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.


big storm this afternoon -- Poetry 2010

It's getting very very dark outside; at first,
she snuggled in watching a scary movie.
Usually she loved taking part in storms,
appreciating the beauty and force behind
Mother Nature’s thunder, lightening & wind…
horizontal rain, sleet and more while out
walking or safely tucked within porch shelter.
Observing the progression of cloud formations
feeling the building strength as it moves in…
same impassioned energy as lovers building
to crescendo without satisfactory end results…
this Pacific Northwest storm signified onset of fall –
Halloween was coming soon – buffeted by squalls
without respite from pounding rain, her fingers
flipped through photo albums of better times.
Seriously tired, seriously hungry, she couldn’t move
into the kitchen... her way was blocked from
the tree limbs that impaled the roof. Trying to use
Jedi mind tricks to get a cold slice of pizza out
of the fridge wasn’t working... damn it!
Damp air, rain soaked floors, she huddled
next to the gas heater waiting for better times…
refreshing air, washed environment, a beautiful
sunrise or sunset ... or a bonus of her neighbors
checking up on her… soon.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

mutations -- Poetry 2010

heavy air today
thick with moisture
dampness seeps
into the house
making it difficult
to send chills away
chills rip into my core
joining the darkness
feelings buried in layers
of excessive flesh
hidden from mind
but strewn through body
allowing residence
to backward thinking
giving voice a window
for mutating compliance
denied over time


Friday, October 22, 2010

double barrel PMS attitude -- Poetry 2010

one can possibly imagine a monster
that leaves no marks, no scent, no scat…
residing within, it goes defensive, it screams
without an exterior audible sound…
locked within the deep recesses of her mind,
it is know only to her, wearing her down…
her only hope – if it was a school yard bully
type who can dish it out but can't take it…
the beauty of this synopsis is that if she
immediately showed concern she could tame it;
otherwise she has to go on the defensive…
give back more than it dished out, wearing it
down, hammering it constantly to drive it out
of mind… definitely worth exploring - honestly
what else could she do to end the invasion…
un-batten the hatches, she was going in with
double barrel PMS attitude…


Fairy Godparents

Why should it all be on her shoulders?
What about a fairy godfather or maybe
a tag team duo that could swoop in
when necessary… an Alpha/Beta pairing.
I admit some days would go much easier
with a flit of a wand or some magical
incantation drifting sparkling dust …
Not the kind of dust stirred up when my
Corgis roughhouse spewing loose fur
that wafts through the house…
not metallic or plastic glitter kind either.
Please don’t give me more work, it’s so
hard to vacuum those innocuous squares.
I’m looking for regular good old fashioned
pixie dust… or magic beans, or genie lamps;
they were normal features of my youth.
Imagination ran rampant picturing my
grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…
leaving the mundane behind; magically
lifting themselves into flights of fancy;
gossamer wings iridescent in moon’s glow
fluttering free of mistakes and earthly woes
to dance among the fireflies…
Those thoughts were the light of my days;
Residing far from sour reality, I still drift
with fairy folk engaging my creative magical
powers to resolve coulda, woulda, shoulda…


Hoarding -- Poetry 2010

Amassing words, she
stuffed them into drawers,
cabinets, files, notebooks,
anywhere they would fit.
Clippings from magazines;
snipped newspaper headlines;
letters torn from junk mail
littered flat surfaces,
floated when stirred by breeze
or when she walked past
her piles of compulsion.
A miser hoarding print not gold
she fingered through her collections.
Singly, in phrases and quotes…
they were her wealth;
they held immense value;
they signified who she was…
their meaning more important
than family or friends…
two dimensional, they swelled
in her mind to encompass
ultimate three dimensional truths.
Striking the match, her decision,
no one would take her words away…
or her away from her words.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Slick when Wet -- Poetry 2010

check out what happened…
often she squabbles with herself
about making her way to work
in the morning but its important
that she go or else she doesn't
get paid.
she’d always been one to
leap first,
look later…
spent lots of time being lost.
she can't decide which
she’s more in need of…
a sugar daddy,
grocery money,
flip-flops with no humidity,
modern sword and sorcery,
or a back rub…
mind numbing drive!
she already had several thrills
for today – pouring rain,
slick highway and thick mist…
thinking about the one who
created thongs;
a car switched lanes
smashing her car into the barrier…
prayers to the goddess Asphalta
are said to help in traffic situations
but not this time…


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mountain Air -- Poetry 2010

That would be quite the sad place.
The great outdoors with this male crew
of back stabbers plotting all their busy
transactions rampaging through the forest;
loud, obnoxious, greedy but not equipped
with survival skills of any merit… they’d
shudder envisioning the beauty of fresh
killed deer skinned and butchered…
a memory of backpacking in with her father
and brothers to fill the freezer for winter.
Well, if it’s any consolation, her father would
say stay away from gender bias, she guessed…
Direct anger towards those who deserve it;
hardly believing the drama that was thrown
in her direction daily! What a crock
of doo-doo? They underestimated her…
Getting cross eyed reading she’d best
them at their game; after a few years, she’d
finish top of her class – same as now…
she'll take a rain check until her nostrils
were making love to that crispy mountain air!


Checked Out -- Poetry 2010

Currently she was located in the
Great State of Indifference…
she didn’t give an apathetic crap either.
Sometimes less wasn’t very exciting;
it would be good to have a little mystery
in one's life – nothing nefarious –
some simple mystique to adorn her fascia.
Disheartening times had touched her heart;
Word storms kept flames alive when the stars
were aligned in a certain way with the planets.
The experience meant getting burned;
reinventing unsatisfactory feelings… injury
was not a reward but at least she felt pain
instead of being totally checked out…


Disjointed -- Poetry 2010

Spirit felt one way;
the body container exhibited something else…
There wasn’t longing to escape the confines
of flesh that didn’t reflect its true nature…
Amused at the manifestation,
it distanced itself from the daily routine,
from the events of this particular journey;
from unruly rushing thoughts
from trying on endless emotions…
the disjointed body moves fighting toward the end;
trying to hold on; not willing to relinquish its soul.
Sitting back for the ride; observing without critique;
Spirit is childlike enthusiastically waiting for dissolution.
Wise in the mystery of conception to slipping free,
it processes through another cycle toward dissipation.


Pride -- Poetry 2010

There was deliberate pride…
a delicious pride in being a victim.
Striding hard to do her best, she carried her
bruises as proof – medals of honor…
ultimately she desired a purple heart;
the highest sacrifice one could give to a marriage.
The dismal side suited her; happy was lame.
Opening arms to the darkness, she held on tight
preferring her bleak cocoon to flying free.
Such a sense of safety letting him set her life
story in black and blue and letting of her blood.
This star dusted epiphany made more sense;
She danced in unbalanced horror and injury.


Drifting in the Current -- Poetry 2010

Swimming against the tide,
her least favorite death…
Drowning seemed closer to reality.
Fatigue was setting in
every cell was numbing
she let herself drift -
The old – go with the flow.
Envisioning how she’d tell
this tale of messing up the reaper
of grimness’s account books…
it wasn’t her time;
her children needed her now;
she had too much to do!
He’d have to wait.
Sluggishly her brain went over
the day’s completed tasks:
signing off on her changed will;
filing for divorce with accurate
documentation of his threats;
celebratory lunch with gal pals…

For fun he had left her arms free…
smiling he snapped a few keepsake photos;
twisting his wedding band – till death do us part -
He watched her drift with the current
until the kids started to fuss in the car…


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

it's nighty something -- Poetry 2010

If you believe…
blind faith breaks up the fight;
must remember moderation,
think and react to the full spectrum
of experiencing humanity

She went to the other side…
if she could back all of time
involved with something that remains true,
there was an opportunity to tack on
a few years to her life with paranormal activity.

If it's not formed now, she’d be
crashed within an hour…
for the uninitiated
usually the anger subsides with death
but it IS out there…
not feeling that sense of care
not diluting pent up emotions
not forgiving oneself…

Facts turned into
an all together bizarre
nighty night or nighty day;
since she gave up on that fight,
she took pleasure in extruding
a few pink sparkles at an un-dead
ghoul in black and white robes…


walking vulnerable -- Poetry 2010

another trick or treat evening
she was drinking mead
wearing chain mail
lugging a broad sword
trying to avoid trouble
managing to not get mugged
in the night she walked directly
down the centre of the avenue
avoiding getting run over as well
fellow ghosts and goblins
trampled through soggy leaves
and the sky turned black
and the sky turned blue
tramping through leaden leaves
a huge weight was lifted
off her heart, off her pain
afraid she might hole up
back in her apartment an easy
posture for her, who lacked
the courage to live according
to her convictions… so among
the Halloween throngs, she entered
a vegetative state wandering
to the lakes; walking directly into
the murky water, she stepped
outside her little world…
Nighty night!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Re-dream -- Poetry 2010

Raking her nails in the air
to hold onto spectral visions:
trying to repeat the sequence;
trying to slip back into the format;
trying to reunite with him.
He appeared infrequently but he
mentored her, gently held her as
companion and lover –
occurrences of his visits were more
than a dream; she remembered every
detail, wrote them in her journal.

Determined to get back to him
she purposely fell back asleep…
Twisted, forced, unnatural…
the dreams that followed were
not spontaneous, not free will…
dredged and fried a burnt umber,
the dampened bizarre images
sloshed and splattered overflowing
into reality; she was drenched in sweat.
Waking distressed, sharp edged
thoughts jarred her consciousness
cutting into morning’s softness.
Bleeding out radiance, the cuts
spilled onto her innate body…
sticky substance glued her in place;
stuck her beneath the warm covers
murmuring - all I want is you -
while morning convulsed to noon…


Saturday, October 16, 2010


Going incognito
she blended in with
street people…
her friends thought
she was nuts; it was
intuition nutrition.
The book deal renewed
her appreciation
of recent earnings…
extravagant earnings
compared to her former
below poverty standing.
Subtle observation was
key while avoiding too
much eye contact; her
mumbles into her scarf
were ignored – the small
recorder played back
her notations. Being
on the spot helped her
portray the grit and grime;
helped her prepare in
depth characters and
scenarios for her next
contracted book…


Wallow in Praise -- Poetry 2010

Life was about acknowledgement.
All the volunteering fed her do-good image.
Under the guise of community service,
she sustained her appetite for rescue…
Selfless in her zeal, she neglected herself;
spread too thin, she feel prey to disease.

The mailman failed to note the full box;
The newspaper deliverer ignored the stack;
The neighbors assumed she was off volunteering…
The delivery man just left the package behind
potted plants with the newspapers.

Her people began to complain:
Where were their meals on wheels;
Where were their free rides;
Where were their treats for the meeting;
Where was their Heaven sent volunteer.

Angry, she was bitterly angry…
After all she had given, hours and hours
to every organization and service;
here she lay paralyzed watching the hands
on her wall clock twitch the seconds away.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Lone Flight -- Poetry 2010

She’d been winging it alone for a long time...
marriage vows willfully broken by her love.
When confronted he’d had the audacity to say:
I could have kept everything hidden from you.
twenty-six years worth of residual thoughts that
she didn’t have the strength to fly alone…
Limited by her own thinking, she flew
as if still tethered to his perch; going in circles,
ring upon concentric ring favoring her
injured psyche in a terminal holding pattern.
Looking back, there wasn’t lack of courage;
There was just a lack of belief in herself;
she assumed she would rescue another man.
Ironically it was that expectation of picking
a clone partner that heralded red flags.
There wasn’t any chance of future failure; she
successfully avoided catapulting into similar
circumstances… she flew unencumbered.


Un-Preened -- Poetry 2010

My mother knew she was pretty.
Well, I can only assume that…
She made sure she had a dusting
of powder, lipstick and eyebrow pencil
on before leaving the house…
Out in public she looked like all the
other Moms of the mid 1950’s;
Put together in a simple pleasing manner
wearing white gloves and her infamous
polka dot shirt dresses to go grocery shopping.

Not sure how I missed out on the rudimentary
body care basics. Never was into make-up,
I was a “Tom Boy”… with their mother’s permission,
some of my friends plastered their faces
with all the latest products touted in Seventeen
magazine… I’d never heard of it or read it.

They’d ooh and ah over the advertised clothing,
while I stole my brothers button down shirts
to wear with jeans and T’s…
I remember hacking my hair using the
triple bathroom mirror… honestly can’t remember
ever setting a teen foot into a “beauty salon”.
I was decidedly different as far as preening
and would rather be fishing, hiking, swimming
or working in the garden…

Hidden in imagination, I spent hours reading.
Went through a run on biographies, the supernatural
and settled in mysteries determined to read every
book in our small town library’s mystery collection…
I’m sure Mom fussed over my appearance: combing
my hair, sewing clothes for me but there were no lessons
in make-up or body care; I was handed a booklet about
menstruation and left to puzzle that out. The 1950’s
norms for me, now I’m in my sixties…
Things haven’t changed much for me: still into mysteries,
still no make up, still in jeans san T’s and sweatshirts…
un-adorned, un-shorn, un-preened…


Weight in Gold -- Poetry 2010

Half way to death -
that is if she were lucky.
Forty her mid point if the family genes
were a viable indicator of birth to finality …
staring into her reflection the likeness
of ancestors stared back: cheekbones,
prominent chin, shape of mouth and eyebrow…

So far healthy, so far free from injury…
she must have a network of angles
encompassing her vitality; keeping her
moving forward at full capacity…
but where were they when it came
to her choice of men?

She couldn’t hear their wings flutter…
They shifted their presence when it came to love.
Love was another dimension, maybe the Twilight
Zone; she looked over her shoulder for Rod Serling.
Another tanked relationship; one more heartache
swirling her through the break up blender.
Tonight’s excess ice cream and late night horror movies
didn’t have the same effect of snapping her out of
the rutted road of this current failed relationship…

Shifting perspective, failed? None of those men
were worth their weight in gold!
Those angles were protecting her…


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Soaring -- Poetry 2010

She was an old soul
trying on the face of vulnerability.
She’d done well by it
in this current incarnation.
Getting all the nuances,
she didn’t speak up for herself;
she was the best victim:
rounded posture;
inanimate voice;
drifting eyes…
She put all her effort
into these lessons:
putting up with verbal abuse;
letting people take advantage;
allowing slight of hand wounding
physically and emotionally.
Especially wary of men,
she trusted very few;
mistrusted herself even more…
Her persona avoided conflict,
avoided interaction,
avoided renewable pain.
Distrust was her best friend;
as faith in human kind weakened,
she forgo renewing relationship
subscriptions and filled her
emotional void with art and writing;
There her spirit soared…


Hissy Fit -- Poetry 2010

Hate You…
Hate you to infinity!
Rot and die you filthy bastard!!!

The hissy fit just echoed
against fused skull bones;
Her cranium amplified
her sharp edged rant that
made no external appearance.
Of course normally
she was too well mannered
to say that let alone scream
but then there was his well
placed duct tape over her mouth.
Her eyes gave her away…
that rattlesnake stare caused
her antagonist to back up
after only taping down one arm.
Her wobbling gun,
lethal and mesmerizing,
was another reason…

before he was only thinking of himself
fueled by greed and balanced
equally with rancor, his acid spit
spattered prisms from his lips;
Now, he wasn’t out of her range,
begging her not to shoot; his words
soured and curdled in an attempt
to sound sweet, innocent, misguided…
would he make it to the door?


Shadows -- Poetry 2010

Dreams dissolve
vaporized by morning light
seeping into cracked window pane.
Lingering mist solidifies,
sadness coagulates night and day,
layer by layer
seeping into her soul;
tapping into ancient misery
physical foibles in life’s circle.
Her purpose unknown…
questioning why and why not;
questioning what and what if.
Relentless in her
pursuit of meaning;
world weary,
bereft of dreams
she dissolves
vaporized by morning light
seeping into a window of pain…


Boo to boog-a-boos -- Poetry 2010

The birthday fairy forgot to announce
my special day a few weeks ago…
it came and went like any other day.
No frills, no whistles, no cake…
Maybe waking up each day is
celebration enough for holding
death at bay for another few minutes,
hours, days, et al...

tomorrow could be all about the
'last word'…
what should that be?
It needs to be an interesting word or phrase;
a motto of sorts summing up my life’s experiences…
I love this one:
loud is good, fast is better, loud and fast is best.
How about my high school yearbook caption:
Hold the fort, I’m coming!
I think that's my classic statement –
don’t know who said either first.
Probably too much to say with a last breath…
So, I guess, say nothing?

and what I would wear?
I suppose that depends on
what, where and how…
not much choice there
totally left to circumstance.

I also must say that I have fond
birthday memories; most from
childhood when everything seemed
special… waiting for my birthday was
exciting as waiting for Thanksgiving
or Christmas filled with family hoop la.

There were good ones;
There were lonesome ones,
silly or sad ones – sixty three to date.
Most of my thoughts are helpful;
alone, I drift in thought with meditation
helping to slow down my "monkey mind".
It’s in my DNA to think things through
putting to rest past booga-boos…


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Newspapers -- Poetry 2010

Gramma was an obituary junkie.
Actually she was a newspaper fanatic;
sitting in a comfortable chair by the
kitchen window, she read from front to
back the daily Rockville Journal.
Despite wearing bifocals, the bright light
was necessary to assist her fading vision;
Coming in from junior high, she’d fold
the paper for a proper greeting…
hugs and how was school today
over a cup of black pekoe tea so strong
a spoon could stand upright in it.
Sometimes we’d soft boil eggs;
The treasured egg cups purchased
shortly after my grandparents first
arrived by steamship from the old country.
I never thought to ask why they made that
journey with three daughters in tow
leaving friends and family behind;
starting over with very few belonging,
more babies were birthed over the years.
What did they bring with them?
Missing her family; she regretted not seeing
her mother one more time during her
life because the journey by ocean liner
was expensive and time consuming.
We take so much for granted:
instant messages - email or voice;
video cameras on PCs;
cell phones – texting, voice, images –
all around instant world wide communication
at out fingertips day or night.
Who bothers to read newspapers…


post-break up news -- Poetry 2010

Made it through first 48 hours…
She made a list compelling reasons
why she couldn’t be with him.
He was almost a perfect match;
craving him like a pina colada…
she deleted him from her phone to avoid
calling or texting during weak moments.
Retraining her brain to go back to
obsessing about work again.

She welcomed her imaginary boyfriend
back and he forgave her… thank goodness.
Where is the man who is worthy?
He must be around here someplace...
Luckily that imaginary man is taking up
the slack until that worthy man appears.
Luckily she loved her life before he came
into it and still loves it after he left it …

She was making her mama proud...
Remembering her advice about hearts
and sleeves; a pity party right now would
be an insult to everything amazing in her life.
Just going miss him that's all…
wish he had conducted himself differently
but she was feeling ridiculously satisfied with life…


Myself -- Poetry 2010

Have I told you lately that I love your attitude?
You are a ray of sunshine. Maybe that'll be
your new nick name - Sunray… People suck.
Animals are usually much nicer than humanoids.
I think I'm a little scary right now. I'm still in limbo.
Picking up your cat vibes - feeling really intense
ready to attack, kill and rip something into a million
pieces. Then stomp on it. Then burn it.
I’m way past PMS but the cycle of moon still pulls…
Caffeine and sugar overload doesn’t help either.
ONE heavy statement under consideration…
women tend to think out loud and men tend to
process before they speak. I stopped to think once,
and forgot to start again… my marbles are really
rolling tonight… not tired at all; I’ll isolate myself
and read. Safer for everyone involved including
myself… wait! Is that a cold sore? What the hell!
I was relaxed all day painting…


Monday, October 11, 2010

Old Friends -- Poetry 2010

I need a distraction… kidnap me,
force me to laugh and have fun.
I haven't been very communicative…

What do you think of this idea?
I just read that 10 10 10 is how
you write 42 in binary.

Does this mean we will find the answer
to life, the universe and everything today?

Tell me more my learned friend…

And remember the Tortoise!

What is in your tea? I haven't laughed
so much in a long time… you’re loony!
I'm worried on your behalf.

Love is bittersweet… in this phase of life
I’ve been too isolated. I’ve turned into an
old lady with her cats. My art productivity
hasn't been easy either.

We need to do tea more often.
Just for the heck of it next time bring
an art project – we’ll play - my productivity
hasn't been easy either!

Omg - I haven’t felt this way for years
or is that over-optimistic!

Deliciously optimistic, you forgot, I also
like free food! Bring more coffee cake…


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Aunt’s Studio -- Poetry 2010

Couple months ago she ran out the door.
That’s the blahs - Still not going home yet…
The hills are alive with the sound of crunchy leaves;
Squinting through the camera lens… it does look
beautiful but soon there’ll be a blanket of white and cold.
Relishing the reflecting colors against blue sky,
she shuffled through bountiful leaves back to her
Aunt’s studio to upload her photo studies of leaves
before starting to illustrate her leaf sprite story…

Her mother found her missing car keys
hiding in her own coat pocket; holding
them in her palm, she screamed curses...
throwing them across the room; her anger
exploded as the mirror cracked and a vase fell.
Hands numb from being squeezed tight;
Balled fists ready to smash anything in her path.
Face as red as a lobster boiling, she turned
toward the cats… she’d been tolerating
their existence to please her elderly mother;
she’d had to move back home after the divorce.
Cramped into her childhood bedroom, she had
turned vicious toward her own daughter,
blamed her for the divorce,
blamed her for taking the car keys,
blamed her for all the wrongs in her life.
Completely lost in her adult temper tantrum,
she barely heard her aged mother’s voice,
Leave them alone, you’ve done enough damage.
Thankfully she found peace again hiding beneath
a bit of Belvedere and a couple olives; swigging it
down while saying "to heck with that rotten little brat"
Drowning out her own mother's quiet musing,
That will be the death of thee…


have you ever written a song -- Poetry 2010

Cleaning her room, she got stung again;
She found the crumpled notepaper.
As painful as the day it happened…
Fresh tears spattered blending with
previous strayed ink of her first song,
chords and verses looped in elementary
penmanship reminder that her stepmother said –
I heard you the first two times you butchered it.
Giving into such nasty criticism, she
had put music behind her for a while…
Wicked nasty woman – pleasing forward -
Detrimental when alone; raking her over
the coals of prolonged misery; burning
joy from twenty four hours one second
at a time during her father’s tours of duty.

Grandmother paused in packing to hold her tight,
cradling and comforting one another in silence…
Aren’t you finished yet – abrasive expression
I gave you an hour… finish up or its mine!
Ignoring the voice, they gathered the last
of the surface belongings and the movers
stepped in for the bedroom furniture…

His attorney satisfied his requests… his second wife’s
hidden agenda, his guess of a better way of putting it…
was not acceptable; the box from his daughter
full of DVD footage of her stepmother had caused
more than a squabble; it was a flaming discussion –
the height of meanness in which she layered nasty
remarks on his daughter, put her at risk with parties
and strangers was finished via long distance
phone calls, an officer serving divorce papers and
his mother moving her out from under sheer hell…


I Really Mean It -- Poetry 2010

I've been toying with the idea of having
an undead party…
One that recognizes all the times you
almost bit it but due to luck, savings grace
or some other grand scheme you were allowed
to slip past the reaper, dodge his icy stare
to futz about awhile longer in this thing we call life.
We could journal out near misses into permanent
remember-when’s and wow, that was a close one…

Fortunately mine is ending long before yours will;
Unless you have a major catastrophe – you are younger!
What a bummer but it was bound to happen eventually.
I share your pain, I am going to be missed, I hope…
Maybe not – the way friends come and go.
I have no clue who is still standing, inhaling breath
of life - precious air keeping us in the pink of things…

I have no one special or otherwise to spend my evenings with;
I know bunches of people, fellow travelers who skirt my sea
but rarely come to port by phone, in person, email or mail.
I’m guilty too of whirling through my space preoccupied;
Emptying lung’s air with phrases:
How are you?
So sorry to hear of your mishap...
How’s it going?
Take care of yourself & heal quickly…
What’s new?
Give me a call, we’ll get together

Noncommittal listening but worries about bills or
a myriad of other things clog our daily brains…
As you know, I’m very good at that – I am concerned
but as I walk away my own problems sweep back into place.
It's what a depressed person tells someone who asks;
I’ll tell you what’s up… I hope you really want to hear.
Come to my undead party – I really mean it…


Morning Disclosure -- Poetry 2010

Rectangle of glowing light frames the lanky
figure standing in bedroom doorway;
Cobwebs from sleep cloud my eyes looking
up at a halo of golden curls - his loose robes
flutter in mid morning breeze…

Sitting, pushing body warmth soaked covers,
Legs slip feet to cool marble floor…
Sheepishly mumbling I never sleep this late;
Not been sleeping well for weeks…

Lowering head to chest, his face held its shadows;
the golden haired figure floated back into dawn
allowing a smaller dark haired woman access…
efficiently she made up the bed, pulling the corners
tight while going over the agenda for the day.

Rubbing ears, straining to hear her words…
They were important but her diction was soft,
so quiet… please repeat, my ears are still
filled with slumber. She continued speaking
soft as dew settling on spider webs…

Barking dogs excited for breakfast woke
me struggling to hear her supple words…


Friday, October 8, 2010

The Path -- Poetry 2010

Bread crumb strewn path
has its short comings…
Much to the birds delight;
Predators count on distraction.
Cruelly he scattered crackers
or bread behind him daily.
He changed foraging habits
of woodland birds, small
mammals, reptiles…
urging dependency;
fostering their trust.
Impending rainy season,
short light days,
trigger increased appetite.
Lacing the crumbs with poison,
he left a path of death in
dawn’s first light…


Pursued -- Poetry 2010

Defying gravity
she resurfaced
gasping for her life;
screams struck,
breath stilled
grasping onto sanity.
Since childhood
this explicit vision,
repeating nightmare,
subjugated peaceful sleep

Pursued relentlessly,
she ran shrinking in size;
Her cells collapsed,
consolidated into microscopic
bits and still terrorized…
Threat continued stalking;
Invisible to its sight,
her atoms and molecules
slipped into plaster and studs.
Sturdy walls built by her father
couldn’t even stop her brother…

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Impenetrable Core -- Poetry 2010

Left alone to her imagination, she created
fantasy worlds where a little girl could quest…
Her older brothers gifted her with books
of magical beings, taught her to use a bow,
took her hiking in the rainforest, rode horses
with her perched on their lap… she thrived
making up stories in which she did more
than survive, she often helped save the day…
in this realm, she was clever and intuitive,
clearly accepted by elves and other beings
despite their differences and her small size.

Growing up isolated, especially once her brothers
left for college and a little strange due to lack
of interaction with children her age, these stories
and imaginary friends were more important than
real world connections of school, church, scouts.
When walking home from class, she would
catch glimpses of elves walking in tandem,
keeping an eye on her, making sure she was safe.

She liked to wander through cemeteries for fun;
Gazing at the elaborate grave monuments, her
thoughts turned to life and death; she questioned
why horrible things happened and was fascinated
by life’s mysteries, ghosts, disease and violence.
at this early age, she gave up on religion after her
mother died from cancer; she fueled her vivid imagination
burying herself in fairytales and the “Scifi” channel.
Until her dad came back into her life and forced her
to move with him to Arizona…

Dry, desolate; this was no place for elves to flourish.
Longing for the Pacific Northwest, she begged
to live with her older brothers… the loss of her
mother, the move, the separation from her siblings
was so disruptive she sat stone still, her mind bereft
as a blank book’s white pages; she was numb…
Her father’s family sought to drive the devil from her –
thought her imagination perverse and ungodly.
She shut down, became voiceless, walled off her
emotions and for the last week she suffered with bad
stomach aches…

The school nurse intervened; reported her suffering
to social services; witnesses documented her father
and his family care taker’s malignant assault…
A wince of a smile grazed her face as she spotted
the beaming faces of her brothers waiting at Seatac gate…


Poor Excuse/Cantankerous - Poetry 2010

Poor Excuse

What to do when her mother’s mind
wants to go 100 mph…
and her body is barely going 30 mph?
Mom was grouchy…
she tried not to take it personally…
she could barely relate to this new form…
Her mother would slap the table
with her palm, cry out “Damn it”
in a forlorn frustrated voice,
stumble over the sentence and give up…
a woman with the patience of a saint
reduced to crumbling thoughts
and escaping words.
The stroke took away her persona
leaving her with inexpressible memories,
a wavering voice, fractured synapses,
halting ability, defeat…
Her mother was never the same - childlike –
no current interactions were remembered;
her mother, the Gibraltar of her existence
might as well have died;
this disabled doppelganger
was a poor excuse for her mother…



her mother’s mind
wants to go 100 mph…
her body can only go 20
Mom’s palm slaps the table
“Damn it!”
frustrated voice
inarticulate words
stumbling sentences
gives up communicating…
to sit silent

a woman
patience of a saint
reduced to crumbling thoughts
escaping words

she tried not to take it personally…
she could barely relate to her mother’s new form…

The Stroke -
fractured synapses,
ate her persona,
made memories inexpressible,
ignored new memories;
resulted in a wavering voice,
halted ability,
defeated her…

Childlike –
faltering physically
her mother,
ex Gibraltar of existence
might as well
have died

Disabled Doppelganger -
made a poor excuse
for her former mother…


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Simplification -- Poetry 2010

You’ll be surprised how little you'll need
to keep after all of this time passes.
That was in response to my query…
Mom, what do you want for your birthday?
When my parents moved into their
remodeled cottage, they unloaded
many of their belongings; downsizing
personal and household items.
Simplified to focus on their interests…
seasonal outdoor sports limited slightly
by their increasing age: skiing, skating,
ice fishing, sailing, fishing, hiking and
travel camping in their van.
No need for extraneous kitsch items
to clutter surfaces or need dusting;
comfortable clothes suited the season;
equipment was of high quality
purchased on sale… they had what
they needed – simply each other…


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bones -- Poetry 2010

Indian Summer’s warmth
seeps into his bones.
He savors his remaining days
seasoned to perfection…
Momentarily buffering winter’s
bitterness settling on worn taste buds.

Damp gray melancholy approaches
floating with descending leaves,
his bones ache at the thought;
his colorless appetite fades;
his strength wanes with fall’s demise;
he settles in-between life and death.

Feeling really emotionally stretched,
her distress went straight to her stomach…
Between ascending grief and sharp
discomfort, she waffled in a syrup
of pinched tears and grouchy outbursts
preparing mentally, physically
and spiritually for his departure…

Despite all he has gone through,
he has a wonderful spirit and an
incredible drive to survive. He tries
to fuel his thin frame with treats
she provides but sensibly passes
heeding his system’s collapse.

She realizes his physical capabilities
are limited; he moves slowly determined
to follow her from room to room; the body
his spirit resides in is already seeking release.
Cradling his head, humming soothing sounds,
she gazed into his clouded eyes…
You know you are my inspiration, right?


Monday, October 4, 2010

What no-one remembers to mention -- Poetry 2010

Truth never changes;
Love is experimentation; actually…
relationships are experimentation;
What’s true today might have
expiration dates in fine print …
enter the 50% divorce rate.
It’s hard to accept the fact
that I once loved you.
When I see you now,
I can’t understand
what I thought I saw.
You were different, that’s for sure;
I wanted to believe we were in love.
Stuffing my common sense,
ignoring the bold print,
it would have been better
to bravely leave the experiment;
instead, I was embarrassed
and waited for you to achieve
your happiness quota.
Scientific notation and observation
indicated what I was in for;
I put myself in line for your
tirades and self absorption.
I wish I could turn back the hands
of time just to get a quick
glimpse of a life without you
but there are no time machines
to repair unintentional promises.
What no-one remembers to mention -
only own 50% of most relationship problems…
Going back through our issues:
I was immature, inexperienced,
desperate to love but no more;
alone all these years,
I’ve found some surprisingly cool benefits:
I reestablished my creative vision and cleared
my writing voice while intentionally following
common sense…


Sun was Shining -- Poetry 2010

She danced because it made her feel
like she was somebody,
like she could really be somebody.
When she danced the sun was shining;
Shining the brightest that it’s ever shined.

There were no butterflies when the announcer
made the last warning call just before line up…
her captive muse was a powerful thing; she had
an innate ability to move with grace beyond her years
yet so darling immersed in her childhood magic.

The accident left her stuck in her five-year-old mind.
Sitting in the sun, her crumpled frame bound to a wheelchair;
hearing any kind of music, she danced without movement.
When she danced the sun was shining;
her smile shining the brightest that it’s ever shined…


Sunday, October 3, 2010

One of the Greatest Blessings -- Poetry 2010

She did not want to engage
with the world too much today
but she almost certainly had
to put in an appearance. Meeting
new people left her wrenching inside;
an awful sea sick stomach accompanied
this intrusion of her time and shyness.

Birthday… it was the woman’s birthday!
No mention of that in the email invite…
Flowers… everyone brought a bouquet!
It's one of those days when she could tell
that things are moving with or without her.
Embarrassed she gazed closely at art work
covering the walls; lined up as if gallery hung.

Wishing her internal critic would stop shouting…
Sigh. I know. I know. My destiny, my fate...
blah, blah, blah… same thoughts routinely
slide around her mind about the role of shyness
that slip her up in social situations…
habits and attitude twisted into her very core;
vortexes made of un-recycled thoughts, invisible marks…
parental neglect the source of her low self esteem –
ugly marks that are carried for generations – she
grasped the idea what a gift raising a child can be…


Saturday, October 2, 2010

Word of the Day is Drivel -- Poetry 2010

Woke up under slept and grouchy,
I know, I know. I'm evil and selfish.
Creating for hours, I went to bed at 3 am.
I could feel totally self righteous
and justified with my grouchiness…
two steps back; three steps forward.
I dance the tango along the fine line
between madness and determination;
striving for a different result, I will often
be polite and smile as I listen to the drivel
that spews from the mouths of some folks
just so darn peppy and LOUD at 7am.


Friday, October 1, 2010

You're a Path Blazer -- Poetry 2010

There must be some weird early morning
light around here that was blinding her
or it was the lack thereof as fall descended
or she was too busy to look for too long in the mirror…
whatever, here she sat with her sweater inside out.
How come no one told her? So this is what morning
looks like on my first day as office lead coordinator.
Shaking her head to clear morning fog, she
slipped into the restroom to shift right side out
which revealed a large circular splat of yogurt…
if she washed it – a big wet spot on her chest,
if she left it alone, a crusty residue in a perfect circle…
Why does this happen when there is a serious meeting?
That room was hot; she’d swelter in the sweater…
pulling out her pen from her purse, she drew a rose
without thorns incorporating the obvious stain.

Referring to more practical matters, she was well
prepared because of having quiet vision and drive…
Since I’m finding out how original you are…
Her boss began leading up to project assignments,
This is your talent, adapting to what comes your way
as you enhanced that stain… I know heaps of people
that cannot even fathom this concept…


Face any demons lately? -- Poetry 2010

Cleverly hidden personal demons
stuffed into mental steamer trunks
or whisked away by magical thinking
into the land of denial…
In this case ignorance wasn’t bliss;
She was tired of her quasi-dementia
as wicked self-demons intensified,
gained strength and power
when left in unanswered darkness.
She acknowledged them today…
made an honest list entitled
Honoring my Misconceptions.
She vowed to love, honor and
cherish them as part of her being
while she methodically eliminated
them one by one in the light of day.
Laughing she gathered all her
self-help books from the shelf;
grabbing the last few next to the bed;
she carried the bag to the garage
pausing to stare deeply into the hall
mirror – the demon reflected back..
“Get Out!” it was a start….


Engaged -- Poetry 2010

Accepting his ring,
a promise to keep
His wife not even dead…
his old man smell cloying.
She thought
it was her only way to assure
survival of her family.
He had his servant draw a bath;
she looked at what bound her
to this old man’s
wrinkled loose flesh,
the smooth cold gold ring:
a circle of promise,
a circle of despair,
a symbol of beginning to end.
Her smooth firm skin grew cold;
so young, she was so young
to be placed in this arrangement.
his spotted hand began to droop;
his extended arm wobbled
as features hardened and
thin lips disappeared to a slit.
No chance now;
he would be obeyed…
twisting the ring on her finger -
engaged, her body engaged
with youthful speed
snapping his arm to her side
broaching the window,
she embraced heaven
as she sent him to hell…