Wednesday, November 30, 2016

fighting fascism in my country

I'll never call him President.
Presidents don't tweet and bully,
lie and humiliate all who are not
white and male.
he is setting up the apparatus to destroy
my country, a country of immigrants, of freedom,
still one of hope.
I will fight, I will march, I will call,
I will speak against injustice,
I will send money,
Most of all, I promise myself that
I will not be silent.
I must not be silent.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sulfamethoxazole fatigue

bone crushing fatigue
gravity alone keeps a person from rising
in the morning
bones and muscles complain of being
too tired to move
the dog must be walked
the birdfeeder is empty
I have a job
and sleep evades me.
so unfair and yet it's worth it
as in sleeplessness I do not cough
nor do I snore or sneeze
I am not banished to the upstairs bed
where the sheets are cold and lonely.
I just lie quietly in bed
listening to his rhythmic
breathing, feeling the warmth
of his body.

Monday, November 28, 2016

no response

every time i go east
i call, i text, i email

he used to have a separate bedroom
for his parakeet, Zola.

he never replies
even though he is a writer
of very short prose
it would not be that hard to

email me, text me, write me, phone me
send a postcard of Fenway Field,

i know he loves that place.

our backdoors once opened onto the 
same stairwell.

one year he gave me an address book
with a woodblock print on the front.
i still have it
it still has his address in it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

the power of imagination

let's not be in the moment,
we swelter in the sun, our eyes peering through slits
towards shimmering mirages, our minds take us
to crystal-clear cenotes and Mayan ruins, the 
cool water flows over our bare skin.
let's not be here in the classroom, bored out of our minds,
when we can compose a symphony, conduct a 100
person orchestra.
we'll listen when there is something worth hearing.
where the human imagination can go,
let it go.
the cleaning of dirty dishes does not require the full mind.
I'd rather dream of walking through alpine meadows, 
imagining lying in the softest warmest bed with a good novel,
the dishes can mind their own selves,
they do not need my full attention.

Friday, November 25, 2016


one can go anywhere.
across the expanses of deserts, along a beach,
up mountains, endless roadways facing the wind.
I'll be there.
there are endless possibilities
with a rain coat, a wind jacket and a good helmet,
a friend, a brother, myself with the songs
of birds on the wire.
we'll go anywhere with our hat in hand,
bound to earth by the steady hum of tire on pavement,
a whir of a motor helping us along.
we could all use a hand.
buy an electric bike.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Learning to carve a turkey

thank goodness for YouTube videos,
for sharp knives,
It's Thanksgiving and thank goodness
for friends and family who brought
apple pies and pumpkin pie,
for mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce,
brussel sprouts and freshly baked bread.
thank goodness for our lives,
how privileged are our lives.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

in anticipation

in anticipation
of turkey, of friends and family,
of pumpkin and apple pies.
in anticipation of warmth and the smooth
feel of wine, of slippers on a cold floor,
of a dog that optimistically awaits left-overs.
in anticipation of thanksgiving,
or recognizing all we have to be thankful for,
of friends from far-away
met long ago,
those eating Italian food,
Russian and Vietnamese,
of sadness for those who have hunger
and pain, war and loss.
in anticipation
I await tomorrow,
a warm house welcoming
to all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

youth and old age

to be young
to know so much and so little
at the same moment.
we have heated arguments at dinner.
a quick immature mind does not yet
know wisdom.
oh, to be old, to use a walker,
to vaguely remember what was once
so sharp, at the tip of your tongue.
where we once pranced, we now roll
slowly, and will eventually roll to
a stop.
a passage to an unknown.
we traverse this landscape,
watching those behind us,
believing we truly remember what
we were like,
watching those ahead, and knowing
that we cannot know.
So, we watch.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Building community one glass of wine, one pancake, at a time

after the election
some will turn away from the ugliness,
cancelling newspaper subscriptions
erasing FaceBook accounts,
Twitter - into the trash.
close your eyes, cover your ears, see nothing
and hope this bad dream will go away.
it will not
We will raise a glass on a snowy winter evening
and open our front door to strangers
in a small hope that they will come.
We will offer warm pancakes on a spring morning
in the hope that strangers will eat.
We hope to learn their names and where they live.
We hope to paint a park bench together
in brilliant red with yellow suns.
We will try to remember what we value and
believe in spite.
In spite of this election,
we must go on.

showing up

you work hard
steadily, heading for mastery
always falling short of perfection
how human we are.
yet, you show up with a runny nose
and an unpleasant cough.
you put the flute to your lips,
drain the tension from head to toe
watching it flow away from you.
play with all your heart.

Friday, November 18, 2016

talking with someone who already knows

he needed an answer
he needed my expertise, my experience,
then he talked at me about
his point of view, his solution,
his analysis.
ill-informed, ignorant on the topic.
I waited and then asked what the
question really was,
not being clear at all.
he was paying me to listen,
red in the face, seeking an answer
from me, he finally paused
and stopped talking.
that was a good start.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cleaning the refrigerator.

the refrigerator was full but there was no food
except for a few hard-boiled eggs, some yogurt,
a salad spinner full of spring mix.
and the shelves were dirty.
I started looking for expiration dates
on the three jars of pickles,
I never eat pickles, or the jalapeno jam,
the leftovers in the back, the olives stuffed with
he says he likes them
not enough to eat them though
black bean sauce, fish sauce, red and green curry
the aspiration of cooking was hidden back there
maybe hidden behind the tahini sauce
doesn't that spoil,
or the miso or coconut oil that has
congealed in the back for the last year
I know it's healthy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

stop and join the rat race

I know this stop sign.
it used to be down the street but now
in this garbage strewn back alley,
it calls on us to stop and read the writing on the wall.
Join the rat race.
my dog looks for treats as I consider the commands,
ending up not sure if I'm already part of it, the rat race,
whether the stop sign supercedes the writing.
perhaps stop being in the rat race after having joined it?
bella didn't find any good food so we meandered
on home for breakfast.
I'll have to think on it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

being sick

temporarily out of commission
fuzzy brain, a hacking cough,
too sick to work, mathematical errors may result
in satellites exploding during launch,
a centimeter is not an inch
a foot is not a meter nor is a pascal a unit of length
these are such important things
whereas the hosts in westworld regain memories
i only forget all too quickly.
i will never forget the giddiness of electing our
first black president, nor the despair of others
having elected a demogogue
let him be permanently out of commission
for his years in office and let those with
intelligence and compassion run our
beloved country.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Drawing a blank

I need silence to think.
Redwoods, the explosion of wave against rock,
The ocean,  I mean the silence of solitude.
I need rest to recover
From fun, people, travel
Depleted, I need to sleep, to stop conversation,
I need a world of peace,
Of belief in equality and compassion,
Not what the leaders of this country are
Offering, I need solace
I need optimism,
I need silence.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

what have you heard

what have you heard these
last 1400 years, dear tree, I beg you to tell me.
what can you teach us in these troubled times
I can hear the wind whisper 
but cannot understand the words
your lowest branches tower so far above me.
your bark is dark and rough, 
you straddle the earth and sky, 
sugar from sunshine,
a network of fungus bringing nutrients to your roots,
you feed them in return.
this is your lesson.
we are all interdependent
we need each other.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

a rare gem

she's a rare gem
in a simple blue dress,
no need for heels.
clear skin,
no need for heavy makeup.
open smile that welcomes
innocence and intellect intermeshed
rare indeed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Choking up on the bus

she held strong in the face of defeat,
I didn't as tears rolled down my cheeks on
the airport bus.
calling us to hold strong to our beliefs and values
in the face of ugliness and hatred.
i can hardly hold myself, much less the
her voice hardly cracked and she smiled at times,
waved her classic Hillary wave.
I knew it was good-bye for now,
not knowing if she would get back in any
ring to fight again,
we know we must again
for now, let us grieve and rest.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Too depressed for words tonight

Can this be true?
that our country has chosen a misogynistic, racist, narcissist
for president?
how horribly shameful.

what a terrible blow
after four years with a graceful
Mr. Barack Obama.

O, I cry for our country.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Playing capoeira

I am a child
playing capoeira.
I am a child
watching capoeira, graceful
dance, the only
sound that of bare feet on floor,
the movement of air.
inverted body balanced
on one arm, flipping, tumbling
legs kicking, partner ducking,
then swinging round
to find air.
I am a child playing capoeira,
learning to crawl,
watching the others

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cutting rocks

glaciers cut through them, scouring through a millenia
deep down to where dinosaurs once roamed.
a present day archeologist sharpens her tools to
excavate fossilized bones from the rock strewn steppe
pushed from below.
look, the jackhammer has penetrated through
rock into an ancient kiva.
our progeny will pull up thick layer of plastic
pristine as the day they were manufactured.
we cut rocks called diamonds,
formed by the extreme pressures in the earth.
Rock, scissors, paper.
we cut rocks and paper,
we have learned to write.

Friday, November 4, 2016

how could I forget

how could I forget that on Thursday nights
I still want to write a poem
even if I'm tired,
that time with the husband is important,
that the tomatoes need to be picked before a frost.
I forget,
I forget correct grammar, even in English,
much less in French.
I forget my childrens' birthdays and
what combination of layers do  I need.
A sweater and a jacket for 40F,
or just a warm sweater
I remember that I'll be jogging.
How could I forget to respond to my friend,
Scratchy, but I did and just remembered now.
Hello, Scratchy!
how could I forget?
I'm not sure, but
I did
I do.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

best friends

after he took off his tux
after he accepted yet another award,
he put on his jeans and old sweatshirt and
we had dinner, the three of us.
he has three pairs of glasses now,
one to examine small features in his laboratory,
one for the computer
and one for looking at faces and road signs.
he likes freckles, I know this about him.
we met on a windy beach 40 years ago
and then we found each other again
like shells on a beach that you pick up
and realize how beautiful they are.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

and when...

and when we have turned to dust
and mud and clay,
we will return, my love as cast iron,
in an eternal embrace, you will hold my
hand and dance to the same rhythm.
you will not step on my feet and 
we will celebrate all holidays
including Halloween.
On Christmas you will dusted
in the purest white snow
like Santa Claus.
On Valentine's Day I will hold a
bouquet of roses,