Posts for June 12, 2022



7th grade smiles from copper him
melted the walls where the protectors hover
started the heart all a flutter

Butterflies soft flight today turns
the mind to the flutter

Through adolescence the knees became butter
floating heart resolute lover flutter

Burned twice at 16 and then 21 stutter
reconnected when out to dance the flutter

Encounter him now, fly, do not hover
nor stop to hear the engine flutter



The Refrain Maintains

Pain the constant rain,
again & again
the membrane complains,
skirts the insane

again & again,
a relentless rain
skirts the insane,
flood of pain,

a relentless rain
cannot contain
flood of pain,
hope in vain,

cannot contain,
the membrane complains:
hope in vain;
pain the constant rain.



i watched you walk in
a group of your friends surrounding you 
fighting for your attention

i turned to my friend 
asked her to help me pick my jaw up off the floor 
when i could finally string words together again 
i told her what i’d seen 

a star 
fallen straight from the night sky

i never thought i’d be one to see someone smile 
and lose complete control of my thoughts 

you were so close 
only a few feet away at times 
my eyes tracked your every move 
unable to think about anything
other than your presence in the same room as me 

and only after hours of staring at you 
going back and forth between whether to bother you or not 
do i finally find the courage to say 



As my son and I

Lazily wandered home
From the park
We came upon
A yard with
A Buddhist monk
Warm in orange silk
Seated upon a riding mower
Perched upon a trailer
Hitched to a pickup
And I wanted to be polite
And welcoming
But did not know how to greet him
And then we saw
Below the truck
A fat, grey rabbit
Nibbling away at green shoots
And our delight over the rabbit
Seemed greeting enough
And the monk smiled.


Snake Plant

My son and his new wife
bought a place in Vieques–
it’s painted a brilliant white,
with shell pink accents. Stunning green
snake plants with crisp curvy edges
surround the edges.

It is fair to say 
most family vacations 
involve some drama, but
not this one where the turquoise water
is everywhere and drinks with rum
are made with fresh coconut.

I will spare you the guady details.

There is another name for the
sharp, spiky snake plant
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.


Night Flare

When you say you would rather live out of your beaten up Saturn than face the hollow husk that your life has become, is the sound I hear a cry for help, or the hiss of your last dry match striking the last remaining beam of love binding us together?


It wasn’t safe to cry

my pain, my grief, my anger

I’ve been draiwng it all out of my chest

Ribs cracked broken by my hand 
scooping ou the gray mush in my soul
ugly sobbing
it’s messy
but necessary
It hurts. It hurts so much
But I’m tired of suppressing 
this feeling

because it wasn’t safe to cry

I want to heal. But I can’t do that here
I don’t know how much longer I can survive this existence


Collapsed Lungs, Re-inflated (The baby Rabbit and the Cat)

A Thursday in June
(I’m thinking of revisions and reviving)
Years ago a baby rabbit
Brought limp and dead by a proud cat
came back to life in front of me
And Sunday
Still crispy with a cutting cold
Like the air has sucked
miles through
Dark, deep caves
For miles under a great mountain
Heavy with cold granite
Slanted like Egyptian toes

A flute is playing a familiar intro
“Can’t you see… can’t you see?”
What that supermoon in Sagittarius
is doing to me…
Life is beginning again
-in the middle
We are partway down
A path of miracles
A playful paw is lifted
and the air rushes in once again


I am only thinking about how

it takes a silo filled
of strawberries and cream 
to face summer’s hard heat
and with each added degree
back to the store I’ll go, senselessly 
cheap, ripe when I’m ready. 
another round of reddi whip
a tower of pink hearts, 
cooling me down with delight. 


Sestina For the First Time

In continuing collaboration with my social media pals, I decided for today’s entry to undertake the grueling task of attempting my very first sestina. I asked my friend Kat (who suggested the form) to contribute some words for me to use, and I forced myself to use them in the order she listed them. (See her list of words below.)
The form is grueling partly because one gets weary of having to use the same words over and over, or more specifically, once feels the mounting pressure of not just repeating earlier uses or contexts. And after a while, it just starts to feel very restrictive, and you struggle not to sacrifice whatever meaning you are trying to build. But this also forces you to dive deep into your creativity and imagination and love of words, and in the whole, those are good things.
So below is my first sestina, perhaps my last. You can see that the form requires re-using words at various designated points in the different stanzas (see the pattern below if you’re interested), and then 3 lines at the end called an envoi that follows a new pattern AND has to include all the key words of the poem.
Shew! And to make it even more of a grind, I restricted myself to the traditional syllable pattern: 7 syllables for the first line of each stanza, and 10 syllables for every other line of that stanza.
And so here it is, my sestina foray. I am not sure what it “means,” to be honest. But let’s begin with the rules in short form, and then the poem:
— Syllables: 7 first line of stanzas; 10 other lines
— Pattern:
7. (envoi) ECA or ACE
— Words submitted by my friend Kat, in order:
And here is the sestina:
One: Half and half
Yet I am only and still
A tiny part of the universe, half-
Molecule, half nothing. And still my growth
As an organism common as salt
Is yet somehow ALL. Every single brush
With the real is just an undesigned sign.
Two: Signs and Yearnings
We were told in church that signs
Were God’s to dole, not ours to demand. Still
Our yearning for meaning is only brush-
Strokes, layer on layer, revealing half,
Concealing the whole. We long for the salt
Of knowing who we are. Yearning means growth.
Three: Growth and Decay
Beware the concept of growth.
If existence is decay, then why sign
Up for study groups? Why work? Why not salt
Our food until it glistens? We live; still
And quiet in the grand scheme, yes, but half
Of living is being dead as dry brush.
Four: Begging Wisdom
It’s not that I mean to brush
Aside what knowledge we can’t know; there’s growth
In grasping at the unknowable. Half
Of enlightenment is respecting signs
That we don’t (and can’t) know or be all. Still,
We beg wisdom like the living crave salt.
Five: Questioning and Longing
Craving for truth’s not like salt
Craving, and I’m sorry I said so. Brush
It off as my desire to think that still
And all, questioning and longing are growth
Signs, whereas in reality the signs
Of real change split reality in half.
Six: The Grift; the Grasp
What I would say on behalf
Of the seekers of real truth is to salt
The earth behind you. Don’t look for a sign
That you are right. This is the Fuller Brush
Bait/switch, the grift, the bald grasp at the growth
That awaits all those who are thirsty still.
Seven: What is the Sound of One Koan?
I remember my half-brush
With what I then thought of as salty growth.
The koans, signs, and lessons haunt me still.