Sunday, October 30, 2011


we are all moving on slippery roads, in steel tombs, zipping through
forests and bogs alive with occasional rain
along a highway long on misfits and foragers
paved with lighted promises.

we are just on one quest away
to a better place
a safe place
before the next storm traps us
in its violence.

pulsating through our next drive-through
we read the board from A-Z,  looking for our dream-
a Happy Meal box with the toy replica of our last meal-
looking to be close enough
and warm enough
and full enough
till the next exit light.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Good things growing.

You are looking at a community garden in the making. The boxes were constructed by Port Orford Rotary, The soil, donated by community farmers. Seeds and plants, provided by the Garden Club. The land and water access, provided by the city council.  The boxes are available free of any charge, to anyone who wants them, one or two per household.

Each box will grow enough vegetables to feed a family of four, and possibly provide enough to can or freeze for winter months.  Granted, with some cooperation, those zucchini and tomatoes can also be exchanged for herbs and berries. The work is light. Access is universal, on paved roads, right by the city park, in the middle of town, a walking distance for most folks.

What I like about this program is the expert advice that arrives in the form of Master Gardeners once or twice a week. They share cuttings, demonstrate how sprinkling egg shells on the soil will prevent slugs from eating  tiny shoots, and assist with watering when someone is indisposed, out of town, or too sick to continue taking care of his/her box.

Some folks grow vegetables for the local food pantry.

If we only had such alliances in all towns, in all neighborhoods.

Fresh, home-grown vegetables feed the body and soul. Knowing that the community is there to support  everyone, makes all of us feel loved.

Community gardens, a good thing.
Does your neighborhood have a community garden?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The story I want to tell.

Come in. Come sit with me. I'm dying to tell you things. I may be breaking into tears now and then, but  it does me good to see  people, to hear my own voice.

I dream complicated sequences
silent cinemas,  rooms always too cramped
too dark, too uncharted.
No exit in these dreams
no entry either.
When I finally wake, I'm in a sweat.

I'm working at being still.
I'm working at being busy.

In the middle of the day, frantic
I run to the post office hoping for something. NO
not another condolence. I'm saturated with these.
People know thousands of words and what
do they say? So Sorry!

No. No. Say, instead, what a lucky woman you have been
all those years. Your mother lost a child who was just a few
months old and she carried on and on for ever. What did she
know of that life that slipped away? The child had a name, but
no history.

Ask instead:
What did your boy/man do? How did he live? How did he love?
What kind of childhood did he have?

He was RH negative like me, I start.
You know that's  a universal donor!
He was a generous child.

You know, he was not an easy student?
He had trouble with his teachers, to my consternation.
He had trouble with their rules, their routines.

I want to capture these memories before they fade.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On this shore.

Hubby and I thank each other everyday:
For choosing to move to the tiny, artistic town of Port Orford.
For living on the coast.
For the wind, the fog, the waves.
For the abundance of healthy foods.
For daily walks.
For three marvelous children.

We navigated many seas in our 45 years together, asserting ourselves and fighting for everything.
Now that we are at the end of the voyage, we review our life together, each adding a detail here, a new perspective there.

What a rich life we shared!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Navigating these waters...

There are rock formations up and down the Pacific Coast. Some of these outcrops have actual names. Face Rock, in Bandon, looks like a face looking up at the sky. The rest are indistinguishable, too small to be named except  in marine maps. Mariners need to know where these things are, and  how deep they go. Some rocks can catapult you to sudden death.

Without a good map, we are sure to perish.

In our everyday navigation, we anticipate most danger: we buy insurance, build strong shelters and support an armed force to defend us. We eat well, get plenty of sleep, weigh our risks in all possible ways, and minimize them through good design, environmental guidelines, policies, regulations.

We map birth, marriage, divorce, graduation, death.  We plant trees, send out invitations, mark kitchen walls. Calendar days appear in different colors, easily distinguishable from ordinary days. What we don't do well, is remember the weight of them, the weight of joy, the weight of loss unless it has happened to one of us, and it has been circled on our daily map.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Through pounding and constant spray
Smoothed, rounded, emptied, creviced
These shore-outcrops stand still- unmarked tombs.

Are they like the Isle of Capri-
sparkling underground grottos
crystalline stalagmites and stalactites
water-light dancers
incantations of wishful dreams?

Do we end up glowing in the dark
when our bodies are pounded and
emptied of the previous universe?

Do we stand 'isole sole'
for millenia before
sunlight floods our veins?

Vacant of core,
Will life flow through our crevices?
Or, will we become  dreams others
dream, or agitations on  stormy nights?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Behind four walls and a dozen windows.

Soon, rains will arrive.
Then, we'll run from house to car
from one walled place to another
each new stop promising a brighter day,
like hot pokers-sun rays on a dark afternoon.

God, we'll say, we had it good, and didn't know it.
God, we had a great life.
We forgot how men died in Afghanistan, on the streets of L.A.
How walls are not impenetrable, or punch proof.

Storms will flood rivers and driveways
and keep us trapped indoors for months
breathing anger, grief,blame.
Only when the roof caves in
we'll open up doors and windows and
concentrate on staying alive.