Thursday, July 31, 2014

Headline Poem 7/31/14 -- the future mayor

Today's poem is inspired by election season in Hawaii. One of the candidates for mayor on the island of Kauai is an anti GMO advocate, MMA fighter, and surfer. 

the future mayor 

there are many words 
that don't come 
to mind
as I drive by
brightly colored signs 
hanging from fences
with names I can't pronounce

the man who chose 
to run three weeks ago 
has the lead,
and has raised 
more money 
and gathered 
more speed 
doing what's right (some people really hate that about him)

the politicians are confused. 
they stopped working for
you, the people, 
when 'new guy' 
was in preschool,
winning all along 
the voters didn't know 
any   better  so 

while they counted their 
winnings and escaped jail,
the future mayor 
surfed and healed,
making him
perfectly unprepared 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Headline Poem 7/30/14 -- It is said

It is said 

That every once in awhile,
we all must take the time to
rejuvenate. I hesitate 
to accept 
that yes indeed that means me,
and us, and you. 
But it's true. 
Wrapping my body around the moon 
while drinking in its mood
is something that 
I must do. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Headline Poem 7/29/14 -- Salt Water

Salt Water 

Salt water soothes 
even the
hardest edges 
and tough exteriors.  
It changes its direction as 
much as it changes yours 
  by calming light   places that 
turn to dark

not by choice, but just because 
things that 
evolve require 
extra attention. 

It's okay. 

The power is sacred and 
hard to compare to anything else. 
Some pieces, 
no matter how much they swim away, return minute after minute,
day after day. 
They come back until you 
notice and say hello. 

And then one day, the water you've welcomed for so long
is gone. 
You no longer greet it, 
it's now for someone else -- your welcoming wall falls down, 
and you are naked 

and real. 

It hurts and stings,
but it is sweet and satisfying still. 
Embrace this new salt water 
once you swim 
in the current and float on thin air, 
most other things 
just can't compare,
and wouldn't dare. 

The salt helps you love. 
It will hurt if you let it, but once you decide there is strength in tasting it, 
you will see what it means to break the wall 
and to feel what it means to live 
without fear of pain. 

Salt water awakens sleepy minds if 
the minds that sleep
they are asleep. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Headline Poem 7/28/14 -- your shadow & mine

your shadow & mine 

your shadow & mine 
on a mountain top, 
and smiled with 
when they realized 
they'd been following 
each other 
all along. 

Headline Poem 7/27/14 -- A fiery dance

Today's poem is inspired by this L.A. Times article about a restaurant in Irvine serving up extremely hot chile! Here's the full article, and here is "A fiery dance." 

A fiery dance 

Sometimes I wonder
   if it's worth 
devouring the chile,
and all. 
Then I swallow 
and feel 
the fierce heat
burn my eyes
and numb my throat. 
I    look    down   at my body
doing a fiery dance, and I know. 
It hurts, but
content and full. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Headline Poem 7/26/14 -- Homemade Love Song

Homemade Love Song 

Some ingredients sit around 
ignored and a 
hint jealous
the just-ripeneded
that get used right away. 
That's okay. 
knowing which ones to use 
   and    when
is half the fun. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Headline Poem 7/25/14 -- A To-Do (Better) List

Today, a to-do (better) list inspired by tomorrow's full moon in Leo -- focusing on inner strength, creativity, and healing as the foundation in which to guide ourselves and share with others. 

A To-Do (Better) List:

Love completely, especially when hurt. 
Judge less, especially myself. 
Heal, period. 
Smile deeply, and genuinely with the intent to uplift. 
Be compassionate, particularly when others don't make it easy. 
Be kind, to myself first. 
Not make others miserable (even if I feel miserable). 
Embrace and flow with an occasional rage. 
Communicate rather than alienate. 
Not act tough when I don't have to. 
Trust without fear. 
Let go of negativity, even when it wants to stay. 
Live in the present moment.
Ask for help in nice ways. 
Lower walls rather than raise them. 
Be aware of my facial expressions. 
Take things that aren't that serious less seriously. 
Feel completely. 
Forgive authentically. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Headline Poem 7/24/14 -- I love when

I love when 

Night falls and a man walks up the road and he has a dog named Mystic and Romanian blood and an uncle with a similar name and a father born with the same date and you can talk about lessons and mistakes and not be afraid. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Headline Poem 7/23/14 -- Some things are hard to explain

(Ramone's in Eureka)

Seven months ago, I was sitting at Ramone's coffee shop in Eureka, Ca. when I started to write a poem in my head about a headline in the local Times Standard newspaper. It was December 31st. A new year was about to begin, and I decided to challenge myself to try to write a poem a day in 2014 based on a headline in the news. As I began this process, I promised myself I would (attempt to) stay balanced -- No freaking out if I couldn't find a headline. No getting obsessed if I was too busy to write. And no worrying about whether or not my writing was "good enough." My goal was simply to create, to capture the world through words, and to do this daily. Since starting, a poem a day has become a part of me. I didn't know it at the time, but this process, this taking time for myself, and this poetry would become something I needed. It is extremely therapeutic. It is beautiful. I'm so glad I decided to start, and I'm proud I have continued. If you have read any of my poems, cool. If you have hated them, that's okay. If you have been moved by them, I'm glad. Thank you for letting me share regardless. 
Who knows, maybe I'll go beyond one year, but for now... Cheers to five more months! ❤️

Today's poem is inspired by something, well, that is hard to explain. Apparently, Eureka is experiencing sporadic, loud, mysterious booms, and has been for awhile. These sounds have made the news, and today while hiking in the redwoods, we heard one. Here is today's poem... 

Some things are hard to explain 

Some things are hard to explain 
songs of doubt you 
don't dare let out,
with the same lyrics 
as the ones you sing to yourself,
in your head, 
but that are written by 
someone else
auction-announcer voices, 
asparagus pee (you know what I mean), 
and the movie Drop Dead Fred. 

The rate 
at which some animals graze 
  run free. 
Most of the differences between berries are a mystery to me. 
I know the astrological signs of 
former presidents 
and their wives, 
but have yet to put to memory 
my driver's license number. 
I'm pretty sure there's a three. 

Bumper stickers --
I say make love. Period. ✌️
Organic food costs so much more,
death is something we're afraid to explore. 
Sleezy hotels collect rent, and apples 
can be granny or gala, 
green or red. 

Leftovers never taste as good 
unless it's 
cold pizza at 2 a.m. 
Bowling shoes are cool, 
until you think about their use. 
Friendships shouldn't have rules, 
and Home Depot sells too many tools! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Headline Poem 7/22/14 -- Eyes


I prefer to live
with eyes 
wet with tears 
than those 
dry from fear. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Headline Poem 7/21/14 -- Bliss


I've been praying to the rocks 

and sun and salt 

and redwood trees

of the beautiful North Coast since it first took my breath away. 

Today. I rediscovered my love for 

this place. 

I surrendered long ago to the birds and words, whispered to me on the beach near Trinidad where I'd feel my dad. 

I cried in coffee shops over freshly made scones as I 

woke early and then drove 


learn to 

become a teacher to my beloved 

country kids in Fortuna. 

I listened as my colleague-turned-friend mourned the loss of them, 

her parents in Nashville, 

who she'd never see again 

because in June they died 


and she left me in charge 

and I thrived 

and she was proud of me (though today, for some unknown reason, we don't speak). 

Her presence comforted me. Then. 

I let life lead

as it circled and swayed 

and bent and brought 

old friends back 

and made new ones real. 

So it is... today

in the beauty

I embraced my blood, 

thick that runs

red, and

as brilliant as the brightest thread.

I love this place 

which has held 

my hand 

and caressed my heart 

through many endings and new starts. 

So it is... today. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Headline Poem 7/20/14 -- I look

Today's poem is based on this new campaign headline
meant to empower women to stand up for themselves, and change within, the unrealistic beauty standards being set for them. There are several key words and phrases that inspired "I look." 

I look 

I look for her face 
in random
as we approach the city 
where she now resides. 
A move I'm sure meant to hide 
from the past that they created 
and I despise. 
She doesn't 
deserve an encounter with me. 
She'd freeze. Because 
from what I know, 
she's not very good with words. 
they're written on a page or 
in lessons where she 
probably thrives 
when prepared  
and organized. 
But I don't know. 
Meeting me would throw 
her into a rope 
and cause her throat 
to knot like her stomach 
that turns in too many directions, 
abandoning the things 
she's supposed to hold dear. 
I'm not real clear 
except I suspect that her
disrespect is
caused by years of 
being ignored, 
or treated like a whore. 
In actuality, it's not fair of me 
to speculate about 
her reality. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Headline Poem 7/19/14 -- Little Saigon

No headline today, but I saw a great deal as we drove through Little Saigon today. 

Little Saigon 

The guilty gather 
on the steps of the hardened
too tired to continue to defend 
their name. 

Wind-blown and dreary,
particles sweep, 
but do not clear away.

All are welcome,
but there are no 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Headline Poem 7/18/14 -- Poetry

Today's poem is inspired by life and poetry itself. 


poetry is what happens 

it's the packed bags
the night sweats 
the confidence 
the inept

it resides where you 
let it 
and stays 
where it wants

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Headline Poem 7/17/14 -- stargazers

There's a lot going in in the world... particularly violence in Israel and Palestine, so much so that I am unable (tonight at least) to categorize or reflect on it too much. This is an example of a time when I feel completely disconnected and even spoiled. People, children, are dying and I'm drinking Vanilla Lattes. All of this reminds me of the simplicity of stargazing -- where everything is the same size up there regardless of how small things feel down here. 


stargazers seek truth 
   regardless of 
  how small    things    feel 
         down here 
 to breathe in 
in order to
          find it. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Headline Poem 7/16/14 -- Fragile Man

Fragile Man 

Rugged veins and sinew dripping wet with 

In the Solitude of longing for acceptance, despite regret 

Despising rejection,
soul dying 
a shattering ego 
and lingering truth 

     The obvious suit
     in an empty deck 

She's not 
the one 
he'll bring

 the momma who started it all 
 The source of the starving and 
He lets It go,

     from  down   the hall, 
     through honest teeth and cracks, 

 'thank you for believing in me.' 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Headline Poem 7/15/14 -- I dreamt about Reese Witherspoon

This morning while sleeping, after hitting snooze on the alarm, I dreamt about... Reese Witherspoon. Headline inspiration: I loved the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Reese plays Cheryl in the movie that is coming out this fall. I can't wait to see it! 

I dreamt about Reese Witherspoon

We were chatting it up like two 
regular girls
Bonding over sweet tea (she's southern) and chicken wings 
and pearls. 
We talked about our babies, 
and what it means to be blonde, 
But then 
I took my purse out and started to put my lipgloss on. 

Still sweet, still bonded, 
Reese looked at me and said, 
we should talk about colors. 
Okay, I agreed,
although I felt a bit a kid 
whose babysitter wanted to make her over, but then  
she saw my shoes 
and shouted,
Let's go shopping instead! 

That's when I woke up, 

half elated (Reese and I were going shopping because I was cool and made her feel like a regular girl) 
and half pissed,
What the hell does she care 
about my feet and lips!?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Headline Poem 7/14/14 -- 1972

Today's poem is based on a story from CBS Sunday morning about people going from convertible cars to covered cars, and back again -- the top symbolizing lack of wealth, and then high status and the good life, and then a (too) fast paced lifestyle. It inspired today's poem. 


She traded in 
her cherry red 
for a topped off wagon 
that vowed to get her 
to her destinations quicker 
and more efficiently. 
Because she now had 
more places to be 
and more people to please 
and no longer had time  
to cruise 
while enjoying 
sun and breeze. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Headline Poem 7/13/14 -- Running with the bulls, ya marriage is kinda like that

My husband and I got married 13 years ago tomorrow on July 14, 2001 -- Bastille Day, and also the last day of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona. It seems fitting, especially as of late, that we said 'I do' while thousands of adrenaline junkies ran with wild animals (that at any minute could kill them) through the streets of Spain. Cheers to us for making it this far, and cheers to all of you who also try! I think we're fucking incredible! 😉

Running with the bulls, ya marriage is kinda like that 

I said 'I do'
On a day people (by choice)
run along side animals 
who can,
at any minute, 
maim, kill, or eat 
Adventure seeking
Fools, I tell you! 

Marriage is kinda like that. 

to jump in with all of our hearts 
and run 
freaked out and thrilled through streets 
regardless of the weather, 
or safety ratings, 
full speed into each other,
to make 
it out safely 
and alive 
with all of our limbs and 
all of our parts. 

We tease each other. 
We flash and flaunt 
red scarves in one another's faces and say hey! 
Look at me! 
Are you angry? 
Is this working?
Do you feel like chasing and stabbing me, 
and making me bleed?

We know there will be casualties, and wars, but we also know the beauty of the reward 
And we see 
all we really need 
is for 
something so dangerous 
to feel safe, 
for the bull in all of us
to stop running once in awhile 
put our rage 
need to be right,

And stand upright

     face to face with the one 
who makes us more frustrated than anyone 
and say

I'll play this silly
Fucked up game 
because it's one that's always been played. 
In the name of tradition, I will chase and be chased, 
I will run. 


when this madness is done,
and we're alone
And the crowds have gone home,
Let's make amends. 
Let's be friends. 
Let's dance together 
without intentionally
stepping on
each other's 
Let's both win in the end. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Headline Poem 7/12/14 -- In the Netherlands, 1998

Today, the Netherlands beat Brazil for 3rd place in the World Cup. This inspired memories and tonight's short poem. 

In the Netherlands, 1998 

I learned how to order from
Bar that had nothing to offer
    Except laughs and a 
  free picture 

to be taken 
          but never 


Posted? What's that!? 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Headline Poem 7/11/14 -- She's a natural beauty

Today, I read a headline about Loreal. There is an app that will tell you which colors of makeup will look best on you. It reminded me of a moment with my daughter last week.

Natural Beauty 

The other morning while putting on makeup
my daughter came in to talk to me,
as she often does,
about whatever it is 
that is on her curious six year old mind. 

She smiled up at me and asked 
where I thought a certain friend of mine sat to put her makeup on. 

I paused in between mascara applications
and said, 
oh baby she doesn't wear any makeup. 

     She's a natural beauty. 

She looked perplexed. 

Then, why, mommy, do you?  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Headline Poem 7/10/14 -- the planets turn

Read this tonight on the NASA website. Here is today's headline poem. 

the planets turn 

tonight at the grocery store 
a woman asked me
if i 
could really see 

nodded enthusiastically 

i can 
really see 

how do you know,
she wanted to know?

i smiled. 
i know. 

just like you know
the planets turn
even though 
you don't 
feel a thing 

that was the end. 

she shook her head 
walked away

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Headline Poem 7/9/14 -- Let

Today's poem is dedicated to summer salads and genuine guests. 


I want to 
let life linger
like a summer salad 
genuine guests,
     who fill me up 
 leave me
satisfied mess. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Headline Poem 7/8/14 -- Towers and Barbed Wire

Today's poem is inspired by a post about the history of barbed wire. 

Towers and Barbed Wire 

While trying to escape 
From towers and barbed wire,
I said hurtful things 
to you 

Which -- if there'd been a 
mirror to my face 
you'd have known,
was talking to myself. 
     All along. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Headline Poem 7/7/14 -- On the eve of your birth

A little personal reflection tonight on the eve of our second son's birth. 

On the eve of your birth 

July 7, 2004
I tossed, but could not manage a turn. I stayed up 
Hand to my belly, feeling you move, 

In mere hours I'd feel your skin. 

I know we made you a Cancer when you were probably destined to be a Leo. 
You lead like a lion, but retreat like the crab. King of your jungle,
Face of the moon. I longed for you. 

You were perfect when you were born. Though,
You swallowed fluid and couldn't be held by me 
for a day
While I recovered. I pumped my liquid gold 
And made my way to you. 

Gavin Isaac Scott, our little, soaring, 
Precious hawk. I know you 
Fear you are not good enough, 

So everyday, Mark my spot. I stop to say, and I hope to convey 
You matter to me and to us. 

You are 
A miracle, a puzzle, a source. 
I drink you in, though sometimes,
I cannot relate to the taste, and hesitate. 
You are learning. We are learning. 

You, our son, are an incredible being. 
You are loved. You are adored. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Headline Poem 7/6/14 -- Ring Masters

There is a ballot measure regarding the small town of Norco, Ca. Its residents are making efforts to stop future building. I thought of a circus, and wrote this. 

Ring Masters

Ring masters 
Twirl us through 
circus acts
In order to
what we already know. 
In the name of show. 

The big top controls 
the little people, 
   (and the ring master
  who will pay a pretty cent 
To see 
  what they want (us) to see, 
The rest. 

Stop building
Glorified versions
and put the 
animals to bed. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Headline Poem 7/5/14 -- Six kids, four parents, and one epic hike

Six kids, four parents, and one epic hike

we hiked into the wilderness, and got off the beaten path 
to follow smooth rocks, and mosquito beds,
discovering views
and mysteries that 
beckon those willing to go past 
crowded trail heads. 

We plunged through streams and creeks,
enduring a 2,500 feet elevation loss, straight up (and down) cliffs, 
lunched on homemade burritos and fresh salsa all while 
our smiles 
and patience 
in place. 

These are the days I want etched in my mind
until the end of time.

I want my kids to say to theirs... C'mon guys, you're doing great.
I'm going to show you an amazing place...

And when their babies beg, at 9,000 for a snack, or piggy back, 
I hope they laugh, and silently 
send a thank you to their 
Dear mom and pop, 
understanding at that moment
That our mission in life was to make 
theirs fun,
to show them respect for this incredible world, 
and how truly beautiful life is. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Headline Poem 7/4/14 -- An Aspen Meadow at Dawn

An Aspen Meadow at Dawn

An orchestra of birds 
awaken my sleepless mind. 
The pitches blend as though 
they've been practicing 
a long, thoughtful time. 
Melodies of hope as 
the new day begins, even when 
not much is certain, 
They sing 
while fluttering aspen leaves dance
A concert in morning light. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Headline Poem 7/3/14 -- The cycle is complete.

The cycle is complete. 

The sun goes up and five years 
are gone. The vicious cycle has
come undone, finishing 
with an abrupt, traumatic end. 
It is complete. I 
rub my hands, 
washing and rinsing it away. 

We sigh. We drop to our knees. 
Thank God, 
(and everyone else watching over us). 
I don't ask, 'Where the hell have you all been?!' I know it had to happen this way. This not-so-quiet rage
had to rage for us 
to emerge 
  From ashes. 
  From dust. 

From beginning to end, we felt the rip and pull, 
and attempted to bandage each other's wounds -- mostly from slipping on puddles of salt from 
The loss 
Of us. 
and although 
some days had moments of smooth,
they were 
and ruled 
an intensity hard to name. A phantom. A ghost. An intruder who lurked,
With purpose we could not see through 
Our anger and hurt. 
We see it now. This horrible, dominant evil guest was really a welcome visitor. 
And yet... 
We've fed it Enough. The cycle is complete. 
We have no more for it to eat. 

I can't explain it other than to say,
although I curse it dead, I am glad it stayed. But. I'm even more glad 
to say goodbye, and send it. 
On its way. 

I feared for a long time, I'd never return. 
But I have. I did. 
Like wheat and wind and whispers, nothing can stay that low. 

I'm not ready to forgive, 
but I am ready. to forget. 
I am choosing to be happy. 
I am choosing to feel peace. 
I am grateful for this. 

The reward is what guides me. I cannot forget that through this we get the gift 
of better versions of ourselves. 

     For us, 
     for our children, 
     and for theirs. 

Amen. I am blessed. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Headline Poem 7/2/14 -- because they feared

(Photo credit Google Image)
I read this tonight from NPR about a huge new invention that takes down a 30 foot tree in 15 seconds. Fast, efficient, and "built for busy humans," this inspired tonight's poem.

because they feared

in a matter of seconds
a tree
is uprooted.

that what appeared
  to be living
was actually dead,

no one was
acknowledging it

  because they feared

it was theirs

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Headline Poem 7/1/14 -- three wolves of freedom

Today is Canada Day! 

three wolves of freedom

blue borders spread 
to red

to reunite 
empty and unfed

beaten and hollow,
they stood by 
     each other 

stopping, slightly,
to eat,
but never fill up 

moving always,
inspired by   
hungry   eyes

eventually, space 
created peace,
     guided by green jade 
     and wondering,
     restless minds 

by rain,
the (sharp) teeth of 
beautiful beasts 
accepted lips 
slanted upward;
     an accident

to be happy, 
as rain turns
to snow,

it is the simple things 
they know