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: 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.

poetry: transmogrify me

i’ve been to this beach before
but i’m thinking of that one
time when i cried into the wind 
begging spirits to save my trapped
soul and something answered. not mermaid

goddesses wrapped in shimmery light, but
a sea hag draped in foggy 
sadness. “you want out?” she hissed
through cracked lips. i nodded feeling
the air leave my lungs. slippery

quick, an eel through water, my
knees buckled as knarled hands placed 
a rotted seaweed crown upon my 
matted hair. “i deserve nothing but
pain,” i managed to say. manic

laughter roaring with the waves, calling
me a liar. red-bearded pirates
pointed rusty blades at my pale
neck. i ran. and ran. for
years. and years. jellyfish growing fat

within my belly. sharp spiny barnacles
grow under my breasts and between 
my thick thighs. ice forming heavy
around my heart, protecting soft
starfish memories from spilling. but now

oh now

my seaweed crown is slipping. walking
in my old footsteps, i sing
“you are special” under my breath
wondering if i believe. a lilting
voice joins mine and I follow

into a narrow rocky cave. here
a siren gently whispers seashell songs
which vibrate through my body, rocking
me like golden sunset waves. warm
fingers find my face. “you are 

loved,” she sings. “time to forgive
yourself.” salty tears fall from hazel
eyes as slimy seaweed slips onto
the cold sandy ground. i see 
not her beautiful garments nor her

phosphorescent glow, but feel her spinning 
me around. and around. strong hands 
pluck hardened crusty foulers from
my body and smashes them hard onto 
the uneven stone walls. powder turns 

powerful. light burns brighter. i shudder
as the foggy vines the sea 
witch weaved deep within me unwind
faster. and faster. healing. releasing. forgiving.
without a word, the siren leaves.

lavender flowers fall around me. “goodbye”
i say under the golden sky.
four sandpipers watch me walk across
the beach. lighter. they don’t run
but i do. time starts again.

sandpiper friends.

my cave.

the view looking out from the inside of the cave. do you see the siren?

Note: I celebrated my birthday today by spending hours wandering the beach taking photos and writing poetry. I hope you enjoy this poem of healing and that it helps you too.

The song I was singing is “Special” by Lizzo. Watch the music video. It will do your heart some good.

Poetry: hi, mom

he climbs tall swaying trees
all the way to the top. i eat
handfuls of unsalted almonds
with bites of banana while reading
book after book. sun-kissed, my
toes press into the soft green
grass. freckled shoulders out. “hi 
mom,” he calls. i wave back
all smiles. my naive trust
easily covers fear. i lean into

full moons, rainbow wishes, fairy
protectors. i believe my love
will shield him from harm. but
it doesn’t. once. and then twice.
i drink sugary coffee in hospital
rooms while staring at tiny bright
screens. shoulders slumped. “hi
mom,” he calls beneath many
bloody bandages. with a fake
smile i tell him everything will

be okay. home. darkness. healing
comes. i sneak candy nightly
hoping it will shrink fear. it 
doesn’t. my body swells. aches. 
i pull away from everyone. hiding
panic with manic activity. secretly
building giant blame barriers. “hi
mom,” he calls but i don’t hear
him. i don’t want to. walls protect
right? but i am lonely in my padded

cell. sunshine bursts through swaying
trees. they miss him too. but fear
stopped the climbing. we circle
each other arguing. forgetting nose
kisses but not bloody faces. time
moves so fast. too fast. his blue cap 
and gown sits on my dresser. “hi
mom,” he says. i listen. we eat
seedy crackers while our shoulders
touch. can trust regrow after fear?

Note: I’m attempting to use poetry as part of my healing process. I will return to short stories and the Shoebox Poetry series soon. Thank you for reading and supporting me during this transition time. It’s long overdue.