Friday, December 14, 2018

Mad dog barking

My dog barks...then again.
Then crazy barking and again.
She barks with the pops, the bodies
rolling onto streets.

It drives my dog mad, those shots
repeating on TV,
the pop, pop, and pop,
it just doesn't stop.

A man voice warns, viewers
will feel unsettled and then
more pops and more short, sharp
mad dog cries.

The TV neutral in all its telling
of biology, of flesh bursting from
the bones above the dog's sharp
short mad cries.

And overhead crows swarm nonstop,
and dog barks, barks, and barks
and I climb up the olive tree,
to the very top and flap my arms
like small, white flags
to the enemy.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Not like this

I don’t want to go like this.

When I see my loved ones' fluids leak

like the garden's rotting fruit.

What misery in that slow retreat.

I pray for speed, for quick.

My mass, my final moment

freed freed freed

in a single sudden trick

To the bay

Blue, cobalt bay with your secret bottom,

I stand before you in the golden hay,

upright and awed,

looking without thought, without choice,

with only one this: love

at your blue dome,

at the clean gurgle of your perfect

blueness splashing

every part of me in the motion

of wind and I gulping light of gold

and feeling sorrows sinking

all of me bowing

to that healing unknown.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The body shines

The body shines on the table.
Pure as a figure carved atop a tomb.

Not a tremor, not a twitch, no stirring,
eyes stay gummed shut.

Bloodless, still as stone, my husband now.

The table raised and bathed, scents
burned for sacrifice

and  a lone chair for me.

All for one purpose: to look.
The looking--and the being looked at--
this is the ceremony.

I look as would a lit candle,
the earth's wick burning down inside me,

still inside him, too, but only hot in me.


finally! there's a beach
in sight

finally! against my back
a panting wind

finally! from my palms
the sand now bleeds

finally! a world of swells rush
toward me

finally! a bridge of bluffs rust
in sundown glow

finally! foam whirls
like candy floss

finally! in the glorious wake
fear floats belly up

Friday, September 28, 2018

Stray cat

Ok enough about the impermanence
we hate.

I will tell you about my cat.

The stray lost himself
one summer.

What a pushover.
Morning kibble, some stroking
and he's here for good

With gratitude that’s ferocious--
razor teeth and claws, meaning
to be playful but draws my blood.

Yet it's a comfort to be followed
by his tender eyes and eager paws.

A bounty to have my death-bound skin
licked and purred on, even if it bleeds a bit.

To know another pair of ears perk up
when there's that banging of the wind at night.

And sweet, sweet comfort to rise
from my chair in twos.

Sunday, September 2, 2018


Here they come     again.
The long days    suddenly impaled
on    some    thorn

one       long      shade

on my evening walk
at Lake Chabot
passing newts
passing ferns,

I stoop       for a look
for       a whiff
for     a bit of joy
and    then

a well-known cry--
I lift my eye to

a tree branch
falling to the ground--

the voice of winter,
following me around.

Saturday, August 11, 2018


It's not what it was once:
spike heels, short dresses,
slow gulps of chardonnay.
Dark underthings, smooth rock.
A delicious guy in my room,
making our own weather.

No more of what came after:
quick and absent-minded everything.

It lasted as long as it could.

Now it's flannel PJ's with The New Yorker.
Online Scrabble and MSNBC.
Pandora with hot tub and no thoughts.

Once I was a Pelican, pouch filled with fish.
Now just a woman with nice friends,
but oh, a grandson to hug, woods to walk in.
Now it's nocturnal poetry.

Still worthy of life, indeed--still worth
begging for;
though at times,
all may seem like gibberish.

Done asking

Land of forgiveness, freedom land,
if you exist,
show me in,
let me emigrate to your realm
of balm and peace.

Allow some ease after miles of
short steps over hot sand--take me
to your mount surcease from sorrow,

from regret,

from my sins.

I could have done more.
Each day I count the ways
I might have been better.

Today I count this:
Those afternoons I leave him in
his unawares, in the palms of others
to walk the dog, to roll in water
like a log, to pour sun on me.

Let me forgive myself,
amend my life across your border.
I accept your hand of charity.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

It's the instances when....

.... Coleman Hawkings
plays Man With A Horn 
in the room where my man sat
listening to Coleman Hawkings play
Man With A Horn.

Something about that tempo,
the tenor sax solo
shreds the heart into knots
of grass.

It's the instance when I hear
Bill Evans on My Foolish Heart
when above my head my man blows
his horn, one brow rising to say "hi" when
I walk by.

Something about that solitude
makes me a tiny boat tied up
inside a craggy cave of
sloshing melody.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I could kneel here for hours apologizing
     for what I didn't do so well

or not at all.

Though it was no crime at the time, now
     the pain of deadly loss

makes it so

and the price I pay is huge––the icy quiet
in the house he's made,

the joys I'll never see again;

the end of ease.

What's the point?

Today's the point. 
It's the whole beautiful point. 
First the gorgeous silence when I wake,
the silence of an old sleeping swan. 

The coffee without sound, made without
a single thought and I lean
against the sink to feel 
the tender quiet slip around 
my shoulders with a hug

A friend texts: Meet on the bay

And before that cobalt sea I bend,
the friend chatting beside me.

I want to hear her every word 
but the rise and fall and the rise and fall 
and the rise and the fall 
of waves, waves, more waves 
coax my ears away 
and all my cares tip-toe 
toward that shore--
to get a little break from me.

How sweet, how thoughtful 
my cares can be.