Monday, October 23, 2017

Educe and Lucre

I thought of myself as an intellectual
until I started doing the NYT mini-crossword puzzles
the ones for five year olds.
I may not be faulted for the names of football players
or the actress in West Wing, but educe and
lucre cannot be forgiven,
much less forgotten no more than two
minutes after the crossword is done.
it's a hoax, these crossword puzzles,
if they are mini, then what, pray tell,
does that say about me.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Endless sky


nothing seems to matter when the fence
disappears into the distance, the wires lined
up with the horizon
a few clouds hanging above the flat endless
plains
the grass is golden now, dry, crisp
the landscape is stark, harsh and accepting
all at once
our bones will turn to dust as we gaze
at the endless horizon, the wires on the fence
the grass is green, then turns to brown.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

in the early morning


in the early morning, 
who is working in that tall building on the hill,
whose lights are burning bright, whose minds
are whirring still after a long night.
on the ground, it is still dark
the quiet only broken by the shuffle of my feet,
the clicking of her claws on the sidewalk
there is no one here, only us to watch
the glorious rose-colored clouds sweep
across the landscape.
it will be light soon.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

the house and the bike


the house and the bike are old,
one is on stilts, being raised from so many
years of sinking 
the workers smoke cigarettes in the front
and smiled at my compliments.
the bike is loaded with red wine,
six bottles in a special bag,
a seventh tucked in the side
the wine guy insisted on it.
this old bike, this old house have
so many stories to tell, of falling leaves
and whispers in the wind.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The grasslands


I rode by, at first, noticing the golden grasses
and the sky, the clouds and this moment.
and I knew 
that this moment had to be captured
the golden grass, the hills, the sky, the clouds
the warmth of this day
soon there will be frost and cold and my
mittens will stay on my hands.
So, I stopped and returned to this spot
where the summer has stalled to finish
painting the grasses, the sky and the hillsides
the final colors of this season.
I had to capture it, to hold this image close
to my heart until the warmth comes again.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Coffee Shop


I knew she would be interesting 
As soon as I confirmed that she was alone.
Women on their own are always more interesting,
Bold enough to make eye contact with a stranger.
I was alone
With my cup of Earl Grey 
I was entranced by the silhouette of a man
With spiked hair against the window.
So we talked in French and English
Until a young man walked up to her
And then a young man walked up to me.
We are so interesting, her and I, that young
Men walk up to us.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hiking in Cowboy Boots


 a long shadow
cowboy boots, a long skirt
The Western Woman.
Ready to hike up the steep scrabble
To the old mine 
Turquoise and iron, galena and copper
Bandannas to shield the men from 
Relentless sun, their canteens hot,
Not enough water to quench the
Enduring thirst.
She’s a cowgirl but she’s not holding a 
Pickaxe, only the edge of her skirt,
She gingerly steps up the slope
Anticipating lunch the next town over.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Running a political campaign

I knew there was a reason I didn't want to deal with the public.
I headed for the laboratory, or put my nose in a book,
I surrounded myself with smart people, those who engage their minds
and speak full sentences, I like being around people who don't
rant and rave, spewing venomous monologue through their fingers
onto Twitter or Facebook, Instant Messenger or Instagram.
I'm doing this for her, for the woman with the gentle heart,
the probing mind, the years of watching and learning and watching
some more.
she should not have to deal with this campaign poison.
I find it rather entertaining when someone else speaks up
for us and I can just watch it all go by.
In a month, this will be over and maybe she will be in front
of a podium, perhaps not, but I will be done with the public
it can't come too soon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Science


This 1" x 1" square of titanium
floated in blue off the coast of Florida
as fish floated nearby and a plethora of
organisms looked for a roost, a place to call home
they called this home,
some shells and algae and other crusty souls
landed and stuck together as a colony
of survivors on a rocky island.
pulled from the sea, held by a gloved
hand, they may wonder what has
become of their home
soon to be sheared from their 
moorings in the name of science.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

500 Women Scientists


We're the 1% who showed up tonight,
writing postcards and arguing about committees
and sub-committees and sub-sub-committees.
this is what groups do to grow
we argue and fight and either spinter into a million
shards, or 500, or 5
or unite, the young and old, the academics, the
unemployed, the employed,
but we are all 
scientists.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The first snow


blades of grass stick up through the first snow
branches bow and break
crashing down onto roadways
I saw one falling close by,
its branches snapping, then crashing
through underlying ones before
striking the ground
snow falls so gently, the grasses
support this light blanket while
branches, leaves laden with 
heavy wet snow tumble towards
the ground, 
delicacy next to destruction.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hanging Out/ Hanging On


on this sunny day in October
tomatoes ripening the sun
a storm is looming
we bask, the caterpillar and I
for the last moments before the rain
your stripes, your feet, your perfection
capture me, and I remove the small branch
and carry you, gazing rapt at your
spots and your little red tail.
some children came by and we petted you
like a small cat, feeling your rough
skin on our fingertips.
you are perfection
Waking from revery, my hands reached
again between tomato vines, grasping
the green fruits to bring in from
the looming storm.  
I will go inside to be warm, but
you will be out in the rain
this is what caterpillars do.

Friday, October 6, 2017

riding solo


My bike is alone in the rack,
I see the cars stopped in gridlock
behind it.
The long shadow is lovely, I can
stand in the sun and admire it.  
The white car heading north is moving now,
the cars heading south are stalling in 
gridlock.
I'll ride solo on wide sidewalks
punctuated by driveways, drivers
studiously looking to the right as I
come up from their left.
I'll stop so I can keep riding 
tomorrow.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

being a housewife after work

12 c of oatmeal mixed with nuts,
honey, oil and vanilla extract,
Oh, no, no oil so I wander the
neighbors pantries with Bella,
we are lucky to find some.
Off to the market to get milk,
Six quarts to an almost boil in
an improvised double boiler
while I play flute and do my exercises
as old age is chasing me
I resist.
and then the milk has to cool,
and the yogurt culture mixed in,
and whole shebang put in hot
water for a nice bath.
It will yoge for me.
and then the granola comes out
of the oven and
it smells heavenly.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

music in the park


it doesn't matter how she plays
she's out there in the park on a dreary day
we hear the sound of her heart beat,
not from nervousness, but steady and strong.
she's out in the park, not as a perfect musician,
just a person who has the guts to do it,
with mistakes, with her husband whistling along.
he can whistle all the music she plays flawlessly.
that's love. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

To all those who


To all those who unregistered to vote because of Trump,
it's time to register, 
it's time to vote.
To all those who stayed home tonight instead of
venturing out into the community
it's time to speak
To all those who ride their bikes on cold days
let's celebrate you
you are one less car
and to all those who give lovingly of your time and
energy,
we celebrate you,
you are what makes the world so beautiful.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Waiting

Waiting for warmth
That only comes from corn bags
Hand made with love,
Cold, they go into the microwave
Hot, they come out
Fresh, smelling of popcorn.
Onto my toes and hands, warming
Them from ice
To molten chocolate.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Campaigning

I don't like the public,
which is why I study micrometeoroids and space debris,
why I am in my office and not at meetings
that I generally find to be useless with more
than 2 people attending.
The public is annoying, posting commentary
on FaceBook that is one-sided, ill-considered,
rude or all three.
I rejoice in the nice ones.
I'm not fit to interact with the public
being impatient and snobbish,
Campaigning reminds me of this,
it's good to be reminded.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

the bachelor

and
one woman walked in
her breasts swinging free under her dress
cleavage in full view
commando style
the dog checked her out
multiple times
and
there's another woman next door
who shows up for coffee when
her boyfriend is away
she lingers at the door
the bachelor life
middle aged but fit,
shaved bald
a nice smile and a fat checking
account
he's in demand

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Butterflies


hordes of them
a cloud
landing and flittering off
I can hear the nectar being slurped
into hungry mouths
the sun is glinting off their wings
a wind is rising 
a turbulent storm
sweeping across Africa
from the flurry of
butterfly wings

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Getting to bed earlier

all of a sudden it's 10:30 p.m.
my love is in bed, he has stolen my covers,
my poem is not written,
I've only practiced flute for 5 minutes
my teeth are not brushed.
I'm getting texts from him, reminding
me that it's time for bed,
then that he's turning out the lights
and I'll have to creep into the bedroom
disturbing his gentle snoring,
or not, as he's awake in bed,
in the dark,
waiting for me.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I was tempted but resisted


I was tempted, really,
for a few moments, I put it in my cart
even thinking how easy it would be to pull a 
pre-moistened towelette from the shiny plastic 
dispenser and press the four corners into 
the neatly cut slits.
I would remove it from its plastic packaging,
the kind that must be cut with a sharp pair of scissors,
the material that goes in a landfill and never goes
away, it will be there for future generations 
to ponder at our wastefulness.
I decided against it.
I put it back on the shelf.
I went home and pulled out my decades old
mop handle, the original covers long gone.
I covered the base with an old kitchen towel,
secured it with clothespins, sprayed 
some cleaner made with baking soda
on the floor and mopped.
The floor was beautifully clean.

Friday, September 22, 2017

unable to share

Unable to share
the photo of the old man out for his morning stroll,
supporting himself on his walker, his small white poodle
accompanying him, the sun is low in the sky,
I would have shown you but the Cloud says it's unable
to share right now and to come back later,
since when does the Cloud sleep,
I'd like to know.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

the perfect latte


Artistry can be found everywhere, created anywhere
by anyone at anytime
in any weather
during travels for any reason,
a  perfect latte is the perfect reason to stop,
to reflect,
to donate the same amount of money
to anyone anywhere anytime
who is in need.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Writing it up


what  does Henry's Law have to do with anything
what does a sub-monolayer look like
and what does the Martian wind look like near the surface
when it's hot and when it's cold
these are the questions worth asking when it's 10 p.m.
Colorado time, and there's an empty wine glass
and an empty martini glass on the table in front of me
I'll say what I have to say.
and when my feet slip into my wool slippers and 
my pajamas are soft against my skin,
the blankets are warm and my eyes are closed
my dreams will come to me 
I will see the wind dervishes on Mars
spinning, spinning,spinning

Monday, September 18, 2017

Packing for Mars 2020 Peer Review

shall I wear the slightly stretchy pants
the first day or the second, with the colorful
top, the black jacket, how about my favorite
socks with the Swiss emblem,
I haven't reviewed the technical materials yet,
but will jeans be ok on the second day,
it seems they dress business casual all the
time even though it's California,
maybe too many old white men?
and it's late again, and my friend, Steve,
would be packed in five minutes but
perhaps he did not just finish making home made
granola and homemade yogurt for his
sweetheart.
The technical details will wait until tomorrow
night after a cocktail with an old friend,
that should release the critical mind to do
her work while she sleeps.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Earning a belt


I chased him, the old mestre around
the roda, knowing he could bring me down
and we laughed at this knowledge in this game,
I kicked and he easily stepped away, I ducked
under his kicks that moved so slowly, 
arcing gracefully over my head.
he pointed behind me and I turned my head,
for a moment only to see him laughing at me.
he had taught me never to do that, to always
keep your eyes on your opponent.
after the fun, he wrapped my waist with my 
first belt, lovingly wrapped by my mestre,
never say never, never say too old.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Looking for that special bowl


I'm looking for that special bowl that she 
carefully spun on a potter's wheel, the one she 
described as "Dinner set with green chun lip",
I looked for a set of four
Isn't that what a dinner set is, or it is six,
It was one, a dinner for one seems so lonely,
nestled amongst handle-less mugs, extravagantly
elegant pitchers and pudgy objects that only
a mother would love.
I loved all those hand formed pieces she brought
me from kindergarten, and the handprint still pressed
into the cement on 13th Street marked "Karen".
these are the objects that endure alongside
my steadfast love for the girl that made
the pudgy pots and smeared posters,
I still have them all.  

Monday, September 11, 2017

Old friends, XLV


XLV years later, we meet again,
it's Fate.  
You with grey in your beard,
Me with slight jowls, but
the same smiles, the same affection.
The Oregon beach where we met still has
a thundering surf 
the sunsets are as spectacular and young people
wander the beach, smiling across shimmering sand,
maybe they will become friends like we did.
Maybe they will meet again 45 years later
at a brewpub somewhere.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trading tomatoes for community engagement


when all else fails, bribe them
with heirloom tomatoes, warmed by the sun,
ripened to perfection.

Friday, September 8, 2017

my kind of crossword puzzle


I hate the usual crossword puzzles
with room for 10 letter words and obscure clues
and nods to popular culture.
I'm a cultural wasteland.
But this puzzle, the one with four to five letter words,
this one with 23 boxes to fill it,
this is my dream crossword,
It makes me so happy when I am done,
the big accomplishment for the day,
mastery feels so good.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

capoeira angola


the fellow in the yellow T-shirt cleans my house.
I can't believe I have had a capoeira angola mestre cleaning my house.
I found out the my capoeira canavial mestre cleans houses, too.
mestres need to be paid more for making the world 
a better place.
all this swirls in my mind as my muscles groan
and my bones creak,
the fellow with the white dew rag has Tourette Syndrome
So brave to be here, knowing that at any moment
he will make weird sounds at odd moments.
he's apologetic but calm.
we are moving in a circle,
on our hands and knees
as if in prayer.
god knows the world needs it.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

queuing


we are all lined up 
slowly shuffling along, most of us with
cell phone in hand, some hold a book,
some look annoyed, others resigned.
I see a woman wearing high heels,
a man with bad teeth and a couple
in love.
they could stand forever in line
time has stopped for them
how lovely.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

the trouble with money

she likes to buy makeup and fancy clothes
he can't  get by without a $6000 bike
he makes less
she makes more
or he makes more and she makes less
but they share a bed and a life and children
and a house and need two cars
and he likes to dine out and she doesn't want to spend
the money and why are there so many unopened Amazon
packages in the hallway
where does the money go
and no, there is no logic to why having
a budget causes tears and anger
turning away.
ah, the trouble with money.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Doctor Decade


Doctor Decade,
it's been at least a couple since we talked
now look at us still singing, riding a bike,
still strumming a guitar,  tooting a flute,
writing songs,penning poems
you have lost some hair and gained some weight
I have my own secret losses
It's a sunny day in Lansing,
we're still here
still singing and strumming,
still smiling.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Love


how tenderly he holds her
she melts into his embrace
intense happiness.
there is a ring on her left hand,
a promise in their hearts
he is the one
she is the one
I know this
I recognize this
my heart is in their embrace
as surely as any mother's
who knows that she is the one
for him, he is the one for her.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Passing the Test


with some practice
some dedication and humility,
with passion and perseverence
it's possible to pass the test,
not just barely but with flying colors,
with 92% approval, with a smile
I passed the test
I hugged my mestre
and bounced up and down 
and texted my family
and emailed my friends
and am writing this post.
I passed the test, having gone
from struggling on the ground,
to standing up to kicking up to 
the sky.
it feels good.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The bounty of a single tomato


Heirloom tomato:  1 lb 8 oz, organic,
priced at $5/pound buys enough seeds
for the squash and tomatoes, the tomatillos
and cucumbers.
That's one tomato and we've already eaten
many pounds of squash and tomatoes,
of lemon cucumbers and green cucumbers,
of turnips and peas, of Swiss chard and 
don't forget the many pounds of potatoes 
still hidden under the soil.
When snow is still drifting to the ground
and lettuce seeds sit under a fine layer of
wet soil, remember the bounty of the late
summer where the price of a single tomato,
not purchased, but pulled warm from the vine
saves enough to buy all the seeds you need.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Go for it


all five of them tottered on the edge
not venturing to jump off for the first five countdowns
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
only leaning forward without launching
until finally
finally one jumped, 
then another
and another,
the little girl with the ponytail jumped last,
her delicate feet disappearing into the swirl
of the cool water, her smile popping up from
underneath,
she waved at me.
i missed it with my camera
but her smile is imprinted onto
my memory.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

this is my home


this is my home,
dry and warm, there is no water
running along the floorboards,
I am not perched on a table
helplessly watching water stream by,
watching the levels rise knowing I have 
no where to go, no way to get anywhere,
that I am here amidst millions
isolated in our own homes
without a boat.
My sisters and brothers are huddled
in their waterlogged homes, holding children
and dogs, a warm blanket, waiting and 
watching,
and I am here in my cozy home watching
Game of Thrones,
I can only be aware of the
unfairness of the world.
I can only hope they find
relief,
and soon.

Friday, August 25, 2017

turnip harvest



turnips never grew in my garden plot
across the street, no amount of fertilizer,
compost, water, love...
would produce a single small turnip.
I held small hopes for my new garden
but put the seeds in the ground in Spring
and forgot about them, enjoying
sauteed greens all summer long
until I looked.
Turnips, huge ones, pressing against
each other, rising from the soil like
breaching whales.
turnips may never have grown across
the street no matter what, but feeling the
weight of huge turnips with their
attendent greens makes me happy,
finally happy.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Young Dancers


a moment ago, they were giggling 
in a random swarm of legs and arms,
the flash of braces and bling,
of wealth and privilege.
and then
bodies aligned and sprang forward and
up in harmony, in perfect discipline
in beauty.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I will read this to you when you are older


you, my grandchild, are not yet born,
in fact, only a twinkle in the eye of some future
parents, not even married,
yet I think of sitting here with you on my knee,
we'll look at pictures drawn long ago and 
words in a language your parents do not 
understand, stories of flying angels and white
clouds billowing over rocky shores.
I will point out words like "chat" and 
"chien" noting the importance of cats
and dogs in the world, but also "maman"
et "papa" for the two most important people
in your world.
I hope to be the third.
One day.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Looking towards the sun - a solar eclipse


After inhaling the Moon Pies and donning
my snazzy eclipse glasses,
both compliments of my employer,
I gazed up at the sun,
first a small bite at the edge missing,
then sucessively larger dark bites
until only a thin crescent of sun was visible.
the crows did caw in the diminished light
(or perhaps they always do)
in the last hour, the crooked smile of the crescent 
rotated counterclockwise until it finally
opened to a wide grin and the sun reappeared
as round and bright as ever.
Afterwards, we wandered back to our offices
with stiff necks, eclipse glasses in hand,
perhaps wondering if we should have gone
to Wyoming to see the full eclipse.
Maybe next time.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

In the dressing room


don't look too carefully in the dressing room,
a sideways glance is good enough to decide
and I said yes
yes to stripes and corrugation
to red, black and white, to a silky black top
at 40% off, affordable.
it's summer and I'm wearing the same style
of sandal as K, who advised me never to 
wear a T-shirt again
at my age, I guess I should have known better
how difficult and tortuous is the path
to adulthood and beyond.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

on the bus


on the bus home,
really, home, where there's blueberries
in the side yard, and stacks of cucumbers,
tomatoes on the vine,
a black dog who won't bother to greet me.
there will be a husband who will hug me
and a bed covered with his clothing and 
dirty socks and I'll throw them off the other side.
home is where I belong,
in spite of the black dog who never bothers
to say hello, and the clothes
and dirty dishes.
home is where I belong.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

please


please give me a treat 
if I'm good, I'll be good, I'll
walk by your side, I'll do whatever
a dog can do.
please take me for a walk,
I like to pee on the bushes
and  mark where the deer have 
left their scat, I'll come
back whenever you have a treat 
in your hand.
I am a simple soul to love
with my wagging tail and 
liquid eyes, my furry body
and my affectionate for you.
love me, give me a treat,
I'll love you back.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A new phase in life


she will make new friends, she says,
the woman in pink was a private pilot and 
flew all over with her husband, Hank, now 
gone on to his greater rewards.
Florence used to say that.
She's a spritely 90 and will show the way.
Alice in the flowered shirt says she never
did anything interesting but I don't believe her.
they both talk and hear well, 
lunch was delicious.
yes, here she's in her wheelchair but we
left it behind three hours later when she
moved from being Nurse Ratchett's charge
to Samantha who smiles alot.
she's on the move into a new phase,
I hope she finds happiness.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

what happened to my flute practice?

what happened to my 20 minutes
lost on plane rides and reruns, my flute
rests quietly in its case, waiting.
my lips are slack, my lungs lazy and flat,
there is no music.
precious twenty minutes, come back to me!
tomorrow, call to me before others are sleeping
one wall away, before dogs doze and stars
brighten the sky.
twenty minutes, you are but a small sliver
of one day, find me tomorrow or let my
sadness fill my evening!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Velcro de-mate


in your dreams
did you ever ponder the uniform rows and columns
of Velcro loops and hooks, of how they mate
and hold your posters to the wall, or the two
sides of your shoes together?
the unsung heros,
the unnoticed,
the unsullied.
they have a life, you know, their own
trials of broken links, the debris of endless
mates and demates, the reason for which
your poster eventually falls from the wall.
we measure such things in the lab
in our white smocks, hairnets and booties.
we work for you, our countrymen, in the 
pursuit of pure understanding of your
Velcro.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

old friends

we resumed where we left off,
he's gotten heavy over the years
but his smile is the same infectious one
I remember.
I remind him of the last time I saw him in
a cocaine alcoholic haze and why I looked for him
for so many years just to see if
he survived.
he says I still have the indescribable
magnetism,
we resumed where we left off
taking time to catch up on the last 35 years.
the important stuff and the less so
the stuff of every day, of the daily commute
and the reason why he's gotten so heavy.
there is no reason.
and there's no real reason why I hadn't seen
him in 35 years except that the years
passed by and no one called.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

It takes two

it takes two
to mother a young woman like her.
yes, the one who makes brownies and arranges
flowers for the bedside stand,
the one who only wears Lululemon yoga pants in her garden,
the one who loves her more than anyone in the world,
the one who is always
home and never busy.
.
but the other,
the one who is busy, who launches satellites
and writes poetry, who swirls in capoeria,
whose own daughter and son study the data from
the space instruments she worked on,
yes, that one whose cookies taste good but
don't look that great, whose yard is a jungle,
who hires a neighbor to tend to the flowers
because she's too busy doing other stuff.

yes, that second mother is needed for this
young lady launching her own career, her
own marriage, her own life.
she needs brownies and career advice,
we'll be there for her.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tax Turmoil

everyone cringes at the arrival of a letter
from the IRS, there can be no good news
and most likely, very bad.
what year, what deficiency, what fines
are all in our minds, the dutiful taxpayer
who makes honest mistakes,
small mistakes that pale with the uncollected
fees from the rich who juggle loopholes
with ease amidst the many hands of tax
accountants, lawyers and CPAs.
tomorrow the letters will be reopened,
the errors explored, the checkbook opened,
as if I had money to spare.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

alone in the field but not lonely


alone in the field
surrounded by sky and fields of grass
the clouds drift overhead and
birds are singing in the background,
the scent of flowers drifts 
my leaves breathe in deeply and when
the rainfalls, my roots are drenched 
in sweet water,
it is not so lonely here as I stand
alone in the this field
I have the sky, the sun, the birds
and all the Heavens to myself.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Kicking Ass



I have the instinct
honed from years of playing Jass,
no one knew Spades is the American form
of the Swiss National Card Game,
played on so many tables in so many dingy
apartments, in ramshackle houses, but always
with the requisite 36 cards.
I had forgotten that I often won.
I can kick ass in this card game,
saving my daughter from certain defeat
and leaving a grimace on the faces of
my male opponents.
Ah, victory is sweet
when you can get it.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I can trust her now



from here, she could kick me so fast 
I'd fall to the ground not knowing what hit me
she is powerful and only looking to be chillin'
I kept my distance
until she showed me that kicking wasn't her
goal, that she was nervous about showing herself
for the maculele,
she showed me her soft belly, her vulnerable side
she won't kick me
I can trust her now.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

10:18 p.m.

10:18 p.m.
and nothing has been done
having to do with me
it's all about her,
the flight reservation to see her
to hold her hand
to be with her
to listen to her
to watch her journey towards death
we don't speak of such things but
we must
we are all headed down this road
I might as well watch it to be prepared.

Monday, July 31, 2017

poisoned daggers cloaked in Rotary Club good works


poisoned daggers, aimed meticulously
at your heart from a safe distance of
Christian values and Rotary Club good works,
you know the ones, like your own father,
who delivered meals to the poor on Thanksgiving Day
and raped his daughter the night before,
the evil ones,
the ones who act pious and good,
while spitting poisoned daggers from side-mounted
holsters.
You may know them as fathers and brothers
as I do,
or Senators spouting morality after boffing young boys
in public restrooms.
They are usually male.
They dance in each other's shadows,
seeking protection from the law and the light of goodness.
I know them, so do you.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

the taste of cigarette


long ago we laid in each other's arms
I remember he smoked and he would reach for 
a cigarette afterwards
I liked the sour taste of cigarette in his mouth
 it reminded me of another love who smoked,
a young man raising himself, working bowling alleys,
how he smoked while we drove around together
late at night.
I was raising myself.
my mother was so absent
he was there.
and so, somehow the taste of a cigarette in 
my lover's mouth meant safety
I never realized this until tonight, some 37
years later.
I don't need that anymore.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Two women and a dying man

two women and a dying man saved the day
by voting no.
the dying man staggered to the front of the chambers,
at the last moment, turning his thumb down.
it was the right thing to do, flying on government
dollars to make this vote, receiving the finest medical care
on the government dollar, in his dying days
he knew he couldn't die having voted yes
while having taken so much.
and what of the two women who had the balls
to stand up to all the white Republican men,
well, that's what strong women do.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Trash Talk and Devastation in Washington



Sure, they wear nice suits and crisp ties,
the older white men.
they talk trash, Trump and his goons,
fighting talk, firing talk, f*ing unacceptable talk.
Sanctions for Russia, skinny repeal, North Korea,
just talk big, very very big,
very very good.
Our President, never will I say President
and Trump in the same phrase.
Let them talk trash, I will bide my time
until 2018, only writing postcards for
now.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Rain

A woman runs by with her dog,
laughing and looking up to the sky,
water running down her face
her T-shirt dark wet with rain.
we're drinking wine, toasting to the skies,
the tomato plants dancing to raindrops,
thunder and sirens, do they not always
go together,
the dog cowers inside while we
laugh and young people shout and
chase through the streets.
It's rain
rain after endless days of dry heat.
it's rain
that cleanses all.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

it's so hot

water would boil on sidewalks
if there was moisture,
eggs would fry on roofs.
it's so hot that black dogs
pant while sleeping on the couch
with the fan spinning.
its so hot that we all drag
ourselves from work to home
to bed to work again
and we pray for the cool winds
of autumn.

Monday, July 24, 2017

saying good bye

saying good bye when things are broken,
but you still hope for a repair.
is it harder to say good bye to something broken
or intact, you'd think the latter
but humans are funny creatures
logic does not always apply.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Big guns


I'm ready now
Japanese beetles beware.
Your life is about to be over.
With a quick load of salt, you'll be sprayed
with a high speed stream of salt,
tell me how good that feels on your guts.
I watch you get blown off my flowers,
some of you may still be alive
but I'll get you the next time where you will
join your brethren in a carpet of dead carcasses.
Yes, I'm ready now.
Are you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

sweat

I sweat
in rivers, glistening rivers down
my neck, the back of my shirt is drenched
in sweat, even my legs are moist, my feet
stick to the floor.
we all sweat, I see sweat running
down their backs, their faces,
the room is humid and dank
even those who don't sweat,
like me,
are sweating as we move
in this dance of capoeira.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Street cleaning


the tow trucks were busy.
one after another, they lined up 
attaching chains to the cars still settled 
in for the night, their owners no doubt
in ignorant bliss, sipping their morning lattes.
this is the big city, boys,
where streets get cleaned and cars get towed,
where city coffers fill with fines and the slick fingers
of tow truck drivers thumb through bills,
easily gained first thing in the morning.
and me, I admire the streaks of clean streets
from my front porch.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

smile at the world


smile at the world
when trees fall on houses
when executives blanche
when all this is fixed
with a few dollars and a few words.
smile with freckles and dimples
that come with old age, 
smile with a gold tooth.
smile because you have friends
and your kids are getting married,
that you're employed and have a soft bed.
smile for all those who don't, in the hope
that one day they will.