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