Thursday, July 31, 2014

Packing for Mars

boys come from Mars
I go with them tomorrow in a big white van
I don't speak their language when they are in a pack,
their sweaty undershirts and boy talk about
bikes mostly, how boring it all gets.
I pack my bag for this trip with the Martians,
some books about girl stuff like
what's most important in life and a
surgeon's diary of his residency, a
new book Callings about life goals,
another novel or two, maybe I can avoid
throwing up somehow and read on the
way, ignoring boy talk about
bikes or other boring stuff.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


we'd never listen to the rain the same again
after last year when rivers flowed down the street
and backyards turned into lakes,
instead of relaxing to the drumming of raindrops
lulling us to sleep, we listen anxiously for
sump pumps and the sound of rivers in
our basements, we do not welcome this
season of rain and clouds.
we listen with fear in our hearts and watch
the weather, staying awake longer than needed
until we fall into a light sleep, hoping to awaken
to clear skies and silence.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Am I a Weeny

I pulled him aside
and whispered into his ear,
am I a weeny with these 2 pound weights
when they are lifting 20, or 200,
I think I am, should I be coming
to this place where muscles
bulge and sweat pours from
their faces, I do not
fit in here, do I, but
he responded that I
am not a weeny and
I am welcome here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

I'd rather..

I'd rather nap,
in a hammock amongst the trees,
a novel still open across my chest as I doze off
without a worry, I'd rather
pick beans from the garden, or ride my bike
along the creek, I'd rather look out my
window at the view from upstairs and
wonder how many bobcats walk
silently through the forest.
I'd rather not work tomorrow, preferring
to march to my own drummer
in my own time, choosing my
own companions, the pay may not
be monetary but is more

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Writing papers sometime in the future

the future arrives
and we wonder that we have committed
such folly, always thinking it will be easier,
not take so many words, so much rewording
and rewriting and time consuming minutiae,
the references, the figures, the clear train of thought
that seemed so compelling months ago, now
murky and uncertain, maybe ridiculous,
definitely not compelling
but we're committed now,
the future is now, tonight,
before our beds will embrace
us its cozy arms.

Friday, July 25, 2014

the lame foot

she's been  limping for seven weeks,
having to stop and listen to the dreams and
fantasies of her foot, her crippled fingers
that will not longer grip a guitar, the conversations
she can no longer track, the words slip by
so quickly, her eyes well up and I
see them, recognizing them as my own.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

taking a break...

taking a break,
a rest
a pause
letting a sore throat have its say
a tired muscle relax
lying down
sleeping late
a slow conversation
ignoring dirty dishes
leaving the bags packed
except for the toothbrush,
the complete necessaries,
only the essentials.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Making Friends

it reminds me of grade school,
the tentative approach, the tentative smile,
looking for a piece of candy as an offering,
the risk of asking and hoping for yes.
the ecstasy of a "yes", yes!, a yes!
yes, she'll have lunch with me, she'll
take the piece of candy and I won't have
to eat alone, yes, yes!
ah, making new friends, so risky,
sweet success.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Stood Up

what is it about California?
stood up or shut out, no shows and
don't call, I don't understand so I walk
on a hidden creek path and breathe in
eucalpytus, bike lights race by like fireworks,
couples holding hands, a young family laughs,
I walk alone when I thought I'd
be laughing at dinner with an old friend
who didn't show up or call out,
what is it about California?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

incredibly depressing hotels following towering redwoods

it's a long fall from 300 feet in the air, feeling the wind
in your hair, a view as far as the eye can see, the smell of
eucalyptus lofts from below
to this dumpy Quality Inn
with the roar of the freeway outside the door,
it's downright depressing, isn't it
until I found I had company in this, a soul
who agreed, a couple in fact so we were comrades
in this and then it wasn't so lonely after all and we can laugh
at how miserable it is and be glad we at least don't live here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Waking at 4:30 am

it's dark at 4:30 and even the birds
are not awake yet, they doze on tree branches,
dreaming of worms and ripe apples, the  young
birds flapping their wings in preparation for
fledging, some chirping in alarm, loud enough
to wake themselves up before settling back
into restless movements on small branches.
I wake at 4:30 in anticipation of missing the big
silver bird that will fly west to California, to meet
my fledged offspring, so tall and strong now,
she looks down at me and tells me that her
roommates have been instructed that if a small
version of her walks into the house, it's her mom,
yes, at 4:30 I am a small version of her, in the dark,
packing my last few things, in preparation for
a long journey.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I heard a fly buzz

I heard a fly buzz, knocking his head
stupid against the window, dropping,
zigzagging only to reappear on the opposite wall.
I wave my read plastic fly swatter, zeroing in for
a fatal blow, while you keep reading in bed,
oblivious to the grand battle across the room.
The fly is winning as  I stumble like a drunk
from one side of the room to the other, tripping
on my pajama legs, wack! wack!
is retreat possible, a graceful admission of defeat,
will you notice the buzzing if I settle into my book,
if I say nothing, if I slip quietly under my summer
covers, if you hear it, will you be so gracious as
to pretend you do not?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Paradigm Shift

Shift the morning paradigm from a
black and white newsreel, war breaking out
in a far off country, to a comedy show.
a wide-eyed grin, a belly laugh, a deep contentment,
a willingness to wake up in the morning again.
the black dog will feed and walk herself.
no dirty dishes, the toothpaste will not spray
across the newly washed window and flowers
will bloom all winter.
we'd love it here, there would be no newspaper
to recycle, no news that recycles over a thousand
years of Sunni against Shia, or Catholic against
Protestant, only the peel of laughter, let the paradigm
shift tomorrow.
I'd welcome the change.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Last Sunday Dinner

I made fish tacos, a favorite,
and I only cried three times today.
how many hundreds of Sunday dinners
did we share, first just the two of us, my son and I,
when we pretended it was a shared cooking task,
then we were three, then four, now back
to two of us on Sundays, unless you
count the little black puppy as one.
this is the time of good-byes,
a neighbor, a friend, my son, all
saying good-bye for now, until later,
the painful practice of the many good-byes
that hang in the future, if only practice made
them any easier.

Friday, July 11, 2014

too tired to write

too tired to write a poem,
the words drift in the window, the unsaid
and the said, the laughter and the sighs, me,
I'll settle into a pillow of unwritten words, they
will settle on the pages tomorrow, perfectly ordered.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Words Left Unsaid

left unsaid, the words settle between the sofa cushions,
wrapped in a dust bunny under the table, the unsaid pulls
slightly down on what could have been a smile, maybe a
tear occasionally leaks out, quickly brushed aside.
words that speak volumes of hurt feelings, grief, loss,
those of anger often escape, if not into the dendritic
depression that spreads across a cold windshield on a bleak
winters day, words leak out like water from a soaker hose
on a dry Arizona garden, seeking their fertile ground and seeds
that will grow under their tutelage.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Hard Day

Cancelled plans, clueless colleagues,
crummy weather and crying.
Lovely, a hard day that is ending soon,
the night is coming and my eyes will see
darkness, closed or open, I will only hear
the wind through my open window until
the birds wake me at dawn.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


 No matter the path, we are transitioning seamlessly
into middle age, whether we drive a 1992 Geo Prizm
or a 2014 Porsche, whether we recognize the faces in
People magazine, or hate to be called sir or madam.
Some of us may still secretly try on our daughter's skin tight jeans
when she is out with her friends, or loll around slightly 
stained grey sweatpants, we are all heading there even 
if we detour to the gym to train for an Ironman, or just
stop at the grocery store to pick up a carton of milk.
Some of us angst, others gain weight, some call their kids,
others work too much, others retire early and regret having
that much more time to figure out their lives, but we all
stumble along somehow into this abyss called midlife,
enjoy it while it lasts because before we know it, we'll
be called elderly and then what will we have to figure out.

Special thanks to Scratchy for directing me to this link:

Monday, July 7, 2014

This is my letter to the world

this is my letter to the world
scrawled on the back of a napkin
illegible even to myself.
this is mid-life where nothing makes sense
and the coherency and logic of dreams evaporate
like the glistening tears on your cheeks that I swore
I saw a moment ago
and the world has since traveled some thousand
miles but the storm is still clinging to the hillside,
I can hear the thunder approaching,
the lightning will deliver a response
rapid fire and staccato, so fast as to be illegible
to these middle-aged eyes, even reading 
glasses will never decipher the reply.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Dinner

usually it's with my children gathered around
the table on the backporch, a moderately clean tablecloth
to cover the slats, our faces lit by candlelight.
tonight, our legs warmed by a hot fire, we watch
the moon rise in the sky over Grand Lake, lovely
indeed but I am missing my loved ones, the ones who
came from me, are of me, but not me, who are
separate but connected, who tower over me now
and remind me more of my shortcomings but who
would surely show up if needed, we see the same stars
and Moon, we dream many of the same dreams,
they are here beside me in their absence.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Independence Day

independence from working,
the manuscript can wait, as can the dishes,
the responsibilities, only the apples hanging low
on bowed branches up the canyon call to me.
the whir of the hummingbird, the rising wind
and the scuttling clouds speak to me today,
let men's demands fall on deaf ears,
today is independence day
from all demands but
those of my own beating

Thursday, July 3, 2014

feeling like a chili relleno

stuffed with cheese,
the soft green pepper spilling white
out the sides of the jeans, the buttons stretched
a bit too tight, the scale has not felt the soft
pressure of ten toes for quite some time.
I'd be afraid to look if I were you, too.
white bread, soft rind cheeses, wine,
grapes, friendship, only the latter does not
necessarily lead to weight gain.
eat around the edges and then inhale
the cheese whole, it will make you

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Angry Man in the Conference Room

the door was closed and the red in his face
was like the heat lamps in the hotel bathrooms,
those exposed to it wanted to turn away or turn it off
if they could without turning off the fan.
our voices surrounded him, trying to calm the anger
that metamorphized from nothing, the loud voice,
the flush, the insistence on being right when
he was wrong, that's ok, dude, you're ok,
let's stay chill, grab some ice cubes and
cool your armpits, they are wet with anger
and heat, you are burning so hot, you
will one day keel over from it all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Beethoven and Coldplay: No One said it was easy

Nobody said it was easy,
Beethoven had terrible luck with women,
so much unrequited love, go back to the start.
they did, so will we, and start again,
this time furrowed brow and renewed determination,
so many generations in between, so much the same,
the struggles, the yearning, the needs, the creation,
the beauty, the wonder, the flow, the magnificence,
let us remember as we struggle, from struggle
comes beauty, let's see it and believe in it.