizz
once thick and rich colored
changed to salt and pepper;
this lion’s heart beats true.

EMM 7/23/09
11/12/08 first draft

Poetry 2009 Distortions


Past perceptions bind me… blind me.
Myopic vision - a fish bowl filled with fluid
dreams interspersed with real time events.
Suspended… submerged in consciousness
looking out through a thick layer of glass;
protection or self imposed confinement in
water, my element… all ways in this
saturated kingdom are lost in distortions.

EMM 7/23/2009
gleaned from morning pages 10/2008

Poetry 2009 Words on my Lips

I woke up with words on my lips…
turning to morning mumbles;
Birds sang their psalm to the light.
Star dusted hair faded as moonbeams
completed a final waltz across sleep
drenched features coated with dreams.
Earth’s rotation spun the celestial murmurs
into the twilight; phrases lost to sunrise.

7/22/2009 EMM

Poetry 2009 Dream Time

Dream Time

In shades of gray, elusive shadows appear;
Strange caricatures of past loved ones…
Their uneasy presence makes no sense.
Out of sequence from real time events,
I argue with my mother, “You died first.”
“No I didn’t.. Your father did.”
Turning to dust at day break, vague
memories shadow my thoughts.

7/4/08 revised 9/17/09

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Poetry 1998-2007 Childhood

Childhood seems a million light years
from this moment.
My big girl bedroom was robin egg blue with
white woodwork.
My closet seemed immense to me at age four;
Plenty of room for my cowboy friend and his horse…
linoleum protected the hardwood floors from horse
accidents or hoof marks.
Every bedtime I would walk him to the door a
nd wish him a good night.
Could he still be in my bedroom closet?
I’m three thousand miles from my childhood home;
Mentally I can visualize numerous events from that time.
I’m not sure when I saw him last…
Alone - he might be waiting for my return.


Poetry 1998-2007 Frozen

Frozen beneath ice and snow; chilled to non-productivity,
the garden waits for the sun to begin its longer day cycle.
Cold dark days of winter become a mini hibernation.
Distance to the spring equinox from the winter solstice
weighs heavily as I work to clear the driveway.
The night sky is immense - mute stars pop out of the inky black;
steady streams of light thread earthward.
Frustration spills out as I shovel and sand the recent batch of frozen crystals.
The snow shovel scraps through layers of white to reveal the black asphalt;
Lines of black marks cross the length and width created in a steady rhythm.
Calligraphy, black on white, created by swift movements
that shift and change the meaning.
Long distant Native American runners had to find
the North Star to guide them on their way,
I look to it to lead me to spring.

Emm 2/23/99

Poetry 1998-2007 Increments


Make it through the day - sink into the night.
The stars and moon, my second treasures
scatter across the sky just out of reach.
Even when I stretch on my tip toes, my frame
isn’t tall enough to pull down one star
or grasp comets strands whispering in their orbits.
I want to weave the tails together;
hitch a ride through silent softness.
Invisible to the ones below, I would ride
the night until the first rays of morning
flip night to day engulfing me in sunshine warmth
and chasing the chill from my soul.
Soaked with stardust and filled with sunlight,
no longer can I divide myself into dark or light.


Poetry 2009 The Sky

The sky is falling into my lap:
light and dark – bits of brilliance,
shades of blue to black, disintegrate.
Slipping through my fingers,
the grit streams onto the floor.
Extinguished stars, brittle dust of ages,
drift like snow driven by fierce winter winds.
Circling within the room - a hurricane’s eye,
the immense deposit of silvery ash
obscures the remaining light.

EMM 7/6/2009

Poetry 2009 Taking Turns

Taking turns – exchanging words of sorrow –
Written in darkness or light these emotion filled pages
reach out across a generation, time and place...
How is it that my son has the same sorrows as I do?
His words express his deep longing for connection;
for a relationship filled with reassurance of touch and voice;
for a respite from life’s interminable challenges.
Are we tapping into world thought? – the universal
reality that people of any race, religion, or place
at any given time are utterly alone with their sorrows.
Facing life’s travails without loving support;
Struggling against the immensity of turmoil;
Loosing their sense of hope, despair engulfs them.
Weighed down in stature, physically weary,
convulsed with tears, mind numb with resignation …
they expire longing for relief, peace, health, love.
Souls bereft of solace – a discordant death song
embeds the collective consciousness with life’s agony.

EMM 7/13/2009

Poetry 2009 Surreal Night Visions

Surreal Night Visions

Some nights I don’t achieve lift off…
a sound sleep with normal dreams.
Some nights are warped and twisted
causing my heart to race – wildly beating
the sound of blood pounds in my ears.
My body moves erratically –
covers rumple entangling my limbs
while moans escape my lips.
I lurch awake nightgown drenched in sweat;
my breath ragged – bizarre images flash
in my mind before dissolving into nocturnal ether.
There in infernal darkness – no comfort of touch;
no soothing voice – I watch the clock.
Second by second flip across the digital screen
while I elude these surreal night visions.
Some nights I am drained and weary.

EMM 7/10/2009

Poetry 2009 My Pocket

My Pocket

What’s in my pocket became clearer;
Carried as long as I can remember
from one pocket to another:
blue jeans to cords, wool skirt to cotton jumper,
summer shorts to warmer winter pants…
Neither a burden nor regret – a joy or sorrow.
Translucent - part of my being –
I am who I am… as simple as that.

EMM 6/21/09

Poetry 2009 Rare Occurance

I wailed today – a rare occurrence.
Tears, blurred vision, emotional pain…
An all encompassing racking pain
filled my body exploding into my cracked voice,
a cascade of hot tears seared my cheeks
splashing onto the counter, gulping breaths,
muscles shaking a release and the dogs
came to lean against my legs through the outburst.
Their puzzled faces looked up for direction;
what command was this unusual sound?
Nothing directly precipitated this discharge…
Surprised at the intensity and actual mass of tears,
I pulled myself to center only to have a second
eruption stronger than the first out pouring.
Holding onto the counter, the upheaval continued
the deliverance of emotional fireworks long dormant.
One sob after another lit the atmosphere filling
the space with sound while drowning out everything else.
Confusion blotted my face, rasping breath slowed
returning to normal and the dogs wandered off.
Finishing the dishes, water soothed the raw edges
brought about by a rare occurrence –
today I wept.

EMM 6/221/09

Poetry 2009 Give up the Struggle

Give Up the Struggle

Things are clearer in one sense…
I’m more in focus than I have been in months.
Facing life with no denial -
some things you just can’t change:
You are who you are – whether family history,
life experience, or childhood environment –
whatever helped mold your personality,
your outlook, your thinking process, et all.
Integrated into every cell of your being,
it would take a miracle to change who you are;
how you respond to life’s challenges;
how you treat yourself or even how that internal
critic convolutes your impressions of events.
I give up the struggle to make a miraculous change.

Some days -
I am a frustrated soul:
out of time, place and connection.
I am who I am…
I have been a victim and find safety as an introvert;
not trusting my own judgment, I watch from a distance.
I am alone, sometimes lonely, but wary of being hurt.
I am who I am…
I possess a creative spirit: manifesting in sumi-e,
collage, metalwork and words.
I am sensitive to the environment, to others in pain
whether creature or human.
I am a mentor:
joyously sharing my talents.
I am a gardener…
my fingers caress the soil,
I am a nurturer…
but must avoid rescuing souls at my expense.
I am a dreamer…
who holds hope gently not to crush its fragile nature.

EMM 6/21/09

Poetry 2009 Drifting

Drifting on a sea of sorrows,
I’m too tired to dip the oars
in the fluid mirrored surface.
Hot sun reflections sear my mind.
Eyes close against this assault;
Blinding light pierces my sealed lids.
No breeze, no clouds, no respite:
Dehydrated thoughts shimmer;
A freakish mirage distorted dream.

EMM 7/6/09

Poetry 2009 Mini Events of Living

Mini Events of Living

Did I say I wish I had died…
How is that for a statement?
Surgery can be tricky –
an unexpected end to your journey.
Intolerant – the constant state of struggle
was just getting unbelievably intolerant.
Frustrated beyond belief, I desired escape…
Continual stress wears you down
into a spiral of exhaustion; induces
tunnel vision which inspires neglect
of the examination of simple things:
a pin head sized spider, seed germination,
beauty of nature, extremes of weather,
the tenacity of living things to survive.

EMM 6/21/09

Poetry 2009 Opposites


You are such a powerful force:
confident, competent… self assured.
Your grace moves you through your
life with passion and self expression.
Success is evident in your accomplishments;
Perseverance and clear sight has paid off.

I am easily diminished; this internal self critic
eats away my confidence with ease;
Repeating phrases - this discordant vibration
fills my mind with negativities.
You’ll never do this or that …
Why do I accept this repetition as reality?

EMM 6/21/2009

Poetry 2009 Words

Words fall into my dreams –
sharp mirror shards
reflecting bits of the day
into night’s darkest corners.
Words shifting into visions
dancing through levels of REM;
some leave a trace, scattered,
jumbled and out of context when
summoned with a wide-awake mind.
Ghosts of reality out of sequence;
random puzzle pieces with
no interlocking corners;
glimpses into past or present
requiring diligence to record
once dreamt; vaporous –
these illusive images fade
often leaving nothing to grasp.

6/8/2009 2nd draft EMM

Poetry 2009 Still


Still out of focus, I realized the other day
that it wasn't all about the physical surgery
but the emotional and mental challenge.
Worry about negative possibilities,
worry about paying bills, the struggle to exist...
Both my mother and grandmother
died around the Christmas holidays -
was I going to go too?
Was I finished with this journey?
Scattered spirit slowly reforms,
perseveres against the wasteful "what ifs",
physically strength returns, discomfort diminishes,
mentally my perspective clears,
and I begin again to create...
thankful to the Universe.

EMM 3/7/09

Poetry 2009 Observations


Life is struggle.
Beginning to end -
no easy way through it.
Circular in nature –
relative to circumstances,
experience, training, goals,
expectations and assumptions.


Loneliness creeps…
encompassing all thoughts.
Nor’easter waves crashing
over and over again
onto a gravel beach
scouring a body already
numb from emotional pain.


Circles in the air, circles in the water.
Winds clear constricted fear;
Buffeting thoughts, life skips forward
heeling against the natural force.
Slicing through negative patterns,
I grasp the time left and go
for a ride instead of being safe.

reworked general notes from 9/12/2008

Poetry 2009 Empty


Day-dreams are safe…
Guaranteed risk free -
No pain – emotional or physical.
Time shudders past my pseudo reality.
I imagine a happier life:
peace of mind, body and soul:
nurtured and protected.
Delusions of perfection;
isolated in my desire,
I withdraw empty but safe
but not without pain.

2nd draft 3/17/09

Poetry 2009 My Pen

My pen hangs poised over the paper

My thoughts rush,
colliding, careening.
Where to start?
Where to end?
Why haven’t I a clue?
I am encompassed
in a woman’s body;
I know nothing about.

I neglect, ignore,
disrespect it…
or am I just afraid.
Why disheveled?
Worn out cloths;
Being overweight-
repeal any eye appeal.

Shadows skim the surface
Temporarily revealed…
A chronic victim
Neglected body,
Lack of eye contact.
Am I correct? Abuse?

EMM 3/17/2009

Poetry 2009 Direction


Which way to go,
Certainly not backwards
Weighed down by memory.
One purpose – to survive
. to express creativity
Forward into the wind,
Meet the force
Buffeted – whipped -
push back
Against the unseen.

Which way to go,
not backwards
Weighed down by memory.
what purpose – to just survive
or to express heart and soul.
Forward into the chaos,
Meet the force
Buffeted – whipped -
push back
Against the unseen.
Rest in focus.

Which way to go,
Move to the right…left…
Forward not backwards
Weighed down by memory.
what purpose –
to just survive in fear or to fully live.
Walk forward into the chaos,
Meet the force…
Buffeted and whipped -
push back
Against the unseen.
Resist despair with focus.


Poetry 2009 Turn Signal

Turn Signal

The sound of the turn signal
permeated my sleep.
Reaching, I grabbed for the lever…
still the soft sound continued.
Tic, Tic, Tic - like a wind up clock
marking the passage of each second.
I began to push and pull the various knobs.
A built-in cigarette lighter?
Where did that come from?
Confused, my hand continued the search as I drove.
Radio, defroster, emergency flasher…
Why won’t it turn off?
Right, Right, Right…
The signal light flashed
a static rhythm in the night.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poetry 2008 Words


Damn, these words keep running together.
Criss - crossed and scrambled…
Loops and twists of a continuous line.
This scribble of incoherence tumbles,
rolls, wanders from my pen.
Folding inward the meaningless threads
Given movement by thoughts
Are nothing but broken symbols
Desecrating a blank page.

6/4/08 EMM

Poetry 2008 Stuck


If you read my morning pages,
you’d see the same topics over and over.
So stuck in this manifestation –
I dream of escape where I am free.
Free of worry, free of the struggle –
at peace, calm and centered.
Life is struggle but I need a break.
I need; what I need…
What do I need that I don’t inherently already
know how to do, say or be?
Stuck in my own box, narrow and confining
I desire to be released.
But do I really? Isn’t it safe to be
stuck in what is known?
I made this mess, I created these circumstances
or at least accepted them at face value.
Freedom, I actually do have the freedom of choice
but fears erode what gains I make.
What makes one person succeed and another falters
and breaks even when the goal in site.
Sitting quietly, the flute music sings
a soul, pure and open.
My spirit is free.

Emm 12/22/08

Poetry 2008 Morning Page Thoughts

The page crawls with scrawl
A few lines left blank.
If I write bigger,
I will be finished.

Writing is so weird…
Little bits of line for letters
Letters form words
Words to sentences that complete thoughts
An odd eye brain hand connection
Do you see the words on the page and copy them
Or are they on a screen in your head?
Bits of this and that appear on the page
Expressing emotions or creating images
Line by line words form from my pen.

Given sound - words hurtle forward;
Not always loving or nurturing.
You know those words that cut to the quick.
We’ve all said them venting frustration.
If accepted as truth,
can you purge these barbs or do they sit and fester?
The debris darkens and poisons… embed deeply.

EMM 2008

Poetry 2008 Peace


I sailed off the edge of the earth…
I wasn’t afraid.
Pulling the sail taught, I shot
off into space.
The canvass fluttered and snapped
as the plunge took effect.
The wind whistled in my ears,
My hair tossed and my stomach
lurched against gravity’s pull.
Exhilarated, I held fast to the rudder
as if I could control the direction of my fall.
My craft thrust through the impending darkness.
I breathed calmly as the speed quadrupled.
I sailed off the edge of the earth…
I was at peace.

EMM 12/22/08

Poetry 2008 Night Companions

Night Companions –

Listen – what do you hear?
The profound silence in the darkness is
broken by the sniffing of my dogs.
I like to walk late at night when others are safe within their houses;
their lights blaze out to cut the night as we pass.
The dogs pull me forward into their world of scent and acute hearing.
They pause often to mark the grass;
as neighborhood dogs have done earlier in the day.
We travel the through the night, moving along at a good pace.
Enveloped in the cold, our breath marks time in bursts of visible mist.
Hearts elevated by the rigorous movement;
I feel the strength return to my legs as we move on our nightly path.
Can you hear the soft click of nails on tar and the scuff of my
sneakers through leaves that edge the road?
An owl calls out, we stop; intent on the source, ears swivel to
hone in on the direction.
Could you hear the owl within your home with windows
and doors shut tight?
Come out into the night, move within the deepening silence…
walk with me.

EMM 12/22/08

Poetry 2008 Loom

The warp on the loom of life is sustained by love.
Guided by heddle eyes,
The shuttle glides through the shed releasing the journey.
Harnesses raise and lower –
Steadily the weft develops an account of one soul.

EMM 7/13/08 Revised 10/2/08