Friday, August 29, 2014

Pouring Rain

drizzle first
a few small drops
small ripples spread across puddles
I'm a few blocks from work headed home.
a few larger drops splashing small droplets skyward upon impact.
I put my hood up, tucking it under my helmet.
a few dark spots scattered across the thighs of my jeans.
it picks up and lightning strikes the earth ahead of me,
hard now, large droplets in a torrent,
my jeans are now soaked, my head down
I wonder if it's hail or just heavy droplets,
a few blocks from home,
lighter droplets,
a drizzle,
all wet.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Guide dog

  a guide dog could be trained to make decisions for you
to recognize the name on caller id
and indicate which calls to pick up
and which to let ring
a large black guide dog could scare off 
threatening people who want to steal your wallet,
would make friends for you, wagging her tail
enthusiastically for nice people,
dogs know them instinctively.
 A well trained guide dog would mold us to
her schedule for our own good, long naps
during the day, rawhide or other treats
in the evening, and plenty of playtime.
dogs don't work.
the western economy would skid to a halt
and everyone would be much happier.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

flute is life

my flute teacher said during my first lesson,
"flute is life" and I laughed at the idea of how
playing a long tube with holes could represent life
until I played this long tube with holes and
understood her sensitivity to every mood, every
tension, the mood and rhythm of every day,
how I struggled with power versus aggression,
how fear showed up in my sound, how fighting
against did not result in victory, how hard it
is to just relax and enjoy, how much playing
flute is just like life. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

theories and opinions

they squawk about it at 5 am
black birds high up in the branches of the silver maple
across the street.
I imagine they have much to talk about,
her theory that there is better street food,
(the good, fatty stuff still half wrapped)
the next town over.
the sister's opinion is that life is good enough here.
look how many of us there are in the tree,
all well fed with Boulder trash.
they wake up before the sun comes over the horizon,
my theory being that they went to bed at dusk, his
opinion that black birds are simply the most
annoying creatures ever.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I keep re-reading the same article

I keep re-reading the same article,
each time advancing one sentence, then falling back
into incomprehension, pausing to evaluate what I don't know.
the words are like the clouds in the evening sky,
grey to the east, stretched out like lions after
a big meal on the African savannah.
to the west, the last light glows pink on
the undersides, in a few minutes
they will be grey.
As dim as my understanding of this article
that is my life.
We wonder at each decision,
its underpinning and whether it's
underbelly is lit by beauty or
requires a re-reading, and so I
re-read the same article, advancing
sentence by sentence.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

US Pro Cycling Championship

the pros
were lining up at the gate,
orange, blue, yellow and brown kits,
their cleats clicking on pavement.
shaved muscular legs, reflective sunglasses
perched on helmets, they looked so cool,
we did our job of clapping and cheering
until their feet left the ground, the wheels
turned and they were gone so quickly,
so quietly.

Friday, August 22, 2014

A Bonk on the head

a bonk on the head
changes everything, the physical one,
the pink slip, the divorce, the blue sky
when it should have rained, a bonk on
the head rattles the current reality, changes
the job, the family, the friends, whether someone
ever looks at you without embarrassment.
we'd never welcome a bonk but perhaps
it is the best thing for us.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A girl and her dog

this one crawled into her heart,
she didn't need a dog, didn't want to
get up early and walk a dog, didn't want
the responsibility, the dog hair on the couch,
but somehow this one crept into her hard little heart,
opening it a little at a time until she was more than
half way in, then sprinted in the
rest of the way.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

unpack pack unpack pack

a summer of packing and unpacking,
San Francisco, Crested Butte, San Diego,
and soon, France, vacations and conferences,
business attire and sandals, a French textbook
packed with good intention but left unopened. 
Alas, they speak French in France and much
is to be learned, when to use "de" rather
than "de la", the rules go on and one,
I forget them as soon as I learn them,
taking on line quizzes with confidence only to
miss 7/20, quelle horreur!
I will unpack the book and open it tonight!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

pocket change

they make six figures and count pennies,
he had a beer, she drank water, he ate six
pieces of sushi, she had one, they obsess.
it's pocket change,  a couple lattes here,
a pair of socks, less than the time spent
figuring it all out, it's pocket change,
it doesn't add up, I throw in an extra 20
so a million dollars of salaries can scurry
down the sidewalk in time for the last

Monday, August 18, 2014

those who do

raise a toast to those who do,
the ones who make a plan, send out notices,
risk themselves by being definite,
assign values to previously unknown parameters,
set due dates and assign tasks, they
are the ones who get shot from the
sidelines by snipers hidden behind
dark glasses, the ones who wear black
and clamor in a crowd of complaints.
I'd rather follow a half baked plan
than none when one is desperately
needed, at least it's progress, we'll
figure it out along the way.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

contemplating shadows

what lies behind a shadow, between
the grey and the cement floor, a shimmering
of ideas in the unconscious slender
enough to hide between shadow and
concrete, only the third eye can detect
it once circled counter-clockwise, followed
by clockwise, then a moment of silence.
the shadow is not even uniform, bulging
slightly where something slightly larger
is hidden, so large as to cause her to
raise her hand to her face in astonishment,

Saturday, August 16, 2014


walking amongst blackened bushes and trees
tawny hillsides, the crunch of gravel,
we hear silence between each footstep, our 
voices rise and fall like our lives, the triumphs
and the depressions, the rainbows and hailstorms
that we watch pass by from the safety of our front
porches, reminded how quickly such storms pass
and how little faith we have in the midst of it.
patience, as the fire burns down slowly and the 
trunks still stand, yes, blackened, but in time, 
so much green comes forth, standing out from
the tawny hillsides that stretch into the distance.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


noticing how she needs to spill the words out,
the tension in their words, the air is taut,
the stars are brighter here but the dogs bark
aggressively from behind tall fences.
crickets rub their legs together and the
scent of blooms fills the air in spite of the
arid landscape and dry sidewalks, the haze
of brown hillsides hangs in the air like
unspoken words waiting to be heard.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Poems about Packing

how many poems about packing,
the inefficiencies, the lack of planning,
the list, the looking for, the finding,
the distractions, how long it takes,
the decisions about how to, where to,
when to, which to, did I even book the
right day and date, the time, the broken
suitcase, the lost shoe, the wrong shoes,
the right outfit, a nice necklace, at least
those are true.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Singing at 88

Still singing a few tunes,
strumming a few strings,
smiling a few smiles,
slightly slouched in a chair.
Singing at 88, he surprises us
with his spirt even though he's
sick at times, we know, we sink
into our chairs, inspired by
such tenacity, strengthened
by his sheer spunk.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Missing Sunday

Sunday went by without a written word,
five glasses of wine and shitake mushrooms
were gratefully consumed in a French restaurant,
a good friend sat across from us
many spoken words, laughter and smiles
filled the mostly empty restaurant.
Sunday would have felt incomplete if it
had not been filled with such friendship,
sometimes energy for the written word
is overtaken by the need for friendship
and conversation.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Writing on a Saturday night

I don't write Saturday nights
except when Friday has slipped away
without a word, without a backward glance,
no witness to its existence except that
Saturday arrived with the sunrise, so
Friday must have existed.
I remember it now, yesterday, a long
embrace for a friend, awestruck moments
in a movie theatre that James Brown
survived his upbringing and became
a star, awe inspiring for those who suffer.
I remember Friday, I was at work pondering
how I get these projects with no answers,
and how they haunt me at night
sometimes, even causing Friday nights
to slip away unspoken, words only
arising on Saturdays when I never
write except tonight.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

the vacuum of space

in space there's a reason sound does not travel,
there are no echoes, no replies, we understand this
silence, there is no reason for silence here amongst
the gunfire and bombs, where are the voices
speaking up, stepping up, separating from the
empty voices that come out of small handheld
devices that do nothing but sedate the minds,
do nothing to soothe the planet or beautify
our land, where are those voices that reply
yes, we can make sounds here, let's hear them.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

time slips away

ten working days until France
and a few more until a wedding,
we are up late tonight planning
and booking, looking around our tiny
house and wondering how few can
fit, how much furniture can be moved,
how little time there is to figure all
this out as the clock ticks and my
flute lies unplayed in the case, a
poem waits to be written, words
need to be assembled in time,
how little time.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

sleeping in the car in the parking lot

it's hot in the car
the windows have been closed all day
with the sun beating down, the steering wheel is
hot to the touch, I'm not going anywhere,
pulling the level to the left of the seat
and it reclines like my spent body and mind
into a restless slumber, shutdown like
the blue computer screen that appears suddenly
regardless of your intentions, regardless of what
you were doing moments ago, shutdown.
we will awaken in a few moments, tens
of minutes, an hour or more when our eyes
will flicker open, the screen will reappear,
our minds will work, it's hot in the car,
too hot to sleep.

Monday, August 4, 2014

crossing the yellow line

on the road home
I wonder if I will dare cross the yellow line,
the dotted yellow allows it if it's safe, but
I feel vulnerable crossing over wondering
if a truck will appear out of nowhere,
suddenly my life would flash in front of my eyes
and I'd wonder if I had spent it well
or wasted it, always afraid to cross the 
yellow line and explore the unknown.
I wonder that often these days, looking
over to the other side of the road, between
the cars and trucks approaching me
at high speeds, I catch glimpses of
green on the other side but can't tell
if it's the same color as on this side,
I wonder if I should pull off the 
road and cross over for a closer

Sunday, August 3, 2014


live wild
like the flowers that follow the sun,
sprouting from fertile soil, they don't worry,
only living for today, sharing their beauty with whoever
might happen by, those who happen to actually stop
and savor them, let those who do not
realize one day how much they have
missed and regret their loss,

photo from

Friday, August 1, 2014

the new american in the nepali restaurant

maybe he wasn't american yet, newly off an airplane
from nepal, his carefully formed letters as he copied
the menu items onto the order form, squinting and
stuttering, so uncertain.
a taciturn woman scurried by to usher in more clientele,
scolding the young man to clear the tables and
get water, where is the silverware and he apologized
for not getting the beer, leaving them finally on
our table without an opener.
how difficult to arrive and be at work, only
able to copy each letter carefully from the menu,
we never did get our naan.