Saturday, July 31, 2010

An otter place and time

I hadn't expected to find you here --
nor you me, I expect --
both of us
were quite engaged
in pursuing other tasks
(me with my camera,
you with your food)
but for this brief moment,
there is that quiet connection,
an acknowledgement of sorts,
and I
who have known and loved you
all my life
at last can see you face to face
and revel in your bright gaze,
the precision of your claws and whiskers;
the soft glow of your thick wet fur.

* * *

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rose-covered Dreams

How many of us
as girls
dreamed of a cottage like this,
of a rose covered arbor,
a picket fence,
stone walls and gables;
a graceful tree for the kids to climb...
Life doesn't always turn out
exactly as we planned --
and yet,
it's good to have a dream:
so we can recognize its shape
when it appears on our horizon
and beckons with its rosy fingers:
step in, my dear --
step in!

* * *

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hot August Night

Into the cool evening
stars are falling,
plummeting from the sky
in great streaks of wonder,
hurling themselves
from the decks of flying clouds
like souls
diving into the newborn
eager for a taste
of color and sound,
of sweet fresh strawberries
and ripe green melons.
I lie on my back
in this old webbed lawn chair
stroking my fingers
through the soft wet grass
and watch the night sky
wondering at the urgency
of those bright streaks
tracing their passion
on a hot August night.

* * *

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Stairs to nowhere

It looks like you're climbing
stairs to nowhere.
It looks like that window's
cemented shut.
It looks like this foundation
is cracked, top to bottom.
It's a dead end,
a waste of time;
there's a bad feeling in my gut.
It's possible I'm too close,
my perspective is off,
and if I pull away
and lean into the light,
I'll see there's a walkway,
an escape hatch or path;
a turning point before
you fall into the hole.
But having fallen down these stairs myself
I find I cannot watch and continue breathing,
and so I turn away and listen with bated breath
to the frantic apprehension of my hammering heart.

* * *

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's a risk, to fish

I like to think
I am above the fray,
and so I perch here,
hunkered down,
on a roof, aloof.
But the fact remains
that if I'm hoping to be fed
I'm going to have to do it myself.
I'll need to take that risk:
stick my neck out,
spread my wings,
take that giant leap and soar,
get my feet wet,
and step right into it...
Because I sure can't spot
a minnow from a salmon
sitting way up here.
But what I really want to know is this:
will I have to swallow my pride
along with the fish?

* * *

Monday, July 26, 2010

Chalice or flame?

Is it a chalice,
or are these the flames?
What is it that demands
we step into the fire
in order that we may become
a vessel of hope?
What demons lurk
beneath the deep and troubled past
and must be brought
into the light?
Their watching eyes devour all
until we take the time
to notice;
until we give up hope
of ever creating
anything of value
and toss ourselves into the blaze
trusting that what emerges
from the burning, and the ashes
will light the way
for someone else's journey.

* * *

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trusting the seas

Not knowing if these clouds
will burn off,
or if they're harbingers
of the storm to come,
I cannot help but wish
you were still tethered close at hand;
that I could provide shelter,
that the shore were near,
and the waves so gentle
they'd only serve to add
texture to your reflections.
But we're neither of us made
to simply sit and rock,
and so we launch, and launch,
and launch again, and trust the seas
to guide us to our destination.

* * *

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's not locked

It may be rusted,
but it's not locked,
this door you fear so much to open.
In fact, you could
just pull this handle here
and step inside,
into that dark place
where failure lies waiting.
Go ahead: open.
Taste, eat, and be fueled
by the power of your lost imaginings.
Or will you wait 'til they push through
and wander into your tidy life,
embarrassing you
with their unseemly belching?

* * *

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dodging the crashing assumptions

Flying under the storm,
above the waves,
I feel the sky is falling,
the earth unsteady;
I'm dodging huge assumptions
crashing into place
and yet --
the light that is revealed
by the holes they leave behind --
there is a sense
that light will guide me safely home;
that if,
instead of curling in upon myself
I can keep my wings outstretched
they'll catch the wind
and lift me above
the churning;
I'll not be dashed upon the rocks
or hurled into the deep
but dart to safety,  lifted --
lifted into light.

* * *

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Perspective, shifting

When my focus is this narrow,
I only see how alone I am,
a tiny vessel,
afloat in a sea of self-doubt,
and yet, stepping back,
those patterns begin to take shape,
resolving into other masts
of other boats,
equally self-absorbed
and yet, all tethered here
in this quiet marina,
safe from the storms,
bumping gently against the same dock,
each dreaming of her solo flight;
a bold presumptuous dash,
leaping before the waves
with sails unfurled to the thrill of wind,
carrying souls across the open sea;
that passionate journey for which we were created,
in which we come alive
and know at last the fullness of our being.

* * *

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Finding another way

Looking up, and out, I can only see
how deep this hole is I've dug for myself;
I'm no longer certain
I have the strength
to climb up, out, or away.
But then I hear
echoes of music
from a summer's day long past --
"there must be some kinda way out of here,
said the joker to the thief;
There's too much confusion,
I can't get no relief..."
and I realize I'm not alone;
that other hearts have fallen
and other hands lifted them up and out again;
that these walls are only echoes
of another place and time;
just a picture of a thing I thought was true,
and holding it in my hand, I pull, and tear,
and walk through this illusion
into light.

* * *

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Everything but the kitchen sink

This is where I write --
if you can imagine anyone writing
in the midst of such chaos --
but the picture is missing
the cat on the keyboard
(I reach under him to type)
and the dog curled on the floor
sucking forlornly
on his sore paw
and the view from the window
which right now features a sailboat
silhouetted against an orange sky;
nor does it show
the 10 buddhas, 5 angels,
3 otters, two collages,
and the quilted partridge in her pear tree.

This is a response to L.L. Barkat's invitation at Seedlings in Stone to share the 'place where we write'.

For more fun, go to her website to see other blogsisters' descriptions of their workplaces...

* * *

When old things bloom anew

I find it curious
that when a new idea
begins to germinate
the universe conspires
to nurture
and protect,
to guide
and shelter
and water
the tiny flame of life
that it might glow with possibility,
thus feeding and enlivening
the gray patches,
the worn paths
of thoughts and plans
no longer vibrant or appropriate.
And see,
reflected glow is rising there,
a deepening promise:
that which had lain fallow
is itching to bloom again.

* * *

Monday, July 19, 2010

One Golden Moment

Day begins again:
the gulls,
already hard at work,
pause in flight
to watch the sun
lifting its golden head
above the clouds.
My boat lies here
on the dock,
glowing softly
as the light streams across the water;
your boat, I see,
is already steaming off
to join the other silent fishermen
in search of the catch of the day.
And there is peace for each:
in the pausing, the resting,
the flight and the steaming --
many different tasks and perspectives;
one whole,
one golden moment of light.

* * *

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weary of the journey

I'm longing
for perspective --
a chance to see
the light on the other side,
how close I am to the top --
right now,
things still look dark
and my feet are tired
of climbing
this endless hill,
of watching the birds'
effortless soaring
while I struggle
to place each foot
on these unsteady rocks.

* * *

Saturday, July 17, 2010

When you can't let it go

As the crow flies,
it's not that far
from here to there
from me to you
from war to peace
but forgiveness --
that's a chasm
few would dare to cross
and so we go the long way round,
picking our way through the rubbish;
crows on a city dump,
plucking and remembering
cawing and cackling:
"Keep this one,"
"Don't let go of that one,"
and when the ugliness sparkles like a prize
we savor the offense,
tossing gossip like seeds into the wind.

* * *

Friday, July 16, 2010

When will we let go?

When will we let go
of our fascination with winter,
with what is not;
with what is wrong?

When will we cease
to line up our grievances
like ducks in a shooting gallery,
picking them off
one by one
with our angry words and phrases
when all the time we know
they're designed
to spring back?

When will we finally come
to fully understand
that God and love
are both real
and enough?

* * *

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Windows into eternity

comes to us
flying on wings of light;
new thoughts
trace curves
like tentacles upon the brain
and neurons flow
down unaccustomed paths.

It's all a blur,
and yet,
because we realize
that blur implies
we do not try to understand
but stop,
allow the heart
to breathe a film upon the glass,
then wipe
a window
into eternity.

* * *

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That bright shimmering

These are the layers
I see today --
the fluff on the surface,
all foamy and bright,
and the reflections
that lie beneath --
patterns that shift
according to what I'm seeing,
and what I've seen;
what I'm knowing
and what I've known;
what I'm hearing
and what I've heard...
and then there is
that dark looming underneath,
and -- thank heaven --
the patch of light
that streams in from above;
the hint of possibilities
shimmering like a bright and golden bird
in the corner.

* * *

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Beside you all the time

At first glance
you might assume
a sunrise in the desert --
that rosy glow,
the sweep of light,
those mountains in the distance...
and yet I tell you
here and now
it's just a truck
waiting in the line beside me.
You thought --
or perhaps it was I who thought --
you could only find such beauty
in the desert.
but guess what!
It was here beside you all the time...

* * *

Monday, July 12, 2010

Simply Divine

I thought that I was walking away
from all my time with the Divine
(whatever that might be),
stepping on a ferry,
heading for an old dream,
set apart,
and then looked up and saw these wires,
reminding me
that everywhere I go,
the Divine, or universe, is there;
that everything I do,
I do with You,
even when I'm not aware.
And best of all --
everywhere I look,
and everyone I see?
They're all connected, too;
In fact --
they're all (you're all)

* * *

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Immersed in wonder

There are times --
you know them,
I know you do --
when we are lost in the moment,
totally present and engaged,
when we are doing what we love
and loving what we do.
When were those times for you?
How long has it been
since you felt that coalescence
(is that a word?)
of joy and purpose;
of passion and present?
My wish for you
is that you might find
a chance and a way
to feel that again:
If there is a Kingdom of Heaven,
I suspect that's where it lies:
in those moments of complete and utter oneness
between doing and being.

* * *

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer evening

A driftwood log, a beach at sunset,
a gathering of friends --
all is peaceful here.
Quiet chatter fills the warm air,
potluck goodies --
chocolate, and cheesecake,
and chili rellenos --
fill our stomachs,
and the occasional rumble of fireworks
tumbles across the water;
sparks flying up from the reservation.
The dog sits in a corner,
forlorn in his cone of shame,
scratching half-heartedly
and eyeing the burgers
cooling on the table by the grill.

* * *

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Creep Factor

Sometimes you work and work,
and this is all you get
and also how you feel:
a symbol of discouragement,
a death's head grimace
whose only redeeming feature
is what one gallery official I know
loves to call
"The Creep Factor."
It IS creepy,
this relentless experimentation with no result;
and some part of me just wants do drop it;
to run away,
screaming in frustration.
Perhaps this horrid gray and pockmarked period
between imagined and complete
when nothing emerges or seems to work right
served as the origin
of Edvard Munch's Scream --
Surely it's a feeling
we artists all know well!

* * *

Thursday, July 8, 2010


A friend --
a guy, of course --
asked me today
what the point might be
of monogamy.
I've tried before to explain
the deepening sense of wonder
that emerges with time,
with affection,
and shared struggles,
but really, the pure joy of it
is best stated in a picture;
the careless arm, that protective glare,
the utter trusting abandon of her mate...

* * *

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Choices, choices

I could choose to leave this image
pale and small because the flower is.
I could keep playing with the color
and never publish, or then claim
my software isn't working right.
I could say I'll get around to it
after I've cleaned the house
(knowing I never will).
My intentions might be good,
but I'll might just forget it --
or perhaps I'll toss it altogether
because someone may not like it,
and I can't deal with criticism.
I could make people tell me it's gorgeous,
and then publish, blaming them,
or reject it because I just never seem
to get flowers right.
Instead, I choose to share it here and now,
with you.

* * *

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The flash of creativity

A flash of wing,
what is that song,
unheard of in the air?
A chirping cry, and I look up
to see three tiny beaks,
open and crying
with anticipation:
feed me!
Feed me!
Feed my soul!
Wings stir the air;
something has gone in search of food
and will return
with nuggets of wonder
as a mother cares for her children;
heart leaps with smiles of expectation.

* * *

Monday, July 5, 2010

Prayer as scaffolding

Counting my blessings
I can't help but see
I'm riding pretty high in the water,
getting a little rusty;
got some holes
that need some plugging--
or does that only mean
I'm holy?
Never mind: When I check in,
The scaffolding's here,
already in place,
and as it stands
the numbers will grow bright again,
the anxiety levels are bound to drop,
and I'll be ready to set sail soon
on whatever adventure lies in store for me.

* * *

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A bright white streaming

As the day cools, and evening
hangs its wash of peachy orange
on the darkening water and the sky,
I watch the boats
stand guard over the waves,
rolling with the ebb and flow of tide
and just for one brief moment
catch sight of this --
a bright white streaming,
all colors coming together to carve
a path across the sea from me to you --
or is that from you to me?
And even as I wonder,
light fades, and the colors separate again,
preparing for their nightly merge
into darkness.

* * *

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Something about the light --
the way she glows --
offsets her general air
of age and disrepair;
of decrepitude,
of shabbiness
that never paired with chic,
and so,
though her bones are brittle
and her skin mottled
I somehow find her beautiful
and, after stopping to stare,
I remove my lens cap,
and shoot.

and yes,
I liked this cabin,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Resting in the stillness

I'm stopping here,
by the side of the road;
turning my engine off
and resting in the moment --
treating my ears
to the lap of the waves
and the chirp of the chickadee;
treating my eyes
to the gentle fade of fog
and the soft greens of early summer;
treating my nose to the fresh salt air
and my cheeks to the brush
of a cool damp breeze,
and -- best of all --
allowing my heart and brain to sit quietly,
breathing in the stillness of the moment.

* * *

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tunnel vision

I hate it,
when my peripheral vision is cut off;
when all I can see
is the tunnel ahead,
not even the light at the end;
when someone else dares to stop me
from doing things
I know I shouldn't do
even though I understand
it's probably best for me.

At times like this
the world gets very small
and everything is me, me, me;
I can't escape
this constant awareness
of my own inherent flaws.
Truth be told --
this seasonal itch
is a bitch.

* * *