Posts for June 20, 2017


#0E6AC4 ( 14, 106, 196)

growing up, it wasn’t a gathering
unless the rook cards came out
and even though time has changed
the rules remain

I remember desparately wanting to belong
to stay up past my bedtime, fight tired eyes
and play, with the picture of my father as
a perfect partner, aggressive bidder
who always figured out a way to win

to look back now is to distinctly remember the difference
of playing at playing
versus now to know all I know
that I did not know was unknown

to look back now is to feel the clamoring for
the card to beat all cards,
innocent of the nuance of leverage or
relativity or of working with a partner instead of going alone

if only life was just a game of cards

or maybe it is and
I still don’t understand the rules


Rabbit Hash, Kentucky

Dog was elected 
Mayor of town, citizens say
Better than human


My Cat Doesn’t Give Me Gifts

My cat stalked for hours
and then late last night flew
in pursuit of a mouse up the stairs
and into my bedroom, caught the mouse
hung frozen in my cat’s jaws, released
it hopped and scurried back downstairs,
commotion in the dining room, the living room,
and then nothing.
                                  Thankfully my cat
doesn’t give me gifts. I’ve heard cats do that
because they think we can’t feed ourselves.
My cat must watch me cook.
                                                     That mouse, if it made it,
won’t last long if it stays here. If it didn’t,
I’ll know soon enough: maybe a smell,
maybe not, but the flies will tell me for sure,
all buzzy by the dining room window having fed,
and then, maybe someday I’ll find
what’s left behind
a box or under a chair:
small, gray crescent moon.


Parallel to Wonder

Cat stretched chest to belly,
one paw tenterhooks on my throat.
I am contained, so I just lie here.
I don’t need to move. I’m sixty-nine,
not seven, sent to bed at dusk, to get used
to school. Late summer, nothing ends.
I can simply be aware, know my being
as when I lay at the beach, Baja, sand tickling
my arms, my face, water rising, tumbling free.

My dad to me is me to my cat, loving me
without wanting anything. I stroke her, listen.
The sky frames everything. I breathe.
A wave lifts perfectly in my room.    

I am not afraid. This is my life.
I am already worthy, so why cry in relief?
Water colors edge a cliff into presence,
witness ocean, Los Alisitos. I could walk
to the spring. Another day, I will.
Today we are unhurried, My father’s pipe
is a spring for him, the sound of air around his teeth.
We reach it from the shed out back. He paints,
I watch the world emerge. I rest.
My striped cat is not part of me.


I Have Often Wondered

If maybe we really should compare apples and oranges
How humanity survived for so many centuries without hands-free soap dispensers
If the Hundred Years’ War was just an unfortunate misunderstanding
If Hermann Goering and J. Edgar Hoover were pen pals
Who really shot Arnold Rothstein
If we’ll ever go metric
If it really was a “far, far better thing” Sydney Carton did, or if he just lost his head
If the bear went over the mountain for the same reason the chicken crossed the road
If Attila the Hun would have had fun with Silly Putty
If Wile E. Coyote owns controlling stock in Acme
If the guy who stole the kishka is the same one who put the overalls in Mistress Murphy’s chowder
What you should do if your boss says, “Don’t think of me as your boss”
And, of course, why angels would even want to dance on the head of a pin.


Many souls perish in its tumult

embrace close its soft, enfolding body
the sensuous sea of touch
the soul speaks the sea of voice

contemplations itself loses inward mazes
solitude of abysses, a spell for wonder
to the soul, inviting, murmuring, clamoring, whispering,
never seductive, the sea of the voice

(from The Awakening by Kate Chopin)


Cloud confusion

Set in all the majesty of royal castles. 
White wonderment in profusion, 
Shapes of animals, mountains, valleys, elders
With beards enough to engulf the world. 

So elegant and never  brought about 
With artist’s touch. A cloud is drawn 
 Simply by wind, air and nature’s plan. 

Why then such a bad rap, such ugly refrains: 
Dark cloud, clouded vision, behind a cloud,
Clouds of doom, thunder cloud, to cloud. 
We sing of the “unclouded day as if 
The majesty hanging there for heaven’s 
Bluest day could be some dreaded threat. 

Look with my eyes at the sky today
And  ask if those wafts and wisps 
Could possibly bring harm and storm. 
Then if not, come celebrate with me
The boundless joy of someday riding
Clouds over paths we only dare imagine. 


The Truth of Grandpa’s Sycamore Tree

The sycamore tree
In Grandpa’s back yard
Was my sacred space
Long before I knew
The word “sacred.”

Sitting under the green canopy
Formed by its huge green leaves,
I understood
Life is lived
In varying dimensions.

Such mysteries did not disturb
My childhood acceptance:
I saw the angels, after all,
Heard their songs and saw their wings
Dancing among the leaves.

Sometimes I thought of Zacchaeus
And listened,
Wondering if, perhaps,
That was my name
Being called.

I still wonder
All these years later,
Years since the sycamore
Gave its life to the efficiency
Of an interstate cloverleaf.

I still wonder
All these years later,
Years of studying philosophies
And ways of knowing,
Still not knowing

Whether there is,
In heaven or on earth,
Any truth more certain
Than the truth
Of Grandpa’s sycamore tree.


smoking on the back porch

summer solstice brings stars to earth
in flashes of green
patterns only they know
subconsciously–if a bug
even has a conscious to begin with

released from unfertilized soil
fashionably late
to the blooming party
to be trapped in jars
and kept as childhood memories



A bus ride in London
And a day trip in holland
Got the wheels rolling
On this one man machine
A nice thing until the rain came
You called and i
Thought about getting on a plane
But I blacked out in the U.K.