Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

Black Friday may have put retailers in the black and had shoppers seeing red, but for me, Black Friday was gold and blue and green-- the colors of nature. On this gorgeous day after Thanksgiving, my daughters and I went for a hike along the Interurban Trail and checked out Woodstock Farm. Apparently everyone else was jostling for good deals on today's hottest gadgets (also known as tomorrow's junk-- do you really think a giant inflatable shark is going to be handed down to the great-grandkids?) so we had the place to ourselves.

So, while others were waiting in line for that amazing sale on Blu-Rays or iPads or what-have-you (or even worse, sleeping this beautiful day away because they were up all night shopping), we were here.

We hiked, picnicked, cloud-watched, leap-frogged, rolled down the hill till we were dizzy (that would be once for me and about ten times for the girls), told stories, took pictures, bird-watched, hiked back, and enjoyed one hot chocolate, one apple cider, and one hot buttered rum.

For me, Black Friday isn't about getting a good deal. It's realizing you already have it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Things I Did Today

Filled the birdfeeders
and raked up dead leaves
Pulled out the rotting tomato plants
dropping their overripe fruit like
chastisement bombs
Cut down brown iris stalks
and mopped dark footprints off
the kitchen floor
Brushed my daughter’s hair
tearing through mud-colored knots as her
little body tried to dance away
Told you I was leaving
this time for good
Although maybe this isn’t a list
of things I did today
but things I could have done

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Playing with Color

That's one way to play with color...

I took the suggestion from Victoria at the dVerse Poets' Pub and invited my two daughters (4 and 6 years old, respectively) to help me write a few poems with color as inspiration. I love their unconventional choices and the way they already enjoy playing with language, just like their mom! Here are three of the products of our combined color-play.

Blue is fast.
It's soft as pillows.
It is cloud boats,
cloud stars, cloud moons.
Blue sounds like sky
like a tiger
like the letter "s."
Blue is flowers
in a mountain meadow
and smells sweet
like crispy fall leaves
under my feet.

Red is happy.
I want to paint the walls red,
paint my ears and my belly,
paint the dog and the chandelier.
Red feels like sitting on an airplane.
It is the breath in my body
and the breath
coming out of my body.
Red tastes like bananas
and burns my tongue
like lava.

Yellow feels like the slap
of lilypads against my skin.
Yellow is a colander dripping
in the dishrack.
It colors the cat and the picture
and the mug on the table.
Yellow sounds like boots crunching
through snow,
like rain clouds
coming closer.

Click here to see how others played with color, and maybe try it yourself!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I walk beside the river
dark and green as bottle glass
it undulates silently

I scatter stars like breadcrumbs
some stick to the sky like white
bodies on black flypaper

some fall
and I step on them
crack them like snapped branches

some sink in the quiet green
bleed bright tendrils that glow
like little highways connecting fish cities

the moon eats the rest
stars disappearing in its
crescent smile

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

the last step

the lustrous little leaves cluster
in the still-warm footprint,
lining the edges,
filling the instep as if
to cushion
the already fallen.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hands I've Held (II)

The last day of school
we sat on the flowered lawn
and listened to Nirvana covers,
the band hot in their torn flannel but
too cool to take it off.
I spun a buttercup
between my spring-pale fingers,
gold petals pulsing with the beat.

I was drunk with the heat
and the music and the flashing flower and
the last day of school so
I confessed to you
just a boy
who sat next to me sometimes
who sat next to me now
“I’m sixteen years old,” I said
“and I’ve never held a boy’s hand.”

You took the flashing flower
twined your fingers through mine
said “Now you have.”
It was a kindness, like helping
an old lady cross the street,
but of course I fell in love with you
for a little while
until I gave my hand and so much more
too much, much too soon
to someone with hands bigger and weaker
and less kind than yours.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Rid of It-- Mag 80

I’m rid of it all, those things that stole my life from me.

The books are in milk crates on the sidewalk, dusty leatherclad classics pressed unwillingly against paperback thrillers. Lamps cast into the alley trash because I will live by the light of the sun and other stars. I gave the curtains to my sister. I have nothing left to hide. I will eat with my fingers, scooping and plucking, licking and wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. No fork will steal from me the intimacy of eating.

The cats left of their own accord after I explained things. We’ll still be friends. My bed is at Goodwill, propped up against other lonely beds. I don't need sleep, that substitute for life. I don’t need dreams. I’ve said goodbye to music, to voices and touch. I will sit bare. I will walk free. The spareness of my life is the new luxury.

I tore out my memories. They were not as understanding as the cats. Some went easier than others. My adolescence was relieved—grateful, even—but my thirties screamed as they flew through the air. I clipped my fingernails and tossed out the children. All I have left is this umbrella.

Take it.

I want to feel the rain.