Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Observations while Mowing the Lawn

Note: Lawn
Bare in spots.
I contemplate
except it’s on my way
to the compost bins
My shoes
break down
the slender stalks,
grinding them
into earth.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This Machine Kills Freedom

This Machine Kills Freedom

The electric buzz overhead
vibrating power lines feeding
into every house, draining
dollars, but lighting the night.
This machine kills the freedom
to fall asleep at dusk, or to rise
only at the break of dawn.
This machine kills the freedom
to turn off the computer
and talk to your friends on a
lazy summer evening.
or does it only allow us to
destroy our own freedom.

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Multiplicative Effect

This last weekend was a heavy duty volunteer weekend! Our bike club hosted Deer Trail Road Race on Saturday. On Sunday, six of us from the Goss-Grove Community Garden weeded two large flower beds, and then they were watered in the process of emptying water bottles left over the race a couple of hours later. All that work was rewarded by a cold Margarita!

The multiplicative effect

From two to four
a garden was weeded
by six willing hands.
From five to six, a garden
was watered by four
willing hands. In
each willing movement,
the earth was restored
and nourished.
And so were we.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Deer Trail Road Race I: Preparations

The Horizon team
rotating in paceline
pinning bib numbers,
practicing echelons
preparing for the race.

A serious rider
preparing for the race,
glad to see pink.

Deer Trail Road Race II: The Race

II. The race

It was snowing by then.
I radio’ed out into
the vacuum of space,
asking whether the race would go on.
No reply, only the roar of wind,
tumbleweeds scurrying across the highway.

Deer Trail Road Race III: Scenes from Deer Trail

III. Scenes from Deer Trail

Back alleys and quiet side streets,
thriving local businesses, outdoor cooking,
new construction bucking national trends,
convertibles loaded up for travel to distant bike races,
don’t they know the race is right here.

Deer Trail Road Race IV: The end of a long day

IV. The End of a Long Day

Victory is sweet.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hope Springs Eternal

Hope springs eternal

The spring ritual.
Drooling over seed packets
with the prettiest pictures
at McGuckins.
Carefully placing 1-3
seeds in each carefully
rehydrated peat pot,
covering them, warming them.
The feeling of excitement
at seeing the first signs
of sprouting life!
Placing them under lights
in the basement,
and watching them grow,
for awhile.
Losing interest as their
roots and leaves intertwine,
they’re too big to be in tiny
peat pots, too early to go outside.
Early summer arrives.
The surviving portion goes outside,
some I remember to water.
I tell myself not to do this next year
while secretly assuring myself
I’ll do it better next year.
Hope springs eternal.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Checkerboards and Numbers

Checkerboards and Numbers

Statistical analysis of data sets
plagued by instrument error
does little to elucidate the variability
between different samples.

It was hot in my office,
so I removed my sweater.

I started again.
The calculated confidence intervals
will make the analysts puke if I use
all the data, for reasons described above.

It was hot in my office.
I was bored. I went home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Pennsylvania Primary: Bumming on Grove Street

If you are a Clinton supporter, probably best not to read on.....but I can't ignore the primary on this day.
Pennsylvania Primary

Even having waited for a woman
to be a viable presidential candidate, I
am sad that she has won tonight.

Her arms form a “V” for victory in Pennsylvania.
Her most loyal supporter,
the man who could not keep his fly zipped,
stands at her side.
Somehow it’s not quite the scene I had pictured
as a feminist victory.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Singer

She looked tired and had gained weight.
Bad stage lighting highlighted the bags
under her eyes, her fleshy upper arms.
She carefully removed her black patent
party shoes, looking under the keyboard
to locate the foot pedal.
She looked at the few of us
sprinkled across several tables,
her fingers struck a minor chord,
her voice a smoky blue.
We were all waiting for her lover
one rainy night in Paris.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Adopt a Road Clean-up

Ten of us from the cycling club, and a dog, did our bi-annual cleanup of Nelson Road between 51st and 63rd. Getting to be an easier task every time, thank goodness! With Earth Day coming up, be sure and do something special for our beautiful planet.
Roadside Cleanup

It was a draw, even though there wasn’t much competition.
The empty Raspberry Vodka bottle was a find, but it was
found “out of bounds” while we were waiting around.
The Mexican drivers license was hidden in the tall grass,
extra points for that. Otherwise, the usual.
Countless cigarette butts, empty beer cans (Bud quality).
The detritus of Human existence thrown carelessly
out an open window, while careening down the highway.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Home is where the heart is

Home is where the Heart is

A concerned friend took her to look at a new
Victorian house for sale in East Boulder.
It was perfect!
The neighborhood was well kept and peaceful.
After all,
wasn’t she too old to pick up trash left behind by high schoolers,
be woken up from an already fragile sleep.
The house was perfect! It had a garden and a driveway!

there was no one with pink hair walking down the street.
no 2 a.m. serenades when the bars closed
no walking to Farmers’ Market, the Library or McGuckins’.
No thugs stealing bicycles and pitching them in the creek,
or drug dealers lining the alleys,
no rotating dragonflies in the nearby garden.
No variety, no spice of life!

The house was perfect! Everyone was middle-aged
and well behaved.

She didn’t move after all,
it was one step closer to the cemetery.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A glass as large as a bottle

A glass as large as a bottle

Twelve empty wine bottles
tossed into the recycle bin
after my New Bathroom party.
I had only had one small half glass!
Mary walked in with one decanted
bottle of wine to share over dinner.
This time, my half glass was going
to prove adequate!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poetry Reading, Venue #2

This is a poem about an event at Boulder Book Store celebrating National Poetry Month. I was also delighted to see Matt and Tracy Tucker, who also read poems.

Poetry Reading: Venue #2

I don’t have to resist
foul language, or tedious
sexual innuendo. It's
a more sedate crowd,
better writers.
We enjoy hors d’oeuvres
and chilled white wine,
Bookcases heavy with
volumes of poetry protect
us from the mundane.
We settle into comfy chairs.
Poetry enters me, engages me,

entrances me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Hanging laundry on the back porch
in shorts and a T-shirt.
Waking up to the sound of a door,
slamming shut, swinging open
on squeaky hinges, slamming shut,
over and over again.
Hearing the wind building up the canyon,
slamming into the house, rattling
the windows, even the taped wind chimes
make a racket.
Crystal clear skies and sunshine
reflecting off newly fallen snow.
All within 24 hours in my town.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008



I send my check to Uncle Sam
as late as possible, reluctantly,
thinking of Iraq, Blackwater,
Bear-Sterns, Dubya and his cronies,
living it up, so smug in their belief
that they’re right.
I think of skyrocketing tuition,
foreclosures, more cuts to
scientific research, tax refunds
to encourage yet more spending,
astronomical debt we leave our children.
I send my check not because I believe
in our government, but because I
have to. Nothing more and nothing less.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Psychiatrist

The Psychiatrist

I always grin
when I walk down the long
corridor to his office
following his long legs
and goofy black Earth shoes
He just looks so much
like big 12 year old
that it’s hard to take him
seriously, until he settles
into his leather chair
and starts talking.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Snapshots of a party

Snapshots of a party

Crazy Italian chef
preparing to assemble
authentic lasagna in
well-appointed kitchen.

An attempt at cleaning
and reusing disposable
cups demonstrates the
fragility of cheap,
convenient petrochemicals.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Cookin' Outside in the 'Hood

Cookin’ Outside in the ‘hood

It’s a sunny day,
good day for cookin’ out,
don’t you think, Marge?
Yep, got the stove out
there in the front yard
with my favorite chair, Bob.
Let’s cook somethin’
up and watch the folks
walk on by.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Spirits of this house

The spirits of this house

The floorboards creak in the darkness of night,
the footsteps of the Firth family, the Anderson family,
long gone now, we thought, but there is still
some weight there, their footsteps cause the
floorboards to creak and wake me in the night.

There is breathing this morning, snoring even,
of someone who used to live here,
we thought they were long gone, but there
is still some power in their inhales,
their exhales, only stopping when
they wake up and start their day.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Someone I care about

A blonde tousle-headed lad
prone to alcoholic binges,
a marathon runner, from life,
pain, memories.
A sensitive lad, thoughtful,
does his best to follow
a path that disappears
in front of his own eyes.
He struggles, parents far
away, no, he’s not an adult
even if he can drink and vote.
Just out of detox this afternoon
and back to the same life,
no more answers, maybe
the alcohol dulled the
questions and at least
he can sleep tonight.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008



One less than ten.
Second digit in my address.
Age of a typical 4th grader.
Squared is eighty-one.
Number of letters in my name.
Today’s date.
When I should be at work.
Better get going.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two beds

Two Beds

A futon
in her youth,
a solid brick
of cotton.

A double pillow deluxe
my body sinks in.

I sleep in her shadow.

Monday, April 7, 2008

The birthday dinner that wasn’t

A proper birthday dinner
at The Kitchen,
a late 50th,
an on-time 22nd.
A Rusty Nail and a Kitchen Sunset
for starters,
No I.D.
No exceptions.
No problem.
We left.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A geological perspective on Arches National Park

A geological perspective of Arches National Park

geologists teach that these
fantastical structures are
shaped by wind, water and sun.

looks to me like god dropped
globules of mud onto desert
floors and forgot to clean up
after himself.

i’d say god was a she, but we
know that women are better at
cleaning up after themselves.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Take the U-turn

Take the U-turn

Climb hard straight ahead,
then take a sharp U-turn to the right.
The rock wall in front of you will
block your path, the one you have
been following so assiduously, hardly
considering whether it makes sense
or not anymore, that decision you made
long ago that seemed right
at the time.
Take the U-turn, or
you will be blocked by the wisdom
of the ages, manifestation of
millennia laid down, pushed up
then worn by wind and water,
natures’ decisions taken, reversed,
cracked, recast and formed into
an unequaled beauty. Take the U-turn
and learn from Her wisdom.

Friday, April 4, 2008



You were due this day
twenty two years ago.
Three more days and
the energy level in the
world quadrupled, and
entropy was up a decade
manifested in a small apartment
overflowing with baby
paraphernalia, an extra
set of grandparents. We were
two exhausted parents. Now
bikes, battered travel bags,
a dog eared copy of On the Road,
flamboyant high topped red leather
combat boots, lost duvet covers,
your various accoutrements.
You’ve tried to eclipse your
sister over the years, but she’s
gotten a lot stronger.
I’m still waiting for you to
pick up the shower curtain
and used paintbrushes you used
for your last artistic creation.
It may be awhile.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Swimming Lessons

Swimming Lessons

I decided on the suit with the pink and blue candies
scattered across my body and the hot pink swim cap.
I will flounder across the pool simulating a crawl,
appropriately named as a child learning to walk,
They will smile at me, stifle a laugh, and
when I catch my breath, I will smile, too.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The agony of Red Chilis

The Agony of Red Chilis

Never lean
over to
admire the
red color
of your
cut hot
red chili
you will
the next
four hours
ice cubes
on your

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Written on the wall

Written on the wall

I love you!
A salve for lonely hearts,
those who push shopping carts
filled with dirty sleeping bags,
aluminum cans and other found treasures.
I love you!
Written to all of us who wander
by the 18th Street bridge abutment,
our heads down, rich or poor,
happy or sad, those with faith and
those without. The answer
is right in front of us.
The answer is love.