Thursday, June 30, 2016

dog bites and bee stings

wasp nests
hanging by a thread
they congregate in old wooden garden boxes
quick on the attack
i wake at night from the  heat and swelling
i recover
only to overindulge in rough play
with a little black dog
we each grab for the stick and
she finds both the softness of human flesh
and the stick
she wins
i lose.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


bent over his new grill,
prodding a steak and turning vegetables
I watch, I supervise from a distance
sprawled out in my new lounge chair,
the one will a thick layer of pollen settled
into the crease.
well put together with matching socks,
a black long sleeve top and spectacular 
necklace, I watch my balding sweetheart
(don't tell him I noticed)
making my dinner.
it's good to be the supervisor
he got an A+

Monday, June 27, 2016

Traveling to Utica

if i soften and lean towards coming here
again, don't let me,
don't let me ride a bus, fly south to Charlotte
only to board another plane to
I begged for a rental car
and got one for a day
so I could wander through this god
forsaken town with shuttered store fronts
and sad looking double deckers
progress has left this town
and so don't let me come here again
i gave ten hours of my life to get here
way too many

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Where is a poem

Let me tell you  where a poem is

hidden behind your face
a shadow of sadness
under bright artificial light

behind that door
a melody of voices,
growls, sobs, singing, then silence

in the bees' nest outside my window
blanketed in winter cold

yielding to spring sunshine
wings, beating, shimmering
in the heat.

(I wrote this poem long ago and chanced upon it...)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Home alone

when I came home,
there was no wagging tail.
when I woke up from my slumber
there was no smile at the bottom of the stairs,
there was no smell of cooking or
the pop of a cork.
it's lonely with no one here but me.
I'm spoiled having a man to hug,
a dog to walk with me, a full refrigerator,
a daughter close by,
they are all away and Boulder
seems so empty.
I miss them being home alone,
I want them to come home.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Karen!

my beautiful and brilliant daughter, 
we'll celebrate over buttermilk chocolate cake
with bittersweet ganache icing.
she makes the icing, patiently whipping it
into chocolate deliciousness while I drink
to her health and long life.
what else can a mother do when there is
nothing left to be done, except to keep loving
her, and caving to all her requests.
it was a long day of shopping, cooking and
baking, every second worth it.
and now, for her birthday gift she holds a
sort of ugly, well, very ugly, sparkly 
Christmas decoration for new beginnings
begun long ago.
and, so this beautiful and brilliant daughter
is launching into new adventures; I hope
she will invite me along from time to 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

what's love got to do with it?

on a morning walk
we saw "Love", followed by five dogs
and two middle aged women,
like me.
what's Love got to do with 
walking a dog, two women engrossed 
in conversation, these words were sprayed
at midnight on a lonely log
looking for Love
it found Love
as did the women walking their five dogs
and I did, walking my dog as the
sun filtered through the trees,
the stream rushed along its banks,
and I knew that Love belonged
here, and

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

a pebble on the table

is that the pebble
that one, the granite one, seeming to cast
two shadows from a single sun,
that has already fallen over the mountains/
a shadow of a reflection, a diffuse
shadow cast by a diffuse lightening
in the east.
i would never have noticed in my 
rush until he stopped me, telling me
to watch a pebble
watch a shadow move across a table
as dusk fades to darkness, 
stay up to watch moonshadow 
in the night.

Monday, June 20, 2016

her own room

I have waited for her to have her own room,
her own bed, her own chair and dresser,
a stand for independence holding her music,
a print that she loves on her wall,
perhaps an elephant.
her clothes will be strewn across the floor
because she left them there, intentionally.
I have my own room, he seldom ventures
here, uninvited, even if I do love him.
my stand for independence holds sonatas
by Bach and tangos by Piazzolla.
I leave my clothes strewn on the floor
because I can.
there is an empty space on my wall where an
elephant used to stare at me with her 
wise eyes

Sunday, June 19, 2016

the shopping list

the names and page numbers of the recipes
are in the lower right corner
from the cookbook, Plenty.
cardamon, ginger, mint, nutmeg
lemons, chickpeas, 
butter, flour, eggs,
lots of chocolate.
somehow the Plenty reminds me of 
life, all these ingredients when put
together form so many flavors,
texures and smells, and when done
badly create dissonance and
on that night, under candlelight
the echo of laughter and lively conversation
we had Plenty, so much Plenty.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

a busy day cooking and baking

it's her birthday,
or close enough for our schedules to match up.
oh, this crazy world.
a cake, an appetizer and other yummies
for a simmering night
no dishes of hot lasagna and heavy red wine,
but cake is an essential
chocolate, bittersweet, buttermilk,
cream, butter and sugar and
a hot oven in a hot kitchen.
it's her birthday and
I'm doing it
to celebrate her 28 years,
well, not quite, and so her birthday
poem must wait for the right

Friday, June 17, 2016

when all is lost

fifty dead in Orlando,
one dead in Britain,
so many dead in Syria, Iraq, all of Africa,
all over the world, so much ugliness
in the press,
a broken democracy
sold out to the NRA
climate change, human trafficking.
hard problems, difficult decisions
and so when the strawberries from my
garden are on my breakfast table,
in the sunshine, so red, so sweet,
so local, grown with my own hands
and care, 
i wonder that we can't make the
world as sweet at these fruits.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

a day in the life

I swing my legs off the side of the bed
tentatively so as not to wake him
I idle upstairs over unopened mail
the black dog is waiting at the stairs
for us to go out; I see eyes open on the bed

we go out I stroll she sniffs we go home
and fill the bird feeder
and fill our tummies

atomic oxygen electrostatic discharge documents
and lunch out talking about new flute teachers
capacitance inductance and resistance
waveforms and flute teachers

I lift weights in oppressive heat
in a garage with a young man
named Kelly

and then my eyes close for awhile
and the weeds are waiting
waiting waiting for me to hack them
and burn them and spray them until
I drop to the ground and they are
still standing

in the early evening when the black dog
stares at me and I grab the leash
and we swish through tall grasses and
look for mice

forgetting to eat
my flute calling out
granola baking
its darkness now

its time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016


I don't really know how to swim
except to save my life, flailing about,
head barely above water
yet here I stand at the edge of the unknown,
so inviting in such heat, clear and blue
so scary, I don't like getting wet,
even showers do not appeal except to 
keep up with the requirement of civilized
I do not want to be called French
for a lack in this arena.
so here I stand, my toes tentatively 
close to the edge, my heart pounding 
in my chest, afraid but attracted to
this pool of blue unknown.
I ease myself in and swim across
the pool looking for answers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The clan

there is only one.
one boy biologically related to a single set of parents.
we are all.
in matching blue
the adopted, the orphaned, tall, short,
old and young.
one family
in matching blue.
we may laugh at how silly we look,
I do
but we, all in blue, 
biological strangers salute
big Papa.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Big Papa

there was no big speech,
perhaps only some apologies after having 
thought about this moment for the last year,
having no brilliant or deep thoughts to share with us,
perhaps only some brief annoyance at the daughter-in-law
interrupting to ask for hot coffee,
this is his day.
and so, surrounded by us all, his eyes
misty, us all in attendence,
we listened to his heart
in silence,
we had seen the smiles, the tenderness,
the love, the sadness and anguish
at seeing the end that we will all see one day,
I can understand this.
in spite, or because,
he invited us all to join him here in our 
matching blue T-shirts, 
we would only wear them all for him
in love and appreciation.

Friday, June 10, 2016

when the lights went out

and when the lights went out
the oven turned off, the room went dark.
we called to one another and the dog
barked as she chased an imaginary rabbit.
the cookies were already spooned onto the 
cookie sheet 
the heat of the oven, the darkness
so quiet.
and when the lights came on,
the cookies reappeared and the oven light
glowed orange, the lights hummed,
cyclists raced across the TV screen
and S called to me to come,
to come and see where we would
travel next year.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Cookies Chip Chocolate

I can't buy cookies in the store anymore
with their long list of ingredients
please, only butter, flour, salt, baking powder,
sugar and lots of chocolate.
vanilla if you have it.
still warm, they break apart revealing
molten chocolate, the warm butter
coats my fingers
all of it melts onto my tongue
alas, I must share them between Daniel,
Karen, Chris, Stephen and me
the ones I eat tonight will go unnoticed
in the count and division,
I will lick my fingers in secret.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

like a grown up

like grown-ups
they order cocktails and a cheese plate,
adjusting their chairs to turn a bit towards
each other at a fancy bar while
looking out at the street scene
as the sun sets and the moon rises.
like grown-ups they have a civil
conversation about adult topics
like travel, politics and work,
relationships, family and personal goals.
we're adults now
her and me
she used to be a small baby in my arms
but now
she's a grown-up.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

workin' hard at the City Clerk's office

never mind the line.
never mind public servants
looking the other way from the line,
intent on computer screens,
I count 7 agents, 3 serving customers,
a line.
never mind the line.
and when she finishes with one customer,
she turns to the woman with her finger on her lips
and they chat for a bit.
it's such hard work
and only when her mind is fully refreshed,
she turns her attention to me, to find out
where I bought my dress, she has such a hard
time finding three quarter sleeves.
never mind the time,
never mind my time.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Missing Sock

I found the place that has been 
holding my missing socks, the grey striped one
and the one with red roses, my hiking sock gone 
missing for years and the ones with polka dots,
all my fun socks.
they don't hold the ones with the holes, the ones
that smell bad, that is, most men's socks.
I'm not sure why they call themselves the 
missing SOCK, and not the missing sock(s) since
no one is only missing one that has been eaten
by the laundry or somehow disappeared
to places unknown.
I'm just glad they are to be found,
all these missing socks waiting so 
patiently for us to show up, if only we knew
that they were waiting on Chestnut Street in 
San Francisco.

Sunday, June 5, 2016


he's my son.
picking up the bill at the restaurant,
buying my sandwich at the beach,
getting my plane ticket.
this is what I like to see.
still so much the same as
when he was a boy,
impulsive, strong-headed, on the move,
physical, smart.
I made him take a selfie of us to
show the world, to remember, this wonderful
moment on Angel Island.
SF is his home now.
I was glad to be invited in
to see.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

while I work

while I work, they explode from the ground,
they creep over lattices and set their roots deep
into the soil.
they will always win, these weeds that
don't have a job, need a paycheck or have
to be anywhere at anytime.
they are on garden time all the time,
soaking up the sun, 
drinking up the water
and growing and growing
today I yank them from my flower beds,
the same flower beds as two weeks ago,
they just keep growing,
I am tired
it's all I can to do is to keep up the
good fight.