October Doleful Calm: only one leaf flutters at a time, not warning, a whisper. The setting sun slunk to hide behind the hills and for one minute maple leaf shadows dance on our blank wall. Your phone caught it as video. Chickadees show no fear at the birdbath near where I rocked away the summer […]Read more "October Doleful"
In the Shadow of the Bell Tower After Ralph Waldo Emerson I seek refuge from the ferocious sun, this unpredictable, unbreakable humidity, on a cool stone bench with engraved words to trace with fingertips. To fill the hour… You walk by with sweat on your cheeks. I nod to the space next to me. You […]Read more "In the Shadow of the Bell Tower"
My Bonsai Tree on the Southern Window Ledge in the Laundry Room To the nearly four-hundred-year-old Yamaki white pine bonsai that survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima and now lives in an arboretum museum in Washington, DC This small juniper. One clay pot awash in moss weathered for five springs below my garden Buddha. To […]Read more "My Bonsai Tree on the Southern Window Ledge in the Laundry Room "
The Fourth of July Parade Manzanita, Oregon We swing our pick-up truck into the library lot, and settle in the truck bed, kingpins on folding chairs. There’s a husky in a red-and-white bandana and a bloodhound with a Statue of Liberty crown. Sweating, paunchy men wear goofy hats. Aging women in sparkles guard igloo coolers. […]Read more "The Fourth of July Parade"
June Bug Neighbors told me his name was June Bug. He was as black as any black man ever is. Two years younger than I. Liquid brown depths of kindness. I saw that in his calm eyes and quiet way. I don’t know how he tied up beetles. They said he got his name because […]Read more "June Bug"
The Lepidopterist’s Collection Mine is a flimsy passion. Awe for false eyes. Mothy deceptions. Zigzag symmetry. A simple color-code: I may be toxic. Mounting butterflies is tricky — pinch lacy wings in stainless-steel forceps and relax them. I have a ritual. Listen to string quartets. Block sunlight behind flowered drapes. Square the mounting box. Set […]Read more "The Lepidopterist’s Collection"
Used Mystery Books Titles on the M Shelf at Another Read Through Bookstore This widow is too pretty to die, decorated to death, with a right attitude to rain as tears lost in time. She likes it lethal, begs the sentry to send another hearse for her, an odd job for this night butterfly. She […]Read more "Used Mystery Books Titles on the M Shelf at Another Read Through Bookstore"
White Girls Cede to other women skin tints of caramel, taffy, and fancy maple, heady Jamaican vanilla extract in amber glass. The glow of copper wire. Oxides, raw or burnt sienna. The roughed-up walnut heartwood deepened on roofs of the Lower Ninth Ward. The songs black poets sing. Eyeball my elbows. Cabbage whitenesses, garden spawn. […]Read more "White Girls"
Nuclear Winter My grandmother told stories of smoke and smudge to save her navel orange groves in a Florida freeze. Sometimes her work failed. Then each Christmas she shipped a crate of oranges so thin-skinned they had to arrive fast. Fruit so flame-y orange we fell in love with hand-squeezing, licked juice from our fingers. […]Read more "Nuclear Winter"
Booze Writing She writes the non-fiction marathon, grabs her metaphysical hangover to record the distillers, blogs recipes for old martinis, notes where mezcal comes from. Serious, full-time writing about booze, barstools and body/mind benders. Codifying as a way to stop her bingeing. Is that how it goes with loneliness? Scrawling about virtuous alone as relief […]Read more "Booze Writing"