I woke up to the first frost
tipped morning of November
with a shiver in my step,
crawling out of bed with
a whisper of a yawn.
This week was whirling gone,
as briskly as winter came.
I move nomadically from task
to task, underwater with desperate
and muffled hope that
I have failed no one this day.
I shall sleep through the season
to be wakened when the crocus stretch
their limbs from their benumbed slumber
and we shall greet life together.
I used to want to be something
bigger than myself,
timeless and known, permanent
and eternal. The light green burning
endlessly at the end of a dock.
I chose instead to quietly place
delicate fingerprints on those I meet,
invisible, microscopic, yet traceable.
That is surely enough
to leave an imprint.
The tiny peaks of roots above the grass,
leaving so much unknown but steady.
I desire only as much,
no bright flashes or bangs,
only the solitude of my soul,
patient and unwavering,
and the satisfaction
that I was my best self.
Happy Birthday Visit for July
I went to celebrate your birthday
armed with beer and a heavy heart,
drove to the sunny cemetery,
and found men mowing the lawn.
And kept waiting for thirty minutes
alone in my car, until finally
I had to open up the beer.
Had no opener, so I fought with my keys
which took about ten minutes
so I guess that passed the time.
They werestill mowing and I know
they saw me sitting in my car
waiting and yet they kept driving
on those tiny golf cart mowers
up and down, up and down
to feed my anxiety.
I finished my beer and felt
at a loss of what came next.
I opened another, because, after all,
that’s what one does when at a loss.
Still they mowed until finally I got out,
walked to the grave, small steel plaque
flat in the ground. The bastards probably
mowed over the damn thing.
They gave me judgmental looks,
so I quickly prayed and left.
All the while I was wondering
how the dead feel, up in heaven
or down in hell, about being
mowed over with a heavy machine
on a weekly basis.
I suppose some are just happy
for the visit.
When Women Write about Death
Roxanne Roberts wrote about how the Grieving
“never ends,” how suicide stays with you,
her father, dead, like mine—two events
so singular and so unique, but then again not.
I feel more like Joan Didion at the death of her husband,
a cool customer, unable to formulate thoughts,
wasting brain on the fly on the wall, waiting
for the panic to hit—the frenzy to begin.
I am still young in my writing—
without the luxury of looking back, years later,
and putting this in perspective, if possible.
No, it never goes away, but lingers
sometimes in the front of consciousness,
but sometimes just as that fly on the wall,
the monster in the closet that no bedtime story
can eradicate. I am no cool customer, and no
statistics citer—I will never be either,
I am a mad woman in the attic, biding time
until I feel better and some days I do and
that nightmare under the bed goes quiet.
Some days I sleep peacefully and restfully
without waking in a sweat, without seeing violence
under my eyelids, without cringing at images,
once indifferent but now unsettling.
Some days things are alright, but other days
I hold back the frenzy, like a shadow it follows me
sewn to my toes and mockingly dancing with pain
as it pokes at the back of my neck trying to get a rise.
No, I am no cool customer and no trodden advocate—
I will never be either; instead I am a mad frenzy
of pent up energy and love that bangs on the edges—
knock, knock, knocking—at my head continuously.
Dear Mosquito, Please Die Off Soon
You little blood-sucking bitch;
from family Culicidae: midge
gnat red cell robber; an itch,
gnawing microscopic carnage.
You always drink and drive.
Cunning and swift and ruthless
you mark my body in red blotches
that swell mounds; nemesis;
as your body victory sweet bulges;
you leave without a care.
It’s almost sinister: your small
brown-womanly-shell designed to take
and mark your territory on a wall
of my precious skin; smooth cake,
at an all you can eat buffet.
It would be one thing if I didn’t serve
as breakfast and dinner and dessert;
desease free life I am trying to preserve;
Hard when you treat me like sherbet.
I feel victimized by dimming light.
I’m sure you must serve some purpose
in the grand scheme of the animal kingdom
but if it were up to me I would act callous
and rid the world of your kind; venom;
just for a summer nights’ sleep.
But the ones who keep you producing
are the ones who keep consuming;
if only creating didn’t deem
the whole reproduction thing
be only the plight of us ladies.
My mother has glasses of ivy
that overflow their bottles and
stretch into a bundled, green
mass of chaos. I joke that they
will claim most of the kitchen and
pummel over the sink and
weave through the fridge and
sneak into the cabinets,
stealing space for food. They
sit by a large window
selfishly stealing sunlight
from the dim world
of our house. She stares out
at the unholy union as
her hands rasin in the
soap water, not yet raided
by the ivy. But I don’t
cut it, or at least not
to trim or tame. Instead
I cut a piece to begin
my own ivy fortress–
a distant connection to
my mother’s kitchen. To
Do you really wake up in the morning
feelin’ like P.Diddy?
Because I wake up in the morning
feelin’ like I’ve been
hit by multiple freight trains
while sleeping in a sauna,
stuck in the same position
on a daily basis.
My hungover from sleep,
wishing I actually had been drunk,
is somehow worse than your
How does that work out?
I think I wake up feelin’ like
crawling out of bed,
blinds drawn and body decrepit
from years of abuse from
god knows what and still feeling
last nights binges, oh how
my stompach is shot and
my head is burning
and my eyes puffy and hot
and all the while wishing
I was still asleep.
I suppose Lindsey Lohan could
wake up feeling more like
P.Diddy on a good day.
Sometimes I feel like P.Diddy,
but never until around 10.30,
after I’ve had my morning coffee,
but I imagine you, Kesha,
don’t usually wake up until then anyways.
Is that so?
Midnight Warrior, Tiny Gustav the Patient,
you soon may burn in the light
of day as you sit on our porch
laying in wait–have you been struck
from the night’s red heat sky?
I’ve never seen your kind so close,
but how small you look balled up
as if just biding time for dusk
so you can strike into the sky
and take up the hunt.
Because you, Tiny Gustav the Patient,
would not take the moth handout I gave
was it pride or exhaustion that
prevented your noon time snack?
How foreign daytime must look to open eyes.
I wish I could ease the hours until
night, when you will spread
paper-thin arms, stretch your thumbs,
and look to the stars.
In the morning I shall see you’ve gone.
*Coffee Cup Poem in spirit–I was drinking coffee when we found Gustav, the Eastern Red Bat, on our porch.
Sixteen Breaths of Fresh Air
There is nothing magical to death.
It simply is.
Death whispers us out of the world
in a breath as silent as the breath
that breathed us into it.
The magic in this world
sits in another place.
Joy and Exhalation,
Patient and Wonderful,
waiting in the nooks and crannies
Silent like death,
and the footsteps of mice,
and the sweet songs of lovers,
and the swaying of tall grass
and the secrets of children.