Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shameless Toast

I'm predisposed genetically to love
toast. One grandmother ate toast every
morning of her life. The other
grandmother made toast and served
it crisp and hot to others half a loaf
at a time straight from the griddle
on her Monarch stove.

Mom says I started to gain weight
at eleven when I came home after
school and made toast. Never mind
the abuse and infidelity and illegitimate
lostness I buttered my miserable
observations with. Nobody knew
how I hungered for comfort.

I skipped the free school lunch
for poor kids. Looking Amish or
wearing a burka wasn't as hip
as it is now. The difficult process
of gaining access to free food wasn't
worth the risk of more ridicule.

I recently heard about a cafe named
Trouble in San Fransisco where people
come to eat cozy, expensive toast.
My shirt front ended up soaked
by the time I finished the article.
Tears not drool.
Toast and troubles.
Troubles and toast.
I'm not alone yearning
for reassurance and comfort?


People pay big bucks to crunch through their
loneliness elbow to elbow, bite by bite,
and slice by slice with other kindred souls
who leave their smart phones off
when they step through the door. Lines
go around the block. People become
neighbors and friends waiting to crowd
through the door. I dream about poetry being
born again around tables laden with warm
toast and hot tea. 


White Curtain Therapy







Sails fill and flutter at my open
windows silencing everything
except the desire to sit and ponder
the last hardy fuchsia blossom. 

Sails fill and flutter at my open 
windows compelling me to notice 
how sipping mugged pleasure gives
me a lift and stills our frenetic world. 

Sails fill and flutter at my open 
windows bringing me peace and re-
focusing the lens from zoomed doing
to bokeh being. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Play Well

but not with others.
Bad marks without the label
giving me permission to
attract the compassion and
grace those with a diagnosis
receive.

Do hedgehogs, porcupines,
roses, and blackberries
come to your mind?

I saw a movie called I Am. 
It interlaced the questions -
what's wrong with our world
with what's right with our world.
The end answer came trailing
across the screen - I AM! I wanted
to read - You Are! I paraphrased
it to fit my Beloved Bride status.
The Great I Am says I am.
He's never been afraid of thorns.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Flannel Nightgowns


Have sex like a porn star. 
This is a book written 
by and for women. 
How to get your wife
to act like a porn star 
is a book for men.
Spellcheck kept trying
to trade a porn for apron.
I agree. Whoever wrote 
those books didn't ask 
Loverby how he feels
about his wife serving him
warm rhubarb crisp in his 
flannel nightie. 


Friday, October 10, 2014

After the Flood





I tie the letter around the neck 
of my imaginary owl and release him — 
hoping he comes back alive
with one green sprig

He returns with an unopened
letter because it's impossible 
to find trees growing 
in salty places 

I break the seal and read --
pretending to be 
the intended 
recipient




If we could replay 
the regrettable past
I'd bookend a repair
to restore order
to this jumbled mess
we made

I'd talk to you like 
you're someone I love

I'd finish by 
holding you tight

The old zero sum game 
magically morphs from 
one or both of us losing --
to both of us winning
a future to prize 

I do
I do 
I do
miss your light 




Prompted by Talk To Me Like I'm Somone You Love by Nancy Dreyfus and Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson. 

Parents and Small Gestures


They stand framed in the window
waving goodbye. It's a small gesture. 
It feels like they're glad we came.  

Now we stand 
waving as you leave. 
It means you matter. 
We cherish making
new memories.
You wanting to come
home to be with us 
is a gift. Believe
you're beloved. 
It's good to see you.



When anyone left their home, Craig's folks always went out on the porch and waved them off. They said it was a Norwegian custom. One time Craig's cousin left while the full house of relatives finished stories and cake. We all noticed him leave, but neglected waving him off. After a few minutes we saw lights coming up the driveway and snow flying as he did a donut in front of the picture window. Todd came in shaking snow off his coat and boots. He stood crestfallen, waiting for us to quiet down, then he said, "We need a redo. I'm going to leave again. Nobody waved to me from the porch. What happened?" 

We gave him the best send off in the history of the family. Babies were held up. Toddlers looked through legs. The window framed us all waving with gusto and laughter. A longstanding tradition stood firm, unchanged. 

Maybe these small gestures keep us off the streets?  



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Earl Palmer Reading Not I



Earl Palmer read from this book for September's Kindlings Muse. 


My takeaway: 

 Stay put. Stay alive. Learn to have a sense of irony about every situation - don't go up in smoke. Dialogue together in a non toxic manner - even about the most regrettable current events. Encourage each other to survive and deal with the disturbing and discouraging state of things. Practice creative disobedience in a light hearted manner, even when your heart is gravely concerned for those around you. Commune. Lift each other up. Protect each other. Keep the bonds you already have strong. Have boundaries within those bonds. Perameters to keep the good influence in and the bad out. Fly under the radar if possible. 

It was a wonderful introduction to a book I probably would never have found on my own. It is now on the top of my wish list and will soon be on the top of my stack. I can't wait to dive in. 

Here are a few more pictures of a bright evening sitting with curious minds. Earl makes it digestible. Come to the table. There is room for you. 
















Earl Palmer is giving C.S. Lewis talks every Wednesday at University Presbyterian this fall. Click here for more information. 


Thursday, October 2, 2014

One Who Knows


I met Zack before
reading about him -
like I met God before
reading about Him

He smiles and hums

He sticks his feelers
into a room testing the
colors and nectar available

Like a hummingbird
 he collects fuel in sips
for his next long foray
                       absent and away from us

 I want him to stay

Tolkein prophesied about him

Herschel asked for it 

I want to join his wanderings
by kything, but I'm rusty 

When and why did it become
my second language



Milking It Twice



I dislike bad interpretations - 
scripture verses used
to strike the hairy palms 
of boys sure to go blind by
spilling their seed 
on the ground. 

The insolent jerk wouldn't 
do the hard thing and put 
in the work it takes to create 
life. His cream went unused.
Discarded is the only point. 

He wasted sperm. I waste milk.
But not because I disobey imperatives. 
I can't figure out how to resumé 
my skills, gifts and talents.  
An incessant drip wets my chest. 
If you really are a hungry world 
 needing what I have to offer -
 contact me. I'm a wet-nurse
 unbuttoning my shirtfront -
anticipating
malnourished mouths 
suckling underutilized milk.  
Relieve my aching breasts.  














Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sage is More Than a Spice

I see prowess and mastery in this
amazing feat, this artistry you do.
But it embarrasses
me to show how much I
admire it and how much I
want to be able to do it too.

I'm weak and don't want to
expose my lack. So I don't ask
or have you show me how.
I'll do it myself. 
You're not the boss of me.
I'll figure it out the long way.
I turn away from your easy offer
to share what you know.
I turn away from your ability
to take time to show.
My insecurity wastes non-renewable
resources - your sage wisdom, skill,
and years of experience.

Recycling is a generous roundabout -
a creative thing to do. Goodwill
begets goodwill. It sprouts, goes rampant.
Rinse it. Strain it. Eat it when it grows
three leaves - faith, hope, and charity.
Love is the greatest of these. 
It twines back upon itself
and swallows the spasm 
constricting my throat.

Only when I become 
a sage
will I know what a gift it is 
when a seeker asks 
and we both receive 
a lesson. Love never ends. 
Amen.