Sunday, April 27, 2014

Back to Basics

Dear readers
Thanks for the attention, the feedback, the camaraderie you have shared with me so generously. I have decided to go back to writing longhand, in notebooks that will remain private and familiar. Thank you for your encouraging words.
They were salve to my wounds.

post script: i'm doing fine, after a year of writing with paper and pen, after a long year of medical traumas and political shit keeping me up nights. I do hope to return to blogging with a new energy. Soon.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A straight talk about fear

You don't have to have faced death to know
the paralyzing slow motion
of  minutes
face- ripping- drowning
of senses
slipping into an ocean of nothingness.

Just read it in the faces of the survivors.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

When I stop talking...

Hands, without
knowledge of
night and day
and seasons too, elevate and
drum each tune
and each sequence of discourse
without any consciousness.
They tell
an immediate truth
woven in the language of survival.

Unlike eyes that hide behind shades
maintaining the illusion that  everything is fine, that
this or other diseases
will be conquered,
hands pull the curtains down
as we sit side by side and pretend
will see each other, again, soon.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Of life, and fishing, and things we remember...

At a memorial last month, of a neighbor who walked these shores
to and from her house,
to and around town,
at rivers' and ocean's  edges
people counted the way they had come to know her:

Her grandchild almost drowned fishing for the big
salmon with her, how the love of fishing took her grandmother
to other states
to major and minor rivers
catching, cleaning, canning salmon.

She played bridge with younger women
and didn't mind losing, they all said. She just
loved playing the game.

I knew her as the beauty queen of Thomasville,
a small detail she shared when I told her how
I had come to teach at Thomasville
decades after she had left it
and how I had two beauty queens in my freshman class
two beauty queens who had to get A's in their classes
to be able to transfer back to the college of
of their choice.

I would have said, if I had spoken, that she still
walked like a beauty queen after all those decades
the one detail  I would have contributed
knowing her as I did,
a woman with beauty, and pride, and by chance
a title that connected the two of us.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Rooting for the sole wolf.

These resources, water, soil, verdant vistas  ought to help us get
along as Rodney King espoused
a year after he was beaten senseless in the middle of civilized LA, in plain view
on a crowded street. Are we just full of questions and expect the universe
to fold out the map of solutions?

Fear like wet leaves sticks under our city shoes
as we slowly climb a rugged path in
our impermeable clothes.

When the waterfalls come into view, one
in the West, one in the East, we feel
rewarded for taking this
outing in the Coast Range where a single
errant wolf is making its way through old groves of Port
Orford Cedars up rivers
to a mate
in this mate-arid territory where cell towers
can scope the topography
and pin-point each
resource that can impact the bottom line.

When all this is gone, waterfalls just pictures in someone's
album from a different time, when taking a walk in the woods
will become just a game we play on our mobile devices, will we be writing
fantasy stories about a fertile wolf that traveled hundreds of miles
as a new pioneer in search of his live mate under a double waterfall? 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spring Touches

A trimmed
an errand vine
corrected in
light shining through
solid objects.

A spring silhouette.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


slip you out of socks and shoes
and sink you easily into a
winter's paradise.

Life starts and ends here without thoughts.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February Observations

The Elk River, five miles north of town, on a sunny day.

1. Find new places to hike/walk/photograph.
2. New places rewire your brain.
3. Pay attention to the colors; they keep changing with light

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Beauty is a spicy dish

Beauty is a spicy dish
calling all senses to attention.
Especially the eyesight,
with its innocence
hopefulness and eagerness
stepping forever into the light,
turning from bareness
and isolation
toward visions
of brave new worlds.

We see beauty with all senses.
We name it Art and wish it eternity.

And worship it from afar

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Remains of an Old Mind

I wasn't even trying to capture this pose
the lower end of me, as the upper end
fumbled with buttons
 to find pictures
in my new phone, received recently.
This is an easy life
in so many ways
when new tools
keep data
accessible at finger-length
responding at a moment's notice.

Until this
this befuddling moment when
the tools
are not
they were.

What remains is frustration.

And Awe
And gratitude,
especially come tax-time to find
that miracle tool
you hated for a while
your expenses and kept them in a folder easily identified.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

He Looks Like All of Them

Grand-baby arrived before Christmas
before his due date-by design. His perfect body
a beauty to behold, cuddly and warm
sleepy one moment, hungry
the next, eyes curious to see who is holding him.

Now almost a month old, his demands are revealed
by the twitch of the mouth, the wrinkles on the forehead he makes
before he wakes, the rooting motions of his entire little body looking for that
maternal place where love and nutrition rest, and unexpected loud
wailing at some yet unidentified intervals.

He looks like his father, and his mother too, and his
uncles and cousins, and way back to his namesake grand-
grand-parents. His red fuzzy head keeps the line going, the
hope of lineage marked.

What new things will he do today?
Stare and smile at that Chagall's painting
in the guest room where he cuddles with me?
Will he turn toward the blinds, fascinated by the shadows they make?
Or, will he suddenly smile at my big glasses knowing he's not in
his mother's arms?

Our singing and rocking define our little moments,
little hands in big hands, his burping and tummy cries
just like mine, at importune moments
all adding lyrics to our talk- lullabies
between dog's barking, time passing,  day breaking...

We close our eyes, he fitting snugly on my chest, tummy down right after a meal, dozing off, with me ever watchful: how is he breathing, does anything obstruct his mouth and nose, is he warm enough, contained enough, free enough to allow every little movement his tiny legs and hands aspire to, can he be re-positioned easily, for burping, for a pacifier, for masking the bright lights...

And as winds and rains and snow pummel the world
this town shows mercy this January, breaking a sunny ray now and then,
a bit of kindness to this child
born in the deep of winter
just as the new Pope's comments are beneficial
to him and all babes who need nursing at
inconvenient times.

Just as I was about to throw religion out with the bath water.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Between states.

Nothing. No words will do.
You don't know what it's like to return to the specialist
and watch him shake his head, and say
let's try this new pill...Every new pill a delay
for the dreaded final word.

Your eyes are already off on that wall behind me
feeling left out; or feeling sorry for yourself, for what you thought you had

I want to tell you: I'm OK with death.

There, I said it. What's the fuss? We must go sometime. What about those young ones
who didn't even know death was waiting for them on that Sunday evening drive in the fog?

You tell me to fight, as though there is an enemy in front of me other than myself. I'm fighting, I want to yell back. Can't you see that I know when you touch me you think of me already gone and I know what you're thinking before you even know? I'm fighting to keep you close and trusting and giving in this insane state we are in.

Say nothing.

Just be alive for the both of us. Take me dancing. Better yet, take me away, where there will be so much to do and see that the distractions will be my cure. You can make this happen.

Can't you?

Thursday, January 2, 2014


A small step
a random protrusion
and your space has changed
to something you do not recognize
something compounded and multiplied
beyond sight and imagination and into new tentacles of existence.