Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Night Before

The desert floor cracks and yearns
Somewhere in one grain of sand
The memory of what was lost stirs
And launches itself into the thirsty wind
Men shift in their mournful sleep,
Turn their dark, dusty faces
And breathe their brokenness out
To a bright and insistent star
While slumbering women cradle
Their arms to their aching breasts,
Feel the heavy night contract and push,
Sense the cresting of a tide
And the crowning of All That Is
Bear down on a pregnant sky

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cold Advent

Here's a repost of an Advent poem I wrote last year...

It was sufficient for us

To be the seekers.

A new stellar sign

Was all we needed

To spur our pilgrimage

Through barren wildness,

Blistering winds, stinging nights,

With only our parchments

And our intellect

To bolster our certainty.

We did not need

The heavens to burst open,

Like those simple shepherds

Who, half-asleep on the job,

Wiped the sand from their eyes

And found the glory of God

Ripping open the sky.

Who had angels’ wings

And harps of gold

And Be Not Afraids

And Good Tidings of Great Joy

And all the style and spectacle

Of heavenly holiness

In one giant pageant.

Of course they got up

And did as they were told.

But for months all we had

Was a pinhole in the sky,

A nick, a puncture

In the darkness.

And when we reached the Babe

In that tomblike stable

It was enough to see Him

To know we were right.

We left with our dignity in tact,

Requiring no reward,

No unearthly visions

Of celestial upheaval

To inspire us

Or cling to

Long after

When the sky was resealed

As tight as a drum.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us a group of words from William Stafford's "An Oregon Message." I've included Stafford's words in bold...
She— pierced her navel
With your neglect
Stared at it til she saw stars
Cracked her shell
On your stiff backs
Then moved like meteors
Off your radar screen
And curled herself, safer,
Into an abiding moon

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

How to Get a Good Grade

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to write a sex poem--yikes! Inspired by the stacks of papers I will be grading over the next few days, I came up with this. I truly hope none of my students run across this poem. Double-yikes!
A strong, bold thesis
Is key, of course,
But more important
Is what you do with it

Don’t get me wrong
I like a man who
Can start out strong

But can you keep it up?
Can you substantiate
Your big generalization
With the details—
The little touches—
That matter?

In other words,
Do you know your audience?

Have you done your research?
Are you able to do more
Than just hit the same
Point three times
And get out?

Can you hit all of my
Rhetorical sweet spots?
I need more

Than the tired standard:
Your introduction
My body
Your conclusion

No, give me
Elegant syntax
And a willingness
To go beyond the obvious
Again and again
And again and again

Oh, give me
An unexpected finish
That leaves me
Completely satisfied
And eagerly anticipating
Your next piece
Of work.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Wow! It's been a while since I've written a poem. I've been away from the blogosphere and it feels nice to be back. This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us this lovely image by Nasos3. It would have never occurred to me to write a poem about a pomegranate, so I thank them for the inspiration!

I would rather look, thank you,
From out here
Than come in
And run my tongue against
You in my mind
Than allow my trembling
Teeth to break
Your skin
Or risk your good opinion
Of my manners
By dribbling your delicious
Juices down my chin

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom

I’ve known I wanted to be
A mommy
Since before I was three
And it’s because of you.

I wanted to be for my dolls—
And later my boys—
What you were for me.

And I thank you
For putting so much
Of yourself
Into me
And for making it look easy.

But most of all
I thank you
For letting
My late-thirties me
Fall apart
In your arms
Over the phone

And for refusing to allow
Me to measure myself
Against the mommy
I thought you were
When I was three

And insisting I see myself
The way you say
You have always, always
Seen me: as a miracle
And to love
Myself at least that much

Because that’s how mommies love.
And that’s how mommies see.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tending the Fire

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to make a poem from the images of one of our dreams. I had several dreams with a recurring theme this past week: a fire under my desk in my office. I've taken the feelings I remember having in these dreams and tried to put them together in a stream-of-consciousness way. I shared one of these dreams with a friend of mine this week. Michelle, I left out the spider monkeys, but kept some of the anxiety.
If I could just put
Out the fire burning beneath
My desk I could go
With you to the big
Party and meet all of our
Old friends and show them
How well I’m doing
How thin and happy and loved
I really am and
How fulfilled I feel
In every corner of
My soul it’s just so
Persistent those tongues
Of flame crackling beneath
My office desk and
I—I just can’t seem
To put them out no matter
How many blankets
I throw to smother
It burns and burns and maybe
My important thoughts—
All my precious words
Will turn to ashes and all
Fall down so yes I
Know I am keeping
Everyone waiting and that
Today will never
Happen again I
Must stay and contend with
This troublesome fire
I can’t put it out
So I’ll fight to contain it
It’s the least and the
I can

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The poet realizes she has NEVER had an original idea...

This week's readwritepoem prompt was to cut up the words in a text (newspaper article, memo, anything), draw the words randomly, and write them down in that order. Then, we were to see what poem we could make with them. I used a memo about ordering textbooks for next semester as a vehicle for purging my poetic insecurities. The actual purge was less than successful, but I got this poem out of it. The words from the memo are in bold.

I’ve got that fraudulent feeling,
Like my work is nothing more than gum
On the bottom of a real poet’s shoe.

Like I’ve enrolled in a course
Without meeting the prerequisites.

Like the stanzas I send out into cyberspace
Have already been written,
Are in fact illegal adoptions,
Botched abortions,
Of select, sacred texts.

Like I’ve acquired my images by requisition,
Didn’t even say please,
For ideas illegally confiscated.

And soon,
I will be found out, punished.

Sentenced to a life term
At open mic night
In a bookstore coffee shop.
Where I am forced to read
My bastard verses
In an endless loop
To the English faculty from my alma mater
While I am naked
And they are clothed
In caps and gowns
And righteous disappointment.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Summer Whispers to Old Winter

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to take two poems we weren't entirely happy with and have them "talk" to each other. I decided to take my "Dirty Snow Berms" poem and "Summer's Seduction" (both available in their original forms under the tag "Seasons" on the blog) and have them talk to each other. I'm not sure about the result, so I will be revisiting this one...

Only the evergreens
Can defy the cold
But summer’s seduction
Makes it easy to forget
While berms down below
Contain all the excess
Hear the breeze whisper
You are safe you are warm
Belched from our cars
And kicked up from our tires
No need to remember
The sting of biting ice
My feet are embedded
In a late winter scab
Come, walk tender feet
On warm carpets of grass
And if I pick at it
It only spreads more
The sky is your ceiling
No need for shelter
And encrusts my bad habits
In crunchy crystals
Walk unafraid
It’s time to forget
I’m too tired to climb
Over icy blockades
The cold will never again
Split your tired skin
Who is my neighbor?
Where is my river?
See waters tumble
And flowers dance.
Above me the sky
Is clueless with clouds
Let the warmth lift you
From east to west
But down here I hunch
And shuffle and slide

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Last week's readwritepoem prompt was to write about ourselves in epic or exaggerated terms. Here is my ode to English teachers...

I don’t tilt at windmills,
I make the semicolon salient.
I don’t swing from vines,
I swoop in and save
dangling modifiers.
No mere Rapunzel in a tower,
I coax others to let down their hair
And weave it into a cogent argument.
I don’t ride through the village warning of danger,
I whip up a Wordsworthian warning
Of our getting and spending
And the world being too much with us.
My battle cry is not do or die
But be not afraid
Of Whitman
Or Dickinson:
Feel that cleaving in your brain and
Contain multitudes in it!
Know yourself to be nobody
And sing a song of yourself!
I am a sage for our age,
A patron saint of syntax,
A lion of lyricism,
A conqueror of commas gone wrong!
At every turn I offer wise counsel:
Avoid the cliché
Substantiate your generalizations
Cite your sources
Mix your metaphors wisely
And for God’s sake
Pluralize nouns
With apostrophes.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Purring with pride in my sculptor husband...

Check out the progress Rick's making on the Mead High School panther!

Autumnal Relief

The flu prevented me from answering the call of last week's readwritepoem prompt, but I was able to rework this poem about summer's end. I originally wrote this in '08, but edited it down a bit this weekend.

I can't help but welcome

Sun that doesn't burn

And is not a threat

To my wary skin.

And I'm tired

Of the heightened


For fun

I did what I did

This summer

And it's done.

Why bemoan summer's end?

At best it is

A flighty friend, who,

Keenly aware

Of her own popularity,

Arrives late and leaves early.

The life of the party's appeal

Is predicated upon

Limited supply

And great demand.

The illusion of celebrity

Is damaged

by overexposure

Just like my skin

Is damaged

By too much


And it's such a relief

To feel order

Reinstate itself

In my loafing mind.

The kitchen

And the classroom

Are calling.

I will bake bread.

I will cook stew.

I will grade papers.

And I will sleep well

In the slowly



Saturday, September 12, 2009


Photo: Light and Trees by Grieg Fraser
This is in response to readwritepoem's prompt #91. Check out their site for details on the prompt. I didn't expect to get here from there...
At night before the sun
Dances between
The branches of our trees
The girl I think I was
Sleeps surrounded
By your solid leather
And the smell of your
Fresh and foreign skin
Completely contained
In the courtyard of your arms
And the solidity
Of your direct action
Your forward motion
Your now my then

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

150 posts!

Hello to all of my blog friends! I'm sorry I haven't been too chatty and responsive to your comments lately. I've been busy, busy, busy starting a new semester. Please know that I am grateful to all of you who stop by to read my poetry posts--friends, family, bloggers, readwritepoem-ers--your visits let me know that I am not just sending poetry out into the void!

My last post, "Flame Throwing," was my 150th post. I certainly could not imagine producing 150 posts when I started this little adventure. So thank you for your interest and inspiration!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Flame Throwing

Last week's readwritepoem prompt gave us this picture by bradleyowen for inspiration.

I know what it is
to balance a wheel of fire
stubborn on my chin
to throw too many
tongues of flame and keep them high
enough to distract
my lidless blue eyes
from the inevitable

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Keith and Peggy August 26, 1967

I am the daughter
of a father and mother
who’ve loved each other

for forty-two years
a love that created me
but is not contained

by their parental
duties My brothers and I
have long left the house

they tended for us
but the two of them always
have been home for one

another, best friends
and lovers, as it was since
before the children

is now and ever
shall be, while their kids smile, give
thanks and say Amen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Angry? He'll Tell the World, and From His Front Window

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to write a poem based on a headline or headlines. This poem, and its first two lines, come from a NY Times online headline.

picture by Erik Bishop/New York Times

Angry? He’ll tell the world—
and from his front window
His protests circumnavigate
your windshields,
your ipods,
your cell phones

He paints signs, bright and unpixelated
His giant text messages
get right in your face,
but not in your facebook
His struggles are mightier
than your common status updates
His messages are not instant, they contain
the rage of the well-read

He does not want to friend you
or convert his logic to birdsounds
He does not want you to be his fan
He has no feed for you to follow
His mission is syntactic, semiotic
He looks for logic amidst the chaotic
He means to catch your eye
And hold it tight as you walk
or skate or drive on by

He is Paul Revere, John the Baptist,
The last town cryer,
He is not just another nut with a flyer
He aims to make the crooked straight
But knows that for most
He’s too old and too late

Friday, August 21, 2009


This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us a lovely wordle to work with, but I only used one word from it: spoon. This poem also turned out to be kind of a weird anniversary poem for my husband.The spoon would never, ever run
away with the dish
They are too similarly shaped and
alike in purpose
They both hold and contain and
Together bring nothing
new to the table
Designed to be filled up and emptied
out and to scoop her
days away
The spoon is not adept at play
or cutting to the
heart of the matter
For this she needs sharp, she
needs straight
A spoon would be bored by
another spoon
on a date
Instead she looks across the
drawer and sighs with
longing at the fork’s
sharp lines
She shivers with pleasure
and dreams of his
piercing, teasing

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to "choose a vowel sound and exploit it" in our poems. I chose two sounds: ooooo as in "shoe" or "pool" and aaaaayyy as in "wave" or "say."

The pool labors mightily
To stay smooth, restrain waves,
Retain her dignity.

When you go to part her surface
With a blade
She doesn’t move.

Try as you may there is
No ruffling
her liquid feathers.

Are you dismayed
by such an enraging
lack of ripples?
By her never-changing mood?

Does it vex you?
Bid you stay?
Have you fooled?

You can rage
and never roil her,
probe her depths,
reach her floor.

You won't move her.

She has too much to prove
to lose herself as foam
upon your solid shore.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I am not one
to sift and select.
It requires a sense
of purpose.
To be so direct
is to presuppose progress.
To insist on methodology
presumes too much.
To test one’s hypothesis
is to risk such
an undoing
of one’s worth.
It spins one silly,
out around the sun
and wrenches one
from her
flat, cool earth.
This is a draft of a poem I wrote of readwritepoem's first poetry mini-challenge. Two more drafts/poems to come.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


I grew up in Orange County, seasonless,
but with a sense of occasion and ritual:
black patent leather for Christmas,
white patent leather for Easter,
and Buster Browns for ordinary time.
My parents baptized me with a small b
in a chlorine blue pool, where I teared up,
and knew I was loved.
I began each school year
by pulling up my kneesocks, an outward
sign that I took school seriously
and needed my teacher to like me.
But not until my mid-thirties move north
did I feel the crunch of dead leaves
beneath my boots, and the silence
of snow ringing in my ears. Time passes
with a sense of ceremony here—
each season dons the appropriate vestments,
and opens up my sinuses with its own
incense, earthy and ethereal. It is
as it should be, the earth should mark
its own calendar and give me
a real Reason to change my shoes.

Blank August

No August post yet

I feel untethered and strange

unborn poems race

around in my head

frantic with unrealized

potential and breath

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Graveyard Warning

Malvern Graveyard by Doug Shaver

This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us this cool photo for inspiration!

You can crouch over graves
in the night—a moonless one
is best.
You can bring a Ouija board,
a divining rod, keep an amulet
in your vest.
Look for a disturbance
in an energy field,
Hope for a hand to reach
through the ground,
Summon the spirits
as you kneel,
Press your ear to the
tightly packed mound,
Squat down on the edge of
dread and thrill!
It’s not the specters
you should fear.
There never was a ghost
who could kill
Or whisper a deadly spell
in your ear.
Beware instead of
your own bones and skin
as you strive to connect
with the great unknown,
The spirits may be willing
but to your chagrin,
The flesh might just make
itself at home.

July Moose

We had not met
since January snow
and there we were
in the July sun—
she, in the water
stretching out all four legs,
rooting herself to the mud
and dipping her head
to take what she needed
from the river’s floor—
I, in my car
staring from the road above
admiring how she
shrugged off
the pointing paddlers,
assigning them no
as if to say, If a
girl can’t
spread her limbs
and stand her ground
in the stretched out days
of summer,
How will she hold fast,
what will she do
as the light shrinks
and autumn leaves
round her ankles

Friday, July 24, 2009

Misgiving Itch

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to take a trip through the dictionary, using two words as our guides. I selected the words "itch" and "misgiving," and then wrote a poem using those two words and words that occur alphabetically in the dictionary between them.

Resisting the itch
knowing that no new itinerary
could ever scratch it she

led with her jaw
knowing this journey was different
something was off no

even keel here, only
scraped knuckles and bruised
knees and eyes too red to

lament the drowned horizon
or give license to the guilt
tied down in her stomach she

would afford herself no mercy
give no merit to good opinion
honor every misgiving she

had about herself and

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kokopelli Moondance

I'm sharing this poem I posted on my husband's blog a while back. I'm feeling some kokopelli-ish mischief in the air today.

Fertility god

is also a great trickster

goes to show you that

new life, whether crops

or babies, requires a sense

of mischief, humor

Thursday, July 16, 2009


When I meet your emotional acuity,
with my communicative ambiguity
hijinks ensue.

Oh, what marital ingenuity
that our conversational incongruity
doesn’t divide us in two.
This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us a wordle to work with. I chose to use only one word, "acuity" and go from there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Walk

If what you are for me
were a scent
it would be
trees in the rain
near the Little Spokane

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lawlor Names

Wordle: Lawlor Clan

This is for my family. Click on the wordle above to see an artistic rendering of the first and last names of 4 generations of Lawlors. The names that appear in the largest font are the names that have been used most often over 4 generations. My, what an Irish bunch of names! Enjoy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's good to be Queen!

Kathleen, who has one of the loveliest blogs out there, has been gracious enough to bestow upon me the Queen of ALLLL Things Awe-Summmm!!! award.
My royal duties now require me to share 7 awesome things about myself with you, and pass this award on to 7 of my favorite bloggers. Sound the royal trumpets! Here ye! Here ye!
7 Awesome Things about me
1. I kick some serious butt at air hockey. It's true. Just ask my sons.
2. I am also freakishly good at paddling a paddle ball. I have no natural athletic ability at all, but apparently I am an air hockey/paddle ball savant.
3. My students think I am cool. Well, at least some of them do. They told me so just earlier this week. I'm finally cool! Where were these people when I was in high school?
4. I have the most amazing sons in the world. That is no over-exaggeration. They are extraordinary.
5. I can balance marshmallows on my nose, but only when I am camping.
6. I love the Emily Dickinson poem "I started early, took my dog." It's not a textbook Dickinson standard, but it is a fantastic, sexy poem. Look it up!
7. I have more freckles than I can count.
And now, I bestow this award upon the following bloggers:
Annie at blissful bohemian. Check out her beautiful spirit and her beautiful pottery!
Anne at moremadder. Her musings about working motherhood are hallmarks of blunt eloquence.
Jessica GC at paperdreams. One of my favorite blogger/poets!
Angie at woman ask the question. I love the name of her new blog, and I love her poetic stylings.
Kelly at redsart. My cousin and fellow red-haired goddess who just happens to be an incredibly talented artist!
"Athena" at athenathoughts. She's a college English instructor, a doctoral student, and a mom. She doesn't blog often, but when she does, it is well worth the wait!
Thanks again for the coronation, Kathleen. We retire now to our royal bedchamber where we shall put up our feet and read a good book.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


This is in response to this week's readwritepoem prompt #82.

I swat away the
staccato cravings you
bounce off my
carefully partitioned
Once in a while I back
you into corners but
I’m too afraid of the
to go in
and get you
Some nights I wake,
startled by your
pulsing between my
a hummingbird,
bloated with wanting and
Seems I can
never hold you
for long, but oh, just
I’d like to put
my finger right
on you and
turn your
buzzing into
bravely drag
my bow against
your wings
and force your
notes out
into the air
and make you

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Your pain
doesn’t really
I see you sitting there
on your

so sure
that your life’s
sets you
You are satisfied,
in your

But allow me to
the skin of
your self-satisfaction:
I too feel the

between body
and brain
and the suspicion
that my umbrella
holds no
from rain

This week's readwritepoem prompt was to use the above photo by nwolc.

Friday, June 26, 2009


This week's readwritepoem prompt was to think about things we never said to our mothers. I chose to focus instead on my mother's mother.
I want you
to know—
She protected my
memories of you,
let me keep them
She allowed me
to navigate the
solemn truth
that some
of your genes
might live
in me and trend
toward addiction
and the truth
that the almost 6
years of love
you gave me before
you died are as
real as anything
else in your life
or in mine
You would be
proud of her
and I thank
you for
the jagged
but unbroken
that runs
between me
and her
and you.

Monday, June 22, 2009

For My Father

More than
anything else,
scientists say,
is good
for time travel.
I knew this
to be true
when last week
sweet and sudden,
the scent
of pipe tobacco,
now a rare smell,
to be sure,
danced its way
my olfactory
and triggered
the earliest memories
of my youngest,
The almost forgotten
beginnings of me
were nurtured by
the smell of
from my father’s pipe.
I would watch
the smoke
wind and curl
a path
between us.
It was the
holy incense
of my earliest
An outward
of the grace
he gave me,
a gift
of attention
marked with time.
A treasure
to last
me all of my days:
was a daughter
by her father
and that
has made
the difference.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Rick

In a lumbering stride
or lanky legs
or the set of a
determined jaw
In the blue eyes framed
by graceful dark lashes
The effortless recitation
of lines from movies
The off-key renditions of
Social Distortion
and Springsteen songs
The variations on fart humor
at the dinner table
The loudness of living
that bounces off our ceiling
and walls
The bursts of tenderness
and compassion that
startle and amaze me
In their endless capacity
to drive me to the edge
of sanity (and let’s face it,
it’s not that long of a drive)
and drag me back, breathless
from laughing,

I see you,
my co-creator—
their co-conspirator—
the one who
made me
mother to 3 sons
and queen of the realm.

As the only estrogen-fueled
voice in our home,
I can only thank you,
with girly tears,
for all you have done.

Friday, June 19, 2009


This week's readwritepoem prompt gave us a wordle to work with. I couldn't find a way to use all of the words, but I did manage to use these: bibliography, vellum, tether, bark, mist, convoluted, drape.
I would have you annotate
my bibliography
in your own hand
on parchment of finest vellum

I would have you tether
yourself to the bark
of our love, brave the
roiling waters and

the mist of convoluted
remembrances until
the waves of grief
flatten and lap the sand

Then drape yourself
in what remains and
bind my sources,
carefully documented,

And bury them on dry land.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thank you, Annie!

Annie over at blissfulbohemian has given me this "One Lovely Blog Award," which means so much to me, because not only does she have a lovely blog, but she is a lovely person.
I'd like to pass the award along to...
There are so many wonderful bloggers in my life now--I appreciate all of you!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Bragging Rights

On June 5th, my oldest son Seamus graduated from high school. Rick and I could not be prouder. Since the day he was born, we have been in awe of the gift of having him as a child. He graduated with honors and awards (sorry-just had to say that), and will be attending Eastern Washington University in the fall. The months leading up to Seamus's graduation have been rather emotional to me. I've posted 3 poems inspired by him in the past few months. You may have already read them, but I just wanted to link to them here as one more graduation gift to him. Thanks for indulging this proud mom.




Thursday, June 11, 2009

Royal Pain

This week's readwritepoem prompt asked us to imagine an encounter with an historical figure. I've had Henry VIII on the brain lately...

I would go back in time
and teach you about Xs and Ys
and why your daughters
were your design, not
failures of your wives

And how they more
than lived, they thrived,
ruled after the passing of
your son, with daughters
there may be damage done
but they pick up their
skirts and carry on

One called bloody,
one called virgin,
neither of them
produced a son
both failures by
the standards you set
with daughters, you’d say,
that’s what you get

And yet each was stronger
than her brother
one lived to avenge
her pious mother
the other looked back
and saw the signs
a woman who rules
forgets the moon and tides

Unlike you she refused
to come undone
and place all her hopes,
in an imagined son.

All glory to the unwanted
daughter! Whose power
eclipses that of her father.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Puckered the petals of her lips in a kiss
Rolled and swayed her green, grassy hips
Cascaded her waters from her head to her shoulders
Laughed and fluttered her leafy lashes
Beckoned you to dance in her soft hills and valleys
And sighed as you rolled her new leaves in your hand
(This week's readwritepoem prompt was to write about a transition. I decided to write about the transition into summer. In a way, it's a follow up to my spring poem from a few months ago).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


distracted by shiny objects over at A Tidings of Magpies has tagged me with this meme. Here are the rules:

respond and rework

answer questions on your blog

replace one question

tag eight other people.


Paper Dreams and Other Things

Third Storey Window


Blissful Bohemian

A Walk in the Words

The Space Between Words

Gump and Gandhi Holding Hands

Athena Thoughts

If you've already been tagged with this, or if you're not interested, just ignore my tag. Otherwise, I look forward to your take on these questions!

Here are my answers!

1: What is your current obsession?

Poetry. I wrote a poem a day in April for National Poetry Month, and now am finding that the creative juices have slowed a bit. Perhaps I should challenge myself to write a poem a day, every day no matter what!

2: Which item of clothing do you wear most?Jeans. Definitely jeans. And in the winter, flannel pajamas.

3: What's for dinner?

I have yoga class tonight, so I'm not cooking. I have to go turn myself into a giant sweaty mess while surrounded by thin, impossibly graceful women. Believe it or not, it’s good for my self-esteem.

4: Last thing you bought?A green floral canvas bag/purse from Target. Only 9.99! It doesn’t match anything, but it’s so cheery!

5: What are you listening to? Allison Krauss. She has the voice of an angel. Gives me goose bumps.

6: If you were a god or goddess, who would you be? I’m not sure if I could handle being a goddess, but what about St. Erin, the patron saint of redheads? A few novenas to me will keep bullies on the kindergarten playground from calling you “carrot top” or telling you that your hair is on fire. Bury my statue upside down in your backyard, and huge shade trees will grow to protect your white, freckled skin from the sun. Lindsay Lohan could wear a medal with my image on it, and I would return her hair to its original red glory, restore her career, and put some healthy flesh back on those bones of hers.

7: Favourite guilty pleasure? General Hospital, and I will never be truly satisfied until they bring back Laura full time to the show and create a real story line for her. Luke’s allowed to get older, but the powers that be can’t write a storyline for a woman over 40? Yes, I’ve given this way too much thought…

8: Reading right now?
The Zero by Jess Walter and Trust Where You Are by Annie Coe.

9: Okay...what were you thinking about just then?How I am going to spoil my niece and nephew silly when they come visit me next week.

10: Who's your hero/heroine?distracted by shiny objects picked Dorothy Day, and I have to agree. I’ll add my husband, Rick, to the list (for very different reasons).
11: First spring thing?

12: Funniest thing you saw in your life? The Office. How is it possible that one sitcom can make me so very, very happy? Tied for second: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.

13: Favourite film? The Secret of Roan Inish

14: Share some wisdom?

What can you do with your days but work & hope

Let your dreams bind your work to your play

What can you do with each moment of your life

But love til you've loved it away

Love til you've loved it away—Bob Franke

15: If you were a tree, what tree would you be and why?

Ooooo..this is the closest I will ever come to being interviewed by Barbara Walters. I would be a maple tree. I would look green and gorgeous in the spring and summer, and flame out with glory in the fall. And in the winter, I would actually shed some pounds. Plus, I could bring happiness to the world by contributing to maple syrup and maple bars. What could be better?

16: Fictitious characters who made a lasting impression on you? Jane Eyre. The only positive and profound thing I experienced in 7th grade was reading Jane Eyre.

17: 4 words to describe you? Red hair. Freckled writer. (I definitely have red hair and am freckled. I’m trying to be a writer).

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I did not know her to be
introspective or even
so when she
I am glad
you girls have
more choices than I did
you are both good moms things
are different
for you than they were
for me when you have
eight kids and so much to do
your kids don’t really get to know
you and you don’t really get
to know them
you love ‘em
of course
you love ‘em love
you’ve got plenty of
but you don’t ever
really have enough
time or hands
there’s just
never enough
but you know babies
just have a way
of coming when they
want and you’ve got

to love ‘em, yep,
you’ve got to love ‘em
now let’s move into the kitchen
grandpa wants to watch
the game,
I felt a window open
then shut again.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Summer's Seduction

I posted this poem last year, but it expresses how I'm feeling now.
Summer’s seduction
Makes it easy to forget
As I walk my tentative feet
On its warm carpet of grass
I no longer remember
The sting of biting ice
The cling of stubborn mud.
It whispers in the breeze
You are safe.
You are warm.
The sky is your ceiling.
No need for shelter.
Walk unafraid.
It’s time to forget
The cold that split your skin
The grey that weighed heavy on your head.
See my flowers dance
My rivers tumble.
Let my smile lift you
From east to west.
And just like that
The cold that came before and
The gloom that would not go
Is erased.
Belief comes too easily.
I slip into a certainty
That all that is now
Is all that was
And will always be.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Spokane Shines

Check out this post on one of my favorite blogs, A Tidings of Magpies, for a wonderful story about a Spokane banker. (Happily, this story is not about bailouts--just ducks!)


I hear the rustle
of curtains
in the corners
of my mind

I gaze, aching
over my
at years long
left behind

when I was
your only
and our
bond was
the straightest
of lines

and all
that curled
in between us
was the
of Time—
a friend to
your ebullient
but alas, no
of mine

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Notre Dame 2009

She is not
Our Lady of pursed lips
and rosaries clenched
tightly into fists
what pilgrims
could ever
take their rest
in a mother with arms
folded tight
‘cross her chest
It was she
when His hour
had not yet come
who overruled the
no of her Son
And today, praise be!
Ignoring those
robed men of Rome,
she welcomes
teenage mom’s
to her home

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Void

This week's readwritepoem prompt is to write a poem that includes hyperlinks. I've included hyperlinks to the Tao Te Ching.

If I could turn in on myself I would:
Head to chest
Arms wrapped round bent knees
Feet tucked in, no longer visible—
All you would see would be my back
Curving and covering everything else.
If I could hold myself there I would
If only to stop
The endless grasping
The constant reaching and aching
The longing for something to fill
My void,
To hold my center firm
So it does not want so much—
So it does not have to fear
Coming undone—
To quiet the qualm,
The insistent foreboding,
That all that remains
Is the unraveling.