Sunday, July 31, 2016

let's go this way

let's go this way
the slow way
the way where cars stop to admire
nature, an elk, a wildflower, 
the view.
oh, the view this way is so much
better when we get out of our 
metal box and breathe in the 
mountain air,
where time stops and clouds
hover above us, spitting cold rain
to wake us up to this world,
this most precious world.
let's go this way,
let's miss the traffic on the
highway, let's wind up in the
mountains, let's be thankful we
came this way,
not that way.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

in response to Steve's generous comment

I'm not
sure they're getting better.
I still see red down in their throats and
they still cough up phlegm and
sound raspy and hoarse.
these poems are never smooth like the
ones you read in fancy magazines, with
their flights to places unknown but
you know you're supposed to find them
sophisticated and just really good.
I don't read them.
Even if I don't know if these
are getting any better, they lie in their mud
unapologetically and call out what they view
as the truth as experienced by
this particular writer,
with no apologies,
no audiences,
just the hum of a fan
on a hot summer night.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


he was just kidding when  he emailed
that I surprised him with my negativity,
so like my daughter who equates
realism with negativity.
I call it the way I see it is all.
time is too short to pretend that
it's alright when it's not
no one wants to write it down
because it's a commitment.
I might go back to Utica after all,
flying all day to wrestle with vacuum
systems and eat breakfast in cardboard
I can relax on the plane.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

out in the forest on our morning walk

he was out strolling as were we
on this lovely summer morning, 
stopping for a moment
to graze on succulent grasses,
then moving on
so gracefully
I watched, rapt, at the shimmer of
his muscles, the elegant rack of antlers,
straining to hear him move
hearing nothing
while Bella wandered nearby,
her nose deep in exploration,
the endless search for the dead or
dying, as if she had no eyes
to see.

Monday, July 25, 2016

dull knives

all her knives were dull so
she brought them to my house to be sharpened
this is what daughters do.
we teach them to prepare pie dough
using miniature rolling pins,
to carefully crack an egg into a
mixing bowl.
her knives were dull so she came home
to drink a glass of wine with me and eat
what I had cooked for her
(my beloved daughter)
served in a chipped bowl filled
with memories of brownies and
chocolate chip cookies.
she will treasure this bowl
 when I am

Sunday, July 24, 2016

the power of not listening

the tone of voice
told the truth even if the words did not
he wasn't listening
she was not hearing the cry,
the anguish, the joy,
he was not hearing the frustration,
the loneliness
their minds were elsewhere
even as their hearts beat in their chest
he carried a gun with a silencer in his heart
to deaden his words
and she, a dagger in her pocket
to sharpen her voice
and this
this is the power of not
listening, a dagger in his heart
a gun in her pocket.

Friday, July 22, 2016

no no no no no no no no.....

please not again
marine le pen
donald trump
the Austrians
almost a Nationalist Government
open carry
in 45/50 states
we shoot each other in hatred and fury
blacks are stopped by the police
often enough to lose count
young black boys have to be 
taught how to present themselves
we find love for each other in the 
aftermath of violence,
why not before?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

drinking beer with the kids

we didn't use to be kids
we were grown-ups with big ideas,
we didn't even see the pudgy older people
with white hair and wrinkled skin sitting next to us.
they were out of touch, broken and ugly.
perhaps more slender and slightly less ugly,
but with wrinkles and sun spots, I sat next
to the kids and listened in,
not intentionally.
the big ideas flowed easily mixed in
with talk of girls and trips and
they're the kids now
they don't even notice me sitting there
I'm old now and I know this
the kids will never see the grown-ups
but we will see them and we will

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Republicans

paul ryan and his republicans
notice the few women in front,
the token females
in a backdrop of white men in their
clean suits and white shirts.
the 0.1% are so happy in their white club
the lies pour smoothly from their lips
about their concern for the non-white,
the poor, the elderly, the troubled,
as long as they don't interfere with
their tax breaks and gated communities,
private clubs and second homes.
let the poor, the brown, the black, the
white who care, rise up against them.
only then will their smug bleached smiles
fade from their faces.

some day over the rainbow

some day over the rainbow
there would be peace
talk of peace instead of that of fear and war
in Cleveland,
                right now
there's a man called Trump and all his supporters
hardly peacemakers 
the naysayers are shouted down

some day a black man will walk out his door
without fear of being pulled over,
an Afghan girl will go to school
sacred sites will stand for centuries

there's a reason rainbows are so fleeting,
to remind of us what could be,
leaving us a shadow of hope.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Nice Minneapolis San Bernardino Dallas Baton Rouge Miami Paris how many more

how many tears
should be shed
how many for each body lying dead
on the roadway
in the bar, inside a car,
outside a convenience store
how many bullets in this country
scream across space to find a warm body
soon to be cold
how many bullet holes in vests,
truck windows,
the glint of open carry weapons
blinds our children,
destroys our humanity. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

floating pie

floating pie with butter pats
missing wings 
she reaches for the sky in her
new flip flops but her toes are too far below,
she is too short to grab the pie
still unbaked,
the oven broiling the kitchen
in summer heat, she's sweating
and reaching and hoping for
sweetness and butter and berries.

Friday, July 15, 2016

getting serious

no kidding around anymore
no scribbled notes on lined paper
this is serious business
this is an exercise book for flute,
not just any book, but books 1-6.
i never did books 1-5.
much to learn
always much to learn about why
I hear the clatter of forks and knives
across the street as our neighbor we cared for
over her years of misery spends time with
our friends, yes, we who cared
for her during her darkest years
are not welcome.
thank goodness for the purity of flute,
the pure sound of song, 
for this, I am grateful.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Passed out

passed out in the vet's office
her leash still attached, she's not going anywhere
until she can at least walk out on her own 
four paws.
so stoic with a foxtail stuck deep in her ear
no wonder she wouldn't even move her eyes
to look at me
sedation and a long tweezer to pull it out.
now everytime she scratches her ears or
shakes her head, we will worry about foxtails,
we will dream of foxtails
tenacious sticky foxtails
and the poor animals to whom
they stick.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

the neighborhood meeting

they all brought a lawn chair
the Secretary balances her laptop on her knees
the police are there with their report
the President scrawls notes in impossibly small letters,
I think he works for the CIA,
he is so secretive and doesn't seem to get anything done
after endless officer meetings.
He smiles with a far off look in his eyes.
Joel is talking out of turn and is reprimanded by
the Secretary,
he slouches away with his dog, Roe.
I think she'd be a good playmate for Bella.
The D family complain about high school students
smoking at the curb, like they always do, knowing
there is no solution but it feels good to talk about it
and Stephen checks his phone for distraction.
Rachael and Mary are yawning, Don is getting ready
for attack mode on his favorite issues.
I admit I disappeared with the excuse to check on
Bella, who really does not need checking,
she's still passed out from her vet visit,
but I'd rather be with her.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

my brother the iPhone wizard and general renaissance man

among other things,
he cooks pork ribs all day until they melt in your mouth,
lillies, impatients, ripe tomatoes thrive in his garden,
I listen to the sound of the waterfall flow into
his pond filled with golden, white and black koi,
a drink in my hand, Camembert and baguette near by,
the table set with matching napkins and sparkling water.
don't forget he saves companies and bikes hundreds
of miles without breaking a sweat,
installs skylights and attic fans,
navigates Apps and even
stops floods in their tracks.
uncle, husband, brother, son and friend.
He even has a nice smile.
my brother is amazing.
I love him for all he is.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Seeing through the clouds

he has clouds in his eyes
and flying dust bunnies jump and drift
across his moving landscape
of voltage and current spikes,
an occasional lightning strike,
the crackle of sparks in the dark.
tomorrow the clouds will lift and
the horizon will be flat and smooth,
the world in complete focus,
as sharp as his mind.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


if only the world were a safer place
for such a beautiful smile, so open and warm,
eyes that shine out with intelligence and wit,
i know this about her even though i do not know her
innocence taken, the innocence of a late evening stroll
with two dogs out for their last sniff of the day,
their last pee on the bushes,
all those she left behind against her will,
the world should be a safer place
and in its absence, in her absence, the
world grieves.

Friday, July 8, 2016

a need for something new

something thrilling
that makes my teeth chatter with excitement,
a new passion that makes me get up in the morning
something new.
a new place, a talent still to be discovered,
a new friend, a new adventure, a vacation
with no end date, no schedule and no plans.
something unexpected,
a new recipe,
a different conversation
a different language
a different bed
a need for something new to
dazzle this otherwise fantastic life
so much to ask for
there for the taking

Thursday, July 7, 2016

nothing new

nothing new.
my drink ended up in my lap
and I hadn't finished the book.
I might lose all my pictures
while trying to save them, 
it was hot riding home but I learned
that Tony Blair admits making a mistake
but has no regrets so he can get together
with George W and have a drink
I hope they end up in their laps.
nothing new, really
just another beautiful day in Colorado
my tomatoes have green fruits and
the weeds are under control for today
i'll floss my teeth and call it a day
Bella will wake me bright and early,
better to get some rest.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Big Jack

he fills his chair,
leaning back into power pose,
his elbows point east and west
and his large gut stretches his shirt buttons
to the almost breaking point.
the soles of his shoes face me,
he wants me to know he's in charge.
i get it
but i'm faster than big Jack,
he can only move his cumbersome frame
with great effort and mind cannot
escape body.
he'll be struggling out of his chair
as i race down the track
way ahead, never looking

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Only Chocolate Milk will Do

on a hot day
only chocolate milk will do,
cold whole milk blended with
chocolate sauce and chocolate ice cream.
only chocolate milk with do,
the ice will froth over with frozen cream,
coating my upper lip with white delight.
on a hot day, only cold chocolate milk
will suffice, and maybe even

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hello Jupiter

on earth we watched
strontium and calcium,
barium and lithium explode into
blues and yellows, reds and greens
for Independence Day
I hear the band playing in the background,
while Juno spins through brilliant auroras
escaping their clutches just soon enough
to spin back out into space, only to return
again and again.
we will todder home drunken, full of
brats and beers,
Juno will spin silently
around her prey, bands of clouds racing
past one another, daring her
to look below their

Sunday, July 3, 2016

stumbling across the past

a family photo
a teenage girl with braces
beautiful even with her reluctant expression
that teenage girls wear
and the teenage son, as usual draping
himself over his mother
she has both her arms around him
probably to keep him from wiggling
too much for the photograph
she looks content holding her son,
her daugher's head resting on her shoulder
there is no mother who is not
content with a child on each
side of her, no matter
how hard her life.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Say Si Bon

Say si bon
allons-nous explorer
the yummy deliciousness sure to be 
say si bon
say it again, mon professeur de
francais, je sais bien que tu es d'accord
que si say si bon,
say assez bon pour nous.