Saturday, November 30, 2013

Beating back the flood; New colors in the basement

Yellow and slate blue, a smile, newly pointed flagstone;
we have beat the flood, we have sealed holes, we have
persevered, the wrinkles may be deeper, the grey
has gotten greyer, the wonders of color.
a couch, some paintings, a bed for visitors that annoy us,
all things are possible; clothes can be dried here, 
even the rat has disappeared without a trace, 
he is no longer welcome here.
the basement has transformed from a dark place holding
stuff  held too long, to an open, colorful place
pregnant with possibility; let us hold that, only
carefully repopulating with what we truly treasure.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Home Sweet Home

the dirty clothes in the hamper are still there,
as are a few dishes in the kitchen sink, no one did them,
the plants are a bit droopy and glad to see me.
One has blossomed since I was away.
the bed is unmade, and a last minute pile of
stuff that didn't make it to Mexico is still in
the same pile, still waiting.
the tickets to the ballet are still in the envelope
and at 3:40 p.m I pulled them out and we
walked up the hill to the ballet in clean clothes
from the dresser drawer, different shoes, a
blue barrette instead of the black one.
I'm wearing a necklace that sat on the dressing
table while I was away, the dark stone looks so nice
against my collarbone, contrasted with my white sweater
and black pants, I like the cool feel of it on my skin.
It's good to be home.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Up up and away

there will be desert and sun,
we will wear cool sunglasses and bathing suits,
drinks in hand, we will recline on beach chairs
pretending to read deep novels. 
our eyes are closed, but no one can see
or maybe they are not looking.
I know that he is tracking the blonde girl
in the teeny-weeny blue bikini.
she is not tracking him with his ghostly
white skin and streaks of Zinc oxide across
his face and around his ears.
meanwhile, the rest of us soak up heat
and sun, drowsy with margaritas and
the lull of the waves on the beach,
we doze, we doze.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dredging up the mud and rocks

like tiny ants they swarm up and down the rocky slope,
carrying small loads of wet sand and debris to
the mother ship, the big front loader that pours
streams of earth into a huge dump truck, its motor
humming in the still-warm autumn afternoon.
they move so quickly, one can hardly capture them
in the camera, their conveyer belts rattling down
into the creek bed so the river can flow again
in its original stream bed some feet lower than
where they dig now, hurrying up and down the slope
like tiny ants, amazing how quickly they ferry
their loads.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Count down to vacation

Will I look fat in my bathing suit,
and does my car insurance cover my rental car?
how will everyone get along, and I hope
everyone wants to sleep in like I do.
what electronic devices shall we bring,
and how often can we use them without
garnering angry stares from the children,
I have learned to love my iPhone, I admit
that Spanish is fun using DuoLingo and
I love WordReference, Luminosity definitely
does not make me smart, but it's fun anyway,
I understand why no one has time to have real
relationships like we will, on the beach,
margaritas in hand, feet up on the hammock,
a paperback novel in hand, sunscreen slathered
on each other's backs.
I can't wait.

Monday, November 18, 2013

The ground is dark

The ground is dark
except for the circle of light from the
street lamp at the corner
in front of the community garden.
it flickers sometimes and people stumble in the dark,
on broken sidewalks, across unshoveled sidewalks.
it's dark tonight, the full Moon is hidden in clouds
that let no light shine through,  the cool is
getting cold, the snow is settling into the
bottom of the high clouds, waiting for
the right moment to dance down
towards us standing under the circle
of street light waiting for sparkles
to dance across our eyes.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rescuing Christmas Ornaments

I washed the mud out of her hair, and
scraped mud off his pant leg.
The one armed man was happy to be saved
for Christmas, there will be so few brethren
this year.
Gone is the photo of Daniel from 2nd grade
mounted on a wooden ring,  the straw
fish ornaments I so loved are mere piles
of straw, my very first ornament, the silver
rocket ship destroyed.
So, the few dangle outside on a clothes hanger
practicing for the real gig soon, to hang gloriously
on a fragrant Christmas tree branch. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

my most unfavorite colleague

my favorite un-favorite colleague always lets me know
that I didn't help him once again, and I ask him why he calls me
all the time, I'd be happier not seeing his name show up on my caller id.
he could call someone else and ask them to not answer his questions
where he gives no useful information but somehow expects some help.
why does he call me if only to assure himself that he is not the only
one that does not know, except he has all the information.
Ah, those who do not share but who expect, those who demand
but never give, those who are gruff and prickly and wonder that
no one likes to work with them, but of course, that's what they
want, that way they never have to be a mere human like the
rest of us poor worthless, useless colleagues. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sunset in a Parking Lot

There was a line of people waiting to get into Best Buy
for the best deal, some since 7 a.m. and the sun was setting
beautifully in the West,
they didn't even see it as they were crouched facing
east, heads down to check smart phones and watch
time passing by,
maybe checking the stock on the TV they were looking for,
or sending a text to the spousal unit at home to tell
them what number they were in line and to please
bring food and a warm drink, it's getting cold
waiting for this TV.
The pink rolled across the top of one cloud,
illuminating the bottom of the next, rolling
west, leaving behind a grey/blue horizon to
the east,
so lovely, such a shame to miss it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

three notes

three notes fast,
then the next three, fast,
then the next and the next and the next.
and then four, then four, then four,
then, five, six, seven, eight, ten, twenty, thirty
this is how you play quickly
then slowly each note
articulated, trilled,
then largo
then sleep.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


release into softness,
a hard heart is so heavy to carry
on slender shoulders.
feel your skin warm under the sun,
freckles blossoming like flowers,
no need for nail polish or high heels
the sun shines from within you
and warms those around you
only if there is softness, a release
of harsh lines at the mouth, lines
creased across the forehead, a soft
belly and knees.
life is so hard anyway, let it
soften like butter sitting on the
sunny windowsill.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Seeing Things

I opened my eyes and
I saw him smiling at me,
that toothy smile, a big gap between
two front teeth.
I closed my eyes to shut out the morning light, to
search for the dream that lingered at the edge of consciousness.
I see things at night when my eyes are closed,
aloft, I fly for fun and for safety.
I never had that choice before and
I like it.
I hold that thought close,
that I can always fly away.
I open my eyes.
He is still smiling at me.
I notice he has freckles on his lips.
No need to fly, he says,
you're safe here in my arms.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The power of water

that rock fall used to be a trail with a small
creek meandering alongside, wild grasses
and fruiting bushes clinging to the sides of
the steep slope; bears used to wander there in
the fall stuffing themselves for winter.
i wandered there myself many times, the crowds
were on the other side, i heard their laughter
echo across the steep walls of the canyon and
through the lush forest, interrupting the swish
of my courdoroy pants as I walked along.
we drove north today to see houses broken in
two, a family room dangling perilously over
a river bed filled with boulders, the water running
like a small creek again, looking ridiculously
small meandering through a wide bed of boulders,
highway fragments, pieces of a roof once attached
to someone's home, the landscape is no longer
what it was, we walk in a strange land now and
nothing will ever be the same again.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Football games

Friday night and the blare of the announcer
wavers in the wind, bouncing off brick and stucco,
fences and car doors, we don't need to guess who
is winning tonight, it's purple and yellow,
two colors opposite each other on the color wheel
from art class, we chose them for our house.
Toothpaste green worked, too,
We listen after margaritas and chips,
bellies full and glad we're not out in
the wind, we wonder if purple and yellow
will hold the game, or succumb to
blue and orange. 
Sure to find out tomorrow
first thing.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

From one place to another

I start the day at home, more precisely at the
pink and aqua dinette in the kitchen,
we read the New York Times on line except
for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday is the best ever.
I read Week in Review first,
he reads the Business Section, and then
I try to stash all the sections I like upstairs.

He never reads Modern Love anyway.

Weekdays I ride my bike to work,
the bike path is mostly open now after the flood.
I love the crunch of the fallen leaves under my tires
and I hum the annoying alarm that I hear every
morning at 6:30 am from Stephen's phone.
The office, conference room, copy room,
coffee shop, Ian's office, where we talk
about micrometeroids and other fun stuff.
I deliberately ride my bike over the highest
mounds of fallen leaves on the way home,
savoring each crackle as they will soon
blow away in the wind, or become soggy
under snow and rain. 
The pink and aqua dinette waits for me,
I drop my bag, open my laptop and finish
reading the article I left half done this

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Two pianos, a marimba and a flute

Fit for a king and queen wearing their finest
robes and jewels, jesters fallen silent in rapt attention,
two pianos, a marimba and a flute played for us,
mere mortals in auditorium seating, we wonder how
we deserve this lifting of spirit after a day of work,
our jeans may have stains on them, T-shirts should
be blouses and our hair should be done, not tired and
dirty, listening to such fine music honed over hundreds
of hours, what did we do to deserve this myriad
of sounds and emotions, nothing except to be there,
to walk away from everything else and just be there.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Portia: In Memory


In the end, she laid down by the fence,
the sun warming her skin, while shading her eyes
and we waited together for the end, loving her,
her loving us, until her eyes were gently
closed, her body still and soft.
So many seasons of running in the sun
with Buddy, rolling in snow, nose buried
deep looking for hidden treats, so many
morning walks just long enough to turn around
and get home quick for breakfast, so many
late evening strolls, in the summer barking
and growling at skateboarders, snapping at
puppies who try to get too close, licking
the ones who meet her defnition of "wonderful".
Oh, Portia, you big fuzzy bundle of love,
you who spent countless hours scouring the
house for accessible Clif bars, granola, garbage
that hadn't made it outside, you who ate rawhide
with your brother for 13 years and then never
touched one again, you who decided when Buddy
was gone, it was your turn to mark the Haydel territory.
We loved you, we will miss you, run free
in doggy heaven with Buddy and all the other
dogs and cats, bunnies and birds that have
blessed this house. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Portia, A Moon of Uranus

When she is gone tomorrow, her soul will join
the stars in heaven, and she will always circle Uranus
along with her brothers and sisters who have gone before her,
and when we miss her and we look up on a clear cold night,
we'll remember her glimmer here with us, pulling her leash
back towards home where treats lie waiting for her right
inside the door, no, she never forgot that they were there,
we will never forget her.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A beautiful day

and you wonder how your mood could be black
under a blue sky, amongst the golden grasses, the
foothills magnificent in the distance.
The sun is warm on your skin and the silence
embraces you, it is so precious when it arrives
unexpectedly on a day like today when everyone
would seem to be outside, calling to one another,
their dogs, the roar of cars and trucks in the distance. 
late this afternoon, the blue has been replaced
by grey and snow will fall in delicate shimmering
flakes under moonlight, how can a mood be
black in this, so silly and unproductive,
so altogether human.

Friday, November 1, 2013

the power of words

a few words work,
the caress of a few well spoken words,
i care, i am thinking of you, you are worth 10 seconds
it takes to send a text, those words may lift a spirit
from despair to hopefulness, from loneliness to connection,
i have seen this, i have felt this, from both sides,
i offer and i receive,  i give and i take
because we all know the depths and the gifts
when everything is going our way and we don't need
until we do, and will they still be there
when it's our turn to need a few
well chosen words that make
all the difference between
loneliness and