Poetry: The Door

Syn stands softly illuminated
in the shadowy doorway
between our worlds. “My
child,” she says soothingly

sweeping stray strands away
from wet cheeks. Tenderness
drips thickly—honey-sweet
sympathy for mortals stuck

between justice and wintery
injustice. Her pale eyes
see what fleeting control
looks like—its slippery

eel texture slithering deep
below angry waters. Desperate 
hands grasping slimy weeds 
pulling pulling pulling toward 

bright metamorphosis or crimson 
death. Knowledge lays within
clear moonlit waves, torn
by ravenous ravens screaming

mine, mine, mine. Ancient
battles. Wood grains worn
from violent pounding, brass
doorknobs forcibly turned. Set

against it, Syn pushes
back. Roaring, she melts
man’s killing machines, burning
trigger fingers, plucking prideful

plumage, tearing it apart
piece by piece. No
mercy for hateful truth
slayers—Syn doesn’t forget

weeping mothers or irate
fathers who hide clenched
fists behind unshaven blank
faces. “Be still,” she

whispers, standing inside cracked
door frames, palms held
in silent prayer. Forever
guarding mortals from ourselves.


*Syn is the Norse goddess of watchfulness, truth, and doorways. She guards the door of the Fenislar (Friggs palace) refusing entrance to those unworthy. This poem is my latest attempt at processing the injustice around gun laws and mass shootings.

Poetry: Inside the House

through multi-colored glass
down simple carpet floors
white walls turn brass
tears transform into doors

shadow trees grow there
lightening flowers do too
whispers come for repair
howling monsters to spew

creaking boards hold ache
light bulbs illuminate pain
rafters rattle and shake
trauma flows like rain

lose yourself, my child
within safe caring walls
connect with inner wild
listen to phoenix’s calls

for inside healing house
nothing stays for long
come in quiet mouse
leave brave lion strong


*This poem was inspired by a comment left on my blog by Grounded African and is dedicated to everyone attempting to enter a building like this to heal and connect in therapy, especially my darling daughter. May you find your way through the dark.

Poetry: Strawberry Tree

You’ve lived nestled along
our side fence—undiscovered
until now. Touching your
water-soaked trumpet flowers
I marvel at how

perfect you are. Why
didn’t I see your
blushing bright cardinal-red 
berries as more than
background noise? How could

I miss your intoxicating
honey-rich smell? Ancient
Rome called you good
luck charms, could you
be what I’ve searched

for—an answer disguised
as hidden treats plopped
into my aching hungry 
mouth? Gritty, muted treasures—
arbutus gems. Help me

truly

see.

Poetry: Bath

I’m an island jutting
out—warm fleshy curves
dotted by bright sparkling
water drops. Sinking beneath

calm seas, breath moves 
as rhythmic ocean waves
I control. My hand
twists through dark, tangled

seaweed while steady drums
beat, beat, beat—soundtrack
of me. Moonlit skies
fill with phoenix song

promising protection from sea
monsters pressing sharp claws
into soft skin. Foggy
dreams dance with wild

wind, whispering gentle truths
sometimes forgotten. I’m an
island jutting out—carving
a place my own.

Poetry: Grandma Kate

I was far too small 
to reach the dusty glass 
jars stacked on the wooden 
shelves of your garage. I’d
skate by wondering what orange

or yellow or green meant
and if you’d teach me
your secrets. I outgrew wanting
to know before your mind
forgot all the things—including 

me. It’s been 17 years 
since you left without meeting
your great-grandchildren and now
I wonder if my persimmon
jam would fit beside yours.


Poetry: Frosty

Crystalized tears form soft
uneven lines around youthful
forgiving skin. Bright veins 
turn brittle, trapped beneath 
unspoken truths—too many

days passed under harsh
sunlight. Hollow flowery voices
drowned out by chickadee
songs erupt into icy
frozen maps leading lost

souls nowhere. Glowing warmth
melts away glassy biting
shards—pieces of us
grown frigid. Numbed by
quiet moonless nights, we’ve

wilted.

Poetry: Mr. Willowby

weathered, treasured pages
lit twinkling lights
childhood has stages
measured in Christmas nights 

rollicking, frolicking fire
child-led merrymaking
favorite book magnifier
for a mother’s heartbreaking

old family traditions
wee bit oversized
find new conditions
for love to crystalize

sharp scissors snip
trimming the top
recast as partnership
family love doesn’t stop


*Inspired by the family’s favorite Christmas book “Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree” and my need to learn flexibility as my son turns 18 this month.

Poetry: Spoonwood for Perseverance

fingers pause over the keys
whispy white clouds drift by
soft green magnolia daydreams
distract away wee wiggly words

woo them back with gifts
of fiery red phoenix feathers
balls of dancing dandelion fluff
twisted ancient oak tree wands

lure them with magician cloaks
flapping on a griffin’s back
whispering old spoonwood spells
in round tortoise-shell glasses

capture them again and again
with bright lotus flower nets
50,000 twirling points of light
trapped in your spun-sugar bowl


*A short poem inspired by the saying “Spoonwood for Perseverance” on the NaNoWriMo winner certificate. Congratulations to everyone who participated this year.

Poetry: Thanksgiving

I forgive myself for idealizations of holidays past
For quick crying between wishes
For wiping tears on my pumpkin apron
For missing the harvest moon 
For yelling at myself for falling short
For taking too many or not enough pictures
For missing the sweetness of giggly formality
For not savoring the warmth of deep red wine
For demanding you write on the thankful chalkboard tree
For unrealistic expectations and not asking for help
For not seeing paper-thin leaves on the carpet as beautiful
For forgetting the windowsill wishbone
For making cranberry sauce when you just want canned
For not snuggling under warm blankets
For playing martyr music to myself

I am grateful it’s never too late to learn hard lessons
For pretty glass pumpkins bought 20 years ago
For delicious pies from Apple Hill
For crochet leaf coasters and sparkling cider refills
For round crackers and salty meat
For the mystic splendor of deer on the ridge
For marching bands and behemoth balloons
For bad jokes and big laughter
For pink cheeks and crackling firelight
For making you write on the thankful chalkboard tree
For the perfect turkey placemats for four
For forgiveness and second chances
For squirrel salt & pepper shakers
For snuggles and holding hands
For midnight sandwiches and full bellies
For every moment we’ve had together


*Thank you for supporting my blog this year. Your kindness keeps me going. May your Thanksgiving, if you celebrate, be worry-free and wonderful.

Poetry: The Mall Santa in November

Long before the first whiff of candy canes rise
A bauble-covered evergreen, enormous in size
Arrives in the mall for all the holiday-hooked
While fat turkey waits to be basted and cooked

Sitting center stage on a velvet couch of green
Glad tidings brought forth before casserole of bean
Dear Father Christmas, old Santa Claus himself
Precedes eggnog, gingerbread, or elf on the shelf

November’s mall Santa has quite an easy gig
Before shopping gets desperate, pushy, and big
Fur-lined coat, hair of white, smiling with ease
He waves at the shoppers, aiming only to please

So if you like your Saint Nicholas full of glee
Don’t wait until the line snakes around the tree
November’s the time to gather up all the holly
And visit the mall for your dose of the Big Jolly