Friday, December 31, 2010
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
levels rose silently
not following through,
lack of motivation,
sitting quietly glued
to flickering screen.
lack sense of threat;
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:
failure to stabilize
an underactive thyroid…
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
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…
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
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.
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 but symbols…
Nothing connects night images to the day…
Tuesday, December 28, 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
Visible scar of childhood
above my right eye
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
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
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...
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
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
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
She gave up;
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’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…
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
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
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…
Signing off laced in despair,
she thought why bother when
posting her soul for naught;
her words hung via binary code
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
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…
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…
Can’t make up its mind:
sun, partly sunny, rain, gray, sun
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.
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…
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…
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…
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…
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
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
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
Pin pricks of light weave dawn
through glistening evergreen bows
jolt of fuel stimulating system
reviving warm draught fogs glasses
breath pulls in moist earth scent
wishing for companion cigarette
missing entwined wisps of smoke and steam
suffocation and stimulant…
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
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.
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:
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
Floating above the surface
life was shallow;
a soul seeking sustenance
in barren times.
In trying to forget,
the only pleasure…
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
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…
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…
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
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.
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,
Monster, 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
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
Boys all at one table
Girls all at the others
Automatically scope out
the situation upon entering;
scurrying to male/female division
In just a few years,
turn goofy in the other’s presence.
Begin the game of flirting.
Caution: Hormones Raging
Begin love interests;
Begin cycling heartaches and euphoria.
Rises and lowers
waves upon shore
of plastic table tops
giggle and laugh
You can to
Yah, do that
egging each other on
what if you
Finishing the project
Looks better already
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
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
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
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
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…
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
Mom you’re shuffling again…
Slippers scuff the floor
barely achieving lift.
Fake lamb’s wool made in China
of faux materials and foam.
Back and forth, counter to fridge,
preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Cold floors, cold feet, oversized
slippers and heavy socks…
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…
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…
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
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…
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 …
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…
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…
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…
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…
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 ní nach bhfeiceann. An eye evades a thing it does not see.
At least two months
since bathing or was it more?
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
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
soft breath on her neck;
feeling his frame spooned;
body heat soaked senses…
incandescent blighted sight
destructing illusory form
alone with rumpled bedding
double bed a waste of space
for her slight silhouette
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.