Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nothing But the River

(for Jena)

Nothing can stay in this place you made
for we are all larger,
in thought,
in quark and motion,
than space could ever hold.

Nothing can live in this sameness
where breath is stopped
and change is choked back,
for every particle of us
and becomes.

What was, what is, what comes
is not more or better,
is not lesser or dead.

See the water of your hands.
The truth is that.
There is nothing but the river
the rocks
the water
the white capped rapids
the seemingly placid depths.
They all travel
from this place to that place:
stream to sky,
rain to bush,
back again,
but never still.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I know of a silence
between hearth and wood.

It is tacit agreement
in the compounding math
that is the movement
between you and me.

The threshold cradles
5,000 acre cuts
of russet shade,
a creeping, liminal breath
and newly birthed facets
of ever-expanding matter.

It is the belly of stone. Mother.
It is that series of eternal moments
between heat
and ignition
in which rest the whole of our existence.

It is choice.
It is entrainment,
a willing burn,
and radiant
inside fragile thought.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Paid Genealogy

As the hazy dusk of twilight falls
and folds
into cathedral corners
of wing and bone,
all that you rend from me
is a pittance,
a paid genealogy.

The winter asks much more than dues
with its inching fingers
and sharp bites.
The call of the geese from the field,
the path to family
and away,
all these exact a more punishing price
than the memory of you

And I do not know how to worship
that revelation
more than in this moment.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This Liminal Place

I do not know
what it was that shattered me so,
errant breath
whose will would overtake my own,
only that I closed
as morning glory in full night
when Seeing
should have saved me so.

The world gave name to him,
the one who sawed the chord I would sing,
and instead silence was the price I paid,
a score of years
without breath to become
that which ether and submission
had borne.

In silence, then,
it is not surprising to note,
is release undertaken once again.
A stillness in which no weight is carried hence.
This liminal place
in ever-stretching hands
holds every damaged salve
in conflict no more.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ever Turning

There are spheres in the world
that contain the whole of who we are:
the womb that carries us,
the sky of night by which loving voices
sing to us,
the cup of palm,
the grace of skull
and forming bone,
the round tone of voice which paints
such heartbreak of love,
the wheel of time,
the curve of ripened fruit
that lets us imbibe unbroken summers.

These will twist and turn us,
heating all sides
until we are encompassed by fire
in a wave of creation to which
we are born
ever perfect
ever turning
never ending.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Burned Blue

Every one of our words were burned -
flame-ignited, smoke and ash,
not a single syllable to be seen.

Only heat remained,
curling licks of it
passing through our hands.

And finally,
when the world would let us stand
for each other,
naught but burning remained,
our words whisked away in smoke
into a witnessed fire
that burned blue at the edges.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I have a book!

Blurb.com is awesome. I now have my own little book! It's called Starling Barge.

Super Nova

I am feeling sick in my cocoon.
It is fever hot
and painful to the touch.
There is nothing
save movement,
everything becoming.
I am the same,
at one with the walls that hold me.
But the wings are forming.
The soon intolerant touch
of the earth
holds sway no longer.
I transform into delicacy
and flight.
Every incarnation on my way
is torment, though.
Molecular super novas
burn clouds of sight
from old eyes.

The gravity of light
now holds my life
and free.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Mire and the Field

It is not about
escaping the mire
in which you find yourself.

It's about squishing your toes
deeper into the mud,
grasping the reeds,
letting the panic of constriction
shorten your breath
and quicken your heart -

and finding peace
within that sunken stance,
finding Spirit there with you -

that which teaches us
not only that the mire and you
are One
but that there is dry ground
and wide field
and that
you are One with them, too.

Friday, November 5, 2010


The world is what winnows me away.
I come in to you,
burned by the outside.
I come in to you
reduced to my elements,
a shining Truth.
I come in to you
and hope you are not blind today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


I do not ask the light to come,
this force that breathes life
and beauty
into this moment
but arrives with quiet progression.

It carries the house of joy
and a key to unlock the rooms
of distant oceans.

I cannot say where the light takes me,
where I sail on these seas,
only that you are my destination.

The light brings me to you
and offers me up
in this time that runs short.

Our shrinking minutes
are shaped by your grace,
descending like motes on the sun's last rays.

And in the end -

my journey's maps,
my carrier waves?
They are vast
but hold nothing
when measured against you.

You are my end,
my joy,
my oceans,
my golden hour.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

To See Such Light

Beneath the light
that turns me daily towards home,
a strange crucible has formed.

Between tire
and pavement
a collection of fall has consorted
and consents in time
to a mortar and pestle of sorts -
an end which brings
such heartbreaking memory to mind
that I drive not home
but deeper into
remembrance of love's first light
a decade past.

The smell and stain of tannin
has left me marked with you.

I breathe you in again
and out again
and see such light
as the leaves may bring.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Build Me a Sentence of Myself

I know this language.
I know these words.

They shape the curve of your lips
the arching brow
the rough nape of your neck
where the hairs are short
and tickle my palm.

The syllables fall like water drops
rolling easily along your hot skin.
I am lost in the language of you,
my native tongue
the pulsing recognition
of neurons
that never forget
the syntax
and pace
of your worried hush.

Build me a sentence
of myself
that we may unite
of devastating love.
Our voice will still the ocean.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

El Corazon Amarillo

I found a gold balloon
tucked safely in
your book of words.

You speak of yellow hearts
and foreign lands
and returning from the sea.

I know none of these things
but through your eyes.
I know very little.
I am still on shore
and wondering
what use I am.

I left this life once, you see -
a chance given,
my soul took its flight.
But still,
I linger, tethered
and no reason remains.

I am compacted ash
waiting for the rains
and wind
to make sense of me again.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nameless Suns

There is a time
that is about stripping away
all from your life
that does not make you live.

There is a time
that is about paring down
and turning around
and down and back again
until all you have is a
worn circle of dirt
beneath bare feet.

There is a time
of peeling back your skin
and standing pink
under a burning sky
of falling friends
and ashes for homes.

There is a time
for all of this,
but it is
Now is the building time,
now is the mending time,
now is the learning time.

Now is a slow creation
with skilled breaths
and cheated hearts that still love
and rusty voices
that never forget
how to weave matter
and thought
into nameless suns.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have been
misplacing my pens

Or maybe I place them
and then move my self
to more empty locations.

Words are pouring in
like the sickness that came
in the night
but it doesn't get better.
They only beget more.

I hold them close,
the only children I will bear.
Though they are neither disease
nor child, truth be told.

They are Spirit.
They are Divine,
they are Neruda, Oliver, Rilke
following me home
in slim volumes
that sleep with me
on blankets of down.

They jostle as I reach
for the pen I cannot place
and whisper,

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Devil's Hand

It feels like the devil's hand
all fire and want
bubbling up from damned places.

All there is to do
is let it burn me down,
and find that silver flame,
the thin kite string back to me
and follow it out
of the dowsing waters.

And on the other side
I blink the ashes free
and find I am not lost,
just pink skin
and tired mind
but not destroyed at all.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Starling Barge

Everything is brilliance
and dust
and dying stars
on my doorsteps.

Shame and shining joy
war for coverage of my heart
and just for the night
I let joy win,
knowing shame is never far.

For now, joy's door
is easy to nudge open,
the setting sun holds it there,
a barge that pushes and ferries
my unkempt wildness
into wordless song.

In joy's light
everything is starling moments,
and formless creation -
the root of me
sunken deep in the dark soils of time.

It is splendor -
wild and free
the dust of the Universe
breathed in through my
solar sun
and lighting softly
on the heart.

For now,
it is all that I am.
It is enough.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


"It is born"

Here I came to the very edge
where nothing at all needs saying,
everything is absorbed through weather and the sea,
and the moon swam back,
its rays all silvered,
and time and again the darkness would be broken
by the crash of a wave,
and every day on the balcony of the sea,
wings open, fire is born,
and everything is blue again like morning.

-Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Hoard

All the Hail Marys
rotting with the refuse in
gutters now strewn
with once holy thoughts.

All the wishes whispered
in night's dark camp
now hanging from limbs
like last season's nest.

All the pocket treasures
buried deep in badger burrows
waiting to sprout
thrift stores of broken marbles
and balls of string.

All these enshrined things
now turned to dust
but you still live in me
inciting sacred lines
and nightly wishes.
You are my pocket treasure
growing tall,
hoarded safely in soft hands.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I am the sound,
the violence of clapper
and bell curve
contained in wave after wave
of shape
moving through you
becoming new
and changing the tide.

I am the echo of love
in flesh and blood
and the tear of time
in memory's wake
because nothing more remains.

I am every shape,
every vibration not seen
with human eyes.

I am everything that was,
I am all that is left,
I am that which is unborn,
the sound wave of creation.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Firefly's Light

I dream of making daisy chains
in shrouded meadows
bright in my mind.

I count petals and the days of summer
and sing tuneless hymns
in the fields of night.

I try to light like the fireflies,
project a beacon for coming home.

All I do, really, is shine for you
split my stems
fit another one in,
links in a chain of timeless lives.

I whisper to the growing trees,
they are all I see
no forest or glen.

Your eyes are in every one.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It is one petal,
white against green
multiplied a hundred times.

It is yellow centers
and quiet love,
the promise of tomorrow
and only now.

It is mid-summer
and cooling nights
and the brush of wind
across my heated face.

It is the word you write
and your voice in song,
temptation's fight
and what belongs.

It is everything in me
that pushes out to change my world.
It is rewriting me,
rewiring me,
remodeling all the aging bits
into streamlined
clear spaces
that can hold just one more day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Only the Wind

In the quiet of a dawning night
everything stills into this motion of you
plucking my stems
and halving me in quick bites.

You separate pit from flesh.
The newly pink is bitter against your tongue,
the ripened parts are sweetness and juice
down your chin.

And the concave shape that is left,
where you dented and grew inside of me,
is consumed again
and changed again
and remolded so wholly into a newer life.

Without you I will be the wild cherry tree,
brought to season far from selective hands
growing tall with only wind to seduce me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pencil Lines

I lay out the stones
on little drawn grids,
faint pencil lines and eraser bits
on cream colored paper.

It almost looks a toy from far away,
maybe marbles
or jacks
but it is a gentle conjure
of new thought.
It is the paving of new roads,
not lining the old
over top of deep ruts and potholes.

It is a question that brings deep truth,
a rainbow strand floating
on newly moved water.

I lay out the stones
on little drawn grids,
say my prayers,
my penance,
redraw the pencil lines
and leave the rest
for tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Acorn Boats

I think I would like to live by the water,
hear small waves lapping on shorelines when I wake.
I think I would walk a rocky beach
and dream of the children I will never have.
I think the water would soothe me
and point out that I did not want to bring little beings
into the world this time around.
I think I would nod sagely
and let the water remind me
of all the contracts I made before growing bone
and skin
in the belly of another strong woman
so that I could smell dampening air and rushing currents.
I think the stone grey tides
would wash the wishes of distant lives onto my doorstep.
I think I would brush off the sand
and display them in my kitchen window
and send out my own
in acorn boats
to find new lands.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Love's Last Tapestry

I hold that piece of cloth
pressed against my nose,
eyes closed,
waiting to hear your voice again
and think that somehow
I should still smell you on it.

Every turn and weave of thread
holds your name to mine.
Through our blood
a secret story in the pattern.

Treadles push at the corners of me,
forcing the warp to bend.
Prismatic canyons and quiet roads
appear from your brittle hands
to navigate the roads of us.

I won’t let go of you, though.
They can’t make me.
Even though I only knew your frayed edges,
the silent turn of the wheel’s last length,
you are young again
and new
and held softly in love’s arms.
And it is all I dream for you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Obesiance of the World

I imagine you as Creation's child
formed from every unsung song my heart has held.
All the secret words I have never spoken
become form and matter
and shape themselves into you.

And the Universe awaits my voice
to bring you into being,
only breath and pressure
and the curve of my tongue
can call you hence.

I will be mute no longer.
This night I will speak the word,
the Name of you,
and the world will obey.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

and pimento

I sat careful and controlled at the table in the deli where we would meet. A whole world swirled and pitched around me. It was the metered pace of lunchtime and waiting lines and the little dance customers did as they sidled along the case of meat to get to the registers. I sat apart and altogether too still in comparison. Reaching my hand up to push my hair behind my ear, I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He moved down the street towards the deli with a quick measured pace. His grey suit was tailored just shy of obscene - all smooth lines across lean thighs and perfectly tight fabric stretched over broad shoulders. A moss green tie flapped once in the breeze before he smoothed it against his chest with long, slim fingers that belied their own strength. In my mind I saw a flash of those hands curled around a sniper rifle on the day of my first qualification. He had been cool and condescending then but only until the first round exploded from my SIG-Sauer P229, slamming into the center of the target 100 yards away. Today his face showed nothing. What I had been hoping for I could not say.

The first chill of winter air followed him in and to our table. He sat without preamble and trained his eyes on mine.

“Margaret,” he said tersely in greeting.

The waitress stopped quickly at our table, pen in hand and waiting for our orders. Nicholas glanced at me, asking with his eyes if this was going to be an eating conversation or not. My head shook slightly.

“Just coffee for me,” he said. As he glanced up to meet the waitresses eyes, his hand reached across his torso in a move made to look as if he was keeping his suit coat from touching the table. I saw the tip of his middle finger touch the expertly concealed weapon on his side. He was worried. Or he just wanted me to know what the stakes were. Maybe both.

“I’ll have a turkey sandwich on sourdough. And some pimentos, please. To go.” No need to let the conversation run long.

“What can I do for you, Margaret? I assume your travel plans are in order,” he said as the waitress went to get his coffee.

“Yes, everything’s scheduled.” I hesitated. “About my pick up. . .”

“Ah, yes. Parker said she would be there when you arrive.” He noted the slight eye roll I barely contained. “Is there a problem?”

Parker was nice enough, I supposed. She could talk the ear off the Energizer bunny, but other than that she seemed fairly competent. I didn’t know how eager I was to have her along on this mission but I could endure almost anything for three months. I figured a short, lethal sidekick wasn’t too bad to have around.

“It’s fine.” I lowered my hands to the table and made three short gestures in sign language, about last night. . .

His green eyes flared quickly and he took a slow breath in, trying to control his response. He looked at me with barely controlled menace. I guess that was my answer.

In my head I imagined how my fist would feel as it connected with his face. I imagined all the ways in which I could make his heart stop beating and believe me, I know quite a few. It’s my job. I let myself feel the rage for half a second before clamping down on the pain of rejection and closing up shop. I looked away from his face, letting my eyes drift past the window for just a second. When I looked back he paled noticeably at my expression. I’d seen the look before, mostly on the faces of the people on the other end of my gun.

“Well, I guess that’s all then,” I said evenly.

Nicholas realized his slip and put the professional mask back on. “Have a good trip, Margaret.”

I watched his head slowly disappear in the crowd of the street.

The waitress came with my order.

“Turkey on sourdough. And pimentos.”


Another prompt pulled from my blog reader verification box. I gave myself a 700 word target today at ended up with 707. Not bad.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

1962 Arthur

In 1962, Arthur Rumeros began his job at the United Pen Company. Up until this point in his life, he had lived what most would call a benign existence. Arthur had gone to school, graduated, attended college, had a girlfriend or two, and moved into his own second story apartment in very ordinary part of town. His parents were still married to each other, living in the same house they had bought as newlyweds and in which they had raised their only son.
He eventually began his career in salesmanship on an unremarkable Monday morning. His desk was just a standard office desk, his attaché case was the same black leather variety mirrored back to him by almost all of his co-workers. Up until this normal Monday morning, Arthur expected nothing extraordinary out of his life. He was completely ill fitted to even imagine what lay in wait for him in that brown and beige office on the corner of Houston and 5th.


You'll be seeing more of these freewriting bits as I try to get back into the swing of writing some fiction again. I'm trying out giving myself time limits (10 minutes) or length limits (700 words) and just play around a bit so some will be long, some short. Feel free to comment, critique, question, etc. My blog reader has added a word verification feature for every time you log in. This prompt was pulled from there (see title of post: 1962, Arthur)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

We Are the Public

We are the public
We are the public
gathered here like wind in hollows
we are the masses
the forces that mass and roil
and move the smaller suns
we will turn and roll and
break off in solitary turns
and become again a sun
we'll be the sun again
to ignite
and join
the base chemicals
who make light
who make hope
who make the line between
you and me and them
visible again
to turn us into public
We are the public

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where the Ley Lines Meet

I am where the ley lines meet
in a flash and sparkle of soul
just one point in a thousand crossings
that will never happen again.

I am the dust of the temples
and the grass upon which the starlight falls.
I am the eyes that consume the lights last journey.

I am the symbiosis of man
that only erring thought can make caustic.
When turned to the light I am milk and honey
and all sweet things
blended into the morning dew of new thought.

I am experience and time made manifest.
I am dream and reality
and made of nothing solid or still.
I am change
and I become the next moment
in a creation burst of light and electron
so dense that gravity obeys.

I am the only whisper
and the voiceless drone.
I am where all points meet.
I am focus.
I am the light that will never die.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I did not know how to pull strength from nothingness,
how to construct endurance from sand and wind.
I only saw the small parts of myself, nuts and bolts,
not the sympathy of beams that make up
a vastness that reaches to starstruck heights and beyond.

And if you had told me to look skyward, to see myself,
I could not have seen with these eyes the glittering tower of my soul.
I would have only seen the fragile links that crumbled at my gaze.

But I am learning every day now.
I am an infant in this mother world who sees magic at every turn.
Unknowingly, I weave courage and resilience from the strands of life
that surround,
steel cables twisted and growing into the cement moorings of me.

And I see you with my new eyes, your Babylon tower,
and our shared foundations - the catwalks and sky bridges
that link us in looming light and stalwart days.
I hold the blueprint now in shaking hands, terrified of losing the map of myself,
not wanting to be blind again.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Holy Pilgrimage

That part of me
which no longer remembers
the touch of another,
that part is lifting off my skin
and rising towards your hands,
finding holy pilgrimage
in the distance between us.
I would pray to you
if I could remember how
but all my words are lost in want,
obscured by anticipation
and have settled,
stones in the depths
of my need for you.

Friday, April 30, 2010

May What I Do Flow From Me

May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back. . .

Then, in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing to you as no one ever has,

streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Too many people are taking up residence
in a life parallel to their own
making me miss my children,
the ones born in another time
when motherhood suited.
They come to live in my eyes
causing the soft dirt beneath my doubt
to shift and stir.
And I wonder if this is all me,
in this moment,
if this is all the me's I'll ever be.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Every Way Is Perfection

Every day
every day you come to me,
a lover bearing fruit to assuage the hunger pain.
Sometimes you are hidden in the forest leaves
or riding in the evening air
but always you are the soft curve of lust
that eases my doubt.

I cannot deny you when you come so clearly.
I cannot dismiss you when it only requires
the intake of breath to find you again.
I will take you as you come -
imperfect or stilted,
concise or clipped in tone,
sonorous or gently sung.

Every way you arrive is perfection.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Would If I Could

Maybe I could write a book of you,
reverse engineer all the steamy bits
and find out how you tick.
I would be that writer,
determined and barking at strangers
when they dared to call.
I would write you on an old typewriter
that clacked away the ocean's waves
outside my door.
Secretly, I would write myself into your end notes,
a road map of where and when we intersected
as if that could explain
how we no longer meet.

You would consume me.
And I would yield.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What the Lilac Blooms Can't See

I close my eyes
and turn my head
and let the lilac blooms
pretend they can't see me.
Eyelashes and lids
are smashed together,
and I beg belief
to make these trees
forget my shortcomings
(just for a moment).
I wish change was as easy
as a new thought -
which it is, in a way
and is not, in a way.
Lacking a path,
I have only the choice of
the next moment,
and the next,
the hope that I will choose better.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Where God is Near

From the archives, something I wrote years ago and found while going through old poetry journals:

Blessings from the moon low and bright
Comfort from the sky in darkest night
A holy song sung mouth to ear
In the onyx fields where God is near

Friday, April 23, 2010

I would tell you if I could

I would tell you of miracles if I could.
I would weave stories of laundry and kisses,
groceries and love,
and spin dreams so fine you could only see them
by the morning dew that hung on their threads.

I will show you the miraculous when I can,
squeezed in between lunch and evening tea.
It often sits disguised as tattered rugs on wood floors
and quiet cradling, soothing hands.

I will lead you to the sites of healing,
the places which hold the history of man.
What a journey it will be when we find our start again!
We will see that it all lies within us,
in the grasp of our imagination,
in the circle of our souls.

Every miracle moment blooms, precisely timed
for the heart's knowing.
This is how I will show you,
by coaxing every petal of you to open to the world.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I stay for hope of you

There is a pulse I hear
in the distance,
it beats with my stuttering heart.
I listen for you,
thinking surely you are close.
The room smells of dampened sleep
and fairy dreams
and secrets so deep
they wind into chromosomes
of thought and creation.
Did you pass these dreams on to me
when you left?
Am I playing some part in your
life's last breath?
I will stay for hope of you,
I will breathe for love
of the thought of you alone.
I will not break
even when doing so
would bring us together again
and ease the only true heartache
I own.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mr. Owen

Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels
I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,
Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.
I would have poured my spirit without stint
But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.
Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.
I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned
Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.
I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.

-Wilfred Owen
(excerpt from "Strange Meeting")

I worked in the library all four years of college. It was the first job I had ever had, and even though I was young and probably not the most ideal employee, it remains my favorite job still. I was in college just as the Internet was coming into being, so there was still a nice piece of time when people still did actual research with books. When out and about in town, I got used to people looking at me and cocking their head sideways a bit, wondering where they knew me from. "Oh, you're the Library Girl" they would say. It always made me smile.

When I was shelving books, I always had the habit of reading the first and the last sentence of a book. Sometimes, they were funny as hell. Sometimes dull, too. It was in one of the books I put away that I first came across Wilfred Owen. There is something in his talk of war that speaks to me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The Empress card rules strong tonight
in dusk and wheat fields,
the womb of motherhood.
Even moons hang low,
four edges to tell a fortune
of power not claimed
and wolves chained close
to broken hearts.

You stand apart, the King of Cups
with eyes that sting from seeing justice blind
but calm the barrenness
that comes with age
and tell me it is not my fate.
I will swing a crooked sword for you, my love
and not lose faith when empires fall.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Holy Doubt

I think that I have no poetry in me today,
no stillness to beg the muse to come,
no holy attentive sight
to place the ordinary things
in shrine shrouded garlands of thought.

Instead I have doubt,
a freshly caught trout
all gaping maw and flapping gills
and dying
as it's brought into the light.

I will rend it from bone
and swallow it whole.

Maybe it will be my holy thing.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Love So Fierce

There's a fingernail moon
hanging by fire smoke ashes in the air
while the sweet dusk surrounds us
on the night lake.
There are familiar voices
to sing us quiet
and patient hands
to stroke our backs.
There are dampened breaths
and calloused thumbs
and love so fierce
the dark begs for morning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.

Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.


Every day I put on this bracelet, arming myself with Rumi's words.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Call Again in Morning

It's late, I say.
Too late for calling at this hour.
There are still strings of lights
and bunting up,
still wrapping on the floor
and plates in the sink.
I see you think
for a moment
and push your gaze past my ear.
You see confetti strewn hearts
beating proud
(but bleeding nonetheless)
on kitchen tile.
You see the clutter and the mess
and the remnants
of the soft dissertations of love
that clamor still
in the quiet of evening.
You slip away,
promising to call again in morning.
I softly latch the door.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Where the Magic Happens

Thought I would share a peek into the books where the poems are stored. I would say where they are written, but that is not completely true. Sometimes they are written on post-it notes at work and stray napkins and scrap paper from art projects. But I try to wrangle them all into the same few places. I made the bottom journal from a Little Golden Book - The Little Red Caboose. The top one I made quite some time ago - leather cover and a little elastic band to keep everything in. The pages are up-cycled graph paper, maps, accounting ledger paper, etc. I like it because it makes me feel very bohemian when I write a poem in it.
You can see that I tuck quite a few stray pages into that small book.

Sometimes the poems take a little working until they have the cadence I want and the message I want. I started writing the poem shown above (Twain) on a trip back from Multnomah Falls on Easter day. I wish I could tell you my writing looks this way because I was in a moving car when I wrote it (which I was) but when writing poems, it almost always looks this way. My brain is moving too fast and I settle for just getting the words on the page before I lose them.

And sometimes, like the post-its you see on the left, the poems comes out of my head neat and clean and done. See, nothing to it!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Rhyming Sort of Poem

I thought I would provide a break in our normal programming of sad-ish sorts of poems to share a bit of whimsy I wrote for my boss today in honor of. . . some of the sorts of things we, um. . . come across. It is not so much good as it is written in a rush with the help of a rhyming dictionary. When I e-mailed it to her, here is what I said:

Here is my poem
In your inbox so full
It kind of sucks,
That’s not any bull.
But quick it was written
On post-its and such
Between questions and answers,
Dr pepper and lunch.

And without further ado, here it is:

If I knew all
the kinds of Not Looking
and had a list handy
to reference and check,
I might see then
how you use so many
with whimsy and flight
and ne’er a regret.

There’s the Just Walking By
(you’re so good at that one)
and the Look But Not Read
(you’re skilled here as well).

There’s shouting and marching
and stomping your feet,
there’s plain old Denial
and Failure to Cede.

“It’s the law,” I explain
In the most patient of voices
You say, “Surely, you’re wrong!
There must be more choices!”

I’m sad to inform you
(Even if I wanted to help)
Regulation is binding
No matter how loud you yelp.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

You Call Me Love

You come not with the blue and red flashing lights of alarm
but the soft yellow of warning,
down the road
past blooming, ivy-covered trees
and around the bend
where my heart is laid failing and arrhythmic.

In the evening's dusk you are a stuttering slide show
of strobe light flashes, questions
and gentle probing.
I want to tell you not to bother,
that I will not see the coming of dawn,
that my heart cannot find its home in this strange world
but the shape of my words are lost in your boyish face,
drown in the gentle touch of curiosity.

On that empty, quiet road
suddenly drenched in caution and care
you whisper
and call me Love
and I let go.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Ridge

I am riding the ridge of rain
that pushes into this dreary street.
So much potential is held captive in cloud
and waiting,
waiting so patiently
to fall when every root
dare not whisper a word
of prayer
for fear the ridge
will cackle and burn away,
leaving nothing slaked
but the desire for more.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I dig for you like treasure

In deep nights I dig for you like treasure.
For all I have seen
that clutters the surface of my world
is poor and paltry substitute
for the beauty of you
that has not happened yet. . .


I'm working my way slowly through his Book of Hours because they cannot be consumed so wholly. So many of his words are followed by a resonating "Yes!" in my mind.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hazy Lovers

I imagine it as a story
I will tell someone
(many years hence)
of how I took a lover
and explored the countryside of desire
with the abandon of youth.

I imagine him serious
but strangely light in my hands,
fire on my tongue
that lights the room
in a scarlet haze.

In my imagination
I do not see
my broken heart
or the drowning inequality
of unrequited love.

I do not see the years of loneliness
settled into brittle bones.

I only see
the nape of his neck as he bends
to flare as a match once again.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Measure of Days

It is the measure of my days,
this gauge of how far to push
and how to step.

I accommodate, I do not live.

For once, I yearn to be
and clumsy,
crashing valuables to the floor
in my exit.

I do not struggle, I only drown
while you sit satiated and safe.

The only thing is for me to turn,
closed like a fist,
against the pressure of your

And you would judge me for it,
thinking I am unkind
to tend so haphazardly
to my own soil.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Catch Me

I'm on the edge
of falling into you -
all light and sparkle,
an endless net
that spreads out over me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Pollen Sort of Rain

The pollen sleeps
from its raining days
running yellow
and green with the nights dew.

The music of a distant road
brings rest on its heels
in a dream I know not
for love of you.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I am at the intersection
of my selves.
All of my existences
pass through this one moment
in which I am
Divine essence.

Monday, April 5, 2010


On the island
between my state and yours
green buds form
on yearly trees.

They reach for the river
that splits and weaves
among the sandbars
and cleaves
our hearts
one from the other.

These depths separate us, my love.

But they are held by the one earth
(in the grip of creation)
so we may never truly be parted.

We have never been so twain
as the island would suggest,
but bud
and flower
and leaf
in seasons time
to return to each other
as channels to the sea.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I want to unfold.
Let no place in me hold itself closed,
for where I am closed, I am false.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Your Love

It makes me the wind
and the bending bough,
the flowing water
and the ice
in one mixing sea,
ever moving
but unbending in permanence.

You have made me into
desert rain
that gives life to needling things
under tarmacs of blistering heat,
hidden crevices that hold
the next life
and the next.

And beside me
you are all bluster
and hope
and safety
wrapping like ribbon and salve
around all
my sharp edges.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Library of You

Tags and rows
of numbered things
like the list my heart keeps
of your smiles.

The smell of dust and ash
an our ghost's slight of hand
to bring the book of us
crashing down
on linoleum tiles.

There are hushed words
among the categorized tomes
and not enough room
on the shelves
for even one more
happy thought.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


There is a foreign cadence
I somehow know,
kept secret and holy
in memory.
My deepest cells
remember your name.
They are suns
within me,
dripping stardust
in hunger
to breathe your air again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I don't think much about how poetry comes to me. It just shows up. I feel lucky if I have a pen handy. Nothing worse than getting the first line and not having anywhere to write it down so the rest can come too. Once in awhile, though, the first few lines come and then . . . nothing. It doesn't finish itself. Thought I would share a few partials that haven't formed themselves into anything (yet).


Hope is like the ocean
wide and rolling
even when we cannot see


I need either more pain or less
or someone to make me feel
like I felt with you
afire and gasping,
like new chemicals


Maybe I can sweep it
into that pile of
romantic notions
left dusty on the floor


Friday, March 12, 2010


The things you touch,
like Dust that falls from your fingertips,
glow in unearthly stings
of light and webbing
and bind me,
umcomparable, unseeing.
A single web enough
to cave my sonorous thoughts of love
and settle,
unearthed in the shallow soil,
waiting for spring.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Air and Molecule

I would like the world to be quiet,
for silence to descend like snow,
thick, layered, incapacitating.

I would like the sky to be black,
to consume me in its darkness,
to feel only my breath as it leaves.

I would like truth to be turned
like a lover's face to their heart,
as if nothing could stop the turning.

I am only air and molecule,
quark and electron.
I am only orbiting mass,
destined to burn.

I am only without you in this silence,
only apart from you in this darkness.
There is no turning, no lover,
only space.