Sunday, August 31, 2008


After they died in the car crash,
she sold everything, leaving
money for her demented mother
who called her Veronique instead of
Marie, leaving everything behind
that she could.
The music followed her,
just as a newly deaf person
keeps hearing their own music
over and over, unwanted.
There is no escape.
She only cried when the music
was written, liberated from
the never ending nightmares
of headlights careening
off the road, splintering into
a million fragments.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


She looks exactly like her brother.
Random people stop her on the street
to ask if she is her brother’s sister.
He says he looks exactly like his father,
but she told me today that she and I
look more and more like,
I am not related to his father, but am
related to my brother, and people
stop me on the street to ask if I am
my brother’s sister. When I look
in the mirror I see my sister’s freckles
and my brother’s nose and jaw, which
all goes back to my mother and father.
Her middle name is the same as my
sister and they both have freckles,
but she has my smile, even if she
does not have my name.
No wonder families are so confusing.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gathering Stuff for the Neighborhood Yard Sale

Gathering Stuff for the Yard Sale

as many empty boxes
carelessly deposited
in the basement, now
covered in cobwebs
are to be filled one by one
with once-valued things,
an antique dust buster that
my neighbor sold me three
years ago at this same neighborhood
yard sale, two electric heaters,
a radial saw that I always wanted,
really one of the more absurd things
I ever bought and never used.
Vibrating massage slippers, an
inflatable toy boat with matching oars.
All things we had to have,
now collecting dust.
So many boxes now
filled with someone else’s
treasures, stacked in my car for the
yard sale tomorrow, never
to return to my basement

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eight is Enough

Eight is Enough

Everyone laughed,
I turned to Stephen
a man about my age
looked at me and
commented I wasn’t old
enough to remember the TV series.
All I know is that Eight is Enough!
Eight years of Bush policies
is enough for all of us,
even for the never-voted-for-a-Democrat
witnesses who showed up tonight,
“Let me tell you what happened to me”
following the rules, working hard,
caring for families, and discovering
that when they needed a little help
getting through a rough patch in life,
the ones that happen to everyone,
whether Democrat or Republican,
black or white, Muslim or Christian,
there was no outstretched hand.
Family Values and Compassionate Conservatism
meant in reality “You’re on your Own”.
Eight is enough.
Let us not forget
the hard lessons we learned
these eight years
and not make the same
mistake again.
Vote Obama November 4th.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Passers-by

they wandered by,
barely glancing at the flowers,
or noticing the clouds
turning from white to golden
rays beaming through them,
laying down shadows behind
them like dried rose petals,
they wandered by, with no
intention, drifting so as to
not offend anyone, nor to
reach out, just answering the
cell phone when it rings to
see who might be on the
end of the line.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On Carrying a Notebook

He said something that belonged in a poem.
That moment, in my living room,
with him, was meant to be captured,
wrapped with some accompanying phrases
and published in this blog, to be
remembered by those who were there,
to be shared with those who were not.
Instead, it slipped away in spite
of my making a mental note of it,
of being so sure I would not forget,
it was too unforgettable.
On Carrying a Notebook
warned of this, of forgetting
what may be most

On Carrying a Notebook is one of the essays in the book I recently read, Slouching towards Bethlehem. I liked this essay more than any others, but have yet to follow her advice! Happily, a nice little notebook has just appeared in my life from Turkey, and now all I need is a little pouch for it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Summer colds

Summer colds

She coughed, then sneezed,
one, two….five times in a row,
her nose bright red, but rushing
from meeting to meeting.
Finally, too sick to even come
to work, she had to stay home
in spite of her importance.
Two days later, she’s back,
coughing, sneezing, one..two..
And she’s rushing from meeting
to meeting, leaving a cloud
of airborne viruses floating
in front of my door.
Today, I sneezed, one..two..three..five.
I’m feverish and miserable, but not
important enough to stay at work.
I went home to bed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Cryptocrystalline Dolomite

Turkish Treasures

works of art
disguised as maps
of inclines, slip lines,
anticlines, eroded layers
of serpentinite and
pyroxenite, phoenix rock
risen from our fiery mantle,
piles of colorful scarves,
visions of hot cay
poured into delicate
silver lined tea cups
in dusty bazaars for
beautiful young women
decorated in Brunton
compasses and rock hammers.
She breezes in, and
deposits the world onto
my kitchen table.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


that unwelcome visitor
who taps you lightly on
the temple at that exact moment
when you and your pillow
become one, just about to
float out the window into
other worlds and times.
you realize that you’re
awake after all, that sweet
lure of far away travels an
unkept promise that you made
with the bedclothes at
ten p.m.,
when you agreed
to arrive early for your date.
So, you get up for a glass of water,
check the clock, and start the
Sequence of Falling Asleep
that has to be followed when
Insomnia, that unwelcome visitor
sweeps in to spend the night with you.

Friday, August 22, 2008



I knew she was sick
when she started showing up
in E.’s office, in spite
of her disguise as a “therapy dog”.
We both knew it, even
if it was unspoken.
This little dog with a large presence,
so similar to her mistress, E.,
who doesn’t really need to wear
spiked heels to stand taller than
her diminutive stature could ever
command on physical measurement
Ari died one month ago, and
all the small people
who have to look fierce in order
to gain respect in this world
paused for a moment to
remember the little dog with
the big presence.
I count myself among them.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

She's in the Newspaper Again

She’s in the Newspaper Again

This time, the headlines are in Turkish
and she’s surrounded by Turkish people,
instead of the last time when she was at
Boulder High School surrounded by classmates.
We’re not sure why she’s famous over there,
but not surprised that the press has picked
up on her over there, too, for some reason.
We’re her parents, the little people who
stay home, wash our cars on Saturdays
and eat donuts while reading the local
newspaper on Sundays after church.
We’re not sure how she became such a star
but we’re just so glad that the world
recognizes all her brilliance,
in whatever language.

See the full article at

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Not Just Any Job at McGuckin Hardware

Not just any Job at McGuckin Hardware

It can’t be any job at McGuckin's,
it has to be in the fasteners department.
Do you know that I brought a screw over
there and the guy looked it over
and said this must be from a late
80’s car, exhaust manifold, because it needs to
be this grade of steel to handle the heat?
And when I said it was from my Volvo
he said he had guessed as much.

That’s why I want to work at McGuckin’s,
but not any department.
It has to be the fastener department.
Maybe when I finish my degree I can work
there for the summer before getting a
real job, or continuing to graduate school.
And maybe later, too, when I retire.
All this said with complete solemnity.
Of course, I said, I couldn’t agree more.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Human Experiment

The Human Experiment

mix six dozen college students
among as many dorm-sized rooms
sprinkled across three stories,
decorated in lime green, fluorescent orange
and screaming pink,
distill out any sense of responsibility
for common spaces, add in
daily custodial services and shake
vigorously, opening windows to
place speakers facing outwards.
Add winter, cabin fever, final
exams and petty arguments,
bake well and record results.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Temptation of Freshly Baked Cookies

What was I thinking when I said I’d bake cookies
for the one I love…who happens to be trying to lose weight?
..... (I know...they taste so good!)
And me, having just finally dropped those last stubborn pounds,
.....(I always do this, work like hell to lose the weight, then eat cookies.)
what was I thinking when I baked those cookies,
knowing I would have about 21 of them that should,
after all, in the name of freshness,
be eaten in a couple of
..... (I knew full well what I was doing. I'm just pretending to be innocent.)
And I have seven left in a glass jar,
all the better for viewing,
on my kitchen shelf
above the stove.
That means twelve have
disappeared, and I only
gave four to the one I love
and three to my
.....(since yesterday.)
Better give away the
rest tomorrow.
.....(as I know I have
no willpower.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008



we saw his little legs
propelling him rapidly
towards the highway,
just in time for us to
swerve out of the way.
My companion, S., stopped
immediately, chatting amiably
to the turtle, as to an old friend,about the dangers of jaywalking
and how he’ll really have to head
The turtle didn’t seem to be listening
and continued stubbornly towards
the center of the pavement.
Realizing there was no hope that
the turtle would show any common
sense, S. dismounted from his
bike, now speaking a bit more sternly
to the turtle, who by now had retreated
into his shell, like the teenager
who slams his door when his parents
are talking at him.
So, as one would do with a stubborn
child in the middle of tantrum, S.
picked up the turtle, now fully flailing
all his little legs in full protest,
assuring him this was best for his overall
health and well-being, and
placed him in the grass facing
back towards the marsh from which
he came. Even then, he
watched to make sure the turtle
did not do something silly like
turn back towards the road.
“Ciao, friend!” he called out as
he remounted his bicycle and
we headed on down the road.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The New Neighbor

The New Neighbor

I haven’t met the young man who
is moving in next door.
I’ve seen his gleaming Hummer knock-off,
the moving van, his mother
(blonde, long-legged, fit),
newly purchased ceramic pots
filled with fresh annuals on the
front porch positioned next to a wicker
rocking chair with a flowered
seat cushion.
I’ve seen the decorators traipse
in and out of the house with
paint chips and fabric swatches,
gardeners working in the yard,
weeding, pruning, ripping down
the fence that belonged to the neighbor.
I’ve learned that his family owns
homes in Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles
and now here, and that they have
a private plane.
I can’t imagine a young man choosing to
decorate his pad with chintz sofas
and fussy annuals.
I’m sure I’ll cross paths with the
young man next door.
I’ve already met his mother.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Free Play with Barbie

she’s playing in her green turtle sandbox,
Barbie is riding in her brother’s big red ladder truck,
Ken is buried under the sand, forgotten.
At least he’s wearing his beach wear.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Silence is Golden

It’s hard to write when
the dog is licking his paws,
the boyfriend is eating noisily
and providing moment by moment
bike racing results,
it’s raining and I have to
get to work.
Silence is golden
for writing, one
needs to do it

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Delights and Shadows

Delights and Shadows

from the depths of this plastic bag,
hidden within the soft fabric of
well-worn volunteer ranger shirts
and gardening books, I find
a slim volume of poetry
called Delights and Shadows.
A single author, unknown to me,
I open it to read a poem or two
before drifting off to sleep,
poetry often being a good sleep aid.
I read two, three, four poems, five
seven, so vibrant, alive, real….
real life, nothing obscure,
this is great poetry! I yell it out
for the raccoons to hear in the side yard,
the ghost upstairs who comes at 3 a.m.,
whoever else happens to be out and about.
who is this author?
Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of
the United States of America.
I wonder if he has a fan club
I can join.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Protecting the People

Protecting the People

He looked like he was homeless,
unkempt, torn and dirty clothing,
his gnarled fingers grasping a plastic
bag filled with beer cans and wine bottles.
He reached for the Budweiser can
perched in the bushes of the garden.
With a satisfied gleam in his eye,
he poured the remaining beer
into the bushes and stashed the
now empty can into his sack.
Twenty years since I’ve found
one of these in this park, someone
here keeps this place clean,
he stated approvingly, gazing at me
as if I had anything to do with it.
Yep, alcohol is a public and personal
health hazard and I’m doin’ my part
to protect the people.
Photograph courtesy of:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Death in the St. Vrain

Death of a Motorcyclist on St. Vrain

during that long pause between two
state patrol cars, sirens blaring, lights flashing
we look at each other, hoping, but knowing
that nothing good can come of this
moment, and we continue up the canyon
slowly, each pedal stroke propelling us
towards the inevitable, until we see
a woman dressed in black and yellow
holding a traffic control sign, and a little
further, past the two state patrol cars,
an ambulance and two fire trucks,
two women sitting on the ground.
We see a body on the ground covered in a white sheet,
the world is completely still in that moment,
there is no rush towards the ambulance, shouts
for an IV, a tourniquet, a stretcher,
only silence.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Bunnies at the Colorado House Rabbit Society

The Bunnies at the Colorado House Rabbit Society

Cages stacked on cages, rabbits in ones and twos, the smell of hay in the air,
The Colorado House Rabbit Society is filled to the brim with …rabbits!
They sleep, snuggled into rumpled piles of clean white terry cloth rags,
as cozy as if wrapped in warm plush bathrobes after a hot shower.
Upon waking, a long stretch from ears to toes, a big yawn,
before hopping over to lazily munch timothy hay and if they’re lucky,
a few Cheerios as a special treat.
Slightly scratched, white plastic bowls brim with fresh, sparkling water.
Tens of bunnies, maybe one hundred!
White ones, black ones, Rex bunnies,
Angora bunnies, fat ones, skinny ones,
long ears, short ears, old bunnies
and baby bunnies.
One might think that they are anxious to be on their way,
that any home would do, but they look up at us,
we who are wondering how they’d fit in our lives,
their noses twitching, evaluating, discerning, deciding
whether they would like to live with us, or that young couple,
or the family with the two kids, the older man who was wearing a green hat,
or maybe that cute little redhead who came to visit a couple of days ago.
They are in the finest bunny hotel, The Colorado House Rabbit Society,
No reason to rush into just any new home,
They can wait until they have fallen in love.
This poem was just published in the August 2008 issue of the Bunner Runner, one of my favorite publications!
Personalized bunny poetry available, with portion of proceeds to Colorado House Rabbit Society
Page 7 The Bunny Runner – August 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Memories of Scent

The Memories of Scent

She always rubbed Jergens’ hand lotion
all over her arms and face after wringing
the last bit of soapy water from the sponge,
absent mindedly placing it into the cracked dish one
of us made in second grade.
Maybe she hoped to soften the wear from so many
years of washing dishes, changing diapers,
wiping away tears, mostly her own.
Years later, I absent mindedly placed a
bottle of Jergens’ lotion into my shopping cart,
my attention drawn to what trouble my two
year old son was getting himself into.
After washing the dishes, wringing out the sponge,
I rubbed Jergen’s lotion into my cracked hands,
raw from changing diapers, wiping away his tears.
The memories of scent.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Welcome, My Friends

The 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies

President Bush kept checking his watch,
Vladimir Putin watched attentively while
his army marched across the Georgian border.
Sarkozy sat alone, the Belgian team may
have worn the ugliest outfits. I watched
in wonder as 10,000 Chinese people drew
swords, pounded drums, swirled flags
and cheered for each nation in turn.
Welcome, my friends.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dancing at the Back

Dancing in the Back

The dance studio was full
of beautiful women in leotards
and matching tank tops, some
at the barre, some practicing
downward dog, all elegant,
well toned, very Boulder.
I took my place at the back
in my Target capris and slightly
dirty T-shirt not quite covering
that little pooch-that-never-goes-away.
Music, movement, the dancers moved
in unison with the teacher who was
too far away for me to see without
my glasses, which I didn’t have.
I struggled to follow every move
but fell further and further behind,
until I found myself leaping into the air,
a beautiful red dress flowing over my body,
dancing my own dance.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Single Motherhood

she had her daughter alone
at age forty-two, never married,
no potential husband in sight,
just a boyfriend who volunteered for the job,
adequate genetic material, no further commitment needed,
good enough given the circumstances.
Her daughter was beautiful
and the father did hang around after all,
just wasn’t a husband.
she’s fifty seven now, a single mother
with a fifteen year old daughter who is
ready to launch into the world,
as all children do.
the house seems quieter now
and she can stay out later
without having to hire a babysitter.
and now what?
and now what?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008



It’s been
forty two days,
seventeen hours,
and ten seconds
since the last raindrops
decorated the blossoms
of the wild rose bush
outside my front door.
now, at this exact moment,
this Tuesday evening,
it is raining, the rain is drenching
the roses, tomatoes plants heavy with fruit,
parched soil where not even a weed
dared emerge.
I inhale the smell of rain,
my hair and skin are moistened
in raindrops,
I am one with the rain.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Tyranny of Poetry

every night, late at night
i remember the obligation,
that casual commitment i made
months ago, to write a poem every day.
But my mind is empty,
my life is dull,
and I’m tired to the bone.
I go outside and walk
the neighborhood looking for
interesting discards, old beds
with broken frames, flowers I
don’t recognize in front of
the building that housed a porn
store the last 16 years, a bike
attached to a signpost with no
wheels or seat.
I look for the neighbor who
says interesting things from her
porch, and somehow a poem
comes out, sometime before
11:59 p.m. and I can call it a
a day well spent.

Sunday, August 3, 2008



My heart always beats a little faster when
I see him jump from tall buildings,
his black cloak billowing out behind him,
forming that silhouette universally known to the
citizens of Gotham City, a sight which
promises to restore Good in a town
filled with small time criminals and
crooked politicians.
I’ve always been in love with Batman,
regardless of marital ceremonies
or vows of fidelity til "death do I part".
my heart always beats a little faster
when I see Batman up on the silver screen.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Aging and loss of Symmetry

Aging and the loss of Symmetry

She hated leaving one half grapefruit
on the wooden cutting board in the kitchen,
so she had another child. Now
there was an even number of children,
each dutifully eating one half grapefruit
with their cereal and eggs every morning,
leaving the cutting board to be cleaned,
dried and put away.
She arranged her children as a symmetrical
set of four, as she needed, a kaleidoscope
of unexplored personalities, chess pieces
with no faces, to be moved on the board of life.
Finally, being old and blind, each child comes home to
sit and talk with her, to hold her deeply
wrinkled hand, making their peace with her.
This is no time to arrange the four of them.
no grapefuits to cut for their breakfast.
There is nothing now but her and each of them
in the quiet of the hospital room.
She reaches out to her youngest child,
smiles that dreamy smile of those close to
death and says, “I wish I
had gotten to know you sooner.”


Friday, August 1, 2008

The Neighbor's Porch

The Neighbor’s Porch

over the years, I watched them from a distance,
glasses clinking, shared food, toasts,
laughter, connection,
i’d walk by in the darkness, the pool of
porch light not quite extending
to the sidewalk.
i always wanted to be on that porch.
i wanted to hold a glass of chilled white wine
that the neighbor carefully chose, listen to their stories,
dream of the impossibility of being asked to share my own.
tonight i sat on that porch, listened to their stories,
and was asked to share my own.
i was included.
i was very