Friday, May 26, 2017

finding the crown



it was hard to explain
my belief that we are trees
a spreading crown of possibility
so often we are stuck somewhere half way up the trunk.
he asked me if I would be disappointed to have ended
life only having explored half the branches
of my own possibilities.
and how to even know what exists up
that branch that is leaning towards the west
or the one that reaches highest towards the sun
overhead
I have no idea but it seems exciting,
having nothing to do with duty or the
expectations of others, only this open yawning
pathway to possibility.
why stop here.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

stopping at the side of the road



I pulled over onto the side of the road
to step into the rain to admire
A rainbow, a double rainbow, straddling a
dirt road through pasture lands.
this is paradise.
Just me and the rainbow, no other cars
or people, not even a single sheep or cow.
just a vibrating power line.
only the sound of drizzle on the windshield,
the sound of droplets falling to the ground
from the open car door,
a distant sound of highway traffic.
this was the moment to stop at the side of the road.
experience tells me that such beauty is
évanescent, I need to stop now,
now, on the side of the road, in this drizzle,
in the moment, now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

I've been thinking


I've been thinking about writing,
really writing, 
I'll use the knife to remove the white stubs
from the strawberries that I picked from the garden.
not just writing like this at night for five minutes,
poetry that no one reads,
except a few devoted friends,
but really writing.
It took years for the idea of a speckled blue countertop
to really gel even though I hated the stained yellow
formica from the 1950's.
It takes time.
I don't have time now, but I'll have time in the future.
I'll plant more strawberry plants and I won't have
to decide again on a counter top, I'll have time to write,
really write.
I've been thinking.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

what children and dogs teach us


the joy of innocence
of living in the present.
that still-warm waffles are the most delicious
thing in the universe until another treat wanders by.
Sitting, mostly, at a table for four, the boys
stuffed their mouths with waffles as fast
as their father brought them.  
children and dogs are food oriented
and mostly eat everything that's available
and tastes good.
a dog wags her tail, a kid falls off the chair.
once the food is gone, one of the boys
wanders out into the street crowded
with Saturday shoppers
until he's hauled back in by dad,
cheerfully.

Monday, May 22, 2017

the road to mastery

I will never reach a final destination but I am on the road.
For me, it's full of rocks, but there are flowers by the wayside,
their brilliant yellows and reds lure the bees and hummingbirds to feed.
I can stop to watch, to catch my breath.
a friend sent me a book called Mastery.
I am in Category 3, starting slowly and improving slowly,
tenacious with painfully slow progress,
I watch the sun rise and set thousands of times
with no progress on this road,
the stones are the same ones and the flowers
bloom and fade.
I remind myself that I am on the road and the
air moves about  me, smells drift by and the
minutae of changing scenery does  not require
much movement on my part.
I must simply keep trying, never give up.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

no place like home

no matter the licorice,
the breathtakingly
heartbrakingly beautiful landscapes,
the wine, the fish and the poffertjies,
there is no place like home,
a drawer of clean underwear and pajamas,
my own soft bed,
the flute that has not been played,
the empty refrigerator,
flattened plants from snow and
spindly tomatoes from cold.
they are still mine, the missed notes
and mismatched socks in the dresser.
there is no place like home
and no such wonder as finding
new licorice and chocolate in other
corners of the world.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The last day


It's the last day in Holland 
Time to celebrate an excellent trip,
Looking forward to getting home to see how
The seeds have burst forth in my garden,
To pick up my flute and see the smile in 
My daughter's eyes.
We've had chocolate and herring,
Have ridden paths through forests and fields,
We have shared carafes of wine, and twin beds
With our own comforters,
Such delights, all.
And now, postcards written, suitcases packed,
We will get up early tomorrow and head home,
Home sweet home,
Always,
Home sweet home.

Friday, May 19, 2017

If the shoe fits, wear it


The Dutch clogs will be for gardening.
I'll leave them by the front door, or the back,
For when I am the Gardener.
I have so many pairs of shoes.
The ugly pink running shoes that are so light and fast,
The black pumps for looking smart,
The Ariat shoes for riding the horse I do not have.
When we entered the shop, the old woman said we could 
Not take photos. She was old, mean and fat, dressed in black.
When we were clearly buying clogs, a hat and a toy windmill,
Her smile brightened the store
We had permission to take another photo.
I understood this woman, tired of the tourists who
Take pictures and walk away.
I could understand the difficulty of walking in her shoes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Remembering and enjoying sweets from childhood


He tells everyone he grew up here
And he's looking for poffertjis, those small
Pancakes with ice cream and 
slathered in whipped cream.
So delicious.
we have eaten mackerel and sardines, 
Pannekoeken with wine at lunch
And apple pie in an old windmill.
Dutch cheese and brown breads,
We eat soft boiled eggs for breakfast.
Today we are in sunshine,
Tomorrow we will ride our bikes
In the rain.

Another chance to succeed


I could never climb up the rope.  
Humiliated in front of all my classmates,
Some of the able to shimmy up the rope
Way up up up to the high ceiling.  
Here on the banks of the canal,
I have another chance to climb the rope,
Well knotted and sturdy, I could hang on
And swing
I could swing at age 59.
I only had to wait 55 years for this
Success.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Parking lots


Here they park bikes.
Double decker, they are rusted and dented,
Everyone hopes the thieves will pass by
Theirs,
With the double locks in place.
Husbands kiss wives as they board the train,
The remaining one rides off with all the kids,
It could be husband, it could be wife,
We just pass by when the barrier lifts
And the rails stop rumbling.
We are visitors to this land
Where we seem to pass the same older couple
Riding their bikes, panniers on the rear racks.
They don't smile much, I wonder at this.
And so at the end of this day, 58 km distant
From the Best Westerns Kastell, we arrive in Zwolle,
Our bikes will be protected in a small garage
We only need one lock.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Choices


Choices.
Wandering down the cereal aisle
Is not the same as pondering pages of wine
In a castle in Putten,
If only all choices were so sweet,
So drunkenly sweet at this.
Choices of dorado, lamb or pheasant,
Of chocolates, cream or cakes,
We should be so lucky to have such choices.
Choices
Of which brand of ecstasy, of luxury.
Let us forget work and toil, 
Only sweetness and sunshine.

Happiness

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Abundance


Freshly squeezed orange juice,
Black tea with cream and sugar,
Croissants and homemade jam and 
Homemade yogurt with muesli and fresh fruit.
He enjoys a strong cup of coffee 
With his brown bread and marmalade.
This is abundance 
For no other reason than the right place
And time.
What luck.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

On the road again


In moments of weakness and fatigue
I wonder what else I'd rather be doing and
I come up empty handed.  
I want to be doing this, paniers fully loaded,
On the edge of rain, longer than planned.
So green, so lush, traversing landscapes
Canals draped in castles, if such a thing exists,
I have never seen it but here.
I have to remember that living life to the fullest
Is hard, that it may be easier in the moment to 
Lie on the couch, but what a dull life that would be.

Friday, May 12, 2017

It rains in Amsterdam


The question of the day is
Why a raincoat would have no hood.
The answers of the day
canal boats are covered because it rains alot
streets are empty and easiest to navigate when it rains
Even the Dutch don't like getting wet
We see ponchos flapping in the wind
Some are talented at holding an umbrella while
Riding one handed
Don't step in front of them
The canal boats glide by our window in the darkness
My love is breathing the gentle breath of
Someone sleeping.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A view from the window in Amsterdam


Through the open window
I see lovers entwined on the opposite bank,
Their feet dangling over a faded wooden boat,
Blue paint chips drifting on the water.
It's dusk for hours and we stagger 
Along narrow walkways as if drunk,
Merely disoriented by change and jetlag,
Quick to learn that bikes rule this city.
Do they know that we cannot avoid seeing them
As the view from our bed faces them directly, 
Until my love, the one who insists on sleeping
In caves, lowers the blinds.
I can only see them in the darkness
Of closed eyes.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Packing for Mars


It might as well be.
When Happy Birthday translates to fijne verjaardag.
I can't even pronounce it
I can't even say hello and thank you in Dutch.
we might as well be going to Mars.
I'm packing for warm and cold, wet and dry,
for parties and for bike trails
it might as well be for windstorms and
travel by rover.
I'm never ready for anywhere,
wondering what to wear for when
and what, what do I wear when it's 50F
or 20, 70 or 60?  when it's raining,
wind dervishes or red dust?
it's all the same
the uncertainty always slows me
down.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Sorting socks


If I have eighteen pairs of socks,
I only have to select nineteen and I'll have at least one match.
That's assuming that there are no single socks.
and that, my dear, is the problem.
unsure as to how so many socks have run away,
been eaten in the washing machine or otherwise
spirited away, there an astounding number of missing
socks, and so I spread them all out and start looking
for the pairs
the leopard skin socks
the Darn Good socks that are guaranteed for life,
the striped and the solids,
the others will wait patiently for their mates.
sometimes life is that way.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

like mother, like daughter


like mother, like daughter,
we both have freckles, we smile alot
and are both smart.
we can be funny and we both wear glasses
for different reasons.
I wonder if my mother thought about how similar
we are, and it was the last thing on my mind
there is something about being a mother, of
always being so aware of 
being a mother, its so uneven
I think my mother has suffered at my complete
oblivion of who she was, who she is.
the young have a full life ahead of them,
even as we look ahead in older age,
we also look back at who we will leave
behind, noticing the freckles and the smile,
being aware of how time is short.

Friday, May 5, 2017

last time we talked

last time we talked
you'd quit your job that you hated
with no prospects, no offers, no wife,
no brothers, most men in the family dead
and gone, murdered on the streets.
you fell into depression, a bad time,
you said, you stayed away.
I wondered if you were all the same,
friends for life who changed phone numbers
and moved away, never to be heard from again.
today you surprised me with your happy news,
that you met a good woman, were getting married
in two weeks, were moving away
tomorrow we'll talk
I hope it will not be the last time
I talk to you.
I like you.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

who's having fun?


the scramble of paws on linoleum
the bounce of a squeaky ball
the pounce of a black dog,
the slide of a rug,
foam squares detaching and piling up,
the folding of a rug,
laughter, fun, excitement!
who's having fun!?

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

now I lay me down to sleep

now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
may the little seedlings grow since they are transplanted
into larger pots,
may the dishes stay clean
and the dog not wake me up earlier than I
want to be awoken.
May the health care bill fail in Congress
and may the EPA keep its funding.
May we start to say climate change again
without losing funding.
now I lay me down to sleep
I have practiced my flute,
although not as long as I should have,
and this poem is being written
as I write.
may the world have peace tonight
for that I would be especially
thankful.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

You've come a long way, baby


You've come a long way, baby,
from wiggling and chubby cheeks 
to standing tall, slender and stylish in shorts
to walking to riding, clad in Lycra, 
with the pack.
your smile was the constant and 
one of the reasons I fell in love with you.
You've come a long way, baby,
from being one with Buddy to 
being two with me, you have your space,
I have mine, we have ours,
we have one travel itinerary and try not
to get lost.
you've come a long way, baby,
with your new car and working hard
to retire early so you can play with me.
I've come a long way, baby.
It takes two to tango and we're 
dancing.


Monday, May 1, 2017

to those who garden


to those who garden,
we watch every few hours to see if any seedlings
have emerged from warm soil,
even knowing that we have started them too late,
that we'll be wandering the farmer's market gathering
larger plants come those sunny days of late May.
to those who garden,
we know that the thrill is no less that life
springs from the tiniest seeds, as we know that
our own children have sprouted from within
and grown taller than we are.
All parents are gardeners, some with the
patience of the organic gardners, adding compost
and mulch year by year, others pushing for the 
quick fix of high nitrogen synthetic chemicals.
I garden the slow way, patiently, with optimism,
my children are tall and can bend in the wind
without breaking.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

to those who cook


to those who cook,
those who love the work of roasting eggplant,
patiently turning each slice
waiting for the perfect brown.
to those who cook who relish the multiple 
steps, the roasting being only the first step,
then sauteeing of onions and garlic,
adding robust flavors of last years basil,
expertly dried,
letting time meld these flavors with
Italian crushed tomatoes.
to those who love to cook, the final
layering of eggplant, parmesan cheese,
tomato sauce and mozzarella,
these cooks wait with happy expectation
that their work will its own reward,

I am not that cook.  


Friday, April 28, 2017

to those who explore

to those who explored the jungles in 1905,
I wonder at your bravery, perseverence and
ability to endure boredom and terror,
afraid for your lives, you continued anyway.
and to those who decided to cross the polar ice caps,
I wonder at your ability to withstand cold,
at your eyes which would be blinded in the
glare of endless sun.
to all who explore, who don the necessary
supplies on their backs, paddle canoes
down rushing rivers, to suffer such
physical and mental pain and anguish,
I wonder at you.
you are so different
from me.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

to all those who profess to care

to all those who profess to care
deeply
where are you -
I know where you are
having intended to join a cause
it seemed like too much effort
and a glass of wine, some TV
relax time,
let the Armageddon begin
the Resistance has failed due to lack
of interest.
does it matter in the end if
millions of others have no health care
or the coastal cities, where you don't live
are swallowed by rising seas,
someone else will stand for the others
since a new series is on TV, or
you just don't feel like slipping out
of your ground state.
I understand
but it's lonely here.
I wish you would join me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

creativity


creativity
it just flows like liquid lava from a hot source
deep within the body and mind
there is no reason for it, only making a space
for it to surge out onto paper
it's like breathing in a full lung of fresh air
and exhaling stars and planets,
words and pictures.
spinning worlds and shining stars.
I'm sure everyone has it but are 
afraid to show the colors and 
shapes of the smoke that emanates from their
very soul.
maybe most, to themselves.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

carpooling


I used to carpool only with attractive men who drove white sportscars 
and
who liked me.
They would pick me up and drop me off
and didn't mind my schedule of arriving late
and leaving early.
I had to get my two young children
and they didn't have any.
maybe they loved being virtual parents
or liked listening to the sagas of my
disasterous first two marriages.
their's were, too, if not then,
in the future.
I could have told them so,
they were telling me what mine were, and
I wasn't really to hear it.
we came up with distinct hand signals for
"you already told me that a zillion times",
"common knowledge", or
"watch out! unwelcome input!"
One of them is still my friend.
His marriage has fallen apart and we 
still remember the hand signals.
He's coming over for dinner on Saturday, alone.
I never liked his wife.

Monday, April 24, 2017

why it matters

it should matter to him
because it matter to her,
and it should matter to her
because it matters to him.
this is what marriage is,
after all.
when I think of all the "doesn't matters"
in my mind, the plastic strip that I left on the countertop
after I opened the orange juice
(back when it was packaged that way)
even though he told me it mattered,
the clutter on the table
even though he knows it matters to me.
I do the dishes when he watches TV because
he doesn't, but it matters that I'm doing the dishes
while he watches TV.
It matters to both of us.
it should matter to each of us.
all these "it matters" matter because if
they don't, then there is no one around
after awhile, no one to pay attention to us,
or us to them, when it really matters.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I am Mom: What's your superpower?


my brother gave me this plaque.
I'm not sure where I'll put it since I want everyone
to know, I want everyone to hold me in such esteem.
Children never really do, you know, since
we teach them that they are the most important,
not their parents who feed them, bathe them
and dote on everything they do.
My brother knows I have superpowers and
my husband knows I have superpowers.
I learned finally that I have superpowers,
my friends have told me I have superpowers
of one sort or the other.
I am Mom, I survived motherhood and
childhood.
For both these, I should have a special plaque.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Ready to March


I'm ready to march
come rain or shine, cold or hot,
I have my purple cape and a flower in my hair.
I am not here to make war, but
to make peace, to have a conversation,
to see a flash of recognition cross their face
when they realize that science saved their life,
that science gave them the eyes to see their unborn child
that it's science that brought them the cellphone,
that their trip to Africa is because of science.
I will wear this purple cape and
maybe someone will smile
I will smile back.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

a view from the garden


a view from the garden,
a walk about to see what needs to be done
then a sigh,
a slowing of footsteps, letting the clipboard
fall away,
just look at the beauty,
the weeds can wait, but these blooms will fade
tomorrow, or heave under a heavy rain tonight.
the tasks will be there tomorrow,
this blossom, now closed, will open.
I can't miss seeing it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

the magic of chemistry


every year she buys me a new tea cup
hoping
one of the old ones,
the most disgusting,stained ones
will disappear to make room.
I love the new one with the bunny rabbits best
and day after day, I fill it with black tea
and the inside turns brown and stained.
but there will be no "disappearing"
this one in the new year.
I have heard of this "magic of chemistry",
of fizz and pop, of bangs and bops,
where dirt turns white
when stink turns sweet
magic applies
stains are gone
the bunnies will stay.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

my mentor and friend

she is eight years older
and so much wiser.
her kids are seven years older and so much more mature.
she will retire soon
and I will follow in a few years.
your kids will call you when they need you,
don't worry.
say "no" to the bossy co-worker,
they are not worth the energy of trying to manage them.
look him in the eye.
tonight I notice that she looks older
so I know that we won't live forever
she is my friend and mentor
I treasure every moment with her.

Monday, April 17, 2017

doing pushups

the capoeiristas drop to the ground
to do 25 pushups, legs out, strong arms,
after having trained for the last 90 minutes.
I ease myself to the ground and do a half pushup,
knees on the gym floor, lowering my chest
half way down and up,
with difficulty.
I did eight.
and when I was done, rather apologetic,
my classmate said, "we all start somewhere",
We all start somewhere, it is better to start
than to never try.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

why write

why write when no one reads,
except one loyal reader, thank you.
why write,
I must.
to capture a moment in time,
tonight, fifeen women scientists in one room tonight
I marvel at the
the extravagance stocking the shelves at the grocery store,
three hours in the garden
McGuckin was closed because it's Easter
and I didn't even think about that.
it would be nice if more people
read what I write, but no matter,
it must be written
if only to capture this moment.

Friday, April 14, 2017

the optimism of spring


Spring always comes again.
seedlings burst forth, birds flit about making their nests.
the sun is out, we sneeze in a haze of pollen.
we sit in the backyard talking about careers,
science, Australia, I wonder whether it's a good
idea for her to walk away from her dreams.
I decide not.
I need to talk to her some more about the
optimism of spring, how it comes back after
dark nights and new opportunities spring from 
the earth.
don't settle for less, darling,
you are the optimism of spring.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Scientists at work


Scientists at work.
they study volcanoes and tsunamis
to help people flee in time to safer places,
Scientists study how to harness wind for cleaner energy
and capture sunlight to split water.
we do experiments to understand why rapidly rotating
asteroids do not fling themselves apart in microgravity
and wonder at the beautiful swirls of smoke
drifting off the end of a cigarette.
it's all in the physics of fluid dynamics.
we are the ones who observe and measure
we model and calculate
to understand our amazing world.
we are scientists
we must march
we must stand.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Doing Taxes

It's 1 p.m. and I'm hitting the bottle
and crunching on chocolate covered almonds.
Tax time is always a grind
collecting papers and receipts, finding the
W-2 stuff in the general paperwork drawer,
and where are all those tax deductions that I 
thought I had, I need Trump at times like these.
The IRS just hit me up for a mistake from last
year, and now I wonder if it was real.
note that the bottle is almost empty,
there is much more chocolate to be had.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

the bike stable


the one with the studded snow tires will rest for the summer
unless the trip calls for adequate cargo space, like a case
of toilet paper, two gallons of milk and some plants for 
the garden.
the electric bike now has a comfortable seat and
a water bottle cage and a motor, best of all.
originally for special long rides, it's good for
all rides
but I still love my antique townie with its
bent right pedal, fussy Sturmy-Archer three speed
and ineffective brakes.
the road bike has been relegated to the basement,
seat-less and pedal-less.
my bike stable of three, perfect for 
sunny or windy, towny or country,
perfect for me.

Monday, April 10, 2017

fallen petals

'
indeed.
wilted now,
gravity called to them
the siren song.
their palette no less beautiful
let us, in the end, 
succumb to gravity, our wizened
bodies no less beautiful,
our faces will have transformed
from the plumpness of childhood,
through adult severity to
the calm of old age.
let us accept
this path.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

poetry in nature


words cannot capture such beauty,
those who write find themselves speechless,
tongue -tied, wordless.
how can a pattern of red splashed across white,
six stamen of indescribable color capture
a fading tulip, petals ready to fall to the 
countertop
I only know they will fall during 
the night.
this is all I know.

Friday, April 7, 2017

a town hall meeting in a democratic stronghold with a democratic representative

very civilized,
intelligent questions, everyone
took their turn and was (pretty) concise.
our representative, well dressed in a slim black button up shirt,
black pants and shoes, cultured, well spoken
quietly and politely listened to polite questions
in a measured, well articulated manner.
what else would one expect from
a democratic stronghold where people have jobs
and homes, where we can afford to be liberal and
well-cultured, where no one shows up ill-shod
or doped up, or anyway, only pleasantly stoned
as is legal in Colorado.
we're very civilized,
we are smart and educated,
we are the lucky ones,
even if we worked hard
to get here.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

being a parent

we hold our feelings and thoughts
inside, hidden from the children, so they
may never know, perhaps only to experience
the breadth of being a parent
while still being a person
themselves,
one day.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

the duck


I have wanted that duck for as long as I can remember.
it sat on my mother's dresser in her bedroom in Lombard, IL
and I looked up at it from the ground level,
I remember reading to my grandmother when I didn't even know how
and looking up at that duck from the floor at the foot of her rocking chair.
I loved that duck. 
I loved that duck when I snuck into her bedroom to smell 
the single perfume bottle on her dresser,
I loved the duck even when I was packing a bag to leave that
house in Lombard, IL, forever, when even the duck could
not keep me there anymore.  
I think I left my mother the note that I was leaving next to the duck,
the note that left her reeling.
I didn't mean to hurt her.
Being there just hurt me too much to stay and I snuck
away while she was at work.
She came home to find the note tucked under the feet of the duck,
my bedroom empty.
The duck was the witness to all that.
So many years ago now.
The duck is sitting on my dresser now on the rabbit skin
that I've had since my daughter was a little girl,
probably about the same age as she was in the photo.
The duck was my grandmother's and maybe her mother before.
One day my daughter will have the duck.
She just doesn't know it yet.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

driving away from my phone

I started up the car in the work parking lot
and my favorite podcast started broadcasting from my phone
over the car speakers.
ah, technology, how I love you
but as I drove away, the voice broke up and
disappeared as I drove away from my office,
away from my phone.
I had no time to go back and felt
this moment of panic, of being without my phone.
that's addiction, isn't it.
aren't there drugs for that, antidotes,
like extra chocolate, red wine or
long naps to dull the pain of separation,
yes, it's addiction
tomorrow morning when I go back to work
I will sate my need by browsing FB and
twitter and all my other social media sites
it will be wonderful.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Birthday cookies


I'll send them out tomorrow morning.
Crispy, chocolatey, with some warming,
they leave a shimmer of melted butter on your fingers.
coating your tongue in sugar and fat,
so delicious.
He's 31 on Friday, and I guess I can't really
call him my baby boy anymore,
he's a man with his own life, his own love,
his own apartment, job, friends, activities.
I'm a very small part of his life, maybe best
described as woven into his view of the world,
knowing he is always deeply loved,
that there are others less fortunate,
that his talents are great, but that there
is so much he does not know,
to practice humility and look for lessons
from others, from life.
And to enjoy these cookies, made with love,
sent with love.

Blanket

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The blanket

we used to fight over it
my sister, being the oldest, and a bully
always got it
I sat on the floor.
my three brothers and my sister hogged the couch.
and the blanket.
as long as I could watch Perry Mason in peace,
or Mannix, Green Acres, or my favorite, Mod Squad.
I always imagined myself the girl with her long hair
and hip boots, smart, too.
During my last trip to visit my mother, I spotted
the blanket high up on a shelf.
she's 91 and looking for homes for various treasures
and I snapped it up, but reluctantly, too.
what to do with a blanket that is well over 100 years old,
her grandmother's, my great grandmother's,
frayed, and of unknown origin or materials.
Furry, but certainly not synthetic being from 1900.
I couldn't not take it.
It could not be lost,
it was found.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The accident

the truck and trailer had jack-knifed on Highway 5
Heading south from Eugene.
One car was smashed against the cement barrier,
Its trunk pushed up into the passenger compartment
I wondered who had been there, who was no longer with us.
Two other cars were scattered like toys, the sirens and
Flashing lights assaulted our senses as we drove by
At a crawl, everyone was looking to see even if
We did not want to admit it
We didn't want to admit to ourselves that this
Can happen in a single moment, that one second we
Are driving and chatting and the next it could be
All over and the sirens will wail and the lights will flash,
Everyone will look to see what has happened, the cars
Will back up for miles waiting for the accident to clear.
An hour later, the cars will be moved off to the side
Traffic will flow as if nothing had ever happened.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

carry a song in your pocket


carry a song in your pocket,
 a flute in your suitcase,
   a sheet of music for when you lack 
     an improvisation, when the Moon is 
hidden and you can't see your sunshine.
carry a forte and a piannisimo for the right moments
an eighth and a quarter, a dotted half note
and a staccato for festivities.
Accent the best of times and descrescendo 
throught the  difficult trusting that a
beautiful melody will begin again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

two sides of the fence


on one side of the fence, she walks across broken down stalks, fallen leaves
and the bare dirt of winter.
on the other, a field, brilliant green with the promise of spring,
new growth, beauty bursting forth from the drizzle of overcast days. 
we are two sides of the same coin,
I see her eyes were the same color as mine, faded into squints
our histories overlap in ways I don't think she understands 
I see this from the other side of the fence.
there is a majestic tree between us, its branches straddling
our two lives, we communicate through hidden roots.
my boots are wet from the raindrops on the green grasses
hers from the upwelling water from muck and mud
a similar result, a completely different path, I chose
to walk in another field but I see across the fence to
what could have been. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

surprise and delight


surprise and delight!
delirious happiness!
stupendous satisfaction.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Daydreaming


it's morning and the snow is sparkling on the mountainside,
a fog hangs over the lake, the cabin seems tight so I step outside.
All my organized thoughts fall away, politics, children,
husband, dog, shopping, work left to do,
there I stand with the mountains and the sun just
starting to warm the soil and melt the last snow clinging 
to sloped roofs in this village.
it's good to get away, even a few steps, a few moments,
to breathe in clean, still air and just be.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Let's go

 Let's go on an adventure, 
bags are packed and ready
front door is locked,dog food is in the car.
let's leave this boring place 
my mom will not let me dig in the back yard
and my parents work all day
I'm a latch-key dog.
I"m ready to go ski and walk and play
let's go, let's go
the day is wasting!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

someone wants to be my friend

I only had one half hour for coffee
but he came down from Westminster
she came from South Boulder
someone wants to be my friend
he's a black man from Arkansas
all his brothers were murdered in the ghettos
she was born in Argentina, escaping
to America after her father's friends
kept being "disappeared", we know how
horrible that was.
they are different from me
and they want to be my friend
I want to be their friend, too.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The lady in gold


Everyone knows her husband, the man in the suit,
Sir James Galway, his lilting speech, the fluid sweep of his music.
I never had heard of Lady Jeanne Galway, the premier woman flutist
in the world, how could I never have heard of Lady Jeanne.
Her sound sailed over the auditorium,
what a dignified, yet musical, stance, the music moved through her
while her husband stood still, so quiet, motionless.
she is the lady in gold,
tonight,
draped in green silk embroidered in flowers
I only wish I had a photo to remember her forever,
she is my Lady, he is merely a sir.
,

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

la grammaire


la grammaire, c'est necessaire.
yet how do I speak English fluently
without knowing the gerund, the dependent clause,
the correct use of the comma,
we blunder through without a clue of grammar,
without a clue of how to express what needs to be said.
Did I really tell her she needs something else in her life
to balance the unbalance,
to find some happiness in a sea of despair
that so envelopes her that she doesn't even know it,
in spite of meditation and better grammar than most.
we may know grammar but not see clearly,
we may  know the subjunctive but can't find a job,
we may know a main clause but never find love,
we may not know where to look
in spite of straight A's.