Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Brother by Definition

a brother by definition:
a male person who has the same father and/or mother
yes, they match, all four of them;
one related or closely united by some common
tie or interest, not applicable.
One who resembles another by distinctive
qualities or traits of character,
loyalty, intellect, drive, responsibility,
snobbishness, a bit of each.
To make a brother of: I try and perhaps fail
but life is not yet over;
there is time for healing,
time for true brotherhood.

Monday, August 30, 2010


A quick write during lunch break.....not a single edit....


A lack of seeing


our eyes dart around

from face to face, watching

drama unfold at the movie theatre

in our lives

we usually don't look too

far or too long, too busy

in our hives, buzzing

around,  each moment taken

in, soon forgotten,  as

the moon transits our sky

every night, the stars wheel

overhead while we sleep,

resting before another frenetic

day from panic to panic,

soon forgotten as the sun rises

and sets, the high summer sun

sinks, preparing for winter

when we will hold our coats

against the cold, shoveling snow

before the darkness sets in,

and we rush inside to watch

the latest episodes, never

noticing the most majestic of

them all, right outside

our very windows.

Le Poeme

Friday, August 27, 2010

In the heat

we sat in the car in the heat of summer;
you told me I handled it badly, very badly,
that December night at 1 a.m., the
following January when all the repercussions
came home to roost and there was so much
uncertainty and fear.
and in the moment I turned to look at you,
I knew in that instant that I didn’t care
what you thought, that I had lost all
respect for you, that your words were
the echo of hypocrisy, the words of someone
who had never lived and had never loved.
I never saw you again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Neighborhood Yard Sale

M. and M. showed up at my table
with a box of donations for the yard sale;
they had something else to do,
(I so wished I did, too).
They spread out their beautiful tablecloths
from Europe to lure passers-by.
All three tablecloths were quickly snatched up;
they disappeared into my plastic box
(that I had emptied of its contents only
moments ago, vowing to rid my house
of extraneous unnecessary items.)
The yard sale offered me so many treasures:
a slide rule, a vintage vacuum cleaner with a broken gasket,
a chipped green glass vase, wicker baskets, well-read
novels and how-to-improve-your-attitude books.
I carted my plastic box home, full of new treasures
which I stuffed into overstuffed drawers to wait until
next year when I would load my new treasures
into a plastic box and cart them down to the
park to sell on a sunny summer afternoon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Man Who Sings

a block away,
I hear his dissonant voice
cracking through
the nice life we have built here,
gardens, front porches,
nice neighbors.

in front of the house,
I hear the wheels of his red wagon
on the street, its colorful contents
miraculously intact.

he looks neither left nor right,
he seeks no one, he needs
nothing but his own voice
telling its own story.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Leaf, afraid of falling,
clings to the tiny branch
in a fierce wind.

The schoolgirl gathered
up the bright yellow maple
leaf and pressed it into her

Tomato blight signals
there will be no fresh
gazpacho gracing our
picnic table.

Clouds of twirling
leaves scuttle down
the neighborhood streets.

the sky looks lime-green
in spring when you look up
through the trees.

Below the honey locust tree,
dappled sunlight danced across
your face.

I watched a whole season pass
on one leaf.

Does the leaf on the ground
signal that I will leave you soon?
I wait to find out.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Echo of Skype

my voice sounds like my sister’s
echoing on Skype, across thousands
of miles to reach you; I ask you to call
me back, I’ve always wanted to be
my own person, not in the shadow of
sisters, brothers, mothers or fathers.
you call back and I only hear my own
voice until I hear yours and it sounds
a bit like mine, that slightly nasal tone;
I know it’s time to hang up and
so do you, you go into the world
speaking in your own voice in
your own words.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


we live in this town,
our eyes cast downward
to study the geometry of cracks,
weeds sprouting on the median
and our neighbor’s shoes,
looking up, the broken windows,
the paint peeling away a little
more every day, an empty
street, graffiti on the stop sign.
even on the clearest night
walking alone, the heavens
sparkling with stars, we never
look up seeking beauty;
the sky never forgives us.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


golden shimmer of fish
than silence;
golden sunsets
than dreary mornings;
golden rings than
harsh memories.

both my goldfish died today and so I officially give up on fish for awhile.  ;  (

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


she licked the beaters
after mixing the last bit
of flour into the cake

it tasted so good to her
it tasted so good to her
the chocolate coated
the inside of her mouth

you can see it by how
she smiles as she licks
her lips as she puts
the beaters into the wash

happy, carrying dreams
of chocolate to her small
twin bed.

This poem was prompted by "write a poem imitating the style of William Carlos Williams". The poem I chose was "To a Poor Old Woman".  

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Reluctant Student

everyone was graduating but him;
his loose shoe laces exemplified everything
about him from his lost homework, the
unopened dictionary,  the long list of
days missed, tardiness and inattention
in class while he looked out the window
at clouds passing by, spinning poems in
his mind, writing novels on the margins
of his homework assignments.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Colors would die a long death on June evenings
as cars sped along sinuous expressways,
headlights cutting into the dusk; eyes fixated
on the license plates no more than 10 feet ahead;
as lovers strolled along the riverbank, hand in hand
not noticing her cheeks are colored by the
reflection of clouds tinged in rose;
as mountain lakes grew still except for the
occasional ripple of a hungry rainbow trout
oranges, reds and pinks wash towards the shore.

Friday, August 13, 2010

The problem with peanut butter

bare feet on stairs
sparse pickings in refrigerator
small piece of bread in cupboard
jar of peanut butter.
peanut butter on toast
tea with milk
mouth sticks together
can hardly eat
too early for this.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


a framed picture rests on the table,
cast away, a relic of what was
once love, her arms encircle his
shoulders, they smile towards the
camera through dark glasses into
separation, moving on, leaving
behind pictures of what once was.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How to Celebrate

when the news comes, will you
silently hold the goodness
inside yourself, smiling as you
stroll down by the river, like a Cheshire
cat; no one knows what you are thinking,
it’s pure and unsullied, until the moment
when it’s up for observation, critique,
countless stories, none of which
are particularly relevant, or will you
race down the hallway calling
out to everyone who is within
earshot, oblivious to anyone who
is working or thinking or holding
their own happy secrets within themselves
unsullied by the joyful proclamation
of others.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

a Poem to a Prompt provided by a Poet

a meadow full of flowers,
asters, daisies and wild roses, a place

of shadows where people pass through
unseen, invisible to one another and
to themselves in their rush to their
next appointment, their next secret

to escape the palpating emotions rising
in their chests, the essential burden
of being human, in love and fallible.

but one walked through the meadow in
full light, boldly and with eyes straight
ahead, alone, alive; every flower
unfolded in front of her

daring to disobey the sun as it
dipped below the horizon. 

This poem was prompted by http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15708, a poem entitled "Often I am permitted to return to a meadow" by Robert Duncan.  Andrea understands and reads poetry which is much more highbrow than anything I can read, or worse, imitate.  But, sigh, this part of the pact for our writing at http://thelastmonthatharvard.wordpress.com/ where you can find poetry written to prompts by Karen, Andrea and me, along with short updates on what we are collectively up to Wellington, New Zealand, Las Cruces, New Mexico and Boulder, CO.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Four Plus Six

she’s a six; her partner is a four
and they are in love even if they
don’t sit on the same triangle.
My favorite six welcomes me with
a big hug, and a piece of pie, while
secretly writing a best selling memoir
the bohemian individualist, my favorite
four pours a generous glass of wine
and makes me laugh while teaching
lessons in life; have no fear even
when a knife is glinting in the night
or a grizzly bear lurks nearby.
Fear not, for you are not alone;
We are only two doors away.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekday Mornings

The clock says it’s time to get up.
I make sure I am awake before
my feet touch the stairs, there is no
room for error as evidenced by
an inopportune nighttime sledding
adventure in a flannel nightgown.
The fish are begging; I feed them
as there are no decisions to be made.
Steel cut oats, thick cut oatmeal,
homemade bread, fruit, coffee, tea,
jam, butter, granola, milk;  I wish
the table were set for me with the
tea pot I bought in Paris, warmed
milk inside, the newspaper opened
to my favorite section of the day,
pre-decided.  I manage somehow
to make these decisions being safely
in my kitchen with its black and
white tiles, which, if I’m lucky,
do not stick to my feet.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Little Boy's Cries

a small boy cries from the curb
for his mother who has crossed
the street leaving him behind
for just a moment; she is paying too
much attention to his brother,
or is talking too much to her
friend about flowers and gardens,
topics of not much interest to a
little boy, who is crying for his mother,
his tears reminding her that he
is most important in her life,
even if she sometimes forgets.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Indecision at the Salon.

keep it long
or cut it short,
curls or straight,
colored or au naturelle.
I check each of the other women in their chairs;
her cut looks a little young for her;
that's an adorable cut, but my hair would
never do that without hours of labor
and lots of product, sigh.
I could have my daughter
do that cut and save money.
my hairdresser has curls kind
of like mine and her cut is cute.
it’s decided; I ask her to cut
it just like hers.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Urban Frontierswoman

her goldfish pond is surrounded by electric fencing;
she reminds visiting raccoons that they are not
welcome by attaching aluminum foil strips
covered with peanut butter to the hot wires.
at night, she sometimes wakes up to hear them
protesting loudly to such treachery, and
skulking off to steal grapes and peaches from
someone else’s yard. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Advice from grown children

you talk too loud,
I can’t believe you said that,
you aren’t wearing that to the party;
you clearly didn’t do it right,
that is so obvious,
what were you thinking and
other useful and supportive words
of wisdom.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Currently Unpublishable

pre-mortem would not be acceptable;
post-mortem is a long ways away.
let sleeping dogs lie, let secrets
stay hidden in dark spaces;  others
think they know us, surprised to learn
later of affairs, illegitimate children,
forged degrees, skeletons rattle
in all closets; let them rattle in

Sunday, August 1, 2010


she loved the yellow stucco house with its
pink and green trim, 50’s style dinette
and three built in book shelves lining
the living room walls.
the day she moved in she noticed the
dirty grey walls, the scratched black
and white linoleum floors and the
landscaping which contained but a single
bedraggled lilac bush in front.
undeterred, she moved in, planted flowers
and painted the walls;  she is still
mopping the scratched linoleum
floor which never looks particularly
clean.  Maybe one day, the floor will
be replaced, but not likely.