poetry: remember


time isn’t linear at all. broken
hearts know this truth. concentric
circles might be closer. i drive
into the rice fields to see myself
riding bareback, kicking up dirt
into the water. cranes take flight
scared by hoofbeats and hollering—
‘your eyes can be so cruel,
just as i can be so cruel.’ vultures
watch me traveltime, hissing
‘you don’t belong here anymore.’
i know. circling, i turn back.

More short poems:
1/30: not my cat
2/30: comfort
3/30: ache

poetry: ache


an old ache woke today
i thought it drowned in Miami
while hard waves crashed my thighs
salt meeting salt

but here it is again
calling loudly of hidden rushing waterfalls
not dry deserts or busy cityscapes
chosen not settled

go away, i half whisper
folding myself into my rough hammock
while a tiny brown bird sings
without an answer

More short poems:
1/30: not my cat
2/30: comfort

poetry: dancing girl

sadness takes residence inside my bones
sometimes. it drives tiny sharp stakes 
deep into marrow before releasing
its large grey tent. i don’t notice
until the fires start and thick smoke
takes my breath away. no. not again.

reaction isn’t quick—no flashing lights 
or loud sirens. instead, i silently wait 
for dancing girl to wake. press needle
onto vinyl. stretch. sing. call. dreamily
she’ll arrive amid bubbles, swirls, golden
light. sadness doesn’t stand a chance.

Note: I don’t always remember the power of movement, but once the music starts my body does. This poem and photos were created as part of the “What Moves You?” challenge. Thank you Michele Lee of My Inspired Life for your continued support of my healing journey. I can’t wait to read all the moving posts.

poetry: not my cat


wandering quietly into morning sun
fluffy-puffed tail held high
he jumps, greeting my hand—
dear old stranger/neighbor cat

friends, I suppose, two strays
looking simply for some comfort
purring for a brief moment
before saying goodbye once more

Note: I’m accepting a challenge to write thirty short poems (not in a row, just as they come). I’m defining short as no more than two stanzas. I was inspired by the beautiful work of my friend Neil—check out his incredible 30 poems. I’m also inspired by sceadugenga who always amazes me with his genius brevity. Feel free to join the challenge if you like.

Edited: A brilliant poet, David, mentioned to me that stanzas can be very long and he’s correct. I’ve changed the guidelines to be under 60 words instead of two stanzas. I think word count is an excellent way to measure these tiny/short/micro/baby poems. Thanks!

Poetry: Motherhood in Two Parts

My Mom

you get stoned
say you’re proud
say you’re sorry
say I’m beautiful

I believe you
motherhood cuts deep
your scars shine

like mine

My Daughter

you’ve inherited broken glass
jagged-edged shattered dreams
that are not yours 

I tried smoothing them
with cold ocean waves
deep muddy lake dives
but they still cut

you don’t believe me
because fresh wounds sting
lines etched into softness
but I see you

I’m proud of you 
I’m sorry
you are beautiful

Mother’s Day isn’t an easy day for many, but I hope today you find solace in knowing motherhood binds us more than separates us. We all come from birth. We all are broken. We are all doing our best. May you find a piece of love to hold today and every day.

Poetry: if I am…

if I am storm clouds rolling across the horizon
     fluffy and pregnant
you are a hungry plant 
     waiting to grow from my gentle release

if I am driftwood carried through the moving waves
     slimy and hallowed out
you are a small child 
     building a fairytale castle from my bones

if I am a weed dying in the sun
    drained and tired
you are a wild bird
    pulling me free to line your nest

if I am muddy water pooling near the shore
     unclear and ugly
you are a vast undercurrent 
     diluting my darkness until I can see

if I am a rock on the lake bottom
     lost and afraid
you are a sea monster 
     pocketing me as your good luck charm

if I am teardrops falling down soft freckled cheeks
     hurting and remembering
you are a golden light 
     reflecting your beauty into my broken heart

NOTE: This poem was inspired by reading fellow poet and friend Neil Reid’s poem “if I Am.” Both our poems are influenced by Derek DelGaudio’s “In & Of Itself.” You can watch it on Hulu if you’re interested. It’s magic.

Poetry: Dandelion Battle

Wandering mimsy-like
through vorpal woods
gyre strapped mome-like
upon my thigh—
Gimble finds me.

Draped in white
dandelion fur cloak
brillig bright eyes
slithy black hair—
Gimble mocks me.

Uffishly pouncing forth
callay sword drawn
frumiously sweating brows
lips drawn tight—
Gimble attacks me.

With callooh quickness
sidestepping his blade
I cry out
“nobody outgrabe’s me”—
Gimble circles me.

Eyes locked together
two lost-raths 
in the night
frabjous moon laughs—
Gimble sees me.

Beamishly he stares
eyes dripping tears
remembering our love
gyre kisses lost—
Gimble flees me.

Trailing behind him
whiffling white fluff
swirls softly around
my tulgey toes—
Gimble forsakes me.


Note: This poem uses neologisms found in Lewis Carroll’s famous Jabberwocky poem and was started as an assignment for a poetry class I took from M. Todd Gallowglas last weekend. It’s got a bit of a different tone than I usually write and I’d love to know what you think. Thank you!

Poetry: Mined/My Truths

Bradbury calls upon writers to “go panther-pawed 
where all the mined truths sleep.” Lately, I’ve
been rather horse-like; clip-clopping
through knee-high weeds which itch,
burning my skin toward a fake sunset. “Wake up,
dummy,” I say each morning, but somehow
my eyes don’t hear. Instead, I close them tighter; 
stumble, trip across briar patches again
and again. “Wake up,” the bluejay mock calls
while diving beak first at my lips. I kiss away
pain by pressing my palms hard across thin
eyelids so I can’t see even a tiny speck
of light. If I don’t look maybe they will go away.
But then the doves sing from their nest. Tiny
white eggs might be under them now; new life
waiting for a chance to dive and fall from branches
into an uncertain world of cats and clovers.
“What if I do open my eyes when I sleep?” I ask 
rabbit jumping across my yard. His ears twitch
which means he hears me. He knows plenty
truths, I think. Maybe I can hop wildly like him.

Note: The poem I’m referring to appears in “Zen in the Art of Writing,” by Ray Bradbury. It’s called “Truths Sleep.” The photo is of our pet rabbit named Bun-Bun.

Shoebox Poetry: The Field

what if the calling crows think you are
a makeshift scarecrow built for chasing
them away from their dreams? will they
peck at you with sharp beaks so far from
my grasp? will I be able to run fast enough
to save you? the shifting rice tells me
to take a deep breath. this isn’t a cornfield
and the cranes won’t hurt you. but grey
skies mean trouble so run to me anyway
my boy. mother needs you in her arms.

Shoebox Poetry: This is the fourth poem in my series based on an old box of photos I inherited when my grandmother died in 2004. The back of this photo reads “Gary in rice field Nov ’53.” It’s a photo of my dad, but it made me think of my own boy. He turned 18 in December and is finishing high school in a few months. This poem poured out instantly along with some tears. I guess I have some feelings.

Here are the other poems in the series if you missed them: