Saturday, August 15, 2015


when I was a child
I heard them talk about war
I heard them talk about jobs
and the breadlines
and the poor
they never offered an answer
to my childlike insistence
I made them mad
to make them consistent

I held sparklers once
on the fourth of July”
saluted the flag
with my wide-eyed dolly
and ignored the lies
because I was ignorant
and a child to boot
because I was everywhere
because I was youth

my father never talked
about the war or marriage
only common sense
when he wasn’t enraged
on a coast guard cutter
he radioed intent
happily aboard what was just another
escape from the life
of flaming undercover
he was gay he had a lover
he laughed in a photograph
meant to slip off the tongue
found by me when I was young
he sailed away from the
family of prying
he had no fear of death
he only feared lying

don’t leave your front door
without a pocket full of change
not the coins, not the money
though it spreads a little honey
make a footprint with anger
make  a chapter unholy
pull up the boots
get them used to walking
the war is far off
the explosions are sulking
fireworks limp like I knew they would
share this distress
with the misunderstood

when I was a child
the world was my oyster
the sand not the pearl
the impending disaster
I knew it was mine
this leftover answer
I am not my father
in fearful shadows
I am a grown woman
asking what do I do now

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


For Jo

I felt a lonely crawling up
the road that is my spine
a quest went full and furred with love
became an angry whine
gravel raked my feet in sandals
in graveyards meant for those
whose spines were laid to rest and then
where groundhogs presuppose
a human bends to nature
in the land of spirits gone
a traveler in such tourist’s garb
kneels at a child’s head stone
she has no cause to reminisce
a babe she has not known
dead beneath a worn out stone
I felt a knowing part of her
was somehow as confused as I
by artists dead beneath the fame

by heat and coins and fire
and wandering lonely from
the crowd past graves of them
that once were loud
I felt a lonely crawling up
the road that is my spine
I stopped and took the offer from
my friend who knew I tried
we drank the water
carried on
across the solemn dead
and blistered, tired, map in hand
we forged on ahead

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I brought her my plan
on a seasoned plate
it arrived lukewarm
and out of date
to her, that is
to me it was fate
fully roasted and turned
in a way meant to divulge
in a way unperturbed
by the sins it was charged
some things leave me
weathered from youth even now
these things I remember
I said some things
on some things I acted
it was the moon, she said
and the clouds that distracted
and I pulled the cork
on a bottle of red
better off silent
better off wed to
the heat of the night
to the sweet dense air

when I wake from this
I will still be here
hung over maybe but
free of resistance
it’s a walk in the park
under the moon
it’s a song of a lark
it is mine, this fortune
it is mine this dark
it is mine this ruin

Friday, July 24, 2015


once every year
you move closer to the sun
some wars have been lost
some have been won
age loses meaning and definition
you sing the same song
as a different rendition
this comes every summer
without warning or shout
you’ve stalled at the gate
wondering what to let out
sun child you are
traveling to the moon
on a cloud of regret
that feeds your poems
you don’t go very far anymore
from the light in your room
where stories are gathered
where characters bloom
sun child you are
who worships the moon
sits atop the Great Wheel
and enjoys the burlesque when
fireworks beat an incoming fog
once again it’s outfoxed
once again you beat god
you have who repairs you
who has long passed the test
many things still scare you

it’s a common repast
this dining on old hurts
and what is unfair you
turn your face to the heat
sun child that you are
and look to the moon
to travel unarmed
write freely and finally
to live unharmed

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I am a writer
late to the game
I can’t run
just missing the rim
but I can dribble
too lazy to go there
romance has drawbacks
mystery’s the stuff
at the back of my fridge
fiction is
god’s gift to me
the poet du jour keeps a diary
no rhymes just the sense that
blah blah blah Black Sea
my reader, my spine
finds the sweet mystery
I have no grandchild
no rosary
no bible and if
I had a family
it would be tribal and
I would fly in solo descent
but she unearths me
finds the spy’s secret meant
traces the negative
puts on the white glove
and hangs me to dry
the grandmas were the great
women in my life
she knows that and hangs
my print to dry

for Carmen

Thursday, June 25, 2015

how grateful I am
for what I have lost
that every sad stranger
who knew bitter beauty
in the time of their lives
and the life of their time
refuse to console me

what comfort I get
from what I have lost
light weight of memory
breadcrumbs now blown
halts a bitter return
to the time of my life
and the life of my time
closer to empathy

a free range emotion
an organic heart
lies just out of my reach
far but not futile
the antidote to speed
toward the time of my life
and the life of my time
defuse melancholy

these moments of pleasure
rip through the pain
this triumph of measure
for all things gained
are mine for the taking
mine to be strained into
clear water basins
and lead me to ransom
again and again