End-of-August Misgivings of the Old Woman Jealous of the First Grader’s New School Shoes the sign down the road – do not pick blackberries – yellow jackets our final peach pie pits and skins swarming with flies a sketch of bird song in a failing tree broken fence railings dry foxglove seed silent rocks in […]Read more "End-of-August Misgivings of the Old Woman Jealous of the First Grader’s New School Shoes"
Raspberries in June He asks me to come by, read her some of my garden poems at four o’clock. June sun will be high and hot through the windows in her hospital room. She may sleep. The surgeons opened up her abdomen from stern to pubes and poked through the curves, bends, folds and hiding […]Read more "Raspberries in June"
Whooping Cough, 1952, Age 5 I was not trusted to climb eighteen pink stairs without fainting. I carried a porcelain bell. Not trusted with just the washable yellow robe (carry the green towel for cough ups). My chest seemed so small I didn’t know I had a heart. I didn’t trust the brown Zenith radio […]Read more "Whooping Cough, 1952, Age 5"
Ode to Slow I appreciate slow after speeding bullets, ground records, and the turbulence of climate change. Like slow food, Zafu pillows sold online, apps that ring mellow gongs to end minutes of mindfulness. Three-toed sloths live too far away for me to know. Slugs move at night on my lettuce, chewing. Rockfall and glaciers […]Read more "Ode to Slow"
Cinderella Doesn’t Live Here Anymore No. Her feet no longer hurt from dancing and romancing. She’s left her slippers behind, her mirror unsilvered. Her castle roof leaked. Knocking winds found cracks in the casements. Her prince died in her arms of gout. Her twin sons fled their home after his funeral, chased by two uncles […]Read more "Cinderella Doesn’t Live Here Anymore"
Fortune Cookies for the Twenty-First Century Be grateful you can breathe. Encourage flowers to shrink to seeds. Your horrible secret? Tell it to a dog. The lover you seek knows your secret. When six vultures show up in a newly hayed field, assume there are dead rodents. If your cell phone tells you your weight, […]Read more "Fortune Cookies for the Twenty-First Century"
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"