Saturday, May 31, 2008

We Fix Everything




...From Daybreak to Heartbreak


if only
this were true.
a drive up to the local
business on Main Street
in Hugo, Colorado,
hop out of the car,
stride across the greasy
floor towards the owner
dressed in worn blue
coveralls,
can you fix this heartbreak?
My wife left me this morning
for a guy out of Deer Trail.
Can you heal this broken heart?

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Visitors


The visitors

Five hundred fifty visitors
from thirty five countries
wandered this way, keystroke
by keystroke, all seeking a poem,
maybe receiving an insight,
hearing a piece of news,
feeling a smile,
a tear, a frown.
a poem can be
so many
things.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Michael

He wears a camera like
a woman wears her pearls
Every day, after he puts
on his underwear and his pants,
picks out a suitable shirt,
the camera goes around his neck.
Good thing that
black goes with everything.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

allergy blues

runny nose
sneezing and coughing
eyes that demand to be rubbed
pollen scraping inside eyelids
red eyes, tearing up
almost crying.
exhausted, listless
but sleep doesn’t lift
the fatigue
the allergy blues.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Soldier's Boots


A soldier’s boots

These boots walked across burning desert sand,
kicked doors open in Basra, hoping for the best,
sheltered feet through two winters and one summer,
more than one tour of duty, a wife and two kids at home
waiting for their husband and father to come home.
These boots saw courage and fear, stood
next to the fallen; friends and fellow soldiers,
felt the warmth of fresh tears.
These boots are empty now,
the soldier has been laid to rest, his family
gone home to face emptying closets of his shirts,
the books he read, the games only he played with the kids.
His boots now rest in a small grassy field
in front of a small city courthouse
bearing testament to all we have lost.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Three's company


Three’s company

Mom, daughter and hamster
enjoying the sun, reading,
chatting, cracking and eating
sunflower seeds, running on
the wheel, dozing off at times.
As the sun dropped below
the horizon, a chill filled
the air, a misty rain fell.
Mom and daughter went inside.
Hamster burrowed into his
nest, covered with chewed
up Kleenex and a store of
left over seeds.
Good-night.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Love Wins


Love Wins

Mistakes made at the highest levels
and the lowest, by presidents,
by daughters and mothers,
sons and fathers.
Veterans come home,
lives shattered by war,
families break up,
they keep looking up
for a better future, fighting for
the best in themselves and each other.
Love wins.
Photograph courtesy of Jon Orlando, www.jonorlandophoto.com

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ping Pong and Driving in L.A.


Ping Pong and Driving in Los Angeles

Don’t think too hard about what is coming at you.
From behind, a swerving lime green Camero
just focus ahead on the cars which
stay in their lanes and keep their speed.
Your opponent is raising his paddle,
ready to hammer the ball down your throat,
don’t think about it, or shrink away,
just focus on it and try to somehow get
it back across the net, nothing fancy.
Ping pong and traffic in L.A.
breathe, focus on what you can control,
it may be only yourself
and that’s on a good day.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My audience

He sat in the front row,
jowls hung from his face,
his NASA patch proudly displayed
on his blue shirt,
I wondered if he was an expert
in this field and what kinds of
questions he might ask me.
His eyes glazed over,
then closed.
His head lolled back
and his mouth opened.
Snoring loudly, he dozed
through my whole talk.
He had no questions.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

From Homeless to Harvard


From homeless to Harvard

It was dark when they returned from their trip
and dark when I left them, leaving behind a clean
kitchen and a freshly made bed.
I was 18 and homeless.
A few nights crashing with friends,
phone calls from classified ads,
back in the running with an office job,
a borrowed bed, enough cash for
bus fare for the first week.
A long road to Harvard,
never thought I’d see my path
on an airport kiosk 30 years later.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Collections as Comfort


An astute reader commented that the poem of May 19th was rather tasteless. I have to agree and have revised the poem. As was beautifully pointed out in The Fountain of Age, becoming an older person can be scary and distancing from that is a common reaction. My apologies.


Over many years,
she collected ceramic birds,
doves, cardinals and hummingbirds
to display on every bookcase and corner table,
silver spoons to display in wooden cases near the kitchen.
Family portraits, all taken at the local Sears,
little boys dressed in blue and girls in pink,
all rosy cheeked, the blushing brides in white,
the families, all lined up in Sunday’s best.
These were her memories, all in one place,
the same place, sunshine and shadows
passing over them in the same way over
many years, so different from life which seems
to change every minute of every day.
How comforting.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Katie


I visited an old friend from junior high school while out here in California. Beth has a border collie named Katie who had six puppies eight weeks ago. They will be mostly going to homes or ranches, where they will be working, as border collies love to do. Beth is a horse veterinarian, which she always wanted to do since I knew her.


Katie and her puppies

black and white
blue eyes and brown
all questioning
if I will let them
out of their prison,
oh so neglected
they think they can
convince me.
I know better.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Don’t collect ceramic birds and other signs of old age



Don’t collect ceramic birds,
whether doves, cardinals or hummingbirds
to display on every bookcase and corner table,
nor collect silver spoons to display on wooden cases.
In spite of the modern book collection, showing
you have the time to be well read, your house
shows all the signs of “old person”, the array
of family portraits, all taken in Sears portrait shops,
little boys dressed in blue and girls in pink,
all rosy cheeked, the blushing brides in white,
the families, all lined up in Sunday’s best.
The furniture has no style, the pictures are
faded landscapes from fifty years ago, even
then of poor quality, the bedroom “sets” are
painted white with lots of floral pillowcases
and matching shams.
The house smells of cabbage soup and
fragrance of “old person” that no one can define,
but everyone recognizes.
Let us all age gracefully, but please help me keep
a home where one does not arrive and say
“oh, an old person lives here”.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jeremy Buck and the Bang



Welcome to Los Angeles

The city of angels welcomes all,
Black, white, disenfranchised, and then,
there were the musicians heading to Hollywood
for gigs that could catapult them to fame
and fortune.
.
I’d never asked a star if I could take their photo,
free advertising on le poeme,
pleasantly surprised by a warm smile
and several handshakes, check us out
if you have the time.
.

And the band is Jeremy Buck and the Bang.
http://www.myspace.com/11432483

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gem Lake


a cool breeze fans across the lake cooling my skin.
only the whirring of a hummingbird’s wings breaks the silence.
Water bugs trailed by their own shadows,
four leaf clovers scuttling on the sandy bottom.

Friday, May 16, 2008

A tired cyclist







Usually, they look so tough
out there, battling the winds,
sun, rain, snow, sleet.
Nary an expression of fatigue.
It was good to see a bit of
a crack in the fa├žade.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Chinese Girl


Chinese Girl

She disappeared in the debris, swallowed
by clouds of dust and flying shrapnel,
worse than any war he had ever known,
risking loss deeper than he ever had imagined.
She rests in a dreamless sleep, her breath
shallow, a background hum of oxygen.
She’s here and she’s alive.
For this he is thankful.
.
.
I have received more information on my foster daughter, Mengqi. She and all the staff and families from Plan USA are safe.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The News

Death toll in China reaches 15,000,
much higher losses expected.
My foster daughter, Mengqi, lives near there.
I worry whether she and her family are safe.
John Edwards endorses Senator Obama,
following overwhelming victory for Clinton
in West Virginia, the state where 20% of
white male voters would “have a problem”
with voting for a Black man.
I hear the gentle drum of raindrops on my helmet.
Myamar issues 150 visas to aid workers
following massive cyclone, killing tens
of thousands of people.
A break from the news to listen to the
wind and watch the red tailed hawks
soaring over the prairie dog colony.
President Bush hails Israel as America’s
closest friend, our partner in peace and
democracy, on the 50th birthday of
expelling 700,000 Palestinians from their homes.
Democrat Travis Childers steals Congressional seat
in Mississippi on platform of pro-life
and pro-guns.
It is quiet here at home.
No suffering.
Just lucky.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Girl


She was staring at me
through snowflakes and
droplets of water clung
to the baby hairs on her face.
I didn’t know her and
wondered if I should.
I wanted to, desperately,
but she was walking
now, away from me,
towards her own future.
Without me.
Photo courtesy of Jon Orlando Photography, http://jonorlandophoto.com/

Monday, May 12, 2008

Rain

It was raining when we left the house and
the windows across the street were dark.
I was tending the garden during their absence.
On both sides, the neighbors have fled north,
on the left, leaving behind calf high weeds, their roots
having had time to sink deep into the earth.
on the right, leaving behind empty garden beds,
which will soon be filled with weeds,
even the nicest students don’t have time to tend gardens.
across the street, there is a beautiful garden
and when the rain stops and the sun comes up,
I will watch the pink tulips swaying in the gentle breeze.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day


Five baby birds
waiting to be born,
nested cozily
in a toy gazebo
swinging off the
front porch.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Riding on 36

three petite riders
battling wicked cross-winds
on a local highway, their
bodies and bikes leaning away
about 2 o’clock
a truck roars past, whipping
them back to 10 o’clock,
barely catching themselves
before being hurled back
to 2 o’clock.
It’s tough being delicate.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Old Friend


Old Friend

an old friend from a far-away land
our life stories interwoven, knit through
childbirth, marriage, divorce,
happiness through grief,
the heat of summer cools into winter
and another cycle begins
renewed friendship leafs out
blossoming into new beginnings

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sleeping among the dandelions


Sleeping among dandelions

not being quite warm enough
to sleep in a T-shirt, he’s huddled
among dandelions in his red jacket
cyclists stream by, pedestrians
stroll by, all busy, no one
notices his stillness among the flowers
except me.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fallen petals


Fallen petals

virginal blossoms
sprinkled over fertile earth.
fruits ripen in
the heat of long summer
days.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Primary Results

They are cheering, their hearts in their throats
in Indiana, in North Carolina, each believing.
Believing in a better world, the talking heads
fomenting their enthusiasm, their passion.
They cheer, screaming for their candidate,
knowing only they will do,
but only one can do.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A lovely place to be buried


A lovely place to be buried

Oh, what a lovely day
the fragrances of apple and cherry blossoms
waft over and between tall headstones,
spirits all at rest in their beds
beneath the ground, warmed by sunshine,
drenched in spring.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

On being a poet: A Week of Writer's Almanac

Monday, the most elegant lyrics.
Tuesday, prose poetry
a grandmother’s garden gone to weed.
Wednesday, distastefully
dissonant to the ear.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Nor is there rest on Sunday.
A panoply of poets,
we are fellow travelers
on a dark and lonely night.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

First publication!



My new years resolution was to make an attempt to get something published this year...and to start small and local. One of my favorite publications is The Bunny Runner, a newsletter of the Colorado House Rabbit Society. This just came out in the May 2008 issue.


BREAKFAST WITH DAISY
every morning when I go to the kitchen to make my breakfast
I hear her sharp nails clicking on the old oak floors in the living room.
then, I see from the corner of my eye a small rabbit streaking across
worn black and white kitchen tiles, skidding to a stop at my feet -
well, that would be generous, she actually runs into my feet!
her morning hairstyle of unruly gray tufts poking out helter-skelter,
huge dust bunnies stuck to her eyelashes,
she’s looking for her breakfast, a piece of fruit, a sprinkle of cereal, some lettuce.
best of all, I can grab a hug from her when she is done
as her paws cannot accelerate quickly enough across the slick kitchen floor.


Poetry by Genevieve Devaud
le-poeme.blogspot.com
Personalized bunny poetry available, with portion of
proceeds to Colorado House Rabbit Society.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Red shoes


Red Shoes

Shoulder length curls
a tight cashmere sweater
hippy orange strawberry scarf
red shoes

Bleach blond dyed hair
old lady styling, you know the kind
70’s peach running suit
red shoes

Blue pajama bottoms
adorned with Tinkerbell
bleary eyed early morning
red shoes

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Upstairs at the Kitchen


The dreariness of the evening
backlit by foothills dusted in snow
Pinot noir, toasted French bread
dipped in olive oil, drizzled over
pungent tomato soup
the evening was warm
with friends and the
view was magnificent