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
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


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


I used to carpool only with attractive men who drove white sportscars 
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
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
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

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 
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
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.


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.