Sunday, December 8, 2013


and experience the free fall
which is quite
having my gut
smush up into my heart
not knowing where
i will land,
if i will
but think:
what is the

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I have so much life around my house
Coyotes howl
Owls in their pas de deux calling
Fox, red and grey, weasels, racoons
Bushy tailed squirrels, chipmunks, and quail
Slithering snakes—garter, gopher, and king
Blind moles, burrowing badgers
Turkeys gobbling, deer prancing, skunky stinks
Feral cats, bobcats, roof rats, bats
Cougars in the valley, a peacock on the roof
Waddling possums cross my path
Horses of course
And multiple wings—
Blue birds, black birds,  red wing
Hummingbirds thrumming
Sparrows fighting, swallows swooping, wrens" chirrup
Cedar wax wings, thrush, orioles
Cowbirds, grackles, chickadees, crows
Red tailed and red shouldered hawks
The great blue heron
Dark shadowed vultures
Seeking their prey
Crawling creatures with bellies so low
Lizards leaping, frogs a hopping, crickets whirring
Daddy-long-legs dancing up the door
I have so much in life to be grateful for.

This poem comes from my book EVERYDAY MERMAID POEMS.  A book I am collaborating on with the fabric artist Deidre Scherer.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I fell to my knees when you left hon
I fell to my knees when you left babe
your betrayal broke all my pictures

I fell to my knees when i first saw you babe
I fell to my knees when I first saw you hon
your birth broke all my pictures

my pictures are all broken
my pictures are all broken
and i am not sure i should
put them back together again

terrified of all the dark
terrified of all the light

terrified of all the light
terrified of all the dark

when there is
nothing to hold them

this morning
i woke up
with this poem
in my belly

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Be still
And feel the beating of your heart
The source of where it all began.
The silence you cannot hear
in the city night--
Is also your lover's embrace.

Toss your head back
Throw the paisley scarf
across your neck--
The one with the hand- knotted fringe
And know you are in this world
To be heard.

Written words
Are Not Enough
Lilting Hips
Are not Enough
Perfumed Lips
Are not enough
Caressing Hands
Are not enough
Raising Children
Is not enough
Working a Career
Is not enough.
You must open
those lips and
What is in your heart.

All you need is one word to start, 
Like:  "The dew!"

Sunday, June 16, 2013


for two days now
when i look out the french doors
there is a bird
with medium brown colors-
not a feather out of place-
cocking his head to one side
then the next,
looking at me.
wham his feathers pouf out
in a cape
tail back and forth
like a fan.
then, he turns his head to the sky
in rapture

this happens over and over again

i fear he's courting the wrong bird

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


it was hot tonight
and i was bored and dull inside
i opened up a watermelon
tore open its flesh
felt  the threads of pulp skim  my  mouth
as my teeth seeked  to tear the juice
from it's source
i ate and ate ate

i ate piece after piece
sliced it scooped it pulled it off it's rind
and the small round green  globe
shrunk smaller smaller in size--
a piece of rose pink jutted out
like a spear and i gnashed it whole
ravished it,
and felt the coolness on my tongue
juice dripped  down my cheek.

right there it was
right there.
nothing nothing except
me and that green globe--
and it was enough.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


The trees have put on their finest
Plumes of bloom.
Each flower bursts.
Blossoms drip  down boughs
In pendulous languor.

Rippling white down creeks
Distant dots in crevasses
Swaths of swirling crimson
Pinks, whites
Each petal plumper ….

On, on,  on it goes—
One hill sports a wide white shawl
undulating at its feet
in luminescent splendor.    

Branches of flowers vased
in living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, desks—
San Francisco signs imploring not to cut—
bathrooms, restaurants, diners,  the
dusky, musky, soft- scented scents
alluring my nose….

And then the final blow:
a weeping plum
an empress of pinks
it's arms stretching as wide
as it is tall
a cumulus canopy of blossom cloud.
A glance and I am captured.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Word Experiences--Out Loud

Words used to be experiences.  Words still are experiences, but we have lost our mooring to their origin.  In times past words were considered all powerful. If someone knew your true name they had power over you. If a person could learn the right words, they could cast a spell.   Medieval manuscripts are filled with exquisite illuminations of the word.  The book of John even begins,  "In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was made flesh."

Words are primal.  They began with the breath.  I guess you could say, "In the beginning was the breath."  And from breath comes sound which is created by breath being shaped in the body—the tongue, the lips, the vocal chords and where the breath comes from in the body cavity.   How it's shaped where it is centered how it moves in the body shapes the outcome of gesture, movement, tone rhythm which in turn shapes the outcome of the words.  It's a bit of a  "sound" robin.  I believe all of these components are embedded  into words and are inherent in words and when words are spoken out loud from a congruent place they are extremely evocative and potent and can take us either  into new experiences or enrich or illuminate experiences we have had.

The reason I am even having this conversation about words is that I feel words have lost their potency in modern times.  Printing, typing, the internet, texting have contributed towards words being used for reading and information.  Words stay on the page and don't often come off of it with sound.  Words have become  symbols for exciting expository and exploratory thinking.   But more and more they are stopping on the page or stopping with the thought process.  They have gotten vitiated.  Spoken words by default have traversed this same path.  The most juicy word out there now is the "f" bomb and it has it's power since it is forbidden.  We've gained from the powerful thinking styles which come from words treated this way,  but we're forgetting what they originally gave us:  direct links to experience, direct links to connection.  These kind of links are taken not only to the mind, but also to the body--the heart, the gut, sensuous enjoyment.... 

In modern times there are only narrow doors with which sound is acknowledged in words.  There's onomatopoetic words: " screech", "wow" , " titillate".  But this doesn't make up a large part of our lexicon.  And there's phonetics which talk about sound and combination of sounds: consonants, vowels, semi-vowels, mutes and liquids.  Readers and poets can use this information.  But for readers this information is functional.  Poets and songwriter's work with rhythms, arcs, counterpoint.  And some eastern religions use the sound of syllables and words to take people into different states of consciousness.  But again in the modern western world there is not the attention to the individual sounds in any given word.  To me so many words have beautiful "sound" fancy dresses and we should appreciate them, take pleasure in them, and let ourselves be transported by them.

Shakespeare composed his plays with the stuff of sound.  He would create anger in a character by  choosing  combustive sounds and explosive combinations of words.  If a a character was struggling with a decision he would pick word combinations which were hard to say together.  Certain more feminine characters would speak with more lilting " ssssss's"  and " llllll's."  The sounds, the rhythms, the syntax would evoke the moods, the feelings.  All good Shakespearean actors know this.  They don't have to go into a character by themselves.  The actual dialogue will take them there.  All they have to do is sink into the language.

Yeats is another sound master.  For a treat listen to Yeats reading his poem "Isle of Innisfree"  He says in this recording that  he is emphasizing the rhythms of the poems,>  Listen to that but also listen to the care he gives to sounding the resonances of  each words.  They roll out of the chest, across the tongue and out of the mouth.   So much beauty, richness, and depth. 

That's what I hope to do in my poetry. Of course I am humbled by these masters.  But to me they are pointing to treasure.   My goal in many of my poems is to create sounds, rhythms which generate experiences in the audience.  And when I sound out my poems to an audience I  add the present to include inflections, intonations, and cadences which the words invoke in me on a personal level.  That is why I am a poet.  I love to create  multidimensional and different experiences.  So let the words tickle your ears whether you hear them from me or whether you read them  out loud.  Let your ears hear groups of sounds, rhymes, slant rhymes, changes in pacing, changes in tone. Let your ears hear sound resonances and let the resonances carry you where they will.  We need to take the words off the page and into our ears.

Soon I will post "soundings" of some of my poems.  You can read poems of mine out loud from past blog posts.

 Let me know what takes you.  Let me know what doesn't.  And let me know other sound treasures you find.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


For Miyazaki

Green green all is green

morning:  pressure building mounting compression darkening clouds thicken
sky and me about to burst
a Scheherazade wind sweeps in
redwood boughs blow down and up
skimmering the roof of the old dutch barn
setting off needles in a twisting twirling dance.

And then the rains came

a rush of water tumbles down is struck sideways by sudden gusts
and swims  across the sky.

A shift in the wind

water streams straight down in glistening strands
the sound of fall
earth becomes drum
and it in turn plays me

The wind comes back bouncing

puffs of air displace drips with pockets of air
patterns of water and clouds of space--
silence in the empty places.

A shift again

rain begins to slant in a diagonal vector
moves to syncopated pings:  ping     pingping     pingpingping            
(my lips curl in smile)

The very air becomes a factor.

still, clear
I can see straight through
to forever.

Below, green green all is...

my moods  move like weather
( on any given day.)

All is  green