Monday, June 30, 2008



she saw an airplane.
four bombs falling
fire everywhere,
on her body, her arms,
her clothes burned off
by fire, her heart seared
shut with napalm.
the haunting question
following hospitalizations,
surgeries, chronic pain,
so much suffering,
why live but to find the
ultimate answer.
she called it forgiveness,
the greatest salve
for all pain and suffering,
a way to end all wars,
yet one of the most difficult
gifts to find and offer
in humility.
This poem was inspired by a segment from This I Believe on where Kim Phuc, now 45, describes her experience of that bombing (when she was 9 years old) and its effect on her life. A very moving and powerful message.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Birthday Girl Arrives

The Birthday Girl Arrives

All smiles, a new
freckle mustache,
yet more freckles
on her lips, only has met one
other girl with so many freckles.
An even bigger smile when she finally
gets her chocolate soufflé birthday cake
and we all sing happy birthday, two candles,
one for each decade.
Birthday cake, a narrated Namibian show!
Many slides of rocks called
diamictite and conglomerate, yielding
indisputable proof of glaciation.
her brother finally passes out on the couch.
bright eyed, she announces it's late and
we all go to bed.
Happy Birthday, Karen!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fundraising in the Red Light District

A tiny figure loaded down
with an oxygen backpack,
translucent tubing backlit
by harsh alley lighting.
she emerged into this raucous backyard,
this rally for a new president,
slightly stooped, quietly.
We stopped talking and turned
to look at her.
She broke the silence,
“I am dying, but I plan to live until
I can cast my vote in November.”
A lanky youth in an arm sling
led her to a suitable chair,
the one which did not wobble too much,
where she wrote a check,
and rested from her exertions.
Then she got up, strolled, slightly
bent over, the translucent oxygen
tubing lit from behind by
the harsh alley lighting
and just as she was disappearing
into the alley, she waved,
calling out, “I’ll be there in November,
and then I can die.”

Friday, June 27, 2008

Lars and the Real Girl

Lars and the Real Girl

the beauty of projection.
creating the perfect love
for imperfect needs.
the tragedy of reality
when ordinary people
don’t fit those needs,
and everyone is thrown to
the winds, like chaff
drifting in shifting winds.
the gift of his projection,
a painless death opening
doors to the real girl.

I would not call this a “offbeat comedy” as advertised. I found it
quite moving. Good acting, good drama.

Thursday, June 26, 2008



The luxury of sitting
at my kitchen dinette, crowded
with white wine, fancy
tape dispensers,
Page-a-Day Poems,
notecards and custom pens,
fresh cut watermelon,
while across the world,
a one year old child weighs
in at nine pounds, a man
is killed for opposing the
dictatorial regime in his country,
women can’t go outside without
a male companion.
The luxury of being American,
of being able to get an education,
the opportunity to be able
to make a life for yourself.
The luxury of hope.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Miss Daisy Goes to the Doctor

Miss Daisy goes to the Doctor

Three days now, no skittering
across a slippery kitchen floor
to be first to get treats.
She’s been hiding under the bed.
Three days, no running into
the bedroom to be first to
get cheerios and Papaya pills.
Something is wrong,
better get her to the doctor.
Entirely too much prodding,
disappearing with a vet tech
behind closed doors, serious
instructions by the vet
in his white coat and off we go.
Daisy and I are happy to get home,
I’m hopeful that tomorrow she’ll
skitter across the kitchen floor,
first to get the best treats.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

one small reason to dislike cats

one small reason to dislike cats

a small dead bird
with no head,
wings splayed out
rested in death,
neatly, on my back
An unwanted gift.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Missing Birthday Girl

The Missing Birthday Girl

No chocolate cake or birthday candles,
wrapped presents or party favors.
The young geologist is still out mapping rocks
in the blazing Namibian desert as
the clock ticks past that moment
20 years ago, when she greeted the world,
chubby cheeks, a respectable head of hair
and a robust cry.
In a few days she’ll arrive home by way of
car, train, plane, bus and her own two feet.
We’ll celebrate then with chocolate cake,
birthday candles, wrapped presents,
party favors and a big hug to welcome
her home.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Miko's Gone

Our last ride on Miko,
up Broadway for dinner at China Gourmet,
a brief jog over to Utica Court
to say good-bye to a friend,
and she’s gone now.
Yes, we cleaned her up with Goo Gone
where the duct tape didn’t quite come off
and we sprayed Windex on her windshield.
Yes, he talked about the tidy profit he’d make
and the new bike that he wanted.
But now that she’s gone, we’re both sad.
We’ll miss her sturdy cherry red body
and the throaty sound of her engine.
Miko is gone now and our world
seems a little smaller without her.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


They met once in California
at a beach house we rented
for a few days.
Lucille was 79, gazing through
coke-bottle glasses at Karen,
who was 13 and didn’t have
time for anyone older than her,
especially not someone
she never met before
and would never meet again.
Lucille died last week.
On her bedroom dresser, she
left behind a small framed
photograph of Karen.

I was very moved by this when I found out about Karen's photograph on Lucille's dresser. It reminded me in a powerful way that we each may have a much more profound effect on someone else than we could ever have imagined.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Saturday poem will be posted on Sunday

My computer and I will be separated for Saturday so my Saturday poem will have to be posted on Sunday. Just check in then for your daily poem! ; )


The Washington Post Book World,
The Boston Globe and the San Jose Mercury
all hail Snow as “one of the best books of the year”.
I plow through another 6 page chapter with difficulty,
happy to put it aside and read Electrostatics,
More magazine, Le Cle dans La Porte or
any other close-by object with print on it.
A toothpaste box qualifies.
“A major work….immense relevance”
I dread putting it aside,
not wanting to reveal that my sophistication
is less than it should be for a woman
“of my education” , Karen is sure to mock me.
I put these thoughts aside and fall into
that luxurious state of dreaming, of
spinning my own tales of
“deep personal meaning”.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Earth in an Oven

Earth in an Oven

Let’s cook today!
We’ll drive to Wendy’s from work,
it’s at least 6 blocks away
and it’s hot outside.
Let’s use the drive-up and
keep the engine running so
we can keep the ac on high.
I have plenty of room for you
to join us. I bought my nine seat
mini-van so I have room for
my kids’ friends when we drive
a couple miles to get ice cream.
Our bikes still have flats from
two years ago. Been too busy
to fix them anyway and the kids
don’t like to get sweaty.
Let’s cook tonight!
We’ll drive up to the mountains
in our new RV and have an old fashioned
cookout! We can use our gas-powered
generator to run the T.V. so we don’t
miss the latest episode of “Lost”
and run the AC if it’s hot.
The kids might get bored
if we just expect them to run
around in the woods and I
don’t want them to get hurt.
We can drive back tomorrow morning
in time for the in-laws flying in
from Nebraska for the weekend.
For a few moments tonight,
we’ll watch the stars
circling overhead and feel awe at
the beauty of our Mother Earth.
The art work shown above is by Scott Reuman of Conundrum Designs. He is an artist in Nederland, CO, who is well known for his artistry in wood, pencil, ceramic, glass and just about everything in between. He is a master craftsperson and artist. You can see more of his work at or come by my house. I have some of his work!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Dim View of Physicists

A Dim View of Physicists

the young man noted that
physicists used to be manly men,
scaling high mountains, seducing
beautiful women, writing prize-winning
novels in their spare time.
Now, they all have Asperger’s Syndrome,
sport well-worn Docker’s with pizza stains
in the crotch area,
and shuffle in and out of
their laboratories, heads down,
blowing their noses into dirty
The portrait above is of Michael Faraday, who was a famous physicst and chemist. He was also a very early environmentalist and refused to work on projects for any war activity. He died in 1867 and is quite a dapper chap, don't you think?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Verveine Tea

Verveine Tea

She raised the fine porcelain tea cup
to her wizened lips, gently cooling
the hot tea by blowing steam
across the surface, a fine down
decorating her upper lip.
It was dusk in Neuchatel, dinner
eaten, dessert devoured, a small
cup of ice cream and time for
an evening infusion of Verveine
with Grandma before dishwashing,
reading and bedtime.
I never found Verveine here,
and somehow it seemed fitting
that it had to be sent by my
Swiss cousin, a limited stash
which always transports me
back to the evening dusk,
smelling the scent of flowers
wafting in from her garden
through the open French doorsto her balcony

Monday, June 16, 2008

The difficulty of long poems

I lose interest in the long poems,
the ones with multiple stanzas,
the ones which rhyme or
allude to literary figures,
people I have never heard of,
dates that mean nothing.
I don’t like read poems that
make me feel stupid.
There it is.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Those words, that memory

people keep saying
the most extraordinary things,
fodder for poems,
one avenue to eternity,
the written word
posted for all to see.
those who have heard
and understood will remember
that exact moment,
the mood, the weather,
who said it, whether they
were with their best girl,
or just a random crowd of
acquaintances, whether
the wine was good, or if
it hailed that particular day.
The season, maybe the month.
the locale.
The impressions of a memory
previously embedded onto
parchment by the human hand,
now electronically rendered
may not have the same tactility
but memories do not distinguish
the tactile from the collection
of neurons firing in the exact
sequence which recalls the
extraordinary thing that someone
said in passing,
just in passing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Pack

This poem is inspired by watching the pro bike racers out here in Glenwood Springs. They are beautiful in their colorful race "kits" (name for bike uniforms) as they sweep by.

The Pack

They swept by as a
flock of twittering color,
weaving in and out,
calling to one another,
one shooting out ahead
and being called back
until the end when there
was no calling back,
no twittering,
just the sound
of heavy breathing
and the smell of
sweat and fear
as one, and only
one, raises his arms
to victory.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rental Cars

the dashboard gleams from a chemical finish,
reflecting brilliant sunshine up against
the crystal clear windshield.
No pits, no cracks, perfect newness.
The odometer reads 317, mileage from
the manufacturing plant to us.
Our new car for the weekend, $49.99
for three days, no insurance fees,
great mileage, no responsibility.
At home, a '92 Subaru Justy which burns oil
and a '95 Honda Passport with the
Service light on permanently.
A new car, $20,000 plus.
Rental cars rock.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Sadly, I didn't get a picture of the actual cake, but for those of you who don't know what a photo cake is, here is a good example!

The scale said I really shouldn’t,
so I didn’t.
My favorite kind of cake,
King Soopers or Safeway chocolate cake,
Twelve by sixteen inches with
one of those cheesy photos on top
of the new baby.
Raspberry jam filling
and a good quarter inch
of sticky, white icing on top.
The pieces were gargantuan,
I ate a whole piece with relish.
The scale said I shouldn’t,
so I didn’t
eat a second piece.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Bus

They filed onto the bus,
filling the aisle,
“All the way to the back, folks”
chanted like a mantra,
as if the force of each
word provided the energy
to shuffle each foot a
little further back.
The baseball game was over,
their team won, 1 – 0,
after a duel of pitchers.
Happy but exhausted, they
shuffled back in the bus
a little at a time and
headed home.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Simple Advice for a Happier Life

Simple Advice for a Happier Life

the bumper sticker on the
Prius parked next
to my 16 year old
3-cylinder death trap
in the Boulder YMCA
parking lot
said it all:
Wag More
Bark Less.
Simple advice
for a happier

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Perfume of Peonies

The Perfume of Peonies
a pastel pallet of peonies
perfumed the palace
with palliative powers,
pampering the princess’ nose,
providing profound pleasure
to all present.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Can you move your feet?

His feet were on my side of the dinette bench,
not just on my side, but in the exact middle
of my side of the dinette bench, the
exact place where I have liked to sit the
last fifteen years.
His feet bisected the dinette bench so
that I could sit neither to the left or the right,
inside or outside, and worse yet,
he seemed completely oblivious.
So again I asked, can you move your feet over?
A pause, I wait, slowly, ever so slowly,
as if from a Herculean effort, his feet slide over
six inches and I sit for a few minutes
and get up and his feet slide over to the
exact middle of the dinette bench.
I come back and I stand at the side of the
bench and I ask if he can move his feet over.
In complete surprise and somewhat irritated,
his feet move over, as if from a Herculean effort,
and they slide over six inches, and so
this goes on over many years as our hair
gets grey and bunnies grow old and are replaced,
Daisy IV, Snowflake II and Butterscotch III.
Buddy II and Portia III are curled at our feet
when we both actually can sit at the dinette
together, but now I don’t try to sit across from him.
I slide up next to him and he scoots over
without noticing that he had to move his feet.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Eating the Deck

Eating the Deck

They ate the railings to their new deck
at small sidewalk cafes, sipping cappuccinos
at the edge of St. Peters Square.
The deck where they planned to set
terra cotta pots full of basil and oregano.
Then they ate the floor of their new deck
in Paris, at posh restaurants high up in the Eiffel Tower,
at Mont St. Michel, and Avignon.
Finally, they ate the footings of their new deck,
hazelnut gelatos, a myriad of French and Italian cheeses,
full fat yogurts, freshly baked bagettes
and there was no money to start construction at all.
One less thing to do, many more memories.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A day in the life of a young geologist in Namibia

A day in the life of a young geologist in Namibia

She momentarily stops eating dinner
to watch shooting stars
streak across the Namibian heavens.
She’s ravenous after a full day
of scrambling up and down
rocks formed 452 million years ago
in scorching sun, precisely
marking their locations onto aerial maps.
The landscape is like New Mexico, with
the addition of giraffes and black mambas,
and she watches her step and where she
places her hands as she pulls herself up
to the next ridge.
She rises with the sun and sleeps under stars.
I momentarily stop making dinner to
walk 2 feet to the refrigerator to get
a chilled carrot and cut it up to feed
my spoiled house rabbits, whose largest
threat to my health is running into my
feet as they skid across the
kitchen floor.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Late Night Grocery Store Runs

The damp and darkness accompanied me
to the market seeking the perfect popcorn,
the bag of baby carrots having been devoured
in an absent-minded feeding frenzy that
accompanies deep thought.
As if the energy output of chewing powers the brain.
Somehow, women intuitively know this
and have to accommodate the contradiction
of needing to eat while thinking deep thoughts
with what the scale might say in the morning.
Obviously, a requirement is that excessive
junk food cannot reside in close proximity to
these activities and late night grocery store
runs are required, as evidenced tonight.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Electrostatics with Dr. Lewin

After he left last night,
I resumed my affair with Walter,
the man with the egg on his shirt,
his hair pointing this way and that.
Deep into the night, I watched him
as he showed me how a touch to a
van de Graaf generator can make
balloons traverse empty
space as if on invisible tethers,
how grass seeds line up with
unseen electric fields and
the power of Gauss’ Law.
Although my boyfriend
may be jealous, I hope
he will understand.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pure Happiness

The drumbeat of rain on the skylight
proclaimed freedom from the duty of Tuesday's grueling
training intervals on my bike up Sunshine Canyon.
Twenty minutes later, a splash of evening
sunshine lured me out for a spin
of my own design, no route, no heart rate monitor,
no one to keep up with, not a single goal.
Every intersection posing the same question;
sometimes left, sometimes right, a few u-turns
when the sun disappeared and rain danced in puddles.
Six turns around Stazio stadium, I watched the progression of
four baseball games, the teams rotating in and out
of the field, strikes, hits and home runs.
I watched rain clouds sweep
down the mountains to the west, streaks of
grey washing the City clean, dried by shafts of
sunlight tinged in pink.
I greeted robins and red-winged blackbirds
sitting on fence posts along Cherryvale Road,
and listened to the chorus of frogs in the swamp
next to the horse coral that needed cleaning.
Dusk settled in, cars turned on their headlights,
the sun settled behind the mountains.
No goals, no plan, no route, just me, the road,
the birds, the sun and the rain.
Pure Happiness.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Dogs as Personal Pollen Sources

Dogs as Personal Pollen Sources

Everytime I bend over
and pet her, that adorable
mass of black fuzz called Portia,
a cloud of pollen
explodes into the air.
We both sneeze, cough,
sniffle and rub our eyes.
She wags her tail, I go
get a Kleenex.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Suitcases also hold riches

she paced the stage of the latest show for the intelligentsia
long hair streaked with grey
at the temples, round tortoiseshell frames
lanky, energetic, a brain scientist who
suffered a stroke and discovered peace
when her left brain stopped chattering.
One with the universe, no worries, no “I”.
Her voice softens, falters, she stops pacing,
gazes out at the captivated audience,
“What a gift to get rid of 38 years of emotional baggage!”
The crowd breaks out in an uproar of applause,
the intellectuals at their own down-home revival,
seeking a path to get rid of the pain of being human.
Suitcases also hold riches.
The content of the talk is quite fascinating, and can be found at