The day it snowed in San Francisco

The day it snowed in San Francisco we stared so hard out the classroom windows that our nose prints remained on the glass

The day it snowed in San Francisco we begged our teachers to let us outside to play

The day it snowed in San Francisco we tried our hardest to build snow people. Do have carrots? Do we have sticks? Do we have rocks?

Can we make life from nothing? Can we build a magical object? Can we wish more snow into falling?

We had no jackets, no gloves, no sufficient supply of snow.

But our teachers gave us magic when they pushed open the classroom doors and released us to play until every snowflake had found the ground.

The day it snowed in San Francisco it snowed in San Francisco.

The day it snowed in San Francisco was like living in a book, like not living in San Francisco at all, like going to a place where we understood the enchanted possibilities of water and ourselves.

Write a Poem

Open your heart like cleaning out a dragon treasure hoard

Catch ideas on your tongue like snowflakes

Shoot words from your fingertips like lightning bugs

Push your pencil across the page like a seed drill planting a crop

Water everywhere until your tear ducts are empty

What else can you do?


Aspen Talk

When wind rises

The aspens speak

Continuing an ancient conversation

Planted in the soil

Imprinted on the air

Rustling and calling out

Their soft, tapping chatter like a party in another room

Heard faintly above the chuckling waters


It is an old story

of attacks by antlers and lightning

Of fire and hail

Of ancient roots sending hopes skyward

Expanding one organism

Like family


The story is not over


The Car

The car connects here

and there

translating the driver in space

A hellish oven one day

A comfortable haven the next

It has eyes that do not see

but grant vision to others at night

Made of contrasts:

stop and start

liberating and constraining

fast and slow

wasteful and purposeful

Loved and despised


On meeting raptors

For a moment I felt a sudden horror—thought the horned owl had no face

So still he was with head rotated to his back

Then the hawk keeper showed me how a carnivore might

devour a raw mouse head

Ordered by the dozen and one offered delicately toward the hawk’s delicate claw

The hawk ate while the owl reversed its head, moving slowly like a sinister lazy susan

Each bird’s eyes gazed frankly my way, golden orbs, mirrors pointed my way

And I pondered birds and humans and our predatory ways



Inspired by fairy tales and politics


We escaped, refugees

with only bread and clothes and papers

and memories of fields free of soldiers and full of sunflowers

a life full of sweetness and promise and empty of sour and enslaving rhetoric

We ran from Baba Yaga

We dropped enough crumbs for the whole forest to know, but

she dropped her teeth, sharpened with lies and pride, in fields

And brutal fighters grew on our land

No neighbor remembered that to break a spell means to make a sacrifice

and if Baba Yaga keeps her magic

Everyone will suffer

Always there for you

All the words were found on the website of a tourist shop or in the reviews on TripAdvisor.

We followed the Riverwalk

They don’t hound you

We had not packed for that

I am the aunt that brings all the kids something

Beautiful any day of the year

Many facelifts over the years

Built around 1909

An unexpected snowstorm

There to help and not to push


Part of their family

Hour Thirteen: Philosopher Dog

When a dog rolls in something rotten

It is an act of love

Dung and death converted

to joy and pleasure

A reminder that there is value in every particle

In repugnant stuff

reimagined in delight

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