"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Soul's Errand

I flayed his hands
watched them bleed from his eyes

every weighted word
I placed on raw nerves
and ever so gently
he carried them
his love a crimson wing
lifting boulders
I'll be leaving blogland for awhile. I've got work to do. Hard internal work where gears need to grind against my bones and shave off sharp slivers that I stab myself, and others, with daily. The kind of work where I harbor my mind until it begins to soften against itself...can open it's arms and treat me with more kindness. The kind of work that others are counting on, and shall not even for a moment be taken lightly. My husband says I "beat the shit" out of myself...overwork the body and mind. But perhaps this, a strengthening of spirit, I have never done.

A soul's errand.
An important one.

What Women Do

This is a repost, but a follow up to Jos's poem.

(After a funeral for a friends father-in-law. It struck me that women hold funerals in bars, dressing rooms, parked cars and bedrooms. We gather together to mourn the death of a person, a dream, or a pant size. It starts young, before our birth, before we can name it...and we carry and encourage each other without request. It's what women do. )

Women have this ancient power to gather 'round and puff life into death. Even their hugs come from ancient places, translating through vibrations of incredible nurture honed in igloos and covered wagons. Five friends will gather at funeral's pew to surround with a life force that requires notice. And what we do for her, is done for me, for you, for she. At the moment of my own falter, one will steady. She...a friend of decades...she will pause her shoulder beneath my arm and limp me back, or forward, to wherever winds of change dictate. It's what women do. She...a friend of just weeks, will write a note which weights hope in my favor and sooths me enough to see life after this...this trauma, this loss, this heartbreak.

She, of waiting room only, will brush me with her glitter and make me shine enough to present a smile amidst unspeakable grief, not because she knows it's origin nor needs to know, it's just what women do. She will cry only because tears have flowed my cheeks and dropped on the carpet we both worry with our paces.

And when I've nothing left, no will of my own with which to continue this journey, she...my hearts true friend, my sister if ever I could choose, my soul...she pumps my heart until it beats again. She fills my lungs until they gasp in their own right. She takes my thigh and lifts the leg to begin the steps I cannot mount. My arms swing to her rhythm and she blinks my eyes. She lives in me until I can live apart. And I could say...it's just what women do, but it wouldn't be true. It's what women do, and so much more, when she carries me.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Miss Insomnia

holds the longest hours
the minutes roll by like lazy stones
on a decline so negligible
it halts descent

each pausing
like pageant contestants
white toothed blink
and I blink blink back
malcontent to observe
that which I wish to move on

and gracefully does
on swiveled hip
only to be replaced
by the same plastic pose.

2:39 took the crown.

I was too tired to applaud.

Friday, March 25, 2011


The weather is angry
and I assume it from somewhere
God perhaps
the direction pointed and furiously sacrosanct

the wind has an odd bellow
from beyond
making no noise through the trees, though they are assaulted
nothing so expected....
just a warning of encroachment
howling far off, yet already here
quiet HERE
but following
while vehemently moving

and the river has reached her banks
which seemed so inviolable
but she had a point
to break
and wishing now to saturate the ground with it
while we stand at the window with a wary eye

hmmm now, look at that will you? Better board the windows...cover the patio chairs...latch things, protect things...

but none of that is done
we just watch her
and face the anger

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I've unraveled...rather completely. I lay on my side like a toppled milk carton...tears dripping out, pain, confusion, angst. The milk was souring anyway. For years I'd peer at the expiration date with my camera eye and purposely shift the focus.

"You've been hiding yourself for a long time."

Yes. I've nothing left but to lay here until I've poured out.

"I will let you."

I watch you get in your boat, intent to navigate unchartered waters, looking so small against the spill, and yet larger and stronger than I ever remember.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Balance of Give and Take

Oh, why not? Better than mute I suppose. Here goes nuthin...

Bifocal Univision Monday Photo Prompt

Every single day he soaked like a sponge, only that which brought him pleasure. There came, inevitably, a moment of maximum capacity.

He sat with his regalement, until mirth was spent and the jaw quivered with fatigue from the ack ack ack of merriment. "I am too joyous" he mused, and wondered that there might be more somber things to consider. Resting his weary smile, he thought to stretch his mind, out into the hearts of others...further, further out, taking in the spherical earth as his own concern and everything therein. The oppressive load bore down on every muscle starting with the corners of his mouth, far reaching to a tension born underfoot. He felt as stone, immutable, and while stoically stable (certainly such steadfast immobility had merit?) he lacked the ability to move in any direction at all.

Round and round his thoughts circled like concentric bands, torqued by each consideration without solution. Deeper and deeper he delved into problems until formulas mocked in indecipherable answers beyond his grasp. His shoulders hunched with the effort to rid himself of the monumental task of solving that which was beyond his control. Attempting to lift his head, he found he could not. Not a finger could he bend. So, to the Giver of his joy, he used the centrifugal force of his spiraling thoughts to eject a note...a prayer really...

"Please, restore my balance. I cannot be what I was, but I cannot be this."

Not immediately, no certainly not, (for lessons learned in an instant are just as quickly dispensed) but following a time where moments were disproportionate to their duration, his skin relaxed and lips pursed. Head separated from the statuary of his body. He stood, first on one foot, then the other, noting that balance came easiest with arms outstretched. A slight nod towards a passerby was rewarded with a smile that melted him fully. His eyes crinkled and his mouth spread as he chuckled, "Ack ack ack".


The soup is viscous
able to float my deeds
as they cannonball
from loose lips

I avoid looking at her
for she has long used bitter skin
to cloak her eyes into agreement I do not exist.

I have wronged her
I have not wronged her
She stole from me
She gave to me
Perhaps I should have paid her more
and used her less
so I could sit as a human again

The way she makes me invisible
I consider to be painful
the ache of answers
returning as questions.

(She was stealing time from me, lying on her time card. I let her go. It was six years ago. I see her now and then. I said "Hello" to her for the first year. I got no response. Now I pretend she is invisible too. Today we lunched as ghosts.)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Clean" Energy

This is something I was working on a while back. It's crap...I know it is, but I can't seem to write anymore. It is the voice I have found and now I feel mute. It scares me. So here is something....crap and all....just cuz. Photo is kinda cool. Taken with iPhone and the 8mm camera app.

They sprung up like weeds
somehow perpetuating themselves
through their mechanical organs,
hard birthed with heads like that!

And the hillside
now littered
with alternative machines
looks ugly and unseemly
like Tommy James yard
after we forked it

The birds
confused by white wings
lulled by the hum
move upstream
like salmon

one by one
leech their blood into the fields
iron fertilizer
for green metal

(Commentary: 5,000 windmills dot Northern California's Altamont Pass. It is adjacent to the densest nesting ground for golden eagles and directly in the migratory path of red-tailed hawks. As many as 4,721 birds a year are killed by this alternative "clean" energy source. I once thought of windmills as beautiful. I took the photo above at a roadside farm along Hwy 88.)

Altamont Pass