Thursday, December 16, 2010

To Weave a Basket

The marsh twilight's deep staining feet
across the stone bridge I to keep
there filigree of music starts
to weave a basket of my heart

Such variant day in wind a change
touched by opening package lain
alive from powder’s fragile mist
across the whispered light of kiss

I go there to the cave of be
all lit from reflected waters three
one rippled softly from my breath
one still as never moving chest

The third reflects the inside view
all dappled sunlight shadow hued
with sweet of longing bending near
a drop in time spread out in tear

I pull the plug within my soul
to empty cobwebs staining goal
and there in feathered imagery
I catch a hint of destiny

It like a coral ocean floor
distributes time through moonlit door
to see it sow imagining
and mend hurt flower fragmenting

Hold it up ‘tis sweet as sky
studded star sung lullaby
A canopy of slanted light
reflected from the fire of sight

Pull time across the plains of earth
into waterfalls exploding mirth
then watch the healing from the wound
of drinking drought by time perfumed

It’s plain as dirt on cavern floor
and light as whispered evermore
all parts be held or felt in clasp
from answered wisdom of the past

It is what stillness brings around
and listening pulls from warming found
in opening life times mending seam
to shake out dust from field of dreams

The marsh twilight deep staining feet
across the stone bridge I to keep
there filigree of music starts
to weave a basket of my heart

Monday, November 29, 2010

Music from the Corner of Winter

We are wearing thin the rooftops
of the castles and the cabins
and the carpet in the doorway
is a pathway built of summer

You can hear the fingers knocking
slipping sea into the canyon
you can feel the moon regretful
drawing ridges on the pillow

They are wearing thin the blanket
lost the warmth in new of winter
gone is the open skin sigh
in the softly floating midnight

and you can hear the naked trees
release the moan of morning
you can feel the sky exhale
like a filling open vessel

and the cuddle is all curled up
not long or delicious slowly
it is under blanket fast-wrap
in the frozen sheets of evening

you can see the frost on windows
you can hear the teeth of singing
you can feel the arms of winter
as your slumber groans and mumbles

and you want to travel sideways
when you see the world turn crystal
then new magic takes a window
and fills it full of softness

and you know the perfect blessing
in a sudden turn of insight
is the music from the corner
of going home

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simply Ordinary

Quiet the morning
takes the song from birds
and wakes the sweater of silence

Who can disturb the air there?

Wings fluff,
diffused by sky and funnelled
along edges of lavender
where waiting is sweet
and there's no need to fly.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Love Story

One summer day, hot and humid,
she, with windows open, fans going, was standing
letting the air blow an ice cube
up and down her arms, around her neck,
thinking, a man to run his finger up her arm
like this ice cube, making goose bumps
as a knock on the door made her jump,
feeling guilty somehow for her thoughts.

On the porch was a man looking with a grin
at her feelings, she thought,
selling Bibles, he said.
She watched his face, not listening;
the way his lips moved, the straight line of his teeth,
the crease that appeared, then disappeared
from the corner of his eye.
She had wished for a man and this one had appeared.

He told her about college and selling Bibles door to door
to support himself, to help his family.
He told her about his three young sisters
and one brother, how his mom was sick
his dad having trouble.

She bought a Bible, of course.
She bought a Bible, even though she already had one.
How could she not buy a Bible from this man?

Usually, words flowed from her like music
from an early morning song- bird.
How to make him stay, after the Bible was in her hand
and the dull day was threatening return?

The ice melted slowly in her hand
making a wet spot on the bodice of her dress.
She thought of the heat and this man trudging with his
sacred suitcase full of the Word, and the ice slowly melting
on her chances.

He stayed drinking ice tea as shadows fell on the day
and the afternoon breeze curled the pages
of the Bible that lay on the table between them.

They were married in the spring
and they had just planted a garden,
when he was drafted.

She kept him safe under her pillow
where his love touched her
with long and passionate letters.

Killing was not in him and he was sick
from the fear of it, he said.
He had seen his friend turn in the middle of a laugh
into a land mine and disappear.
After that he kept to himself, afraid friendship would breed more pain.

One cool evening as she turned the bed down
and touched the stack of envelops as tenderly as skin,
she was with him in the trenches watching
the quiet of the morning.
She could hear the birds, her love's loud breathing
and a frantic heart-beat.

Was it his? Was it hers?

Be still, she said,
but, he was running up the hill
away, away,

then the hill exploded
like red rain.
First published in the anthology, Reflections on the Web in poetic version.  Now a part of my novella, Sweet William

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Walking the Gravel Path

I take the thistle from dog's paw
and walk the gravel path,
passed the dried belief of limp
that was the past.
The wind muscled through
and took a limb from tree,
now it rests on the path like sculpted tomb,
a dwelling space for a seed some bird forgot
in favor of a worm.
What if I were to imagine she was skipping
on the mountain of her grave
and gave this thought to me in note of breeze,
to say, let go of the past that too long believed
that time was actually something that she woke to?
Steady sure time takes the leaf from hold
that seemed so sturdy true, when first it knew
how spring greenly gave itself the lie
and forgot that all must die.
I've plunged the knife into the wounded bark
that gave my years the memory, so often,
that art lost its form and words their diction.
Now I see around me truth, not fiction.
Backwards is no longer true
and even now the sky behind the clouds, is blue;
for across the water rocked with dimpled rain,
regret has drained.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's About Time

I look back and see time,
soft and folded to keep out the creases
made of cotton's constant bending,
it flows and turns magenta
just as the sun moves
and caresses the hard line of night.

Sometimes I feel I need to hurry,
to lap up truth
and with a hammer make dents
in the fabric that covers
the texture of life.

Tools, not weapons,
that I can make myself,
(I tell time's long face as it ticks in my ear)
made out of the swift current of my breath
from the boat of my hands,
not a scream tethering the spirit
to the whipping ball of some miraculous power
I know is heard even by the jellyfish
as they dance to the tides,
down in that place called,
More Than I Know.

Time remakes itself when we think it grows
and ages and groans and cries,
instead it is brand new and waiting
for someone to acknowledge
that it isn't very important, after all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I know that there is a miraculous power
hidden in the secret places of grass,
passing silent witness to the way the ground gives
the sweet perfume within quiet air
that seeps from the remarkable grace of a flower.

Friday, October 8, 2010

From Time and Change

she is sometimes so full of another color
like a season she searches true the minutes
capturing them as they slip sand and wash
into the wealth of the moon and more become

listen to the crashing of her high tide
like forest at night in creep up with the leaves
waiting for the dew all crawl and rustle
she hears one grain of sand shift soft relief

she is wealth of moon and more a ramble
a tree stands with her in the tall of stretch
and scurry things twig her toe in walk along
and jam her sway along the way of best

light is such verve and frequently captured
by the chain that pulls her to design
the falling of the magic fills the chasm
and brings her to a fast focus align

listen can you hear the seasons changing
across her skin she feels it with her warm
and waits beneath the waning light of autumn
for a storm to nudge her dormant ions

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Fly on the Wall Cafe

As I digested thoughts of mug warts and nasty nettles
from the plastic vinyl and the lace curtains,
I turned the pages of the menu
as if they were time itself
hinting at bologna omelets, liver and onions,
even chipped beef.

There was a hum inside that was bright
with sunflowers, and children
slurping long worms of spaghetti.
I even saw a glass of laughter milkshake
blowing a straw paper that hit my heart,
but I didn't see a single fly.

Would you like a glass of cool? the waitress winked
and made another line on her face.
There was precious room for another
so smiled was her skin
and lubricated by bacon grease and the cubed butter
slathered creamy yellow onto pumpernickel, raisin
or a sourdough slice of fresh backed every day bread.

Did I really settle for tuna fish and french fries, even a coke,
when I could have had a butter-battered blueberry delectable?
My senses were caught in the plates that passed,
breathing dumplings and real maple syrup.

I couldn't tell you what I ate
but I know that I was full
and as I drove away I found
tucked into the neck of my best dress
a napkin where I'd written these words.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tides Suck and Release

I'm so far away from beach towel days
though my gaze down the canyon
in my viewfinder stays
on the old comfortable seat
of some beat up van
where I sit with the sun
listening to insects hum
and kids on the playground almost complete
a belief that sand is sifting beneath my feet

Where the ocean curls so far away now
I can almost hear it in the breeze through the sunflowers
drained dry and brittle and sinking into seeds
where birds tweet and treat delirious with time

I can stay the past
with seagulls play and the sweet salt air
burning in my reverie
then turn away like summer does
away away to the rolling motion
of tides suck and release
a tease to the wiggle of toes
like these
on an old comfortable seat
of some beat up van
where I sit with the sun
grateful I am

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Above flowing dark waters
Past the last minutes of sun’s light
The geese hold a ribbon of sound
That takes me with them into evening sky

In their fold of brotherhood
Strapped to invisible currents
Lost in the last pointed star’s reach
Knowing direction by unwritten instinct

They follow ancient echoes
In the fantasy of their call
Shredding sound like guileless music
Into the long low growl of something wild

Written on vellum from broken trees
The sound strips my tongue of its hold on earth
And slings the arch of my inevitable smile
Over the wild open jasmine of time itself

Monday, August 9, 2010

Time Off

The air inhales
the tender pulsing
of the birds.

They leave the sky
and carve the dirt,
digging into the place
where the sprinkler leaks.

The steaming, invisible air
has taken the lips from dew's child
and is breathing upon an apple leaf.

I can hear the brittle voice
of the curled tree
from the cleft of its shadow
where the cat's listless tongue hangs loose.

Time has ticked the water off,
to keep it safe
until the sun squeezes its last harvest
and falls off the edge.


cool lush moss shivers
stirring leaves into the pond...
memory of face

Saturday, July 31, 2010

meaningful shorts

earth's quiet cathedral...
Mimosa tree

Giving birth
the field that was dried up...
yellow flowers

Sunflowers nod
giving substance to breeze...

I am

I am a load of minutes, heavy with wonder at the clarity of just one. Perhaps it comes at noon, on a day just as lunch sounds good and the birds are snoozing from morning's song. Perhaps it moves along the sidewalk, leashed and exuberant, wanting to be unchained; jumping and wild ... a rabid thing gone to joy.

I see how the load is less and the forgotten cast off, as dust performs a miracle and covers the unused things until they don't matter.

Sudden insights insist ... listen to me; softly the appreciation of little things grab hold and give to movement, meaning ... so many times now that the spirit comes from behind the silent silk of time and takes a bow.

I've known the power of listening and now see the wonder of being understood.

What is this willful character of celebration? It is dressed in wildflowers and recalls the grace of wind. It is a blade of grass gone green from spring, and the turbulence of snow-melt racing summer to the sea. It is hills of yellow mustard, curved like breasts in the morning sun.

It is the poem, in me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Which way to the River

So far so far

The path
walks with you

A feather notices the breeze

The ribbon of sky
touches the mountain
small thoughts are caught in the tangles
that dot the ridges all bend and bough there

Too far

Distance is deceiving
Time is its brother

Bathe your feet in rocks
trust the bones of trees
they have captured the way
their flourish marks the path

Sit down with breath
without counting

Listen to air speak

The water runs free
in me

To the Heart

Can you see past the river where the torn ground spits out the sound
that eases doubt, and tremble of leaves is only fear, and perhaps deer,
a place unnamed where one sits and talks to the start?

It would appear that no one is here to listen to heart
that fills up each day with high octane and roars around the glitter,
pushing aside the chaos until there is a road that takes the lonely away from day.

The banter of lips is torn from touching heat so often, until blistered
they part and drink from this place where beginning is so cool
and the wash of life catches a callus that came from too much fool.

Too much filling up and letting out and filling again rubbed in,
and all that is left is to be here taking a breath and maybe asking a question
and listening as the sky quiets and the trees stop tremble,
to the heart.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


A bright orange star
in a foliage of forest green sky

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More than

liquor of roses
more than expressing color...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Counting Clock

Where all around once was hard rock
within the counting clock time takes us all
then breathe of flower upon the ground
up from frail hand stands
and thus would turn to grace
yes all of us

Monday, July 5, 2010


can anybody hear me...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Music from the Corner of Summer

The grasses move like feathers
in the breezes through the canyon
and the fog in soft of cover
brings the ocean’s fragrant sand in

And the sleepy peace of dawning
with only sheets for cover
softly feather heads on pillows
touch an eyelash still a dreaming

And the buds of petals sing now
with a buzz of frantic movement
giving purpose to the beauty
that has filled the air with fragrance

And I want to dance on green grass
in a dress of yellow daisies
lay me down within the arbor
listening as the fruit is ripened

But I feel the clock is ticking
in the shadows past the hedges
caught within the dirt and drainage
of the folding fallen wildflowers

So I hold on to the questions
and I wait for the horizon
to reply with mauve of sunset
warm with dark and heavy breathing

And I know the perfect feeling
is in holding on one minute
to a look that’s filled with loving
falling into drape of silken

For the hum in dark of midnight
under canopy of stardom
singing soft the mad of midday
with a sigh within a love song

is the music from the first of coming home

Monday, June 21, 2010

Drowning in the Long Day

Green is almost gone now;
tussling with this long day
that creases shadows of sunflowers,
still tossing their brown and yellow heads.

The meadow has dried,
mowed under and stomped clear
are the delightful dandelions.
They wait beneath the heartbeat
of the whispering wind
to become again.

How glory-full it feels
to let the open window stay all night,
letting in the sounds of summer children
until it’s almost dark with laughter
and slammed doors.

What time is night,
when the moon is so still and awkward,
the porch light reaching into the dark
with fingers like ghosts wanting company,
electric blue and eating sleep?

Today the day will stay
long into the fingers of twilight purple,
making amethysts in the river
before leaving once more,
drowning the bottoms of things
until the current rips hours
and time stands still.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Fight of Meadow and Lug Nut from Sweet William

Even though he was tightening lug nuts
his thoughts leaned against a tree
in mountains far away,
sitting so still that life
went about daily tasks.
A cottontail dislodged rotting leaves
stopped and sniffed,
scratched a soft, pink ear
and disappeared behind a log.

Purple Lupine caught the air
to dance in a spot of sun.
California poppies littered the slope
beside the trail.
The sound of water was everywhere.
Three quail bobbing their heads
in unison, their pointed feather hats erect,
marched with purpose towards the sound.

In the garage the air was stiff
with the smells of gasoline and oil
when a shadow fell across his vision
and his heart moved from the peace place
and skipped and jumped him a warning.
Slouched in front of him
was a man with mean eyes.

The man’s face contorted
then dislodged a sound,
belched an acid laugh into the garage.
It echoed unpleasantly
across the meadow
where the mule deer, squirrel
and black bear roamed
and a dark and menacing cloud
formed over the sun dappled place
of poppies and lupine.

When he saw the intent that waited
in those eyes, his hands became fists
and he watched as the lug nuts
rolled across the floor and settled.


a question came up from inside the cave
where the sleeping bear had wintered
and the question was hungry for answers.

He searched the verdant grass
and the trail that looped
from years of thirst,
towards the river that flowed
in moving crystal light.
He followed it across the years
into the man made lap of knowledge
that brought pipe and hoses
to desperation
and he knew the answer.

The answer was a civilized thing
and it dripped now into his anger,
where violence waited to lunge
with the full black weight of its hunger,
fed by his father’s words,
echoed through generations
of fathers and sons,

"Be a man."

He heard his father’s voice
softening with the opening of his hands
and his father’s name for courage
gave up and settled into whispers,
as the mean eyes became confused,
tension slumped and defused
and a sigh emptied into the garage,
lingered a moment
then disappeared.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Onion Flower

socially awkward...
walk by without noticing
beautiful flower

Monday, May 31, 2010

These Three and Me

In the mourning dove’s lament
across the line of sky where time stops,
in the bend to light of tulip face,
I feel embrace of love
not stab or wounded wide
in cry, no,
at peace from misery’s last sigh
and hallowed by the places it has been.

A mother's grace of smile to child
in open arms now warmth displays to little me,
so fragile strong in run across the lawn of time
to grasp her skirt again
and feel some safety there at last from past.

And father young and captured in
the sandy beaches of my heart, still ebbs, is gone
yet flows to teach the steps to take past fear
with open arms the beacon, into the depth so lit,
to experience beyond the fear, the joy.

Even winter with love just broken
and child by death newly taken from me,
I knew the white light around the place,
this corner of grace was where to go
to hold myself within my arms
and know even past my sight
that everything would be all right.

And so those three with some of me
have stayed
in places they knew not,
to break the chain that held me tight
so I could fly
within the mourning dove’s lament
across the line of sky where time stops
to meet them once again.
5-26-02 (In memory of my mother, Marian; my father, Vincent, and my daughter, Michelle)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Of Harmony

Slow a minute and wait for me
for I am not as quick as I used to be
and I look around sometimes and feel fear take me
to places where bitter truth is painted dark
by treasured sacred piece of me my heart

This brittle life can be so surrounded in a light
that in the last small piece of sun
it strikes a cord like just begun
then winks one last look into the pale ascent
lost in crowds all heaven bent to pay respect
to the monument that ashes build

Give then with tip of head and lowered eyes
a thought to peacefulness inside
perhaps then all with struggles will hit their knees
and listen to the way a chorus sounds of harmony

Friday, May 28, 2010

haiku in red

Expressions from the Corner Shopping Cart

Curve of lashes take me to a place
outside in dark
a moon song of expression in the corner’s
shopping cart

Built from all the coupons that surround
me with confuse
with the front page of the paper
and the latest blow up news

Should I open up this fear that plants
my chemistry
with battles fought and children caught
in hateful blasphemy

My spirit takes it like a slap
on the face of what is grace
and to hide is near impossible
when a prayer is made from hate

I wonder how one person can rearrange
this way of man
where circles were unbroken now all I see
is trash filled cans

And more and more to see my jaded eyes
are looking down
to find the tiny dignity
of some green cement surrounds

This quiet comfort fills me with the need
To make amends
but what for and who too the list it seems
might never end

So I sing within myself a tune
of loving arms surround
and I touch the ones I’m holding close
within my cotton gown

Then like magic in the midnight sky
with opal riding low
I hear the soft sound of mending
from other hearts who also sow

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Song Was there All Along

The air is full can sing
with drain of day
darning children and birds.

Someone drags a trashcan filled
glass, a box, leaves and things;
gated garden’s swing I hear sing
as air sucks in the sun and makes a wind chime stop
and listen to the end of day.

Airplane and train in magic become loud,
the music like a lonely ear
too proud to pay attention,
suddenly perks and nods.

at maddening bat fly-by to take
the last small thing in air it ate,
could almost hear the snap and crunch
the whirr of wing the light so lost.

Just a jewel in deep of pool
and a song was there you know,
probably all along.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Time and Pomegranate Wine

I am stained by pomegranate wine
watching the sun and birds crack my skin
recalling how I sucked each seed
until my tongue was red
and my fingers held
the color I spent
when persimmons sucked my mouth dry
and yet

each morning's mirror
holds the sweet gloaming sound of the sun
slipping up into another rising
and I hear where doves hide under rafters
loving feathers playing musical rooftops
with the soft snore of a dog the same

my finger's still hold the pomegranate's stain

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I just took a walk
to say hello to neighbors
in their swimming pool

Still Life

Monday, April 19, 2010


Lithe with zip-twirl,
the road an airway;
it supped at bird-stop,
filled-up with sweetest fuel,
then stopped before my wonder-face
and dared the air between us,
then was gone.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Albino Lashed

From the corner of my eye
in whitest white came in the door
albino lashed a thought to me
for free it fluttered just to left
I did my best to still my breath
afraid in skirt of small spaced flight
I’d turn and rupture such delight

Behind me now I felt the smallest wind
touch the fold behind my ear with whim
like song in key of wonder it beguiled my neck
with thought of lovely trust in tangle
with my hair a riot of wings and lust

Was like the fingers of a cloud
I followed it out the door to the blackberry
blossomed and looking so like the flying thing
the flower and the creature be
a mated pair one so still and touched by air
the other twirled in and out her thorns with care
and I a voyeur to their thrill
delight the pale and capture with eyes filled

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In the Place where Morning Dwells

In the place where morning dwells
life is dew that touches flowers
reflecting color of sunlight
so splendid in healing powers

High on the cliff of life I stand
where each day erosion changes
trust keeps me from the ocean’s swirl
a fence built from rocks not cages.

I hear the laugh that opens new
in path of spring where lupine turn
it is the song within each breath
soft as the nest a mother yearns

I know the desperate grasping climb
and the willow that bends in grace
beneath its branches sweet repose
is the breeze’s caress on face

In the grasp of withering time
so often I’ve felt like crying
it’s from the grief that’s part of life
I’m learning the art of dying

I feel the still within my heart
it dreams with me in surrender
in search for sound of love's display
the truth is the magic sender

I can reflect upon this grace
for I am in a wondrous place

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Music From the Corner of Spring

I can feel the dirt is moving
On the tips of green I see it
As the sun fills sky with morning
It is building bone on skin now

And the deepening of darkness
Is because the day is lighter
as the ducks flying to summer
Find my open morning window

I can see the breath of springtime
In the creeping warmth of breezes
And the shaking of the rooftops
Is the scattered raindrops drying

I can feel my skin get lighter
And its cloth makes silk from flannel
For the window will be softened
Chill be taken from the curtains

And I want to travel seaward
Across the nape towards summer
Fill my buckets with the fragrant
Seaweed shells and sandy dollars

And I know the snow of fresh fall
Will be melting on the mountains
And the apple painted sunsets
Will swallow whole the day in lovely

For the winter's almost over
Its cold sheets of curled sleeping
Leaving shadows to delight in
Fine for feather-pillowed nighttime

As I feel the warming fire
From the hands across the seasons
Fill my cart with favorites
Walking with me into April

No matter what the season's heart-song
It is the window that opens inward
That is the music from the corner
of going home

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Forever February

All along the edge of night
she silent slips with ancient ways
with toss of head sends mauve to dark
this art work is the sky and more
belabor not the trust she has
that turn of hand can bring sun down

Come February now the time of mourn
she stops to ponder not worn or wasted
how display the color of the way it feels
to leave beloved flying over hills to stay
forever along the mist that tears have made

She knows this space from every year
has come to feel the callus it has wept
and contemplate the ways to pull the paint
to make a backdrop compliment the grief
and some relief the beauty caught define
like sweet memory of sun in shine of hair

The time is near now she can feel the strain
though it remains eclipsed the brightness fades
then opens new a page of month of days
so turning now she sets the sun in clay to bend
forever February into love again

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Meadow of Mustard

A woman watches the west for words
as the wind wipes them from her mouth
and plants them with the haste of winter
into the blowing grasses of a meadow

Singing to the yellow profusion
green weeds dare to whisper about spring
(they have rooted in the pouring rain
and understand mud and time)

Meanwhile a random feather is caught in the fray
and drifting like a kite in early March slowly slides
the invisible air like a lover's silk-lined gown
down into the print left by the woman's boot
as she watches the west for words

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Reverence

the dripping rain at night
upon the back of an old trash can
sound bites I am
percussive proclamation
of hearing

In the morning
like jewels the grass and leaves beget
a thousand reflections of the sky

Who cannot believe in that

The air is fulsome flight
of birds who watch the water swell
until first light's silver slither
when suddenly all is still

Oh the weight of waiting is sweet
as time ticks the clouds closed
and the wind wipes the sky clean
filling space with spirit air
there where God sleeps

Within the patterns of the broken fragments
of light reflected in corners and doorways
crushed beneath the raging breath of earth
almost cursed we are blessed

Monday, January 18, 2010

The House on Mystic Hill

It is only a house;
the far off places of my heart
reflected in its windows
as if they held secrets
made of glass.

The redwood tree
gives no thought to winter air
or the leaking that time gives
to old things when it rains.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Sentient wood
splintered warp of other hands
took measure of the woven trees
smoothing the plane until
a song from a meadowlark
became a gasp of air

Glass eyes reflect the landscape
out back
where moss covers the rocks
in artistic afterthought
Now its continence
a majestic presence offered for the price
of a labor intensive future
sits alone on top of a hill with a view