Monday, November 19, 2012

Birth day

Happy 16th birthday to my Monster.

You rushed in
as you've done every day since
pushing your way
into this world with fierce determination

I wasn't there
more than two pain-filled hours
before you appeared
blue and twisted and perfect

The doctors rushed
to unwind the twisted gray cord
around your neck
and hear your first full-lunged cries

You turned pink
before our blood-shot eyes and wailed
I kissed your
forehead and was forever changed

Poetic Bloomings # 82: The most important day of my life

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Call waiting

The woman on the phone
won't stop talking.
But I love her anyway.

Nov PAD #14 - stuck

Friday, November 9, 2012

cummings and goings

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."
- e.e. cummings

I have sprouted like a wildflower
in a summer patch of green,
stretching tall in the happy sun.

I have wilted and drooped,
a sad, forgotten weed in the
midst of a dry, lonely winter.

And I have shriveled to dust,
a speck in the breeze that carries 
away what is left of me. 

And still I remain - weed and wildflower,
ash and seed, underfoot and in the air 
as you breathe in a lung full of hope and promise.

Nov PAD #8 - talk back to a dead poet

When he's gone

Hasn't happened yet, but it's so close I can already feel it.


When he's gone,
you'll miss the smell of
cologne he used

too much of;
the mess of his room
and the socks

on the floor.
You'll wonder if he's eating
or studying enough;

if he's using
a condom or smoking too
much cheap weed.

When he's gone,
you'll be glad he's off
exploring the world

as young men
eventually must, but wish he
would call home

once in awhile.


Nov PAD #9 - When he's gone

Friday, September 21, 2012

Interview in Poetic Bloomings

I know everyone who visits this blog has probably already seen this, but just in case . . .

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Put out

She breathes fire
the smell of singed wood
the subtle soot
sitting on happy words 

It lingers
in the corner of her eyes
an insatiable heat
burning into her thoughts

The burdens
The book
The smiles
The love


You could see
in the corner of her smile
a wet sigh
extinguishing the fire in her soul

 carried in the flames of her laugh


Archived from Feb. 11, 2008 on Rising from the Ashes

i can entirely her only love

i fell for you
before time was time,
as we tumbled through the summer grass
and back yard sprinklers.

i unlocked your smile
on secret adventures
into closets and blanket-covered

i laughed
as we trick-or-treated
in kimonos and
Wonder Woman Underoos.

i fell for the
wondering woman
navigating the twists and turns
of an emerging adulthood.

i smiled unlocking
the still-giddy girl
hiding her secrets in the creases
of adventure-seeking eyes.

i laugh
at the face i see
in the fogged-up bathroom mirror,
sweating in the summer heat.

Poetic Bloomings #72 -- At First Sight

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to Jack

Back to Jack

The way my father tells
it, Great-Grandpa Jack
was a lawyer in L.A.

back in the days when
the city was
really beginning to take shape.

He walked out of the
courthouse one day,
fed up with the system,

and across the street to
a construction site
and asked for a job.

He never looked back.

The way I remember it,
it was hot
where he lived. He was

frail and his head shook,
a subtle nodding,
as he smiled at me

and my little baby sister.
I squirmed, not
understanding why we were smiling

and sweating at this house.
Perhaps they knew
that death wasn't far off.

We drove away and never looked back.

I was 6 or so
when Dad whispered
to my mother in the

upstairs hallway that Great-Grandpa Jack
had passed. "What
does that mean?" I asked.

"He died. Funeral is Thursday,"
Dad said. I
wanted to go with him.

He couldn't understand why I
wanted to mourn
a man I barely knew.

Perhaps I just wanted to look back.


Poetic Bloomings Memoir Project
Part 8: Death, be not proud

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


My eyes cannot 
stay open tonight. For weeks
I have longed

to pull back 
the thin sheet that separates
me from anxious

dreams; the kind 
where I'm waiting tables in some
vaguely familiar place 

and people are 
waiting for me to take 
their dinner orders.

The guilty panic 
starts setting in just as
I remember that

I haven't worked
at a restaurant for years.
Still, I feel 

them waiting for
me, just as I wait 
ever more impatient 

for just one restful night.

Poetic Bloomings #65 - Betrayal

Monday, July 9, 2012

Your mean-ing

I just don't know what
you mean when
you say you're a follower

of a religion whose deity
clearly stated that 
the greatest spiritual law is 

to love one another as 
you love god;
to judge not; to forgive. 

And yet, you judge. Harshly.

You call it god as you
judge true followers
who know to love you

despite the self-righteous wrath
you spew at
people whose lives, decisions, and

agony you could never imagine.
They will never
forget your judgment. Your mean-ing.

Poetic Bloomings #63 - Uncertainty, I don't understand

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Way

Just finished watching "The Way," so this prompt couldn't have had better timing.

Sometimes we walk
down paths chosen for us
by well-meaning folks

Sometimes we choose
the well-worn paths for ourselves

Sometimes we chance
down paths with well-meaning folks
who choose to share their journey

while searching for a path
of their own

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Top 10 Tanka

Clear Direction made it to the Top 10 of Writer's Digests Poetic Form Challenge!

Thanks to Robert Lee Brewer for doing these. It's a great chance to try something new. This short form is one of my new favorites.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Foxy lady

You do not seek
to see behind
my mask
of timid refinement

You do not see
how I slink
into the background

You cannot hear
the faint pant
of anxious breath
trapped in this cage

You wear me around
your neck
a fine catch
to show your friends

April PAD #26 - animal

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Love, rinse, repeat

What can be said that
has not been
uttered by thousands before me.

I am no Rumi or
Shakespeare or Shelley.
I  trip over trite words

and into your ready arms,
laughing at the
foot in my bumbling mouth.

April PAD #24 - love or anti-love

Monday, April 23, 2012

The jury is out

Your throne, dear sir,
is not heavenly nor kind.
Your tone will win you no souls.

You sit, so blind,
at your father's right hand, but
he's fit to judge for himself.

April PAD #22 - judgment

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sacred warriors

Inspired, perhaps, by Earth Day and watching "Howl" last night.

We left the compass
at home, forgotten in some
drawer full of coupons
and crumbs and fortune cookies.
We knew where we were going.

We felt our way through
the flat night, navigating
by murky moonlight
a spiderweb of street lights
that led to something beyond

city water pipes
and cookie cutter housing
divisions and fast
food drive-thrus. We followed the
elemental pull of some

primal lust buried
deep in our mother's mother's
bones, a knowing that
this land was the breast milk of
thousands who had walked and died

crossing great plains and
mountains, sacred warriors
led by ancestors
who traveled beside them and
honored their transcendent quest.

Poetic Bloomings #52:  from every ending comes a beginning

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Going the distance

He thought I would come
to my senses
after I'd missed him awhile

as if distance could make
my bruised soul
fonder of the late nights

worrying where he might be
and who might
be siphoning his angry love

Poetic Bloomings # 51 - senses

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Apology accepted

There are nights
when he cuddles in
to feel her
body close,
a warm apology for
all he has failed to
do today.

There are times
when she accepts the
naked truth
that he is
trying his hardest to be
the man he really
wants to be.

On those nights
she pulls his hand close
to her chest,
kisses his
fingers and slips an icy
toe toward his toasty
feet and laughs.

April PAD #7 - two people interacting without speaking

Before I wake

Myworld ends
every single night

close my
eyes and die

a world
no more real

the one
in my dreams

April PAD #14 - Doomsday

Clear direction

We climbed the mountain
for the journey to the top.
We sailed the ocean
to feel the wind and salt air.
We left the compass at home.

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Tanka

No such luck

There is no difference between
the unlucky ones
and those who are fortunate.

We all get what we
want deep down.
We decide our own blessing

and design our own curse,
hiding behind fate
so we can't blame ourselves.

April PAD #13 - unlucky

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

99% chance of gloom

It's not hard to find a shady spot
in the center of downtown.
The world is dark with the gloom
of commerce and concrete,
buildings full of people who think
they hold up the sky.

April PAD #9 - shady

Stripped bare

I saw her from across the meadow
a doe tiptoeing tentatively through
the grass, glancing back at her home
a thicket of dark, dense green

She was delicate, but deliberate
as she strode toward the stream
a ballerina beautifully exposed
and perfect in her nakedness

2012 April PAD #10 - forest or tree

Hide and seek

When I was young,
I closed my eyes and
the world disappeared.

I hid in plain sight
and my parents
pretended not to see.

When I was older,
I hid in plain sight
hoping someone would

see me with open eyes
and our pretend worlds
would disappear.

Poetic Bloomings #50 - Comeback

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The warrior

Dedicated to Sgt. William Stacey, a 23-year-old Marine who died in Afghanistan a few weeks ago. And to all the warriors we have lost and love.

William was a warrior.
So off to war he went,
as warriors often do.

He kissed his girl
and faced his fate,
in a far off place

full of warriors who
had kissed thier own
wives and mothers

faced their own fates,
fighting to protect
an idea that burned

as deep as their love
for the women who
would stare at some

far-off place as they
thought of the men
they loved, off at war,

hoping they would
come home to love
them once  more.

William was a warrior.
He died for this love.
As warriors often do.

Poetic Bloomings #42 - moral of the story

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A long hold

His days were long.
Hers was too.

His was filled with
factory work, which
stuck to his face.

Hers was filled with
five children who
stuck to her legs.

Worried sighs drew
across his brow
as he sat at the dinner

table and whispered
to my mother about
bills and layoffs.

Worried eyes met
his as she held his
hands across the dinner

table and whispered
that everything would
be just fine.

Their talks were long.
But their kisses were too.

Poetic Bloomings - Prompt #38  (Hey, that's my line!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Semper Fidelis

~For my Marine

To say goodbye will be so hard.
I'm not the type to disregard
a love that we've been moving toward
the span of both our lives.
So, I'll stand in the Navy yard
and wave with all the wives.

Poetic Bloomings -- In-Form Poet -- Rime Couée

Come fly with me

You came to me and stood by my side.
With the wind on our faces
we spread our arms wide like wings
and soared to the places we'd dreamed of.

Carry on Tuesday #139 - Come Fly with Me

I love this prompt. The words were famously sung by Frank Sinatra, but my take took me to a more Rumi-inspired place.

Monday, January 9, 2012

On the surface

this pristine prison of glass
is nothing more
than your imagination running scared

Poetic Bloomings #37

Bubbling up

This welling up within me
is ready to
spill forth from the depths

a bubbling, bumbling, ungraceful love
that simply can't
be held down any longer

Poetic Bloomings #37

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