Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The way 2010 ends

This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry suggested we write a list poem...

The way bare and brown branches gain a grand sense of purpose
The way the thinnest of twigs fill out with importance
The way the moose lays her babies in soft, frozen blankets
The way my poor feet slide while the deer remain fleet-footed
The way the pine trees bow down with silver concession
The way the Little Spokane sighs with knowing and welcome,
broadens her shoulders, and goes back to sleep.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone. Life has been getting in the way of poetry lately, and my goal for the new year is to figure out how to intertwine the two again. In the meantime, here's a new poem and I've reposted my Christmas poem from last year in the next post down. I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays.


A single point in human time
A single lantern in the sky

The slow and anxious advent
The now and then and have and not
The want and need and pride and shame

The happy, necessary fault
The joy of ransom and release
The ache, the salve, the yearn, the claim

The soul’s mind into knowing
The intersection of ask and answer
The ancient breath, the newborn name

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, November 15, 2010


For only two weeks
my hair
the leaves you shake
up there
so I want to join you,
in your sharp branches
and swing
until it all falls
inevitably down
Will you float? Will I thud?
I don’t care
what happens after
to your leaves
or my hair

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Will and Won't (again)

Happy Halloween! I've not posted anything for quite a while because quite frankly, my life is quite crazy lately. I've got pieces of poems chasing themselves around in my head, and I hope to post something new soon. In the meantime, however, here's a poem I wrote and posted a few years back. I hope it's spooky enough to add to your Halloween enjoyment! ~Erin
I will do anything
I will stuff it
Feed it sweet and sticky
I will sleep it
Snore it deep and throaty
I will soak it
Scrub it wet and steamy
I will jam it
Shove it dark and dusty
I will swallow it
Gulp it fast and bubbly
I will shun it
Slight it rude and sneaky
I will hold it
Clutch it tight and sweaty
I will stroke it
Pet it long and lovely
I will pack it
Haul it long and heavy
I will nurse it
Grow it strong and scary
But look at it
Or name it
I just won’t

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I wanted to say
When I saw
Your blue eyes brim
That the waters
That flood so fast
And rush past your lashes
Are the same ones
That spill from mine
That they come
From the same stream
Of love and regret
Of grasp and release
Of swell and stab
Are the same tides
Of contracting and pushing
Of me and other
That clean
And then roil
The bonds
Between child
And mother
I'm back after a bit of a dry spell with a poem somewhat inspired by this week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wish me luck!

It's been a bit of a dry spell for me lately--
so I'm off
to a cabin on the lake
where I hope to work on my relationship
with my poetic muses
My goal is simple but daunting--
to have at least one poem
to post by Monday
The longer I delay
the next poem
the harder
and scarier
it is to write it
and the easier it is
to put it off
I hope to return
with a postable poem
and I plan to visit
my favorite blogs
once again
Wish me luck!
I miss writing and just as much
I miss all of you.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Hello! I've been away for a few weeks teaching summer school with a sprained ankle and trying to enjoy the gorgeous Spokane summer as much as I can.

This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry asked us to incorporate something from our favorite poet into our own poetry. Thinking about this caused me to return to and revise a poem I have worked on for a few years. The poem is about giving birth, the most overwhelmingly holy experience I have ever had. At the end of the poem, I use the "Ah! Bright Wings!" phrase from Gerard Manley Hopkins' "God's Grandeur." I have always thought the sound of the language and the image in the last two lines of that poem are among the most beautiful in English.

This prompt has also inspired me to think of the many, many lines from Emily Dickinson that I love, particulalry, "Rowing in Eden--/Ah, the sea!". I'm working on something inspired by that, but am not there yet. In the mean time...

In pain shall you bring forth children, but
Rejoice, O highly favored daughter!
That you should bear such a curse!
And I cry out—
Laying waste to mountains and hills
As a mighty wind sweeps over the waters
For these moments I contain the Genesis of all things—
My own urgent offering—
This is my body, given up for you
I cannot let this cup pass—
The source contracts and pushes
For in the midst of blood and water poured out,
Body broken, torn in two,
Creation continues, Salvation is,
I roll the stone away from the tomb!
I would not wish for numbness now,
For how else could I hear
The flapping of Ah! Bright Wings!
And a chorus of Aves in my ear.

Friday, July 2, 2010


My sixteen-year-old boy arrived at the hospital at 6:30
that Saturday morning to sit with me.
He sat between the window and my bed, long fingers
curled around my own IV-taped hand.
And he was beautiful,
his lanky body, bent over my bed, partially
shadowed by the window-framed sun.

He had gotten up so early so he could just sit there
before his track and field meeting at school,
but I couldn’t move my morphine-heavy
eyes and lips to talk to him.
It seemed like I should say so much,
but I could only manage a few I-love-yous and
you-don’t-have-to-stays. But he did.

I kept drifting out and tripping up in my own
bad dreams and staples and tubes. I couldn’t
quite hold myself there with him. I kept wandering,
two nights back, to my mumbling pre-surgery prayers.
And I realized I could have done better.
Instead of my weak now-and-at-the-hour-of-our-deaths
and acts of contritions, I should have just said,

Look Lord, Here Lord, I made this boy.
And that would have been enough.
This week's prompt from Big Tent Poetry asked us to create a conversation poem. I kept thinking of a conversation I couldn't have, and came up with this.

Monday, June 28, 2010


they are marshalling
their forces against Thurgood
Marshall and so by

implication line up
proudly against Brown vs
board of education?

old resentments of
racial integration shake
their privileged white fists

at a fearful white
nation and gobble from thick
necks, both red and white,

the code meant to scare
the old, ever-fearful right:
activist judges!

activist judges!
Justice Marshall threatens our
democracy from

the grave! the white man
from Alabama must save
us from repeating

old mistakes but please!
don’t take his remarks out of
their contextual

place. it’s so tiresome.
his objection to Marshall
is not based on race.

but let’s face it—
he never should have made it
a federal case.
OK. Maybe this isn't great poetry, but I am shaking in disbelief right now. Really? THURGOOD MARSHALL is the new judicial boogeyman?

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I don’t think I can
write it
or read any more
press releases
and watch them
treat the symptoms
instead of the diseases
I’ve done it myself
and I know
how it ends.
Or doesn’t, I should say,
it doesn’t.
Believe me, I’ve dabbled
in dispersants for years
to treat my own
surface spills
but they only
doubled down
on what I tried
to kill,
shuffled the problems around,
until the pain
came down like
a toxic,
This week's prompt at Big Tent Poetry was to write about the oil spill by starting with why it was hard to write about the oil spill...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Impotent Expectorant

Image by Paivi Hintsanen

He covers his mouth first
then coughs out
what he resents but only
those dull
and blunt
make their way out, anything
dangerous remains down
in the dark
of his tonsils where
they spark
and catch like
histaminic stars
there is no milk to coat
his angry throat, no ice
to comfort his mute and
swollen fury
he can only contain
and clench,
can only keep
dark mouth shut
This is in response to last week's big tent poetry prompt. I am rather late wtih this one, though I'm enjoying the good stuff at big tent poetry very much! Last week's prompt gave us a great wordle to work with, though I did not use all of the words...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Silly Rhyme for Rick on Father's Day

Thank you for joining
your Ys to my Xes and
making me mother
to the more boysterous
of the sexes

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Scratch, Shove, and Crunch

Salvador Dali, 1930

I'll damn well scratch my way if I have to
I'm done with this grey, low-hanging compression
Trusting my reach and my own range of motion
I scrape angry fingers across the sky

I'm done with the grey, low-hanging compression
Sick with the sight of my ankles and feet
I scrape angry fingers across the sky
Then dig out the blue and save it for later

Sick with the sight of my ankles and feet
I'm done with this supposed low-pressure system
I'll dig out the blue and save it for later
Shove it down in my pocket where no one can reach it

I'm done with this supposed low-pressure system
I'm grabbing the higher to keep for myself
I'll shove it down in my pocket where no one can touch it
Or crunch it under my heel to show it who's boss

This is my first poem written in response to a prompt from Big Tent Poetry. This week's prompt was to write a pantoum, which was also a first for me. It's good to be back!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hello Blogland!

A big hello out there to anyone who might still be checking in with my blog. Life in Teacherland has been quite hectic lately, but all of my summer school prep is done and I am turning my attention to the blogosphere again. I'll be posting a new poem within the next day or two, and plan on keeping up regularly throughout the summer.

I'm also looking forward to visiting some of my favorite bloggers and enjoying their creativity and words of wisdom.

Happy summer, everyone!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why I Love my Mom

She’s the one who loves
to watch my forty-one-year-
old freckled face sleep

Friday, April 30, 2010

Early Summer

The Little Spokane brims with forward motion
and the fulfillment of half a year’s promises.
Men and women float themselves on her surface.
Buoyant with expectation, they dip their paddles
in her fluid plenty, claiming for their own
her bends and eddies, her happy irises and
waving grasses, framing it all through mechanical
lenses. The mother moose sees them bob by
from the corner of her muddy eye and doesn’t move.
She stays down and lends her weight to the solid ground.
Today marks the last day of National Poetry Month, and my 30th poem for the month. I did it! 30 poems in 30 days! I wish to thank the good folks at readwritepoem for their support and the community they provide for poets. They close their virtual doors tomorrow, and I will miss them terribly!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I hope I die before I get old

Roger Daltrey fears end of Who,
says Pete Townshend’s hearing problems
may finally be too big
to overcome
If carrying on is going to mean
Pete going deaf, let's stop now,
he says,
entering old age in a silent world –
nothing is worth that
Our bodies are beginning
to give up on us
you have to be realistic—
I am 66 years old

And back in Hollywood
Bill Murray says that
Ghostbusters 3
will happen
over his dead body
It’s ridiculous,
he says,
a horrible rumor
The first one was still
the better one
so another one
wouldn’t be any better
The studio wants to make it
because they can re-create the franchise
and put new Ghostbusters in it
That's what it's about

Meanwhile handwritten lyrics
to a John Lennon masterpiece
made the news today (Oh boy)
the sheet of paper
is to be sold at Sotheby’s
in New York
on June 18
priced at $500,000 to $700,000
but is likely to fetch more
than the record $1 million
paid for the lyrics
to All You Need is Love
in 2005
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem asked us to use headlines for inspiration. So, I came up with a kind of found poem based on three entertainment-related news stories I read on 3 different websites today. Links to the news stories are in the poem.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Intuition comes as a shard
and pierces mind or hands or sides
depending on the kind
It is sharp
It punctures flesh with fragments
of knowing
and meets us where the brain
intersects pleasure and pain
then stops us there
leaving us peripherally enlightened
and aware
I know this to be true
because years ago
I was pierced
at a slant
with the totality of you
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem was all about intuition...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Where they come from

Flecks of rust flake from my
Red hair, like pigment dandruff, and sprinkle my face while I am sleeping.
Evidence of my unfinished business or
Cancelled wishes?
Kisses from angels, my mother said, a
Lovely sentiment to be sure but
Even that seems insufficient explanation, I need
Some grander theory of origination.

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem asked us to write an acrostic, which I have not done since I was a kid! As you see, I still have freckled on the brain (an on my face).

Monday, April 26, 2010

wrong way

I rounded off the
corners only to be left
with nowhere to turn
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem was to "get scrappy" and use a piece of an unfinished poem. So, I took this scrap and made a haiku. It's all I've got in me today, apparently, but I kind of like it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stephen Hawking scares the hell out of me on a Sunday morning

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem asked us to use the first words we hear today as inspiration. I deviated from the prompt a bit but using one of the first things I read today, so this is mostly a found poem.

Stephen Hawking
humans should fear aliens
extraterrestrial life almost certainly exists –
and humans should be extremely
cautious about interacting with it
To my mathematical brain,
he says,
the numbers alone
make thinking
about aliens
perfectly rational
Stephen Hawking
that aliens might simply
raid Earth
for its resources and
then move on
We only have to look at ourselves,
he says,
to see how intelligent life
might develop into something
we wouldn't want
to meet
I imagine they might exist
in massive ships,
he says,
having used up all the resources
from their home planet. Such
advanced aliens would perhaps
become nomads, looking to conquer
and colonise
whatever planets they can reach
Stephen Hawking
that trying to make contact
with alien races is a little too risky
He says
If aliens ever visit us, I think
the outcome would be much as when
Christopher Columbus first landed in America,
which didn't turn out
very well
for the Native Americans.
Thus confirming as rational
a belief I have had
since studying fractions
in the third grade:

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shakespeare, Aesop, and Poison

Uneasy is the head that wears the crown of gold
or thorns.
Every rose has its thorn but gold
has no such mechanism. It doesn’t punish predators
it makes them.
Gold and thorns: they’re both slow killers.
Remember the story of the little mouse who removed the thorn from the paw
of the great and ever-after grateful lion?
Well that won’t work with a man
who has gold stuck in his paw.
No creature
great or small
has ever been known to pull off that heroic act
and live to tell the fable.
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem asked us to explore phrase finder for inspiration.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 23 and it Feels Like Herding Cats

the bad stanzas
hiss and scratch at my eyes
before they run away
the good ones
are also hard to herd
they dart around the room
and knock over vases
before purring and curling
nicely on my page
and even then, I am left
needing an antihistamine
when we’re done

Here's what I did with today's NaPoWriMo prompt "unlikely couples"...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Like There's No Tomorrow

Pablo Picasso--"Tête de Femme" / "Portrait de Jacqueline de face. II"

it’s hard not to dizzy myself here
in the emporium of bad ideas
or flinch as they reverberate
off the rusty pipes
and pepper me with their fierce
insistings and twistings


they start as a whisper and end
as a squall then crow when my
ear finds them inevitable

only then do they soften
and wind themselves around
like saffron tendrils on my crown
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem gave us a wordle to work with. I think I worked in all of the words, if you count the title, too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Freckled Woman

A freckled woman
Must make friends with her mirror
And learn not to count
A freckled woman
Lives at the intersection
Of cute and blemished
A freckled woman
Is queen of those persistent,
Rare, recessive genes
A freckled woman
Warily regards the sun
And hopes for détente
A freckled woman
Knows there’s really no such thing
As a blank canvas
A freckled woman
Pities the timidly smooth,
The always airbrushed
A freckled woman
Can’t help but put it out there
And hope for the best
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt from readwritepoem asked us to write about the idea of perfection or imperfection. When I thought imperfection, I thought freckles!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On the mound

On the mound my son
Is a study in impossible pre-pubescent grace
On the mound my son
Is liquid motion
Is preternatural poise
Is singular purpose
On the mound my son
Is focus and balance
Is velocity and trajectory
On the mound my son
Is a kinetic stoic
Is arm and leg and ball and glove
Is a perfect arrangement of parts
On the mound my son
Is science and poetry
Is divergence and symmetry
On the mound my son
Is beautiful
On the mound my son
Belongs to no one
On the mound my son
Is completely mine and separate from me
On the mound my son
Is himself
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt #20 asked us to write about a hero. This week, my hero is Brendan.

Monday, April 19, 2010

And then a plank in reason broke

It’s one thing to see
on TV
the bone-through-the-nose signs
and the show-us-your-birth-certificate signs
and thousands of armed citizens
protesting a president who has made no move
toward their guns
heck, I even got called a terrorist lover
in person
over a bumper sticker
at a Post Falls gas station once
and even that one thing
didn’t bother me so much


when I saw
in my city
on a beautiful day when spring
was making her debut appearance
when Spokane
was flowering at every turn
there they were:
the Obama-with-a-Hitler-moustache-sign people
calling for impeachment
and apparently very concerned
about the fate of NASA
(we all know how anti-NASA Hitler was)

I felt the bottom drop out
of something, somewhere
and it felt
I'm under no illusion that my political rants make particularly good poetry, which is why I don't do it often, and I didn't follow readwritepoem's prompt very closely today. However, this has been bothering me since Saturday, and it felt good to write about it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


(cat clip art)

You hate
As I slink between
How much
Your shy ankles
You love
And rub
your inhibitions
up and out
you know
then dance away
that I
on padded feet
don’t care
across your lawn
that you do
and up your wall
and that
to another’s home
I don’t care
another’s floor
that I don’t
another’s chair
and anxious lap
you back

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Santa Ana Winds

Image from LATimes

I scatter the debris
Of your unacknowledged

Dirty your hair with it
Knotting it into a nest
Of frustration
Tangling it with distrust

Batter your eyes with it
Pushing against your guardian lashes
And rubbing it in
Leaving you squinting red

Punish your lips with it
Until they are cracked
And cannot round
Into a no without bleeding

Today's NapoWrimo Prompt 17 asked us to write about one of the elements. I don't feel like this is finished yet, but it is what it is for now.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The difference between you and me

The smell of baby powder triggers
a longing in me for
the rose petal folds
the pink promise
of my babies’ skin

The smell of baby powder triggers
a transportation back
to their rooting mouths
their nuzzling cheeks
their curling fingers

The smell of baby powder triggers
an urgent need
an ancient purpose
a sad remembering
a sweet aching

The smell of baby powder triggers
this response from you
god damn! it smells
like dirty diapers
in here

*more accurate expletive added in last stanza since poem was originally posted :0)
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt16 from readwritepoem asked us to write a poem inspired by the sense of smell. For a nicer scent-related poem about my husband, click here.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I filed my tax return todayI
in verse
a far better way to determine
my worth
Instead of figures,
I wrote off
the figurative:
overwrought metaphors
clichéd similes
pretentious allusions
so many poetic losses
I incurred on a regular basis
All my failed efforts
1040-ed up
in black and white
Needless to say,
I expect
a big

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


her skin holds memory, perfect longing,
of her babies, round and reaching,
even when she sleeps, hungering, hurting,
motherhood is the invention throughout the night
of necessity, injury and wanting,
and she will always need the itch that knows no relief
Today's readwritepoem NaPoWriMo Prompt14 was to write a cleave poem. Blogspot is not letting me separate the two vertical poems, so I have put the second in red.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


His chapel fell into flowers long ago
And now his children frolic in the fields
Playing among the ruins
Unfettered by orthodoxy,
They are free. And he is glad.
The world is their cathedral
They are not trapped in confessionals
Or caught up in catechisms
Independent from institutions,
They know no fear of collars and robes.
And he is glad. They are free.

At night they sleep while chapel walls
Build up around his bed
And he is stirred out of his slumber
By the ancient and the primitive
And he wonders why he longs
To proclaim their names in water
Lay his hands upon their heads
Anoint their brows with oil
And break his love for them into bread.
But this need is his, not theirs.
They are free. And he is glad.
This is in response to readwritepoem's NaPoWriMo prompt #13. We were given several wonderful first lines from the poet Norman Dubie to choose from, and asked to write a poem using one of them. The first line of his that I chose was "His chapel fell into flowers long ago."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kmart Waiters

Whatever happened
to the Kmart waiters?
I could swear they
were once at our beck and call
at every blue light special
long before Martha Stewart
stormed in to class up the place
there were the Kmart waiters.

Now all that’s left
are the Walmart greeters.
Not nearly so classy,
though friendly, they’re still
not enough to gussy up
the union busters
or the sweatshop labor
no, they don’t have the pizzazz
of the Kmart waiters.
Somehow I felt better
about the Kmart waiters.

The above poem is a response to readwritepoem's 12th NaPoWriMo prompt. The prompt asked us to "Make up a secret code. Begin by writing a few nonsense sentences, like “The raindrops tap out a cry for help” or “The dandelions are saying all at once, ‘You are overwhelmed.’” My nonsense phrase was "Kmart waiters." Once, when I was dating Rick, he fell asleep in front of the TV, and woke up crying out: "What about the Kmart waiters?!" So, that's where I got my start for this poem. Beyond that, I'm not entirely sure what this poem is about, though I have some inklings...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

What might have been

Creative writing,
I once thought that I wanted you
for my major

Since my girlhood,
you were my dream, everything I wanted
for myself

When our time came,
your face, your voice was so different
from my dreams

You turned out to be
a drunk professor
who cancelled class when he couldn’t find parking
and told me I had no poetic voice
but didn’t tell me where to find it
a black-clad student
who believed that to be a true poet meant
to forego shoes and shower infrequently
and to write weekly free verse odes to his penis
another black-clad student
who told me that good poetry came from
good f***ing. She also wrote many odes
to penises. And cockroaches (I never got the connection)

So we parted ways.
I was confused. I didn’t fit in
with any of your friends
and you had very few kind words
for me.

For years I used you as an excuse
but I dropped that act a while back.
Would I be any better now
if I had stuck it out? seen you through?
Perhaps we’ll never know.
I’m not sure if you care,
but I still kind of do.
This is in response to readwritepoem's NaPoWriMo prompt # 11.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I must admit I'm pressed for time today. I just spent a lovely evening celebrating Rick's birthday with friends and lasagna. I'm full and sleepy, and just for this evening, am resorting to a little Haiku.

Homemade lasagna
Makes me happy and I think
Made them happy, too.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Winter massages spring’s shoulders
Is all over her like an octopus
Then jerks her around like a marionette
Stows away in her back seat and follows her home
Startles her on her own front porch
Takes her feet right out from under her
But before she can even begin to bruise
He breaks himself open like a rotten egg
It’s embarrassing, really
He’s lost his touch
His snow doesn’t even stick anymore

This is in response to readwritepoem's NaPoWriMo prompt #9.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


A flake of unwanted April snow
Tossed about by unwanted winds
Finds its home on hostile ground
Rests briefly
Melts tenderly
Today's NaPoWriMo prompt was "unusual love connections." I couldn't get into romance today, so I focused on sacrifical love.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


a deserted play pen
curious blue eyes blinking above the edge of our bed
a startled separation, an untangling of limbs
a sudden shift in priority
an adorable change of plans

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt 7 asked us to "write and capture humorous incidents related to love in a 5-line love poem called a tanka."

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Image from hkoppdelaney

A veil between want
and butterflies
is not the
you would expect.
To look at perfect
through filmy longing
is safe--the danger
is in
beholding it
with your own

This is in response to the prompt for NaPoWriMo#6, which asked us to converse with an image or images. I looked at this striking photo from hkoppedelaney's flickr page, and this is what I heard.

Monday, April 5, 2010


Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is the following: "Give poetry, as you write it, a name. Possibly a gender. And a personality." I tried, but couldn't name her.

She’s everything
in me that makes me afraid
and unsure that is

why I can’t name her
no, I can only claim her
and give her my best

without the fear she
induces I could never
step up I would stew

in my own juices
I love her because she makes
me brave
I love her because
she saves

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Un-Zen Art of Mothering Tulips

I should have a more Zen-like attitude
toward tulips.
But I can’t.
My attachment is too great.
I spend the last trimester of winter
and filled with fear
that this will be the year
that they don’t come.

And when they arrive
I waste our time.
I know too much
from past experience
with baby toes
and baby fingers
and baby feet
that such pink softness,
such perfect curves
and folds
are much too sweet.

The heartbreak
is that they seem
to stay still
and rest themselves against
my grateful breast.
Happy, so it seems, to be at rest.
But no matter how tight
I swaddle,
they stretch out,
open up,
scatter their petals
to the worldly ground.

So I would like to say
my time with them is
spent in the now.
But it isn’t.
A mother’s love is all about
And I haven’t found
the will
to release
the wanting

This is for NaPoWriMo Prompt#4.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Good Friday, Still

image from wikimedia commons

So much is made
of the letting go
and the holding on
is dismissed
as dysfunctional
there comes a time
when to Love
is to hold on
to the splintering Wood
with all your might
and to bow down
and embrace
the wounding night

Possum Invasion

They crept across the kitchen floor
They slept in my kitchen dish towel drawer
They hissed at my poor pregnant feet
They visited my pregnant sleep
And in my dreams they did give rise
To a bassinet full
Of their blank, beady eyes
With slow insistence, they crawl on the earth
And insert themselves
Into my dreams of birth
The third prompt for NaPoWriMo was to write about what scares us most. Baby possums are the most terrifying creatures. When I was expecting my second child, my house was invaded by baby possums for a few nights in a row. My husband was working nights, and I wound up taking my 2-year-old son and sleeping at my in-laws because I couldn't figure out how they were getting in and I couldn't scare them away. I still get the creeps when I even think about them.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Regular White Paper

Regular white paper
gives away nothing,
sets no mood or tone.
It is as quiet as January,
essential as bone.
It is exacting.
It softens nothing.
Offers neither protection for prose
nor solace for syntax.
It terrifies the imagined
into real shape and size.
Unpitying, it pushes
the poem
toward new, unblinking eyes.
Today's napowrimo prompt asked us to visit acronymattic and use one of the acronyms for Read Write Poem (RWP) as inspiration for today's poem. Hence, I wrote a poem about regular white paper.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NaPoWriMo begins!

I've taken the poem-a-day pledge for National Poetry Month over at readwritepoem, and this is my first of 30 poems. Today's prompt asked us to shuffle song titles from our ipods or CD players and use the titles to make a poem. Well, the title idea wasn't working for me today, but I think I stayed true to the spirit of the prompt. I randomly sampled lyrics from a single CD in my car stereo and incorporated them into my poem. The CD is "Woman of the World-Celtic." Song lyrics are italicized...


Can you recall the day we married, Oh!
We were beautiful, we were
Those children in the portrait
Hanging on our wall
Smiling out at Us Now
We were them then--
Silver winged, poised to fly
Across a landscape
Of blissful trusting and unknowing
Did anyone warn them?
That love is never easy
It's a stream running up
A mountain
It's not waves of romance
Washing away
The sober land
But it can be years
Of waiting
For the wheel to turn
And pulling
The roots of
A seemingly dying tree
And pretending not to care
Who wears the crown
Did anyone warn them?
No! Those framed children
Had no ears
They didn't want them
They saw summer sunsets
And asked for more
Believing they deserved them,
Believing that love
Was the great Because
They can't believe
That we forgot.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lag time--don't go away!

I must confess my plate has been quite full
So little time for pen or poetry
My writing life's experienced a lull
Not much figurative activity

But come back soon, stick with me yet a while
Soon comes the month of national poetry
And I will post a ditty ev'ry day
Though it might be the very death of me

Oh, to meet such a glorious, happy end
As sharing poetry each day with friends!

I promise not to give you 30 days of tortured iambic pentameter, though!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Thirty years

Sometimes being nine was hard
But when I saw your beige van—
My chariot—in our driveway
Nine was right where I wanted to be
And everything about you
Was just right:
Your white shoes
Your white belt
Your Old Spice
Your pink shirt
Your Frank Sinatra eight tracks

But most of all
It was your way of announcing
My entrance:
“This is my granddaughter”
With an implied
With whom I am well pleased
And your way of proclaiming,
Affirming my desires:
“Give her whatever she wants”
She deserves whatever she wants

You were the one
Who thought I was perfect
And deserved donuts for dinner
And to stay up past Johnny Carson
And to dip my French fries
In whatever I wanted
“You’re Number One,”
You would whisper
“No one else is.
No one else could be.”
It was just you and just me.

A few years ago
Thirty-nine was really, really hard
And I mourned the possibility
Of your van in my driveway
And felt deeply, truly sorry
For myself
But then I ruined the moment
By looking at your picture
And then looking in the mirror
And seeing the lines of holy obligation
Running over your face
And then mine
“This is my granddaughter,”
You whispered.
Now get up off the floor and start acting like it.

This was in response to readwritepoem's prompt #117.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Perhaps it is just
A remembering
Of our birth
The warmth of dark waters
Their tides pushing out and drawing back
And then the breach
The departure
The severing
From what tethered us
To the womb
Or to the earth

Perhaps the folly
Is the focus
On the when
The chronic need for timepieces
The turning back and forth of anxious pages
The distraction
The cleaving
To the notion that
Death comes later
And birth was then

Readwritepoem prompt 116 gave us this compelling image by h. koppdelaney to work with.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Is

Last week's readwritepoem prompt gave me a lot to think about, as it asked me to consider what I believe and what I do not believe. It was quite an experience for me, and I think I will actually have several short poems as a result of the exercises. Here is the first:

I am the Little Spokane
Forced to flow and push
My cold waters against
Unforgiving shoulders of land
And He is the colorless Winter Grass
Who consents to the flattening
Of snow and mud and lays
Himself down alongside me
And remains.
And rustles hoarsely in
My watery ears:
I know, I know…

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Hello to anybody who might still be popping in to this blog to check for new poems. I've had a lot on my plate lately, and this blog has been a bit lost in the shuffle. However, I am remembering that the more I write, the better I feel...So, I hope to have much more to offer in the near future!

The wound loves the knife
More than stitches
One made her
The others saved her
Her affections are
Torn but then
She can’t deny
Her origins
Or the reason
She was born