Wednesday, April 26, 2017


it just flows like liquid lava from a hot source
deep within the body and mind
there is no reason for it, only making a space
for it to surge out onto paper
it's like breathing in a full lung of fresh air
and exhaling stars and planets,
words and pictures.
spinning worlds and shining stars.
I'm sure everyone has it but are 
afraid to show the colors and 
shapes of the smoke that emanates from their
very soul.
maybe most, to themselves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I used to carpool only with attractive men who drove white sportscars 
who liked me.
They would pick me up and drop me off
and didn't mind my schedule of arriving late
and leaving early.
I had to get my two young children
and they didn't have any.
maybe they loved being virtual parents
or liked listening to the sagas of my
disasterous first two marriages.
their's were, too, if not then,
in the future.
I could have told them so,
they were telling me what mine were, and
I wasn't really to hear it.
we came up with distinct hand signals for
"you already told me that a zillion times",
"common knowledge", or
"watch out! unwelcome input!"
One of them is still my friend.
His marriage has fallen apart and we 
still remember the hand signals.
He's coming over for dinner on Saturday, alone.
I never liked his wife.

Monday, April 24, 2017

why it matters

it should matter to him
because it matter to her,
and it should matter to her
because it matters to him.
this is what marriage is,
after all.
when I think of all the "doesn't matters"
in my mind, the plastic strip that I left on the countertop
after I opened the orange juice
(back when it was packaged that way)
even though he told me it mattered,
the clutter on the table
even though he knows it matters to me.
I do the dishes when he watches TV because
he doesn't, but it matters that I'm doing the dishes
while he watches TV.
It matters to both of us.
it should matter to each of us.
all these "it matters" matter because if
they don't, then there is no one around
after awhile, no one to pay attention to us,
or us to them, when it really matters.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I am Mom: What's your superpower?

my brother gave me this plaque.
I'm not sure where I'll put it since I want everyone
to know, I want everyone to hold me in such esteem.
Children never really do, you know, since
we teach them that they are the most important,
not their parents who feed them, bathe them
and dote on everything they do.
My brother knows I have superpowers and
my husband knows I have superpowers.
I learned finally that I have superpowers,
my friends have told me I have superpowers
of one sort or the other.
I am Mom, I survived motherhood and
For both these, I should have a special plaque.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Ready to March

I'm ready to march
come rain or shine, cold or hot,
I have my purple cape and a flower in my hair.
I am not here to make war, but
to make peace, to have a conversation,
to see a flash of recognition cross their face
when they realize that science saved their life,
that science gave them the eyes to see their unborn child
that it's science that brought them the cellphone,
that their trip to Africa is because of science.
I will wear this purple cape and
maybe someone will smile
I will smile back.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

a view from the garden

a view from the garden,
a walk about to see what needs to be done
then a sigh,
a slowing of footsteps, letting the clipboard
fall away,
just look at the beauty,
the weeds can wait, but these blooms will fade
tomorrow, or heave under a heavy rain tonight.
the tasks will be there tomorrow,
this blossom, now closed, will open.
I can't miss seeing it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

the magic of chemistry

every year she buys me a new tea cup
one of the old ones,
the most disgusting,stained ones
will disappear to make room.
I love the new one with the bunny rabbits best
and day after day, I fill it with black tea
and the inside turns brown and stained.
but there will be no "disappearing"
this one in the new year.
I have heard of this "magic of chemistry",
of fizz and pop, of bangs and bops,
where dirt turns white
when stink turns sweet
magic applies
stains are gone
the bunnies will stay.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

my mentor and friend

she is eight years older
and so much wiser.
her kids are seven years older and so much more mature.
she will retire soon
and I will follow in a few years.
your kids will call you when they need you,
don't worry.
say "no" to the bossy co-worker,
they are not worth the energy of trying to manage them.
look him in the eye.
tonight I notice that she looks older
so I know that we won't live forever
she is my friend and mentor
I treasure every moment with her.

Monday, April 17, 2017

doing pushups

the capoeiristas drop to the ground
to do 25 pushups, legs out, strong arms,
after having trained for the last 90 minutes.
I ease myself to the ground and do a half pushup,
knees on the gym floor, lowering my chest
half way down and up,
with difficulty.
I did eight.
and when I was done, rather apologetic,
my classmate said, "we all start somewhere",
We all start somewhere, it is better to start
than to never try.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

why write

why write when no one reads,
except one loyal reader, thank you.
why write,
I must.
to capture a moment in time,
tonight, fifeen women scientists in one room tonight
I marvel at the
the extravagance stocking the shelves at the grocery store,
three hours in the garden
McGuckin was closed because it's Easter
and I didn't even think about that.
it would be nice if more people
read what I write, but no matter,
it must be written
if only to capture this moment.

Friday, April 14, 2017

the optimism of spring

Spring always comes again.
seedlings burst forth, birds flit about making their nests.
the sun is out, we sneeze in a haze of pollen.
we sit in the backyard talking about careers,
science, Australia, I wonder whether it's a good
idea for her to walk away from her dreams.
I decide not.
I need to talk to her some more about the
optimism of spring, how it comes back after
dark nights and new opportunities spring from 
the earth.
don't settle for less, darling,
you are the optimism of spring.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Scientists at work

Scientists at work.
they study volcanoes and tsunamis
to help people flee in time to safer places,
Scientists study how to harness wind for cleaner energy
and capture sunlight to split water.
we do experiments to understand why rapidly rotating
asteroids do not fling themselves apart in microgravity
and wonder at the beautiful swirls of smoke
drifting off the end of a cigarette.
it's all in the physics of fluid dynamics.
we are the ones who observe and measure
we model and calculate
to understand our amazing world.
we are scientists
we must march
we must stand.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Doing Taxes

It's 1 p.m. and I'm hitting the bottle
and crunching on chocolate covered almonds.
Tax time is always a grind
collecting papers and receipts, finding the
W-2 stuff in the general paperwork drawer,
and where are all those tax deductions that I 
thought I had, I need Trump at times like these.
The IRS just hit me up for a mistake from last
year, and now I wonder if it was real.
note that the bottle is almost empty,
there is much more chocolate to be had.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

the bike stable

the one with the studded snow tires will rest for the summer
unless the trip calls for adequate cargo space, like a case
of toilet paper, two gallons of milk and some plants for 
the garden.
the electric bike now has a comfortable seat and
a water bottle cage and a motor, best of all.
originally for special long rides, it's good for
all rides
but I still love my antique townie with its
bent right pedal, fussy Sturmy-Archer three speed
and ineffective brakes.
the road bike has been relegated to the basement,
seat-less and pedal-less.
my bike stable of three, perfect for 
sunny or windy, towny or country,
perfect for me.

Monday, April 10, 2017

fallen petals

wilted now,
gravity called to them
the siren song.
their palette no less beautiful
let us, in the end, 
succumb to gravity, our wizened
bodies no less beautiful,
our faces will have transformed
from the plumpness of childhood,
through adult severity to
the calm of old age.
let us accept
this path.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

poetry in nature

words cannot capture such beauty,
those who write find themselves speechless,
tongue -tied, wordless.
how can a pattern of red splashed across white,
six stamen of indescribable color capture
a fading tulip, petals ready to fall to the 
I only know they will fall during 
the night.
this is all I know.

Friday, April 7, 2017

a town hall meeting in a democratic stronghold with a democratic representative

very civilized,
intelligent questions, everyone
took their turn and was (pretty) concise.
our representative, well dressed in a slim black button up shirt,
black pants and shoes, cultured, well spoken
quietly and politely listened to polite questions
in a measured, well articulated manner.
what else would one expect from
a democratic stronghold where people have jobs
and homes, where we can afford to be liberal and
well-cultured, where no one shows up ill-shod
or doped up, or anyway, only pleasantly stoned
as is legal in Colorado.
we're very civilized,
we are smart and educated,
we are the lucky ones,
even if we worked hard
to get here.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

being a parent

we hold our feelings and thoughts
inside, hidden from the children, so they
may never know, perhaps only to experience
the breadth of being a parent
while still being a person
one day.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

the duck

I have wanted that duck for as long as I can remember.
it sat on my mother's dresser in her bedroom in Lombard, IL
and I looked up at it from the ground level,
I remember reading to my grandmother when I didn't even know how
and looking up at that duck from the floor at the foot of her rocking chair.
I loved that duck. 
I loved that duck when I snuck into her bedroom to smell 
the single perfume bottle on her dresser,
I loved the duck even when I was packing a bag to leave that
house in Lombard, IL, forever, when even the duck could
not keep me there anymore.  
I think I left my mother the note that I was leaving next to the duck,
the note that left her reeling.
I didn't mean to hurt her.
Being there just hurt me too much to stay and I snuck
away while she was at work.
She came home to find the note tucked under the feet of the duck,
my bedroom empty.
The duck was the witness to all that.
So many years ago now.
The duck is sitting on my dresser now on the rabbit skin
that I've had since my daughter was a little girl,
probably about the same age as she was in the photo.
The duck was my grandmother's and maybe her mother before.
One day my daughter will have the duck.
She just doesn't know it yet.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

driving away from my phone

I started up the car in the work parking lot
and my favorite podcast started broadcasting from my phone
over the car speakers.
ah, technology, how I love you
but as I drove away, the voice broke up and
disappeared as I drove away from my office,
away from my phone.
I had no time to go back and felt
this moment of panic, of being without my phone.
that's addiction, isn't it.
aren't there drugs for that, antidotes,
like extra chocolate, red wine or
long naps to dull the pain of separation,
yes, it's addiction
tomorrow morning when I go back to work
I will sate my need by browsing FB and
twitter and all my other social media sites
it will be wonderful.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Birthday cookies

I'll send them out tomorrow morning.
Crispy, chocolatey, with some warming,
they leave a shimmer of melted butter on your fingers.
coating your tongue in sugar and fat,
so delicious.
He's 31 on Friday, and I guess I can't really
call him my baby boy anymore,
he's a man with his own life, his own love,
his own apartment, job, friends, activities.
I'm a very small part of his life, maybe best
described as woven into his view of the world,
knowing he is always deeply loved,
that there are others less fortunate,
that his talents are great, but that there
is so much he does not know,
to practice humility and look for lessons
from others, from life.
And to enjoy these cookies, made with love,
sent with love.


Sunday, April 2, 2017

The blanket

we used to fight over it
my sister, being the oldest, and a bully
always got it
I sat on the floor.
my three brothers and my sister hogged the couch.
and the blanket.
as long as I could watch Perry Mason in peace,
or Mannix, Green Acres, or my favorite, Mod Squad.
I always imagined myself the girl with her long hair
and hip boots, smart, too.
During my last trip to visit my mother, I spotted
the blanket high up on a shelf.
she's 91 and looking for homes for various treasures
and I snapped it up, but reluctantly, too.
what to do with a blanket that is well over 100 years old,
her grandmother's, my great grandmother's,
frayed, and of unknown origin or materials.
Furry, but certainly not synthetic being from 1900.
I couldn't not take it.
It could not be lost,
it was found.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The accident

the truck and trailer had jack-knifed on Highway 5
Heading south from Eugene.
One car was smashed against the cement barrier,
Its trunk pushed up into the passenger compartment
I wondered who had been there, who was no longer with us.
Two other cars were scattered like toys, the sirens and
Flashing lights assaulted our senses as we drove by
At a crawl, everyone was looking to see even if
We did not want to admit it
We didn't want to admit to ourselves that this
Can happen in a single moment, that one second we
Are driving and chatting and the next it could be
All over and the sirens will wail and the lights will flash,
Everyone will look to see what has happened, the cars
Will back up for miles waiting for the accident to clear.
An hour later, the cars will be moved off to the side
Traffic will flow as if nothing had ever happened.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

carry a song in your pocket

carry a song in your pocket,
 a flute in your suitcase,
   a sheet of music for when you lack 
     an improvisation, when the Moon is 
hidden and you can't see your sunshine.
carry a forte and a piannisimo for the right moments
an eighth and a quarter, a dotted half note
and a staccato for festivities.
Accent the best of times and descrescendo 
throught the  difficult trusting that a
beautiful melody will begin again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

two sides of the fence

on one side of the fence, she walks across broken down stalks, fallen leaves
and the bare dirt of winter.
on the other, a field, brilliant green with the promise of spring,
new growth, beauty bursting forth from the drizzle of overcast days. 
we are two sides of the same coin,
I see her eyes were the same color as mine, faded into squints
our histories overlap in ways I don't think she understands 
I see this from the other side of the fence.
there is a majestic tree between us, its branches straddling
our two lives, we communicate through hidden roots.
my boots are wet from the raindrops on the green grasses
hers from the upwelling water from muck and mud
a similar result, a completely different path, I chose
to walk in another field but I see across the fence to
what could have been. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

surprise and delight

surprise and delight!
delirious happiness!
stupendous satisfaction.

Sunday, March 26, 2017


it's morning and the snow is sparkling on the mountainside,
a fog hangs over the lake, the cabin seems tight so I step outside.
All my organized thoughts fall away, politics, children,
husband, dog, shopping, work left to do,
there I stand with the mountains and the sun just
starting to warm the soil and melt the last snow clinging 
to sloped roofs in this village.
it's good to get away, even a few steps, a few moments,
to breathe in clean, still air and just be.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Let's go

 Let's go on an adventure, 
bags are packed and ready
front door is locked,dog food is in the car.
let's leave this boring place 
my mom will not let me dig in the back yard
and my parents work all day
I'm a latch-key dog.
I"m ready to go ski and walk and play
let's go, let's go
the day is wasting!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

someone wants to be my friend

I only had one half hour for coffee
but he came down from Westminster
she came from South Boulder
someone wants to be my friend
he's a black man from Arkansas
all his brothers were murdered in the ghettos
she was born in Argentina, escaping
to America after her father's friends
kept being "disappeared", we know how
horrible that was.
they are different from me
and they want to be my friend
I want to be their friend, too.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The lady in gold

Everyone knows her husband, the man in the suit,
Sir James Galway, his lilting speech, the fluid sweep of his music.
I never had heard of Lady Jeanne Galway, the premier woman flutist
in the world, how could I never have heard of Lady Jeanne.
Her sound sailed over the auditorium,
what a dignified, yet musical, stance, the music moved through her
while her husband stood still, so quiet, motionless.
she is the lady in gold,
draped in green silk embroidered in flowers
I only wish I had a photo to remember her forever,
she is my Lady, he is merely a sir.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

la grammaire

la grammaire, c'est necessaire.
yet how do I speak English fluently
without knowing the gerund, the dependent clause,
the correct use of the comma,
we blunder through without a clue of grammar,
without a clue of how to express what needs to be said.
Did I really tell her she needs something else in her life
to balance the unbalance,
to find some happiness in a sea of despair
that so envelopes her that she doesn't even know it,
in spite of meditation and better grammar than most.
we may know grammar but not see clearly,
we may  know the subjunctive but can't find a job,
we may know a main clause but never find love,
we may not know where to look
in spite of straight A's.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

a nice surprise

a nice surprise to come home
and find three of those people I love
sitting at the pink dinette.
The Goofball husband, the lithe and lovely daughter
and the young man who will be my son-in-law
I know it.
so we drank whiskey and port and
I dissed the universities that rejected my daughter.
Puh to them
Off they will go to Australia
so much more fun than academia.
I'm happy for them.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

the dentist

he has a nice smile
we gaze at each other.
I look into his eyes, he looks inside my mouth.
I would not want to be a dentist.
Tonight, I note that the pile of papers has not diminished,
that the laundry lingers on the floor upstairs,
that the fall leaves still cover the new growth
that the weekend I had planned to attend to all these things
is over.
I had fun instead riding my new bike,
speaking French while drinking coffee at a neighborhood cafe,
lunching out, dining with friends,
drinking too much
and enjoying it.
tomorrow I see the dentist
I must get to bed
the appointment is way too early
what was I thinking.

Friday, March 17, 2017

the optimism of spring

first, the crocuses.
brilliant yellow, deep purples, 
the reticulated irises, so tiny, so detailed,
the white blossoms pushing forth from the 
nanking cherry bush and the forsythia,
the forsythia, such lanky branches dressed 
in yellow.
the hostas are pushing up in the east garden,
bleeding hearts are already a foot tall, seeming
to have appeared from no where.
spring bursts forth in all its glory
i rush to meet it half way.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

and who will speak out?

who will speak out when we are all glued to our
FaceBook feed, hypnotised by the endless antics,
the unbelievable that keeps us hooked in to the screen,
disconnected from what we must do.
A speaker must have a listener but everyone's ear buds
are turned up, their eyes looking down at the screen.
let's all forget what democracy means.
who will speak out when we are all in a senseless
coma, beat down by the endless alt-right media,
almost everything can be normalized.
I remember reading an article about a man who
when healthy called for the legalization of euthanasia,
for the old to accept and embrace their life and let it go.
Until he had a stroke and could not longer walk,
feed or toilet by himself.
He lived on for years in this state
He reflected, wryly,
It's amazing what you can get used to.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fall clean up in Spring

I'm too lazy in Fall,
instead watching the leaves drift downwards
while drinking red wine on the porch
the sun warms my skin
it feels good not to work.
Spring is here, the leaves are piled up
over flower beds, having been moistened,
frozen, thawed tens of times, sodden
solid heaps.
I wonder if I can ignore them for another season
but decide not
each morning I trudge outside rather unwillingly
but when the flowers peak up from beneath the
I realize this is Spring!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

He will always be Pierre, our eyes will always match

he will always be Pierre
with that same wide smile, whether wearing diapers.
mismatched socks and a missing front teeth
or a tuxedo at some big event.
we found this photo while drinking wine
at our brother's and I captured his 40 year old smile
next to the one from 39 years ago.
my brother pointed to the age spots on his wrists
when we had lunch last weekend
everything is on schedule, he said,
the age spots, the thinning skin, balding,
reduced energy, but I noticed his eyes sparkling
with that same intensity and intelligence as always.
Pierre has the smile,
Jacques has the eyes
Our eyes will always match.
those will never change
we will always be the same inside
the spirit, the spark.

Monday, March 13, 2017

On the way to smiling


I remember
when Father died, you were 13
the first thing you asked was if you would ever
see your sisters and brothers again.
we were five and you were just one, an only child.
I don't think that question even crossed my mind
but I'm glad it crossed yours, you could remind me
so you would
find your way back to smiling after that loss.
and here we are again, some 27 years later
and you have smiled your way in life,
with two beautiful children, yes, a few bumps
but look at me, your sister,
still smiling. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

a packed coffee shop on a windy Sunday morning

whereas the working folks may treasure a morning to sleep in,
the retired can sleep in any morning.
Sunday morning there is no competition with the millennials,
laptops, iPads and iPhones in hand.
the retired don't need to sleep in, they can nap whenever
they want, Sunday morning calls for coffee at the Trident.
a few vagrants wander the tables, this cafe welcomes all,
the old, the thrown-away, the lovelorn, the occasionals
who wander in once every few years to meet one of the above.
I have been one of the above, I will be one of another above.
I can see into the future.

Friday, March 10, 2017

all sizes, all shapes, all men

they are all sizes, all shapes, 
rotund, scrawny, bearded, clean-shaven,
young, old, graceful, clumsy,
they are all gay.
The Denver Gay Mens' Choir,
all singing, many dancing,
they sing love songs to each other,
to the world, to us in the audience.
I am moved to love these chubby men,
the skinny ones, the ugly and the handsome,
they are the 10%, plucked randomly from 
us, from the sea of humanity.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

first signs of spring

while walking Bella,
I noticed off in the forest the slightest whisper of green,
some light green buds on a rambling bush.
I opened my eyes and heart to spring,
to renewal, I started looking for new life,
a persistent blooming in spite of darkness.
once home, I spotted blooming forsythia 
leaning against the wall, and swelling buds
on the crab apple tree, iris pushing up through
the earth and purple crocus peeking through
brown leaves awaiting spring cleanup.
and next year, this will happen again.
I just hope I am here to see it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Just show up

99% of the work is showing up,
for your friends, for meetings, for your family,
for what you believe it, or think you do.
turn off the phone,
log off FaceBook, send the email,
get in your car,
ride your bike,
walk down the street,
just show up.
Eight of us showed up tonight,
twenty-eight postcards written which will
arrive at representatives' mailboxes across Colorado.
Just think if 10,000 showed up.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

yes, I'm getting older

and I don't buy that it's all in my head,
bad attitude.
my bones creak, my legs are stiff,
I'm tired.
you, who are so young, deny reality,
the older athletes you see out there rest
between workouts,
and probably take long naps.
they encourage me to try handstands
and back bends, but I've never done
them and it's unlikely that my
body would agree to them
Yes, I'm getting older and
I need to keep this
body happy.
Let's not overdo it.

Monday, March 6, 2017

sometimes I'm speechless

the slaves volunteered to come to America for a better life,
Historically Black Colleges offered school choice
Obama tapped Trump Tower.
The Affordable Care Act can be repealed and replaced with something better
while we increase defense spending by 10%,
only an additional $53 Billion per year,
the generals did not even ask for it.
So, yes, sometimes I'm speechless at the disconnect
between what could be
and what is.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

and while we look, while we listen

and while we look at the endless FaceBook stream,
while we listen to the endless talking heads,
the bills we never heard about pass through the legislature,
we're too busy, too upset, to notice
until it's too late and the ink is dry,
the sky darkens with soot,
the sick become sicker,
the pockets of the wealthy swell
and the Master of the Illusion smiles
in his penthouse, tweeting through the early
morning about wire taps and Obama and
Rosie O'Donnell or whoever
while Ryan and Bannon and the others
print out the bills and call their brethren to
we must wake up.

Friday, March 3, 2017

what the weekdays look like

I bill by the 15 minute increments.  
last week I worked on 10 projects in 22 hours,
most days 5 projects, about one hour per project
the attention for each woven into the others,
each rubbing elbows with the next and the next.
I dutifully fill in my timecard at the end of every day
as required by the U.S. Government,
yes, that is a regulation I would get rid of.
but others, and I'm thinking of one, in particular,
scratches his balding head every month or so as
he ponders what he worked on in the last month.
He doesn't need a calendar  like this broken into 
one hour blocks,
one day I won't either and I'll sleep as late
as I want, too.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

no, I will not get up early on a weekend

Definition of weekend:  any day that I don't have to go to work.
No, I will not get up early on a weekend
I will not get up before the usual dreadfully early alarm on weekdays
and I refuse to walk the dog in the dark.
I don't care if the snow is 5 degrees warmer,
you can leave without me.
On weekday mornings, you stumble into the warm kitchen
to make your coffee while I am out in the cold walking the dog.
ok, it's a deal, you walk her in the dark at night,
but I will not wake up even earlier on a vacation day
unless I have to in order to catch a plane.
this is why I book my own flights so I don't have
to wake up early to catch a plane.
remember that my weekend is any day that I don't go
to work,
Don't forget it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Protest wine

it was fitting
a wine called Protest
poured for our postcard party.
eloquent phrases flowed freely
even the ink from our pens seemed to 
make our points with more intensity,
with grace and intention.
drinking wine while writing pleases me.
writing while drinking wine also does.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

picking cotton

I was admiring her beautiful woven cotton skirt today.
she's very organic
and won't wear synthetic fabrics
they  make her feel claustrophic.
have you ever seen the cotton workers
at mills and sewing machines, 
gathering the piles to fill box cars,
they are all brown
from Bangladesh and Burkino Faso,
Romania and Arizona.
we sleep on cotton sheets
and wear beautiful cotton clothing
they drown in cotton.

Monday, February 27, 2017

what do we tell our children

what do we tell our children
shall we start with the Holocaust,
the ejection of the Jews from Spain,
the Klan,
the pogroms,
we don't need to look at history,
shall we tell them about the toppled tombstones
in the Jewish Cemeteries,
the bomb threats,
the young Indian man, murdered 
for looking different?
what do we tell our children
what do those who do this 
teach their children?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

when did you last look at your rug?

reflecting on the Trump presidency
I looked down at my feet and saw the rug,
the carrots, soup kettle, chef's hat and mitten,
the onions and red peppers.
so bright and cheerful, this rug has lasted
longer than the Obama presidency, maybe 
even through the reign of George W,
and it still makes me smile.
My rug will endure Trump, and probably
the next one, too, unless I throw it in 
the rubbish heap.
I wonder how many people compare the 
lifetime of their rugs to the political cycle.
Many things of beauty and joy endure,
even Trump cannot take away my rug. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

adult children

adult children
an oxymoron.
adults have their own lives, jobs, independence.
children rely on parents, run to them for love and support.
no wonder we are all confused with this idea of
adult children.
is she my child and needing attending, or an adult
I'll chat with once in awhile when we both have the time
and interest.
this is what I ask myself
and is he a child needing guidance and support
or an adult with his own path,
occasionally calling his mother
as a dutiful son
and what about me, the mother,
do I hold no interest as a smart and independent
woman of my own right,
one that would, no doubt, if not also a mother.
a double oxymoron then of interesting mother
and adult children.
the discomfort of paradox.
make that triple docs,
or quadruple if you count
their father.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

missing Cobus

I don't have to count exactly right
and he ignores the wrong notes,
I can hum and sing and play in no particular order
and he finds it refreshingly "new"
He lets me be free and embraces it.
I miss Cobus.
When I listen to him play, my heart sings
and I don't care if he plays the wrong notes
or the wrong rhythm, even though I know he doesn't.
He just plays to my heart
And even though I know I will never play like him,
his generous heart created this magic playground for me
where anything goes,
as long as I show my heart.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Being lost: the experience of postage stamps

what is it to be lost, forgotten, misplaced
unsure of the future, what hands will slip you into a dark drawer,
what tongues may lick you, how your skin will be peeled away.
purchased, then forgotten in a post office envelope,
of value, yet discarded, what mystery
like an underemployed engineer in a world of need.
she left five sheets in an envelope, thinking we'd been
transferred to a box, we were smaller and her fingers
 left us behind in the dark.
$34 left behind, no chump change, 100 postcards without
postage, you'd guess she would return to look for us.
and she did, clumsily, not seeing the envelope, going to
the counter, glum-faced, to buy another 100, another $34,
only to finally spot us in a bent envelope.
she was happy,
now we are 200 stamps for 200 postcards.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dear Cory

Dear Cory,
You hear us, even with earplugs,
the din is deafening, the signage singes your eyes.
Dear Cory, Senator Gardner, the cards keep
arriving in Yuma, Denver, Ft. Collins and Pueblo,
in Washington, at your senate office, at home,
at your mother's house,
they keep coming,
we keep standing outside your door,
calling you on the phone,
and we'll keep doing it,
until you listen and act for us,
or until 2020 when we vote you out,
whichever is sooner.

Monday, February 20, 2017

we need each other

no one loves us like a dog.
doesn't even have to be our dog,
their paws will reach under the chain link gate
towards our human hands
asking to be touched,
petted and loved
as they love us.
a warm paw meets a warm hand,
claws on fingernails,
pads on skin.
our thumb strokes their soft fur.
a man may be stoic in human tragedy
but show me a man who does not
cry at the loss of his dog.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

making crepes

you have to move fast
between melting butter, pouring in the batter
flicking the wrist to spread it over the pan,
flipping it
flopping the perfectly browned crepe into
the waiting platter.
no lolly gagging, reflecting on
whether there's a better way.
Reflection is for another day.

la recette:
250 g farine
4 œufs
1/2 l lait
1 pincée de sel
2 cuillères a soupe de sucre (pour les crêpes sucrées)
50 g de beurre fondu
Confiture selon votre gout

J'ai fait une recette double pour 6 personnes.

Friday, February 17, 2017

fake news

Russian army withdraws from Crimea,
Families all over the country open their doors to the homeless.
Americans lose weight and take care of their health.
Corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
All children regardless of class or race graduate from high school.
The Tibetans regain control of their county.
#45 completes a phrase without referring to himself,
#45 admits that the Russians hacked our election.
We all make daily choices that show respect and care
for our only Home, planet Earth.
I wish these fake news stories were true.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

spring cleanup

if I'm not running late
I grab the rake.
If my lunch is made,
I'll shout hurray
and weed away.
the crocus is rising, 
yellow buds are surprising
how brilliant 
how starry
how lovely
how darling.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

the power of the written word

we were seven
but two left early.
words were written on cards depicting
bears in the mountains,
the Pearl Street Mall,
the Flatirons,
bob cats and other things we love,
things that are threatened.
Old and new friendships,
illegible writing, some stilted,
some dreamy and some angy,
some addressed to mothers,
some to sons.
our dreams and hopes are written
tomorrow they will be carried away in a
our postman's cart
to be read by mothers and sons,
husbands and wives,
one family to another.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

To my Valentine

don't bother buying over-priced flowers.
they wilt.
forget the extravagant card.
it will go in the recycle bin.
look at me and listen
every day.
At night, I hug you first
and then I roll over for sleep and you hug me
before going back to reading your book.
ski with me without giving me too much instruction
and let me pace you up to the boys on my
new electric bike.
thank you for the gift
I love it.
I love you,
my dear Valentine.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A record for the Donald

how many days did it take for the public to realize
what a mistake they made at the polling place,
whether it be a mailbox, a rural school room, the county courthouse.
it took eight days for the Donald to have a majority of Americans
to disapprove of his performance, a record low.
Was it the immigration order,
the Wall,
was it Betsy's confirmation, or maybe Mnushin,
how about Flynn, who talked to the Russians
and had to resign less than a week later.
the number of days is far exceeded by the number of 
blunders, illegalities and stupidities

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Riding with the boys on my electric bike

my bike is red and black
and has a battery that whirs quietly,
propelling me along with the pack,
leading more than following,
cutting the wind.
they draft behind me, grateful,
perhaps a little resentful at this freckled
I laugh into the wind.

Friday, February 10, 2017

roaming the snowy plains

i was alone in the museum
me and buffalo on the snowy plains
the wind chilled my bones, my light clothing
whipped in the wind, their dark thick fur barely moved,
they were stoic, moving slowly from place to place,
alone on the snow
as we all were moving in singles and doubles,
a few babes in arms through the galleries,
weaving through each other to find the best
food for something deep inside
unspoken, not quite a hunger, a yearning
maybe, something that needs filling
as the buffalo also ranges across the snow
looking for something we cannot see
below the pristine white.
we are all searching.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

smiling in the dark

she's smiling in the dark
in a back corner of a bar
we don't see the celebratory drink.
three judges ruled against the  president.
a celebratory drink against authoritarianism.
she never thought she's be in the resistance
for herself and her children
for others and their children
for the earth.
she is so small, sinking into the oversized chair
in the dark, in a back corner of the bar
her drink in hand, determination
behind the smile
she's a fighter
a junkyard dog.