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


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,
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.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

a nice surprise

a nice surprise to come home
and find three of those people I love
sitting at the pink dinette.
The Goofball husband, the lithe and lovely daughter
and the young man who will be my son-in-law
I know it.
so we drank whiskey and port and
I dissed the universities that rejected my daughter.
Puh to them
Off they will go to Australia
so much more fun than academia.
I'm happy for them.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

the dentist

he has a nice smile
we gaze at each other.
I look into his eyes, he looks inside my mouth.
I would not want to be a dentist.
Tonight, I note that the pile of papers has not diminished,
that the laundry lingers on the floor upstairs,
that the fall leaves still cover the new growth
that the weekend I had planned to attend to all these things
is over.
I had fun instead riding my new bike,
speaking French while drinking coffee at a neighborhood cafe,
lunching out, dining with friends,
drinking too much
and enjoying it.
tomorrow I see the dentist
I must get to bed
the appointment is way too early
what was I thinking.

Friday, March 17, 2017

the optimism of spring

first, the crocuses.
brilliant yellow, deep purples, 
the reticulated irises, so tiny, so detailed,
the white blossoms pushing forth from the 
nanking cherry bush and the forsythia,
the forsythia, such lanky branches dressed 
in yellow.
the hostas are pushing up in the east garden,
bleeding hearts are already a foot tall, seeming
to have appeared from no where.
spring bursts forth in all its glory
i rush to meet it half way.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

and who will speak out?

who will speak out when we are all glued to our
FaceBook feed, hypnotised by the endless antics,
the unbelievable that keeps us hooked in to the screen,
disconnected from what we must do.
A speaker must have a listener but everyone's ear buds
are turned up, their eyes looking down at the screen.
let's all forget what democracy means.
who will speak out when we are all in a senseless
coma, beat down by the endless alt-right media,
almost everything can be normalized.
I remember reading an article about a man who
when healthy called for the legalization of euthanasia,
for the old to accept and embrace their life and let it go.
Until he had a stroke and could not longer walk,
feed or toilet by himself.
He lived on for years in this state
He reflected, wryly,
It's amazing what you can get used to.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fall clean up in Spring

I'm too lazy in Fall,
instead watching the leaves drift downwards
while drinking red wine on the porch
the sun warms my skin
it feels good not to work.
Spring is here, the leaves are piled up
over flower beds, having been moistened,
frozen, thawed tens of times, sodden
solid heaps.
I wonder if I can ignore them for another season
but decide not
each morning I trudge outside rather unwillingly
but when the flowers peak up from beneath the
I realize this is Spring!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

He will always be Pierre, our eyes will always match

he will always be Pierre
with that same wide smile, whether wearing diapers.
mismatched socks and a missing front teeth
or a tuxedo at some big event.
we found this photo while drinking wine
at our brother's and I captured his 40 year old smile
next to the one from 39 years ago.
my brother pointed to the age spots on his wrists
when we had lunch last weekend
everything is on schedule, he said,
the age spots, the thinning skin, balding,
reduced energy, but I noticed his eyes sparkling
with that same intensity and intelligence as always.
Pierre has the smile,
Jacques has the eyes
Our eyes will always match.
those will never change
we will always be the same inside
the spirit, the spark.

Monday, March 13, 2017

On the way to smiling


I remember
when Father died, you were 13
the first thing you asked was if you would ever
see your sisters and brothers again.
we were five and you were just one, an only child.
I don't think that question even crossed my mind
but I'm glad it crossed yours, you could remind me
so you would
find your way back to smiling after that loss.
and here we are again, some 27 years later
and you have smiled your way in life,
with two beautiful children, yes, a few bumps
but look at me, your sister,
still smiling. 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

a packed coffee shop on a windy Sunday morning

whereas the working folks may treasure a morning to sleep in,
the retired can sleep in any morning.
Sunday morning there is no competition with the millennials,
laptops, iPads and iPhones in hand.
the retired don't need to sleep in, they can nap whenever
they want, Sunday morning calls for coffee at the Trident.
a few vagrants wander the tables, this cafe welcomes all,
the old, the thrown-away, the lovelorn, the occasionals
who wander in once every few years to meet one of the above.
I have been one of the above, I will be one of another above.
I can see into the future.

Friday, March 10, 2017

all sizes, all shapes, all men

they are all sizes, all shapes, 
rotund, scrawny, bearded, clean-shaven,
young, old, graceful, clumsy,
they are all gay.
The Denver Gay Mens' Choir,
all singing, many dancing,
they sing love songs to each other,
to the world, to us in the audience.
I am moved to love these chubby men,
the skinny ones, the ugly and the handsome,
they are the 10%, plucked randomly from 
us, from the sea of humanity.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

first signs of spring

while walking Bella,
I noticed off in the forest the slightest whisper of green,
some light green buds on a rambling bush.
I opened my eyes and heart to spring,
to renewal, I started looking for new life,
a persistent blooming in spite of darkness.
once home, I spotted blooming forsythia 
leaning against the wall, and swelling buds
on the crab apple tree, iris pushing up through
the earth and purple crocus peeking through
brown leaves awaiting spring cleanup.
and next year, this will happen again.
I just hope I am here to see it.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Just show up

99% of the work is showing up,
for your friends, for meetings, for your family,
for what you believe it, or think you do.
turn off the phone,
log off FaceBook, send the email,
get in your car,
ride your bike,
walk down the street,
just show up.
Eight of us showed up tonight,
twenty-eight postcards written which will
arrive at representatives' mailboxes across Colorado.
Just think if 10,000 showed up.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

yes, I'm getting older

and I don't buy that it's all in my head,
bad attitude.
my bones creak, my legs are stiff,
I'm tired.
you, who are so young, deny reality,
the older athletes you see out there rest
between workouts,
and probably take long naps.
they encourage me to try handstands
and back bends, but I've never done
them and it's unlikely that my
body would agree to them
Yes, I'm getting older and
I need to keep this
body happy.
Let's not overdo it.

Monday, March 6, 2017

sometimes I'm speechless

the slaves volunteered to come to America for a better life,
Historically Black Colleges offered school choice
Obama tapped Trump Tower.
The Affordable Care Act can be repealed and replaced with something better
while we increase defense spending by 10%,
only an additional $53 Billion per year,
the generals did not even ask for it.
So, yes, sometimes I'm speechless at the disconnect
between what could be
and what is.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

and while we look, while we listen

and while we look at the endless FaceBook stream,
while we listen to the endless talking heads,
the bills we never heard about pass through the legislature,
we're too busy, too upset, to notice
until it's too late and the ink is dry,
the sky darkens with soot,
the sick become sicker,
the pockets of the wealthy swell
and the Master of the Illusion smiles
in his penthouse, tweeting through the early
morning about wire taps and Obama and
Rosie O'Donnell or whoever
while Ryan and Bannon and the others
print out the bills and call their brethren to
we must wake up.

Friday, March 3, 2017

what the weekdays look like

I bill by the 15 minute increments.  
last week I worked on 10 projects in 22 hours,
most days 5 projects, about one hour per project
the attention for each woven into the others,
each rubbing elbows with the next and the next.
I dutifully fill in my timecard at the end of every day
as required by the U.S. Government,
yes, that is a regulation I would get rid of.
but others, and I'm thinking of one, in particular,
scratches his balding head every month or so as
he ponders what he worked on in the last month.
He doesn't need a calendar  like this broken into 
one hour blocks,
one day I won't either and I'll sleep as late
as I want, too.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

no, I will not get up early on a weekend

Definition of weekend:  any day that I don't have to go to work.
No, I will not get up early on a weekend
I will not get up before the usual dreadfully early alarm on weekdays
and I refuse to walk the dog in the dark.
I don't care if the snow is 5 degrees warmer,
you can leave without me.
On weekday mornings, you stumble into the warm kitchen
to make your coffee while I am out in the cold walking the dog.
ok, it's a deal, you walk her in the dark at night,
but I will not wake up even earlier on a vacation day
unless I have to in order to catch a plane.
this is why I book my own flights so I don't have
to wake up early to catch a plane.
remember that my weekend is any day that I don't go
to work,
Don't forget it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Protest wine

it was fitting
a wine called Protest
poured for our postcard party.
eloquent phrases flowed freely
even the ink from our pens seemed to 
make our points with more intensity,
with grace and intention.
drinking wine while writing pleases me.
writing while drinking wine also does.