Saturday, June 17, 2017

Supply and Demand

My life is a failed economy
with lagging productivity
and an overabundance of scarcity.

The shelves in my stores are empty of
Time and Love
and Patience
and Wisdom
and Sanity -
and Me.
am in very

When demand outstrips supply,
the price

I can't afford myself anymore.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Rococo Souls

We have rococo souls:

brimming with crevices,
laden with whorls -
a carapace here
a curlicue there,
festooned with odd embellishments,
with sconces on our battlements,

in velvet gilded with fleur de lis -
no stoic spartan spirits we,
no simple hearts, no plain ascetics;
like troubadours, we're peripatetic.

We have rococo souls.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Portland Skies


dove-feather clouds infused with sun
kiss my skin with mist
in this place of solace-scented rain
and flannel-soft skies laced in light
a thousand moss-drenched trees
signal life

do not call this sky overcast
it's cast just right -
a watercolor masterpiece
a shade without compare
not the gray of ocean waves
or shadows or ash or death
not even the gray of a lover's eyes
this is a grey you long to touch
a depth without deception
glowing with the promise of divinity
knowing the sacrament of pain
and blessing it with hope

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Diagramming Spring

Discover the survivors of winter in a single noun.

Blink in sun-dazed surprise at the verbs that follow.

Write their green tips across a line of golden light.

Separate the first crocuses from the blades of grass.

Find the songs of returning birds that modify the reborn world.

Dangle them below the perfumes of the earth.

Do the same for every word that sings of new life.

In the long, extended days, trace the endless branches of language
Until there is nothing left but honeysuckle and afternoon walks.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

The World Has Entered My Classroom

The world has entered my classroom.
Past and present and future,
Islands and oceans and continents,
Sit in a circle on my classroom floor -
Watching, waiting, wondering, wiggling,
Weeping, quarreling, pouting, giggling,
Pouring their everything into my heart.

War and Poverty fight over erasers.
Famine and Terror fold paper airplanes.
Racism blurts out impulsive answers
While Sexism quietly waits her turn.
Slavery and Suffrage and Civil Rights
And the royal lineage of African kings
Doodle absentmindedly in the margins of their notebooks.

Gunfire and bombs explode from
The grinding of the pencil sharpener and
The fingertips of unthinking playmates,
While lessons drift away on ocean breezes
Lost in the rustling fronds of palm trees
And the scent of orange groves.
The taste of coconuts tangles with the fear of police
As deportation hovers over hunched shoulders
And haunts tired eyes.

The world has journeyed here
Across rivers and mountains and oceans and deserts
By plane, by bus, by foot, by truck,
By rafts and boats and ships
Whose timbers now rot in underwater graves.

The sounds of a thousand dialects tickle
The tongues that chatter away at hard-won silences,
Mingling mysteries and histories of Chuukese and Vietnamese
Iraqi and Cherokee, Haitian and Jamaican and Filipino,
Ecuador, Guatemala and Peru,
Russia and Ireland and Sierra Leone,
Germany and other places lost and unknown
That brought forth these faces.

How can I carry the world in my heart?
It's too big, too big, too big for me.
Its stories sizzle my skin and burn through my fingertips.
Its sadness and cruelty, courage and beauty
And laughter and pain drown my blood
And flood my veins leaving me
Unable to contain the tidal waves.

The world has entered my classroom.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


Reeds,   bend but do not break.

Eagles,   soar above the fray.

Swans,   remind us to value grace.

Insects,   break down massive oaks.

Squirrels,   prepare.

Tigers,   attack.

Ants,   collect.

Nursing mothers,   feed your young.

Cats,   protect your territory.

Every soldier has a weapon.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ocean: The Women's March January 21, 2017

Our ocean teems
With beautiful, violent life
Stretching past the limiting horizon
We embrace continents,

Wave after wave of us
Ebbing, surging, cresting, flooding
The city streets with our bodies,

Pouring into every open space
Carrying our words, our fight, our sons
Our daughters.

Welcoming wind and rain and snow
Our roaring waters swell.

Stand in awe of our majesty.
Beware our raging storms.