Sunday, January 7, 2018

I died

Fridays, our time.
Sunday afternoons.
I missed none by choice.
A hug, embrace,
The weeks longing held
For a moment. Loved. Needed.
The end and beginning.

You died. 

I wonder my week.

The light is beyond my sight.
There is no end or beginning.
My days marked by our time

A blind child

Stars, moon, sun,
Black and White missing
The kaleidoscope of you.

Back to my shell, my mask.



Sunday, February 5, 2017

For him

I miss you my friend.

My son is 13.

5 years from adult.

Stable till the end.

His life.

Not mine.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I need someone I can share my secret heart to. No judgment.
When the obsession comes,
Thoughts to run. To get away
From the isolation. Funny
BEcause I feel alone.
Get away from those who know
Find someone
That understands the isolation
Of standing in a crowded room
Seeing all the eyes, flit over me, through me,
Through the mask
And dismissing.
Rushing to the next thing
Without me. Past me.

I am not the center of your world,
Just mine.

What do you know?
How did you become so
Important? To


That's what this really is.
An obsession.


It'll pass.

You did.

I don't even think of you



Monday, March 4, 2013

I remeber

When I loved you.

I'm on my own.

I made the decision to stay, work it out, try harder.
He said he'd try. Try listening. Try respecting. Try supporting.
He did.
For...It's March now, so 4 months.
That's a long time.
I mention 25 years
And he rolls his eyes
An stops.
Listening, respecting, supporting.

No one to call and tell. I'm on my own.


Friday, November 4, 2011

my man is tryin' to understand

tequila is my friend
is my way
h0w can I move

I can't move
just dance my
way through
one numb
day and another.

lost in my numb drink
on the verg of

supported by marriage

don't ever mix
and vodka



Friday, September 2, 2011

Country boy

Sweet country boy swagger
the rise and fall of each hip
in tight jeans
talkin' of hayin'
and horses
and beer
and I don't care
so long as I can watch him walk.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

To Begin Again

So a friend and I decided I've been away too long.

Friday, February 18, 2011

For granted

Tell me your story. What is it that makes you who you are? What life experiences have made you so intriging? I think that its all about how one plays hard to get. Someone seems intriging because he might be quiet and mysterious, when in reality he doesn't really have anything to say. Not much going on in his life, so not much to say. It may not be the case here but I have to wonder.

Maybe it's me. I may be the uninteresting one. I'm the ungrateful stupid woman that can't seem to understand the gifts she has.

I don't really think I'd be unfaithful to my husband, but it would be nice to know that I have some attractive qualities. I'm not young or thin anymore, I can't just walk suggestively across the street and stop traffic, or give a man a deep look that has him falling over himself. As a female I do understand the effect, one can have over the male of the species, assuming her features are agreeable and moderately attractive. Being not a young woman however, and having an husband not know for his overt demonstrations of attraction or public affection, I'm left with doubt about my own features and attractiveness. You might wonder what it would matter whether I'm physically attractive to anyone but my husband. As I said, his demonstrations are few and we have moved to a less passionate interaction over the years. I'm just beginning to understand how necessary it is for me to feel attractive. Sex is more enjoyable, my self asteem is better, I feel more confident in my work. There are many benefits to have a woman feel attractive, beautiful, desired... To my husbands credit we have talked some about this need I have and he is trying, but it is so foreign to him that it comes accross as awkward. He is fighting his nature. It isn't my intention to disturb his peace I just want to feel again. It isn't like he never found me attractive, even now I believe he does, it's just that he's out of practice. He doesn't have to work for me anymore, not that he had to work that hard in the first place.

Perhaps that is the problem. Having had such a poor childhood that did nothing to build my self esteem, his attentions were well received. That does assume he was the aggressor which of course wasn't the case. I sought him out. Not to repeat story I've already told, I'll just say I chose him. Gave him the attention that showed my attraction, perhaps because I thought he might return the favor, as he did.

Over time and after 4 children our mutual attractions seem to have cooled. I suppose it all started when I went back to school a few years ago. The world started to expand for me. As it expanded, I tried to bring him along and share what I'd learned. Instead I got much the same response as I did when sharing with my mother my first experiences of first grade; more interested in the drama of soaps, daytime television, or NASCAR as it were, than in my expanding world. He took for granted that it was all a passing moment, that nothing would or could upset his ordered world. 

How little he has understood.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Inspired by a fiction - An assignment for class.

Two worlds, inside and out.

Bach plays background
for Shakespeare’s mid summers night and last nights movie.
He says “Ok, so you get to pick the movies more often”.
Chosen for a story of inspiration;
How one artist may have been inspired.

No guns or violence; fuel scented,
metal twisting, broken body bloody,
fiery crashes,

just a maybe story of what could have happened
in one woman’s journey within
to find her talent, her unedited self.

Those that take the journey
see it for what it is; a waking dream,
a wandering through dim rooms,
when something opens a door or window;
illumination, awakening, inspiration, a muse.

That piece is born real out of clouds.
Transformed from wisps of fleeting thoughts,
phantasmal dreams, so hard to hold.
Made solid by pen, paper, paint, canvas.
Music for eyes, ears, mind;
Fuel to fire life.

I feel so dizzy,
an ache at the temples and down the jaw.

Waiting for a call or visit to define my worth at work,

listening to Bach to relax and inspirer,
a conduit of learning,
Develop those synapses that reach
into the folds of my storehouse
to deposit more or extract some.

Thinking of Shakespeare,
dreaming of a mid summers night – Wanting to get lost in it.
Writing instead.

I’m not a writer. It’s insane to imagine myself as someone who has mastered written communication. Far from mastery, I stumble about in the dark dreaming of being understood. I have been fortunate in that, those few excursions into writing I’ve taken, I have been encouraged by trusted friends, but how close is that to truth? Self doubt is poison to the creation of any art and I’m sick with it. I want so much to be understood to a depth that only writing or art can communicate but I lack the skill or talent to be a writer or an artist.

Stacks of poems and short prose fill a file of Me in my computer, much of it read only by me. Unfulfilled by the act of creation without recognition, using a pseudonym, I started a blog to see if others would understand my writing and “feel” something from it. Those first few postings were like boulders lifted from my soul. I felt lighter and freer. I had no idea that so much anchored me to self pity or that I could see so much beauty. My thoughts put to paper without the internal self editing we do when we speak, expressed a part of me that feared expression and yet lived in me. For awhile I felt dual. PTA mom, wife of twenty years, and this other person that wrote horrid pieces of tormented doubt and longing for “something” but still unable to put it all solid and whole. I wrote more. Still searching for some understanding of what was happening to me. Through this writing process I was transforming. I’d like to say that I’ve discovered the secret to a joyous life and fulfillment; found what I’ve been looking for, but my journey is not over and maybe it never will be.

My mother went through something like this when I was very young. Interestingly, I always thought she lost her mind at about thirty. She seemed to be searching in her own way. Where my journey was facilitated by learning, starting back to school, hers was less focused. She searched men for fulfillment and drugs for inspiration. By the time she arrived at painting as a form of expression she didn’t trust herself anymore and her paintings were flat scenes of nature that she never connected to. She didn’t have any stake in them. There was nothing of her in her paintings they were merely reproductions of photos people gave her to paint. She never wandered through a forest, felt the rough deep crevasses of bark that blankets a tree, or watched the path of the sun silhouette their branches and discovered life at her feet, took in the fragrance of earth with her eyes closed, sat and listened to the ache of loneliness that lives in a hundred year old tree caressed by the wind. Never tried to connect to her subject to give her paintings life and breathe. Ultimately she gave it all up, went back to an abusive husband she’d divorced thirty years before, to live out her life, existing.

I had some vague remembrance of Diane Arbus even before I saw the movie “Fur” based loosely on her life and work. I had some idea who she was but… I didn’t really. She photographed freaks, but not. She searched people to see the hidden self. Even in her photos of the famous there is something revealing in them. A scrap of personality, something real revealed from under the mask of the famous persona. When she talked about the “freaks” (Diane – pg 3) she photographed she eludes to this phenomenon. In her description I get the impression that her “freaks” have no mask to hide behind, that their real selves are closer to the surface, more accessible to her camera where as the famous subject, in her eyes, are “terribly blank”, (Diane – pg 3) well hidden.

I somehow identified with both art and artist. The only brown child in my family, I have an understanding of what it feels like to be the “freak”. Questions of adoption seem ridiculous to me now, knowing the poverty of my childhood, however at the time, as a child, wondering about my difference – maybe. Doubt is a powerful virus that I’ve struggled with; doubt of who I am and what my place is. Sometimes I think I’ve beat it, finally found the cure, but doubt returns to knock me down again.

The interesting thing about life is how long it takes for some of us to recognize the roles we play. Diane’s role was imposed on her, as it is for most people, from her birth. Born to wealth, she had opportunities that helped to nurture her strengths, and at the same time her wealth and family life contributed to the role of the isolated princess, held above and out of reach, that she carried with her always. Beyond the analysis of the psychological aspects of her childhood; her creative, work-a-holic father, distant mother, the governesses that kept her, the private progressive school that trained her, all these things helped to create her role as a child and later her need to search for her meaning to the world when she started training herself to be an artist of photography. Taking her craft as the conduit of her search she set off to know more about the world she was sheltered from and to discover that her secret desires, fantasies, are not so unusual in the context of the world’s diversity.

The peak of her career spanned the sixties from 1960 to her death in 1971, a time fraught with change and individualism. Diane Arbus began her search of life at a time in photography when artist were experimenting not just with the elements of a photo graph; structure, line, contrast, light, and also the technical advancements, but also with the art itself. Her time followed artists that told stories with their work or created moods in still life or studies of nature. Now artists were looking within to create. Aaron Siskind is quoted as saying “I’m not interested in nature, I’m interested in my own nature” (Great - pg 222). Whether she knew him or even knew of him, I couldn’t tell you however, that was much the theme of the time and represented the nature of her search. Not so much a subject that expressed a political view or told a story on the depravity of humanity but a search into her nature and where she fit in, in the vastness of human beings.

She couldn’t define that place. Money had defined her place as a child and maturing woman, but once separated from it, she could no longer place herself in the world of the wealthy and yet she didn’t fit into the rest of the world. She was unprepared for the reality of life and working for a living, and her training and education had given her, what she thought was a false sense of her abilities. She felt inadequate or at least uncertain of her having any talent, not able to trust the teachers at her Ethical Culture School, having told her that everything she did was “genius” (Bosworth – 130). Earning a living meant adapting her interests and search to a somewhat mainstream audience of popular magazines which challenged her vision but increased her technical skills.

Artists are all looking for something. I can’t believe that art is created by artists just for the sake of the process. There is a studied search for something in the work we’ve studied in class. And to some extent the search is much the same, and yet individual. Guillermo Gomez-Pena is searching for a forum for his voice, loud and forceful is his vision and his work to give voice to those not heard. Kevin Bott used his creative and artistic thinking to adapt his work in American prisons, to work in a Ugandan prison. His search is to prove that his work has purpose in the rehabilitation of these men. Both these artists, and others we have studied, search for the sweet humanity within us in the hope of bringing it to the surface. As I study the photos of Diane Arbus, her search feels like a secret. The secret self of those she photographed and maybe some better understanding of her own mysteries; the opposite of the clean, perfect fa├žade of her upbringing.

Over the course of her professional career she worked for approximately 18 different publications. Esquire, Harpers Bazaar, The Sunday Times Magazine London, topped the list with other famous publications like Time Life Books, The New York Times, and Glamour magazine making the list. She captured images that people could either relate to or just couldn’t take their eyes from. Many where published during her life but many more not until the years after her death. She clicked so many photos, and when I looked at them I saw in print what I have been going through for these last few years; the incessant search that all the recognition of publication could not satisfy for her.

She committed suicide July 26th, 1971; one year three months after I was born. Her work is in a world of art beyond the narrow boundaries of my life, and still, when I read the movie box I felt some draw to the character described. The secret life or hidden self portrayed, felt very familiar. Her tortured ending reminded me of my mothers own ending. Giving up life or hope; giving up the struggled search for that wisp of understanding. A mixture of joy, confusion and fear came in that small box, that slim disk of shimmering rainbows. The joy of finding a lost sister, a connection to what I could be, the discovery of the path I am on. Confusion at the comparison to a tortured dead woman and what that means for me. What does my future hold? Will I give up too? Am I really like my mother? Fear at seeing my own reflection in a fiction. Seeing my mothers own struggle as my own, never wanting to be like her, struggling my whole life to not be like her and yet there she is.

I had imagined that writing this paper would be an easy process of reading about Diane Arbus and then writing something about her life and art. What I struggled with from the beginning is the reasons I found her art and life so compelling. Perhaps I’m just projecting or being too presumptuous as to compare myself to any artist but I identified with her art and her as an artist. I saw parallels to her life but for different reasons. Her life was sheltered by wealth and mine by poverty and yet our search was very similar. Finding our place in a foreign world that is life; not being satisfied with the roles we were given at birth. Wanting more but not being able to define what that “more” is. And then there is the doubt; is this all really so unusual? Perhaps this “struggle”, is just common and ordinary. Perhaps I am making too much of it all and none of the parallels I see exist. Am I no different than any other woman nearing forty, questioning my life and direction?

I am not a writer any more than Diane Arbus was a photographer. I am not what I do. What I do does not define who I am. I want to learn about life and find pieces to add to who I am to build a me that is satisfied and whole. I will never stop learning. Life will always be a mystery to be discovered and that will not torment me. There does not have to be a resolution or an ending to reach satisfaction, just the continued growth of mind and spirit. I will not punish myself for my imaginations and my imaginations will not rule my life. I will always strive for balance between all the things I love; family, work, writing, and learning. I will never give up.


Arbus, Diane, “.diane arbus.”, An Aperture Monograph, Copyright 1972 The Estate of Diane Arbus, published by Aperture Foundation, Inc. New York, 1972.

Arbus, Doon & Israel, Marvin, “Diane Arbus Magazine Work”, Aperture, Silver Mountain Foundation, Inc., New York 1984.

Bosworth, Patricia, “Diane Arbus, a Biography”, Alfred A, Knoph, Inc., New York, 1984.

Donovan, Hedley, “Great Photographers (1840-1960)”, Time Life Books, New York, 1971

Oppenheimer, Daniel, Jewish Virtual Library, 10/11/2007

Prokopoff, Stephen S., “The Presence of Walker Evans”, Copyright 1978 The institute of Contemporary Art, Isabelle Storey & Alan Trachtenberg, Boston.

Tucker, Anne, “The Woman’s Eye”, Collins Associates book, Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1973.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Just a short revisit to fear for a friend.

I read once, a memory is powered by remembrance. When we actively remember something over and over again we re-enforce the memory, establishing more neural connections, giving it more power over us; our character, personality, fears... and most of what we remember tends to be our traumas and failures. We relive those moments that hurt the most. Why do we willingly give up so much power to our pain?

I don't know that I want to completely forget the past; I'd like to think I've learned from it, like the time we sat through the 4 hour time share presentation, all day, just to get the free hibachi. There are however many places in my memory I don't live in anymore. I've burned pages to clear the monsters and ghosts that haunt. There was a time when the fire was blinding-consuming; my efforts to cleanse were so intense. I wanted to purge, throw everything out. I only helped strengthen those terrible fears that paralyzed my growth.

Like smoke from a campfire that clings, in my hair, clothes, skin; part of my essence, ghosts of my existence. I'm haunted by the impressions of my past if not the memories.

The way a man walks, will give a chill that crosses the street. I wonder what expression my face holds. Does he see the loathing that rises from some rotten core? The seeds of fear and hate that didn’t burn in my purge. All my senses betray me.

Cologne, a little too strong, and a fearful nauseous wave will leave me curled on the couch watching Perry Mason; soothing drone of black and white, good guy always wins; my savior if I could only find him. I could be happy to not leave the house again.

Short angry men frighten me. The smell of stale alcohol paired with clouded red veined eyes repulses me, and I dream of killing a stranger that breaks into my house. The baseball bat under the bed cracks his head and I'm finally free.

No real memory just primal responses to unseen fears, clouded figments, monsters without form.

The real fear is of me. What monster lives within? What am I capable of?

I’ve often thought of what I would do if faced with a violent attack. How many people do that? How many of us wonder what we’d do if we were being raped or burglarized, or what we’d do if someone molested our children? I’ve not only thought of it in my conscious mind but I’ve dreamt of horrifying experiences. Screaming and crying, no relief, just fear of what I could do if provoked. Does that monster live in me? Would I become that animal of fear and hate?

I might worry too much though. Most of the time I work very hard to be the person I want to be; good to everyone, hopeful of the future, generous, loyal, happy and kind, the kind of person that is “normal” by the definition of Perry Mason, Star Trek, and Leave it to Beaver. The point is I work at it. Everyday I can slip into that place of fear and everyday I face those haunts that make me who I am. Sometimes it’s easier than others but everyday I must look at who I am and choose to be who I want to be.

Friday, November 30, 2007

My Dark Night

Upstairs room
Past the fright
Tiptoe quiet on this hungry night
Three small heads find their way without light
Down to the kitchen
into the fridge
Black is bright
Bathed in light
Toddle as they do
They make do
Cherry pie tonight.

All of us tight,
bunk bed sized room
blocking the only window light
string pulled tooth for her tonight.
Will she come,
‘Fraid not, she won’t fit.
Shelf in the kitchen will have to be it.

Bedtime is at eight
on every school night.
Hum of the TV and its glowing light
call us from our dreams
quiet as we might,
to sleep in the hall
just out of sight.

In between the kitchen
the living room
the hall and the laundry room,
is the Dinning room corner.
I spent most of my 11th summer there.
I don’t remember why
but the choice was clear,
busted rear
or the dinning room corner.

I used to gaze out the back door
at the yard sunshine bright
glimpses of brothers running with delight.
So entranced I was by the heavenly sight,
I didn’t notice my kid sister, stage right.
Her mouth opened wide
and the sound that ensued
shattered dreams of tomorrows
joining the brood.

I had two.
As 9 came they were gone.
First one - then the other.
The first went to friends.
They treated him like a guest.
The second went to strangers.
They treated him like he was.
Dispatched like the creatures they were.
Mourned by the only heart that cared.

Just kids,
To know what’s right.
I promise, not to fight.
I’ll be good
I can stay out of sight.
Don’t send me away
Into that dark night.

Tears are full
And my chest is tight.
I’m very old now
And not afraid of the night.
Sometimes I wish
I had gone too.
Then I might not miss
The both of you.


How did we beat the rock
to rinse from our skins
the days toils
to hunt and stretch more skins,
wanderer of lands, hunters
of the means of existence
aside brother, mother, son, or not,
all family of survival?

How did we scrub the cloth that clothed us;
in tubs on boards,
stretched out on glowing days
to catch sweet breezes
kissed by lavender and rose,
the same day as our neighbor,
shared baskets of time and space,
gossip and companionship?

A lost hour and a half,
forced by comforters and blankets
to stand alone
in a crowded laundry mat.
Machines horded with
hampers standing sentinel,
ancient rituals forgotten
to our invisible bubbles
that never touch.

Private worlds crammed
into front loading washers,
slaves to necessity,
woolen grime of poverty,
heavy blankets of shame,
baked in glass ovens,
sanitizing autoclaves.

Eyes that never rise
above the turning worlds within
to see our world around.


So beautiful
are those distant hills,
washed red
and orange, pale patches of yellow, dark veins
of green, bristle

like a mans
unshaven face. Curves

softened by the damp
haze of clouds and mist, cool
air, quiet - the soft touch
of rain drops finding
the path to their very own
leaf; difficult in this crowd of arms
twisted together in knots,
older crowding out younger.
Young ones reaching thin bodies
higher to see the light, feel
the air, taste
the rain.

How many drops touch
my tongue
before I’m blinded
by the rain.

All I want to do is feel
the touch
on my face,
imagine each as a kiss, moist
lips follow a joyful tear,

But they’re cold,
And I’m old.
I can’t see those summer clouds anymore,
wonder about their softness.
what they’d feel like wrapped around my shoulders.

So I sit under an eve and ponder the hills.
Could I fit them between my breasts?

The Shave


When they were first married,
she sat on the counter as he lathered,
and made faces in the mirror,

She watched -
interested, wanting
to be part of it. Watched
as he piled thick cream in his hand, spread
with fingertips down his jaw, across
his chin, as he buried the weekend’s passion
beneath the purity of white.

She watched –
As he folded
lips together; sensitive explorers that travel softly
over hills and valleys, backed by blades,
tenuous threats,
mounting tension.

She watched –
As he warmed his razor beneath the stream of hot
water. Mourned each whisker
as it washed down the drain, gently caressed
his face;
the smooth skin,
the occasional errant whisker,
stretched up to take in his clean scent
hand studied against his chest,

his soul drawn to the radiant warmth
past the bonds of time, as he searches
her wondering eyes.
Resonance of remembrance reaches deep.

“It might be fun.”
Eyes closed,

Her warm hands test,
light touch fondles the stubble of growth,
gently massages the skin.
Her shadow circles his chair;
to be at her mercy,
the echo of her touch clings like a warm breeze.

“shhhhhh”, water in the sink; her breathy
she holds a warm moist
cloth to his face,
cradling him between her hands,
As she has always held him;
between breaths.

he can feel the press of her legs
at his knees
and opens
to give her more room, breathes
in the moist
air with the scent of her hair -
so close.

his hands
pat nervously on his thighs
feeling their own mind, a strand of her hair
tickles his cheek as she leans in, her lips
soft and delicate, still holding his face.

His hands find themselves on the back of her thighs,
still reaching as she backs away.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

He shouldn’t have been there.

His dark haired body
stretched out on the folding counter,
languid against the fluorescent brightness,
reflecting off the glass the sightless
night; passed closing time.

His shirt was open
waiting for the dryer to finish;
I couldn’t take my eyes off the dark stripe of curly hair
that spread from the center across his relaxed belly.
He was watching me sweep
from under the arm resting across his forehead,
while I watched him.

I’d never seen hair there,
only heard the whispered giggles
of what was found at the end.

Curiosity, wondered the feeling of it,
the timid hand’s sensitive touch,
lightly discover the curled texture
and the sudden jump of surprised abs;
but he doesn’t move, only the breath
sounds change, faster with strained
control not to gasp.

I told him a secret,
whispered it in his ear, so close to his neck,
his scent mine for a moment,
listened to his groan at the hearing;
my fantasy his now.
Lips just touch his cheek as he leaves.

Friday, September 28, 2007


A distant sun
with no one to see it rise.

The ocean has the power
to crush a ship,
throw a survivor on shore,
or burry him deep.

Do clouds have power?
Insubstantial wisps of white fluff
carried on a sigh,
but when they turn gray and dark
and crowd the sky fighting with flashes for space;
then we see their power.

Where do you keep your power?
It seems small and frail
tucked away deep
in a quiet space.

It’s been slapped down
too many times to come out aggressively
and claim what it wants,
so it is timid and unsure.
Waiting for certainty,
the slightest bit of encouragement
to stretch out just a little bit more.

But a scattering wind can blow out a storm
before it has a chance to gain its potential.
And so your power builds just a little,
testing the breeze,
wondering if this will be the moment.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My name is Uncertainty. (thoughts and a poem reprint)

At sixteen I went through the “ Who am I?” phase, smoking, drinking, sleeping around, trying to identify the life I would lead. When I met you I became the complement to you, enjoying those things that you enjoy, racing, shooting pool, drinking…

When our children came, I became the image of mom as close as I could come to perfect, a composite of yours and not mine and borrowed from the TV ideal; PTA, parks and play dates, coffee and shopping, making ends meet.

Today as the cloud of second hand smoke wafts by and I consider bumming one from the young man in shades, as he takes lengthy draws from the end, I realize I’m again in the “who am I?” phase. Twenty years from the last smoke of my own, waiting for class to start. The first time around I had an idea where my path would lead me. Now – I just don’t know.

At seventeen
No thought was clean,
So close to purity of thought.

At eighteen
stuck in between,
never understood what she had wrought.

At twenty-one
So much fun
Oh, he really is the one!

At twenty-three,
Does he love me?

At twenty five,
Again -
Does he love me?

At twenty-seven,
Does it matter?

At thirty-four,
Not any more.

At nearly forty,
What will I do?
So filled with doubt.
Uncertain – Fool!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I thought of you at lunch today.

Alone at my outdoor table for one,
Half in the sun,

The tangy flavor of the sun dried tomatoes
basil and mozzarella, on my burger,
red olive oil staining the grilled bread.

The sheen of buttered crumbs, dust my fingers
and beg to be licked;

too exotic and busy for your simple,
greasy spoon, hometown tastes.

Heat and vinegar of Tabasco firing the ketchup
For my salty fries.

Long given up

flavor, of a hard pear cider, crisp and dry,
with its lingering tartness

clinging to my lips.

Could be shared

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Power failure

The source of all goodness and joy in my world of work and play is having serious technical difficulties. The AC adapter has a short. It always seemed to get hot after an hour or so, of intense concentration on what ever writing project I'd been working on, but today it spit at me. Flares of "fuck off" shot from some exposed wires just past the rectangular adapter, with no power reaching my poor computer. I've used the last of its battery power to pen this fearful note and to order the replacement adapter, which had better arrive on Monday! Tragically this means no Sunday Scribblings entry this weekend however I may figure out how to use this other, less complicated instrument I've found, pen and paper, to write out my entry and post on Monday!! Or maybe Tuesday.

While I wait I've picked up some light reading. "The Age Of Turbulence, Adventures in a New World", by Alan Greenspan.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Take your own test just for fun!

Check out My personalDNA Report

How close is it for you!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


The phone rang today. At the other end a woman asked if we handled any rental property. As a real estate office, we handle the purchase and sale of property, but not really rentals. Some of our agents own rental property. After explaining this I offered to take her information and pass it on. What are you looking for? Do you have any pets? How long have you lived where your at now? Why do you need to move? How much can you pay in rent? Do you need a certain school district?

She and her husband are both applying for disability benefits and her uncle gets social security. Their son is in the same middle school as mine. They need at least two bedrooms. They used to run an animal rescue but had to close down; they still have two large dogs that they rescued and a Chihuahua that they’d like to keep if they can, she explains tearfully. They were just told that the owners of their home of over four years, sold the house and now they have to move. They pay $550 a month but she thinks they can go as high as $700. Their combined income is about $2200.

I tell her that I know of a small three bedroom house across from the grade school just around the corner from the middle school that has just become vacant. The previous renter needed something a little bigger since the birth of her third child and moved to a more spacious apartment with a pool. She plans to home school the kids but is having trouble with providing for the social needs of her middle school son and second grade daughter. She used to volunteer at the grade school, making popcorn and served on the board of the local PTA.

I fight the urge to collect them all. To open my arms and comfort their collective pains, to spend my mental energy solving their problems and making them my own. It seems such a small thing, give someone a ride to the store, to listen to someone else talk about issues with their teenage son, to counsel an abused mom, to have a safe home for the kids to come to that they know what the rules are and what to expect. Seeing the green mucus run from the nose of my friend’s son and knowing it’s the unhealthy childcare environment; what harm is there to take care of him myself and save her the hundreds of dollars I know childcare costs.

So much of this world could be better if more of us did just a little more to help. The instinct is there but we all fight it for fear of getting hurt.

Once while driving through town, traffic seemed unusually heavy. A red pick-up truck with a loaded camper on the back has stalled and the driver is pushing it by himself down the street. There is no street parking on this highway through town and his push has to round the next bend and then, maybe travel another block up the side street to possibly find a parking space to stop and evaluate the cause of the stall. But this poor man is pushing by himself, and the side street has a slight incline. How is he going to make it? Around him, car after car passes without even a honk. Eyes see his pain, the exertion, the sweat dripping in his eyes, as his small daughter try’s to steer. How many pass – before finally someone jumps out of the still moving van his wife is driving, and begins to push. Then someone else does the same. The wife drives to the private parking lot just around the corner and begs the gate guard to please let these poor people park here. By the time the truck reaches the lot, four more people have jumped out to help. Combined, such a small effort; but it couldn’t have been done with out them.

I collect small differences, little “goods” of the world. All those small pieces of good that fill the world but so few claim for fear of the little effort it takes to bring it to life; those pieces that fill up the heart and fortify it, making it whole, light, free.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

The End.

Fairy tales woe to happily ever after. --- And everyday after.
Splendid sunset of red streaking the sky. --- Blue glow of dawn.
Bright sliver of the waning moon. --- Sigh of the new moon waxing.
Exhausted three week vacation,
pulled up in front of the house. --- Unload
Bent over the last row touching
each seed to the ground. --- Sprout of spring
Paydays stretch to the next. --- Never ends
Fall --- Spring
Road --- Endless
Death --- Rebirth
Faded lilac blooms. --- Pruned for next years blossoms
Summer --- Spring
Childhood --- Over and over and over and over…
Good rubber on the tires. --- Every 10,000 miles
Rivers dance to the sea. --- So long as it rains.
Bears winters nap. --- Again after a hearty meal.
Winter --- Promise of Spring
Baby’s cry put to the breast. --- He’ll be hungry again.
Extinction ------
Jostled bus ride after work,
vacant stare out the window. --- Everyday for the rest of your
Fuck off!!


The only true ending, extinction and Fuck off.
Ends Communication, cooperation, understanding, sympathy, empathy, interaction, consultation, collaboration, tolerance, comprehension, compassion, appreciation, consideration, support, acceptance, harmony, trust, and love.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Standing on the top of the ladder
shifting side to side, toes
gripping the rung,
reaching for the limb,
wondering "what the hell
am I doing,
is this really worth it",
the inevitable fall, snap
of the twig, the sudden jolt
as gravity reaches up to catch
my foolishness and pull me back to earth,
the reality of precarious existence.

the breeze is nice
scented with honeysuckle and lavender,
blue sky expanding above.
how far to the hills?
into the cool shaded pine air,
soft needles carpet the ground,

why the apple tree in the hard baked orchard?
What the hell does that snake know anyway?!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I get that sinking felling….

Sinking - like quicksand?
That slip into troubled darkness,
the ghost space of a haunted mind.
Pressure squeezing
out life until the empty vacuum waits.
Waiting for the last breath
that triggers the filling; what will come?
Expecting the bite and grit
of sand and water flooding mouth and lungs,
tearing a path around the heart –
to crush the last of love.

Wanting sweet relief of weightlessness
and air; clouds of peace.

It will come, no matter what.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Email I wish I could send to a friend.

Somehow I imagined that as we grow older, we redefine achievement and greatness and throw away the old measuring stick in favor of prospective on what is really important in life.

Eighteen seems very young to accept mediocrity, and how is that giving your best to life anyway? Realizing you’re not the best at something and deciding that it’s ok is the same as giving up. You don’t have to be the best at anything you just have to give your best to everything you do. Is that what you mean? The problem I have isn’t that I’m not the best but that I can’t give 100% to everything I do. I have too many things I want to do so nothing gets my best. My mediocrity isn’t for lack of effort or desires it is the dispersion of effort and desire to do everything. That is the fact of my decisions and my battle is how to come to terms with that. I’m not good enough to be the best at everything and I’m just barely getting everything done OK. So does that make me mediocre?

Could I be the best at just one thing or do I use this dispersion of effort as an excuse to not be the best at anything; a denial of average? What would happen if I focused all my energy to one effort and still only made it half way? Would that mean failure?

Something to think about a little more.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Dear Diary

Monday, April 20, 1987. - Dads been acting strange today. Something was off first thing this morning. I had come down to make breakfast for Melody. Stumbling down the stairs making more noise than I had planned, cringing at the cascade of a green and yellow toy with bells built-into the wheels; something more for a toddler to drive around on the carpet rather than my six year old sister to play with. Dad didn’t make a sound. As I passed by my parents room he was sitting on the edge of his bed (now it’s his) looking through a box of papers and pictures. He didn’t even look at me. I was braced for the hollering, the barking of orders for having disturbed him, but nothing, he didn’t even look up. Relief and worry washed over me as I got to work on breakfast. Melody was sitting at the table gazing absently out the dinning room window. Rain trailed the view through the pane. Mom’s car sat in the driveway waiting, the big maple tree across the street waving back at me; everything seemed paused, anticipating. They didn’t know there was nothing to anticipate. Breakfast was cold cereal and a banana. Mom always made us eat a banana with our cereal and there was a bunch of them browning on the counter. She must have gone shopping before….

Melody and I sat eating, heads bowed over bowls as if praying. I just wish it wasn’t so quiet. Dad came into the kitchen. He tossed mom’s car keys on the table, “Take her to school.” The keys splayed out on the table like a hand holding on to the smooth surface right in front of me. If this had been last Monday they would have been snatched up and Melody would have been rushed to finish and hurried off to school; today they just laid there, frozen to the table, my gut knotted, the picture of Melody and I smiling up at me; strangers. Her hands held those keys everyday. The hemp braid I made at camp when I was ten strayed off to one side out of alignment with the rest, an extra hair tie for Melody, mom always had handy to tame her mane of curls. The cereal floated in the bowl a thin banana slice resting on the spoon paused for the next bite. Melody’s eyes were locked on the keys, if I didn’t do something we’d be home for another day. I don’t think I could stand another day pressed in with all those memories. The house is so full of them there isn’t room for us. Looking through the drizzled window at the distorted view of mom’s car; it’s going to be a tight fit in there too.

Dad just stood there watching me; no yelling, “Well get moving boy!! Didn’t I just tell you to do something!!?” He just waited, his eyes searching me. I don’t know what he was thinking, he just wasn’t acting himself. He was wearing the same clothes he had on yesterday and now that I think about it the bed was made when I saw him earlier slouched at the edge; dad never made the bed. His eyes ringed with red but dry, he could have just come in from work, eyes irritated from the dust of the mill; only it was morning, mom was dead, the funeral had been yesterday, and we are dieing here slowly, instead of the aneurysm that exploded in her, ending everything so quickly.

They had been arguing, mom’s patient voice murmuring between his clear loud thunders; I can’t even remember what they had been arguing about. Just another of many. Then quiet. - - - “Jaaack!!” The anguish in his voice, I don’t remember how I got down the stairs. He was crumpled on the floor with her in his arms, rocking; she wasn’t moving, her mouth slightly open, her hand limp, her keys on the floor, splayed out like a hand.

Mom told me once that because I was first born and a son, that dad named me; mom named Melody. She’d laugh a little and smiled at me conspirator like, “but you’re more like me than you are him”. Then her face would change, her eyes looking at me so far away, “He really does love you, he’s just had a hard time of it and doesn’t know any other way”. “When you get older you two are going to go around, just remember he loves you.” “He wants to prepare you for the world out there that hurt him, but you’re more me than him, so the world you see is a lot prettier.” “Oh, there are monsters out there for sure; walking around looking like people, but inside each one there is a piece of a good soul just waiting for someone to call it out.” She leaned in and looked at me, straight in the eyes, so close to my face, all I could see was her eyes. “That - is what we’re good at.”

I looked in dads eyes, looking for that ‘piece of a good soul’ mom was talking about. His hard look intent on intimidation, looking for a fight, wavered around his eyes; the line of his jaw, muscles twitching with the tension of clenched teeth, proud shoulders pulled back to his military pose, heavy boots anchored to the floor balanced and ready to chase and fight, but his eyes. They looked so frail, tired. Is that what she saw; the man, tired of the fight, but doesn’t know any other way?

I put down the spoon and reached for the keys. They were warm, held by dad all night. I looked at Melody, her face set, like dads. “Maybe we should go to the coast today dad?”

His body shrank a little, off balance, his eyes trailed between his children. All that’s left of her. All that matters. He reached out and took back the keys. “Sounds like a good idea.”

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Tough Decisions

When we are sick we go to the doctor, when we get "old" we retire to a comfortable living on our lifetime of investments. If we are career minded we work long hours while our children spend creative days with trained caregivers that enlighten with art, music, reading, and imagination all within the safety of criminal background checks; unless we’re like Sametta Heyward.

Without knowing the story behind the news article, Sametta Heyward was a single mom called in to work, when her sitter canceled on her. She drove her 1 year old and 4 year old to the group home she worked at, set them up with fans, food and drinks, leaving them in the car for her 3-11 swing shift. She has been charged with homicide by child abuse. The article from the Associated Press written by Bruce Smith, I read in the Sunday Register Guard (8/5/07), goes on to recount interviews with neighbors and co-workers describing Sametta as having gone through some difficult times but seemed like a “loving mom”.

I live in a community of poor and working poor. 96% of the kids, my kids go to school with, are on the free and reduced lunch program. I’m using this as an indicator because it means that they are at or below the poverty line set by the state for our county. What I’ve seen has gone by my eyes without much consideration. Over the years my own apathy has blinded me to what had always been a passion; children, their safety, enlightenment and empowerment.

My mother worked, sometimes two jobs,to keep the house going as the main bread winner in our family. My stepfather worked too but his was seasonal field work that slowed down in the winter after the plums were dried into prunes, and didn’t start back up again until early spring when the fields started planting. He worked hard long days and never made much money; so much of our survival was on mom.

We were very lucky for about two years. Really it was one summer and part of the preceding and following school year. We lived in a big house that had four bedrooms, a dinning room, an inside laundry room, and a big backyard that backed up to the neighbors house and a vacant field; no fences to bind us in and free access to blackberry vines, apple and cherry trees, a generous neighbor with a lush vegetable garden, and another with seven kids to play with. Our school was only blocks away and mom worked across the street at the health department. Life was very good then. It was still a financial struggle but we could get by.

My little sister had just started kindergarten and had to go home alone. She was scared alone in the house and would call mom at work everyday because she heard ghosts in the house. My responsibility as the oldest child, was to go straight home after school and take care of my brothers and sister, make dinner and clean the house.

This was one of the best most comfortable times in my families struggle to survive in this world. Everything was as good as it could get; mom and dad working, home close to work and school, fresh fruit and vegi’s to supplement the meager resources available to our budget. Still we were home alone for hours until mom got off work and my sister even longer. My mother had little choice. To not work meant welfare and food stamps, we’d done it before, but she had gotten this job through a program putting women back to work funded by the Carter administration. It was meant to be a future without government assistance. She was excited about it, talking everyday about what she was learning, how much she liked the people she was working with. To her it was a chance at a career that had a future.

Before the end of the next school year, the government administration changed, priorities shifted, and the program she was being paid from lost it’s funding. The shoe string department tried to get other funding to keep her but in the end she lost her job. By the next summer we were living in a motel a mile outside of a desert town in California, the six of us sharing two rooms watching tumble weeds roll by.

As I read the paper this morning and observe the priorities of the current administration I wonder about how little has changed. Children are still not a priority, and families still have to face the decision of what to do with their kids when work is how you feed and house them, but it also takes you away from them. How desperate must a mom be to do what she did? What would I do without the friends, family, and husband that I have? I have been blessed but what about the others. What should I do, what can I do to help? Do I let the vastness of the problem blind me with apathy or is there something I can do?

Friday, August 3, 2007


Mother, father, me, two brothers, sister,
Grandma, grandpa, three aunts, four uncles, thirteen cousins,
husband, four sons, daughter never had,
father in-law, mother in-law, three brother and four sisters in-law,
six nephews, four nieces by marriage and blood, two god-daughters, and a god-son,
best friend, best friends husband, three sons and a daughter,
best friends mother and father, sister and two brothers,
good friend, good friends wife, and mother, daughter and niece,
friends husband with a drug problem,
friend that sends her sons to Texas for two months
to see the father that never calls,
laid back friend, husband, son wana be hacker, daughter growing up too fast,
friend across the street, life mate, son, daughter, two sisters, niece, and another on the way,
kids school teachers over seven years, principal, school cooks, and custodians,
kids best friend, kids best friends mother, brother,
school secretary whose husband has Alzheimer’s and lives in a home.
boss and his wife, owner, owners wife, and daughter,
office mate, her disabled husband, and two sons,
coworker that loves horses, her husband, son, and daughter,
and thirty others that work side by side, and over one hundred more
at the other two branches, the seven women and two men that check groceries
at the store, and the four others that run them to the car, and Rose that sells roses,
the young man at the gas station, the other four at the car wash one in college,
and the young lady
looking for a cheap apartment that punches the car wash ticket,
the aloha girls that sell Bad Ass coffee hot or cold for Lui,
the “Is there anything else I can get for you today, Ooook” lady at Jack-in-the-box,
the woman at the Dairy mart whose brother wants a cheap foreclosure to fix up and sell,
and two more of her co-workers, that guy holding the sign selling pizza next to the woman asking for change, PBS and NPR, the marine charged with conspiracy to commit murder for hauling a man out in front of his neighbors to “teach them a lesson” and shooting him, serving 43 days losing one rank and going back to work knowing it was OK, saying he’d do it again.


How narrow our world has become
that we see and hear our stomachs turn
and souls burn,
from the touch of evil brushing the edges
of our sphere as it touches
the next that circled the next that
encircled the eyes
of those who see the horror
and we do nothing,
it isn’t in our world.
It isn’t us. Yet.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Respect and Humanity

My family and I went on a little vacation to Odell Lake. We stayed the six of us, in a one bedroom cabin with my in-laws; mother, father, and sister, a total of nine souls. Four fine days and three nights; so many people in one small space made for just a few tense moments, but the weather was wonderful and between the lodge, lake, playground, woods, and cabin we all had enough space most of the day.

One of the memorable moments for me was a discussion I had with my father in-law; a very fine man with a joyous sense of humor (a balance of clean and dirty jokes depending on the company). I have so much respect for this man that even after 20 years married to his son, I still can’t bring myself to call him by his given name. He is Papa, as the kids call him, or Sir. He noticed this and made mention of it only once, several years ago, and accepted my explanation of why. I just didn’t and still don’t feel comfortable. I’d like to think it’s because I respect him so much and I very much respect his achievements and honors. He has worked hard for the company he retired from 18 years ago, working his way up the ladder to management and retiring at 55. His investments and financial planning has allowed for a comfortable living for him and my mother in-law, and he has helped us over the years when we needed it, even helping with the down payment for our house. I owe a great deal to him and to his example of service to his community and family. So you can imagine that when we somehow ended up on the opposite sides of a debate, I felt some caution. To offend this man would cause me pain but at the same time it isn’t in me to back from a debate about something I believe in, so debate we did.

We discussed Mexican immigration in the US. Not something that we can solve in an afternoon discussion over the dinning table and in the end he and I came to one conclusion we could agree on; if we were faced with watching our children go hungry, and we knew we could find a way to support them by traveling to another country, quite simply, we would.

Hundreds die every year crossing the border; men, women, children. We have criminalized seeking a better life.

Our country is founded on the belief of working hard to make a better life for ourselves and our children and most of us can trace back to an immigrant.

Separating families through deportation is wrong.

Denying education to children that have lived most of their lives in this country just because their parents brought them here when they were too small to make the decision themselves is wrong.

These are mostly moral opinions, however if you could imagine yourself in any of these situations the right and wrong of it would become very apparent.

As for the rest of our discussion, we agree spending billions on a fence is a waste. The Berlin Wall came down and so eventually would anything we would build.

And their will always be those that only see color and culture and will never understand because they don’t want to. They want to believe that these people come to hurt them and take from them their birth-rite, US citizen. When all most want is a job and a home to raise their family in.

When we start seeing the people, when we listen to their story, when we see the desperate eyes, and feel their heart beat in our own chest and know the desire of each of us to achieve and provide for our own, then we will solve. Until then we are only reacting like frightened animals, posturing and blustering, puffing up and trying to frighten back what we won’t really understand. And people keep suffering and dieing.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Phenomenon - Jack

When David’s friend, Jack, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer we knew he was going to die. There is no cure and the longest one can expect to live is a year.

David’s first response was to pull away. Jack had been his best friend since he was a teen just starting out at the phone company. They worked together for years and socialized regularly even after David moved to other jobs. Leaning over a pool table they vented to each other all the things you can’t say to your wife or workmates. Their lives were separate, and at one point separated by miles when Jack moved to Texas, but they knew that with just a phone call they would have an ear with no judgment; a friend to laugh with and remind you what is really important in life. In Jack, David had a friend that knew who he was - so he could relax and be who he is. So, his first response to the thought of losing his friend was to pull away. Avoid the pain, but the trade off would have been the loss of the short time left with his friend.

After Jack died, we sat against each other in the house we had visited often in that year, drawing on each others strength. Remembering the trip to Vegas in the spring, the many games of pool played at the nearby pub, introducing him to our new born son, the time spent taking him to that place in his mind where there is no pain, just memories of life. We wrapped ourselves in our own thoughts of loss and what we will miss, the weight of Jacks life heavy without him to carry it.

When his wife came into the room with his pool case, the one he carried all the time, that he’d owned for the fifteen years I’d known him, made of soft beige leather with tiny Indian beading near the top; - it was like Jack had just stepped into the room. For just one brief elating moment he was there with us. It was just seconds. The weight lifted, hovered above us, and then more gently covered us again, like a fresh sheet on the bed.

His cue and case were buried with him the next day, placed in the casket with his empty body. We already had what we could keep of Jack.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Moon

Tell me to go jump in a lake somewhere off Iceland. I’ m not the beat around the bush kind of person. Just the facts. Do you hear me? You’re the anchor that gives me heading; keeping my mind in this world of deeper understanding. Giving perspective to the images that float at the edge of my mind, turning them into something other than ghosts to be shoved down; into stories. Stories that can end, change, be different, not me.

Where are you? Do I need you? Do I want you? Want what I can’t have. Have what I can’t have.

You don’t want depth. Light meaningless interaction that never gets messy. I understand so very very much. Calm, ordinary, untroubled existence, a placid sea, or a clear sky. To bad the world is so bumpy, a geode of people and places that goes on forever in endless laps. So the world is messy and so the mind is the world within. Just as messy with its wounded pieces clinging to the edges looking for someone to hang on to. Wanting to trust enough to let go, knowing the empty space is so deep and so hard to climb out of.

Hanging on and pushing away are so close.

Standing at the edge the water is black, a tremor ripples the memories. The shore slips toward the frigid glass shattering calm. Descending into numb thoughts, cold fog clings to the edge, wounded pieces looking for someone to hang on to, waiting to let go, knowing the depth. Smooth walls of water pull into the black depths, movement, life below the surface, surviving unknown, silent, surface eddies from far beneath. Panic, thrashing, searching,

Where are you? Do I need you? Do I want you? Want what I can’t have. Have what I can’t have.

The sea holds tight what it wants, weight crushing pressure squeeze, collapses the last bit, orbs of life showing the way. Eyes follow. Stars float with the waves, the moon reaches out to touch the surface smooth again, spreading his palm flat, calming the waves. Floating on the surface listening to the deep, reaching for the moon, a drop falls a slow decent past closed eyes kissing the moons radiant face, Tears fall, wind whispers

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wicked Cook

My mother fancied herself as a good cook. Her specialty was goulash; all the leftover’s from the frig added to the same pot, seasoned with apathy and poverty, heated to a temperature that was certain to kill off any bacteria that may have started to multiply, served in a heaping pile in bowls or on plates, depending on what was clean, while her and dad ate fluffy white rice with their steaks and canned peas; mothers favorite that turned to mush in my mouth.

Dreaming of government cheese,
large ample hunks of salty fulfillment
eaten with bread and milk
while running up mountains with Hiedi
to golden green meadows,
delicate and colorful wild flowers brushing through my fingers,
scattering micro insects
threshing through waist high grasses,
surrounded by hillside after hillside and endless blue sky,
rocky outcrops, high waist dresses, goats for company
and the breeze for a best friend.

We lived in a complex once designed for family living. Fresh idea when built fifty years before my life but run down with neglect and poverty living for me. All the units faced a large central yard with four massive trees, eons old, that reached past the roof tops and kept the ground level apartments and the yard cool. Those trees were an oasis in the Mojave Desert; step outside the shade of the yard and, golden velvet hills rolled on forever ringing the flat hot desert of sage brush and jackrabbits. Depending on the time of year the wind would turn us into a ghost town of tumble weeds and blowing sand storms that hazed out the sun. In the spring, the only time anything felt new, there was this small yellow flower that grew close to the ground. It had the most intoxicating fragrance I’d ever smelled or since. Like perfume. I’d pick fists full to take home to my mothers allergies and complaints of “are you trying to kill me?” to have them thrown out.

The sun turned my skin dark brown and my black hair into a helmet of fire.

The neighbors next door had two daughters, my playmates. I used to sit in their mothers kitchen and watch. It was a small kitchen with a small four chair table pushed up to the wall so only three could sit. The stove was always hot even in this thousand degree desert heat, pots of rice and beans cooked all day, ready for any hunger that might come home. The back door was always open begging for a breeze, glowing daylight. Never any fat lazy flies hovering around, her pots were always covered and the dishes clean and in cupboards waiting for eaters. She didn’t talk much just the musical sounds of her voice telling her girls things I didn’t understand, her soft gentle directions and the girls’ compliant responses. She combed oil into their hair, first coating her hands and smoothing them through then combing sleek shining lengths down there backs, and braiding them into ropes of perfect. Those same hands made tortillas all day long every day. Fresh and soft, she’d feed them to me with beans I watched her cook, poured whole from one boiling pot into the hot sizzle of oil in the black frying pan that always sat on the stove after a good wipe. When the men came home they would pat the girls on the tops of gleaming heads turned up with smiles and arms ready for hugs. The table pulled out from the wall surrounded by men laughing loud and eating the menudo, beans and rice with those fresh tortillas she had cooked all day. They all were like mirrors of me, Alice and wonderland mirrors, I could only watch. Before dark, I would run home, to a box of mac and cheese and a can of peas, never asked where I’d been.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


One distant lonely sailboat on placid waters,
heat waves flutter the sails.
star dazed eyes against the deep blue.
Constellations of thought,
mind adrift, slave to wind and water.
Faint breezy whispers - - so hard to hear,

me: It must be a bore always having to placate this silly woman.

I’m baiting you, please don’t agree.

you: I love you.

Why do you hide behind those words?

me: I love you too.

The thin line struggles in its battle
with the depths; pole bent,
smooth water barely stirred by the line.
What will break the surface; Gaping mouth
of a smooth gray bass, tender white flesh;
rainbows of trout, sweet flavor;
toss back too small?
hairy black catfish with lungs that never die,
instincts to live that walks it back to water.

Dads bucket full fills the sink.
Tip toes peer in at dark bodies
sucking air with sharp gills,
vacant black eyes staring at moms back,
hammer high, crack, crack, crack! I hate
these fucking prehistoric beasts!!
To no one.
Red gore, and still – movement,
gills and eyes, never die.

I hold sunlight in my palm,
penetrating warmth. Just air. –
Thinking of holding your hand,
reassuring warmth of flesh, presence.

Do you care?

The swelling of summer.

Lengthening days of bright summer heat.
Tight buds to flowers
The fullness of trees;
leaves, nuts, fruit, birds and song.

Long as the winters night,
lovers wrapped in the others
sweet warmth.
Whispers of dark wind stir bare branches,
dance moonlit shadows on the walls, winds
breathy moans of delight.

Beautiful round bellies, full blown flowers
Proud, confident, assured. Three
Each their own direction, cross
From their own corner.
Not the same lover, but the same love,
To warm their winter nights.

They tell you in those birthing classes to breathe.

Relax and breathe,
deep cleansing breath,
slow in and out deep,
Focus your mind
on something pleasant,
loving and calm;
music, husband, childhood toy
you’ll pass to her.

Precious gem, child of your love,
small perfect hands
with the circles of her life
already imprinted in the tips
when she takes her first breath.