Monday, September 30, 2013

Jenny when she's sick

Jenny, when she is sick
is grumpy and pathetic, she texts
for chicken soup and Nyquil while snarfing
small homeopathic granules, fait will cure all.
she walks a block as the sun settles in for a night's rest
and calls it a day, having left voice messages for four,
no voices anymore, apparently not even email
according to the New York Times, sometimes not
even a voice mail is allowed, only a page.
on to Gemini from Apollo, or maybe Moon,
or maybe a few pages from Out Stealing Horses,
surely the conviction that tomorrow she will be
all better, just in time for the government

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Killing rats

they are kind of cute, in the dark, in the forest,
far away from here, in nature, nesting in
well, wood, of course, in a pack, having babies
and eating organic veggies,
wood rat, you will come to your end here,
in this dank basement with holes that lead
to nothing, no spilled dog food, just the
vestiges of flood, pack rat, take your family
home to the woods far away, Hawaii might
be nice, or the Belgian Alps where you
can nest against each and stay warm.
they are not cute in the backdrop of my
basement, or my cabinets, or in the
crawlspace under my kitchen, the holes
will be filled, the mortar will be fixed,
the ones who venture in, or who remain,
shall pass on to their greater rewards.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Unwritten Poem

the words are mingling somewhere, a
drink in hand, some hot hors d'oeurves on
a napkin, they wander from one corner
of the room to the diagonal as if on a
shuffleboard looking for the perfect mate,
maybe a king will capture his queen.
these words may be drifting out the window
on a dream, in someone's stomach with
a morsel of leg of lamb and a sip of wine,
or flipping pages in a dictionary looking
for the home from which they came.
they did not arrive here yesterday,
assembled into a readable package, but
surely they will find their way again
into the perfect poem.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hearing One Another

when he stops talking, I will talk, until
he interrupts and I do,too, and we make our
own versions of history,each to his own liking,
or hers, as the case may be, until we stop,
and listen,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


in some parts of the world, they beg
for food, for water, for medicine.
Here, we beg for a dehumidifier for
a damp basement, dark mortar that
never dries, the smell of wet.
some stood in line early, and received,
others dashed from meetings to find
none, gone in a moment to the
earlybirds, we cannot be earlybirds,
those who work and can't rush out
the door to wait.
I begged, I gnashed my teeth, nicely,
and an abandoned cart rolled up with a
dehumidifier inside, for me, for
my dank, wet basement.
Sometimes begging works.

Monday, September 23, 2013


mud, flood
torrential flow,
oh no!, save me,
the freshly risen bread,
the crunchy baked granola
and French vinaigrette, save us.
be brave in mud and flood,
the pump will dump
suds and mud in the pit,
I admit I'd rather bake
a cake than don boots
and coat, to soak in
pouring rain.
let me roast my toes
at the fire and sip
a hot cup of

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Doing Laundry

a semblance of normalcy,
clothes hanging outside on a sunny day.
a path of boards, bricks settled into mud,
grass pushing up again, we can
step gingerly there now to hang
clothes out on the line.
it rains again, freshly washed
clothes don't dry after all.
the clouds have not yet finished
their say.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Curry Salmon, Wine and Chocolate

a fine evening of wine,
curried salmon and chocolate,
a symphony of taste, the sound of music
all passes across my lips.
flood waters recede leaving behind
trails of mud and stone, wine will
wash the paths clean, chocolate
will fill river beds and salmon
will leap upstream.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Young Man in the Back of the Band

he's holding drumsticks and shaking tambourines,
he's one of the young men who was hauling water-logged boxes,
dressers and Christmas wreathes from the basement
a couple days ago,
now in his finest, black pants and bowtie, a white
shirt and combed hair, he's in the back of the band
running from marimba to snare drum, cymbals
to keyboard, ringing out over all the horns,
the flutes, the clarinets, they are no match for
him, this young man in the back of the band
all dressed up, and you can bet, somewhere to

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Broken in Two

the sidewalk broke,
water rushing underneath, carrying
so many tons of soil, sand and snails.
cement blocks balance precariously
next to a fallen tree, in the end,
unsuccessful in life, toppling under
the stress of water rushing by.
my route to work is broken,
no more leafy trees sheltering me
from strong sun or vicious winds,
I'll ride along a busy road, exposed
to car exhaust, dusty breezes,
and hot sun.
I will miss this path through the
golden days of fall, but hope to
ride again in the white softness
of winter.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Back to work, back to practicing flute

not working on anything where
someone's life might depend on it,
not remembering anything from the last flute lesson,
the teacher will say, "we talked about that last time"
and I will smile and say, "oh?"
bike ride to work, flood waters lap
the edges, the underpasses are all full of muddy water.
it's good to be back to some normalcy,
staring at a computer monitor, some Matlab code,
some French,
ignoring the mud on the kitchen
floor, it can

Monday, September 16, 2013

Not done yet

a dress for dinner. maybe
now mud, water, more to be done,
an apron to cover it, pink
dishwashing gloves,
the amazing boots.
up and down the stairs,
hauling bricks, boxes of saturated
cardboard, paint cans, dishes,
vases, all that resided on
the sills.
three strong young men worked
in parallel, we passed each
other on muddy stairways like
ships on a dark night,
each on our respective

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Trash in the alley: a Flood aftermath

Trash in the alley
once lovable, a warm fuzzy teddy bear, a photo,
a rug soft on the feet, screens to keep out mosquitos
on a warm summer night.
In an instant, saturated, each fiber filled with
mud, destroyed.
We hold the memories in our heads, of small
children smiling into a camera at maman,
graduation, grandmother in Switzerland, there are
no more images on paper, silver granules on white,
only an image burned in our memories.
there will be new soft teddies for a new baby,
we keep going, piling the ruined on top of ruined
there will be new, there will be happiness,
we are grateful for what we have.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Waterproof Boots

Slogging in a basement with waterproof boots
is so much more enjoyable than without, the white
polka dots peak up through muddy waters, the shine
on the black looks like the shimmer of fish.
Best, my feet are dry.  Small pleasures.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Contents of a Basement

All wet, mostly unsalvageable,
good thing it's not life, memories intact
we move on, carrying a bit less.
Probably for the best, we move a little
lighter, a rat in a trap that smelled has
now moved on to his greater rewards.
Life smells sweeter in that case,
the basement cleansed in mud, we
will sleep tonight, our ears open to
the sound of rain, ready to leap from
bed, alert, watchful, hopeful.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How Coloradans Cope with Several Days of Rain

Not well.
Yes, we appreciate it,
It's been so dry.
We get glum, itching to be outside,
ride to work, walk up to music lessons.
Yes, umbrellas exist, but feet get
wet, it's damp, we're soft here,
not used to it, unlike the New
Englanders, the British,
the New Zealanders and Patagonians.
We pour wine early, even the car
It's been more than one brief
gully washer in the afternoon, it's
grey and wet.
We Coloradans don't do well
with all this.
Where is our sunshine.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Art of Recklessness

Look for her on the internet
you have always wondered where she went,
who she is with, does she still like Cat Stevens or
Red Velvet cupcakes,
there is a wine with that name now.
I like it.
Late at night she wonders where he is, the guy
in Germany, her first love, who then betrayed her,
does he drive a wood-sided station wagon, with two
dogs in the back, does his wife stay at home while
he goes to a cubicle in a beige building.
Be reckless, go looking anyway, stalk
virtually when no one is looking,
why not.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Riding in the Rain

riding in the rain
illuminated by lighting flashes,
reverberating in thunder, such
is a summer rainstorm, drenching the
parched ground, we reach our arms up to greet
the torrential rain, water streaming down
gutters, into my shoes, soaking my socks,
pants, through my raincoat to the
blue blouse underneath. 
it's warm this summer afternoon
and cold rain only subdues the heat
two blocks from home.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Night at the Symphony

feeling sophisticated
hovering above the stage in an opera box,
binoculars occasionally perched above the nose
a glimpse of the conductor's red suspenders
flashes between the pianist's hands as
he raises them in triumph after each
impossibly difficult phrase.
the flutist lifts her instrument to her lips,
the bassoonist licks her lips in preparation
for the reed, the cymbals are in position
for the crescendo, the finale.
we will all go home in awe
and happy.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Few Minutes From Home

a few minutes from home
a Rorschach cloud hovers at the horizon,
our interpretation a product of lives lived,
loves gained and lost, our ancestors, distant
pasts, paths trodden, many untaken.
Tears fall onto the landscape below.
whether of joy or happiness unknown.
beauty is known in this landscape that
lies so close to home, a mere stroll up
a path up to an abandoned quarry,
let us go there together sometime
and stand at the edge, holding hands
and wishing upon a rising star.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I was so young then.
as the students roll in for university,
I see they are so young, so full of life,
so much potential.
I used to be so young, dodging bullets along a path
that had no signposts, no trampoline helping me to
bounce back from a fall.
I had some wits, a smile and a little cash
for jumping on buses to Las Vegas at 5 a.m.,
flights to seek lost boyfriends in Germany, or
potentials in midwestern cities. 
Youth fades into adulthood, freckles commingle
with age spots and chubby cheeks thin
into arrays of long awaited dimples.
The same smile still shines out,
I'm still inside

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

But the best is that

but the best is that the frosting on top of the cake
is not the same as between the layers, and
the ripe tomatoes were hidden from the hands of thieves.
my friend was only 10 minutes late for lunch and the
best was that I had a chance to read about the Russian
module on the Space Station.
the best part is when he grabs me and kisses me,
and we laugh about something stupid that no one
else would get, and if I spend 10 minutes every
day learning Spanish or French, I'll gradually
be able to speak in whole sentences with the
right prepositions and say los Estados Unidos
so Michele does not have to correct me every time.
Life is the best.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Thank you

Thank you for letting us stay in your sweet condominium,
for the sound of the stream running below us while we ate breakfast.
thank you for the soft bed and the comfy couch for watching the Vuelta.
He loved the bike path leading up Vail Pass
and I stuffed myself with red berries while
hiking through open meadows and deep forests.
Thank you for the proximity to yummy restaurants
and the washing machine downstairs since we forgot
our linens, the towel stretched across the towel bar was
a bit damp when we left last night, but the sheets
on the bed are stretched taut and smooth.
We loved the Betty Ford botanic garden, I walked
all over in my bike shoes and he read the news
on a shaded bench. 
Thank you for sharing your bounty with us,
we smiled happily all the way home.
Thank you, Jim and  Liz.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Eating Berries

I didn't know the name, having only read that
other red berries are edible and they tasted sweet,
so sweet.
the red juice stained my fingertips, my lips
finally found their proper color
Thimbleberries, followed by currants,
then serviceberries,
the bears fill their berry-large bellies
happily this season in the forest,
as do I, only saving a small handful
to share later with the one I

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My New Car

I found my new car in the compact car parking spot
in the Vail garage, and no, I actually am not touching
the car or the alarm would probably go off.
My days of sliding my bottom across the crusty seats
of the Chrysler mini-van must surely be over, the
McLaren seats are clean, beckoning me to slide on
in, press my flip flops into that accelerator pedal and
zoom off into the sunset, but where could I park it
and not worry about theft and damage, or who would befriend
me so they could get a ride with me in my black McLaren.
I have never worried about false friends hovering around
my riches, my tidy  house or fancy car.
Maybe best that way.