Friday, December 31, 2010

And Here Comes 2011 Poetry 2010

twelve months,
fifty-two weeks,
three hundred and fifty-two days,
eight thousand seven hundred and sixty hours,
five hundred twenty-six thousand and six hundred minutes,
three million, one hundred fifty-three thousand and six hundred seconds…
Ugh, not really in the mood for tonight – New Year’s Eve!
How did she measure this year?
In daylight, in moonlight, in sunrise and sunsets;
in midnight thoughts of distant smiles, struggle, love, unity...
in dark storms filled with anger, tears, fear, unrest, frustration.
2010 - Truly a blur right now, funny how that works with time
and distance deflecting memory away from trauma to exuberance.
Counting the passing of time in cups of coffee or tea…
meals home cooked, on the run or shared with friends,
people in her circle create things, make people think, make waves,
move people in a better direction or feeling a calling, volunteer.
Even so, she didn’t feel she was right where she’s supposed to be…
So sleepy… partly bored, she planned to turn in before midnight.
Lack of celebration marked her birthday and all major holidays;
Between older married friends and long lost relatives, she knew
a lot of people but without close connections – she was alone.
And here comes 2011 filled to the brim with unknown events and dreams…
three million, one hundred fifty-three thousand and six hundred seconds,
five hundred twenty-six thousand and six hundred minutes,
eight thousand seven hundred and sixty hours,
three hundred and fifty-two days,
fifty-two weeks, and
twelve months…


Precipice -- Poetry 2010

Sneaking TSH
levels rose silently
creating creeping
dysfunction symptoms:
not following through,
missed deadlines,
lack of motivation,
sitting quietly glued
to flickering screen.

Eerily unperturbed,
saturated senses
lack sense of threat;
hypothyroid manifests
insignificant subtle changes.
Balanced at the precipice,
holding her breath,
heart rate and palpitations,
too tired to catch the significance
of fuzzy mental focus…

Overdue for blood work,
insurance to be cancelled,
lab screen revelations:
medication dosage
failure to stabilize
an underactive thyroid…
now what?


Revived -- Poetry 2010

Thirty years since her last jewelry class,
spurred by visions of reversible pendants,
she stared down her discomfort
tightening the value fittings on the tanks.
Brushing the soapy water onto the seal,
she checked for leaks…
fire was her friend;
air was her friend;
oxyacetylene was even better.
Translating this mornings images to copper,
brass, silver and enamel was paramount.
Thinking the muse’s gift would corrode
if not taken seriously, she studiously
sawed the tubing, filed the edges, assembled
incongruent pieces reviving her passion
for fire, metal and enamel frit…


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spoonless -- Poetry 2010

Three quarter mattress expanse
as large as endless shore’s horizon…
gathering the covers tight –self tucking in
through long nights – spoonless.
Sleeping on her side rolled against
exclusion of a significant other;
shutting her door against cat invasion,
she preferred to sleep alone – catless.
Curled tight clutching her pillow, she
looked into distant past trying to recall
skin to skin contented cuddle contact.
Difficult to even imagine at this time in her
life, there were no tears for this loss;
beyond emotional response, she felt
sucked dry, universally empty, heartless…


Flake Factor -- Poetry 2010

factor today… high
without a slight chance of
rest; first thing in the morning, she
knew it would be an interesting day.
She wished she could hunt for meteorites;
wishing on shooting stars was not an option...
unfortunately right now she thought the wishes hunted her.
Everyone heaped their hopes on her as if she were a
magician; writing them down on tiny pieces of paper,
they entrusted their deepest desires to her… even
putting them into a top hat ; saying millions of
abracadabra until she lost her voice wouldn’t
heal them of their advancing disease.
Terminal velocity marked their days
inevitable descent from living
to deceased organism.
In the end, there is


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Time for Tea -- Poetry 2010

Holidays seem an endless attack on organization
so that I’m in the middle of everything;
trying to de-clutter the art room to locate a missing disk;
trying to complete projects hampered by my
old slow computer or lack of Photoshop skills;
trying to placate the printer’s temper tantrum
precludes a number of my incomplete;
trying to make due with the quiet of recent holidays-
the slashing of expectations was in order this year.
So I search for the illusive disk to reinstall the printer’s
stuck loopy brains – scored the pamphlet – no disk.
Recycle box swells with cast off papers reducing
the pile epidemic of save-to-look-at-later items…
then there’s the uncovered whoops-I-forgot-to-fill-
out-these-forms file… I hate forms; something about
squeezing info into micro spaces and having to
answer so many questions stymies me before I begin.
Several hours pass, supplies drift back into place,
counters and desk top clear, shredder devours,
cats sprawl filling newly open surfaces; on top of the
world it's beautiful, but there's no place to fall... time for tea.


Heavy Covers -- Poetry 2010

Layers of cotton and wool defy midnight chill
sealing it from a heavily encased body.
House temperature lowering overnight
is no match for outside dampness:
sneaking through weary siding;
stealing through inadequate windows;
seeping through under insulated walls;
creeping onto exposed features;
sinking into mountainous blanket contours.
Wool night cap holds dreams tight
until morning unravels in warmth;
furnace kicks in pushing cold back;
heavy covers dissemble releasing
meaning of dream life while body heat
escapes in the shift from night wear to day.
Quickly pulling on under garment, layers
of cotton and wool defy morning bitterness.
Nothing important…
Nothing but symbols…
Nothing connects night images to the day…


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Missing -- Poetry 2010

Barely breaking any rules, OK,
she swore a lot when no one was
within ear shot or reduced it to mumbles
but always wondered what she had missed….
a wall flower from childhood, she
preferred quiet and staying at “home”…
In collage, mixers and bars weren’t her thing:
too much noise
too much drinking
too much – what did I do last night?
Definitely not her style – watching others reel from
hangovers, sick, moaning only to do it again….

A teaspoon of mint liquor when she was 21
caused her Grandmother to burn her to a crisp –
such fierce eyes filled with disgust from a life
of temperance league thoughts… a mere teaspoon
had made her fall from her Grammy’s grace.
That Thanksgiving Day sip was burned into her memory.

Now way past those early years,
she wasn’t against alcohol –
an occasional beer,
an occasional Bailey’s or Kahlua liquor,
an occasional glass although not thrilled with wine;
she still didn’t frequent bars
preferring quiet and staying at home being creative.
Stirring Bailey’s Irish Cream into her mug of hot chocolate
she wondered what if anything she was missing…


Monday, December 27, 2010

Stitches -- Poetry 2010

Visible scar of childhood
above my right eye
skipping, tripping,
sliding on braided rug
hardwood floor express
dastardly brick hearth
forehead ripped open

faded over time
magnified by drug store glasses
tired eyes unwittingly focus
through thick lenses
smooth white line
among wrinkles and worn skin

invisible scars of childhood
harder to envision
broken trust’s torn raw edges
ultrasound row of stitches
outline jagged half healed wounds…


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Unsettled -- Poetry 2010

Words too slippery to grasp by surreal
fingers slide through her monkey mind…
road scrawl noise and hissing tires;
rain squalls buffeting the car;
speeding drivers throwing up mist;
thumping wipers barely clearing vision...
long drive did her in and she curled up.

Even a nap left her unsettled…
Dreaming of the lake, her family’s cottage,
her father hanging laundry but keys were lost.
Your mother misplaced them, we’re locked out…
searching for keys, lifting wet towels off the ground,
checking the cloths pin bag, brushing the patches
of grass revealed nothing resembling the skeleton key…

Locked out from her home base, the place she loved
most as a child and as an adult with her own children.
Sifting through dream remnants, she remembered
her Aunt Edna’s cottage soft welcoming glow –
those doors shut and locked to her as well; this
wasn’t like them - such a mean-spirited thing to do.
Shuddering, the implausible fragments dispersed…


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Family Portrait -- Poetry 2010

In our family portrait, we look pretty happy.
Trapped by holiday convention,
family members converge upon tradition:
some with trepidation;
some with gaiety and joy;
some with a mixture.
Christmas Day - the great equalizer…

In our family portrait, we look pretty normal.
Patience and understanding given freely
to strangers may be turned off for relatives;
tolerance – not support, but putting up
with various dysfunctions for 6 hours or more…
Christmas Day – trial by fire…

In our family portrait, we act like we play well together.
You wouldn't believe the crap we have to put up with:
sometimes so and so expounds on the correct religion
or another confounds you with other antiquated ideas;
your love interest is scrutinized, grilled until well done.
I am beginning to find the importance and sanity saving
powers of "no" acting like it comes naturally…
Christmas Day – stress of holiday nonsense

In our family portrait, we somehow share a bit of time.
Separating with hugs and laughter, ah, it feels good
to be back home… Fading light catches Mother Nature
decorating - the sun shining through the raindrops
on the alder trees look like tiny Christmas lights...


Empty Tree Skirt -- Poetry 2010

Now the insanity of day after Christmas sales…
wrapping paper is barely in the trash bin, torn from
a plethora of packages heaped under most trees.
Dinner is barely sucked down and dishes done…
harried store employees barely catch their breath
from last minute sales before exchange assaulted.
Can you tell me the point of all this madness?
especially the getting into debt for gifting – how is this
a spiritual expression since that was the original theme?

When my kids were little I was partially caught up in it;
their friends would list all their presents like a catechism.
Memorized by rout, the list left out clothing – a dismal gift.
Even their stockings were full to the brim with expense;
My kids mostly smiled and nodded not chiming in to out
do or out list this expansive seasonal tree treasure trove.
I’m sure they were disappointed especially as they got older
when fewer and smaller boxes contained a few expensive items.
There was never enough in my budget to go gift crazy.

Today the tree skirt was alone under my festive tree…
not one package graced the gold and cream brocade.
Shifted gift presenting to the 21st the year my mother was ill;
thankfully my Mom and kids had a little sparkle before she
passed on the 23rd... that really finished off the whole holiday.
Yes, a few new traditions sprang up but the gift giving
became optional as my father in his simple wisdom said
Save your money, I have everything I need… it seems silly
to give me gifts I don’t need and all those sales the day after –
what’s the point… being together is more important.

The last few years have found me with a slim budget;
scraping together enough for a tree was even difficult.
It’s the one tradition I want to keep; something about the
scent, sparkling ornaments, soft lights kindles that spirit
I remember as the most important symbol of short light
days, past family gatherings, festive feasts, and love…


Friday, December 24, 2010

Bruin Days -- Poetry 2010

I would make a good bear, I’m cranky with the
solemn gray weighing down the sky;
I would make a great bear stuffing my face,
putting on weight to get through the winter.
As the holidays draw near, I long for hibernation;
long to just sleep through the memories surging
to the surface via random cues: certain songs,
movies, TV sitcoms and specials, foods, decorations.

Fastest mute button pusher, I snap off the sound;
fastest channel changer, I push past celebratory images.
Darker shows catch my eye, murder and mayhem…
Anything is better than something with fake “cheery”:
all loving family members, well dressed, beautiful homes:
happy, happy, ad nauseous and everything works out.
Pass the ear plugs and Xanax please! Christmas is
almost past maybe I can skip hibernating after all…


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Flight Dreams -- Poetry 2010

Wings would be good; only in dreams can I fly…
So here I am wishing for extensions for flight
to carry me across the skies, above treetops,
sweeping along over fields, gliding over water
enjoying a bird’s eye view of mother earth.

I’d be a fair day flyer; none of that gray soggy
rain soaking trips for me; clear skies and sun
or moon and stars would find me flapping
happily exploring my corner of the world.

The feather color would have to be cobalt blue;
sneakers would suffice for foot gear – I don't plan

on treetop landings; rather normal clothing of jeans
with sweatshirt and t would round out my attire.
Of course, add sunglasses and Bo-Sox baseball hat…

Only problems I foresee are how to sleep comfortably
with folded wings and having to make adjustments
to clothing to fit properly – no air born streaking.
Might also be difficult to drive with them protruding;
Sticking out, I’d have to be careful in stores…

Would it be worth it to have the freedom of flight?
Sunbeams caress barn swallowesque plumage;
iridescence ranging black to cerulean blue glistens.
Wind whistles a sweet song; sun warms my back.
I dance with clouds or moon beams… flight dreams.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Carrots -- Poetry 2010

She gave up;
screamed uncle;
threw in the towel;
raised a white flag;
throwing clichés about,
she surveyed piles of unsold art work.

A second opinion was needed:
what to keep?
what to rework?
what to sacrifice to the shred demon?

Waiting for the next avalanche entitled:
please donate your art to our worthy cause,
she set aside a stack for those requests…
last year she donated over twenty pieces.

The critic popped up gnawing on her ear:
You suck;
you’re worthless as an artist;
you can barely give the junk away…

there was no motivation to continue;
her soul’s vision to reality was frozen.
Why make more mountains of art?

The ping of an email carrot announced the sale
of a product on her online store; braying, nibbling,
sighing, she went back to her painting –
carrots being good for her insight…


Lost Day -- Poetry 2010

This day was lost to day dreams…
gazing out her desk window stupefied:
imagining being discovered;
imagining a mentor recommending her to an agent;
imagining successful gallery exhibits and sales;
imagining a strong take-action presence…
eyes reflecting seamless gray expanse,
staring; staring at neighbor’s garage wall and roof;
staring at solid clouds from horizon to horizon.
Her ground ink sat waiting in the ink stone…
staring; staring as ink evaporated in house’s dry heat.

This year was lost to gray scenarios…
gazing over year end spreadsheets numb.
Eyes reflecting excel columns expenses,
staring; staring trying to see past the low figures;
staring at cells empty of art sales from top to bottom.
Even the instruction in take was low…
staring; staring at monthly expense totals….
imagining better cash in;
imagining less cash out;
imagining successful gallery exhibits and sale…
eyes reflecting inner expanse of possibility
slathered in a gray cloaked sun…


Monday, December 20, 2010

the love hangover -- Poetry 2010

everything is dreamy at first…
when its over the world seems greyer than grey;
the dark side of love, the longing, the anger,
the wallowing in despair, driving herself
nuts trying to find a way to be together again.

Practically an expert on overcoming
disappointment in the romance department,
she wasn’t sure if she could ever really believe
in it anymore… she almost did this time;
his energy contribution declined.
Then his silence - an insurmountable obstacle…
his method of closing down, shutting her out.

Trying to not get too jaded and just give up hope, she
knew the importance of being whole in herself first
before she truly became someone's "other half".
There was no creating Mr. Right... she felt at a loss;
he didn’t exist but she felt the need to really study her
mechanism of attraction - perhaps its better to only like…

For now she wanted to paint, sing, talk, dance, play
guitar or piano, laugh, eat, watch movies and sleep.
That is the life she wanted. Throw in some travel, good
friends, creating in her hermitess art cave works too…
Love‘s hangovers are so dangerous…


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chant: Nam Myoho Renge Kyo -- Poetry 2010

Zero expectation saved her a lot of pain;
whatever came her way was a surprise…
determination of good, bad or ugly would follow.
Assumptions, a cousin to expectation, often
tore flesh away exposing nerves to life’s lemon juice.
Somewhere between extreme worry and bliss
she opened a concentrate of dark humor to face
adversity or joy with steady breath and heart rate
preventing blood pressure spikes … imagining
the symbolic circle of beginning to end - a zero,
she would chant: Nam Myoho Renge Kyo


Disconnect -- Poetry 2010

Signing off laced in despair,
she thought why bother when
posting her soul for naught;
her words hung via binary code
unfulfilled, unacknowledged,
totally wrong time, space and place…
without commitment she lost her way;
without comradeship she was alone;
without verification her words soulless.
Sitting in front of a flickering screen,
cyber union of mind and heart
disconnected for lack of sacred presence…


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Offering -- Poetry 2010

Tended to her heart as much
as she did to her gardens…
fragile, delicate, orderly,
she kept everything safe from danger.
Seeing the toll, the aftermath on others:
unrequited love, cheating partners,
disrespect, unhappy together or apart…
the confusion of emotions positive to negative.
Observing the ebb and flow of relationships, she
was determined to keep herself safe:
keep her emotions in neutral;
keep her sanity.
Longing laced with curiosity, she kept to her promise.
She never noticed his offering;
she never noticed his eyes;
she never noticed love…


Every Corner -- Poetry 2010

Determined to celebrate her muse,
she dropped out of sight
locking herself in her art room;
meditating with brush or pen;
spreading her visions to paper –
to semi permanence…
Appreciated by few,
ignored by many,
her overflowing work was stacked
safely in notebook or closet storage
spilling hope and beauty in every
corner of her humble abode…

Her children rarely came back for visits;
their lives were full to the brim forgetting
their low start in society; they spent their
time spreading their acquired vision to a
new world of rich permanence... phone
calls even decreased over the years.
you’re mother passed yesterday
a neighbor’s voice from the past
you’ll need to contact her attorney

Gathering from across the country,
descending on their childhood home,
desperate not to be recognized,
the siblings were astonished by
the quality and quantity of their mother’s
late blooming production: poetry, short stories
collages, mixed media, oil paintings
documenting their childhood life up to the time
they scattered before the pull of distancing
themselves from poverty… from her…


Veils -- Poetry 2010

Can’t make up its mind:
sun, partly sunny, rain, gray, sun
typical changes
drifting in and out
mind changes like weather
reality or dreams

Her father, a simple hard worker,
asked the same question referring
to the children’s song lyrics:
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream…
He thought it was an odd insight.
A simple truth right out in the open,
A nursery rhyme mystique…

What if it is a dream?
Is sleep really awake
and awake is the dream?
Clouds move in and out…
veils reality, mist dreams.


Solstice Light -- Poetry 2010

Not heading for white light quite yet…
just sitting in its early morning stare
watching vendors unload food and products
at the local Farmer’s Market…
Semi clear sky, dry between showers
should bring out throngs of shoppers.
Sitting in my car waiting for 10 am bell to ring,
I make a list – fresh cranberries, honey, home
made sausage, spice mixes – a few holiday treats.
Nothing appears under our Christmas tree, gave up
on gift giving years ago – no funds for extraneous
purchases – the tree is a stretch on a shoe string budget.
Keeping it simple: no cards, no gifts, no parties…
Solstice gift of daily increments of light renews my spirit…


Rally Again -- Poetry 2010

Mercury seems to be rallying again;
wearing out one life at a time, he is
thin as solid muscles shrink; his skin
hangs loose over boney frame, fur is dull…
Always a talker, his voice is quieter;
staggering from continual naps, he
consumes a quarter of a can of food
four times a day… expensive small tins
from the local food co-op – only the
best for this old cat friend.

Wish someone will do the same for me:
excuse bathroom accidents;
feed me expensive healthy treats;
give me a soft place to rest my boney body;
listen patiently to my stories;
comb my hair; read to me;
stroke my skin saying sweet phrases
of love, commitment and hope…


Nightmare in Motion -- Poetry 2010

Rain drop patter…
almost a perfect clear sky;
Rain drop patter…
dancing onto surfaces,
breaking the rhythm of my thoughts.
Sun blasts through the thin clouds
pale and wan in winter.

I’m pale and wan - flu result …
at least, paler than usual.
Typical Pacific Northwester:
graying hair – uncolored;
sneakers, jeans, fleece hoodie;
casual Friday’s all week.
I blend in with native born.

Rain drops patter…
Umbrellas - you can always tell the out-of-stators;
Rain drop patter…
no one rushes trying to avoid drops;
normal speed gets you there while
outdoor comfortable clothing repels moisture:
flannel and fleece, wool socks, hiking boots.
A What-not-to-Wear nightmare in motion…


Match Maker -- Poetry 2010

My son caught me watching that match maker show…
In this day and age of electronic everything, the “star”
runs a modern day cattle calls to select prospective dates;
a sophisticated meet market provides opportunity for her
wealthy clients to choose someone to date perhaps mate…
Interesting – her skill at reading people – male or female;
Interesting – how people present themselves
Interesting – how people revert to their usual bad habits

Throwing up her hands, blasting a client – get out, I’m done…
Luckily for some, they get the bigger picture…
They loose their denial;
They honestly try to adjust;
They actually open up;
They begin to trust…

So where does that leave me?
Alone with my habits trying to adjust, open up, and prevent reverting…


Far Away -- Poetry 2010

Another crack of dawn day
up and out of the house
as rays scream past Mount Rainier;
past clouds heading out to sea;
past street lights blinking off…
sun playing peek-a-boo:
gray, rain, sun, rain, gray…
Christmas lights left on overnight
reflect in puddles as black as asphalt
or retire into damp ground.

I can count the snowless holidays
on one hand from childhood back East.
Gobs of snow was the norm; bundled
to the point of not moving, we waddled
making snowmen and forts till dinner.
Steaming upon entering warmth;
peeling the soggy layers; chipping the ice
from mittens, scarves, hats and socks;
we’d thaw and play board games till bed…

Window light on snow, soft warm glow;
Christmas bulb strings – pin points of color
in the darkest bitter night; hot cocoa in front
of the crackling wood fire… so far from today’s
sun playing peek-a-boo: gray, rain, sun, rain, gray…


Friday, December 17, 2010

Black Kitten -- Poetry 2010

Leaving the middle left drawer ajar
the black kitten was laying low
among rustling papers. Wide eyes,
sparkling, claws wiggling pinpricking…

Searching for paperwork, lifting a pile
from the same desk drawer…
The kitten lay still – it’s soul departed.

Stroking the soft baby fur with pointer finger,
I remarked… who shut the drawer?
Turning from the desk, I looked at the kids…

I wasn’t mad; it was what it was -
an unfortunate accident…
A strange dream that left me puzzled.
Frisky black kitten, innocent, full of life
shut in a dark desk drawer and forgotten.
What does that say about innocence?
Or being shut away out of the light;
unhappy fate for a departing soul...


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black Cloud Musing -- Poetry 2010

Old age – foolish choices remembered;
trying to reign in her faults…
sinking back into perennial habits.
Is there a point to reform?
Redemption for her stupidity…
are there consequences for doing nothing?
Bringing habits through transition… can’t imagine
dealing with same problem even after death!
Is there time to reformulate, make peace,
amends and say what was truth… heal?


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Incongruous -- Poetry 2010

Pin pricks of light weave dawn
through glistening evergreen bows
sipping coffee,
jolt of fuel stimulating system
sleepless nights
dreamless sleep
reviving warm draught fogs glasses
breath pulls in moist earth scent
wishing for companion cigarette
missing entwined wisps of smoke and steam
male female
air water
harmonious dance…
incongruous pairing:
suffocation and stimulant…


Sand Blasted -- Poetry 2010

lean into the wind
balance your body at an angle
let it’s ferocity hold you up.

walk against the wind
bend before the force
let it sing in your hair.

push against the whistle
stand in one place
let it press your clothing tight

release your arms to the gale
tilt your palms downward
let it stream over you
you've re-taught yourself to fly…


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Seriously Strategic -- Poetry 2010

Everything is going according to plan...
not her plan, just some other plan.
2010 goal list flickered on her PC screen…
it was starting to freak her out.
Why even make a list of soft goals?
Even easy ones seem lost in a year’s tumult.
Rearranging all the sentences, cutting,
pasting, sorting puzzling aims, adjusting
page size to make them fit, saved and
printed for reference... she stabbed a pin
into the wall to keep them at eye level.
In truth, there is no normal – life’s more a
continual chaos with a few moments of bliss.


Looking into Herself -- Poetry 2010

Catching a glimpse
an awkward angled glance
of gravity vs. flesh…
laughing at reflection:
allergy eyes edema
swollen and red rimmed;
thinning gray hair;
chin hair grizzle…
leaning on bathroom counter
too tired to stand
shaking head to age and wear
“life-story-illustrated” in features.
Least she had smile lines
despite frowns convolutions;
buoyed by simple miracles:
spiders hatching,
butterfly wings expanding,
prisms on rain soaked tree limbs.
Observations of nature…
curiosity of beginning and ends;
how it all fits together with her smile…


Monday, December 13, 2010

until making new sense -- Poetry 2010

Floating above the surface
life was shallow;
barely connected,
drifting aimlessly,
a soul seeking sustenance
in barren times.
In trying to forget,
revised words,
the only pleasure…
reforming them,
until making new sense;
until locked in place;
until expunging infliction;
until searing the wounds from
you will always be a plain Jane,
and nothing important…

a friend said she's been trying to forget those words
[last two lines] since she was 12 years old

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sleeping In -- Poetry 2010

More like unconscious
due to Flu’s bite…
all night, walking from bed;
all night, walking back to bed;
barely warm, making another trip.
Would have been easier to
camp out in the bathroom…
prop a pillow on the sink stand;
wrap a blanket around collapsed
form clutching the bucket…
layered for a trip to the North pole,
rocking back and forth to relentless
shudders of chill and fever, the dawn
turned to fading afternoon…


Holiday Cheer -- Poetry 2010

No dawn this morning,
just a minor reduction in the gloom… her
seriously ugly emotional storm held sway.
Gray soup skies, flat lead waters made her feel
even heavier; dressed in drabness she walked
through town blazing with holiday cheer.
The damp chill rusted her normal outlook
causing a myopic message to strain her sight.
Out of focus sparkling colors, twinkling lights,
festive decorations were tarnished and grime.
No childhood magic could bring new life to
this white washed expanse of duplicity:
spend, spend, spend… give, give, give.
Endless stream of shoppers traipsed past her
fading in the distance to a sepia toned film…
spur-of-the-moment, she leapt in front of traffic.
Red rivulets reflected sparkling colors,
twinkling lights, and festive decorations…


Omnipresent -- Poetry 2010

Pain is omnipresent…
everyone’s burdened:
discomfort cresting
breaking free of containment
sweeping away the rational
leaving silt clogged
mildewed spirits…
suffering life.


Weekend Wishes -- Poetry 2010

Can barely keep her eyes open…
snuggle on the couch time;
Not feeling like the luckiest girl in the world;
weekend wishes -
she wished she had a car and driver tonight.
Instead, she read to her cat until falling into dreams…

Seriously in need of some unplug time...
watching the TV, dressed up and no where to go;
no one to go with was more accurate.
weekend wishes -
He wished he had a passenger. Together, they'd be a
road trip movie! Instead, can barely keep his eyes open;
nodding off to reruns he fell into dreams…

Missing connecting by schedule and habit:
She lived on the second floor…
He lived in a back unit.
She ran in the morning;
He ran in the evening.
She worked mornings;
He worked afternoon shift.
She went to college in the afternoon;
He went in the morning…


Friday, December 10, 2010

barista laureate -- Poetry 2010

all dressed up for no reason
walking through last year’s resolutions…
pumpkin spice latte in hand.
Observing last minute shoppers,
hurrying, toting bags looped over arms.
Sauntering unencumbered, my decision
to live with less and enjoy more,
to engage more and assume less,
to be grateful for the intangible gifts…
Positive twist to make the best out of
low income but I never was a rabid consumer.


Dimensions -- Poetry 2010

Having trouble deciding whose universe
she’d rather be in, she came through the
wall wishing her bad luck streak was over…
A major break through, stumbling to land
on her feet in a different dimension; picking
herself up, she paused to listen, sniff
the air, sense the vibration, look for clues…
seemed safe enough for now.
Work your charm on somebody else,
, she remarked… just wait and
see, you'll regret not wanting to be in
this other universe with me…
Portal closed, she had no choice
but to find her way in this new unknown;
create a more cohesive whole; finally figure
out what the hell was going on with her…


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Poetry Reading -- Poetry 2010

Deep breathing, she should have practiced…
envisioning muscles relaxing to steady her nerves.
One by one the Spoken Word Artists were called,
introduced, took the stage to read their piece.
Fascinated with expression’s width and depth,
she hung on words imbuing this space made sacred.

Some rushed through – barely taking time to breathe,
their torrent washed over the intent listeners…
Some read each line clearly, pausing to make eye contact,
their voices strong and steady connecting spirit to spirit.
Souls being heard; celebration of poet’s quiet world,
the black box rippled with applause soft as rain.
Applause not strong enough to break established
cerebral and auditory poetic invocation…


VM quote from article on recent readings in Buenos Aries: “reading
is an invocation to the poet’s soul.” And “every soul deserves a hearing.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Segmentation -- Poetry 2010

Boys all at one table
Girls all at the others
Automatically scope out
the situation upon entering;
Automatically divide..
scurrying to male/female division

In just a few years,
they’ll integrate…
turn goofy in the other’s presence.
Begin preening;
Begin the game of flirting.
Caution: Hormones Raging
Begin love interests;
Begin cycling heartaches and euphoria.


Babble -- Poetry 2010

Rises and lowers
waves upon shore
of plastic table tops
feeding creativity.
Art students
giggle and laugh
You can to
Yah, do that
egging each other on
what if you
Finishing the project
at hand…
Looks better already


Extinguishing -- poetry 2010

Hoping to write him out of her
existence before she died.
Notice the word hope… still hadn’t
after twenty-eight years. His horrid
remarks haunted - taunted, popped
up at odd times, clung to her esteem.
Endless subconscious recording
of you’re never going to be with another
fueled by these derisive snippets:
The only time you looked good
was two days before the wedding;
Can’t you ever keep this house clean;
When you smile your gums show;
If I wanted to hide their presence,
I could have and you’d never know.
As if the contact lenses, new underwear,
meticulous attention to grooming
wasn’t enough of a clue; there were
odd phone calls, hanging out with the “guys”,
total lack of any kind of touch…
Why did she still bow to his power?
What kind of enema would flush him out?
Even in her dreams, she’d yell get out,
leave me alone, you’re nothing…


Monday, December 6, 2010

Percolation -- Poetry 2010

Plugged in at 3:45, it’s chrome surface
reflected spring green kitchen walls…
groaning and moaning, the percolator
sputters – a genie caught in purgatory of
daily coffee ritual: newspaper, milk and
sugar on table, mug waiting, chair askew.
Setting his lunch pail on the counter,
washing hands, with or without a peck
on Mom’s rouged cheek, Dad plunked down
sitting in silence to peruse the paper.
Then he’d get up to start chores until super;
depending on the time of year: garage or
basement, interior projects, yard work…
I remember studiously learning the routine
worried that I wouldn’t get the timing right.
Mom supervised loading the aluminum
basket with exactly four scoops of grounds;
she’d check the water level before plugging
this electric polished purveyor of welcome home….


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Perpetrator -- Poetry 2010

I really do not feel like cleaning
my kitchen today or doing my laundry
or any of the other stuff I'm supposed
to be doing for that matter. Perpetrators
are calling to me… not out loud, a special
energy tugs me into my art room.
Want to play instead of ordinary chores?
I toss my responsibilities until I feel like
tackling the clean-house-60’s role-model.
This is 2010; I’ve tidied and sucked up enough
dirt and animal fur to fill a dump truck…
scrubbed and polished too much for one life.
Indulging in me-time, muses celebrate
this new universe where creativity reigns
in the smallest room in the house.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Four Directions -- Poetry 2010

Sunrise greets my sleep starved eyes
twitching from such early morning call.
Sunrays blasts past Mount Reinier;
fingers of light resembling a crown
race through fog past clouds clinging
to its hulking mountainous form.
Seeking the sacred four directions,
fingers find North, East, South and West…

Mist rising from salty brine soup slips on a
golden robe; individual prisms reflect darkened
Cormorant forms hunched on a wooden pier.
Pearlescent laced with fine gold coats feathers,
wet surfaces of rock and shore, brushes calm water…
despite early morning rise and rush, thankful
to spiritual serendipity for these gifted visions
filling my soul with reverence and gratitude…


Friday, December 3, 2010

Cold settled in… -- Poetry 2010

Fingers, shoulder, toes, knees
began to vibrate muscles reacting
trying to ward off the increasing chill…
No hat, gloves, scarf, or extra coat –
body heat retainers were unreachable;
Unprepared for descending temperatures,
she was pinned unable to free herself.
Where was her Girl Scout training?
Always be prepared… but how does one
prepare for skimming off the road, down
an embankment to the edge of the pond.
Narrowly missing flora and fauna on the way,
the car now tilted inching her way to drowning;
hot engine hissed water to steam…
battery power diminished, white car dissolved
into bleak landscape far below road level.
No cell phone,
No note left,
Winter break surprise…
I’m home, Mom – that was her plan.
Writing as long as her fingers could move,
a spring fisherman spotted the wreck.
Notebook was found safe and dry in a plastic bag…


Ballpoint Pen -- Poetry 2010

Pen ink kept skipping;
delinquent in its ability
to transcribe the thoughts
produced rapidly in mind.
Racing to permanently contain
the raging deployment of words
before they vaporized, she
cursed softly willing the ink
to flow until the torrent
depleted this current stream…
statistically overreaching her goal
of one poem a day, she scribbled
to catch the last phrases…
again cursing the ballpoint pens
catatonic development.


Shuffling -- Poetry 2010

Mom you’re shuffling again…
Shuffle… shuffle
Slippers scuff the floor
barely achieving lift.
Fake lamb’s wool made in China
of faux materials and foam.

Shuffle… shuffle
Back and forth, counter to fridge,
preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Cold floors, cold feet, oversized
slippers and heavy socks…

Shuffle… shuffle
Static collects to shock the wearer
opening and closing doors, letting
cats in or cats out; laundry to washer,
laundry to dryer, to bedroom to sort…

Shuffle… shuffle
Day goes by, slippers scuff the floor
pushing crumbs, dog hair, lint from
room to room; normal chores in
a moderately clean home where
the owner shuffle… shuffles to and fro…


Tenacious --- Poetry 2010

Tattered brown leaves diligently
cling to tender branch tips
determined to make it to spring
before letting go their tenacious hold.

Dementia clients dotted with age spots
coating wrinkled skin diligently cling
to walkers; their bodies determined
to keep functioning until major systems
fail, brain ceases to regulate speech,
movement, appetite and finally the soul
lets go its tenacious hold long after
memory departed…


Craving one so badly… -- Poetry 2010

Twitching, tapping fingers on her desk,
desperate for a cigarette, she barely
listened as her client went on and on.
Blood pressure waffled, her only thought
was feeding her urge; abruptly dismissed
with multiple glances at the clock, shuffling
papers, handing out the new appointment card,
she bolted to the back door. Sucking deeply
suffocating smoke released the genie from the pack.
Quickly pulling in burning tobacco, thankful for full
lungs, acrid fumes proceeded her back to her desk.
The next client sneezed approximately ten times
due to contamination wafting from her breath,
clothing, hair… shuffling papers, handing out the
new appointment card, she bolted out the back
door craving one so badly…


Expiration Date -- Poetry 2010

Food bank donations: bread,
half dozen eggs, canned goods,
package of protein, and more, she
couldn’t get by without them.
Often past the expiration date:
stamped or by visual condition…
this weeks vegetables pooled and
puddle on her kitchen counter.
Scooping the dissolving produce
into the sink, she regretted
wasting precious resources.
Wiping the trail of slime, she
dreamt of the day she could
pay-it-forward – of course, being
careful of the date stamp expiration …


Incubator -- Poetry 2010

Thoughts rumble and growl
incubating within the confines of mind…
details of who, what, where and how
swim in electronic impulses.
The mystery of brain’s memory storage –
visions: real or imagined.
White washed, slathered in denial,
opaque and thick, she chipped away
revealing fragments, internal bruises,
listless residue, unsettled particles
clogging filtration; over and over, she
asked herself… real or imagined?
Overwhelming memories crept out
overriding the lies that bound them in place.
Kneeling before the revelation: It’s all true…


Boutique Bargains -- Poetry 2010

Bargain hunters push hangers
click, click - pausing to check
size, price, stains, pilling of fabric
clinging with prior owner’s scent.
Closet cleared of deceased
belongings; out of fashion –
stuck in the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s…
bargains at two dollars an item.
Senior Center Boutique crammed
with shoppers filling their closets
until their passing returns clothing
to hangers on the boutique racks.
Click, click – shoppers move clothes
clinging with prior owner’s scent…


Pole Dancing -- Poetry 2010

Sun descends rapidly;
short days barely bright
slip into consciousness
bringing unconscious desire
to stay under the covers
mimicking nature’s hibernation.
Fighting that adaptation, she
enrolled in a pole dancing class.
Controlled slow movements
masquerade delusions of youth;
body’s once efficient model stiffens
adroitly bringing advanced denial…
longing to halt time completely
for a few days, she couldn’t forget
about how hard it was to walk…
there wasn’t a muscle that didn’t
complain let alone the bruises…


Parking -- Poetry 2010

Sitting in parking lot stall
watching smokers taking breaks;
deeply inhaling smoke - fumes
curl from lips laughter and bright
voices echo off the concrete walls.
Windows rolled tight against drifting
haze, keeping their habit out…


Evading… --- Poetry 2010

Not seeing a safe male in her future,
her inner eye disregarded any hope
of a sustained relationship…
Not even a companion without
the weight that intimacy carries.
Wandering her world, she seemed
complete; envied by tied down friends,
whose marriage, children, work load,
social circle events overfilled their time.
The mystique of her independence
gnawed at their inner vision; they withdrew
allegiance to her thorn-in-their-side life style.
Each longing for the other’s experience,
evading the unseen disadvantages…

Inspiration: Evergreen State College – Irish Civilization Studies Proverb of the week: Seachnaíonn súil nach bhfeiceann. An eye evades a thing it does not see.

Two Months -- Poetry 2010

At least two months
since bathing or was it more?
Without intimacy…
what was the point?
Washing her hair via the kitchen sink
once a week sufficed;
wiping her face after daily brushing
her teeth sufficed.
Surrendering to lack of touch,
her skin condition was of no matter:
no one gave her a first or second look;
no one nibbled and caressed her;
no one had seen her naked in thirty years.
There was the surgery; she had showered
for the surgical team and final check up…
without comforting contact, her soul crusted
as much as the thick detritus coating her epidermis.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Left -- Poetry 2010

Laughing uncontrollably
air spasms ricocheted
straight from hell; her
nervous laughter rocketed
through the quiet café.
Almost a comedic spit gag,
hot latte burnt her esophagus.
Embarrassed he rose and left;
stiffing her with the tab…
weirdest break up ever.

Sitting in deafening silence,
staring at gaily colored artwork
of tropical sunsets – robotically
stirring floating foam image, she
destroyed barista’s liquid beauty.
His emotionless regime concluded;
hollow redemption but payback…
wait till he checked their joint accounts.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Who are you? -- Poetry 2010

soft breath on her neck;
feeling his frame spooned;
body heat soaked senses…

startled awake
incandescent blighted sight
destructing illusory form

alone with rumpled bedding
double bed a waste of space
for her slight silhouette

adrenaline pumping
softest whisper to disrupted
sleep… who are you?

reassuring lamp light warms
surroundings, slipping beneath
covers, eyes stung, blurring night…

waiting for an answer; listening
with an empty heart… salt tear
smile sent her brittle soul adrift.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

sensitively strong --- poetry 2010

Never thought I'd find Sudoku
puzzles fun but my brain enjoys them.
Got me through the surgery recovery...
so into gray matter, lost in numbers,
ignoring discomfort, solving a riddle.
Thought I’d get so much accomplished;
mesmerized in unholy discomfort, I
whiled away days numb and still…
Someday I will be old, forget all my
passwords, and go off line forever.
Maybe not a triumphant exit: my art
gracing museums or my poems
filling a thousand page anthology.
Want you to know that I did my best
with what came my way,
intentional or circumstantial;
with the information gained,
deliberate or round about route;
with the technical skills learned,
hands on or do-it-yourself play;
with finally following my dreams,
muse directed and inspired…
all of the above wove a quirky creative
determined, fragile, person anyway…


Flu -- Poetry 2010

Recycling information… she was so good at that; she
didn’t gossip, just selectively passed on what she heard.
Of course – not all the time, just on warranted occasions...
It's all been said before anyway… that was her rational.
She had the decency to clean it up first, sort for importance,
save it for the most appropriate opportunity; she could
make the juicy tidbit more sustainable to continue living…
It was her public service to keep everyone enlightened.

This was just the beginning… she needed someone to whip
up some magical elixir; other wise she was tempted to drink
heavily, figuring it would either cure her symptoms or she
wouldn't give a damn… her chest hurts when she breathed;
joints ached; chills, no appetite, no focus - so much to do.
Super lame, crawling back to bed, is this supposed to be
Ashley’s spell? Her ears rang with maniacal laughter…
It could be! But Ashley said I would KNOW at the time that
it was her doing when it happened …

It never even crossed her fevered mind until a friend’s
checking-in-phone call mentioned the cast curse…
In denial, she was thinking the get-even spell was awaiting
her somewhere in the near future – this was the flu…
coroner’s report stated… complications from pneumonia.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Holiday Shopping -- Poetry 2010

running around
using up a ton of energy
busy day
getting things done
focused day
needing harder focus
checking off the gift list
not afraid to look one
another in the eye
then shoot... well, grab faster;
she's dying or you’re dying
because she grabbed the last one…
squinting her best dare you intimation,
she races her cart to the finish line.
Woefully staring at an empty shelf,
mumbling about if only and always
best to aim at your target first,
you slowly push the cart to check out –
Hallelujah! Doing the happy dance!
Her credit card is maxed out;
gleefully you check off The Gift…


Subtle Shift -- Poetry 2010

Solstice, nexus of light,
rewards sensitive adherents
less darkness every day.
Lodestar shifts; Orion moves
high in night sky; constellations
orbit closer to spring positions…
snow is really charming the first
storm wow, you're really pretty!
but like company and fish that
linger too long… you remember
Oh yeah, you're cold and caused
a lot of trouble with each roaring storm.
Waiting for sound of peepers and
I'll be so happy when snow is finally gone...


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Specials -- Poetry 2010

Christmas music inundates
the airwaves; cable television is ripe
with themed movies and specials…
No getting away from it unless
all electronic media are mute.
Thankful for an off button, she
picked the chicken carcass clean;
the broth was cooling down…
content not to waste this extra
benefit of a consumed whole fowl.
The dogs crowded her movements…
No rush to December 25th for her,
most of the family had passed over –
hence the baked chicken not turkey;
cousins her age had spread in the four
directions after the elders died…
time and distance made for new
traditions, keeping it simple… but a
semi-funk made its appearance
all week; along with just about
everyone she knew. Some very odd
energy bouncing around out there
right now fed on assumptions, expectations,
memories – good or bad - of past holidays.
Time to reel in rampant emotions before a
monster tsunami of indulgent despondency
scourers her raw… life is what it is….
Who’s sitting for chicken tidbits – good dogs!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sinus Regrets -- Poetry 2010

Stuffed in back of mind
jarred loose by a strong sneeze
regrets rose with her fever…
Seeping into consciousness
amid moans and groans,
damn cold laid her low.
Without a normal workload
filling her head with distractions,
lament nagged and nagged
producing ache of unfinished
projects, miscommunication,
interesting choices… especially
marrying that jerk as slimy as this
mucus filling Kleenex after Kleenex…
feverish dreams offered little respite.
Blocked sinus, coughs racking,
drool puddles on her pillow, she
grabbed pen and paper to extricate
that snot once and for all…


November’s Full Moon -- Poetry 2010

The snow muffles the usual persistent
road noise; I can hear myself thinking.
It's the simple things in life...
beautiful full moon rising on this icy evening…
came up behind the tall fir trees; shivering
bamboo bends gracefully toward the ground
under the weight of snow… ice coats shrubs,
trees in the 22 degree landscape outside
my window building an intersection of
fractured light; a mystical space where all
the best circles overlap prism upon prism…
calm and peaceful attitude blankets
the mini dazzling world covering the scars,
piles and things undone in my yard...


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ode to Days that Suck -- Poetry 2010

Sometimes it just sucks.
How many ways to disclaim
the power of a sour day when forced to
raise a white flag, to hide in a closet,
to use a forehead as a hammer…
Perspective, no matter how positive,
is not going to change the suck.
The suck just has to suck until it
cannot suck any more. There are
higher roads but all the sayings,
all the pills or other substances only
dredge a coating of feel better today.
Acknowledging the suck;
celebrate the suck; salute the suck…
Analyze, aggrandize and adore the suck.
Then go to bed and hope the suck
doesn't last the night. The suck isn't
rational; you can't think it away;
you have to feel your way through it.
Yep, sometimes ya just gotta lay back
and have a nice long soak in the suck…


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

First Low Land Snow -- Poetry 2010

Tiny but relentless flakes are falling;
first low land snow came forcing
childhood reminiscence… trees
jumping out in front of her sled;
sledding headfirst into a brier patch;
standing up in time to get hit with
rock filled snowballs via her brother…
nose bleeds and plenty of red snow.
Better memories of playing outside
with her now grown kids… fun times:
inner tube sliding, ice skating, winter
picnics, snow forts, skiing, fireside reading
lost to faded photos, time and distance.

Rain not falling but freezing as Canadian
winds roar South. Gravity took effect
later due to lack of sanding or plowing:
brought her a day off from work, she
needed the pay; no panic attacks about
having to drive in it; her car was in repair.
her emotional reaction: magic - water to ice…
huge flakes against night sky, stars falling
to earth temporarily rest – grounded,
reflecting crystalline dreams back in time…


Monday, November 22, 2010

Step Back -- Poetry 2010

Finally in a better mood today
then she was yesterday;
suffered every minute
stretching over the last few;
retail therapy works, can't go
wrong spending some money…
if she had any to spare.
Going to the mall anyway,
people watching factor is
high this time of the year;
comfortably sitting, she settled
in with her sketchpad on lap.
Seeking rounded forms, pencil
rolls forming contours: faces,
trunks, moving limbs…
Time to grow up… a lot of
wisdom in just a few minutes:
imagination creates reality.
Believe it… but if she wasn’t
careful, it can create delusions too.
Taking a step back to think a little
more, she felt somewhat better
locking out naysayers and noise pollution…


1-800 – too-frugal -- Poetry 2010

Was there a 1-800 number
for good tidings?
Adjusting her scarf,
removing her gloves,
she pushed up coat sleeves
to rinse her dishes…

too frugal
polite for poor as dirt
conserving on heat
conserving on water
financially challenged
clothing layers repel cold
inside as raw as outside

What star was she born under?
Was it tarnished, faded, lacking energy
from eons of expending its fuel?
Certainly it had worn out its bright
guidance system refusing her wishes…

She didn’t own an eraser to
make way for a new equation
with these scrap paper musings.
Less sad; more scared of loosing
the few things she treasured.
Her mind somersaults as snowflakes
tumble in soft gray ether; enthralled
seeing white light brought into her
dark world in the form of snow crystals…


Impatient -- Poetry 2010

Aura faded into soft clouds,
the moon ring rainbow kept
steady pace with her footsteps.
Failing to alleviate a heavy heart,
she gave her dogs their lead and
robotically dragged behind them…
Polar opposite of their perspective,
she mindlessly watched them
dart and dash invigorated by scents,
alerted by night sounds and movement.
Impatient, she hurried their business
longing for sleep to end this day.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

knock on wood -- Poetry 2010

You can’t sit down in this house
without a cat on your lap -
classic… and a little frightening
if you want to remain furless
but maybe that is the point
beyond your control. Once inside -
you’ll be enveloped in the most
casual multi- colored coat;
stop keeping count when you
pluck the hair free, it’s useless.
People think I'm lazy…
so serious and menacing, they
carry their “should”s inside
leaving them to stray in my house
and feed on my art time fuel
in order to conform to cleanliness,
in order to conform to normal hours…
Leaving them in smoke and ashes with
percolator on the stove, this night owl
hunts creative visions in solitude…


Friday, November 19, 2010

Rain Break -- Poetry 2010

Pedaling midnight streets
off key singing drifted
into bitter cold night.
Bicycle tires whirled
rhythmically across fallen
leaves, fir needles,
puddles of moon…
was her tune for bravery
keeping the bad at bay
or was she like me
relishing circuitous
break in rain while
splashing through starlight.
Feeling winter’s tart kiss,
our souls moving in synch
sleepless and wandering
one on foot, one on wheels…


Aging Mantra -- Poetry 2010

I'll be better when I am older,
and I will be better when I am older.
Mantra of her years…
gazing at wrinkled exterior -
Where was the exuberance of youth?
Staring at result of waiting…
without a clearer picture of the future;
without excitement about some new plans;
without an eon to get it right.
no one else can see
no one else can feel
self consumed her flame died
drowned out at sea anchored by better
while waiting for older…
Sun still hiding a bit. Big dark clouds
sweep across the sky and a heavy
wind comes down the hill…
balanced on bridge railing, her coat
a billowing sail, she sighed…
Take me into forever
free falling through time
free falling through space
free falling to decrepitude


“my” -- Poetry 2010

possessive my…
my this or that:
things labeled mine
people labeled mine
disease labeled mine
work, home labeled mine

zero labels needed for
my husband, boyfriend,
significant other…
complexities confusion:
why is this important?

my time alone…
my words
my vision
my cats don't believe me
cuddled in long night


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Perusal -- Poetry 2010

Rockin' and rolling all night long: wind,
power outage, then the earthquake
which rattled the bed that she was still
sleeping in at 7:50 am… now she was not in the
mood to do anything; she had time change lag…
feeling low energy today, tethered to the sofa,
soaked in digital media, she has yet to fully clean
the kitchen after last night's culinary tornado
and latent power outage fiasco…
so enthralled by a movie as to feel she was
walking in the steps of the main character…
she drifted off to sleep stepping into the screenplay.

Her guy was in the hot tub, it was apparent they were
in a relationship but it wasn’t “Facebook” official.
“This October is very special’, he said. “It has five Fridays,
five Saturdays, and five Sundays all in one month. This
happens once in 823 years.”
Does that mean it doesn't count?
There was a little tattoo on her butt and he playfully traced
it with his finger; it was one of her totem animals – a turtle.
Your creative energy fuels and inspires me. Love you.
“You need to stop your time-traveling” he murmured
into her ear. “Hard on the chromosomes.”
There must be something in the sun….
Ouffff… the cat snapped her awake with kneading claws…


Fond of her Beanery -- Poetry 2010

Grateful for the quantity
and the quality of her magic beans...
the beanery was her way
of staying positive.
Known to sing beans,
beans the magical fruit...
of course off key as possible,
she made a chaotic world better
which carried over to her
kith, kin, friends… filling requests
when others needed to borrow some magic;
especially if their supply had run away
from home and didn't even leave a note…
or if weevils and beetles did their thing.
Some querulous office workers were
overheard discussing: wait beans aren't fruit…
right, they’re legumes…
people make an issue out of the dumbest
events; this group seems to be lost in being
seriously stressed - they lost the childish
spontaneity of being silly…
she wondered how many more times
she will need to sing, Beans, Beans
the Magical Fruit before they’d loosen up….


Cutlery -- Poetry 2010

That didn't go as well as she'd hoped…
She wondered if anyone noticed
the fine set of cutlery she wore
the rest of the afternoon. Derailing
risky comments, she relied on her quirky
sense of humor rumbling in her mind–
Its all the rage to have the handles
of sharp metal objects protruding from your
back.. Oh yes, without it you are nothing
and totally unfashionable!
Determined to stay focused… it was intense
but in a growing sort of way. Integrity and trust
were ingrained in her core; she was less willing
to trust someone too quickly especially as she
got older. Don't be a fool. Just fool them all.
Find greener pastures without waiting around…
later they would appreciate her efforts… she was
so done with this good will volunteering; looking
for introversion, avoiding people normally reduced
the amount of silverware protruding from her back…
those cutlery handles aren't even good for hanging
art work up to dry - too hard to reach!
Maybe I should do some yoga…


Gems -- Poetry 2010

seeping in spiritual
benefits of not
dwelling on misfortune
until it blots out the sun…
I hide in my creativity cave
amazed at new possibilities.
or losing my marbles
or both…
excited tingly feeling
intrigued with wonder
about these new givens.
getting past all yesterdays
to see beautiful gems…
knowledge and experience
are pure treasures
forming depth to my soul…


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Split Personality -- Poetry 2010

Over the years I’ve split
from being up early in the morning by choice:
I used to love the quiet time just before sunrise,
watching the first rays of sun illuminate the landscape;
I enjoyed the cool of summer mornings and the
frost on the trees in winter… those days are gone -
no longer a super duper happy folk in the morning.

Over the years I’ve turned
night owlish staying up late by choice…
I love the quiet time seeped in darkness covering
the landscape and distractions – the sense of space,
of loneliness, of life in the raw with the desk lamp circle
my connection to inspiration’s light.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Kinda -- Poetry 2010

Well, unless we count
carriers of the light…
it means you only "kinda" have a soul.
For centuries you might have been considered
above it all, withdrawn, above reproach
but this time your hearts too big, too accessible,
easily impaled on fate barbs from the route.
Do you realize things you might want to do
in the future; ordinary extraordinary things -
cuz people know your adrift-alone style…
Worrying that you’re sinkin’ below the sea
with no pail and a leaky voice…
tide slides in and out routinely
waxing waning moon cycles
stuck with smiles genuine and pale
you shift others outside yourself
speaking softly afraid to ever again say
I love you…


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stories -- Poetry 2010

Making up stories
of stars, moon and night skies
Rotations cycle life measurable
by arbitrary units of day
Divided into light and dark
Routine movement
scheduled to death
Relinquishing words
conveying aspirations lost,
Discouragement found
Overcoming adversity
Giving in to emotions
Kneeling on words
Expressing meanings
important to storm clouds
rainbows and pain
Shinning days filled
with cool warmth
General dance of time…
Until old and bent
living in imagination,
depleted of memories,
sinking physically into self,
rising no longer to dream…


Dawn’s Breaking -- Poetry 2010

Coming up out of darkness
pulled by heart with dawn’s breaking,
dreams sink into the pillow hollow
still warm from distorted visions
impressed upon its collapsed filling.
Eyes roam familiar manifestation;
another day presses onto consciousness
pushing night’s residue out of mind.
Same thoughts, same excuses,
sinking feeling of ongoing failure;
Fear smiles down upon its creation
empowered by residual rosary
of I can’t, I can’t, I can’t….


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Liberated Mistress -- Poetry 2010

Fingertips raw, splintered nails…
exhausted masterpiece exhibits
sweet sorrow of bitter loves pain
inscribed in oil and her blood.
Working through the night,
harsh insight put to blank canvas;
tainted promises scratched into
thick acrylic permanence, washed
with transparent thinned oil that
gave depth and resonance
to this broken affair…
Far too much Medieval Art and Sacred
Geometry was crammed into her head
to be stuck in departure despair.
His frivolous image frozen in place…
the centerpiece for an upcoming
solo show entitled Liberated Mistress…


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sleep In -- Poetry 2010

dreary day
drifting doze
too many late nights
eyes and pixels locked
sinking into screen
relentless mind
dissuades dreams
longing for REM
sleeping vessel
tangled covers…
tossing into today
body needs rest
bleary eyed
sleeping in…


Monday, November 8, 2010

Loud -- Poetry 2010

The sun was very loud today
in-between grey shrouded cumulus
speeding in from the ocean - a white
to black intense value scale pouring East.
Simmerin' soup to suit the rain season;
chopped vegetables wait to be added
to the cast iron kettle bubbling it’s contents
of dried beans, tomatoes and seasoning.
Outside in the yard, the layers of leaves
rest on mulched garden adding to the
stacked decomposing nutrient sandwich.
Cats sleep curled on heat registers;
furnace rumbles a steady hum matching
an occasional burst of snore purring.
Oh, seems around here, sunshine is too
fleeting but this morning my desk resounds
brightly; collage papers bask in natural
light, scissors gleam, glue glows…
It would really help me out if a biscuit
and juice would magically appear so I
could keep working in the rare sunlight….


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Outage -- Poetry 2010

Bright pin points – star light
lacking street lamp interference…
last of ragged storms clouds head
East exposing fall’s constellations.
Spilling from darkened abodes,
neighbors take to the night…
flashlight fireflies on a November eve;
shadow forms trailing steady puffs
of breathe advance on a street corner –
informal gab fest containing muted
voices, laughter and shared stories…
standing under pristine starlit cosmos
until electric power returns; restored
normalcy rapidly sends residents
scurrying behind closed doors… lamp
light interferes with majestic night skies.


Odd -- Poetry 2010

Fleeting angst
split mind
turning orderly world
fetid, grizzled gray,
dim, dull, damn
blackened thoughts

Positive forces
vaporized insanity
without shedding tears
without forming a sound
regaining control
reestablishing harmony

How odd…
swept off balance
a momentary deflation
rebounding with
unknown but
epic skill power


Wax Power -- Poetry 2010

Dismayed party dudes reacting
to power company linemen’s estimate…
Ahhhhhhhhhh dang it all
echoed in an unnaturally dark street.
Hat lights and flashlights bobbing
battery beams brushed surroundings:
highlighting wet asphalt;
skimming across puddles;
dancing over slick sidewalks;
turning skyward and down
as the disappointed boys shuffled home.
Their “party house” was blessedly quiet…
no wailing guitars invaded a powerless night;
no pounding drum or raucous giggles
reverberated off house exteriors tonight…
Tree limb meeting the transformer gave
a candle illuminated respite to their neighbors…


Tribulations -- Poetry 2010

Tears try to drip
following precipitations
outward pouring.
Mood descends
to mirthless gray -
Laughable predicament
hearing mind reiterate:
you’ll always be alone;
Rewinding to:
you’ll never be “together;
never part of a couple;
destined to be one.
avoiding perceived threat…
Returning to peer vicariously
at the few who made it work…


Murmurs -- Poetry 2010

inspiring words
all lost
to tinnitus…


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Aborn Road -- Poetry 2010

the gravel road
turning at the “y”
new houses?
a country store?
wandering on foot
greeting residents
so late for work
No phone
circling around
you can never go back
even in dreams…


Friday, November 5, 2010

Don’t Care -- Poetry 2010

I care so much
that I don’t care;
Burdens of the world
make mine insignificant…
Can’t carry the weight
of more problems.
Shoulders rounded,
head bowed,
my voice counts
needs to be heard;
every voice counts
needs to be heard…
strained voices
amplified discomfort
worried for hope
murmur please…


Loose Change -- Poetry 2010

Lost your mind
always being a hero;
wanting to be on a pedestal.
Yet your life began when
discovering the limits of loneliness.
Ego perch was too small for
making the impossible possible;
presenting arrogance procured
getting your unfavorable reputation
which sometimes comes at a price.
People shied away from working with you.
You’re the glitch…
you’re the stuck gear…
you’re the screw up.
Everyone worked around you for ages;
ignored your walking through fire;
ignored you coming out fighting.
This style was not to be work-around-able this time.
letting everyone know that you’re not perfect or
ashamed of your failures came too late.
People were tired of being your stepping stones.
Put away your cape, tights, hero attitude,
you’re as ordinary as a pocketful of change-
not worth more than one either…


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Corn Patch -- Poetry 2010

Kneading bread dough
cow’s in the corn, maw…
towel over rounded dough.
grabbing an umbrella,
stealth approach
confronting enemy
eating ears of corn
brown eyed Guernsey
stalks trampled flat
umbrella snapped open
cow bellowed
maw shrieked
serious speed
in opposite directions

Poem inspired by proverb of the week:
Bíonn gach duine go lách go dtéann bó ina gharraí.
Everybody is good natured until a cow goes into his garden.
Which reminded me of my Dad telling about how his “Maw”
went after the neighbors escaped cow in their corn garden.

Enchantress -- Poetry 2010

Frigidly independent
heart mind resigned
to cloaked emotions
riding piggy back:
evolving joy to sorrow
pulsing love to hate
radiating light to dark
meandering positive
wandering negative
a solicitous sojourn
ending in solitude
contemplating empathy
cynically commiserating
disproportionate amounts
of chaos laced life…
an enchantress’s lament


Fall Daylight Savings Time -- Poetry 2010

waiting on a power cord
to manifest ideas,
the quest: more
amazing days in a row;
don't believe me…
I don't even know
what to do with myself
to celebrate this gift
of extra time…
falling forward Saturday
night or Sunday morning.
certified night owl, I
consider 2 am to be part
of the previous day…
an extra hour of delightful
night to quietly dance
zipping through my art
to do list… shorter days;
more quiet dark hours!


Ley Lines -- Poetry 2010

Luminescent orb
drizzled awkwardly
in fits and starts;
a broken beam
delinquent of power
slipped unconscious
to fertile forest floor.
absorbing ley line
drifting upward
matching star’s glow;
cavorting tree to tree
until fizzling awkwardly
in fits and starts
to slip unconscious
into the earth…


Descent -- Poetry 2010

After you’ve gone
Its harder to find
A metric ton of darkness
inhibits movement;
Chains of disbelief
inhabit the mind;
Rust clouds vision.
Despair squints
for a stray ray
of hope…


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lost & Found -- Poetry 2010

Found my eyes
Sitting on the rain barrel
Lost them mid summer
While doing yard work

Without me they
Watched sunrise
Watched sunsets
Watched stars at night

Found them mid fall
While doing yard work
Reflecting Indian Summer


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ask anybody -- Poetry 2010

What would you
like to see?
ill omens
symbols of evil and death.
Maybe I can connect
the dots so you can.
Too heavy duty? Too dark…
OK, how about a flying turtle
and a dog that speaks French.
What a dolt if you believe
I could do that…
You heard me…
That’s right…
drop the magical thinking;
get out of your pretend world,
it doesn’t make sense.
Ask anybody…
magic is not real;
illusion is real…


Mockery -- Poetry 2010

no reward for breaking free
no acknowledgement for change
held back by perceived notions
desiring status quo
fearing unconventional
fearing loosing her
mocking a stab at independence
friends sabotaged her chances
pulled her back into their fold
away from clever, bright and bold…

regressing to wallflower shy
numb by their convention
opinions fermented to rot
unable to speak her mind
she became more normal
dumb-ed down, flat, bland
slowly sinking into oblivion
excessive weight returned
resembling her friends’ plain
Jane style, looks, mind set…
a mockery of glimpsed potential…


Contact -- Poetry 2010

deprecating denial
blame oozed
soaking surroundings
distasteful primordial slim
destined for evolution
mutated rapidly
soured outlooks
contaminated being
bitter and black
her mouth bled hate
toward anyone
that came in contact…


Monday, November 1, 2010

not transitional -- Poetry 2010

burnt out emotionally,
she had just turned 21
when her soul withdrew…
worthless as a penny
her functioning body
ticking off “to-do” list
of daily routine drudgery;
running on automatic,
mindless tasks fill her
seconds, minutes, hours.
An apathetic machine
programmed to complete
her allotted time…


Sunday, October 31, 2010

not bluffing -- Poetry 2010

hands numb,
fear haunted
not appropriate
at nine am…
plucking threads;
locked out of mind
for two days…
rather than use
the Doctor’s keys
for coming right back,
pills clipped, chipped,
ground to powder;
flushed rather than taken.
fearsome winged dragons
hissing rasping as if rock
amps turned up too loud...
mental balance
always bullied
life’s barks...
life’s bite
(or is it all hiss...
all scratch)
weirded out
beyond control
arrived for tea


the jar -- Poetry 2010

formaldehyde heart
longing to presoak
in oxygenating acumen;
thick glass distortions
seem myopically safe;
minimal pulse meditation
finds disparity within a jar
when reconnoitering Love


their promise -- Poetry 2010

cells dislodged
softening over time
muscle tenacity lost
her body disobeyed…
nerves numbing, she was
turning into old puree
ala life’s speedy blender.
song of soul still strong;
breathe of ages flows
through hand carved flute
piercing the air…
vibrato resonates
through forest and field
through earth and sky
through water and wind…
calling those before her
reminding them of their promise


Sundays -- Poetry 2010

She didn't like Sundays:
because it means the weekend was over;
because she waits all day for it to be Monday
when she can get things accomplished at work;
because she’d be back to work and commuting
making for very, very long days and very short nights.
The last two typify her contradictory nature;
The love hate relationship she had with her job…
work defined her -
work confined her -
her head might explode from the dichotomy.
It wouldn’t be joy splattering all over your face…
a tangle of gray cells, bone, hair, skin – packaging
of her features along with mussed worn brain.
Anyway, its unanimous…
She fell in with a bunch of whiners and wusses
impatiently waiting for retirement to free up time,
praying for release from mental drudgery… scoring
time to actually GET something accomplished before
succumbing to death’s submission call...


Friday, October 29, 2010

Two Poems published in Between the Lines

Recieved this email today -

The editors and staff of Edmonds Community College’s art and literary publication Between the Lines would like to thank you for your submission.

We are pleased to inform you that out of an impressive number of submissions, your poems Paean and Sky is Falling have been published in the 2010 edition of Between the Lines.

On Monday, November 29, 2010, the Between the Lines staff will be hosting a launch party at the Black Box Theater at 12:30 in the afternoon. At this time you can also pick up your free copy of the publication. We would be honored to have you attend to receive recognition of your work. Would you be willing to read your pieces aloud at the podium?

If you are not able to attend, or prefer not to do a reading of your work, we would like to ask your permission to invite a Theatre Arts student to read your piece for the audience. Please respond to this email by Monday, November 1st to either RSVP your acceptance or grant permission for a student to present your work.

Again, we would like to thank you for your contribution. You have helped make the 2010 edition a success, and we hope you will take part in our event on November 29th. Everyone is welcome; we encourage you to invite your friends and family to the event.

We would like to apologize for the delay in this recognition, as there has been a transition in staff for the upcoming issue. We appreciate your contribution, and your patience.

Kind regards,

Between The Lines
Brenna McKinnon
Design Editor- 2011

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Feral Critters -- Poetry 2010

It's a good night for cuddling… though no boyfriend
real or imaginary graced her presence; she loved
how she could talk to the cats like they understood...
Lizzie, you get the window so Mercury, you can
come sit on the bed with me…
Turning twenty-nine
in six days… already she had turned into
a cat lady.

Wow... Here we go.... stop squabbling or I’ll have
to get Mr. Broom and MS Spray Bottle! NOW…
stop or you'll be staying out of here all night!
So much for cozy cuddles… Damn it.
It's been a year since Lizzie moved in and this will
be going on until midnight unless Mr. Broom arrives.

Such a sucker for lost souls, she had agreed to take
an almost feral wee beastie, Lizzie, into her home.
First night, she used Mr. Broom between a terrified baby
raccoon and her new arrival... all the while calling Lizzie
by her daughter’s name. Alice! Get your furry butt in the
house!! Alice! stop picking on the wildlife!

Attempting to tame and change this cat’s wild state of mind,
she knew she did the same thing with men – her dating life
wasn’t successful… lost souls automatically sought her out.
Tonight she drafted an affirmation for all future encounters:
stop being a sucker for lost souls – two or four legged!
She'd better toughen up, tighten her purse strings, hit the
college books to make something of herself other than
a cat herding old lady.


50 cent words -- Poetry 2010

Erudite… succinct,
carefully laced phrases.
He made fun of her
simple thoughts
simple language
her clear insight;
he was deceptive,
hid in nuances
disguised as caring.
Opaque suited him better
than her transparent nature…
sucking it up she moved
forward with a lighter heart.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Packing -- Poetry 2010

When she was that age, her mother
reminded her that she kept having
the dream that she was packing…
waking up, she’d call for mommy.
Soothing words, gentle back rub
would settle her back to sleep.

Now, her own daughter was
experiencing the exact same thing.
Dreams of packing, leaving home…
at a very young age, too young to go
off on her own leaving family behind.

What was taken in both cases was eerily
similar… nothing that would protect a
twelve year old child wandering parentless.
A notepad, pencil, mirror, bottle stopper,
thread, screwdriver, and a jar of pennies…

How odd – not only the items but same age
and scenario… she didn't do the things her
dream was suggesting she do; she never
left home, never thought to follow through.
Why did her daughter pack and disappear?

She planned her dream last night… she went
back in time to about thirty-two years ago; back to
childhood, back to her room, back to the dream.
Methodically she unpacked her dream; each item
returned to their proper place in her room…

Startled awake at midnight, the ringing phone
shredded her childhood dream, dissolving room
and its contents for good… groping for the
receiver, she prayed for good not bad news…


Driving -- Poetry 2010

Driving familiar streets
Avenues walked as a child
Past wool baron mansions
High on the crest of the hills
surrounding Rockville, Connecticut.
Stately houses looked over parks,
town center, mill workers row houses…
The lane dead ended, no right or left,
not even straight ahead passage…
Honking car passed on my right,
giving me the finger wave and a smile;
so I followed across the curbed park
tires sinking into rich grass covered loam.
Perched at a stop sign, the steepness
made my legs quiver on clutch and gas;
The car was yielding to gravity as I pulled
the hand brake to assist my aching legs…
Not holding, slipping, inching toward
impatient driver behind me - honking…
the colors intensified; honking,
my panic intensified; honking,
gravity intensified… snoring
lurched me awake with muscle cramps.
Dry mouthed, I hobbled releasing intensity…


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Frazzled -- Poetry 2010

She wished she was less frazzled
this month because she really wanted
to rearrange her emotions.
Her eye wouldn't stop twitching today…
All day her coworkers joked about
“wink ,wink; nudge, nudge”
Her repeated retort…
You’re driving me insane!

Sooooo cold today! She thought a stiff drink
was the best way to warm this chilled body…
procuring Bailey's Irish Cream on the way home;
preparing a laced large mug of hot chocolate;
settling back, feet up… she could happily affirm
that she was warmed from the tip of her tongue
to the bottom of her belly and her brain wasn't
feeling too bad either... double yum...
Cozy, toasty warm, wrapped in an afghan
She dozed, drifting down a long tube…

Alice-esque she chased after a shadow.
Chanting without knowing the meaning,
liquid version of sunshine greeted her
egress from the tight tunnel confines to
slowly sink into azure sea. She swam
with tropical fish over glittering reefs;
Muscles relaxed in warm current…
A flash of color caught her eye...
Don't worry she got the marble... and this
time she did not swallow shards of glass…


Monday, October 25, 2010

Aha -- Poetry 2010

Wanting to clear her mind
to produce an aha moment…
something uniquely hers, she
imagined a big eraser aimed
at stilted boredom in her art.
Studiously she worked the surface
despite having put her contacts
in the wrong eyes so her near eye
saw far and her far eye saw close.
This minor malfunction produced
an interesting perspective…
Ignoring proper how to, seriously
strategic with her knife and blade
movements, her vision culminated
in fabric, acrylic paint, tissue paper
to blank surface… Oh my gosh…
she was on a roll; grabbing another
barren stretched canvass, she
sprang into action slathering,
smoothing, texturing, singing…


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fifty per cent -- Poetry 2010

strong and weak,
projecting naïve
needs on him;
Ignoring signs,
her love soared…
he’d roll off her
instantly asleep;
left her empty
physically aching
suffering in silence…
his intimidating comments
reminded her
of her inexperience;
reminded her
of his thirty five partners.
Unfulfilled, her love dried
and crumbled…
he really flipped
increased brutal honesty;
it was only his opinion…
she could choose to feel -
sitting in the closet crying,
he hated tears…
she owned 50% of the problem;
he wanted a sugar momma;
she paid all the bills.
Packing her necessities,
loading the car was a start…
online, she split finances
into her sole account..
she didn’t want sympathy,
she’d have to work at
erasing her victimization…
unlike him she wasn’t looking
for someone to blame…
tacking a note to the fridge,
she scooped up her cat;
the battle to restore her
self esteem had begun.