never trust a woman who wears stilletos
she lives in a different world from those of us
with our feet on the ground, flat footed at times
but honest and hardworking
she's reaching for the top using props
and deceptions, and if that doesn't work
those sharp heels will certainly cause
damage whereever they may land.
such are the decisions as the supermarket,
pulp or no pulp, enriched with Vitamin C or
with Omega 3's, why such decisions for orange juice
and oatmeal, my goodness, instant, 1 minute or old fashioned,
thick rolled, steel cut or Irish and how does price
of our time play into this with too much work
on our plates, no wonder they go to McDonalds'
where there is one kind of orange juice, a pack of fries
or a single Happy Meal, what could be easier.
I'll watch tonight for chocolate asteroids
that melt into syrup on their way down,
landing with a perfect plop in my mug.
I'll watch for a cow jumping over the moon
on her way by, she'll fill my mug with warm milk
I'll sit down with my hot chocolate and watch
shooting stars and peer deep into the Milky Way
pondering her mysteries and on the last sip,
I'll sigh in contentment at how sweet life is.
(Actually,the night to watch for a real asteroid is February 15, check it out at www.science.nasa.gov.)
in the morning we glide soundless over turtles
warm water washing over our snorkels, eyes wide with wonder
we wander through caves and gaze up at bats
careful not to hit our heads on stalagtites inches above
the water, so warm it washes us gently downstream
through mangrove swamps and out next to dolphins
we emerge from warm water reborn, eyes opened
only to fly in a metal box 40,000 feet off the ground
how unnatural to land in cold and snow a few hours later
with only fond memories of turtles and minnow and more.
pictures by David Barlow Nativo Tours
the place is in ruins
families travel by rickshaw to see them anyway
towers of rock meters high with steps all the way to the gods
we climb them to breathe the same air as the ones
who came before us, those who planned ahead
for 900 years, placing stone over stone
surrounding that which has aged with
something new again until the time
fell away from them, as they fell
away in time leaving this
place in ruins
let's ship it to Colorado
every raindrop packaged in gold
every cloud lined with silver
water pouring from rainbows
onto parched fields and uplifted eyes
until all their cheeks are glistening,
every stalk is green again
It's not Cancun
where our plane should have landed
this afternoon; we would have been
lying in our hammocks, rocking gently
in the breeze
instead we eat under florescent lights
in a Thai restaurant listening to the roar
of traffic on Interstate 70 and wait
for tomorrow when the airplane
windshield will be fixed and
we'll hope for no more
Keep smiling, be good,
have a nice day, it's all good,
it's meant to be,
she's in a better place,
everything for a reason,
it's good for you,
I'll smile only if I want to,
It's not always good for me or
meant to be as far as I'm concerned,
only she knows if she is in a better place,
have you checked with her,
I can't see any reason for that
nor am I interested in trying
I'd rather see my own sunshine,
make my own day and
find my own reasons.
that's what's good for me
that's my helicopter flying towards a landing pad on his head,
or was it his, mine crash landed against the couch, never having
attained such lofty heights
I'd rather think the former, my son merely admiring my finesse
at aerial navigation the first time I tried
at odds with most things we try, stumbling again and again,
stubbing toes, skinning knees, bruised egos
like today when I tried to a roll-up and ended up
slapping my back like a plank on concrete,
but today, tonight I restarted my helicopter, fully charged
and steered her across the room and through a doorway
towards new destinations and new heights.
whereas some men are dragged along by their dogs
this one is not, as soon as the little one starts barking and panting
to lunge at another dog three times his size, he finds himself
lofted high up in the air as if he had wings,
such liberty and freedom to fly like a bird in the air
while so securely attached to your one and only,
your beloved dad, that handsome man in the park
chatting it up with a cute girl close by who also happened
to be enjoying the sunshine after a long run of bitter cold.
four little legs spread as if to fly, momentarily distracted from barking,
not able to lunge, the cute little pup gazed at me
with a rather surprised, but still dignified expression
that compelled me to remove the smile crossing my lips
and take him seriously as he would expect even under
the rather undigified circumstances in which he found himself.
happy birthday to me, and to my twin brother, too.
the wind howls outside
but the temperature is mild, a sweater will do.
today was filled with such fun and such pleasure
eating brownies with friends and then having another
tonight watching basketball followed by beer,
we cheered, to no end, for our failing team.
today was my birthday, it's time to say good-night
but fear not, my friends, I'll celebrate again
so it my celebration finishes just right.
purple with blonde hair,
white and striped socks,
couches, a half empty glass
that magically refills, we lean
back against soft cushions
and keep talking
until we laugh at nothing
knowing it's time to
go home and
when he was younger, he would have groaned loadly
upon realizing there were socks under the colorful wrapping
he's a man now with his remote control helicopter and
a beautiful young woman at his side
and he needs socks.
her toes wiggle their way through, her
sharp toenails severing a thread every day until
a hole appears and yet another pair of socks
bites the dust
she needs socks.
I need socks, the taller ones that protect my
ankles against bitter cold, erratically flying bees
and other environmental risks.
Socks are great presents, young ones just need
to mature before they full appreciate this.
I read what he tells me I must read!
about oxgyen levels in the atmosphere,
mitochondria as the source of life and how she decided to move in
with another cell, the drama of it all enthralls me and I read on
about what every president should know, about how to
stretch my tight hamstrings scientifically,not stupidly.
I read about fitness, about graphene and materials
that stop bullets, about how asteroids stick together
and then, I admit, I settle in for an episode of 24,
or The Good Wife, or lately, Downton Abbey, where
real life is played out in front of me.
she who always smells of baking is my next door neighbor,
Maria from Hungary, the quintessential baker
adorned in her flowered apron, floured hands,
a stack of measuring cups, a bowl of pea-sized frozen butter morsels
arranged on the counter in pursuit and capture of the perfect pie crust.
she gathers strawberries and rhubard, blueberries, pecans for fillings,
or decides on a cake would suit her dinner guests better,
or perhaps a coffee cake for Sunday morning for reading
the paper over a coffee as the sun moves slowly across her table
until it drops off just as she finished the NYT Review of Books.
Sometimes she invites me over to pick up an extra piece,
or I find a slice in a plastic box on my front porch.
I struggle to share it.
I love she who smells of baking, her floured hands,
her apron and collection of baking items that clatter in
her top drawer, or fill her cabinets.
I do not want to understand or duplicate her ways with
flour and sugar,
they look so much better on her.
whereas other cooks browse their recipes,
consider food allergies, like and dislikes,
she considers the on-sale options and volume
for the beast who wanders in every Sunday night,
voracious, omnivorous and impatient.
the lazy cook's dream guest, she wanders
down to the store poorly focused with a small
bag, an even smaller plan and not much time.
like wandering the wine aisle at Liquor Mart
picking up bottles of wine that are the most heavily
discounted, she wanders the aisles in search of
a similar bargain, finding it, she snaps up
a large amount, picks two random side items
and wanders home wandering what on earth to
do with squash, shrimp and eggplant.
the lazy cook, brimming with creative juices,
gets to work chopping and peeling, sauteeing
in any available pan, a dish emerges along
with the shriek of the fire alarm and the
sound of guests arriving to the trough.
roasted eggplant and squash, sauteed shrimp
coated in cumin and salt all wrapped up in
fried tortillas, washed down in wine and
topped with ice cream and blueberries.
not bad for such a lazy cook.
the flute knew the way, the lips and fingers
followed, the notes played themselves,
the sound echoed off vaulted ceilings,
the Blessed Spirits filled the chairs,
eyes closed, the audience inhaled a full
breath to make it through to the end of
the phrase, exhaled with relief there were no
missed notes, even the high E sang out
clearly, renouncing its usual habit of
cracking for the event.
until the flutist forgot, the flute lost its way,
the lips closed, the fingers fumbled,
the piece stopped.
our own version of ice
perched precariously over rushing waters
calving and slipping away downstream
to fill a small depression where
fish wait spinning patiently
to escape the endless tapping
of fly on water, the sound
of waders moving towards them,
trapped until more water
frees them from their
wet island amongst
the dry rocky
years of training aren't erased overnight
it must be me after all, it can't be the second husband
or the mother, the first one or that boyfriend long ago
my selfishness, laziness, stupidity or maybe
better so I'll hide here in the corner
and pretend the one who actually loves me isn't here
it's safer that way all alone
but it sure is lonely and kind of dumb.
I better work on that.
Loud percussive words
tyrannosaurus rex having sex
he roared, they roared, we cried
coaxing quiet words onto quiet white pages
with quiet lines
they clapped and roared
another surged towards the microphone
booming f..ck and sh..t and others
to shock and awe and cringe, we cringed
in the corner with dried up pens and crumpled
papers, we quietly gathered our things
and left quietly so as to not disturb
the roaring crowds, the crackling
your antics in China, changing blue skies to orange,
monks to beggars, monasteries to city halls.
no longer allowing me to post a picture
from my computer, must use GOOGLE product,
Picasa land, leave me alone where you ask for
names and information,
all to sell to the Chinese parked in
Tibetan parking lots across from
circles interrupted by lines
dots, curves that mean
nothing until joined into
the most profound, or least
and we wonder that we pore
over every newspaper article
as if it changed our lives when
we get up afterwards, brush our
teeth, rinse the coffee cup and
move into our day.
the other parent
is not here so we can talk about them
their faults, their foibles, their awkwardness
how they love you in their own flawed way,
how I love you in my own flawed way,
how awkward I can be repeating myself
over and over and you've heard it
all before but I am not the other parent
right now, I am the only parent
when I hold you in my arms
and kiss your forehead as if
you were still my little
we sit here cozy with our computers
two versions of Matlab , one modern for her
an old one, like me, is on my screen.
she comments on how bad the code is,
I wonder what the code is even saying.
she blocks out large sections of code and
hits delete, I gather the discarded letters
and construct a poem.
the chairs are empty
outside the House Chambers.
no one is there for us, the ones
who pay taxes, who raise children,
who attend PTA meetings,
who show up when it counts.
it counts now and the chairs
are empty as they hide behind
their ineptitude and politics.