Sunday, September 30, 2012

Out my window: A list

a blue fence, a white fence
the blue offends the white, fences
should never be blue to match the color of the house. 

a tree missing major branches
they were afraid they would fall onto the house
in a Boulder windstorm, sometimes I fear my house will blow away.

the gutters are filling with fallen leaves
many still wet from the torrential rains two days ago.

overgrown would be an understatement
ripe tomatoes are so deeply hidden in the greenery
they will show up next summer as new plants.

birds chatting a bit in a tree,
only to take off in the direction of my birdfeeder
hoping it is still filled to the brim.

It is.

Friday, September 28, 2012

my friend

my friend
depressed and despondent
I hold her in my arms and comfort her.
my friend
seeking love in all the wrong places
I will introduce him to someone he can't help but love.
my friend
so cheerful in spite of challenges
Can she teach me such strength in the face of adversity
my friend
who has stopped coughing
armed with pills and liquids, he will sleep tonight
me as friend
who hopes to hold them in my arms
and to be held in theirs.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

it's time

it's time to do the laundry, sorting the black from white,
setting aside the delicates from the sturdy.
it's time to lift the flute to my lips, now parched
from airplane rides and excessive coughing.
it's time to go back to work, resolve the unsolved,
find out what's done, what's not, who showed up,
who didn't, who let the work slide.
I know already.
it's time to get on the scale and weigh the consequences,
to answer calls, to stop and notice that
 someone I love is still coughing, wrapped so pitifully in
his small red blanket.
I stop what I am doing and go to
hold his hand. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

no place like home

no place like home
the cupboards hold your favorite tea
full fat yogurt is in the frig
and there are still raspberries out
on the west side of the house.
here, the bed is soft and the
sheets smell just right, my bike
sits waiting patiently for me
outside for the next adventure,
or for going back to work
after all, I do have a job to return to,
no place like home, where everything
is just where you want it, you can
wear more than one thing and
your underwear have not been
washed in a far away sink and dried
over a railing, home is where
the heart is, there is no place
like home.

Monday, September 24, 2012

traveling four countries in one day

suitcase wheels hit the cobbles at 5:45 a.m. in Holland,
onto a train platform and off, up stairs and down
we wait eating chocolate croissants.
middle school giggles punctuated by stern rebukes
sleeping through two hours Liege (Belgium) to Paris Nord.
RER B ticket machines don't take American credit
ok I'll take cashews with those to eat on the platform
for my 30 minutes to Charles de Gaulle, wait let me
catch one more train before my feet leave the ground
for Reyjkavik, oh don't tell me the International Terminal
is so far away, we lift our bags onto a bus,
a mini-bus, a walk, a dinner, now 10:30 p.m.,
make that midnight, a good day's work in this
traveling game.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Being sick along the Seine

Our boat on the Seine
slipping lovely and  languorous,
dragons  in the dusk gazing out
cameras clicking capturing
I cough on the Seine.
Parisians passing en parlant,
smoke endlessly spiraling upwards,
clouds of it coalesce in my coughing
endless coughing along boulevards,
at cafes, au restaurant, in the shop
after syrups, sachets, and sprays
ca ne change rien,
I cough along the Seine.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

fellow traveler

the red headed guy with the gap between his front teeth
standing there smiling at me, inviting me to look at the schedule
to see where the lines of our lives might cross and run together
where we would watch boats float up and down at each lock along the canal,
he would race back to find my panier which bounced off on a rough spot back there.
he would get me extra boxes of kleenex in Paris while I coughed in bed
and I'd promise to look for some one to speak English to his eager ears.
we are listening to bad music here, as well as the good, and he watches
a man outside the burnt out church shepard in potential donors to make
the world a better place.
this guy with the gap between his teeth standing next to the sign makes
the world a better place.

Monday, September 17, 2012

La Salle d'Attente au Medicin

Ils etaient douze, touts dans leur monde a eux
tout dans leurs chaises en cercle, ils ne se regardent pas
sauf quand le docteur vient pour chercher quelqu'un.
Ils elevent leurs tetes pour voir si c'est eux qu'il cherche.
Moi, je viens a la salle d'attente, aucune idea comment ca
marche ici, en France,avec les docteurs.
Je leur dit, "Comment ca marche ici?"
Tout le monde se reveille pour me dire,
"oh, nous avons attendu depuis 8 h"
"il y a seulement un docteur"
"il vient tout les quanze minutes"
"on ne peut pas partir"
"il n'y a pas un liste"
J'ai compte douze, quinze minutes pour chacun,
ca fait trois heures.
Je partais en disant a tout le monde
Moi, je peux au moins marcher!
Nous,  les Americains, nous continuons
quand meme, si on peut marcher!
Bonne journee a tout, bonne sante!!
Ils on repondu,
Bonne chance, jolie Americaine,
Nous sommes avec vous!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Les Cousins

Nous avons mange le fromage
bien sur le fromage, le fondue
bien sur du pain, on a bu du vin,
bien sur le fromage, du pain et du vin
nous, nous les sept cousins,
Christine, Fonet, Jacques,
Sebastian, Jean-Phillipe, Olivier
et moi,
et aussi, l'Americain que sourit
la langue de tous les gens, n'importe
quoi langue ils parlent,
la langue qui demande un sourit
en reponse.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a surprise visit to see friends in Gruyere

seven years.
wasn't it just yesterday when your hair
was blonde and my son a gangly teenager,
you picked up the phone so happy to hear from me
as if I was there yesterday, a blonde American from Montana
with three little kids who didn't speak French so well as this one
it was seven years ago and when you hung up you knew this
call was not that Jenny,but this Jenny from Colorado
who you hadn't heard from in seven years
speaking French, still brunette
and smiling to see you.

Hiking Gimmelwald

We are so small after all,
tiny legs like the chickens scratching in the dirt,
so dumb as the cow bells ringing in the forest
we tell the  mountains we are here with snow fences
and chalets, our wires stretching far into the
horizon  ferrying our lives
up and down all day,  or small legs,
knees bent double on steep inclines
we are here framed against glaciers
vertical walls, clouds that roll across
the valley, hiding us from

A View from the Dinner Table

Food forgotten, a glass of wine at hand,
in awe of glaciers shimmying down the slope,
they will be here long after we are gone.
Jambalaya and cauliflower soup, bread, butter
at Pension Gimmelwald, wine du canton deVaud,
dark beer, his hand on my knee, I watch
the glaciers crawl towards me, they will
be here long after I am gone and
the whipped cream on my chocolate cake
has flattened to a white pool on the plate.
Streams are singing down the mountainsides 
small tracks climb the valleys to glaciers that
will be here long after I am gone.
Why not stay?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sophie a Neuchatel

et la voila
with two missing teeth
a big grin to fill in the empty space and
the longest eyelashes I have ever seen
that laugh, it makes me laugh and
smile at her cutest face of all the little
girls in the entire voisinage a
C'est Sophie!!
dans son jardin!!
et moi, je suis contente
de partager son sourire avec elle.
; )

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Off to Iceland

is iceland icy
or is there land to step upon from the
icy shore, towards glittering highrises
and verdant hillsides, glasses clinking,
money falling from trees in the late fall.
we are off to this land, en route to another
and yet another, a yawning bag still
calls to me to pack the last
few things before I yawn
myself to sleep.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


we were four,
four among fifteen or so
whose black text splashed across the screen
strongly, they had something to say, they wanted
to be heard, but
eleven didn't show up
after all that, too
busy, preoccupied with
other things, I understand
these things,
I'd rather be packing
my bags for France
instead of being one
of the four.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Little Things for Travel

an eye mask to shade the light,
earplugs to block out crying babies,
a credit card to buy wine,
earbuds to watch movies,
a warm scarf to keep me cozy,
some slippers to caress my feet,
the little things for a long flight,
I gather them like pearls to
drape around my neck. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Baking Pie

Nine peaches from Mary Beth's kitchen
two cups of flour from a wheat field in Illinois
a dash of salt from the sea.
Nine tablespoons of butter from an Organic Valley
somewhere, are the cows really happy
or do they just say that to make us buy this.
a splash of rum  mixed with cornstarch,
a tablespoon of vanilla, the dough
laid so gently over, oh so tenderly,
now baking, the aroma of
sweet peaches filling
the air.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Watching Barack

watching Barack between
necks, shoulders, on tippy toes, then
sinking into a kind of claustrophobia
looking at chests, down at shoes,
at children sitting at their parents' feet
I stretch up again towards his voice
called Forward again, Forward
not back to the last century where
women walked behind their man,
where the poor sickened and died,
forward towards education and
prosperity for all, an ideal
worth striving for.