Visual discomfort

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had this weird aversion to groupings. Like pods or seeds.

The seeds inside of butternut squash for example give me the heebie-jeebies to behold. I thought it was an anomaly but my daughter said it isn’t-

other people have it.

I trace it back to childhood when there was a big spider under the kitchen table and my mother said we had to kill it and when we stepped on it all these baby spiders came flowing out.

But they tell me other people have it.
for the longest time I thought it was just me.


Death isn’t a stranger.

She’s right next to me and always has been.

I see her in the weepy eyed cat who cries for company at night at the Airbnb then runs away.

I saw her in my mothers bed last year. My mother asked to go with her.

She’s Wily that death; a bitch, a muse, blonde, brunette, redhead whatever you need. she’s loyal.

she’ll never leave; to me she rides a motorcycle into the night – her long silver curls blowing in the breeze.

She’s  brazen, brash…ready.


Deliberate movement with chaos.

Karate inspired dance moves.

Choreographed in her head.

some wild floating dancers.

she’s an inspired child.

my granddaughter.

Wants to dance.



Ode to Hawaii 🌺 ( visual prompt)

You are lovely with your abundance of rich green Rainforest surrounded by the wild ocean.

When juxtaposed with the desert, the desert loses and I don’t want to leave you.

And your flowers. My granddaughter said,

“I want to take a picture of the flowers then paint them.”
I said, “Me too.”

Species I’ve never seen – large and regally loud like a queen proudly donning her bejeweled crown.

Hawaii be my home.

This Time of Year -prose poem

December baby. A week before Christmas. My mother told me many years ago she and my father put me under the tree. I was their Christmas present.

In rural Pennsylvania in December – at least in years past it was a snowflake spectacle. Temperatures in The 30’s and 40’s were the norm, roadways were toboggan runs for how treacherous they potentially were.

I claim the period from my birthday through New Year’s day as my personal holiday. It is a period of time that I have through a significance of events from my very early babyhood come to bond with and identify with the butterflies in your stomach feeling.

Reality shift. My father decided to go out one New Year’s day. A New Year’s Day that was just two weeks beyond my first birthday. He did not return. The toboggan run got him and this was no ordinary accident. This was a series of events that very likely could have been avoided.

since he didn’t come back to explain himself the only recourse anyone has ever had has been to deduce what happened that day. Details will not be given here.

I have learned to turn this loss into positives over the years. I can hear trauma in a lot of detail. I’m comfortable with chaos.
I’m comfortable with reality turning on a dime.

I Believe and truly experience the concept of control to be an illusion.

This time of year – the time between December 19th and New Years Day is mine.




Don’t Wait

Pain dulls the senses.

On overload, we shut down; Going into survival mode, allowing only the most basic needs to have voice.

When this happens in succession…when there is rapidfire negative stimuli, this state becomes the new norm –  “this too shall pass” becomes the new mantra.

Now our every day reality; our sense of joy and spontaneity  is on hold while we wait for “this” to pass.

Don’t Wait!

Join with the pain, allow it to emerge in tiny increments from the fugue our defense mechanisms have mistakenly relegated it to.

This will, if done correctly, safely move us out of the waiting pattern back to the now which is actually the only place there is.

Dont wait!

Balloon Regatta

I am a gypsy at heart. Even after children.

Case in point – In 2008, I excepted my third counseling job, packed up the SUV, attached a makeshift hauler to it, our belongings hanging out over the edges, and traipsed with my adolescent children Beverly hillbillies like across 40 west to the tiny and until then unknown to me little town on an Arizona Mesa called Page.

That was an April. It took a good two months to find an actual house to live in – stayed temporarily at a best Western.

Page was a novelty to me. I’m an East Coaster by birth.

An adventurous spirit and possibly God lead me there. The clients were a mix of the demography of the town mostly white, some Spanish, some Navajo.
The need for counseling contrasted with the taboo against it but encompass all of the above and children. The job was rewarding, the town political. I was triggered a lot. I don’t like it when politics interfere with folks getting their basic needs met-especially children.

Page itself in the area though we’re interesting, a whole new aesthetic and I liked it.

The home I finally found to rent was very nice. One morning after living there for about six months, as I was just coming awake, I turned over to look out the window and saw colors, just colors right there at my window obscuring my view. So giant it was and shapeless – I actually didn’t know what it was.

At that moment the kids come running, “mom, mom come see.” I step outside and the sky is filled, overrun with hot air balloons, of all colors, shapes and sizes, with different logos on them – they block off the streets with vendors, children run around, get faces painted, beautiful Navajo jewelry is on display with other vendors. It is a joy, a frenzy of color and activity lasting for three days.

a balloon regatta they call it.



Not Never Normal

  • My mother wanted so much to be normal/to project normal. She had rules for behavior. Don’t borrow from others, nor lend.

Don’t go where you’re not wanted.
Be nice, say thank you, be sorry, don’t tell the neighbors our business…

Not toxic shame, but some healthy guilt was often the fuel behind the words. She was consistent with them and she was insistent. This was what she needed to feel Okay.

But there was anger in that home. And it threatened the semblance of normalcy as it lurked around the corner, just out of reach of her control – Potentially triggered by the spontaneity of her children.

A church scene – a boy and girl sitting in the pew taunting one another behind her back as she sat in the middle, a referee, an obstacle that we had to reach around. Then I felt it, a barely imperceptible yet sharp, stabbing sensation, a tiny series of baby pinches Administered in quick succession to the soft flesh on the inside upper arm designed to bring us back in line, which of course it did.

I remember once being so angry with her – my 22 year old self,  flaunting my lack of concern with  maintaining HER facade of normalcy, running out into the yard still angry, angry and yelling, and incensed.

My brother was the topic  – she had had him “hospitalized” while I was away; didn’t want the neighbors to know.

She ran out after me, red-faced, wrinkles of desperation lining her forehead. “He was acting crazy, I was afraid, I didn’t know what to do, He got ahold of some thing and hasn’t been acting right. Renae, please come back in…the neighbors…”

“I don’t give a damn about the neighbors.” I had said. I think in fact that I had wanted her facade of normal to crack. I needed to see her suffer under its weight as I was suffering while she threw away my not normal brother.

Normal – what’s that?



Connection crave (music prompt 3 for me)

My, me, you, yours


hours gone.

is it enough?


All of us who are Here Now

can we make that be real everyday?

Can I smile, wave even…at you…you at me

and want to know each other’s story,

hold that energy for the other

and in that holding


Empty Tub (hour 5 prompt, my second one)

I had the experience once…

more than once-

of having someone in my life – a man to love me.

someone in the tub,

someone in the hallway waiting for me to come home.

not now…now the house is empty. No lingering man scent in the shower, no scattered tools in the garage.

what is this thing- being alone?

how does it come about?

was it written this way – that I be alone in my twilight years? I’m angry about it sometimes.

and then I realize- no one is asking you to account for your time –

telling you how to live, how to vote, how to dress, when to be home, what to believe…

and then I think…maybe it was written this way.