Monday, August 8, 2011

The gods are inconsolable.

(excerpt from a work in progress)

I'm watching this new Trickster god
and he says, "Look over here!", but I don't
as he pulls a paper flower of politic
out of his ass
and even Loki and Anansi
shudder to see
what the other hand is up to.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Can you find the poem within this poem?

One at a time, please
One at a time
I'm a one on one kinda
or maybe two or three
but put me in a room full and
what a mess I feel
Too many
faces voices conversations
emotions intentions states of being
too much information to
in anything that looks like sense
And I may make for a corner
to scope out the scene
try to make invisible and observe
stand back and see more clearly
in a place of some sort of
and somewhere that feels
safe and out of the way
and not in the middle
and not having to think
of something
say when you don't
have any idea what people
are talking about
and you really want to
sit down and
figure it all out with

Thursday, July 14, 2011



my sisters are a battlefield
broken war-torn territories
ravaged by misunderstanding
raped with neglect
shot in the back by subservience
and our tender off-shoots
our sweet rows of makings
we do our best to tend with open loving hearts
knowing still that we bring them into a world
that makes war against itself
makes war within ourselves
makes war out of and into everything crawling upon it
so that what we do our best to grow
has still to contend with blood-soaked soil
with the bones of some like them
with skeletons others think we don't see
and we,my sisters and me, we're battlefields
walking around in shells that a less and less covert war
is being waged against
walking around in shells that are somehow not right
somehow not powerful
or not given trust
when what's true, more true than any of this,
is that what lay within us,
we, the sisters of the earth,
is the only living solution to all this death
our freedom is the freedom of all
it's the freedom of women
and it's the freedom of children
and of animals
and even of men
because as it may seem the white men are ruling this world
what's really come to pass is that their world
is ruling us all
and though we lay beneath their feet
there is yet a heavy weight on them
having used such strength to hold back our Amazons
they now falter
they now fail
again and again they fail us
with their “ideas” and “plans” and “proposals”
because not one single time in any proposal put forth
can you find the word love
or the idea of freedom for all
the idea of borderlessness
the idea of differentlessness
they simply can not see
the whole within the one
they need us to show that to them
but they've long since stopped listening to our talk
if we want them to listen
we have to talk man talk
and man talk has no translation for
the good of all
it has no understanding of
the end of all wars for good
it doesn't include the concepts of
living sustainably, communally
because this is what we all need
we need our sisters to help hold us up
it gets tired, walking as a battlefield

Sunday, July 10, 2011



We seem to be busy with the business of
throwing all our cards on the table
face up, of course
mostly hearts, a few clubs, a couple diamonds
and they're all spades because
we call things what they are
and there are a lot of them
enough to build a house I think
or I think
we could build a city an Empire!
complete with sewers and skyscrapers
with Japanese bridges and Georgian hotels
with stop signs and churches with parking lots
with laser light shows and skies full of stars
with seasons that swing one to the next
into years of how have you been

But I've seen these cards before
and the cities they can create
I've seen them balanced-ish
piled up lavish and extravagant
I've seen them
make into fantastical, impossible shapes of wonder and magic and awe
so many empires forged
by the hands we've played
and, like any game, these cities have ended
towers felled and bridges torn (though never burned)
temples tumbled and roads akimbo
trees uprooted and clouds collapsed
not carefully put away but
turned to simply cards now
splayed on a dusty table, sticky with
after party and two empty bottles of Boone's Farm
in the back corner of a room
that no one ever goes in to anymore

Or, at least it seems that way
I think sometimes I
dream there
little snippets of places
I'm sure we made before
and it falls out into my journal
from time to time
till I start to wonder if there aren't little trolls
building bridges back and forth from
your deck to mine

Or, maybe it's just that someone left the door open
because we seem to have found our way back to that game again
now standing, a bit awkward by the table,
as we always are at first
and when it's been so long
'do you remember how to play?
or which deck is whose?
or how we made that one cool thing, you remember...

and the city starts to build itself again
empirical regeneration takes place
ripples the table into asphalt undulation
almost without our attention a new
but familiar cityscape is constructed
and we, duly deposited in the middle

So we find ourselves here,
in this new place
made of old spaces
and it must be time to talk strategy
but I look over at you and I'm wondering
how to strategize my way out of the game
I no longer wish to rule an empire of play
and I notice you haven't picked up your deck yet either
and we're a little nervous standing
in this city we're supposed to be building
a city of this-is-what-this-looks-like
and I decide to walk away from the table

You ask me where I'm going and I tell you
I'm looking for the last bridge out
of this city
back into the world
and I walk away without asking
whether or not you're coming with me.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Relay for Life 2011

Last year I watched the Relay for Life from my backyard and was inspired to write a poem that I shared here.  The event is happening as I write this and earlier I decided to walk over to the park with my daughter and hand out a few copies of the poem, I suppose in gratitude for all they do.  I looked around for the main tent for the event and was being shown who to speak with when a woman walked up and asked, "You're the poet, you wrote that?".  At first I wasn't sure we were talking about the same thing.  How did she know about the poem the I had just walked over to share?  Because I posted it here, she found it and they had planned to read it at the luminaria ceremony.  They asked if I would read it and I almost chickened out, to tell you the truth.  But then I said I would do it and I'm so glad I did.  It was wonderful to offer support and gratitude in that way and a great experience. 

So!  In honor of that wonderful annual Ypsilanti event (and all the others) and every person walking around the park behind my house right now and every person sleeping there because they've walked themselves tired, and everyone involved in, supported by, remembered by, and blessed by that event, I'd like to re-post that poem.

Just Before Midnight

Amid the song of a soulful night bird
and the scent of a damp, happy willow
across the sound of the Huron gliding by
I watch

On a path encircling the park
surrounded by luminaria
they walk

They walk for their family,
their friends, themselves
for memory and the chance of anticipation,
for dreams cut short and those made possible

The path beneath their feet,
on any other day like any other path
is, for this time, a sacred space of healing and unity
it's a circle of community
of shared grief and triumph
of support and understanding
of true empathy

This walk is for warriors
these are people who live life up-close
and with eyes wide open
because they know how fleeting a gift this is
and how graciously given

These are warriors of grace and vulnerability
who know what it means to love ferociously
the strength that takes, and that which it gives
They have come here through moments
of intense contemplation, through new
rearranged priorities, with changed
worldviews, and open hearts

They bring colorful tents and coolers
are served midnight pizza
have music to move them along
but my favorite is the laughter-
that audible evidence of joy
shared one to another

These warriors come here as
humanity at its best
they come to do for others
to raise awareness and give voice to the silent
to celebrate life, having learned what that really means

They come with faith in themselves
and in one another
because they know they can make a difference
and they do.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy National Poetry Month!

Last year during the month of April I posted a bunch of poems.  That may be a good way for me to get back into the habit of blogging.  I recently fell in love with the work of Nikki Giovanni, spent the winter reading her.  I wrote this to her in January.

to Nikki Giovanni

Woman, you are a Priestess of poetry,
bringing us the talk of God
in the voice of the Goddess
like it should fall in a woman's ears
and if Heaven thought to talk
of mortal life and love
of the doings and goings on
of we little humans
way down here

Monday, March 28, 2011

Poetry Reading!!

I read at a Sexy Poets Society reading in Ypsi. tonight.  Some of these are already up here but this is what you missed:  )

 At the Washtenaw Coin Laundry

I love this town and all its colors
so many shades of black and brown and tan
on skins and eyes and hair and hands
accents that come from I know not where
languages lilting lyrical lullabies
myriad mantras
so many gods all one
All One
cultures not clashing
not shocking me
only calling to my eyes and ears
with whispers of lands I'll never see
secrets of souls
swishes of fabric and whiffs of oil
spices speak sustenance
words awaken wonder
music exciting in mixed-up modes
drifts from windows where
kitchens sit with laden bread
always a table to be filled with old places
aromas abundant call back in time
ancestral answers gifting with grace
a smile touching eyes
gives me welcome without words
human-ness beyond language
beyond any perception
of not-like-me


She walks out freshly into her
own world, that of her making
virtuously attuned to its every breath
ever entwined, ever open
receptive to the ebb and flow of
each cycle as it passes
intuitively present with every moment
giving graciously all the gifts of herself
never failing to abide by her heart

maybe I should eat

I need some more words

I think I'll have to start
eating dictionaries
because I can't seem to come up with
enough words
or the right ones to
mean what I'm saying like
how I love the word mobius
and I know what it is
and what it looks like but
sometimes I use it when
I mean something else and so
maybe i'll have to
eat up some geometry books too
to try to find a better shape
to metaphor with
and sometimes singing
even in words that have nothing to do with it
seems to get out or get across
what i'm feelin at the time
in the most direct, most satisfying way
so maybe I should eat some cds
or music books or my violin
and when it starts to become
too surreal like
life has gone
quite strange
maybe I should start eating
some of the old and true
fairy tales
warning us of how twisted
and mistakenly lovely
life can be


nothing ever touches anything else
not really
but right now
our electrons are
to repel one another
because you've invaded
                  you have entered
                              you've been invited into
the space that my body occupies

i sigh
i smile
physics shrugs


I don't want a lecture from longview
I don't want to pant in pantomime
I don't want crazy accusations
based on incorrect equations
or conversations leading to
conflict or kamikaze questions
I don't want expressions that come so loudly
but without any truth behind
I don't want tangled opinions
poisoning what I'm pondering
I don't want auctioneering inauthentic audio
I don't want to dilute my language
I don't want closed-minded opinions
or discouraging dissuasion
I don't want to deal with drama
I don't want pompous pretension
I don't want judgment jumped-to unjustly
I don't want to mourn mortifying misunderstandings
I don't want to navigate needless negativity
I don't want side-long glanced suspicion
I don't want mistrust in advance
I don't want base, boorish behavior
I don't want tormenting or taunting
or shameful fingers shaken
I don't want the volume of violent voices
I don't want fists standing in for sentences
I don't want unsolicited advice
I don't want decisions made for anyone
I don't want labels obscuring people
I don't want anyone's nature negated
I don't want time taken toiling in talk of tedium
I want to hear something real
I want safety in honest exchange
I want courtesy to be common
I want Universally open minds
I want constant, complicit, compassion
I want recognition of our similarity
and reverence for our differences
I don't want there to be sides

Now, if you still can,
talk with me

and some bits

They say we carry the weight of the world
on our shoulders
but I know that's men talking
cause I carry that weight
on my hips
and they sure are sore lately.

They took away the beautiful figure of the truly feminine and injected her, instead, with saline, collagen, silicone, even extra fat, all trying to attain some mythic concept of beauty in a culture that so disbelieves in myth that they can't even get the moral of that story...


Friday, January 21, 2011

A Therapy Poem

not surrender

so the doctor says
maybe surrender your womb
but she doesn't use those words
     remove           uterus
like it's an organ
like a part
of my physical body
and not the place
where I grew my daughter
and not the place
where all of humanity
and not the place
that makes me
and she is a woman
but uteruses are her business
her work
like woman's work
working on women
and she maybe doesn't know
what all I hold there
and what we all have in there
and that it's the warm red place
where some secrets hide
and where a goddess sleeps
and it's where I grew my daughter
and I don't want another child
but it's my woman self in there
and even if they don't take my eggs
and even if I get to keep my hormones
that place will be gone
and I look inside to wonder
how things will move
because I'm not pieces
I am a whole
I am a woman

but the body-part
that walking around part of me
she says it's just not fighting
and I think what do you mean
I'm strong
I'm fighting every day
surely if the rest of me will
my body will fight too
maybe no one told her
maybe she doesn't know
those cells don't belong
do you have a phone, doc
an in-there phone
so we could call her
and tell her to woman-up
because it's taken me too long
to get this far
and I know that if I have to
I will surrender that part
and be still whole
and be still woman
because I am

because I am a fighter
and I know no part makes me me
and I know I will move through every fear
and I know where my power lies
it's not in that warm red place
and it's not in a place that can be
it's a part that will always be
that will come with me
even when I leave the body
with or without its womb
or any other parts
that can't seem to fight

because whole doesn't come
from a collaboration of parts
and strength is buried deeper
than the deepest inside me
it rides up through the earth
to fill all the unseen parts
and becomes the essence
of who I really am

Saturday, January 8, 2011

little bits

Things on my Fridge
You are a forest 
needing sun to grow stories
& the sea is your dream
rain beats a languid chant
to make fresh mist beneath a bare purple sky
explore your new voice
wild as a bouquet not from a garden
delicate as a petal still

your smile is a story library


whisper moon language

              cover your (heart)
from the world
              under shadow
              create beauty          (*never,cover,world,under,create came together)

wander the ancient library of the human head

explore this magic life

A poem I just wrote.

maybe i should eat
i need some more words
i think i'll have to start
eating dictionaries
because i can't seem to come up with
enough words
or the right ones to
mean what i'm saying like
how i love the word mobius
and i know what it is
and what it looks like but
sometimes i use it when
i mean something else and so
maybe i'll have to
eat up some geometry books too
to try to find a better shape
to metaphor with
and sometimes singing
even in words that have nothing to do with it
seems to get out or get across
what i'm feelin at the time
in the most direct, most satisfying way
so maybe i should eat some cds
or music books or my violin
and when it starts to all seem
too surreal like
life has gone
quite strange
maybe i should start eating
some of the old and true
fairy tales
warning us of how twisted
and mistakenly lovely
life can be

Something little I wrote last November.

Her nostrils flare like a horse when she's hot
and sometimes, when she looks at something
that makes her want to run, like to the barn,
you can tell everything else is out of focus.

Something I wrote a few days ago.

working stiffs

So what has us working
as we toil for our supper
and nobody seems to be singing much
about anything
and sleep tends to defer to the needs
of a person to be a person
and sometimes around other people
and these natural needs take
an unnatural back seat to the
make-believe needs of
a culture of has-to-be
where balance is so sorely twisted
that if it were struck, even for a moment,
it would be askew
and it seems to me that most people don't see
that it's only this way because we say it's ok
we get up too early
go to sleep too late
eat food that's not that at all
being, often, grossly under-compensated
for our time and our energy
both of which are so consumed that
it becomes difficult to look around
it's hard to take it all in
to fathom the big picture
or bother to ask questions
 about- why do we do this thing
but instead just keep doing
because it's what we all believe in
and I may be a bit on the fringe when i'm thinking
we've all lost our minds