Friday, June 29, 2012

Indulgent Sacrifice

Summer comes only 
after strawberries are
willing to bleed full bags 
of life-giving transfusions
filled with sugar
sweetened red
by sunshine's heat.  

They want cut open 
and beg to be
bitten into, leaving
a stain so
everyone knows the 
exact way 
I partook of pleasure

Sometimes Shalom

whispers like a
"I'm with you -
come follow me."

I don't know Hebrew
but surely Shalom
is spelled this way?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Found a Merry Widow

at the racetrack today. When she said
she was seventy, I almost took the paint
clean off a stock car.  Her husband
of many years retired in '05,
then hurried to die - before

what they had been
waiting for began.

She was there with another man,
one young at heart
who said yes right away

when the racing dream
called him yesterday.

She had tats all over, love colors
permanently inked - reminding her
to decide to choose life,
and say yes to loving again,
and say yes to moving on,

and say yes to throwing away
the cumbersome weight of things.

A tattoo of two hands permanently
reminds her of her first man's
workaholic love that kept dreams
waiting until it was too late.

She was pissed as she missed
him - for this.

Grandkids seek and find the
inked hands hiding, and caress the
flower heart when they hug her warm
skin. They remember grandpa's love
holding them like this.

So does she.

Each flower holds a
memory they get to retouch
over and over again - like when he
balanced his teeth on his head
or put them backwards and upside
down to hear them SHRIEK.

See this other flower? When they touch
this one they see again the cigarettes
he stuck up his nose
or in his ears
to make them laugh.

So does she.

Inked love never wrinkles. When
you touch it, it stays smooth.

So does she.

This woman was light this morning. I borrowed it. 

Evergreen State Fairgrounds Speedway. Richard Petty Race Car Driving Experience. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Ponder

Sappho's apple, the 
left hanging in the tree. 
Were the pickers careless?
Or accidental artists 
who left a dangling 
for winter's cold forgetting 
when proof is needed, wanted, 
that summer came and 
blossomed here 
as all the world
 can see. 

Being last, the one 
is a chilly situation. You 
shrivel and dry up by 
way of lonely nights
where no one
 hears you
 wail or moan.

Put me in your basket. 
Enjoy me crisp and juicy. 
Pick me. Eat me.

Sappho, please
don't leave me there

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Making Fleur de Sel

You labor hard to love me full
as sweat flies off your forehead
mixing with my tears. A salty 
spilling, we fall overboard, to
deep and dark communion places,
flower of the sea reunion spaces.

I dry these lacy crystals,
collect them in a bottle
to shake and  season savory
over all the days ahead.

Loverby is coming home tonight. Lucky, lucky me. I love my farm boy .... and homecomings. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Here I watch a berry begin,
first the flower's middle tousled by
a bee, then the fruited face swells, 
bewhiskered, no juice to give 
until summer carries it to 
me, ripe for wanting, 
ripe for gathering,
ripe for dripping 
down my chin. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wallace Falls

When did the 
stones and roots 
stumbling me 


stairs leading 
me toward 
higher ground? 

Wallace Falls ~ Goldbar, Washington ~ June 21, 2012 ~ Tough Hike ~ Worth it.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


She felt my stare hard
enough in the seat in
front of me to turn
her black skin burning.
The twisted colors
kept me curious -
wondering if she wanted
to know what a silky swish
of swinging hair brushing
a bare shoulder felt like -
as much as I want to know
how a hundred braids
stay in a knot without
anything keeping the
ends from unraveling.
More than her braids I
envy the unhurried love
that handcrafted
this wearable art.

When Awake

Poetry leaves a coupling scent in
the sheets of the dream replacing
thoughts with images used to
remember feelings and awaken
again the sensation of sight.

I borrowed Either or Films title Sensation of Sight as a prompt for this. Attribution. Brilliant movie in my opinion. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Tour

The chemist guided us
through her house
wearing disapproval
clamped to his clipboard
of efficiencies.

When Barry, artist of fragile
assemblage asked to revisit a
private moment with a painting-
the man's wrist watch
rattled in alarm.

The chemist tied my hands behind
my back with his eagle eyes
warning me not to touch or let
my camera capture history
disintegrating before me.

I rebelled by taking my leisure
coming down stairs caressing
the banister's curls.

And again I sassed him in
the kitchen, beyond permission,
slipping my barefoot out of its
shoe rubbing love into the
wanting skin of old boards.

Toward the end we sat in Emily's
sacred room as he gave us
ugly green copies of a souvenir 
poem. He did not take notice of
Margaret's two hands cupped
supplicating to receive
the wafered words.

I wrote this right afterward, really mad. Looking back over the day, the poor man really did love Emily and wanted to share his wealth of knowledge and probably saw himself as the sole protector. My memories have grown quite fond of him at this distance. I only mourn the fact that you can't see what I saw. 

I loved seeing her room most, imagining her wide, wide view of the world of words....written on such a small desk. 

Glenworkshop East -Mt Holyoke College-June 2012-Amherst 

For Warren Farha

He intuits a young poet needs Jayber Crow to cut his first Berry wisdom teeth on. 

I come begging counsel from a generous librarian willing to direct fledgling spiritual formation and midwife my thirsty, gaping soul. 

His care and passion for passing on well crafted wordsmithing reminds me of Helene's beloved Frank Doel - purveyor and curator of painterly words.

The remedy exists if you missed out on your own 84 Charingcross Road experience. You can find it in Wichita, Kansas where Warren's bottomless bag of gifts waits for you. 

I have my finger poised, ready to click and pre order when he finally decides to write and publish his own work. Nobody can be as sensitive, intuitive, and well read as he is and NOT be a prolific writer. I'm waiting Warren. 

I had fun stalking this bag, the coolest bag I've ever seen, and asking for and getting a private photo shoot. The patina? Let's just say.....patina helps break the ice. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Metallic Mood

Benched, I sit 
lakeside, apart 
from the chatter 
to eat asparagus 
with my fingers and 
watch dragonflies 
stick their colors 
together midair. 

My eyes follow 
them blushing - 
lusting to try 
this kind of 
rainbow affair.

Instead, this guy came and stayed for about thirty minutes on my shoulder, looking at me adoringly. It was good consolation for having to stay earthbound. I felt visited. 

Understanding Beloved

The reason she quickened in her very viscera when
she first saw our book's title is because as a child
she remembers watching us break bread together
that last time. She saw me pass it to you saying,
"Take and eat, go make poetry in remembrance
of me."

You did, so will she.

I was perusing books upstairs at Warren's Eighth Day Books during Glenworkshop East. I came across a title that made me stop. My stomach jumped. I picked it up and recognized my poetry teacher's name. I didn't know who he was, nor had I read anything by him. Yet. (I registered at the last minute.) 

All week I pondered why it hit me so hard. It was strange enough I had to imagine an answer to understand. I really do believe it was Co-Authored. Along with the others. 

This is the title ~ Concerning the Book that is the Body of the Beloved Which is the World

Emily's Gate

It unlatched a welcome
for them to leave posies
and guitar player's
plastic on the alter
above her bones.

Someone said they
left whatever was in
their pockets.

I think they left a
begging need to
borrow her way
of fleshing out

I clutch my camera
that saved the day
and leave nothing
of mine behind.

Amherst ~ Emily Dickinson's Grave. Glenworkshop 2012 at Mt Holyoke College

This is for Maureen Doallas. I wanted her walking with me through history. 

The Poetry Teacher

skips the tickling and kissing
and teasing rituals. He comes
right inside - knocks me up
without knocking -
a poetry slam leaving
hard evidence that fertilizes
the ready egg of my
spawning imagination.
He sires an embryo who has
no choice to abort or miscarry.
It swims protected in
birthwaters of salt
waiting to quit the dark.

Glenworkshop East ~ Mt Holyoke College 2012 ~ Poetry ~ Gregory Orr. 

Deep imprint. You never forget the first time. I'll never be the same. Grateful. I aspire before I  die to write "one poem that sings". I came to this class green and poetry ignorant and left dizzy with poetry possibilities. A great teacher skips the boring text book and gets right to lighting a fire that can't easily be put out. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

In the Middle of a Miracle

Years ago in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem, during their Ramadan, when money is needed for the all-nighters they pull, a silver merchant chased me through the crowd to meet him in the middle between the high price he wanted and the low price I wanted to pay for a hand wrought silver bracelet.

I dug in my purse for the exchange. He bounced back to his stall smiling after he hooked the clasp around my wrist.

A small border piece broke off on the side soon after. I have worn it ever since, but it looks like it is missing a tooth. The piece was saved, except I couldn’t find the hiding place where I had put it away so safe. I kept putting off trying to find out if it could be repaired. 

Fast forward to today, several years since that day. As I was doing laundry I saw something sparkling in the bottom of the empty basket. It was the missing tooth, forsoothe! Impossible. 

I took it to our local jeweler this morning for repair. He tried to solder it on while I watched. It didn’t take. He is making me a new tooth to fill the gap. I pick it up tonight.

Since the time I bought that bracelet and today, there is a bridge of healing that spans a river of pain. I don't know if there is an architectural category for this type of bridge, but it has deeply embedded footings on both sides -- into rock. 

I like it that the old piece didn’t take and another has to be made new. It isn’t the bracelet that is in the middle of the miracle, it’s me having my own gaps retrofitted and repaired.

Makes me kindred with stories of wine being put in new skins instead of old and doors that have outgrown their frames. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Why do I long to be invisible?
Is it because long ago
long hair, long dresses,
and long sleeves
brought unwanted attention
during torturous school days?

Across my wide forehead,
unadorned by even the smallest
whisp of bangs, their puzzled
eyes etched words like
irregular and weird.
My ears and neck, wrist and hands
blushed hot, lacking teen bangles,
decoys I craved to distract them
from  noticing my Puritan dress.

Revisiting school scares me. But
kind teachers and sages speak
into my recently awakened parts,
silently pronouncing me a
bonafide late bloomer.

Secretly I want to be invisible,
hoping they won't notice this
intense hunger to be learned
and whole, different
like everyone else.

Rabbi, please don't listen
to this lie. Notice when
I secretly brush up against you,
desperately clutching your
healing hem.

Catch me at it. Help me. Hold me up
while you spit erase and polish
away the issue. Make wholeness
visible holiness, because invisible is
not able to procreate.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Celtic Chase

are playing
bare naked
in my head
They wouldn't 
come out before 
no matter how
hard I begged or 
on the door.


seemed to scare them. 
 I know how
the midnight reverie 
tempts and troubles
the water 
to move words around
 limber and lubricated enough 
to make ancient celtic
feel jealous of 
their illuminated