Sunday, December 23, 2012

Melting Time

From a special time in Sedona Arizona many years ago that I saved in this poem

Remember when the icy wind
caught my scarf and shoes were frozen
and the wooden plank of sidewalk
was chucked with ice that slid to treacherous
and your breath blew soft cool mist
onto my cheek of reddened flower?

That night we cushioned our love touches
in the drapes of locked-in darkness
for it had been lightly raining
and the sound of peace was airing
as the ticking drops drowned day
and dreamed me tender in its minutes.

Some time during that nesting comfort
time quieted and all shapes hearkened
for its return to blowing dripping
but peaceful was the voice that whispered
and the words felt just like cotton
and woke me to a room of darkling.

I left your comfort for the window
to see if day had come and gone
if earth had twirled us into space
for this unsound was filled with wonder
then the drapes of magenta whistled
as I looked between their folding.

A perfect feathering drift of sky
sliced the room and lit your face
and light exploded without shadow
around the pirocantha’s berries
for all around the auburn mountains
crystal layered the morning landscape.

And I was filled with such delight
that bare foot took me to the door
to reach my hand into the flight
of something that so seemed like magic
that to this day the memory catches
across the years of sun’s bright glisten

to the snow that caught my palm
and melted time in Sunday reverence.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Colored with his Love

Sometimes the sun
pulls some kind of magic from the sky
and I can feel it nudge my skin
in a reverent way,
as if someone conspired
to let me see more clearly
how the water emits radiance
and sounds are sharply cut
from a song of continuance.

Today I saw this magic
in something far more finite,
something as fragile as a flower
and as strong as a caress,
I saw it in hands, dear hands,
beloved and torn on one delicate thumb,
hands that had traced the years
around the heart of my nurturing
and had felt the callus of life
tear into my skin with time.

Hands that desire the earth
and touch it like a woman,
hands that are strong enough
to crush the bones of rocks,
hands that hear beauty knock
and build it in the doorway
while I wait with who’s there
not yet spoken.

I could see so clearly
how for-granted colored the knuckles
and I felt great tenderness for nail ridge’s curl
and the slightly pink flesh
that fell into the heartland
of his palm.

I hold them now
cupped giants between my own
opened  I kiss the inside of my heart
for as I look with this clarity
I see it there as sure as a blink
and it is colored with his love.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sam at Two

Sam at two
sits with a tiny apple she picked in one hand
and fish food in the other
calling the cat
kitty kitty comes
a loyal subject to her whim

On the porch swing of creak and song
she is the princess of the yard's wealth
she hears the leaves behind her
sees past the air to the sound

and rules a place in my heart as well

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making Love

Making Love

The air fumbles around with day
blending lush of leaf with water
smearing palms within reflection
weaving color green with mellow

More than sun and shadow covering
dirt and lizard all a scurry
a face turns on
and reflection cowers
hiding its fish beneath a ripple

The abrupt rocks soften
readying each sparkle in hand
until a stone becomes a diamond
dappled and perfect with belief
because that is what it takes
to make love
photo, me with my grandgirls, Sam and Ellie, 11-10-06

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bonfire of Time

He says that there is always time.

She thinks,
when is there enough?

There is too much bigness
for the years left
and she can hear the clock.

She wants
time to gather up a thought,
time to fill up with air and time to let it out,
then say all that is precious,
lots of time,
if not now, then down the road a piece
where the road turns,
there, where the sky weeps blue
and the dancing is across a meadow.

But, she has seen the moon gather footprints
in the sand
then the ocean gobble them without weeping.
She has watched bereft as the sea
took her love
until it became a tiny dot in the horizon
and then was gone.

He says the years unfold for reason,
each to teach,
to reach again where you couldn’t,
and it takes time to learn big things,
they are weight that drowns again and again
until a light burns on
and understanding floats.

It floats in a circle
that cannot be ended only begun.

She would take time and throw it
into one final bonfire
and lay down all of her heavy breathing
to sip from the chalice that he offers,
and he would gently blow out the match
and whisper to the wind
and let it ease into the space around her
each night at ten.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wild Welcomings

See the pond there?

It runs through me into a deep pool
and there within its reflection
I see many wild welcomings.

The sky and even singing birds
corner the curl of moss.

I am there see my hair?

A mermaid of fresh water,
she lifts her contemplation up
and knows each thread
in the fabric of art she watches
is turning with her toes
as slowly a dance she knows becomes
the quiet melt of songs already sung,
just beginning and will be begun.

Blow a kiss into this other place
then hold my wild in your embrace,
funnel the current between the rocks
a riffle is made from this love unlocked.

I’ll catch it in the ripple,
take it through the canyon
and across the city
to the sea with me.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Where is the Spider

Time spins a web
from the tree of life
and we are caught.
Blown like a feather
we cling
as our need
gives us strength.

We touch
the lazy leaf in awe,
smell the tangy edge
of fruited laughter
and long for truth.

Days are sometimes
our slow enemy.
The dullness of them
seeps into our lust
and inhibits our exuberance.

Many times a manic dance
spins us out of control,
before we can think of a purpose
we have passed ourselves
and must seek again
what we never found.

We are the umbilicated
tied to the past by a severed cord,
phantom pains
keep us from forgetting
our beginning.
We are chained to the future
by the microscope of eternity
found in our children.

We throw out a life line
and glean
through the unbearable
coupling of our bodies, destiny.

From the depth of
this beauty
we recognize youth
far back on the road.

The mirror mimics
our exterior
when inside we
realize that youth
has only become
less frivolous
and more kind.

There are signs along
the path we travel
these are some I’ve seen:

Singing when your heart
is full
brings sweetness to your

Holding the hand
of one
who walks along
the river
leads to the
appreciation of
little things.

Listening to the message
of the sea,
an overripe opinion.

Embracing in love
sets a fire
that will not
be extinguished.

Looking inward
for the teacher
calms the trembling
of your grasping

Laughter emptying
into your
troubled soup
sweetens the bitterness
and strengthens
all the essential

To struggle
against the web
is to be caught
more fiercely.
If we are still
and open,
we can appreciate
the glistening of its
and the touch of air
surrounding it.

Peace is fleeting,
found in an instant
when eyelash meets
the cheek.

Does the tree
of life
concern itself
with our struggle?

Tall and sure
it holds the web,
but can it protect it
from what is
or what will be?

I still have not seen
the spider.

Hello Above

above I think you are
or all around
that star

can’t say that I’ve not looked away
a stray
but I used to be Sunday’s child
licking that gold star beside my name in school
and every night I laid me down
my soul
what was that I didn’t know
but didn’t want to die before I woke no

I asked you to help me back then when I was ten
with something bigger then I have known since
put my hands out into the dark
in my room with the closet I feared and asked
just needed to know what to do

and while I’m at the questioning
I’ve been wondering about that angel
I called Michelle
you know she was special she was
most for me a first big love
and my prayer was big that day
I know I’d faltered earlier and now I was in need
all of a sudden I asked that greed

to take a child who was loved so dear
this tear is all you gave to me in answer
and still I ask
how is this plan worked out

I don’t mean any disrespect
and I’m sure you know my heart is good
believes in love and brotherhood

and I appreciate all the little things you made
for me to touch
and I know one day beyond this time
sense will make of me some semblance
of what this time spent is meant to be

until then just one thing for peace on earth
goodwill to men
could we get some help with this

From some time ago with thoughts of my darling daughter, Michelle (1965-1974)

Friday, August 3, 2012

Slowly, the Slipping of Summer

Slowly, the Slipping of Summer

Air moves slowly through the open door
then begs the corner of my eye
to watch

as a small thread from a spider's web
turns into a gold chain even as I look away
feeling like I can't bear to know
how fragile this one thing is
and how carelessly it can be destroyed

but I have already seen it
connecting the wooden door frame
to the bookcase

where in one corner
a book is wrapped up in patient silk
sewn up so tight
lace fingers of it
hold its pages in place

I see a fluff of feather there
caught fast by the delicate strings
cast across the air
and taken by the sun
like a piece of art holding mighty
a drift from a molting summer bird

I watch a hammock swing
macraméd and filled gracefully with wind
then set on fire with sunlight
and I am captured in the whim

that it is marking a path
to the place of bare feet
and the sound of summer's children in the yard
gone too soon and replaced with slamming car doors
and crows quarreling in the shadows of morning

How slowly air moves into the voices of the trees

Over my shoulder I sense time moving
made from the slipping of summer
even as I turn
wanting to catch
the first squeal
from a cool-down sprinkler's child

and only find the sound of leaves

Published in Pirene's Fountain, October 2009, Volume 2 : Issue 6

Saturday, July 28, 2012

For Elizabeth Grace

...and then the turmoil over
the falling into light and cold of cloth
the last hiccup softly sung
there within your own beginning
you quieted yourself.

Your lower lip still trembling from your cry,
within the sound my own milk drops again
in phantom ache to mother,
I touch your hair instead,
your hair beyond soft,
the color of a moonless sky.

Naked with your belly pressed to sheet,
not pleased with placement
you lift your head and look the other way,
a most extraordinary feat.

At that instant I see the truth of temperament,
know something of your tenacity and will,
envy the strength that turns your head
away from mother to be within yourself.

Not because I feel you
turn from love,
just see the strength in you
that is already a song,
someday you will be,
yes, strong enough to get along.

One finger touch across your naked back
is touching a place never worn,
of air in morning above the dew
before the sun has opened, that is you.

Your closed eyelids filled with tiny veins
in graceful ballerina dance
a feel of wonder....and of the power
of something beyond life itself,
something from the other place
where maps are made.

Maps are ever changing things,
the folding left sometimes to chance,
the weather beaten ones I hold so dear
I wish for you to keep to find your way
on small unlit dirt path
instead of the dark line of road,
and know the road you forge within yourself
to be the most important goal.

I wish your choices to be hard ones
your walls and doors most difficult to build
the value of the space and time around you,
strong enough to open what you've filled

I will be here watching in wonder your unfold,
I'll be your basin catch or higher hand to move,
adviser old an angel filled with poetry and prose,
the teacher of the tender,

I give to you the heart that felt your father grow
into the man that holds you now
with the love I helped him show.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dragonfly Love

In the garden within the pond,
a sculpture swirled and angled
with grace has rusted.

At the top, as if artistic afterthought
brought them to this coupling,
were the iridescent wings of two dragon flies.

He had danced in circles with the smaller
less vibrant female and they had stopped
just a moment in a circle of continuity,
joined and melded in perfect harmony.

Now he sat frozen,
his wings outstretched
as she released her offering into the pond,
again and again, then flew away
to hide against a brown branch,
her wings closed and silent.

He flew in orbit around my head,
his color like the bright orange fish
off the clear waters of Catalina.
The sun drenched his rainbow wings
as he stopped and hovered for a moment
in front of my transfixed watching.

Then, in sure and perfect movement,
he traveled the maze of tall corn stalks,
dropping behind the lily
and the nodding sun flower
to appear again over the pond.

She did not return.

Her color demure and soft was gone,
her completion drained into the pond.
She was away whispering wings
above a different pond perhaps.

But he stayed all afternoon
playing with the breeze,
coloring the air.
I like to think he waited
for her.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Sprinkler Speaks

How long can this drain of day
seep into the center of you
this watered and wet moan
I am tired of hearing
it says

I listen now to the yard
as the leaf catches the spray
the sound is as fingers
each tap tearing fragile
until they tuck their green down

The teal sky is relentless
in its hold on pretty
and nudges me from the corner
as I try to look away

The pigeon insists
I lean into all the open spaces
where sound carries me
and the children are the ones
that trace their laughter on my paper
and make me write the tickle

I cannot linger with you dark
for too bright is calling with airplanes
as leaves dancing down the alley
and the wind chime is playing me

It is no use protesting
the sprinkler’s speak
for it will have me
tossed and frazzled and seeping sighs

It will take my shoes off
and fly me into its chill
drown my hair and leave me
sizzling on the grass to dry

and does

Friday, June 15, 2012

So Far

And there is so far to go
before the beginning and the owl’s watch
across the woods it seems is fair
and all the little things are there
so far so far

To find the expanse of air
and sing oh I know how
it comes up from the heart to start
and warbles greenly filled and stilled
can’t find a name to make a title
above the place where sound travels
can’t find the syncopation right
feel it flood me in the night
then soon as time turns down the dark
it’s gone like white wine in the park

And there is so far to go
to the end of this you know
all fluttered and gaining wing
I hide in underneath of things
waiting for the wind that’s mine
around about and under rhyme

Catch me can you see the cloth
I wear in color magic gloss at last to see
the beams of trees below the fastest part of me
less the stumble rock of air
will know the me so hard placed there

So touch this substance known as real
and kiss the doubt off cold then seal
with all the little things out there

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Trench Coat

I was happy to have
that second hand trench coat,
not lined for warmth
but flapping in the San Francisco air,
as exuberant as my long long hair.

I went to the docks
holding the coat closed around me
like a beige drenched lover,
catching the smell of fish,
and the rain was in my face.

The silver slanted buildings
reflected in the dimples of the water
as I walked with a lovely joy
born of youth and being cold
and a crazy free feeling.

Without that coat I might not have seen
the seals slapping against the pilings
as I ran down the street,
or the man in a yellow slicker who looked
with tarnished eyes
at my matted sky rinsed smile.

Monday, May 14, 2012

An Author is Born

  The Library Sunset with Sweet William

The crackle of a turned page
someone clearing their throat
thoughts zipping
in and out of sections
skidding across tables
zapping from computer terminals
the perfume of knowledge
surrounded him
crisp and clean
with an edge of dusty history
everything hushed and polished

From the window
he could see the mountain
like he could walk there
some spring to the place of Manzanita
its red-barked graceful trunk
and yellow Scotch Broom
abandoned down the hillside
falling over boulders painted
red and black with graffiti
now covered with winter snow
turned pink from the setting sun

As he left the library
those beloved doors closed
and the cement steps
the clock tower
even the sidewalk
were stained mauve
as violet windows watched
the end of day

The high craggy peaks
of cement and concrete
steal and glass
at this moment captured
the rosy glowing countenance
of the sky

He saw buildings instead of trees
but there was that same
reverent hush around him
that he had felt in the library
the same upturned rapture

It was raining the night Sweet William was born.  The steady drops tapped on the overturned aluminum boat outside my bedroom window, while I was safe and warm in my bed in a small city in Los Angeles County.  I stayed awake wondering how William was coping with so much rain, writing his answers into my dreams.  He was one person made by my imagination into every man.  I wrote his story because my heart told me that I needed to. He lived in my computer and in the hearts of friends that I shared his life with.  As his life changed, I became a better person.  Everyone I shared his life with, loved him and through him, me.

I painted his dark curly hair and his blue eyes and I felt his pain.  I also felt his triumph when the wonderful publisher, Buddhapuss Ink LLC, read his story that had become my story, and liked it.  My good friend, Mariam Kobras, inspired me when she told me how she had signed with them and published her first book, Distant Shore.  What did I have to lose? I have gained so much because I have this itch to write and if I don’t scratch it with words I think I might explode.   

“You are an author now,” Mariam tells me.  Yes, I am.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Lily, my lily, you quietly plundered,
after all that work in garden, I'm stained burnt umber.
My nose and cheek are now the color of brick,
for your fragrance beguiled me into forgetting your trick.
You quietly opened while I was mowing the lawn,
I really hadn't meant to be away that long.
You were such a pretty color as you danced with air,
I yielded to the perfume of Earth's own dare,
then cut your gorgeous flowers to make a bouquet
that captured your scent for more than just a day.
(Wanting to breathe the incense of your beginning
tenuous life could not be sinning.)
Or could it?
Stunned by my mirror this morning, I was glazed
by your tendril's power powder on my face, amazed;
and it won't come off, this magic dust is fragile, but keeping,
even though it stained my pillow while I was soundly sleeping.
Too soon the lovely fold of you will die or rot
while I'll remain with pale, decidedly not.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moon Thoughts

Your window is open to let in a part of night.
Perhaps a lamppost star drizzles a light-line there;
encased in coat of gray in day, now making a halo
at each corner that whispers direction to morning birds.
Or, a cricket rustles in the leaves a song to you
all drenched in sleep, behind your eyes you hear it
as a lullaby fenced in to yard, a nighttime friend
keeping watch, for silence it will not let in.
You fold the moon within your lips,
blow out stars with every breath
and in that deep sound of a dream they dance
around the window screen.
Your sheets are warm with length of leg
as hand grips air then opens flat on pillow;
grace is caught within the curve so sweet at rest,
I see it find a place of colored memory
where each finger trembles into touch of secret place.
From the curve of night tides turn,
the waves break and keep time with a promise,
for in the night just before first light
you hear it tell you with moon glow,
things you always wanted to know.
The night cannot explain to day
the way its canopy like a treasure chest,
holds the key to secrets 
that in the dark the heart begets.
How and why and when again?
I ask the ageless how become,
the sky an opening to the whim
of wondering at the window
with elbows pointing out as was before,
time backwards and the minutes leaking, gathering
and finally winking out the door.
The dark side falls into the opening
of space and time,
light is swallowed only to be spit out
and sound has no echo in the din.
There is fast like standing still
and holes that carry thunder,
wind empties all the pockets of dust
and blows them all around then under,
even lust lays back the skin a song
finding greater meaning there all along.
How and why and when again?
A child's fancy listens for a clue,
waiting at the window of the night,
knowing in the dark it is easier to hear
the answers that hide within the light.
The silver slanted finger touch of moon,
drizzles light across the plains of cities;
cool in the window
it plays in the street
and hides behind tall trees
that wear their skirts high
and drip berries in the spring.
It sees the pattern of life is not flat,
on the hills and valleys it rides;
it could be water and reflect regret,
instead it digs into the meaning
and wanders off following the pull
of some magic that lives in dark.
Like a child beguiled by sign keep out,
it plays on the other side of the fence
waiting for time to make a place to slide through,
for the pattern buckles and tears sometimes
and wears so thin in places that it seems gone.
The silver slanted fingers of the moon
play like patterns weaving light and shadow;
they pull berries from the tree,
beguiled by the dripping sweet and sticky lick of dark,
waiting for a place to slide through and see,
following the pull toward the other side.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Turning Down the Day

The sun is slanting
into afternoon

turning down the day
soft as remembered laughter

distilled vigor
its orange ball
nestled in white crinoline
falls into magenta

I hear a dove
call three times
to the dancing tip of a tree

listening unplugged
melts the taciturn temper
of the last down sky

as a wilted spirit seeks to explain
the triumph

of one perfect rose.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pink Moon

It snuck into the sunset 
then curled into the sky
taking the stars away just like that
without so much as a goodbye

Then later    you see
it came down between two trees
that were perfectly blessed in synchronicity
graceful ballerinas waving limbs around
dressed in darkest evening gowns

The beautiful trio in dance did flaunt
as they looked in the window of a downtown restaurant
and watched my chopsticks daintily take
a most delectable potato cake

As I nudged the waitress with a look see
and she looked at me as if I were daftie
seems only I caught the moon wink
when I told her that it was supposed to be pink

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thief of Happenstance

So swift the movement
of grace in dance of air was caught
within the gentle hold of web
laced to the corner of the house

It called me from a quick glance
that stopped half-way to the mailbox
a thief of happenstance
and a seed to rescue

Frangible ovule of flight I blew
again to drift on current
with breeze not reckoned more than breath
from lips to kiss the flight of fairy
across the lawn