Tuesday, September 30, 2008

At Death's Door

At Death’s Door

ten years ago, we brought home
two little bundles of fur, one, a little
white snowball, the other, the color
of butterscotch candies.
little butterscotch still had a
shaved hip from surgery.
they cuddled together in their
carrier in the back of the car.
butterscotch and snowflake
did flips, hopped over each other
and played chase over the years,
interspersed with long naps, languid chewing
of my once-nice coffee table, and
gradually turning my rug into a
collection of frayed fibers.
butterscotch is long gone, and snowflake
hardly moves anymore. every
morning i dread looking for him,
afraid of what i know is coming,
death is at his door, knocking

Monday, September 29, 2008

Non Sequitur

she and i were having a lovely
conversation by the river,
watching the boats drift by,
women in colorful hats holding
onto their lovers’ hands, or
holding their new baby wrapped
in baby blue or pastel pink
swaddling. yes, it was lovely.
sharing old memories, looking
ahead towards new adventures;
new novels, poems and travels.
the conversation turned all of
a sudden and in a glance, i realized
i knew nothing about her, nor
she about me.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Black Birds

Black Birds

he came running towards
me, smiling at the sight of me,
slowing to a stop, removing
headphones, I can hear the music
from here.
we exchanged pleasantries,
yeah, all’s well,
but I watched his face closely
to see if I could believe it.
The sky darkened and I glanced
up to see a cloud of black
birds circling overhead.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Enveloped in Beauty

Enveloped in Beauty

yellow and orange
arches of aspen dressed in
fall colors envelop us
in beauty
fallen leaves double
as Christmas ornaments
on pine and fir trees
standing sentinel
on the forest floor.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I had wanted that one thing
so badly, and it wrenched my
heart to see it disappear into
the distance, that sultry night
in Chicago.
A small thing, hardly worth
identifying, you’d find it
so silly.
But to me, it meant everything
and my chance for
happiness in the world
diminished with every turn
the driver took on that road.
There was no substitute for
exactly what I wanted that
dark night in Chicago.
So small,
yet so large in meaning at
the same time.
Something about belonging,
yes, it’s all about belonging.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

The name of the weirdest page turner
that I have ever read

human clones reared in special camps
for people whose life mission is to donate
organs until they “complete”, and yet, in spite of careful,
sterile upbringing, still manage to
want what is the most human of desires;
to be loved.

the desire of every human to be loved,
my desire to be loved.
to know you will never let me go.
You will embrace me in spite of
my shortcomings, my fears,
the silly things I do
like getting mad at you
for not reading my mind correctly.

Never Let Me Go.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Zybek Industries

Zybek industries

I’ve passed it hundreds of times,
tucked between RallySport and the
Indoor Soccer Arena.
Between dodging
gargantuan Cadillac Escalades
and the latest model Mini Coopers,
I never noticed it.
Yesterday, I opened the dull
single grey door and entered
into a vast warehouse filled with
forklifts, arrays of metal shelving
filled with robotic machine parts,
metal stock, and the piece de resistance,
a plasma beam melter.
At the moment, all is quiet
but evidence of cataclysmic heat
and light abound, dust everywhere
of all varieties, golden to black,
smooth to jagged and cutting.
An hour later, I exited the same
grey door, dodged a few latest
model cars, jumped on my bike
and went home.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On Request

On Request

between wrapping salmon en papillote,
delicately balancing the filet on
a raft of sliced carrot, green onion
and oyster mushrooms, lightly drenched
in Japanese rice wine,

after dipping shrimp drenched in
tempura batter in scalding Crisco,
watching it brown to perfection,

between answering questions on how
best to defrost chicken if you only have
20 minute before company comes,

before dismissing class,

he asked me when I would write a
poem about him again.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Evening Hike

Evening Hike

I walked into a tunnel of green
at the head of McClintock trail,
all my thoughts dissipated into
the undergrowth, the darkness,
where bears ingest gallons of berries,
fattening for the coming winter,
I hear their heavy breathing,
the smell of rank fur fills my nostrils.
The hum of crickets breaks the silence
into harmonic waves, the crunch of
my footsteps a background beat.
The sun drops behind the hills,
a chill rises and I turn back towards
city lights.

Gelato! Gelato!

right after school, he ran to the
ice cream store and begged for a
piece of cake. They put him to
work, sweeping the cobblestones
in front, greeting elderly women
strolling by, their shopping bags
swinging at their sides, overfilled
with freshly baked bread, fresh
peaches and salad greens, cheeses,
perhaps a bottle of fine red wine.
“Gelato! Gelato!” he called out,
urging them to come inside
and buy the goods for which he
was working.
Finally, the proprietor called the
young lad, sat him down at
the worn counter.
“Buono, buono”, he muttered,
handing the boy his much awaited
piece of ice cream cake.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thanksgiving plans..or lack thereof

Thanksgiving Plans..or lack thereof

I called to ask him what he was planning
for Thanksgiving and would he want to
eat turkey and stuffing and all the fixin’s
with me. Even though I had Thanksgiving
dinner in January with my friends, it’s not
the same as Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving
with those you love, especially children and maybe
one day, grandchildren. They don’t eat turkey
on Thanksgiving, in Mexico or Costa Rica,
not even in Turkey. And he said he
didn’t know yet, but that he wanted to be
in San Francisco, and if I wanted to be away
on Thanksgiving, that would be fine with him.
I felt sad when I hung up the phone, because
eating turkey any other day than Thanksgiving,
even with people you love in a different sort of
way than you love your children, is not the
same as eating turkey with your children,
and maybe one day, your grandchildren.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The French Calendar

The date is correct, it’s Friday,
September 19, but the year is wrong.
I purchased this calendar in
a busy coffee shop in Paris 2 years
ago. We had stopped in for a break
from sidewalk shopping for pink shoes
and flouncy skirts, for French
tablecloths and table knives.
This calendar scrolls through the
months, reversibly, so I simply
find the month which matches
today’s date sequence.
I do hate to throw away
useful things.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


they capture the look on someone’s face
that they didn’t mean to reveal.
In that small moment that the shutter
opened, the forced smile melted into
an honest look of sadness, fear or boredom.
They rush to look at their picture,
assessing whether they look “good”,
quickly delivering a verdict as to whether
to keep the photo or not, pressing
me to hit the delete key.
I’d rather study the picture at my leisure,
looking for clues as to who this person
really is.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stephen and his Pineapple

Stephen and his Pineapple

he used to just let them
rot on his countertop, the sweet
pungent smell of ripe pineapple
wafting from his kitchen.
his mouth would water,
but he couldn’t figure out how
to cut it up and eat it, this master
of industrial engineering, the
one who explains to me regularly
how best to do just about anything.
now, he brings them to me,
accompanied by a rather pathetic,
pleading look, and he leaves them
behind on my counter top
to ripen, their pungent sweet smell
filling my kitchen, until I sharpen
a knife and set to work, eating
every other piece during the process,
and saving the other half for Stephen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig

Lipstick on a Pig

the billions slip easily
through the bureaucrats fingers,
promises of more to come
to all but the smallest beggars.
Men draped in golden cloaks
of lies stroll nonchalantly towards
Disney-land coaches, private
jets headed for remote tropical
islands, much needed peace
and quiet from the unnecessary
hand wringing of the American
taxpayers. How tedious.
Meanwhile, those who deign
to offer themselves as future leaders
of American debate the deeper
meaning of Lipstick on a Pig.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pages upon Pages

Pages upon Pages

The deepest thoughts of the
greatest minds across many nations
are printed on pages upon pages
spread across my small wooden desk.
They call out to be inhaled whole,
digested piece by piece, each concept
placed carefully in the construct of
my own mind, to be written down
on a new fresh page, offering to
many nations my deepest thoughts,
in the hope that one day a page
will lay on someone’s desk
looking to understand the depth
of my mind.
I'm writing a proposal on lunar dust (what else?) and the amount and depth of material is overwhelming. Maybe one day, I'll have something intelligent to add to the party. ; )

Sunday, September 14, 2008

These Hands

These hands

these hands betray my age,
prominent veins course across
tendons toughened over years
of tending children, gardens,
rabbits and other living things.
Now they tend to me more and
more, to the daily chores of a
mostly quiet life, of books, writing,
but also of petting two dogs I never
thought I’d like, and caressing
a love I never thought I’d have.
these hands betray my age, but
do not reveal the emergence
of new possibility, a new
lightness of being.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My rabbits have focus, too.

he leaned towards her,
gazing over his half rimmed
reading glasses, a grave expression
on his face.
"Do you really feel ready
to be the president? Even
though you have only visited
Mexico and Canada, even if you
can see Russia from Alaska?"
she leaned towards him,
her perfectly manicured hands
pressed together, an intent
expression on her face,
"Yes, Charlie, we can't blink.
We have to have total focus
on our goal."
My rabbits have focus, too.
Nothing can distract them
from their goals.
Can they be Prez and Vice Prez?
We'd even have a female in the
Oval Office. Vote for Daisy
and Snowflake!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Raw Milk

Raw Milk

The perfect food she said,
rosy cheeked, glossy hair,
a sweet smile and an offer.
Try some! The perfect
blend of protein, fats,
vitamins and minerals.
Try some! as she handed me
a glass of nectar and my mouth
filled with the softness
and flavor of raw milk,
the perfect food, she said,
rosy cheeked, glossy hair
and the sweetest smile.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The floor was wet and
I couldn’t blame it on the dogs,
even though the puddle was
close to the water bowl
where Buddy always drools
before he runs to find
someone’s lap to deposit
the water left in his mouth.
Someone he loves, of course

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Time Slows Down

Time Slows Down

time slows down
on the bus to Denver,
as the man in the wheelchair
is hoisted up, the lift whirring
in the summer air.
a girl with dreadlocks
and earbuds discusses
the fare at length with
the bus driver, then calls her
“sir” as she heads down
the aisle, plopping into
the seat in front of us.
We discuss the fare increases
and how no one really pays
cash on the bus anymore and
how Obama’s campaign is not
run very well and what if McCain
wins, and D’s knees are pressed
a little harder against the seat
back every time the girl with the
dreadlocks and earbuds leans
back in her seat, accompanied
by a loud sigh.
time slows down when the
view is a bit different, and
and a single evening interrupts
the relentless stream of time
passing by.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A Blank Mind

falling into sleep the mind turns
over the small events of the day,
the hum of human conversation,
the rain and mist, the sun and heat, on the skin,
sifting all the information,
burnishing off the hard edges, just as
rock tumbler polishes a stone to
reveal its hidden beauty, the color
of the sky, the earth or the sea.
falling into sleep, all the hard edges
smooth and soft, our minds blank,
we are beautiful.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Sense of Doom

A sense of doom

Every time I turn on the news,
I see the Opponent crowing about
victory, how change is coming, positively
beaming out optimism for the future,
and the American people love it.
Regardless of dour news anchors,
articles in the New York Times,
countless repeats by our Team about
how the American people will see through
the empty promises.
Everyone loves the pot of gold at the
end of the rainbow.
We’ll even walk the Bridge to Nowhere
to find it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kitchen Campfires

Kitchen Campfires

The flames leapt up from the stove,
warming the kitchen still chilled from
the night.
The smoke billowed forth from the
burner, glowing orange under the
wooden cheese plate,
the fire alarm blaring in the living room..
Not a good way to start the morning,
and my oatmeal not even warm.
The dogs started barking, the rabbits
ran away, and as I rushed to open every
window in the house, the kitchen
still chilled from the night became
yet more cold in the early dawn.
Kitchen campfires are not a good way
to heat up a kitchen.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Three Men born September 6th

The first three guys I ever
lived with were born on September 6,
Patrick, Stuart and Rolf, an American,
a Welshman and a German.
By the third one, I wondered
whether I should take heed to
not date any men born on this date.
September 6th, the Day of Unpredictable
Fate doesn’t sound all that promising,
more like seeking happiness from
the same gutter from which I arose.
I’d rather seek a higher order of being,
so I married a man born on April 24th,
the Day of the Protective Chronicler, good
father material, I suppose, and
then one born March 20th, the Day of the
Labyrinth. A bad choice for someone
figuring their way out of their own maze
Now I am dating a man born May 2nd,
the Day of Human Observation.
A good choice, a wise observer of
my own human nature, observations
made with no judgement.
So far, so good.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Pink Slip

The Pink Slip

her slip disappeared somewhere
in the mansion and the owners
weren’t home to find it.
It was pink and lacy and she
left it there before heading to
foreign lands and to meet strange
dark men in smoky bars,
discussing politics as military coups
raged outside and army men
paced outside her hotel at night.
she had stayed in this house
in between her travels, from hunting
rocks formed in prehistoric eras to
being photographed at national
conventions, all while wearing her
pink slip.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Searching for Words

Searching for Words

The clerk was barely visible
behind the stack of tattered books,
his eyes large from behind coke bottle glasses.
Do you have any thesarauri, I asked tentatively.
He looked kind of scary.
We picked our way through
the store, arriving at the “bookcase
with dictionaries and such” where
he pointed at two thesauri from the
40s and walked away silently.
I studied all the possibilities, comparing
entries for “Heartbreaking”, “nonconformity”
and “enormous”, settling on the 21st century
volume, appropriate for the times.
I found the clerk, barely visible behind his
stack of books, his large eyes staring at me
from behind his coke-bottle lenses.
I exchanged a few tattered bills for 450,000 synonyms

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another Good-bye

We dug the old green suitcase
out of the closet upstairs,
loaded the pink cruiser on the back
of the car and threw the hiking
boots still dusty and warm from
today’s hike into the backseat
of the car.
She’s gone again, her bedroom
has a stillness to it,
even the dust
bunnies will rest for several months
until she breezes back into town
at Christmas time.
I'll come home after work
and it will just be the three of us again,
Daisy sneezing over by the couch,
Snowflake looking for treats,
and me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard

I used to walk so delicately
among the flowers, being careful
not to talk too much to one,
for fear of slighting the others,
regardless of who was blooming
more beautifully.
They all flourished, blossoms of all colors,
expanding into neighboring soil,
now crowding each other,
some barely poking an occasional
flower through another’s foliage gone wild.
What poor manners, I thought,
so I got tough and called my friends
and begged them to take a
small acreage of plants, stomping
on the rogue ones as I mercilessly
tore into the dirt with my old shovel,
filling as many empty pots as I could
find and quickly depositing them in
any open door or hatchback.
Sighing with relief as soon as the
cars disappeared around the corner.
With renewed energy, I skipped to
back yard to admire the new plants
I had purchased last weekend at
the blow-out plant sale.
Now I had a few places I
could place my new loves.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Fay the Moose!

Fay the Moose!

All across Africa,
small dark men fill metal teapots
with boxes of gunpowder tea,
and water boiled over wood fires,
Once brewed to the darkest black,
“Fay the Moose”, they announce,
pouring the tea from high into
the most delicate glasses.
A pure white froth develops
on the tea, “le mousse”.
No moose live in Africa
and fay means “to join”.
Alors, “Fait le mousse!”