Monday, October 31, 2016

Adults in Halloween Costumes

Cover a balding head with a
purple and yellow pom-pom from her high school days.
white and black paint to cover a few shaving cuts,
whatever happened to his lovely beard,
she is lovely, with or without her mask,
her black cloak dating from high school.
his black cloak from middle school,
old costumes never go away,
I'm wearing my apron and cooking pumpkin seeds,
the kids are busy trick or treating
in other neighborhoods.
If there are to be costumes, we must don
them ourselves.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I have the easy life

I know I have the easy life.
the sun shines in my window most every day and
as I bike to work, my lunch settled into the bottom of the
bag a dear friend provided for me, leaves crunching under my tires,
I know I'm lucky, I have an easy life.
I'm eating fresh cherry pie from a lovely neighbor,
my jeans fit just right and
I got new shower curtains for the downstairs bath.
my bed is soft,
I get hugs when I want them
I just got back from visiting a dear friend.
I have such an easy life, there is no hardship,
my children are healthy and independent,
the dog doesn't bark when we're away.
the only thing I would change is Bella's habit
for rolling in stinky things.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Arriving in Minneapolis

The flight attendant goaded us to laugh at his terrible jokes
The only thing that would be free on this flight
I knew this, but still didn't laugh
I stretched out across three seats and drank my
$7 red wine, adequate for the task.
We flew in low over Minneapolis, lights
Dancing over the runway, the pilot executed
A perfect landing.
My friend arrived at door #2 as soon as I texted her
Fifteen years ago we hugged good-bye
It was good to hug hello.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

seeds like fish

I swam in a school of fish like this,
my body whirling as one of them in warm waters.
I stirred the seeds in a white bowl and 
they swarmed like fish in an ocean
following unseen currents, head to tail
the outer ones flashing their wide backs,
the inner ones swimming sideways
crammed against one another, finally
diving deep below before rising up
at the very edges only to circle
inwards once again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Disappearing Images

the image disappeared in front of my eyes
one moment, a swirl of black on white
connecting curvatures of beauty
as water is wont to do, each molecule rose
from the surface into the air I breathe
leaving white below
until finally, the design had disappeared into
thin air.

(this image is from the little Budha board I have at paint on it with water and watch it disappear.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

golden grasses

the golden grasses,
they are ready to rest, to lay down on 
one another, to let the snow fall over them,
a comforter of white.
the path will still be broken in the winter
by the thousands of feet walking 
walking, running, hiking, most talking
of nonsense, the same nonsense I hear
in my own head, the words that deny
the overwhelming beauty of this natural 
world, the one to pay attention to,
to stop talking, to listen, to see,
to sing.

Monday, October 24, 2016


Sometimes it's money.
When I walk inside the drab building
When I walk inside my windowless office
And the sun is shining outside, or it's raining
Or snowing, but it's ....outside
Where I want to be.
I can convince myself this where I need to be
If I imagine the whirring sound of an ATM
Except it's my computer and every few minutes,
A crisp bill comes out and drops into my purse.
Payment for borrowing my brain for a bit
And I think of what I can do with that money,
A trip to Mexico in March,
An electric bike,
Savings for sunny days when I don't have to go
Into a windowless office in a drab building.
Adventures, visits to friends and family,
Food on the table, flute lessons
And French, and it feels better somehow
To be in that office.
Just keep that cash machine

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mille Bornes, deuxième fois

I lost again
In spite of having a smart partner
Sitting across from me, her cards
Held close to her chest.
I had hoped for better, had hoped to
Hammer the two white males on the opposite
Side of the table, so to speak.
We lost but we laughed along the way
And on on the ride home, when I said it was all
About luck, he told me that every card game takes
 Skill, and I don't have it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

this is the outcome

this is the outcome of first setting eyes on the Rocky Mountains,
of gazing back through the rear window of our 1968 Packard
while heading home, east to Chicago.
I never called it home except in name alone
333 South Highland Avenue, a place of mostly unhappiness,
a shell to hold books to keep me entertained, to live in another world.
and this poem, written a day later than planned, is the outcome of
the squirrely nature of internet connections on the second floor
of this old house,
this old house that is home in all ways,
where a poem starts to write itself and gets paused
for no real reason except for the above stated vagaries.
and so life traveling across the plains in a Packard wagon,
throwing up out the back window since I always got stuck
back there and so car sick,
I ended up here in the beautiful Rocky Mountains
where I belong.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

eating cookies while watching

we could eat chocolate chip cookies while
watching the Trump-Clinton debate
but I couldn't walk the dog without falling off the curb.
I  admit that before checking my injuries I
checked to make sure no one saw me.
yes, my hand and my hip hurt
and all the cookies are eaten so there is
nothing to ease the pain and embarrassment.
speaking of embarrassment, does that man have
no shame, making faces and spewing lies,
not even signing up to accept the election results,
maybe he has fallen off too many curbs.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I'll keep him

I'll keep him,
he has a generous smile
and ambles along amiably with whatever
or whoever comes his way.
he makes a mean margarita and knows
how to grill like every man should.
he hugs me at night and tells me I'm beautiful,
even when he says I think too much,
he says it nicely.
I've kept him longer than any other
and it's not just that I'm too tired to go for
number four.
He's the best mate for me.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Watching capoeira

bodies dancing at a distance
a side kick sails over the other's head
as he bows, then springs forth with a full
frontal kick as the other side steps
as they have for centuries,
practicing for battle,
never touching the ones
they love.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Selling used books and clothes

Is it worth it
to trot out your old things
to bring to a second hand store,
the ones that can still be worn, that should be
worn, that still call to be loved
by someone else -
how about those books that still look new
that should be read by someone else,
not left to rot in a damp dumpster to be
churned into a new roll of toilet paper,
these things seem too precious to throw away.
that goes against my grain.
regardless of The Magic Art of Throwing Out,
the book I read and want to sell back
because it's not really my way.
I guess it's worth trotting out my old
to find a new home, and to buy their old
as it needs a new home.
I am happy to provide it.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Mille Bornes

J’étais la directrice,
reining in the slightly tipsy joueurs,
directing them to play their hand, no
not that one, tu as une carte "crevée"!
jette une carte, et prends une autre.
Ok, toi, c'est ton tour.
And so, it went, me directing every player
to take their turn and, surtout a Michele
de ne pas tricher!
Oui, il nous manquait 10 cartes sur 112,
mais pour notre niveau, ça ne fait rien.
Joan a insiste a suivre les règles, mais
je l'ai ignore.
Ce sont mes cartes de jeu, quand même,
celles que j'ai joue comme enfant,
comme mère des jeunes enfants.
Je sais bien les règles, celles que
je choisis.

Thursday, October 13, 2016


I said she looked young for her age,  I noted
         the smooth jawline, firm skin, a nice smile.
she said she worked for the post office delivering mail
         for many years
she must have worn sunscreen religiously and a hat.
we said the young couple across the table were
          good together, that they would go the distance.
he said he was on a plane all the time for his job
          but it was only 45 minutes to the airport at 4 am.
          we ate good food and drank wine and cocktails,
         I asked how long they had been married and
he said 42 years
          that's a long time
               I hadn't even gotten married the first time.
          they seem like super nice people
We said that we'd look forward to seeing them
          again soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

the very tiny neighborhood meeting

the outgoing officers were there,
seated at the big table.
the remaining three of us were scattered about,
trying to look invisible, to dodge being elected
for tasks for the next year.
two of us were prepared, we knew we
would have to dive in again,
head first, headstrong, ideas,
do, ask forgiveness later.
neighbors are like family, you can
never get rid of them so you try your
best to get along, sometimes it's harder
than other times.
I try to stay focused on getting something done
regardless, and if they want to come along,
that would make it easier.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Si jamais

Si jamais,
no one from the group responds within 24 hours,
I'll read my own book with my favorite cup of tea. Or
I'll call a friend who actually shows up
even if it's just for a bit, or to play some cards.
the others will miss the laughter when she
puts her "Crevée" card on my 200
and we'll even share a bottle of champagne.
Si jamais, someone from the group responds
at the 11th hour, we'll invite her, too,
but she will have missed the first hand
the most important one.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Life is Elsewhere

I reached across the shelf for a book of poetry.
Milan Kundera pointed out that Life is Elsewhere,
not in a poem, or in this room, not in this city
or this mind,
yet elsewhere.
I seek it, this elsewhere
even far from the beautiful mountains,
the bike path and this room filled with radiant
sun bouncing off yellow walls late in the afternoon.
life is so short and he says
it's elsewhere,
with a new preface,
the cover illustration of a dog in a suit
looking across a forest of a woman's 
torso and breasts, her chin tilted towards 
the sky.
maybe she is looking elsewhere.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

up with the sun

tawny grasses contrast with the
pine forests behind us
it's early yet 
and quiet
the shadows are still long
the buttons on my sweater are 
opening now to the heat of the sun
when I wake in the dark
I have to remember this beauty
to rouse myself
the dog is waiting at the door
as I pull on my clothes
and grab the car keys.
when I feel the cold morning
on my face on the other side of the door, 
I remember how this wakes 
me up to beauty.

Friday, October 7, 2016

what is boredom

what is boredom but
a lack of imagination
not bothering to get out of bed
to explore the world,
not bothering to stay in bed while
imagining new worlds of ideas,
composing poems in your head,
concertos or feeling the muscles in your
toes move as you stretch them.
what is boredom but a certain laziness,
why not come up with 10 new ideas,
I did that one day.
the choice is yours, my friend.
push past boredom or at least
find it interesting!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Straightening up

it's time to be a grown-up.
no need to keep buying bags of spices from 
organic hippy shops to save ten cents,
for them to gather dust in a handwoven basket
for the next ten years.
let the herbs drift into the compost bin
and the plastic bags melt into new
picnic tables for the next generation.
in the morning, I want to see a clean kitchen
counter and a clear space for my breakfast,
a place to put my tea cup and the morning news.
it's time to grow up and 
move past clutter and disarray, to put away
my clothes and rake the yard.
No one is making me do it anymore so
there is no one to fight against,
I just like it more this way.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Looking for a prompt and finding one

I watched the movie Young Frankenstein at the theatre tonight.
Before the show, there was a screening of Mel Brooks at a theatre somewhere,
slowly climbing three stairs to a large stage.
His tie was garish and crooked, and his face was gutted by age.
a few of his old cronies were in the audience, the rest are dead now.
he will be, too, probably soon.
the film was funny but I kept thinking of the conveyor belt of life,
like the toasters at restaurants where the bread goes in soft and white
on the left, travels through a heat zone and drops out the other side brown
and crunchy.  Sometimes it falls in the trash.  Mostly it gets eaten, nutrition
for another life.
I think about these things alot
I see the youngster in every old face, a jump and a hop in each
leaden step, the bright eyes behind every cataract.
I wonder if everyone goes through this phase of looking
at death, not imminent, but creeping up every minute, hour and day.
the years go by and Mel Brooks and Gene Hackman are very old.
President Obama entered office with black hair and is now grey.
I enjoyed the movie and I laughed.
It was a good movie.


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Nusil CV-2946

Confirmation of the perfect process,
Nusil buttered into the slot of a 3D printed template, 
leveled with a steel ruler and with the template lifted off,
the exact right thickness of a perfectly formed
rectangle of Nusil CV-2946, expertly
handled with white gloves,
all this in preparation for bonding two surfaces
bound for GEO.
and yet, remember that this all started with 
peanut butter smeared into a template cut out
from old business cards at my desk
 in a windowless office
in a non-descript office building.
This is likely not the NASA way.
It is my way.

Monday, October 3, 2016


two pink sneakers
four paws
we hit the pavement at dawn,
winding our way through the  neighborhood,
past the Garden, 
skipping across Arapahoe 
headlights are few and far between.
across the bridge into a small forest
the air is cool 
leaves crisp under our feet
it's fall and clouds explode in pinks
and yellows, orange and blue.
Suspend this moment
in time!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

cracks in the rock

just as water turns to ice
and back again, the relentlessness
a fissure forms in solid rock
just as one tooth grinds against the other
the smallest crack opens up
a cavity, tiny opening where
it festers
this hurt in my heart
that no dentist can fix
no steady snow fall will fill
it aches
a bit more with every chafe
and innocent comment
not meant to force open the
tiny cracks, not meant to chill
my bones like cold air on a broken tooth.
no one knows but you
but how long can it stay this