Wednesday, April 30, 2014

heavy machinery meets a party

don't say a word
and maybe everything will be ok,
no one will hear the chain saws or branches
tumbling to the ground, the trench amongst the flowers
will blend in with the heavy machinery and the ice in our glasses
will clink in time with the shovels
against rock and dirt.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

a day off

a day off from looking up French vocabulary,
paying bills or sorting socks, a day off from drudge,
from feeling angry or upset about insensitive people
or other unpleasant things,
a day off from being cold or walking the dog, picking
up clothes or worrying about anything but what
I choose to worry about happily.
does such a thing exist?

Monday, April 28, 2014

in response

in response to happy news
"Marry him? It's your life.."
I could wish for
"I'm happy for you both", no,
it's too late in life to learn
such things, the shoes don't fit, the back hurts,
it's raining, it's too unfamiliar, it's too late to learn
a few new words in a new language, there is no
dictionary for such things, no iPhone app, no
on-line tutorial or help desk, just a receiving
heart that aches a bit as the words
pass in front of my eyes, this postcard
brings no happiness, in some cases
hope should not spring

Sunday, April 27, 2014

the utility of a small cabinet

to stash small red cloths coated in bike grease
and tools, and dog brushes, oils and greases,
to hide towels and spray liquids whose cans
are coated in black smudges, that's what this is
for, to show we can keep our porch tidy and 
neat, to match the color of the numbers identifying
our address and the blue shade of the porch light,
mostly, to keep Jenny happy.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Four minutes

four minutes to cozy toes,
the microwave counts the seconds
as I pull on fleece pajama bottoms and brush
my teeth, it's a race to the finish line
when the timer will go off, and my corn bag
will start inexorably cooling wastefully into nothingness,
let it only cool itself in warming my sheets
as I slide in bed, novel in hand,
warm companions.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Me Plaire

Je me plais avec la vie,
the sun, the antics of a happy dog, friendship, a warm bed.
I love to learn something in French every morning,
and read the ten things to do in my town over coffee,
mulling over what I would do even if I have no intention
of doing it because I'm otherwise occupied admiring
newly blooming tulips and the pansies that got planted
yesterday in my back yard.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

hard to relax under observation

he noted that my shoulders were hunched and there
was an edge to the sound, but how else when he's watching me like
a hawk does a small prairie dog running from hole to hole.
it's hard to relax under observation.
the air molecules vibrate between the hawk's eye
and the sheen of the praire dog's fur as each photon passes
from one surface to the other other, the high frequencies of blue
all the way down to the heat of  infrared, it's a continuum like
a rainbow of tension until the small rodent reaches safety and
disappears, the hawk rises up into a thermal, his immense wing span
diminishing into relaxation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

looking for motivation

i looked under the sofa this morning, and behind the dog food,
finding nothing more than a mouse trap still loaded with peanut butter.
it wasn't in my bike basket or in my lunch bag, the cloth napkin only peered
back at me, colorful but not terribly useful,
maybe i could go to the dentist like Scratchy and look there between the
first and second molars or under the tongue, a scrape off the cheek may contain
some relevant cells that could be cultured into motivation.
i'd rather laze around all day and ignore the problems of space, of
bouncing molecules and hazy theories, ignoring the need for crisp
answers when none exist that i can find, let the garden fend for itself
and the refrigerator go empty, i looked and there is no motivation in any
left-over containers, or even with a "good until" date that is still current.
no motivation to be found, i settle into my chair and write, lift my flute lazily
to my lips and blow out the light, let the stars shine tonight.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Three Black Mastiffs

each one coalesced from thin air, but no less stocky and strong,
appearing from behind me and circling forward, I knew them
surely as my guard dogs, checking the perimeter and then again
once done, I knew they were still there keeping vigil over me.
no one will mess with me now, they are light as air and dangerous
as dragons, I see their rippling muscles in every step.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Starting Over

now my task is to simply lift the instrument to my lips,
noting when my shoulders tense, dropping my flute again
towards the earth, so heavily, feeling the fibers of each muscle
slide away from each other like fingers releasing a cats cradle
only to capture air between them again, their surprise evident
in the resistance and release again, and so jazz drops away
and all that was learned reshuffles like so many molecules
in this game of life.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rogue 2 Rockin'

two fifty something, well, even later fifty something, women
rockin' and rollin' and loving it, feet clicking, arms swinging,
even though our bodies don't have any living memory
of this sound that courses through our bodies, without arrest,
a banjo, a guitar, a couple voices, another guitar.
who knew this, that the wrinkles would tighten
for an hour or two before our bedtimes at 10 p.m.
and we could have so much fun.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring Depression

the sap runs in the trees like
trucks inside the Callahan tunnel, their exhaust
clogging my nostrils, the clanging of their pistons filling
my ears, I can feel their tires pulling against my skin and tearing
it like so many fingernails on a the blackboard,
leaving behind stuttering black marks
on pale skin.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

impulsive decisions after ten years

why not do it
since it's been in the making for a few years
the ideas have settled into a certain consistency of jam and peanut butter
and he says it's no harder than organizing a bike race,
no corner marshals, just a registration coordinator
and some food, a few words.
he can do it and order the water bottles, inscribed appropriately
for souvenirs and hopefully the BBQ sauce won't stain the
dresses, I'll mostly keep some paper napkins ready
and pass them out as needed.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


why not disappear into a chrysallis for a bit,
relaxing from the hairline down across the eyes
the frown lines from the chin can smooth, even the belly button
becomes a little less pinched, each cell of your body
settling against a hard shell of relaxation, each quad relaxing
into its IT band and finally settling into its ankle, your toes
finally encased in your personally constructed chrysallis of
full relaxation, where a caterpillar reorganizes into a butterfly
imagine what could happen to you.

image from various pictures from

Monday, April 14, 2014


one sock was stuck under a shoe in the downstairs closet,
the mate was waiting to be found upstairs in a basket;
their separation was long enough that the upstairs sock faded
away in the sun while the downstairs sock stayed vividly alert
sitting next to a baited mouse trap all those months of waiting.
I'd rather bask in a woven bed of reeds from India in the sun
than in the darkness waiting for a mouse to approach, holding my
threads tightly so to appear impregnable to small teeth.
Eventually we were found and reunited, our cuffs stretched
around each other and tossed into a drawer, knowing that our
differences will be unnoticed in the morning fog of dressing,
she's too preoccupied to care about matching colors.

Friday, April 11, 2014

magic of music

notes arrive on time,
the breath is there,
expanding into an infinite
receptive space,
rejoice in it,
it's magic,
it's music.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Modeling Molecules

they creep out from behind their covalently bonded brethren,
skinny and breathless, and skip up towards vacuum, pausing for a
moment only to make a quick move so as to escape detection.
a ping and they're gone into the depths of space and I missed them,
looking behind a large mirrored surface to see if they were still there.
they only partially follow their equations, and only when they want;
if it's raining in Houston and an anomymous man in Mission Control
reaches into his desk drawer for a certain fountain pen, they seem to take
that as license to slither on out and disappear,
oh molecules, so difficult to model.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


every day it's another thing, a commitment,  five
minutes here, another ten there, a couple minutes, an
hour, a few seconds, a recipe, a meeting, a flute lesson,
a recital, dead lifts.
my brain wants to stop, my body wants to lie down,
I want the clock to stop and for no wonderful opportunities
to come my way, no new friends, no time for
learning, no new languages, nothing, not
another chance to meditate or improve my life,
I'll pass on intimate conversation, an empty suitcase,
no time for a daughter or son, plans for celebrations,
just emptiness, boredom would be welcome,
I'm overbooked on life, such a wonderful life
it is, but overbooked.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


twenty eight;
a baby boy in my arms, a degree in hand,
twenty eight;
and he'll have a degree in his hand, a sweetheart by his side.
we repeat, only better, my mother had her degree in her hands
at thirty nine, we move faster in this new generation, and our faces
show the fatigue, he looked so tired tonight.
we all finished our chocolate cake and drifted off our chairs
towards bed,
28, a good year to have done so much,
56, double the fun.

Monday, April 7, 2014

oh no!

oh no!
the crunching of a rat's teeth on some
next to the bed
oh no!
please tell me it ain't so
oh no, how many tons of concrete,
so many dollars, to many hours to seal
our house against wood rats and oh no!
we so don't need to wake up
to the gnawing of teeth
at night,
oh no!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Home Sweet Home

regardless of
breathtaking cliffs of sandstone
the rush of rivers, stars that startle in their beauty in the night sky,
there is no place like home,
no bed like the one in the small room downstairs
where we lay next to each other,
one body warming the other, linked hands
and hearts, a shared meal at a pink dinette,
there is no place like home.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I see weathered in the mirror,
the purple Adirondack chairs are peeling after a single winter,
my face has endured so much more.
I'm disappointed in the paint job
but there is no doubt that my face is alos
showing its own version of peeling.
In the happiness survey, I mark my appearance
half way between attractive and ugly, I used to place
more to the right, not sliding left every year,
age does not typically add to beauty.
A weathered fence in Wyoming is shiny
and silver; I note how smooth as I lean against
her watching the horses running on the other side of the field.
their tails glisten in the wind and sun.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

schroedinger's cat

in the end, the explanations of a
Nobel Laureate or not, Schrodinger's cat was
dozing in that in-between state of wakefulness and sleep,
warm  next to us on an adjacent Macky Auditorium chair.
We were all in that in-between state between complete
mystification and some firing synapses pondering whether
motion states resemble phonons or whether we
could possibly sneak out quietly to our beds,
known factually to offer warmth and comfort
after a long day of writing and thinking,
we are keen to let each spring
caress our weary backs.