Monday, March 31, 2014


habits: by definition
something you do on a regular basis,
not necessarily meaning: happily or with enthusiasm.
by definition, an action that somehow became
part of your life,
not necessarily because you wanted to do it, or
even maybe thought about it
until one day, one week, you realized you had a
chain about your ankle, a chokehold on your life,
the vertical lines of the H had put a stranglehold on your neck,
the A was a noose around your relationship, the "t"
stood for terror at the threshold of kicking this
habit that crept into your life so quietly
you hardly noticed until one day,
you did.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Just Drive Downhill

just drive downhill and it's so much easier,
so much more efficient, drive downhill when the going
gets tough, when the gas tank is emptying too quickly,
the air is thicker, there are coffee shops and warm houses.
drive downhill and save the coins jangling in your
pocket book, pull out that tatter eared novel, 
take off your shoes and relax.
it's all downhill from here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

to pare a keat or not?

a pair of parekeets, or stroke a cat, to pat a pup,
feathers, feathers, everywhere, but chatter and chirp,
chirp and chatter, how cheerful no matter the day.
tomorrow, I'll catch a peek, capture a chirp, and
decide to pair some parakeets or not, decide, decide!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Moby Dick

I reckon I'd rather  not meet up with him on the high seas,
my harpoon in hand, my heart in my throat, I tremble even
as I listen through my headphones on the way to work,
how terrible is the whale!
how lovely,
how intelligent and
divine in nature,
but let me not meet one like him on the open seas!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jean-Pierre Rampal and me

I know we'd have been friends even though he plays Javanaise
twenty-two beats per minute faster than me, him and his jazz
trio in front of a waterfall in the Versailles garden.
He'd sit in the front pew in Longmont on April 11 and listen to me play
Javanaise and nod approvingly; there will be spirit in those
notes and a bit more time to linger on how lovely they are.
I wished he had been my father, then like him, I would have
been able to play duets daily with my dad, brandishing a flute
with panache instead of bearing the bruises of punishment
from my own.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A defaced book cover

someone defaced the book, Masks, scribbling across
her face, harshly outlining her slanted eyes, distorting
the sensual curve in her smile,
I'd rip off the cover and throw it away,
but a book without a
cover seems so naked, yet, this woman
on the cover has been violated, her right to attract
a wandering reader's gaze has been taken, no one wants
to set eyes on these black lines across her face, around
her sensual lips that merely wanted to smile, to show
her perfect teeth, her slightly opened lips,
inviting you into her world.

Monday, March 24, 2014


we used to know how to fix such things,
to render them intact again, to prevent further
fraying and enlargement.
now we throw it all away, that tiny hole
surrounded by rows and rows of perfect
perl and knit, that baby blue steel color,
the ribbed waistline, the shift from
one stitch to another, seamless as
one topic transitions to another in
a good conversation.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sunday night and my room is still a mess

remember when your mom made you clean your room on Saturdays
before you could leave for a more interesting life, somewhere else,
anywhere, a ride down the bike path, to the corner store, anywhere,
I need that still
because it's Sunday night and my room is a mess, my clean
clothes are still hanging in the basement for the second week, my bed
is unmade, much less clean sheets, a pile of clothes scattered across
the floor, the bed, it's embarrassing, really, it is.
instead, my skis glided effortlessly across the snow, and
Rhapsody in Blue reverberated through my bones up
in the opera box, I ate cheese and drank wine with friends,
and reluctantly got on the scale in the mornings, but my room
stayed the same, not a single bit of paperwork attended to,
it's a disgrace but nothing changes because my mother doesn't
mind if I go ski on Saturday and Sunday morning, nor does
anyone else for that

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bach Concertos

we sit rapt on wooden pews in a cramped
Methodist church, I know they play basketball
downstairs on Mondays and that their offering baskets
are not adequately filled.
none of it matters right now, the thoughts just drift past
in an ethereal knowing along with the notes written
down over three hundred years ago for a King.
we're kings and queens now in our jeans and sweaters
to listen to the same streams of notes pass through
our bodies like angels on wings, lightly, knowing
they will alight again on someone else somewhere
in some future, be it in a week or another hundred

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Gateway to Heaven, Bella Style

Beyond that gate is heaven,
doggie heaven where cabinets are left unlatched,
big bags of rawhide lurk just behind! 
if only I can get there when they're not home,
drawers dangle open, containers of peanut butter
linger on counter tops and the left-over pizza
from last night is surely still resting on the stove
just within reach if I streeeettcch a little higher,
I can do it, in doggie heaven, anything is 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

20 minutes a day

20 minutes a day, a start for
anything to be learned,
a letter written that will bring joy to her face,
a cup of tea brewed and enjoyed,
a new piece of music listened to.
20 minutes!, a new life, a new friend,
 a phone call, a clean bathroom,
a made bed and gathered laundry,
all it takes is to get up
and do it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quantify Mud, please

is it a 1% risk, tell me even though
you don't have the information you need,
I need it, I need that number, that certainty, here
in my blue suit and matching tie, my expert opinion
flown in from out-of-state, my expense account,  my
unlimited overhead hours to chat, think, discuss, read,
tell me,
justify the 1% risk in less than two hours analysis,
and make it snappy, we don't have time to do experiments
this year or next, there is no money for
such luxuries as data,
just the answer, please.

Monday, March 17, 2014

All Text

all text, he said,
not a thousand words,
a few words, a thought, an expression,
a conversation, a lack
of a conversation, I hear the wind whistling
down the canyon, growing in strength, huffing and puffing
that imaginary chest, the bees will be
blown from their nests,
we will hear their
humming as they
blow across
the prairie.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunday Dinner

it's really a dinner party tonight,
where we supply the wine and after dinner tea,
they bring the chicken and brussel sprouts;
it all comes together at the pink dinette
and we all look so grown up and the
conversation so civilized.
i know there are scribble marks under the table
and maybe some chewing gum that came from
that mouth across the table,
we've all come a long way.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Clearing off the desk

I made progress on this pile,
now only 3" high, down from five,
stacks of papers now in the "blank on the back side"
pile, a few bills paid, some charities that much happier,
they have had to wait for months.
spring calls for clearing out and whittling down,
the sound of a sharp knife against
papers and envelopes, piles of clothes to
a bet fit on someone else, dust bunnies
rush out from under the bed asking to be
added to her Easter basket.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bella: A dog that no longer comes when called

she used to come when called
when she was a little younger,
maybe a little concerned I'd drop her back
at the Humane Society if she didn't stack up to
my requirements, rather tall as they were.
three months in, she knows she is with us for keeps, 
she looks up at me now, confident in her place with us,
and goes right back to what she was doing.
oh, she has gotten so bold, so sure that there
are no real consequences and the cheese in my hand
does not compare with the dead bird buried under an inch
of frozen mud, or the spoiled hamburger wrapper
blowing across the snow-covered field.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


she said it was pretty stinky, yes, I think
that was the word she used, and I remembered,
50 years ago
holding the bag of Limburger outside the car
window after Dad bought the stuff at a local cheese
shop, and how he was freaking out that we would
drop it by mistake and we were freaking out at how
bad it smelled.
He had to drive, we held it out the window,
didn't drop it.
I don't remember where he ever ate the stuff,
certainly all alone.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

virtual backrubs

i can imagine his fingers caressing my spine,
dropping between each vertebra, pausing at each
to massage a few circular strokes before proceeding
to the next,
but is it as good as the real thing, the palpable feel
of skin on skin, that slight variation with his breath,
a sigh of contentment may escape my lips.
virtual is not always as good as the real

Monday, March 10, 2014

Short Lives

no wonder he died so young
eating handfuls of M&M's after
six rounds of bloody mary's before 10 am.
he scoffed at sleep and ridiculed
rest and relaxation; he ended up early
in the longest sleep, rest his soul.
so she smoked unfiltered cigarettes
sucking on them for solace,
a security blanket of sorts, a smoke
screen, a solitary story.
she died young, so sad to leave a
pack half full
such a waste.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Friday night driving through Kremmling, CO

even if no one reads these words,
somehow it seems imperative to deliver them
nonetheless or a day will go by unremarked,
and then forgotten, as would be last Friday without a word.
Let it not be forgotten, then, as it was spent in a car
navigating icy roads and wondering if the avalanche
debris would be cleared or if a long night of driving
through Kremmling was in store, or a night in a dingy
motel in Idaho Springs, a drive home to sleep lightly
only to wake again and drive with the hordes sent
home by avalanche.
Kremmling it was, and the fog lay heavy on the roads
into Granby at 11 p.m., a long day, a long night,
no time to write poems before dropping off
into the deep velvet of sleep.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Out of the blue

a certain color rises in the cheeks,
the eyes narrow and shoulders hunch forward,
the voice changes and all of a sudden, out of the blue,
everything is different for no reason,
the conversation stops, the dinner gets cold,
everything seems cold even though the room temperature
holds steady at 68 and there is no going back,
only forward with uncertainty not sure what
snapped, what happened, what stopped the flow
out of the blue.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Puppy Teeth

There is no ambiguity, no hesitation, 
the goal is well defined, eat that food stuck
at the bottom of the dog food can.
Do what it takes, get those puppy teeth in there
for a good grip, and extend that tongue as far
as it can go down into that can before Mom
realizes that she needs to go look at what Puppy 
is doing in the living room, what is she into now.
Eight punctures, 75% eaten, not bad for the 
few moments of unsupervised, puppy
drive and initiative.
Mom should be so proud.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A clean slate

whatever sweat rested on my brow
it's long gone, as are the worked muscles,
the deep breathing needed to sustain.
I'm at the gym with a clean slate, no memories
of exercises undone, nothing aches,
except to be worked again, to itch
that scratch of the unworked, the well-washed
brow that needs sweat to roll down it,
the dampness of sweat.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Monday

the sand still sifts from my hair
and my freckles still sparkle from the sun,
but it's Monday and snow remains on the ground,
a chill wind blows through my jacket and the
tires of my bike leave behind large tread.
it's Monday and my mind is still thinking
of California, the best beef stew I have ever eaten
that I didn't have to make, poster awards
and no responsibility, but alas, it's Monday
night and Tuesday will come tomorrow,
I will rouse myself, engage my brain,
start up Matlab, talk to my customers
and enjoy the day.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Irises by Van Gogh at the Getty Center

looking right over towards the Degas, away from the 
van Gogh, on the left is a Cezanne and a Renoir is
in the next room, she rushes from one side to the other,
her red bag swinging off her shoulder, a whirl of color
amidst the rest of us standing stock still, frozen in
time, in awe, in appreciation.