Pursuing the poetical, paradoxical, metaphorical, lyrical, artistical, majestical, and mystical.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I Don't Know How to Knit




It wasn't about taking her to
 my favorite yarn shop
to meet the fascinating
 Finnish proprietress. 
It wasn't about having 
a Thai lunch afterward 
across the cobbled street.
It wasn't ever about knitting.

It wasn't about me 
talking her ear off while
 I held her captive.
It wasn't about taking 
pictures of us together, then
 tagging her on Facebook 
so the world would know
I had the honor of spending
 the entire afternoon with her.
I didn't have plans to tire her
 with my latest poetry 
or ask for advice about
writing a book.

Even though the colors and
 textures of shelves
 bursting with yarn send me
 into kinesthetic ecstasy
 and sensorial bliss
I must confess - I don't
know how to knit. 

I wanted to be with her 
 to taste old soul wisdom,
eat satisfying words,
 touch a silky hand, 
and follow her gaze.
I wanted to be with her 
because I can't find any kindred,
unencumbered, uncluttered, 
spiritual direction and validation
to help me explore these new, 
 unfamiliar menstrual pauses.

I wanted to be with her 
because I'm hungry for keen
observations, reminiscent 
memories of childhood, and lively,
  sprightly humor teetering on 
the ledge between proper and 'im'.

I wanted to be with her 
because I don't know where to find
older women who tell catastrophic
 stories that leave me wondering how
they survived the pain, or how God
transformed it into eucatastophe? 

Where are the women who, 
while telling about
the worst part 
of a life altering disaster
don't mind pausing while I ask,
but then what happened?
Who’ll shrug and smile, well,
I'm not sure exactly what
happened after that, but here
I am. 
I want reminded
how the story ends, 
 —  because the middle part
gets knotted and tangled.
And I don’t know how to knit. 

My timing was off. 
Just prior to my invitation she had
purchased her winter’s stash of yarn. 

She knows how to knit. 

Grandpa's Boot Trees and Valise



I smother 
his boots and valise 
with leather butter 
and wipe wood oil 
into the interlocking
 pieces of his boot trees 
trying to make his
  memory live again. 
Putting words down
on paper is the only way
 to reconstitute a hydrated 
version. Let it stand. 



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Crayon Alchemy



Give a child
two sheets of waxed paper
crayons minus their wrappings
a sharpener or potato peeler and
an iron you don't care about. 
Let down the ironing board
to her belly height. 

Give a child time to be 
an alchemist 
and a roll of tape. 
She will turn your window
into a stained glass rose 
worthy of the finest 
cathedral on earth.
You will remember
again how to sit still
and let the colors of life 
pierce through until
you worship. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pedaling Tandem on a One Seat Bike

I'm finally comfortable riding my bike fourteen miles without stopping.
I'm learning how to shift smoothly, right before I need the change.
I'm enjoying the trail, able to notice the flora and fauna -- while breathing simultaneously.
I'm no longer a heavy drag on Craig.
I'm not noticing any difference in my weight or body structure. This matters not.
I'm feeling the warmth creep into my muscles, and anticipate it.
I'm looking forward to that G-Spot on the trail. The part where sacred waits for me to return.

I always yell as loud as possible -- I LOVE YOU GOD -- with no hands.

The deer, eagles, mice, rabbits, slugs, and woodpeckers stop everything - concurring with holy silence.

Then He breathes on me his pleasure. I feel it begin on the top of my head. It drips over me like a
wide nozzled shower head, covering all of me.

I hesitate to confess -- my brain throbs in time with my swollen heart and tingling skin. My body melts.

Great sobs of joy erupt, enlarging my rib cage. Tears blind me. I can barely breathe.

It's alright, because in that place on the trail I find myself clinging to Someone else, a tandem tangle.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Here Be Dragons



say the ancient cartographers
marking dangerous places
outside familiar territory. 

Disasters befall adventurers
who dare to travel past 
publicly approved comfort zones. 

Green lights keep everyone safe. 
Tight fences keep bad guys out. 
Regulations assure and reassure. 

Airport security finds hidden danger 
before it grounds a plane. Our own 
FDA makes sure meat, and milk are pure. 

Right? 

I’d rather meet Linford and Karen
at the edge of the world, and face down
the fiercest, fire breathing dragons 

than live in a world where natural cob
homes are outlawed and destroyed 
and their builders put behind bars,

where by the book inspectors sign off 
on conventional houses that pass
but shouldn’t, 

where real estate agents persuade 
young married's to buy a house they
can't afford, hanging them upside down,

where raw milk from real cows
eating green grass is condemned, 
and cooked honey is considered safe, 

where pharmaceuticals try to corner the market
making herbal home remedies illegal, and give  
doctors plenty of free, questionable samples 

where the only remedy for pain 
or sleeplessness is a pill, and being 
disturbed or uncomfortable is intolerable.  

where choices to legally homeschool 
are trying to be taken away by a government 
that legally let me abort life, 

where pure cotton is loaded with pesticides,
and peanuts are grown in that same ground 
after the damage is done, 

where bleached, separated, modified, manipulated grain grown 
in lifeless, weedless ground is blamed for 
glucose intolerance in pasta, pastry, and bread,

where women ruin their eyesight with lash extensions,
deform their mouths with duck lip injections, and try to make
down there look like an airbrushed pubescent girl, 

where women think large lumpy breasts, rump lifts, liposuction, and 
facelifts are necessary for self focused happiness, and lovely brown skin 
dies trying to bleach itself white. 

Go ahead and cook your brains -- straighten your dyed, curly hair, watch TV until you forget how to converse, swing your marriage, don’t die of natural causes - let chemo and radiation take your last dollar and your last vista view. Throw away all your books, give up your guns, immunize your babies, get a flue shot every year, take fluoride on all fronts, soak your house in formaldehyde, let it preserve your body when you die, cover the ocean in a layer of plastic soup, melt the glaciers, buy another car, just try to poison the super duper yellow jackets, fleas, giant wasps, try to cure the lyme disease epidemic, let the government shut down, bake a turkey that lives with 20,000 others in a cesspool barn gasping for light and fresh air, eat tasteless eggs, and BBQ beef that smells like feces. 

I’m feeling partly paralyzed and completely confused by what is allowed and disallowed. Approved of and not approved of. It seems all turned around crazy. We're upside down, backwards, topsy turvy, and inside out. 

I want to be a dangerous expedition hungry adventurer who’s not of afraid going where there be dragons. I wish I could get ahold of one of those old maps so I knew what direction to head off toward.  

 I can’t, so I’m just going to follow Over the Rhine to Nowhere Farm, where they left the edges wild

Meet Me At The Edge Of The World could start the next revival, become the latest manifesto, start the newest trend. But it won't, because most people are more afraid of dragons. 



Peter Turchi's Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer prompted this crazy rant. Don't blame him.  
I take full responsibility. I know this is badly written, but I am sooooooooo mad about the crazy things going on in our world. Forgive me if you want, but I'm not sorry. :) 

   






Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Taking the Waters at Soap Lake



Sunshine leaves
echoes of light
bouncing off 
healing water
cupped between
pentagon stacks
of baked basalt
lining hot
canyon walls
where table top
mesas remember
 silhouette reliefs
of the ancient ones 
who came
for healing -

taking the water
before we did. 



Locals ask if you're taking the water. This means soaking in it for health reasons, not drinking it.

Soap Lake has an ancient history we don't know much about and a more recent history.

Native Americans called it Smokiam, which means "healing waters" and Let-to-to-weints, which is said to mean "healing water springs." 


Be sure to stay at The Inn at Soap Lake. The grounds are lovely. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Winter Wheat


It sprouts -
It cocoons -
It ripens - 
It dies -
  It gives -

life via 
berries ground 
mixed with water
leavened to rise 
 baked brown 
broken for bellies 
 hungry for more 
than bread alone. 


More than any other growing thing besides those plants and trees that somehow put down roots in pure rock, winter wheat gives me a big dose of courage. I know what it faces during the long winter, and yet it continues happily in the spring, hardened against what summer may throw at it. Hard red winter wheat is what I use for bread. Hearty bread. Soft spring wheat won't do. Grinding it and burying my hands in the warm meal brings a sacred joy. 

I just discovered Bluebird Farms Grain in Winthrop. My first order arrived - Rye, Farro, and Einka/Einkorn. Heirloom, ancient grains organically farmed. These are the innovative, brave farmers. It is a beautiful endeavor. I want to support them. Applaud them. Cheer them on. Curtsy. 

(This picture is NOT from their farm. This is merely dirt, not healthy soil. There was no life in it. There wasn't a farm house to be seen for miles and miles.) 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Culpepper Hill


Compared to cycling to the top Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island in the Puget Sound, or Adventure Cycling over the Cascades on the Northern Tier that starts in Anacortes and follows Highway 20 across to Maine, Culpepper Hill is a mere bump on the repurposed railroad tracks known here in Snohomish County as Centennial Trail.  

The trail is clean and well traveled by walkers, ramblers, roller bladers, roller skaters, strollers, wheelchairs, and equestrians. But it feels the most mileage from cyclists. 

On the Southend, it connects to several arterial trails in King County and beyond. On the North End, it is now creeping four miles past Bryant toward Skagit County. It ends for now at an historic dairy barn in a pastoral setting off Highway 9 North of Arlington. 

When we decide to go for a ride, we heave our bikes into the pickup and drive to one of the the trailheads 

The most I have ridden this summer is eight miles at a time. A few summers ago I made it on a seventeen mile trip. 

This Labor Day I asked Loverby if we could try going the thirty six mile round trip from the 152nd Trailhead in Arlington down to Snohomish. 

He thought accomplishing that before winter comes was a good idea. I could give you the Facebook status version and make it look glamorous, but it ended ugly - and we didn't take #selfies.  

A third of the way back my legs and arms started seizing and cramping. I tried walking it off, rested flat in the grass, and tried to massage them. Nothing helped. Craig stayed close by as I gimped along. Five miles from Culpepper Hill, I begged Craig to go get the truck and put me out of my misery. He urged me to finish what we had set out to do. He said, "Babe, if you can make along the flats to Culpepper Hill, it is all downhill from there. You can do it."

My mouth knotted and contorted in agony. Tears blurred my vision. Ugly groans escaped from the deep as I cried aloud for divine help to make it to the top of Culpepper Hill. If I could make it there, I could coast for five blessed miles to the truck. It wasn't pretty, but I made it. When we got home, I limped into a long, hot bath with generous portions of Epsom salts and took three Aleve. 

When we ride we hide our spandex underneath something. I also wear one of Craig's Carhartt T-shirts to hang over and hide my saddle overflow. The tractor seat shape doesn't fulfill its claims. 

Even though all my weight is distributed evenly upon my wide saddle, it still feels like I'm impaled on an upturned stiletto. 

We don't wear helmets yet. My braid starts unraveling like my courage by the time I'm one third of the way up Culpepper Hill. 

I keep seeing signs along the edge of the trail dedicating this portion of the trail to a member of a local cycling group. The story possibilities distract me as I wobble and waiver up this relentless five mile incline. This is a tough beginning for our thirty six mile round trip. 

They named it Culpepper Hill in honor of him. I start hating this man who probably crossed over to the other side cycling. He left behind all these colorful, tight muscled cyclist friends
whirring effortlessly up Culpepper Hill at great speeds. They politely call out, "On the left," so I won't wobble into them as I make what I think are discrete little zigzags. 

No matter the gender, a tight backside confined in black spandex cutting in front of me feels like a carrot I want to take a bite out of. 

Sometimes it's a perfectly synced pod of bright colors with lots of lovely black spandex hugging varied shapes of delicious derrières. Yes, the receding backsides of cyclists keep me peddling up Culpepper Hill. 

When they pass I pretend for a moment that we are just out of the gates at Belmonte - favored jockeys for the Triple Crown - in splendid colors urging our mounts on. We are neck and neck, but for only an instant. I fall behind by more than a nose. 

I'm on a bicycle ride, wearing no colors. You, you're a cyclist - head to toe decked in colors - splitting the wind.  

I want you to know I want to hang a rose wreath across your handlebars and put an ivy crown on your brow whenever I see you gathered on a ferry or in a park.  

I fantasize about setting up wayside stands to refresh you. I imagine destination dinners to celebrate another section crossed off your worn map. I research places that might need a cyclist hostel. I would give you my last crust of bread and let you have the only available hot water for a shower. I would set the tea kettle on and let you plunder my garden. I would make sure you had fresh sheets and the best pillow to make a bed in the extra room.

I follow your routes by lurking on your blog. I read and wonder about you circumventing the coast of Ireland - is it best clockwise? I ponder how many flats you fix a year. When I hear about hospitality in Costa Rica I yearn. I dream about feasting you on ice cream, bacon, steak, and homemade cinnamon rolls, but find you in the park taking bites out of power bars
and sports drinks. 

I like knowing you're out there pedaling steadily on some side road. I wish you'd stop and rest awhile with me - tell me your stories - because then I'd be able to watch freedom dance across your face and open road possibilities light up your eyes. 

Suck me tandem into your tailwind. Let me fly the last five miles down Culpepper Hill with you. I'll wear your colors. We'll make some other weighted down, panting, struggling soul want to keep our backside in view. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Non Electric

Am I unplugged
or do these flashing
red breaker switches 
need flipped off 
to reboot my flagging
energy?

Hot current --
please flash lightning 
bolts through my flaccid 
lack of desire and make me
electric once again.  

Tree's Knees

I read somewhere
that in order to grow
to my birthright height
I must plant myself
in a grove of tall trees.
I chose a lush patch
of Giant Sequoias. I
might have made
a mistake - aimed too
high and mighty.

The warning said
never plant myself
in short bushes
or patches of small
trees because
I might
outgrow them
and become a target for
the elements which
will cripple me
and keep me
shriveled
and bent.
Staying short
makes me safe
but doesn't provide
sufficient blackmail
 to eradicate my
claustraphobic
bonzai phobias.
Adapting to survive
unrelenting erosion and
constant battering
by staying small
stifled my future grim --
 so I didn't go there. 

But this lush patch
of Giant Sequoias
 I chose keeps me
 under a shade canopy.
No matter how hard
I stretch to reach the sun
and catch a breath
of the clean air
they inhale
while they talk
and see the vistas
they see  -
I remain nose to nose --
with their knees.

They don't see me

down
            here.
            

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Homemade Daughter



Her wedding dress
lays folded
finally finished
the last stitch knotted 
buttons on 
hem pressed 
waiting to hang
till it graces her 
lovely shoulders. 

It wasn't made in China
in a factory assembled 
by strange hands or
checked by quality control
before being shipped to 
the mall store. 

There were times 
my insecurity wanted 
it to be tagged and 
stickered and priced
sophisticated like that,
but I couldn't talk her
out of homemade. 

She picked the lace 
and floating silk chiffon
that layers over a weighty
silk satin skirt. 
"Mama, could you 
make it have a small
train and leave the back
open like this?" 

She doesn't know 
I couldn't make myself
use the hem stitch foot 
to roll the bottom 
easy and quick. I needed 
to thread the needle - 
slip stitching love 
five per inch. 

She doesn't know I 
pricked my finger, 
hoping no blood stains
remained.
She doesn't know I
found the cat laying on 
it like the Queen of Sheba
nestled in a silk stole.  

After the wedding
guests leave he'll
unbutton the waist
that I button up 
before their vows. 

They prepare promises
to forsake all others 
and cleave to one 
another in sickness 
and in health, for 
better or worse, until
death parts them. 

I hate being left so they 
may do the needed
forsaking part. 

She doesn't know
she's taking 
my sunshine 
away. 

He doesn't know 
what it feels like 
yet, to be the moon. 



Monday, July 29, 2013

Pick a Posy



Pick a posy. Set the table
with mismatched china.
 Fold soft old napkins. 

Let wine leave stains
on white damask.
Let dropped petals 
lay until morning.

My five fingered acebia
latticed overhead
gives testimony -
you were here.







My favorite thing after a gathering is the morning after glow. Tears often fall at the memory from the evening before. I'm always grateful you actually came. Your essence stays. It is a gift. The reward.  


Monday, July 22, 2013

Daisy Paths



Bev gave Tessa a bridal shower. We looked out the window to their back yard and saw Jon, her husband, placing daisies face up all over the grass in a path to the still empty wicker chairs waiting for guests.

To Tessa, daisies represent uncomplicated, unsophisticated joy and happiness.

The daisies grow wild everywhere around here. They are free. They did take some thought and planning, some noticing, some investment, some time, and some follow through.

I think gifts like this bless the giver, the receiver, and those of us watching. The shower was sweet. Yummy food was heaped on the table, and gorgeous decorations were draped everywhere.

The gifts were thoughtful. There was intimacy. There were tears between young women who have been friends a long time.

But the daisies. Daisies made a mama and her daughter feel beloved.

It brought tears to my eyes. Jon and Bev have known Tessa for many years. They know she likes wild flowers and especially daisies. Our girls always said if we died, they wanted Jon and Bev to be their guardians.

Over the last few months, Tess more than once has said, "Man, I love that Jon Hatfield." Or, "I just love Bev, mom."

I'm grateful for good neighbors and good friends. And long history that says, "You matter, we are going to believe the best about each other and see this thing through till the end. And by the way - may I borrow a cup of butter or your staple gun?" Or, "We have an extra melon, could you use it?" Or, "Here, let us help you with that." Or, "Could we go biking or swimming or camping this weekend?"






Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Crazy Neighbor Lady

The crazy neighbor lady
doesn't have twenty cats
but might as well have thirty
the way the carpet paths
between leaning book piles
look like they're shedding.

The crazy neighbor lady
doesn't keep her house
of chaos ordered well -
but she knows where
the sprinkles, paper
glue, and berry baskets are
for the neighbor girl
when she comes knocking
to play and do what she
calls ought which rhymes
with not, lot, and rot but is
really spelled a-r-t.
She goes, leaving glitter
behind, blessings left
to wink at me on the chair,
table, floor, and my hair.

The crazy neighbor lady
goes out early to
water flowers - and pick
a weed or two bottoms up -
with her uncombed
gray tresses flowing and
her loose breasts flapping
under a coffee stained
robe worn to shreds.

The crazy neighbor lady
garden walks in the golden,
guilt framed morning light
and lingers for a drunken
tete-a-tete with the blossoms
drinking dew straight from
the Master's still.


The crazy neighbor lady
scoops both cats off the
front porch swing, brings
a blanket and some tea - so
you may rest awhile
and beloved be.




Sunday, July 14, 2013

First Day of the Week



I don't need a greeter
obligated by duty
handing me a bulletin -
proof positive
that visitors are
welcomed to this
inhospitable
business institution.

The microphoned
message is recorded, then 
podcast to the masses 
who don't listen. They
already know more about 
what's being taught
 than they know
 what to do with.
 It hurts my ears.

 I can't hear the voices
singing next to me 
because the music
 coming through speakers
drowns them out. It's like
a staged concert that
leaves the participants
stymied, mere spectators 
 confused about when
to repeat and repeat
words supposed to get
 the spirit roused enough 
to do some mighty work like
redecorate the sanctuary
or trade the empty pews
for comfy chairs. I don't
want forced to stand and
raise my hands by a worship 
minister who thinks that what
he's suggesting is the
best way to usher
our hearts into sacred
places.

I want to break bread
at my own table and pass
it to you - so you and the
person sitting next to you
have the chance to give and
receive from each other - 
maybe touch hands, 
whisper, smile, or
graze shoulders -
until it comes back
around to rest
 waiting empty
in the quiet middle.

I want to fill your glass
more than once
with sweet wine - 
tilting the sharp,
flat world
soft and round again.
I want to hear
why the tears fell last week
and listen while you share
 the blessings 
that rained down upon you 
in spite of them.

Let's gather round the piano
with the poet's smoldering pipe
smoke curling us together
as we sing four part harmony
into each other's lives.


Let's hold each other's
aching, full hearts tenderly -
and laugh at how futile it is 
to try to do anything
other than
be the beloved. 












Saturday, July 13, 2013

Do It Outside








nap
eat
read
ride
- plein air



imagine
love
dream
sing
- plein air



watch
listen
whistle
hum
- plein air



harvest
gather
pick
dig
- plein air


fish
dive
swim
lay
- plein air


skip
jump
run
walk
- plein air

draw
weave
sew
knit
- plein air


breathe
swing
linger
fly
- plein air



Yes, I confess, a new french word just took my fancy. 






Monday, June 24, 2013

Berry Therapy




Mud splatters. 
Tears run. 
Houses wreck. 
Men rape.

Soldiers pillage. 
Girls rip. 
Water rises. 
Drought ruins. 

Crops fail. 
Floods roil. 
Wind whirls. 
Sun bakes. 

Icebergs melt. 
Lakes disappear. 
Holes open. 
Babies die. 

Love ends. 
Preachers abuse. 
Saints quit. 
Farmers cry. 

Workers won't. 
Honeybees die.
Soil withers. 
Guns kill. 

Boys steal. 
Siblings fight. 
Children starve. 
Horses founder. 

Whales beach. 
Factories pollute. 
Trash grows.
Oil spills. 

Banks fail. 
Schools unravel.
Stocks plummet.
Books languish.

Pesticides persist. 
Seeds mutate.
Technology advances.
News distorts. 

My heart quakes
with helpless futility -
So I pick berries for 
hope and sanity. 




Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thirsty





You hold sweet 
water to my lips. 

I see myself mirrored -
the one you adore

in the bulging tension
quivering in ecstasy. 

The surface skin 
wants broken to 

release life giving 
goodness to me.  







Monday, June 17, 2013

Glenworkshop East 2013




I threw up on the plane in a 
little blue bag I borrowed from 
my neighbor, who I woke from 
sleep to save my honor and the 
necks and laps and seats 
in my vicinity. 

Brandy's smile greeted each 
and every one of us on the 
stone steps of North Rocky.
This smile greased the hinges 
on the door into the unknown. 

Inside, Tyler, Nicole, and Anna Joy
pointed me to a room where I slept 
until keys and cards and rooms were 
assigned. I left drool on the
blue couch where the light comes 
in the tall paned windows. 

My bas bleu bohémien 
teacher gave Montaigne 
much attention, leaving us
wanting more on every score.
She gave books out like prophetic
prescriptions, saying, "Do you know....?"
or, "You must read....." 
I don't know who midwifed and booked
our hungry hearts and minds better, 
Warren or Patricia. 

I left kisses on the lips of 
the bereft, cranky, recently 
widowed one, and 
the lesbian who came out of a 
long relationship straight. 
I wanted to leave hugs and kisses for 
the other single girls to unpack 
when they too opened their doors 
to an empty house. 

I saw a green shoot growing between 
stones, an impossible, inhospitable place
lacking soil. 

I saw kaleidoscope cracks in the 
sun roof over the library.

My thoughts twirled as I pondered 
them in the quiet octagon room 
set with round windows.  

I saw empty pews in the chapel and 
empty card catalogues in the library. 

I saw myself through the camera 
lens of a pair of loving eyes. 

I heard poetry, learned new words, 
heard words of life, wiped tears, 
and sang with friends old and new. 

I heard broken apologies and saw grace
returned. 

We celebrated new work being published. 

We hovered over silent auction offerings. 

We broke bread together. 

We raised our glasses. 

Tin whistle tunes haunted the halls. 

Songs and plays were pieced together 
like Sedrick's quilts.

Self portraits stared out at the crowd 
well pleased with themselves. 

I learned that I may write bad poetry and
immature essays, take amateur photos,
and piece a beginner's quilt as a starting
place, knowing that I will grow from 
here because I'm willing to be 
easy being imperfect. It's OK 
to try something hard, new, 
and keep on trying to master
 the mess anyways. 

We left with this one last imperative 
wedged inside a song -  
"Leave the edges wild."  








Thursday, June 13, 2013

Framed Raw

Carol is in the Glenworkshop East Photography class with Michael Wilson. One of their assignments was to ask a stranger to sit for pictures. My reaction was to say no. But I had promised myself to say yes to opportunities this week - even uncomfortable, scary, disturbing ones.

I am always on the other end of the camera, an amateur who is learning to see. I fall in love with what I frame through the lens's eye. Being on the other end where a strange eye can examine me is uncomfortable. I wasn't sure she would love what she saw.

She didn't spring on me and start snapping. We conversed and learned a little about each other. I started trusting her when she led me to Mt. Holyoke's magestic library. She correctly intuited that it would be a comfortable place to start. The atmosphere soothed and relaxed me.

I wanted to put myself in her hands and let her capture the me that is, not the me that should be. For one shot on the window seat, Carol asked me why I wanted to clasp the pillow to my stomach. Wasn't it obvious that I should try to hide and cover my obesity?  She saw the natural light pouring through the glass roof onto my head.

When the shutter clicked I imagined God's eye winking at me, his beloved, just as I am.


Curtesy Carol Sybenga





Saturday, June 8, 2013

European Starling

I saw a picture of a Europeon Starling on Maureen's Facebook feed. The bird wasn't black, disappointing, or disappointed with it's lot in life as one of the worst nuisances of the world. Every tip of every feather has luminescent tips of green, purple, aqua, pink, and blue. Peacock colors made it look photoshopped. Maybe our starlings have jeweled feathers too, but we don't have eyes to see?

You have luminous feathers too. I see them.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Make Summer Glad

Find wood, gather kindling, strike a match to crumpled paper. 
Toast marshmallows, squish them warm between two graham crackers and chocolate. 
Take the rain flap off the top off the tent to look at the stars. They are waiting for you. 
Sleep naked beside someone you love. 
Make a warm oven under the duvet where cold can't reach. 
Caress flesh and feel the cares of pavement, malls, florescent lights, traffic, and technology flee. 
Pump the coleman lantern. Marvel at the mantles.
Pump the coleman stove. Light the burner. 
Set the tea kettle to whistle time for cocoa, spiced cider, or tea. 
Touch a toe to the freezing water. Go in if you dare, but never skinny dip........alone. 
Stay awake until the coyotes howl and mourning doves coo. 
Listen for owls and wrestling raccoons. 
Stay bundled, cocooned in the morning until your bladder won't let you wait another minute. 
Put layers on. Unzip the day. Fry bacon. Boil coffee. 
Give morning hope and call the sunshine to breakfast.
Lay on your back with wild flowers and blow clouds across the sky. 
Sing to the fire, make it dance. 
Gather a bouquet of violets or willow leaves and dress the table.
Poke the wood surrounded by bruised flames and loose the sparks. 
Look for little people in hollow logs or under mushrooms. 
Listen for the silence to speak.
Let trees embrace your ache.
Let scents of pine and pitch and smoke soothe your anxious thoughts. 
Allow the quiet to cushion your heart. 
Notice the water lapping at the edges. 
Camp unencumbered. Camp uncluttered. Camp unfettered. 
Sweep the dirt if you must and clean your fingernails, but let go of primping and scrimping and limping. 
Swing in a hammock all day and accomplish nothing except daydreams.  

Seedling Volunteers

pop up uninvited. 
They sprout without 
being watered, fertilized,
or planted on purpose.
They don't write letters 
begging for support
or pretend like prayer 
is what they want more 
than money. Volunteers 
sprout because they 
grub stake themselves.
They c'est la vie grow and 
c'est la vie bloom, 
serendipitists with
 a c'est la vie mission 
to sway and wave and add 
color to summer's gold. 
Their bold conception
changes perspective 
leaving fields effectively full 
of perennial potential. 








My garden is bursting with volunteer babies this year. Foxglove, cranesbill, sweat peas, nasturtiums. They delight me with their boldness and tenacity. They appear effortlessly and make me rejoice and be glad. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Garden

begs me for a walk along paths
through flower patches
where a driftwood bungalow
houses little people hiding.
Large Marge bosses the Mermaid
and the mama hen with three chicks
under her wings from her
throne under the loggia
which is only a simple
garden room covered
with five finger acebia
and hung with sea foam
green windows rescued
from the discard pile.
Sweet peas clamber up
posts, trees, wattled twigs,
and fences. Nearby plants
are shocked to find
themselves wedded to
these bold extroverts
clinging without permission
in a cozy choke hold. If I stay
still maybe I'll become
a sweat pea obelisk and
bumblebees will argue
about who gets to pollinate
my imagination.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Fire Eater

wants to swallow
the feeble flame of me
standing alone
neck deep
wicking a puddle
of melted sadness.
I chase him away
with a slap
to his maw
and tell him
to go
straight to hell.
Taking action
fans the flame
that eats the puddle
of melted sadness
and turns pain
into fossil fuel
               again.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ancient Love in the Safeway Parking Lot

He and his cane
shuffled over to her
side of the car
to open door.

He tucked his cane under
his armpit to use both
hands to straighten her
collar as she straightened
her creaky knees and
and rumpled clothes.

They tottered toward
the door with steps synced,
canes on the outside,
holding hands on the
inside.

I passed quickly,
then slowed my stride
to ask them how long
they had been married.

Sixty seven years he said
as he looked at her like he
must have looked at her
coming down the isle.

Winking, he said they
were thinking of making
it permanent.

Ahhhh. 
The holy permanence
of seasoned love.