Monday, February 29, 2016

babies to grown-ups

when i arrive in my office
i see my babies, gone on to grown-ups
chubby cheeks to taller
than me, by a long shot.
i was in a crimson gown with my son,
she towers over me in her crimson gown
he towers over me in blue and black.
i have become so small.
it makes me happy to have become so small
they must tower over me and reach for the stars
the ones i never dared to touch. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Chocolate makes it all better

and when the chips are down
the semisweet, the milk chocolate and the
bittersweet almonds dusted in powder,
eat them all, chase them with a hot Ovaltine
or a cold glass of Quik
remember when we watched the ski racers
in the Jura 
my whole body was shaking in the cold,
we ate roasted chestnuts and drank 
hot Ovaltine
to keep warm
tomorrow I will eat chocolate truffles at work
and chocolate chip cookies
and drink cacao from the jungles
of West Africa.
I will feel exotic.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

let's call it friday

let's call it friday
since yesterday was a darkish smear
between dawn and dusk, night fell quickly
and it's best forgotten
but not forgiven
(if such a thing exists
is it not usually the opposite)
tomorrow will be saturday
the start of a weekend, full of

Thursday, February 25, 2016

sounds of sadness

sixty hertz the human heart beat
when calm
eighty hertz stressed and sad
convolved with a forty hertz shiraz
and a ninety hertz champagne
twin sisters at 150
a brother at 30
a sister-in-law at 45.
the coupled Fourier transform irregular
and unstable
it's sadness when the world is topsy turvy
with so much uncertainty and my heart
is heavy and optimistic at once
what frequency is that

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

the happiness project and life's disappointments

the two cheery voices on the podcast advised
to ask yourself what would happen if you ignored it.
sometimes trying is not good enough
regardless of the white picket fences separating
happiness from sadness,
I can end up on the wrong side of it
looking for the gate,
feeling slightly guilty at succumbing
to sadness
and another voice reminds me that above the
clouds is an eternal blue sky
but sometimes I need to get drenched in
the pouring rain
and only then can I come out into the sun.

Monday, February 22, 2016


life can be lived in increments,
of ten minutes, or thirty, or five
or twenty.
I can sleep for eight hours.
I slog through work in 35 minute increments
in the morning, when I'm fresh,
with much anticipated 5 minute breaks,
the alarm sounds like a car horn,
shocking me into submission
to the clock.
ten minutes of French,
thirty minutes of flute,
fifteen minutes collecting fallen leaves
he says I shake if I don't get to it
but that's a lie,
only if I don't write a poem,
in less than 5 minutes.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A girl, her flute and her dog

a girl, her flute and her dog
in front of the fireplace
in a cabin in the mountains
after a long day of skiing,
is this why she is smiling,
her hand warm against the fur,
her back warm against the fire,
looking at her husband who she loves
and who loves her
she has finished practicing and
a glass of wine is waiting for her,
some dark chocolate with roasted almonds
and a warm bed
this girl, her flute and her dog
are happy
(although the dog does look serious)
soon the day will be done,
the Moon has already risen
there are stars high in the sky
all is beautiful.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

the wind

the wind is ringing chimes
and bending branches,
the swing is banging against the house.
we need to take it down for the night
so we can sleep
the sound of the wind drowns out traffic,
the usual chatter of passersby is quieted
they stay inside
their voices would not carry far enough
to their friends for them to hear
outside in this wind
chinook wind,
you bring us warmth
we hear you whistle in the

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

another phrase from a Billy Collins poem

"I saw them near dawn"
he was talking about the crew team out on the river,
I see the crows near dawn, perched high above me,
their black shiny heads bobbing up and
  down, they caw racously at one another
then fly away in black clouds
I walk next to a river, a small one late in winter, I see
the same red sleeping bag near the bank,
crumpled and dirty.
there is no one huddled inside
the bushes and trees are naked
but I can feel them waking up,
I hear the rush of their blood.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

a line from a Billy Collins poem

"you have fled through a crease in the air"

one moment, I admire your regal French nose and your slim fitting jeans,
the next you are gone, and my frantic search yields no sign of you,
only the sounds of dogs barking and animated conversation from
the nearby cafe
you have fled through a crease in the air into some other
universe where there is an Other, not me and I know
I will never feel the sharp pressure of your nose against my
soft cheek or watch your muscles flex under your jeans.
your French nothings will not grace my ears,
you spend long languid afternoons with

Monday, February 15, 2016


the music passed in front of my eyes
my fingers moved effortlessly
so many hours struggling and walking away,
returning to the stand, picking up the instrument
and trying again
so many years

but I still went back every night
late at night, on weekends, instead of watching
TV or surfing the net
somehow this mastery thing was in me

and so tonight
I celebrated the fingers which flew over the
notes so effortlessly, I remember well
how I struggled.

I will struggle again
succeeding in tiny steps
each one will make me happy.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

the fog

black ravens cross the grey
their wings filling the air 
i breathe in fog.
what colorado is this grey fog
on a saturday morning in february
its beautiful and so rare
the cold dampness seeks my warmth
i move on

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Millennials

they roll up their sleeves, grab the shovels,
the pick and hammer, the wheelbarrows full
of gravel and sand and get to work.
my bechtel cherry tree has been planted in the front;
my flowering serviceberry in the side yard,
I roll up my sleeves and grab the rake and compost bin,
my pruners and scissors and start cutting back the 
dead flowers and branches
hard work is contagious and
we felt good, the land was more beautiful,
the Millennials, they will roll up their sleeves
and work the land, the politic, heal the earth and 
each other, they will raise beautiful children
and it will feel good.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The debate

will she be the next one,
in her Mandarin yellow jacket, her sensible shoes,
she knows her stuff,
she knows the players
but is her miscibility a liability,
or will it be him,
he looks so old and so far out of the club
that I wonder if he can get anything done,
the wolves will eat him whole
and ultimately, who will beat the man
with the toupee?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Yogurt Overload

two gallons of milk
six jars of yogurt
and a half, half eaten

there is another mouth to feed
along with hers

and mine
and his

i'll hand over 2 jars at once, 
not one
we'll eat the other four and

she will pass over a loaf of fresh-baked
bread, natural sourdough

he will merely smile 
that will be enough

for now.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

a poem lost in the port

the poem fell in the port
after I popped the bottle,
the prose, too
what a peculiar past time!
and so,
there was no poem with the picture,
nor a perfect postulate,
only a peculiar photograph
posted after I poured,
and promptly forgot
my preoccupation with
damn port!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sunday, February 7, 2016


i remember
when each second we were apart was misery
only he mattered
he and me

the rest of the world fell away

i remember others' envy
how my girlfriends didn't matter
only he mattered
me and he

they can tell we are talking
my voice lilting in a way only a lover's voice

you know what i mean

now i crawl into bed in my flannels
we snore and get up during the night
we seek time alone,
and spend time with our friends
we're happy

but i admit

that when i hear her laughing
that special laugh when she is talking
with him and she can hardly wait the

next 2335 seconds until he arrives

i feel a tug of nostalgia for that


Friday, February 5, 2016


considering that I spent the last two hours
speaking in a foreign tongue with a limited supply of wine,
that I had to suppress my annoyance in a meeting at work
with a fussy and uncommunicative colleague
and that my bike slipped on the icy intersections of
sidewalk and street,  I deserve to eat several cups of
caramel popcorn tonight
in spite of having gained weight
in spite of my pants being too tight
it's from the oral steroids I need to keep
my hair from all falling out
if I must be bald, let my tummy be filled
with popcorn, let my glass be full.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

I never noticed it was blue

i never noticed it was blue
having walked by it one thousand times
or more.
behind the window there stands a person
holding a book, musing over it, she looks out the 
window at me without me knowing
what she is reading or if it makes her happy
or sad, if it reminds her of a lost love
or a found one, a broken promise or
one fulfilled
i only know the chill of the winter air on my cheek
the brisk walk to meet a loved one at a restaurant
where we will drink hot toddies and talk science
perhaps we should talk of books and politics,
love, bigotry and ignorance, sensuality and 
the universe, 
the world of experience is vast
how do we begin and
how do we end

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Baking pans and washcloths

the kitchen reappears in the lab,
Stephen's baking pans,
Jenny's wash cloths.

the garden appears in the lab,
germination mats and a humidifier,

as do the extension cords and timers.

we wrapped some wire shelving
with plastic, placed them all inside
and created the perfect humidity chamber
for my experiments

ignore the text from Stephen asking where
his baking pans are,
ignore the cold seeds and the dry rooms at home,
ignore the Christmas lights and their timer.

let science begin. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

the morning walk

my FitBit vibrates at 06h30
it's still dark, and cold, but I slide out from the covers
like a mouse, careful not to disturb the sleeping cat
and creep upstairs.
i hear Bella snoring gently on the couch.
she stirs to the sound of a plastic bag with treats inside
and we head out into beauty
icicles hanging from power lines and trees
frosted in white, i trudge through a foot of fresh snow,
she pounces and prances, she raises her head
to show off a snout dusted with snow
this is why i wake up when it is still dark
and the streets are quiet
to see cold beauty

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gettng rid of that moldy smell

the washcloths smelled of mold
like his towels sometimes
what is it about men's towels

he claimed that one could never
remove the moldy smell
my reputation was on the line

I could shatter his beliefs with a
single scoop of 20 mule team borax
sprinkled onto the moldy pile

and now, i'll mix Borax and washing
soda and castile soap, the big plastic jugs
of detergent can sit on the shelves