Nothing kills desire

like the day’s dirty dishes at midnight

wandering about the countertiop

hairy and langourous toward either

a smudged and sour drunk or some

conspiracy of benign Palmolive bubbles

which leave you screaming

For the love of god! I’m on fire!


Nocturne #1

Moths at the street light

beloved dusty jewels

jockey with June bugs in

tireless flitting and flapping

creating shadowy exhalations

on the pavement

still warm from the cult of day

July 1, 2020

I put Shasta down

Well, the vet did, but

I was there in a blue

plastic chair whispering

good girl  mama’s good girl

Her chest was full of fluid

She couldn’t breathe

That evening I took a walk

at the same time we always

took a walk and when I

came up the slope just past

the ditch with the big rocks

the sunrise was orange

The same orange as Shasta

I began to sob and I was glad

no one else was around

The more orange the sky

became, the more I cried

I tried to tell myself the sky

was a sign from Shasta and

I tried to let her go, but it

has been 360 days since then

and my heart still aches



Out the yawning window

50 shades of roofs

Bluebird houses

Clouds and birdsong

Sherry my neighbor called to

tell me the mail box was open

the mail, wet from last night’s


At 4 a.m. we had hail

the pling pling against the

windows woke the puppy

I was silently chanting

don’t need to go out

don’t need to go out

It worked

I dreamt we were visiting

a few faceless others and

when I returned from another

room my purse that I had placed

on the back of a sofa was



There’s one in every crowd

that late afternoon cloud refusing

to boil up to a thunder storm


the jonquils near the front door

every spring the tight little buds

turn brown and wither


the one misshapened button

on my red blouse, the one loose

shingle on the neighbor’s roof, the

one french fry under the driver’s



one spring a bull frog took

residence in the neighbor’s pool

he croaked and crooned all night

harmonizing with an orchestra of

friendly crickets, but I didn’t have the

heart to tell the little critters that

the bullfrog only kept them around

in case he needed a quick snack,

because, you know, there’s one in

every crowd


Gulf Islands National Seashore

Sanderlings quickstep with the waves

shucking and jiving seaside style.

They dip, dip, dip their beaks in the sand

trying to score a crustacean lunch of

crab salad or plankton plate.

On the mud flats the oystercrackers

roam with their red beaks ready for

a salty mollusk meddly.

Tourists line up at restaurants with

names like The Grand Marlin and

Peg Leg Pete’s, but beyond the

dunes and pier Poseidon waits with

his famous trident. It is 2017 and I

stare across the sparkling water

of Pensacola Bay at the Naval Air

Station. I’m missing my daughter,

wondering what she could be doing over there,

because I’m hoping Poseidon decides

tonight will stay calm.



Head pounding hoping

serendipity returns

equal to the ache

News reports remain

an insufferable catalog

of monosyllables

Where is the Advil?

We need an antidote

for this caravan of nonsense

The sun is out

somewhere a sea is

growing the tide high

and sardines small

Yes, sardines

they’re in the ocean

before the can

loitering on a Kroger shelf

What a long voyage

from the Atlantic to west Tennessee

by car, about 11 hours

by can, who knows

Partly Cloudy

to some extent there are clouds

but not completely     it’s just


not transparent

The clouds like a traffic jam

of ghosts

ghostly gridlock

spirit vapor

they better wear sunscreen

the UV index is 8

but not tonight

it’s supposed to be clear

a good night for haunting

Two thoughts on laundry

Folding Friday’s starlight

Smoothing circumstance

Hand wash only

Dry flat

Cautiously close the drawer

Keep those wishes prisoner


There is no moral razzle dazzle

in the spin cycle

If there was, I would have

figured out how to get that

stain out of your favorite

Salt Life t-shirt


The afternoon is easy to love

walking just so between displays of

the middling and spectacular

Desire is natural as the light

down the hall or So. Cali’s June gloom

daring us to wander deep in

urgency and twitches to

interrupt lunch or shopping or

other busy difficulties like flossing

Consider higher aspirations, the

clock counsels like the trill-a-ree of

a red winged blackbird or the

patch of clover along the fence

Clamor and glamour all at once

it’s the afternoon, easy to love