to chase away the night

I hope the sparrow who greets this new day 
sings of shooting stars and the rising sun 
sings of leaving home and choosing to stay 
sings of dew and spider webs freshly spun.
I hope the cricket who has fallen mute
finds shelter in leaves that litter the ground  
finds shelter in bark or under a root
finds shelter beneath a granite cold bed.
I hope the red fox who creeps through brown fern
can avoid the hunter who lives next door
can avoid the bloodhound’s eager concern 
can avoid the grey mouse’s bloated form.
I hope the green day brings with it fresh eyes
to chase away the dreams black from this night.  

One Thousand Stars

She scatters a lifetime’s collection of curios on a frayed carpet
rather like the spray of amniotic fluids at birth
a woman’s journey into the wilds of Africa
hazy descent into a long dream
the never-ending night
with one thousand stars to light her way through an empty gallery.
With one thousand stars to light her way through an empty gallery
her bare feet slide on threadbare carpet
called by the stars at night
to throw caution to the winds and birth
the silver thread of her dream
to follow her treasure map through the wilds of Africa.
To follow her treasure map through the wilds of Africa
she picks her way slowly towards the moon at the end of the gallery
and stops from time to time to admire curios quarried from a dream.
She digs her toes into frayed carpet
afraid of that final push into birth
balanced on the edge of night.
Balanced on the edge of night
she is called to enter the wilds of Africa
and the salted, bloodied tsunami of birth
carries her to the end of the gallery
flooding the threadbare carpet
with holy water to bless the curios of her dream.
With holy water to bless the curios of her dream
she sees where daylight promises to end night
and arches her feet against sodden carpet
hoping to find sun in the wilds of Africa.
She looks back to the darkened gallery
swollen with the pain of birth.
Swollen with the pain of birth
she slowly wakes from an enforced dream
of crooked pictures and dusty curios housed in a starlit gallery.
Setting free her fear of never-ending night
she follows the yellow-billed stork into the wilds of Africa,
soars over grassland carpet.
On the grassland carpet she rests from giving birth
and dreams of dancing in the wilds of Africa
before walking the gallery of never-ending night.
Brought to you by the challenge of creating a sestina using the NaHaiWriMo prompts from November 4-9. Simply put, to write a sestina, pick 6 words, rotate them as the end words in 6 stanzas and then include 2 per of the words per line in your final stanza.

insomnia always has a reason

setting moon with  trees
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down?
2 Henry IV (3.1.8-9)
to sink
she sank --
simple, see?
black silk rippled only once
her rapid descent
a clicking trot --
from flippers
to feathers
and now
to feet;
toes in muck
she strains to walk
the box maze lit  
with golden tea-cups;
at the center
the maître d'
serves her flies
she spits out nails  
that spin like lightening bugs;
she slaps and runs
but can’t escape
midnight moon’s final jest
and with a gasp she comes to wake.
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on. . . 
The Tempest (4.1.168-169)
Day 14 of NaPoWriMo encouraged a bit of dream play. 


Lofty and Alone

Greetings, fine friends. This is catch-up weekend after falling off the apple cart. Day 5 of NaPoWriMo was a difficult –but ultimately satisfying — challenge to create something similar to the highlighted work in Translucence. Or, in plain talk: find a photo that grabs you, a poem in a foreign language, and react to both . . . so here goes!child with teddy bear walking on gravel roadway

Just as a small child: use your lips to suck salted dew 
drops into the moist cavern of your mouth. In those 
crevices and hidden places, the salt wakens new resolve. 
It is time. Even if you drag your dream by one hand, go 
home to self.


And, here’s the side-by-side with the inspiring poem: THE ONE LOFTY AND ALONE.




grubbing for dreams

To ponder this day: what is a dream when anchored firmly? Or when rootless and wandering? Can dreams be truly realized if we dig up our tap-roots of origin and toss them aside? I think this changes over time. When we are young and straining for the “freedom from” or the “freedom to” we want nothing more than to whack off the root at its core. Aging, we perhaps want something a bit more.

just a hazy hint of colorful blossoms

Olympia Almanac

Today’s weather: fair, with blue skies.
A bit of an anomaly but I really don’t mind. My body cries out for fresh air,
for sunshine . . . critical elements that pop pussy willows, cherry blossoms and tulips
from warmed soil lining each fence;
tamed nature marking boundaries
conscientious neighbors stay behind.
These same private neighbors
hold a peculiar devotion
to social justice,
environmental advocacy,
the rights of the homeless
but no responsibility
for finding workable solutions that
build dignity and respect.

Over the years, this contest of wills between advocate and business
has soured like milk
left too long on the counter; has chased away options like bushy-tailed squirrels
relentlessly clinging to bird feeders swinging —
while birds perch high above
cheeping frustration
waiting for a moment of inattention,
when they swoop in and dive
for a peck and a nibble of vanishing seed.

A sad little story of a tight-knit community
focused on excavating
bones buried
beneath pink petals, where
behind every door, under every rock hides
the political gamer; in this town
a casual walker will easily find
the smell of urine, the taste of despair
and remnants of lives once filled with dreams,
all piled up in nooks where the homeless lay their heads.

Prompt from day 16 of NaPoWriMo 2016.

Crack open the cookie

Be thankful, even if your life is not perfect.
Well, there’s a subtle piece of advice…
I’m alive
I’m breathing
I can taste, hear, smell and see.
The evidence of my senses daily tutors me
that life brings no more than these minimalist bones
draped in a tattered winding sheet
of youthful hopes, dreams and fears.
You might want to run, but you should stay and fight. 
If this is wisdom, then
no wonder
the world suffers.
Groaning under expectation
of submission to abrupt commission
of forceful persuasion.
Violence begets only violence,
leads to shed tears.
Respect your elders. You could inherit a large sum of money.
Nothing in this world is ever, ever
A youngling, I
scoffed and turned away.
A new parent, I
counted pennies, saved for rainy days.
It was never enough.
In empty nest time, I
ponder the options for who to invest with the material results
with which I’ve been blest.