Sunday, October 31, 2010


You don't have to like this poem and it's really not my usual writing style, but we are studying the Poet Laureates in the poetry workshop I am taking. The poet for this week is Kay Ryan, who writes poems which simultaneously draw you in, but for reasons you don't understand. Well, some of the poems, anyway.  Some of them are just too out there.  She has rhymes in her poems in weird places and most of the poems are really obscure. 

mind forged
from dawn
spent, hours
at the bench
night traps
the blind
eye maps
drenched in
sweat, she
naps finally

Friday, October 29, 2010


capture moment photo
send to other side of earth
white clouds billowing
over rain soaked landscapes
she opens it laughing

Thursday, October 28, 2010


fresh bread and butter
red wine food and drink
of the gods planning trips
spending money boats
planes the most comfortable
beds on the other side
of the world so weary
as to drop me into bed
my tummy full of soft
warm bread slathered
with butter, red wine
and happiness

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'm too tired to write a poem

I'm too tired to write a poem
to get up from this chair to read
Kay Ryan how did she become a
poet laureate while falling in love
another woman who made her words
flow so effortlessly from her pen
onto white and crimson pages,
to tired to listen to NPR explain
the mortgage crisis, too tired to listen
to the dishwasher complain or the
broom sweeping up dog hair.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

the day

no space between the cracks
to slip out unseen like the wind
that howls in the afternoon while
sleeping with warm feet nestled
against corn bags ears plugged
no longer disturbed by nightmares
unfinished to-do lists reviews
days bursting from uneven seams
no pattern to make a beautiful
fitted skirt, just a rag to thrown
in the laundry and dry in the wind.

Monday, October 25, 2010

to grandmother

seventy years ago you knitted this for me
an old lady color, cornflower blue, cable knit
pearl buttons i should have hated it
but i loved you sitting on the rocking chair
in mom’s room someone finally there
with warm hands who spoke a language
whose words i did not understand but whose
eyes recognized me for the first time.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

to that place between sleep and wake

my favorite red patent leather shoes
are floating away from me as I tumble
towards earth the rabbit is
chewing the apple I put out for her
my shoes side by side
at the end of the bed my pink
fleece pajama bottoms warm against
skin as my left leg twitches a
snore shifts me to my side
flying over buildings now far away
from danger men running below me
looking down alleys I
soar higher finding a solution to
the problem I left at work
on Friday hope to remember when
I wake up.

Friday, October 22, 2010

To the fifteen mice

to the fifteen dead mice who
slipped silently through the
small gap behind the Kashi
cereal into the cabinet smelling
fresh peanut butter so innocently
wandering into the warmth
of this house where so many
mice have lived so comfortably
over many generations only
to find the final darkness

note to readers:  I hope as much as you that I have 
terminated (!?) all the mice for awhile.  This is an
annual fall event in this house.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ice Cream

I stood at the freezer case
studying the ice cream options:
Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, Crème Brulee, Peach, Key Lime Pie, Lemon Sorbet,
Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Coffee Macademia Nut,  Coconut Crunch
I wanted all of them at once in as many different bowls with chocolate
sauce and roasted nuts on top, with whipped cream and sprinkles of
all different colors, especially the ones that are coated with metal
so they zing against your fillings.
I walked out with one tiny pint
to eat in a small white bowl,
with no whipped cream,
chocolate sauce or sprinkles
but I’ll be happy

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Good Death

twenty-eight eyes,
fifty four tiny feet,
fourteen mice licked
delicious peanut butter
and found ecstasy
in their last moments;
may we all die so

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The After-Haircut Shampoo

I’m afraid to wash my hair,
the spray-on wax, the gel,
the moisturizing cream, the perfect
curls (slightly smashed from sleeping
on them), the bangs that tickle
my eyelashes but don’t obstruct
my vision, the hairstylist’s magic.
Once I wash my hair, my haircut
won’t work anymore; my bangs will
curl up in a flip, all the curls will
frizz, and I’ll look like a doofus.
My daughter will wrinkle her
nose with distaste, oh why do I
have to wash my hair of stylist

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Stress Therapist

she calls me promptly at 9:30 every other Monday
to talk about stress, my stress from dealing with
co-workers way too young to be Republicans,
the ones who know everything about nothing,
my inability to keep calm in spite of it all.
she is stressed from talking to people all day,
people who don’t want to talk to her about
the fact they are obese, have high cholesterol
or need to exercise more; me, I like to talk to
her.  I make her laugh hysterically at my stories.
My stress level goes down.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Remember this

the softness of the forest floor
caressing your feet with
each step, the rustle
of leaves falling through the
trees decorating the trail
in yellows, reds and oranges.
remember the sun warming
your face, the wind at your back,
the swaths of grass brushing
against your legs, remember
the boulders, the walls of rock.
remember all this when you
are surrounded by sheetrock
and glass, where there is no
softness or color, nor caresses
for your soul.  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Come to mama, little mousie, mousie

the traps are empty, their jaws
gaping, waiting, their almond
butter offerings untouched.
I wait expectantly, every hour
opening the cabinets hoping for
Come, little mousie, mousie,
come to your mama who
will take you to your grave.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

MIce are Not Nice

I opened the lid, flying down
to the floor, skittering under
the stove to safety;
S. jumped on top of the dinette,
 the dogs wandered in, too little,
too late being incompetent
at such things.
What a way to start the day.
a few hours later, I went to wash a few
dishes and a big fat mouse emerged
from under the single bowl in the sink.
Quicker this time, I captured
it under a yogurt container, slipped
a newspaper underneath and carried
it out to the dumpster on the other
side of the alley, where I am sure it
will tunnel its way down, find
a tiny hole and run back to my
house where it believes it will
again roam the land of milk
and honey until it smells that
little spot of almond butter
on a little black plastic plate
and everything will go
Make my day,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cereal for Dinner

she lives alone
enjoying the freedom
of eating cereal for dinner;
there is no man around
requiring meat, a vegetable
and dessert for dinner.
A bowl and a spoon sit
on the countertop at the
end of her nutritious meal,
not dirty pans, spatulas,
cutting boards and the
odor of cooked meat hanging
in the air.
Life is so much simpler
this way, if only it weren't
so lonely.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


finally I wake to the sound of rain,
a steady drumming on the skylight,
the sky dark and brooding, holding
promises of many hours of rain.
my bicycle sits in the rain and will
sit all day, alone, in the rain; the
windshield wipers will squeak on
every sweep, complaining, when
I leave by bike alone in the rain
and drive the old red heap to work,
she hates to move from her
favorite parking spot where she
can look skyward and watch the
hours of rain stream across her

Monday, October 11, 2010

too much to do

poems to write
that have meaning;
making eyes move the
way they’re supposed to;
watching rockets launch
while washing dishes,
speed reading a few articles
for self improvement
and learning to relax
curled up in bed
next to warm
corn bags.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


street lights reflecting
into downcast eyes (lashes
shedding raindrops).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Painting

I always wanted that painting hanging on her wall,
the pastoral oil with fields surrounded by stands of trees
scattered across the rolling hills of the Jura.
I wanted the life I thought was there, with grandmothers
and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, assorted cousins,
where we would all play together surrounded by
the Alps in our own mountain chalet, our breakfasts
of whole fresh cow’s milk and French bread, homemade
jam, all delivered that morning by the neighbors
before I awoke to sun and blue sky, wiggling
my toes from under the feather bed and blue gingham
duvet cover, so fresh from drying in the sun.
Today, I bought a
my own painting of soft Colorado hills covered with
fields surrounded by stands of trees.
It hangs on my wall reminding me
of long hikes in the mountains,
bike rides along county roads
through acres of grazing cattle
with people that eat peach pie
with me, that hold me in their
arms, that love me just
as I love them.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pink Flannel Pajama Pants: A Life

I bask in the summer sun on the clothes line
after being pulled from the bottom drawer
of her dresser, examined for stains and holes;
passing muster, into the washing machine
and called back into service, soon, to warm
her skin in the night’s darkness and chill.
I know I am her favorite; I have only grown
softer with age, with her years of sadness, now
much more happiness and content, I often
brush against S or he strokes me while they
watch “24”, her secret vice that I hesitate to
I love her and she loves me; she wears me
every night until even I agree that it’s time
for a shower and so I go in the washer and
hang forlornly in the basement (as I
will not dry outside anymore, nor will she
go out to hang me in the sun) until
she comes to me again, pulling me onto
her petite legs and takes me off to bed
with her once again.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Summer Thunderstorm and Dog

the hair stands up on his haunches;
he rises up from the floor, his back arching and stiff,
his hind legs stretching behind him, his nose pointing up
as we innocently continue reading our novels,
oblivious, perfectly content in the quiet of
our evening, our comfortable companionship.
The lamp flickers, the living room is flooded
in the electric flash of evening lightning
followed by the crash of thunder;
he jumps up, barking wildly to hush the storm.
his attempts to quiet the storm have succeeded
once again, he settles back onto the rug, we
pick up our books returning to our comfortable
companionship on this summer evening.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Strangers in the Office

she has dogs; I see their pictures posted
over her monitor in her corner cube,
she always wears ribbons in her hair
like they do when she shows them on weekends.
a large diamond sparkles on her ring finger;
she’s been married a long time, diamond
solitaires are no longer in fashion
diamonds are no longer in fashion
she is no longer in fashion in her slightly
baggy jeans, pink Crocs and floral t-shirt.
we smile at each other in the hallway
when there is nowhere else to look
without seeming rude, besides I
like her in her simplicity, she demands
nothing of me, nor I of her.


Monday, October 4, 2010

The "f" word we say with pride

to those who
burning bras
hating men
unshaved armpits
do you really believe that is feminism,
to those who spit “I’m not a feminist” as if it’s a dirty word
who are you
we who do not burn bras but wear those that are comfortable
we who have married, or not,
have raised children, or not,
who have loved men, stayed with them,
left them or not.
we who rally for equal rights or not,
we who carry our heads high in spite of barriers,
we carry on, yes we are

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Peach Pie

raccoons hover around the
electric fence sparks jumping to
whiskers, the smell of ripe peaches
pulling them closer, a growl and
dash under the porch shrieking in
frustration calling the dogs
barking to the back door,
pushing the screen door open
they rush the raccoons
snarling at them, at each other
while the smell of peach pie
fills my kitchen and he happens
to wander in to tell me he loves
me I know his tricks.