Up for Interpretation

I scroll through all the pictures,
Trying to decipher their messages.
Trying to really see them, yet
Uncomprehending what they mean.

A photo of a boat on the azure water catches my eye.
Immediate, visceral outrage 
Oil spilling on the pristine waters.
(Oil spills are the only context in which ‘pristine’ is used anymore. 
Why can’t they pollute polluted water instead?)

My rage is distracted by my reflection in the screen.
It’s been a little over a week 
and I’m still not sure if I like my hair cut this way.
I have spikes and horns enough for a dragon.

I take my device inside
To stop seeing my reflection
Expanding the picture to feel 
The anger inside once again.

My thumb and finger slide away from each other
to reveal that the picture is of a boat moored near coral.
There is no oil spill.
Never mind.

Into the Garden I Go

Well, I wish it were that easy.
To be fully prepared.
I spent a good chunk of time 
Showering and getting ready
To go out in the garden.

It’s beautiful, this first day of summer.
Only the smallest white clouds 
Reveal exactly how blue the sky can be.

I breathe and force myself to slow down
Never prepared means always rushing
Or giving up.
I take my time and feel 
The summer garden envelops me.

It is quiet in the garden,
but only for a short time, 
when yet another neighbor 
Uses his Saturday to drill the weeds 
As a dentist works a cavity, 
Or revs his engine so the smell 
Of freshly cut clover is replaced with exhaust.

Looking up at the sound of a plane, 
I see it pulling a shiny glider behind.
Soon the winds carry it toward us,
In a slow, lazy pattern of tacks.
Still high in the sky
And on the breeze.

I relish the quiet 
And breathe again.
Staying in the garden now
To watch creation unfold
On this summer’s day.


My favorite two-year old,
– really, almost two-years old –
draws my attention
with her tentative smile
and clear blue eyes.
– without warning –
her open hand is inches from my face,
proving to my unfocused eyes,
her miniature hand
with its chubby fingers stretched so wide,
is indeed empty and free.
The suspense builds
as she uses her other hand
– her assistant, if you will –
to open her dress pocket wide;
wide as can be,
so she only has to close her fingers a little bit
to ease her hand into the depths of the material.
In a dramatic flurry of suspense,
– pulling and yanking with all her might –
she releases her hand from the pocket.
With a jerk of her head
– eyes and mouth round with surprise –
her trick is finished.
For, in her slowly opening child’s fist,
emerges a pink shell
– from a far away ocean;
in her eyes, 
a reflection of the sweet world.


Replacing Me

Once, long ago,
When love was new and young,
When love was firm and supple,
When love was as plentiful as hope,
I threw my head back passionately and said,
“You will never replace me! I am all you need!”

I am the love of your life. 
I am your partner in crime.
I am the mother of your children.
I am your secret keeper.
I am your cheerleader.
I am your champion.

I freely gave my job description
Boldly, fearlessly, proudly.
Yet, as hard as I tried, 
I no longer do.
Passion falls to duty
Hurt destroys honor and trust.

Time finds a way,
To distort, erode or forge.
Changes so subtle and small,
That Shifts perceptions; assigns blame.
Until I scream with every cell in my body,
”You can’t replace me! I am already gone!”


Sunshine on the hanging baskets
Greet the flowers there
The trees stand still
Silhouettes on baby morning blues
Bushes and an apple tree
Awaken the birds in the yard.


I dreamed of time spent with you
Nestled to my chest
Soft and new

I ache with longing to see you
Hold you again
In my arms

I give thanks to pictures
To help pass the time until
I see you again




Rhonda, my love.

This dress does you honor.

Revealing your soft, alabaster skin

The velvet is the perfect foil

To you auburn hair.

Rhonda, my dear

It gives me great pleasure

To take you to supper with me

Afterwards as we stroll past the shops

We will have a bit of ice cream to eat.

The Elephant in the Room

Silence fills the Courtroom
Pregnant with expectation
The question has been asked
Everyone poised, waiting
Waiting for the response.

I swear, I take this solemn vow
Every word I say is true
Though difficult to believe
Believe it you must.
I speak nothing but the truth.

My impulsiveness is well known
My strength has been compared
To that CrossFit beast of a guy.
Froning , I think is his name
I hear that he can lift elephants

I heard it, that is a fact.
As so I too can lift them
It’s not too hard to do.
You can’t just try it, off the cuff
You must practice and take your time.

Some shudder at the thought
While some just stop and stare
Plainly I will tell you this
Some of you won’t even know
The criminally sublime.

The answer then is yes, of course
Of course this came to be
The courtroom released its breath
As I calmly picked up my elephant
And headed out the door,

Urban Farming

I want to plant pine trees
On the edge of the ball field
so students see the sky
Instead of the prison
On the valley below

I want to plant mighty oaks
In the potholes of my street
Sometimes, to alert drivers
And sometimes to have
A forest instead of a road.

I want to plant gardens
Along the neighborhood walks
Fresh vegetables and berries
For those in want and need
To take as many as they please.

I want to plant lavender
In place of GMOs
So we never have to see
Glyphosate decimated fields
Where wheat and grain grow.

I want my wants to be my needs
To eat from where I live
To grow and flourish
In the sun and clean air
In my city and in my skin.


When I Told Him

“I need space.”
He stepped back.
Farther and farther
Until he disappeared.
He didn’t understand

My need for inner space
Inner peace
Peace and quiet
Space. I need space.

Space for love, not
As distance between
I want to share and hold
To touch
To breathe and live.