Friday, December 30, 2011

while the dogs pee in the bushes

while the dogs pee in the bushes
let us commemorate red dresses,
pomegranate margaritas and mixed fajitas,
let us remember stories about ex-girlfriends,
reading glasses adorned with paper clips,
toothpaste smudges on blue sweaters
and mushroom soup in cafes
let me remember Yoga books from the 70's
striped socks and holes in my favorite jeans,
on-line Christmas shopping days after Christmas
and bicycle baskets, Buffalo Exchange and
best of all, afternoon naps where you wake
to the moon traversing overhead
and wonder where the hours went.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fulfilling Anna's Dream

thousands march in the square
as Putin gathers his strongmen,
his political artillery lined up to shoot them down
in cold blood in the street, masked, they
empty the shelves of Moscow to starve
the thousands who will not sit down
will go home only to rest and eat the
last crumbs in the breadbox before
heading to the square again.
They will endure.

(I am reading about Anna Akhmatova, a Russian poet who suffered terribly under the Russian tyranny. She died in 1966.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

a poem after Prose by William Corbet

our friendship has shrunken to postcards and Christmas greetings
once we lingered in fragrant pine forests, loaded packs filled
with gorp, Kraft macaroni and cheese and canned tuna fish
what days they were under black skies decorated in starlight
you gaze at me from the Christmas postcard among your family,
your daughter wears braces this year; your son has grown so tall
but I know that you wish you were with me under the starlit nights
I can see it in your handwriting and the way you sign your name,
so reluctantly.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What happened to my broccoli?

what happened to my broccoli
its branches leafing out from a sturdy stalk
denuded like the trees gracing the Champs Elysee
alas, my plate does not care for elegance,
seeking instead delectable morsels
that should be perched on every branch.
what happened to my broccoli
between store and saucepan
leading to much sorrow.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday evenings with Ana

Monday evening 6:30 to 7:45 or so,
tea in hand, pens at the ready, a page open
we lean towards each other and say the word
"blue" or "owl" or "the expedition that never was"
and proceed to write, faces scrunched or intent
or both, conjuring up words to match that maybe
will please, maybe not, but we do it together
that together of writing and finishing, and reading,
and laughing, praising, exclaiming, understanding
every time a bit more of each other
and ourselves.

So tonight Ana is not here..and I am missing her!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


dog breath on Christmas morning
rousing me to make coffee and muesli, strap skis
to my feet and glide on icy tracks left behind
always behind the stronger ones ahead of me so
I lag as always happily now to go home to
waffles and a new bike with studded snow tires,
never have I been so excited on a Christmas
morning as I admire my new bike with a shiny
front basket for carrying cast iron skillets of
sauteed pears swimming in rum and cream.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


amber, blanco,reposado, silver
he loves them all in the aisle of Liquor Mart
wondering if Jenny will notice the charge on the credit card
she will, she's like that.
"It's been a tough month", he practices with slightly slurred speech
imagining the smooth slide across his tongue and down
his throat leaving behind a pleasantly burning sensation.
he knows she'll want to discuss whether the tequila
should be a shared expense, it's his vice after all.
he knows the answer, unconsciously reaching for his wallet
to check its health, for reassurance.
Reposado, 100% agave, come with me and
decorate my sideboard.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snow Falling

It is dark in the front bedroom but for the Christmas candles shining out the windows
to passersby who huddle in their warm coats, their feet scuffing up newly fallen snow
that drifts downward in waves to settle under the glare of the street lamp.
a violin plays in the background, a dog sneezes, the phone rings in the
aroma of freshly baked cookies, when every one climbs into their pajamas
next to a loved one and counts the snowflakes as they drift down like drunken
angels to settle under the streetlamp outside on a cold moonless night. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


they pretend to be cheerful with their views towards the mountains
color coordinated wallpaper and upholstery in well appointed waiting areas.
doors open and close quietly, people disappear into long hallways,
their voice dampen away with each footstep replaced by the swish of
the nurse's uniform as she approaches to ask if I am Lynette;
her clipboard says to look for Lynette, female, 52, in purple scarf.
I am glad I am not Lynette.
Lynette disappears down a long hallway ushered by a nurse with a swishing uniform
in floral pastels and a smiley face button reminding us to wash our hands.
No one wants to get ill and end up in a hospital. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Notes from a non-existent Himalayan Expedition"

(Title of one of the poems of Wistawa Szymborska poached at a free write session with Ana)

we walked naked across the ice like Patagonians,
a decorative fur skin carelessly thrown over our left shoulder,
except Vincent who threw his over his right to demonstrate his
non-conformist tendencies.
The Sherpas knew we were mad as hatters but humored us
as we dropped dollar bills behind us like breadcrumbs;
they were as quickly gathered
no path left behind to guide us home.
the crevasses screamed as we stepped over them,
exhaling mint flavored gasps of icy air that would have
billowed up our boxers if we wore them;
only Vincent wore a pair to cover his bald head
the pattern of star and stripes visible from a distance
even though he was Belgian.
Our progress was slow, the Sherpas were surly
and disrespectful
the whole thing was just damn unpleasant and
even Vincent's jokes were deteriorating rapidly,
so when the newspaper thwapped on the front porch
and the dogs got to barking, I ended the mission
abruptly and mercifully, sending Vincent
back to his wife and kids, the others
scattered to the winds.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The flutist

he stands tall
in his suit and tie, a golden plate
against his magical lips.
he tips his head to me in the crowd,
lifts his flute to play
astounding sounds that
emanate effortlessly from
his body which seems to sway 
 in a musical wind no else feels against
their cheek.

Cobus du Toit is my flute teacher!  How lucky am I!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sewing up Corn Bags

are your toes cozy
and those of your loved ones
your dogs, your cats, your rabbits
your hands, your arms, your legs
and are the toes of your loved ones warm
or does she put her cold toes on
your warm ones?
oh please make me a corn bag
today for me, for my loved ones,
for my dog, my rabbit, my cat
so we all may be happy
this holiday season.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

watch their hips

watch their hips, not their lips
do they walk the talk, or talk the talk
walk away, sister, he talks but never
walks except away from you
leaving your tears to fall alone. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A solitary mitten

a solitary mitten, a solitary hand
on a solitary day of grey skies,
empty offices, of snow flurries
threatening a depth i can't shovel
with one hand ensconced in one mitten.

i call the neighbor to pick me up
in his yellow taxi - he installed a hook
to hold my cane; the radio is blaring
hot8, a band just here from new orleans.
they were all black, we were all white.

they sat in a line-up like thugs
after the concert to sign CDs
i felt so white.
they looked at my missing hand
and saw

Monday, December 12, 2011

Scanning the Spice Rack

The basil is low and the box of turmeric is filthy,
the oregano is out of alphabetical order and
the big bag of ground thyme is a bit excessive,
you only use a pinch once a month or so.
did you write down what we need
oh baby, we need spice in our life that
covers the smell of dog breath, wet woolies,
compost bins and dirty laundry
we picked up from the Chinese outfit that
charges less than the green place down the street.
you get what you pay for, he muttered,
in response to something I never said.

Friday, December 9, 2011


it's not what you think,
lubrication of the sort women think about
men hope for
instead a gimbal turns in space
silent as a ghost, surreptitiously
scanning amongst the lights below
cars whizzing by on highways,
planes crisscrossing the sky
who knows what lurks below
what dangers, what delights. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mistaken Molecules

the mistaken molecules bounced off the primary mirror
towards the aperture, not realizing their spreadsheet was
miscalculated only to find the door was closed and warm;
they rested there only a nanosecond before bouncing
back towards the secondary and on to the tertiary,
then lighting up the faces on Earth on arrival at the CCD.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dear Reader, Ms. Lois

Dear Reader, Ms. Lois,

your gentle handwritten envelope arrived
in my humble mailbox on a snowy afternoon,
clutched clumsily in my gloved hands, my heart
bounced at such a happy event, a handwritten note,

and yet, from who
I wondered,
this name is not
one I know

until I opened it and knew
you as my friend.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Blowin' in the wind

the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
the answer is blowin' in the wind
the question
how many feet will our oceans rise?
how many people will be driven from their homes?
how many people will die? 
let's keep looking for an answer
in the wind, let's capture the
wind in our sails.
Congratulations, Stephen,
on your new job!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tripping on the Sidewalk

you'd think it was a poor neighborhood with
flickering fluorescent street lamps going dark
at the worst moments when her foot in full stride
caught against the step in the sidewalk sending her
tumbling forward and to the side neatly breaking
her humerus in two,
she hadn't had any  plans to subdivide
that night.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pink in Snow

A poem in pink on snow
with studded tires, fenders and a
basket, what is so lovely but to
ride along the path by the river,
branches laden in purest white,
sparkling snowflakes drifting down
onto our heads, like pixie dust
onto a snow angel's hair.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Human decorations

nipple rings
clit rings
ball rings
eyebrow rings
tongue piercings
nose rings
no children!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


he walks in, hips swaggering with confidence,
optimistic since the One is preoccupied watching
stupid videos of cyclists
sure enough, the One leans over to pet him,
gently stroking his ears and head,
then realizing he's been suckered once again,
by a Dog!
Out! he cries
I laugh
this always happens.