Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Headline Poem 9/30/14 -- He

He 

He wears an old Silver Wood hat,
and looks out of place in the passenger seat with 
two kids in the back. 
  His skin's tan and cracked,
the sprouting whiskers on his upper lip 
emerging from a one-day shave skip,
two Christmas tree air fresheners
dangle from the mirror, while 
his tissue peeks out of his sleeve. 

  He's driven now
by his oldest son 
who's challenged 
and changed him 
more than anyone. 
  He's suspicious, but 
tired. 
  He's proud, but 
knows the limitations 
    of silver eyes 
and
arms that move at half speed, 
and so 
  He waits 
to fulfill his 
new role in their predictable 
routine. 



Monday, September 29, 2014

Headline Poem 9/29/14 -- She

She 

Smooth white face, 
once decayed,
she creeps in to all
hours of the day. 
Her wide nose,
a ladder, 
to a window 
on the perch 
of a reconstructed soul.
She knows. 
Her eyes 
are sparkling and stark. 
In pictures it is clear 
when 
she was with you, 
even if you weren't 
 there. 
Dark, forced smiles,
have started to disappear -- 
this     is the 
clearest she's 
been in years. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Headline Poem 9/28/14 -- Mindless

Mindless

A vestibule on borrowed land,
a labyrinth of brick and sand, 
stacked and layered, 
sinking, rising, 
and caving in, 
in an attempt 
to grow upright, 
in spite of being stolen 
outright,
a crime committed by moronic, blindfolded fools,
who used 
their brilliant tools 
against them. 

Headline Poem 9/27/14 -- Imperfect me

A birthday poem. Happy birthday to me! 

Imperfect me 

I have a nail on my right hand 
that is dented with 
weird-looking skin. 

My nose is crooked. 

I have two moles on 
my right cheek 
that used to bother me 
so much so 
I'd turn my head for pictures. 

I'm learning to smile 
from both sides. 

I hate being late, but I usually am. 

I get distracted easily 
while cleaning 
or writing 
or dreaming. 
I'll start with a drawer and 
turn to see 
scissors 
lying on the floor, 
reminder of a project 
started 
simultaneously. 
I might finish both, 
but I'm okay 
if I don't. 

I long for freedom and 
adventure, and hold tight 
memories like 
rappelling down 
the Swiss Alps, 
but I'm still the girl who 
stays up all night 
worried 
about edited sentences,
and misspoken words. 

I'm learning to let go. 

But letting go is its own beast. 
What I release today usually 
tries to return the next, 
quiz just after a test, 
unexpected, 
to check 
whether what I know was memorized or really learned. 

I don't love crowds, but 
I'm okay when 
they're where they're 
supposed to be,
like on the streets of 
New York, 
or LA
or Rome, Italy. 

If people are genuine and real, 
I don't mind if 
there are lots of them. 

I'm mellow, but fiery. 
I'm tough, but happy 
when I don't have to be. 
I'm a dichotomy. 

Given the choice, 
I'd choose love
over anonymity, 
but because I'm indecisive, 
just writing that 
kinda scares me. 

I do that a lot though, 
put myself out there. 
I reach. 
I stretch. 
I branch out. 
I might flounder 
before I even out, 
but I'm willing to grow, 
and that makes me proud of me. 







Friday, September 26, 2014

Headline Poem 9/26/14 -- What's Less is More

What's Less is More 

I'll sing to you 
when you're lonely 
and 
I'll take your face 
in the palm of my hands 
when you're blue 
but 
I will never wish for the things 
that someone else has 
as though they are meant 
for me and you. 
This is my enough. 
I will not pretend that love 
is keeping score
because I may have less points
but 
what's less is more. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Headline Poem 9/25/14 -- A Caterpillar's View

Today I read an article about Caterpillar Inc. They are opening a new laboratory at University of Illinois. This inspired today's headline poem. 


A Caterpillar's View

Open petals fall to make 
a house, 
without the glass and without the stones 
because down here amongst the
weeds that grow without being planted
and the shadows that live alongside the sun 
and the moss which slips but does not always slide,
nostrils flared with anger 
all look the same, 
     and we  
just don't see the point in that. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Headline Poem 9/24/14 -- Mr. Balloon Man

Mr. Balloon Man 

Well then, 
what happens after 
you've gathered 'round 
the guests, 
and 
twisted the bulging 
pieces 
to create a blue and purple 
mess 
disguised
as a message
in its own disguise?
Does it bother you that you 
scare the people 
when the colors 
pop
and collide,
and burst with specks of 
spit and residue, 
and fragments,
leaving them splattered with 
broken clown hearts 
and elephant arms? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Headline Poem 9/23/14 -- Our Renaissance

Our Renaissance 

We turned struggle into an art, 
an endless obsession, a quest for broken hearts. 
But we grew weary and started 
to sweat. Our hands ached and we were wet, 
in all the wrong ways,
like watercolored paint with a dried out brush, so desperate for water 
in which to intertwine, 
our arms, dead,
machines functioning
without all of the bolts,
crashing and splashing
over and over
with pulsating volts, 
strokes to nowhere, 
  
the   end   result,
    a picture with    no    gold. 

How can I explain this sacred scene
without explaining the hell 
we've traveled 
to give birth to 
what you see? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Headline Poem 9/22/14 -- still

still

there is still 
too much 
to wrap up
in a 
gift box labeled
cliche, 
   and    give 
away. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Headline Poem 9/21/14 -- The Fall Equinox

The Fall Equinox 

has been 
wrapping 
itself around my 
thick, fragile skin 
for almost
  thirty-eight years,
smiling as I welcome it in,
blanketing me with 
abundance, balancing me 
with 
fresh fruit from the harvest,
and 
encouraging me 
to 
reap what I sow. 
It is because of Fall 
that I know 
the beauty of devastation 
and pain 
and magic and goodness, 
and what September rain 
feels like 
as it trickles and plummets 
and gorges and sweeps,
nestling itself right where 
it's supposed to be,
in between the yellow heat 
of Summer, and the 
white Winter snow. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Headline Poem 9/20/14 -- Obsession

Obsession

I've Googled you at least 
    a hundred times, 
giving you the energy      
     I'd rather save as mine, 
each time,      I'm   left    unsatisfied, 
     searching for 
the something I might have missed, 
     digging for the pieces
to help make sense of 
      this shit,
but all I've found 
     through 
all of my looking 
     is that 
your eyes are still green,
     and your hair is still brown. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Headline Poem 9/19/14 -- Freedom

Freedom 

This whole time 
I thought I 
was releasing you,
but really 
I was 
releasing me. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Headljne Poem 9/18/14 -- Relief

Relief 

Watching the dog 
bring the stick 
back 
over and over each day 
although you're really 
too tired to play, 
and then realizing 
he's just 
doing the same 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Headline Poem 9/17/14 -- When

When 

When night falls and 
the leprechauns sing, 
I hum along. 

Bravely, I battle 
the distractions 
of him, a former lover who 
stopped biting back,
lonely with leaves 
that fall 
under a tree swept clean 
from the wind, 
(never a chance to gather and sit for fear  
of being noticed and split). 

     When he teetered high 
on a beam in 
a place that once dictated 
my every dream, 
I whispered to him
through 
blades of green grass, 
      I felt the heaviness of your sins, 
     and now I'm unmoved because 
     of them. 
 
Healing and lighter,
I welcome the scars 
of heroes 
and helpers and saints
     because  
for the first time, 
I believe in     such     things. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Headline Poem 9/16/14 -- There

There 

I was 
pouring my heart out 
to her, 
and although she 
had no intention 
of sharing, 
she couldn't lie. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Headline Poem 9/15/14 -- Regret

Regret 

On my last flight, 
the man sitting to
my left
drank a Bloody Mary
with such fierceness 
I almost didn't notice his 
oniony smell
until he lifted his arm 
and revealed it to 
me. 
The man on my right
held his phone with 
practiced precision,
his thumbs,
twisted like organic carrots, 
growing the way they were
intended to
without interruption,
clinging to the sides while 
his raspy voice
spoke into it 
to text a woman 
named Holly,
     "Should I come straight home, 
      or 
      can I 
      stop by the office first, 
      question mark" Send. 
I thought long and hard about 
that 
"can," and let it swirl 
around inside 
awhile before I imagined Holly at home
with a baby on her hip, 
and a cat they'd named Majestic 
rubbing on her leg,
hopeful for attention, 
contemplating how many times she'd 
granted 
the "can"
   and    wished    she    hadn't. 



Sunday, September 14, 2014

Headline Poem 9/14/14 -- The Gathering Place

My mom and her boyfriend, and their families have been eating and laughing and crying at a famous Jewish deli in Culver City, Ca. for at least 50 years. Well, today was the last day of operation. The owner is tired, and must rest, so The Roll n' Rye, popularly referred to as 'The Roll' will soon be Panera, and a cultural icon will be preserved in memory from now on. This inspired "The Gathering Place."  

The Gathering Place

I'm too tired 
to be mad 
at mud that slides
down 
    cliffs,
and gathers in 
puddles 
at the edge of my 
doorstep. 


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Headline Poem 9/13/14 -- Its own song

Inspired by Brandi Carlile and The Avett Brothers who were in concert tonight in Berkekey, here is today's poem.  

Its own song

For those who play 
along 
to the 
wicked and the awesome 
of what is an original 
song, 
the reward is not 
in the cup 
or the sup, 
or the ambition or recognition. 
It's in the set and regret, 
acknowledgement of disconnection 
and reconciliation,
and requested forgiveness 
(we're doing just fine,
but it's too early yet). 

Its in its own song 
that brings us to our feet 
and then turns around 
and saves 
us while we're down 
on bended knee,
crying or confessing, 
or leaving things alone. 

How can so many words 
  not be repeated 
  in all songs that 
  strangers write? 

I raise my glass to those 
who
know how
  to do it right,
by cheering and 
toasting 
the lyrics that swerve 
inside 
our brains with lines 
that linger and rhythm 
that stays. 

Say I won't forget you 
and I know you're telling me 
the truth, 
I'm going to collect your attitude 
and blues,
because your words 
hug pretty girls from Texas and Detroit 
and introduce them to 
the Carolinas 
and the California coast, 
   and whisper,
we know you bleed and hurt 
and smoke,
but we love you just the same. 
     
In spite of everything, 
     the trees still know your name. 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Headline Poem 9/12/14 -- Berkeley

Berkeley

like you 
for what you 
reveal 
and 
for what you 
conceal. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Headline Poem 9/11/14 -- On that day

Like many of you, I am haunted by the tragic images of September 11, 2001. I've always been particularly haunted by the images of men and women jumping from buildings on that day. I can't imagine the sheer terror that must have been going through their minds as they fell, perhaps hopeful a miracle would happen and they'd live, or perhaps succumbed to the idea that they'd die. This poem hurts to write. I never want to feel what must have been felt. 
I send a prayer to all those who lost their lives, who helped, and who survived on that day. I pay tribute the way I know how. Peace. 💛❤️

On that morning 

I didn't wake up 
this morning 
planning to jump 
from a building. 

I have so much to live for, 
and now
I'm falling. 
In a matter of seconds,

I could be dead. 

I could land on something 
soft, but I'm too high up. 
This is awful. 
Please
  make it quick.  
Please 
  let this not hurt. 

Please 
tell my babies 
I love them with every piece
of my soul, and that I will 
visit them in their dreams 
for the rest of their lives. 
Let my husband and my friends
and my mom and dad also 
know.  
I've had a good life. 
I'm scared. 

What the fuck 
is going on? 

Dear God, 
Please be with me 
when I 
land. 
I love roses and giraffes and spaghetti. 
The end. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Headline Poem 9/10/14 -- It's our hope

Tonight's poem is a song, based on a combination of headlines -- beheadings, missing people, and survivors reaching out to other survivors in many realms. 💛

It's our hope  

There are times 
when 
I feel myself emerging,
darkness and light singing 
all at once. 
Inside, 
we filter what we challenge, 
we muster 
courage from our 
balance, and 
we abide. 
It's not easy. 
It's not smooth. 
It feels rough 
around the edges,
and in between the queues. 
But it's a life line,
when we feel it. 
When it happens,
it's called hope,
and it matters,
and it listens, 
and it snuggles 
while we mope. 
It's our life line, 
when we feel it. 
When it happens, 
it's our hope. 
It's our hope. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Headline Poem 9/9/14 -- Harvest Moon

Today's poem is inspired by last night's full harvest moon. 

Harvest Moon 

Colors brilliant 
that shine
like watercolors 
in the valley 
of lilies and cypress
and everything 
  in 
  between. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Headline Poem 9/8/14 -- It's hard to understand

We're having stormy, humid, rainy weather this week in So Cal. Here is today's headline poem. 

It's hard to understand 

It's hard to understand 
that 
I need you 
for comfort though 
you're the reason 
I hurt 
and gaze
in disbelief
 at how my life 
for the last five years 
chained and drenched 
me as I attempted 
to 
juggle (with one arm) while poison and cobwebs dripped and spun 
         right under my growing nose. 
If I weren't me, perhaps 
I'd laugh, 
though this is no joke. 
These are 
veins and hearts, 
not empty 
record sleeves and cassette tape dreams. 
This is a real,
tangible thing. 
On display today, and 
everyday,
a second hand find 
I didn't realize 
I needed 
until it unraveled itself
     in my line
like 
a blue velvet picture of smiling 
women 
and their perfect breasts, 
    wrapped in 
 feathers  and    pebbles, 
all wet 
from 
the rain 
that's taken them 
apart 
and brought them 
back together
     again. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Headline Poem 9/7/14 -- September 7, 2014 9:42 a.m.

Laguna Beach, Ca. 

September 7, 2014 9:42 a.m.


I am interested in being love,
free from agendas 
and rigid time slots
(that are printed in faded ink, 
but not heart).

I am interested in being love,
the butterfly, 
determined to 
transform 
and fulfill 
its destiny. 

I am interested in being love,
the fierce lion,
the magic crow, 
swift spirit animals that 
come and go
on walks, and in dreams, 
returning persistently
until I notice and see.  

I am interested in being love,
breakfast smells 
and morning banjos, 
silhouettes of books 
with enticing covers,
wild weeds 
that bloom in
early September. 

I am interested in being love,
songs I write, 
sometimes tangled 
by the words I sing
because they don't matter 
at first, until 
I listen again and realize 
they are me. 

I am interested in being love, 
when 
I stand on this wooden 
bench, arms stretched out,
with a view of
pretty and ugly
up high mixed with
deep down 
low. 

I am interested in being love,
that meets 
in the middle, 
where sand becomes water, 
running toward clarity,
together,
map optional 
because the treasure 
is the route, 
that we make ourselves. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Headline Poem 9/6/14 -- I've lived before you

I've lived before you 

I've lived before you. 
It wasn't fun, 
but I didn't quit. 
You helped me see 
beyond me. 
Damn that ain't easy. 
I'm turned all around 
and flipped head to crown,
but I like it. 
Even when I say I don't. 
Because I lied on the first line. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Headline Poem 9/5/14 -- If you've ever loved a man

If you've ever loved a man

you know that 
they are 
fragile and 
soft but taught 
(usually) to be 
rough 
like a couch 
decorated 
with antlers. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Headline Poem 9/4/14 -- Tomorrow

Joan Rivers passed away. Her life and death are a reminder to all of us to live each day completely. 

Tomorrow 

Tomorrow is 
the fruit
we assume 
will ripen 
and fall 
from the tree 
naturally. 
But,
just in case, 
I recommend 
enjoying it
a little
early. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Headline Poem 9/3/14 -- A handsome boy from Oklahoma

I read a story about a man who drowned in an Oklahoma lake. He was in shallow water, it got deep quickly, and he couldn't swim. This reminded me of someone... 

A handsome boy from Oklahoma

They met in words, 
and for two months spoke only
in Hemingway 
quotes. 

He was kind. 
He 
knew the gospel, though 
he didn't believe it. 

In Scotland,
they cooked breakfast before the sun 
     came up
and walked along the isle 
where generations 
of ghosts followed them
and sang chants in 
broken notes

 She
left him there,
four hours above Glasgow, 
hundreds from home, 
with no goodbye or hello
because although 
she
fell for him, it wasn't love. 

They were young, and 
idealistic enough to know 
they could create it, 
but too restless to make it so. 

He sent her fruit baskets 
for two Christmases 
with postcards 
written in pencil 
that smelled like caramel, 
but 
   then was gone, 
and she, 
like weathered stones,
in a shallow lake,
remains
permanently shaped 
by him. 



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Headline Poem 9/2/14 -- as a girl

as a girl

as a girl 
she 
picked daisies
happily lost 
in magical
landscapes of 
green 
streaked 
with birds 
and 
their worms
     but 
when she 
became a 
woman 
she moved to 
the city 
sprinkled with
skyscrapers and 
mocha dreams
    and
traded in 
her horse for 
an old 
model Porsche 
that
sped her away
     leaving behind 
more than 
dusty corridors 
and 
hay 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Headline Poem 9/1/14 -- September

(Photo credit Google Image)
I love September! 

September 

September moons 
climb 
into the tallest of trees 
to dream.