Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Her Shoes are not so Different From Mine

Across the chaparral
toward the mountain I can picture
a young girl’s
bouncing pig tails
a skip from the covered wagon.

She brushes against white sage,
turns to the pungent perfume
that dances in the air unseen
then turns again to the mountain’s
molted color of many browns,
with yucca spikes
staking towards heaven.
A candle, she thinks into the bright day
then catches her long stocking,
now dirt stained with new holes,
old with tatters
already darned by her own hand,
where at her ankle the sharp tongue
of a prickly bush caught her leg
like the porcupines from home.

In the night,
wrapped in her grandmother's quilt,
rain had tapped the creosote bush and turned
the air into a strange and wondrous perfume
that woke her and took her
to breathe, deep and perfect breaths
into the soft black night.

In the morning she tossed her head
at the chill and emerged with a change.
She had fallen in love
with the smell of this land
and a sky that is larger,
more open than she has ever seen,
where no trees tread on the magic glimpse
of the horizon and the sun traces its path
from one side of the earth to the other
without biding time in twilight’s hilly sky.

I am a California native too,
a child of this earth full of acorns,
a sweet and keen land
that still lives in spite of asphalt
and the rise of steel.

So I can feel that little girl
I never knew
but imagined in her long skirt,
and her shoes are not so different from mine.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Poppy

Sturdy   yet fragile
a face of grace
holding on to air that moves
petals like wings
she loves wind’s hands upon her face
but with tenacities fingers
crumbling clods to slowly builds gates
listening she yearns toward the road the river takes
wanting to travel someplace unnamed   like him
to follow the sound he makes    her whim
maybe a mean wind she thinks could take one small part
an orange piece of heart
that could go with the flow
even where cement would ransom beauty
into the arms of the sea
but she turns away instead
to dance naked with the tree
one arm still holding tenacity.

Open me
she calls to sun   guessing the hour
the wind has blown the tresses of the field alive
and on the road to harmony 
she is not the only flower to thrive 
the sound of the river is life sustaining
down down in the middle part of earth
it seeps into the press of dirt around
and fills her with love for river sun and wind
and now     most blessed love of all    the ground 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

In the Far Off Someplace Else

In the far off someplace else
you dream with the tongue of a smile
that hides in the corner of your mouth
then wakes me with crushed leaves

Movement is in the air
wearing the changing of time
as the scurry things hide from light
and the last leaf whispers past the window
drunk on the beginning of something

My sweater hangs quietly
in the closet of last winter
still holding the clouds pull
waiting for usefulness to begin

Did you find me in the warmth
where the pillow held the contour
long past my leaving
with your own daylight dreaming?

I wonder where the photo was taken
of your crinkled blue eyes
filled with something that was a gift
where I could see so much time become new

and how can I tell you now
long past that hour of my memory
so ripe and ready to read
the slip of paper wrapped in love
that still holds to the feeling

that I do taste the honey
as it creeps into morning
and longs for the changing
though it still lingers in good night

It travels so fast you see
past a dream and midnight cover
to awaken groggy and stuck
but almost here

Friday, February 28, 2014


Hear the method of repair
the air is filled with a low hum
across the nape of  naked trees
I feel like I still hold the leaves
the weight like feathers now

The fabric will not remain so quiet
it will touch me until I'm clogged
and a season will grow within the ditch
soon dimpling the overflow off curb
awash within the noisy gutters rise
until I can at last lay down a word of me

that flows down the river
          to the sea

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Circles in the Garden

Circles in the Garden

Circles move in the garden.
The flower folds into death,
seeks the ground and covers the warm earth,
molding with the leaves
swept from the tree onto the path,
making room for the new bud.

The strawberry's sunny face turns red,
the sweet pea is perfumed
the honey suckle sweetened
as the circle moves
and the end becomes
the beginning.

The flower
nipped in the bud
dies slowly,
coloring the room,
singing a heart,
joying the dancing boy and girl,
catching the girl's hair in the color
that sparkles her eyes.

As the sun moves into another rising,
flowers open to beauty
and close to death.
In this fantasy of time 
a young girl strips the petals
from the daisy of her youth
and one by one drops her innocence
and opens into a woman.

A rose blooms
into the fragrance of a boys' desire,
and every breath
quickens him to manhood.

The flower lays tangled
in the memory of years,
pressed against the pages 
of time, it waits
and grows a memory.

If a flower is plucked
by some raging storm,
its seeds will set another bloom,
its petals will enrich the ground,
and nothing will be lost or forgotten.
In spring new flowers will color the hills,
and from a mound
of plain, brown earth
life will return.

Friday, January 24, 2014



The desk belonged to my mother
I love the hidden compartments
where she kept importance.

I have kept them too.

pencilled with abandon,
curled and draped,
 a face
a smile graced.

I see in pen
a girl with a big bow
and hair that flips up.
There’s a wooden boat,
and above it a chandelier
with bangles and crystal, 
where a winged critter
circles in circles.

Given a motor
all could fly,
little paper machines around the room,
or away on graceful silver thread of wing.

I know while she doodled
she talked on the telephone,
said how are you,
made appointments,
laughed in friendship,
all the while her crazy self-willed hand
moved unfettered and free.

I see she has named one,
horse and buggy,
but it looks more like a flower
with light bulb petals.

I fear I got my imagination from
that sweet mother of mine.

No, I hope I did.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Catching Air

Quietly warmth tracks the floor
and stops at the closed door
then turning in circles against the glass
it fastens on the cat's paw
as in lazy winter careful
she backs away slowly
stealth a cunning part of grace
her pink tongue licking nothing.

And I think of strawberries
and the warm roads of Oxnard
delicately sweet with juice
running my chin
catching the lace of summertime.

When longing pounces on the warming air
and catches flashes of light tripping in
like a dormant mood gone to wind
as chimes open the sky
and it would seem that all can hear
the first drop fall
on the trembling measure of time.