Sunday, August 31, 2014

Headline Poem 8/31/14 -- In my twenties

This weekend the movie Wild premiers in Telluride, Colorado. I can hardly wait to see it, and since the movie is about Cheryl Strayed in her twenties, it inspired today's poem. 

In my twenties

I held your face in between 
my steady hands, 
calloused from distractions 
of my work, 
but otherwise smooth. 

I needed you,
but didn't think you 
needed to know. 
So I didn't tell you 
    until that day in the rain 
when you 
blew smoke in my face 
and 
told me you loved me, 
but had to leave. 

You wondered out loud if 
that was the biggest mistake 
you'd ever make. 
Then
 we took a walk 
and made    love down by 
the sycamore tree 
where crickets mocked 
us 
and bats quietly flew East. 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Headline Poem 8/30/14 -- Compassion

Compassion

Compassion 
is the morning song 
that sends intimidation 
packing. 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Headline Poem 8/29/14-- Burden

Burden 

I'd rather be heavy 
from 
carrying the weight
than thin from fasting 
on 
disillusionment

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Headline Poem 8/28/14 -- I'm

I'm 

I'm a bird perched on a swing, 
a ladybug wandering 
while he waits 
for his wings.  
On a raft I float, on the moon, I gloat. 
I'm on fire. 
I'm a dog nestled on a brand new bed, 
heading to sleep after being well fed. 
I'm a lion who sunbathes in the plains and free spaces. 
I bend with the wind, which blows with unannounced faces. 
I'm flexible. I'm confident. I'm evening out, like a
picnic blanket fresh from the line, 
ready for the basket and a nice glass of wine. 
I'm a grand piano happy to play. 
I'm colorful in spite of the black and the white 
world in which some solely see. 
I sneak 
into living rooms and bring 
my friends with me. 
We make music and paint pictures 
and hang them on walls 
that wrap their arms around us all. 
I'm here with my whole heart, 
with my babies and thee. 
I love living this life meant 
just 
for 
me. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Headline Poem 8/27/14 -- A Wednesday Hymn

A Wednesday Hymn 

I surrender 
to the storm 
I've 
tried 
escaping, 
because I realize 
it's the same one 
I've 
been 
chasing. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Headline Poem 8/26/14 -- A tribute to Rumi

(Rumi, photo credit Google Image)

Seems everywhere I turn, Rumi is being quoted. He's timeless, a libra, and one of my favorites. Tonight, a tribute to him. 

A tribute to Rumi 

I am the grape waiting to be wine,
red content to be red,
green happily plucked from the vine. 

I am sour. I am sweet. 
I am 
small, dry, wet, full of seeds, 
intoxicating at best, abundant at worst. 

I need serene. 
I need romance. 
I need a handful of dreams,
to be seen and
heard, 
respected for my mind, 
my ideas 
that swirl around the cup that's filled
with revelations that twirl
where colors collide and then 
burst 
on the inside. 

I want a description written about me 
and my different moods and 
different seasons, 
offering up my information using 
echoing language 
that pulls them in with words that linger and swim,
how my ingredients 
make perfect 
additions and sweet combinations
for lunches and dinners, 
and spontaneous late night desserts 
unplanned, 
but that last all night
    until the moon is dizzy and ready for  
        slumber. 

I'd like an alter to rest 
upon, my offering of love 
never undone. Wrapped like a gift,
in never-ending paper made from sacrificial trees. 
I want to drink of myself 
and be pleased 
with the taste,
ripe in all the right places. 

I want to follow leaves and winter coal. 
I want to heat the emptiness in a stove 
of fire and light. 
I want to watch the bread rise inside 
and welcome the knife that cuts its flesh 
for serving, on a platter covered in herbs and vegetable soup, 
soft and filling, 

a perfect fit for fish
or apples, or 
honey stew. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Headline Poem 8/25/14 -- in the morning

in the morning 

Last night they were mad,
but they've had 
Denver omelettes now,
and feel better.
Some say the drink 
numbs the heart. 
Others say it's the devil 
in disguise. 
They find it tags along 
like a seagull
 on a line.
It'll shit but it'll be fine
as long as they 
can tame the flight,
and keep their hope afloat
  in the morning. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Headline Poem 8/24/14 -- My promise

My promise

My promise 
is to see you through eyes 
that are different than anyone else's. 

I'm sorry I abandoned you when we moved
 away and you were alone with our babies. 

 I 
   panicked and left to take 
care of our mess. 
I was trying to be the man 
and support you,
but leaving you made you leave me 
and hate me and fear me, 
and that's not what I intended. 

I'm sorry I hurt you. 
came home so many times 
to a nothing-really-left-of you 
self, but that unpredictability is gone
now. 
I feel 
safe(r) like you do. 

I f'd up and lost my way 
for so damn long, 
but the years have softened me,
finally.      

You're my beautiful girl 
and I want to be a 
good man every day 
and night 
who lives, not to fight 
or retreat or eat, 
but to smile,
say I love you, and
mean it. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Headline Poem 8/23/14 -- the summer she started to count her steps

the summer she started to count her steps

there was the 
summer 
she started 
to count her steps. 
Six
for the right foot meant six 
for the left. 
It might have been winter or fall, 
or hell 
even spring,
  with dusty shelves and 
settling things. 

The 
babysitter looked perplexed, and asked,
"Why are you counting your steps?"
   (Because if she didn't then nobody         would, 
     and that mattered to her)

That was 
the beginning
 of the rituals that shifted
between fading and 
alternating, 
the same order with 
soap and shampoo. 
Then 
 the shoes,  
and socks when it was cold. 
Right foot first. 
She's wasn't sure 
what would happen if the 
left
 cut in line, 
But she was too afraid to try. 

Up against the table corner 
her arm would brush,
and then, 
the opposite side must get 
the rush
by way of the fridge 
or the doorway, or even a towel. 
Both sides must even out. 

I'm surprised she could walk 
anywhere 
with 
all of the cracks that still
hadn't broken her mother's back,
like they 
threatened in songs. 
But
It was 
early, and though her trust 
thrived
most days, she
wasn't ready 
to see what was 
in store 
   for her 
just yet. 
 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Headline Poem 8/22/14 --telephone nights

telephone nights 

remember telephone nights,
spending hours at a time 
on the line
and then hanging up 
and having no other 
contact or
interaction 
or conversation or 
up to date posts 
until 
the next time? 
I miss that,
sometimes. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Headline Poem 8/21/14 -- Love

I read a post tonight that included some correspondence between Tolstoy and Ghandi on love and why we hurt each other. This inspired "Love."

Love

Love
hurts and sucks the life 
right out of us. 
And then puts it back, 
detached and attached, 
leaving us 
     needy, vulnerable, 
     feeling whole and feeling half. 
 
I'm not sure why we hurt 
each other      except that
we want a 
partner in our crime(s) 
and 
for his heart and her heart 
to feel like mine,
hurt and broken and afraid, 
 but able to be remade
like a bed or a shed or a piece of forgotten bread, 
hidden but ready to be warmed 
and fed. 

Real love begins 
when 
new promises are made, 
from places of wisdom and 
weaknesses and strengths. 

Like things that break, 
we are much more careful 
once we've seen 
the pieces and cracks
and lines 
of sharp, broken glass. 
It helps if you are 
the one who applies the glue too. 

Those who lose and hurt 
can feel pain 
and regain 
but
the love that is great 
is just the start. 
Forgiveness reigns 

     and must  be   where 
we begin. 

can't speak for you, 
but for me,
 
I swear 
that is the gift that 
continues to give. 




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Headline Poem 8/20/14 -- the in between

I was trying to decide between the (becoming by the minute) controversial #icebucketchallenge and the crazy ass weather we are having with rain and thunder and lightening today for my headline poem. So, I combined the two and wrote about 'the in between.' Plus I have Common Core on the brain, and so to end with a question, asking your view about this challenge, seems right. 

the in between

sometimes when there's a decision 
to be made
it's okay to escape 
(temporarily) 
to the in between 
of ghosts and goblins and
daydreams...
 just ask me
I'm a libra, and
  know 
a bit about
such things

the in between 
is no place for the faint 
or weak
   (of heart
   or body 
   or mind)

sometimes you feel like you've 
dumped 
a bucket of water on 
your head,
which doesn't make you a 
good person or 
bad, but simply wet instead

soaked

from head 
to toe

playing along 
with good intentions
        which are being questioned (again)

by those who have time 
to dig and rewind, 

but who may be worthy,
and god forbid, 
right

the water means 
you are willing 
to do
something you 
believe in
(and hopefully will follow 
through
before the ice melts)

some say they
are     wasting water, 
while it rains 
for the first time 

in months 

what say you? 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Headline Poem 8/19/14 -- tie dye sky


tie dye sky 

swirls of cotton and candy, 
pink and blue,
 ancient lullabies combine 
with a few 
hours-before-midnight 
tie dye sky

birds of protection 
    and of prey
fly by 
with effortless effort,
stretched and smooth
 reminding me 
of you 

I will wait 
by the lopsided phone booth
covered in graffiti and 
you'll see how far I've come, 
our souls mirrored 
in the 
glass 
of bubbles and
youth

a feather floats by on 7th street,
      while the phone rings

intentions become clear,
and a new journey 
begins

hello?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Headline Poem 8/18/14 -- her motto

her motto 

if
when you look 
at  me
you judge what 
 you  see
 f thee. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Headline Poem 8/17/14 -- garden frog on day three

garden frog on day three 

he digs and sleeps
and barks, restlessly, 
loudest, oddly,
on day three 

humbly, 
he jumps over tomatoes
and grape seeds, 
not yet for picking, 
but one day... 

he scales the strawberry patch,
is his favorite place, 
so much so that I won't 
pick the darn things,
in case 
he decides to surprise
 me

in the pond, he swims 
and jumps, gliding through 
warm 
green 
water, 
kibitzing with friends

he's avoided the falcon,
 the hawk,
the raccoon family,
and our dogs 
     who hear him,
     like us, 
     at two a.m.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Headline Poem 8/16/14 -- A life of color

We saw the movie The Giver today, and then had amazing friends over for dinner, so naturally, I'm seeing and feeling things in color. Today's poem is inspired by the movie -- pretty much a headline. 

A life of color 

It's a question 
we've been contemplating 
since the beginning of time. 

     Do we live a safe, 
controlled life, 
    free  of pain (and love), or 
do we drip wet 
with passion and tension 
and  fear 
and  risk it all in case 
there is a place 
worthy of being naked 
and colorful and free? 

Do we live a life 
in the ignorant cave of 
black and white 
without hate and jealousy 
and pride and    
shame, 
all existing exactly the same? 

No! That is worse. That is destruction. 
Instead 
we go 
    past the boundary
walls toward memories 
    of murder and snow, 
cold and ugly, 
awful and impossible to explain. 

Today or then or tomorrow or next week. 

We chose a life that 
drenches us and lassos us 
and leaves us 
cut 
open and exposed, 
bleeding violet and lime 
and indigo, 
     
but also hiding in a waterfall 
with a lover's face pressed to our nose. 
Kissing. Feeling. Taking in it all. 

No color may feel like enough, 
And
until you've smelled 
the rainbow 
and eaten the red fruit of despair, 
you can't relate, or hesitate, or communicate, or deliberate, or 
make any sort of love 

at all. Ever. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Headline Poem 8/15/14 -- so you see

There are so many headlines. I cannot write about just one. So instead... so you see. 


so you see

most of the things 
we take for granted
are the things
we 
have 
but believe 
we can't

so you see...

it's unreal for most of us 
to 
find what we 
love and 
love what we find 

simply because... 

we believe the can'ts 
more than the haves 


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Headline Poem 8/14/14 -- Mid August

Mid August 

I'm not sure I have much to say today. 
I feel like my weathered arm chair,
worn in and used, 
but not in a bad way. 

My chair is a place where I rarely sit. 
If I'm still, I'm usually asleep, and that's it. 

My dogs take turns warming up this space, and it's obvious by the 
cracks, 
and tears,
and edges, it's completely 
in need
of being restored. 

But. I'm not gonna. 
I'm keepin things
how they are for now 
because 
I'm tired, 
and like my chair, 
I've never been more 
comfortable 
than I am 
today. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Headline Poem 8/13/14 -- Photography

There's a lot going in in the world. Fighting, hunger, war, abandonment, struggle, passion, love, loss, gain. Photography attempts to capture and alter it all. Today's poem is dedicated to some of these photographic images. 

Photography 

Capturing reality to 
show
the world 
exactly
what we want it 
to see. 

Or, exactly what it wants to see. 

Or, exactly what we want it to be. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Headline Poem 8/12/14 -- To have


Lauren Bacall (Photo credit Google Image) 

For Lauren Bacall. 

To have

To have 
a look that can
seduce a man
and 
millions before even
saying a word, 
and then speak like
  a forest fire,
beautiful and deep,
is to take all
the 
feet and sweep 
them 
off 
on an electric boat
sailing for a destination
beyond great. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Headline Poem 8/11/14 -- her Captain surrenders

In honor of Robin Williams. May he now be free of pain. 

her Captain surrenders

the 
unpredictability grows
like a vine, 
allusive, small, chemical, 
toxic, fast. 
He prays 
it will pass. But when he gets what he wants, it just comes back. 

The shrieking 
noise that suffocates and tricks 
is inescapable. It's all he knows to feel the panic of the unknown. 
     To know is to suffer 
from an undesired fate. 
He waits. He paints his face red and hot. He has them laughing 
on the spot. 

The lights fade and what remains is 
jumbled, groggy, unsafe. 
He must create a messier space. Blue elbows and bow ties and wrought iron. He peeks through, but has forgotten why. 

He cries. Loved there but not inside. 

There one minute, falling 
off a cliff the next. His heart breaks. 

She cannot share. 
The captain is no longer strong. He will die. She fears it. He is starting to fear it too. His head's on the block, ready to be chopped. He fights, but 
his hands are tied. 
The only thing left to
do 
is give in to 
the pulsating chaos that exists 
on the underbelly of distress, hitching a ride to a paradise of stones. Hard and jagged, he's too tired to roam. 

So he moans in agony, spikes cutting through his skin. He's bleeding, but scared to let them in. 

He begins
    to lose 
control. He knows. It's happened before behind the smoke stacks of his youth, empty cupboards, broken pottery, and no where to turn. 

I'm 
addicted to you, fear. He yells. 
go to you in the morning 
though you are bad for my head.  
fight you off the rest of the day 
     and then it breaks 
and 
can't escape 
to any place but inside 
the bottom of your cellar door. 

Your rustic, rotten cellar door -- 
  that  frightens and comforts me
(Momentarily. My head isn't straight)
yet 
cannot recreate. It's a smell 
I
don't dare try to explain. 
did that once and won't ever again. 
Like dust. 
I'll 
fight you. 
Until 
can no longer muster the strength. 
My heart's abandoned now and can't be replaced. That's the last part of me. 
was hoping it wouldn't go. 

August snow. She watches as
     her Captain
     surrenders.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Headline Poem 8/10/14 -- Words

Words 

Words escape me,
because 
the super moon 
has swallowed 
them 
whole. 

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Headline Poem 8/9/14 -- The kiss

Tonight, I read about the science of kissing and why we kiss. Interesting stuff. Here's today's poem.  

The kiss

It's better to be labeled 
unpredictable 
than unable to change, 
referred to 
as passionate 
than a crazy other name. 

Things appear as small in mirrors 
(and other places)
as you want them 
to appear. 
Ask and you will see
 what answer is 
revealed (as truth) to you and 
me. 

Should you kiss in order to believe?

Your slime and moisture 
will mix 
in a 
science of ancient beauty 
wrapped up in stars, 
an Egyptian Milky Way of crevasses and 
arms. 

You longed for water and 
depths to 
scale, measuring, 
completely unaware. 
Be aware 
of the feeling 
it creates 
to 
climb the side walls. 
Because once you 
breathe it in 
wholeheartedly, it will stare at you, 
and make you stare back. 



Friday, August 8, 2014

Headline Poem 8/8/14 -- Zip Code

Zip Code

The present moment 
is the hardest zip code 
to own. 
But if you choose 
to live
there, you will have 
the most 
spectacular views. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Headline Poem 8/7/14 -- Tongue Tied

Eminem is in concert tonight. I'm not seeing him, but still... 

Tongue Tied

My mouth's hot 
and the music's loud. 
Words float around my forehead and eyelids and crown,
But every single syllabus is drenched, heavy and wet,
from the weight of thinking 
too damn much. By the time,
the echo's about to turn to noise,
and the wave of rhythm searches for poise 
and sense to make 
and madness to smell and 
Grace to partake
and love to expell,
and i finally plan to 
let the lyrics 
roll, I stop in my tracks, 
Xing sign down,
steel on fire on wood on ice. 
I'm tongue tied 
by my own disguise. 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Headline Poem 8/6/14 -- A Perfect Woman

Lucille Ball (Photo credit Google Image)

Today's poem is dedicated to Lucille Ball, in honor of her birthday. She was funny, successful, real, and paved the way for many funny and intelligent women. Hollywood wants us to believe there is such a thing as a perfect woman, but there isn't. This inspired me to title this poem and then simply leave it blank as a reminder. 


A Perfect Woman


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Headline Poem 8/5/14 -- Supercuts

I walked over a Supercuts coupon tonight. Not a headline, but kind of news. It inspired today's poem.  :) 

Supercuts 

there's a Supercuts
on the corner of culver and vine
where the same man sits outside
the window 
looking in. 
every night. 
he has dirty nails and 
no hair. 
he wears a shirt that says,
'no escape paves the way,' 
and claims his birthday 
happens every month 
because he's just that lucky. 


Monday, August 4, 2014

Headline Poem 8/4/14 -- my first fear

my first fear

we were vulnerable that summer after my mom's surgery and before she married no name. 

houses of yellow too close to freeway walls were targets 
of the walk-in killer 
(that's what he was called 
by the brunette news lady 
and her side kick who looked like jackie chan).

i hid under my bed, my brother safely tucked under one arm, 
my mom holding one crutch, 
me half sleeping with the other 
under my second arm. 

i was not about to fall asleep while that man wandered 
and roamed 
hurting ladies and cutting them up,
so i stayed awake 
until they both fell asleep, 
and then when i couldn't fight it any longer, i controlled my dreams,
telling myself what to 
think about
before 
letting them in to twist my insides
and scatter my nerves. 

i wonder if that's what's happening now,
this fear 
of the rattle and 
the breaking of dawn.  

my house was the color of wood, 
a few steps in the front where 
my first dog was buried and our 
cat who was hit by a car, 
our only protection from the 
threatening war. 

after he was caught, he still haunted
my steps. 
i tried to forget 
and then
we moved away 
and i was able to remember other things
and play, 

until another bad guy
took his pace. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Headline Poem 8/3/14 -- because


because 

love you 
because 
when i walk along 
a steep cliff after a
cup of wine,
you hold my hand
and laugh 
only when 
i'm safely home. 


Headline Poem 8/2/14 -- Between Clouds

Between Clouds

Orange syrup and blueberry sky,
colors collide between 
clouds
into patterns that burst 
and repeat until
they descend
down. 
I smile a long smile, 
we are safely home 
with our arms 
wrapped around our 
turquoise, 
citrine, carnelian, 
and moonstone. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Headline Poem 8/1/14 -- Rain

Rain 

I did not pray for rain. 
I prayed that if it came my way I would smile rather than stray. 
I'll dance. 
I'll not leave. 
I'll not retreat 
to   a   place 
that appears dryer and quieter and has more heat. 

I'll stay. 
I'll wait. 

Subtle at first, like an onlooker pretending not to stare,
I felt it. I smiled in its face 
because although I wasn't
looking,
I began.  I embraced. 

Refreshing, yet a bit more uncomfortable than I'm 
comfortable with, I spoke
to the drops. 
  You think I need you? 
  You think you're what I want? 

Yes,
     was the response. 
A strong and incredible yes. 
You're what I want. 
You're what I need. 
More rain fell. 

And then...
I took your hand while it poured,
and
we made out in
the car, our
windows steaming 
from wisdom 
and 
dripping wet with 
experienced breath.