Tag Archives: poetry

Pesto and nazis and nuclear war

I can feel my chapstick drying on my lips as I lay in bed trying not to worry about how my son will return to school with a broken arm and how will I be there for us enough working the night shift I can’t even go to Meet the Teacher evening but someone has to pay for the cast and his dad’s emergency appendectomy these are not sexy thoughts these are 42 yr old thoughts.

I breathe in and out and suddenly it’s tomorrow.

Nazis wave Confederate flags and some lunatic says his nuclear missiles can reach us making my face break out.

Those two white butterflies chase each other outside the kitchen window where the smell of pesto beckons us all to dinner.

A Match

Everyone has pain.

But if my life is a little happier than yours, it is because I worked at it.

I changed my mind and learned what cannot be controlled and what can.

I control me.

Just my reaction to the tennis balls hurling over and over again.

I worked at how not to stand still gathering bruises.

I studied people whose tennis balls didn’t bruise them.

I practiced.

You can, too.

Or you can not.




The Good Samaritan 

Steel rods jut out from his legs.

We shove another pad underneath to soak up the blood.

The tube taped to his mouth makes his chest rise and fall.

A Good Samaritan from another state, helping a woman on the side of the road, now alone in a strange place, breathing through a machine.

Two rooms down is worse. The dr pulls the sensor slowly from a hole in a young man’s skull. No need to keep track of his pressure now, she says in not so many words. 

“But he ran the red light?” 

The nurses shake their heads up and down, silently rationalizing. This one didn’t follow the rules. 

No one speaks of the Good Samaritan.

Listen Up

It took me twenty-five years

to feel what you planted

and how I wish that I had those years back

to feel confident




all the things you told me I wasn’t.


I didn’t know I had believed you

until I stopped.

When you told me I was nothing

worth nothing

knew nothing

deserved nothing,

my brain railed against it.

It threw wood at you,

defended me.

It yelled back,

even laughed.

I thought I had escaped.

Scotch free.



turns out,

my heart believed you.

Sitting quietly at a table,

hands clasped,

looking at you with wide eyes,

then looking down.


You spoke the truth,

it knew it.

And I may spend the rest of my life

convincing it otherwise.









Now A Symphony

That One Note played over and over,

longing, mournful, angry, desperate–

once or twice joyous.


War could whisper through.

And career, family, art, music.

But fleeting and peripheral because

One Note Banging




Now little laughters, the sun rising, our skins softly aging.

The edges of things!

where before blurry, if not imagined.

Thank you…time?

for lifting that monotonous veil of Self

to reveal the symphony beyond.


Why is Peter Gabriel being so quiet?

Marking life’s events by shootings,

I miss when pop stars sung about things that matter.

Didn’t Sting and Bono end apartheid and the Cold War?

Why is Peter Gabriel being so quiet?


We need your help, boys.

I think we are stuck here.


Anybody out there—could you please lend a hand?


Don’t let our stars & stripes arrogance fool you.

We are lost in a quicksand tornado eye of ignorance, fear, denial and confusion.

Our family has gotten too large to agree and lots of power is shifting.

Those who were high are low or afraid of being on their way.

Those who were low are mad and climbing out, looking up.


Don’t let our arrogance fool you.

Could you please save us from ourselves?