31 December 2013

before the snow

leaf shadows
and raccoon
paw prints
the sidewalk
until I can't
tell one from
the other

What I'm Made of This Week

This week I am made of
clumsy and tired and
hurting; please just
let me lie.

Today's Goal

Today's Goal:

Get the tuna
in the fridge.

one of those weeks (2)

the kind of week
when chances are high
that I will accidentally
walk into a men's restroom

one of those weeks

one of those weeks
when you can get
the tuna to the
kitchen but can't
concentrate long enough
to get it into the fridge

Yoda was wrong

Yoda was wrong.
Sometimes all there is
is try and try and try
and fail and get up
and try again.  If
I wanted to debate
with the old Jedi master,
I would say, "I will do
the best I can with
the time and tools at
hand" and hope that
satisfied the spirit
of the lesson he was
trying to teach.

beautiful lie

today the skies
give warmth the
lie with bright
sunshine and high
cloudless blues
while the windchill
below blows low
negative numbers

trees without leaves

the ones that have lost the most
are the beautiful ones still coated
with snow even after the sun
has been up for hours

a good day for rain

In the morning it was that rain nearly indistinguishable from fog: big, slow droplets floating lazily and vaguely down.  I love that kind of rain because it coats and collects on the trees and the twigs and the leaves and falls at random with big plops well-spaced raindrops falling in slow motion surprising and relaxing.

In the evening, it was a lovely fog, making everything mysterious.

hope like water

I feel sometimes like a cut
flower, slightly wilted, placed
again in water and revived by
liquid being pulled up
to stiffen the wilty bits, knowing
that someday I won't have
to try so hard.

late October aspens, afternoon

I cannot tell 
if the aspens are 
glowing with autumn 
or just the dying of the light

Elms falling slowly

Two elms, not just one but so intertwined that only their approaching death and the receding of the bark at the base of the trunk showed this: that they had once been separate before growing together into a towering, graceful glory, now tilting as their roots weaken on one side only, so they are falling slowly over, embracing one another still in this grand decline.  Another few steps reveal that a slender elm just past the sapling stage has split its trunk and is propping up two of their branches, and it makes me think of children growing up stronger and taller and broader and maybe one day holding their parents up to the appearance of strong, vertical straightness again until strength fails, parents fall, and children stand alone.

the new baby

Most parents check their newborns to see if all the parts are present and accounted for.  I cannot imagine what it was like for you, friends.  10 fingers.  10 toes.  A whole brain and intact skull.  Pink and not blue.  Breathing.  Alive.  Looking at you.  (You know, at least vaguely with those wizened old person faces and fathomless eyes.)  Not like the last one. 

This one will be easier to dress, too, limbs not already stiffening in rigor mortis, mottled with oxygen-deprivation blue.  The hat can be used for warmth and decoration, not to hide the fact that most of his skull and brain were not there. 

I am praying for the new baby and for you because this fallen world is so dangerous, and I don't want anything more to break your hearts because I am weak, and I just don't think I could take it. 

Health and wholeness and peace be upon you and your house, you and your living son.  And rest for your dead.

the lamb on the porch

When I visited your house, and you explained
the lamb on the porch represented your baby
who died when he was born without his brain
I almost lost it.  I was mostly keeping it together
until I saw that look on your face--the loss and
compassion that allowed you to carry that baby
to term and then let him go when so many other
parents can't handle the same thing--but I had
already committed to not being the damp one,
to not seeing the dead baby pictures I never
wanted to see whenever I saw your faces and
your swelling belly as you tried again to bring
a new life into this world and not, dear God
please not, another lamb onto your porch.

half-finished poem/prayer dissolving into laughter in July

May the sunlight on this perfect autumn day in July
burn out the rage and the ties that bind me to it.
May the wind in the leaves rustle with relief
and blow away all my resentment and anger.
May the semi-stagnant water of this channel
 . . .

Sometimes nature hands you beauty; other times it hands you the straight line, I guess.

Contemplation of moving (on)

Were I to leave, I would miss
this view of the trees and
the sounds of their leaves.

12 December 2013

The Snow Angel (Day 3)

inch of snow fell in the early morning
blurring your edges, softening the
painful cracks 
in the dry snow around you
now you are even more beautiful.

inch of             snow fell
again  early  this  morning
blurring your sharp edges,
all the painful
cracks in the dry
snow around you, and now
you are                  even more

Cast your vote. A or B? (You don't have to give reasons, but you can if you want.)

08 December 2013

made it back home safely. love, the hydrologic cycle

There is a kind of snow
small and hard that sifts
down onto the garages
and makes the parking
lot light look like a column
of fairy dust is sifting toward
it sparkling in a spotlight
pointed upward sending
a message back to clouds
from whence it came:

made it back home safely.
the hydrologic cycle

05 December 2013

02 December 2013

Oh, Fortune Cookie

On the day someone tried
to use my credit card number
to fund his or her Cyber Monday,
the fortune cookie says,

Today will be lucky and
memorable for you.

Hahahahahahaha.  Oh,
fortune cookie, you are
quite the kidder.

30 November 2013

a summer memory - the storm 2013

The trees crushed by the storm
are slowly dying, leaves still
waving in the fitful wind, like 
the scraps of that road-killed
crane I saw on the roadside
waving helplessly as the traffic
passed it by.


The son, who had recently started school for the first time said, "Um, my favorite color is pink."  He hesitated.  "Is that okay?"

"That is just fine, baby," his mother said.  "People are allowed to like whatever colors they want.  No one can tell you that you are wrong for liking a color.  People can have different opinions about colors, but just because someone has a different opinion doesn't mean yours is wrong." 


The son, dressed in a white, wife-beater t-shirt and ragged, cutoff jean shorts (and neon orange tennis shoes) exactly like his father (whose tennis shoes were white), brought the son to the desserts and told him he could pick whatever cupcake he wanted.  His son looked up from the corner of his eyes to be sure his dad meant it, half-flinching in the way of too many sons who want nothing more than to avoid angering their fathers, and then he pointed to a neon pink frosted cupcake.  His father nearly shouted, "No!  Not pink!"  The boy flinched and curled in on himself, and the father grabbed a yellow cupcake and then dragged his son by his wrist back to their place at the picnic table. 

Later I hear that the orange shoes were a compromise because they were the closest to pink his father would allow.

Thanksgiving 2013

The school bell rings
summoning imaginary
students to class and
releasing them from it,

and I don't even twitch
at the sound because
those bells have not
ruled me for years.

On hold to Beethoven's Emperor Piano Concerto

The only thing that made
all the waiting on hold
with the computer help
desk bearable was the
hold music--Beethoven's
Emperor Piano Concerto
(No. 5 in E Flat Major,
Op. 73)--because, even
though it is a terrible
recording with pops and
scratches, I can't help
snickering because the
last time I heard this
lovely piece so much, it
was threaded through an
anime tv show where none
of the characters were
very likeable and all
died brutally by the end,
along with everyone in
the entire world, and this
humorous incongruity is
what keeps the rage at
bay through wasted hours.

Today (November 30)

I am changing
my calendar early,
so I can start at least 
the last month
on time

Orion on the couch again (early November)

Orion's back on his couch on the clear nights
lounging on the horizon waiting for the snow
to fall, waiting for some other constellation
to talk him through his pre-winter blues and
get him up on his feet again, ready to face
another dizzying elliptical trek through the darkness.

The Calendar (October)

I turned to October late,
but the picture grew so
lovely to me by then end,
I didn't want November
to come.

31 October 2013

a dream so bright

the dream I woke from was so bright
it took half an hour for me to realize
it was a dark and cloudy day

17 October 2013

the trouble with autumn

the trouble with autumn
in the Midwest is that
there are no blue trees
to complete the rainbow

How to love the broken

I don't know how 
to communicate
through all the broken 
glass and spikes you
have wrapped yourself 
in that you are loved 
and liked and you
do not have to be 
like your mother
or let her have 
this power over you

Eclipse with clouds and rain

Somewhere above the clouds tonight
was an interesting eclipse I wish I'd seen:

half the moon in the shadow of the earth
and half reflecting all the sun. But it was

completely overcast, autumn cold and
drizzly, and all I could see when I looked

up was the rain and the city lights 
reflecting down off the clouds, and I

wanted to know how to show love 
to this broken person in my life, but 

I can't see past the clouds and the cold rain.

07 October 2013

October haiku

rain falls on the roof
winter comes to steal the warmth
the trees bleed and rust

the tree on the left under a solidly cloudy sky

the tree on the left
is glowing with such brilliant
gold in the gloom that
at first I thought the sun
had come out and spoiled
my lovely, melancholy day

ordinary moments

Today there were 3
fortunes in my fortune cookie.
Good fortune or bad?

Two of the fortunes
were lost in translation, but
the third, at least, is
worth contemplating:

There are
ordinary moments.

01 October 2013

Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, Spain

The travel website says
you should leave at least
half an hour to fully enjoy

the cathedral.  It has 34
chapels, a unique exterior
and interior, and it would
take me hours even to glance

over all the glorious light and
shadow, especially because
the windows were built to
make the nature of the light
change inside as the sun
moves across the sky outside,

something I would never
have noticed on my own,
because who can sit still
and watch surrounded by
all that soot-stained stonework,
imagining the raising of the
keystone and arches with

ropes and pulleys and
sweat and blood
and Plague and Inquisition
or the time it burned for
11 days and almost fell apart.

The travel website is silly
to think 30 minutes can
contain all that beauty.

It's probably a good
thing I will never go there
because I would weep
at all those tourists

who could see all
they wanted to see
(who thought they had
seen everything
there is to see)
in 30 minutes.

28 August 2013

Things not to do before bed because they are not relaxing

Things not to do before bed because they are not relaxing
  • Read John Scalzi's Whatever blog
  • Catch up on email
  • Read anything about your alma mater continuing to embarrass itself
  • Do anything on Facebook
  • Read any comments on anything on the internet
  • Look at houses you can't afford or houses in neighborhoods you can't live in
  • Add your own thing here

another good thing about working 10 hour days (aside from being employed, which is great)

A good thing about working
10-hour days is that, if it is this
hot outside, by the time you 
leave work, the temperature is 
less dreadful, and you don't 
have to overload the power grid
with your AC quite as intensely.

ways to drown out the shouty people

Ways to drown out the shouty people in your apartment building when you want to relax and enjoy your days off work
  • Play opera music loudly (even if all the ones you need to listen to have Kiri Te Kanawa, who is not your favorite soprano)
  • Play your favorite fighting anime loudly
  • Keep the AC on constantly
  • Other suggestions that are actually relaxing?

on ode to back porches (the one I can't write)

I want to write an ode to back porches
because it's not possible for there to
be too many praises for such places,
but I can't remember how to write one,
and I'm too lazy to get up off this
padded porch furniture from which I watch
the grass growing when I open my eyes.

22 August 2013

against the dying of the light

There is still a month of summer left
technically, but the longest day is two
months behind us, and I am half-sick
of shadows already, trying not to sulk
or rage against the dying of the light.

20 August 2013

A good reunion

My voice today
is still a little bit
hoarse from talking
to people I love
but only see once
a year or even less
frequently, and that
is one way to tell it
was a good reunion.

30 July 2013

With age comes wisdom or something

"PushPushPush!" the
water class instructor
shouted, and I
                                         am finally learning, so I

28 July 2013

last month's dubious omens

Dead fox
Rotting crane
Gleaming dragonflies
This summer's omens?

sawdust gleaming red

Chain saws cut through the trees blocking the trail leaving behind sawdust gleaming red in the sun (because of my slightly tinted sunglasses)      tree blood solidified     every day more of the red is leached and blown away and scattered      soon no one will know what happened and what died here so violently

What I've learned about bathing suits and water physical therapy

  • Don't get anything with metal underwires.  Sure, it gives you extra support, but it's much harder to get on (and especially off when it is wet, and you are sort-of crippled).  If this is a bathing suit you'll be wearing regularly, the underwires will start to rust before the suit itself gets worn out.  (You might not mind this if you made mistake the next mistake.) 
  • Don't get a tankini top (even if it has adjustable ties on the side).  If you have a larger bust and a narrowish waist and are generally tall, you will spend a lot of time getting gracelessly tangled with the ties as they float gracefully in the water around you, always wherever your hands need to be.  You will also end up basically wearing a bikini and revealing a lot of your waist. This is true whether you try to use the ties to keep the suit close to your body (which requires you to cinch it so tight that it shortens to the point where your tummy is on display anyway) or whether you leave it long to shorten the floating straps.  Water is buoyant, darn it.  And your suit will float up quite happily, anchored mostly by your underwire lines, if you have them, making you glad you are in a pool with a bunch of old people who are hopefully not affected by this display of excess flesh.
  • Don't get a suit with a skirt if you are trying to use it to cover up your thighs.  (See above.)
  • Don't buy/wear a suit you really like.  A suit worn occasionally over the summer and cleaned well can last for years.  A suit worn weekly will be lucky to last you 6 months of moderate water activity.  So if you buy a suit and like it, for the love of all that is durable, don't wear it for PT.  And if you are looking for a suit for PT, don't buy one that you love and adore because when you realize that it will wear out faster the more you wear it, you will find reasons not to go to the pool for PT.  You do not need more silly excuses not to go.  So just wear the cheaper, less-attractive suit for PT, and save the good suit for when you are with people who care how you look.  (Or when you are with people you care about looking at you or something.)

dead trees still standing strong

A couple of days after I watched the rain driven sideways in 80 mile per hour winds, I went to my park to check on the trees.  (When exactly did I start associating myself more with dead trees, I wonder?)  All of my dead trees were still standing.  Everywhere around me were scattered the dead and dying,  trees and branches that had been fully alive until some time during the storm when they just couldn't take it any more.  They were still vibrant green, leaves still mostly full and healthy but starting to wilt because they had been cut off from a firm connection to their sources.  I placed my tarp carefully and with a small sigh of relief that my trees were untouched.

Come, Lord Jesus

The coffin
is the size
of those cheap
styrofoam coolers
 you get at gas
stations and the
teddy bear
beside it looks
off the frame
into some distance
I can't see
blue and white
flowers cover
the top of the box
and I want
to live
in a world
where this
doesn't happen
but I don't
live there

16 July 2013

Another time I don't know how to pray

Just another time I don't know how to pray.  I mean, what
do you say to someone you lived with for a year years ago
who just nearly died and did lose a baby not yet ready to live
on her birthday.  All empty words and assurances feel heavy
in their emptiness.  I would not add to their pain, not
knowingly, and I don't know what I could say that would not
press on the pain of this gaping wound.  "I am praying for you,"
I say, and think, "that your faith will not fail, that this will not
break you or break you apart, that God will hold you up and
hold you together and sustain you and wrap you in peace
and love as you mourn for your dead baby as you grow a year
older and feel a hundred years older."  Some things you just
can't say.  Oh, Lord, teach us how to pray.  Oh, God, please

13 July 2013

wanting to own that water

On the first day of physical therapy across town, I stopped in a cafe to wait out the rush hour traffic that lasts for 3+ hours, and I saw this painting for sale.  Blues and greens and all the luminous shades in between and black layered on each other: it was beautiful.  I loved it immediately, and I wanted to buy it, to support this artist of water from a lake I have never actually seen.  I wanted to look at it every single day I was home, to rest my eyes on its restless beauty.  But I could not afford it.  Not when I need new orthopedic shoes because the ones I've been using for longer than the doctor says I should are completely losing their tread, and I keep slipping and skidding on carpet and wet concrete, the motion tugging at the tear in my hip. 

But when I looked at that painting, sidelong glances every minute or so, every time I looked at it, I just grew to love it more.  I tried to tell myself that I could start wearing my boots outside until Winter came again, that I could ask for money for my orthopedic shoes as a Christmas present (and maybe it would work this year), that surely a couple of slips and falls are worth it to be able to daily look into the depths of Lake Superior as rendered by this artist who loves the same colors I did (or at least loves this lake made of colors I love), that I might never again find a painting I immediately connect with and love so deeply.  Dangerous thoughts for someone in my position.

I have not returned to that cafe after other PT appointments since that first day because I try not to test my self-control when I can avoid it.  I am practical. 

Sometimes I hate being practical.

30 June 2013

another weekend

Now ends another weekend
when I didn't catch up on email,
didn't write enough, didn't read
enough, didn't sleep enough,
didn't make it to church, didn't
do enough research, didn't
cross enough things off the list,
did spend time with loved ones,
did get a bit sunburned, did have
ice cream, did the dishes AND
the laundry, did exercise and
watch clouds and play with kids
and think too hard about things
while reading a book that didn't
have the depressing ending I
was expecting

25 June 2013

love allergy

snow falling in June
thinking of you sneezing now
cottonwoods drifting

16 June 2013

the only thing that's good about snow in April

the only thing that's good
about snow in April
is the poetry

sunlight in April

sunlight licks the frosting off the treetops
sloppily spilling globs of snow
to shower all that is below

from April, with snow

It's hard to go inside today to work when outside all the trees are coated with thick, wet snow, lovely clothing, unfortunately so temporary until the wind picks up or the sun comes out or gravity wins.  Someone was out skiing yesterday or this morning, and the track leads right past the door in to work.  A single bird is warbling cheerfully; all the others are huddled under cover, confused at this unsprung spring.  At least the snow keeps the geese away.

happy to hear the birds

It is 10:47 am, and I am
already exhausted
but still happy
to hear birds
the return
of spring.

scabs and life

I am not used to scabs.  Now that I have one again, I find myself wondering if one of the reasons that Neosporin and a band-aid work so well to leave less scarring is because they soften the scab, protect it from being a hard thing sharp enough to cut and tear itself and the skin it is protecting.

31 May 2013

a case of mistaken visibility

Since I got my hair cut, I must look
like someone else where I work
because a lot of strangers are
smiling/nodding/saying hi in that
and-work-closely-with way. 
Or else maybe
I accidentally
trimmed off
part of my
invisibility cloak.

the hunter sprawls, limp

the hunter watches
sprawled on his heavenly couch
waiting for winter

the scent of heaven

Between the allergies and too many broken noses,
I miss out on many things, but even my battered
sense of smell can tell that

extravagantly blooming

must give off something
very close
to the scent
of heaven.

Charles Baxter once said the world could use more tenderness

I could go in stomping and snorting and pushing myself past my so-lowered limits again, but that doesn't work.  It didn't work last week.  It won't work this week.  This is a task that calls for delicacy, sensitivity, tender care of self, and concentrated attention, and I am not very good at those things, especially right now.  I remind myself that I love a challenge (in theory) and that I can't just keep galloping full-speed ahead as I have been because that didn't work, isn't working, won't likely ever work again.  Patient and tender attention to me and the now immediately around me: this is what I need.  Harder than self-destruction in small doses any day.

pleasantness and paranoia

In their records, the doctors
keep describing me as pleasant. 
I guess I'm glad.  I wonder
what they write when people
aren't pleasant?  Not that I'm being

a study in greens

Has anyone done a study
to find out if the greens
of spring are actually more
vibrant hues, a different set
of shades of jubilant greens,

or is it just that
compared to all
the browns and
greys, this sudden

explosion and surfeit of green
nearly hurts the eyes with its
present, verdant vibrancy?

another perfect day for rainbows

Today was a perfect day for rainbows,
But I didn't see a single one.

The Merry Month of May (Hiatus)

Sorry, I've been on a bit of a blog hiatus this month.  I was putting together a personal health record (PHR) by trying to pull together all the information from my various health care providers over the recent  (sometimes nightmarish) years.  How did I survive 2009?  Seriously.  It's been . . . challenging to say the least.  To all the folks who use one of these blogs to be sure I'm still alive (ha ha), sorry if May was a white-knuckled month for you.  In June, we shall hope to be back to our regularly scheduled blogram.

27 April 2013

attack of pentameter (and other signs of spring)

the earth still breathes winter into the air
the sun exhales summer to meet it there
frogs shout lustily from their thawing ponds
and where these mingled breaths collide is spring

23 April 2013

You can't spoil them at this age (4 weeks)

Because I held
the baby too much,
my shoulder is
sore from keeping him
on top of me (because
he is a flopper), and
my back and hip ache
from rocking him
(because he likes
to be held as you walk,
but I can't
hold him
that way, so I
must become a
perpetual motion machine
as I sit, arms held up
with pillows).  I
have taken ibuprofin
several times, yet
still I ache
because I
could not
hold him

20 April 2013

16 April 2013


we take turns
rocking him
from one sleep 
to the next
as gently 
as we can

13 April 2013

useful insomnia

Whoever said baby breathing
is a soothing, comforting sound
never held a 4-week-old still
twitchy and erratic and only rarely
breathing regularly, like a tiny,
slightly wheezy bellows felt
through the collarbone more than
heard, nor felt those sudden, startling
stiffenings that last for three seconds
of baby nightmare and then are gone,
replaced by even more labored
and erratic breathing, so you can't
tell if he's asleep because he's facing
away from you, so his daddy has
to check before he takes him away
to bed, and you can go back to yours.

09 April 2013

spring in retrospect

Spring in the midwest
is a variable thing that can only be
determined in retrospect. 

We can back-date it to the day
after the last snowfall, wondering
with each new snow
if this one will
be the last.

06 April 2013

in the balcony at the Christmas concert

the sharp
shadows cast
by emergency
lights above
the stairs
slice into
each step
and bury
all but
hints of
the beauty
of stained
glass windows

02 April 2013

Found Poem - because it still doesn't feel like spring

I bought a book
of poetry this weekend
for myself,

and one
for [my daughter]

Because it still isn't spring,
or at least
doesn't feel like it.


31 March 2013

above the road

Why does the moon seem
so much larger when it hangs
above the road?

26 March 2013

24 March 2013

playing snow

snow falls
crawls up the
tree branches until
it's too much and they
roll and fall like campers
unfamiliar with the top
bunk and plop to the 
ground breathless
and laughing

why old people turn their cars so slowly

I think I am finding out why old people turn their cars so slowly.  If they're anything like me, and they are tearing at the seams, a hard or even moderately fast turn--especially over a jouncing entry point not on the level with the street--changes the vectors or shifts the inertia or some other science-y force-related thing, and it puts pressure on joints that can no longer bear pressure without complaint.  So if you are ever feeling irritated at elderly people taking their sweet time making that turn off the street at 2 miles per hour, have some sympathy for the irritation their joints feel even at that slow crawl.

a second tear is diagnosed

I did not expect this
gradual tearing like
some delicate
piece of lace or
late autumn leaves
or the wings of
butterflies and

17 March 2013

practice makes perfect

maybe life is practice letting go
because there's nothing
you can hold on to when you leave

March waltz

ice forming on puddles of meltwater as the shade
stretches out as the sun goes down

spiky points of crystal scabbing over

05 March 2013

finally rest

Between the emergency 
sirens, the night is silent 
as snow falls with 
single-minded intent:
to cover everything 
and then finally 

28 February 2013

this picture

I'm only sorry I cannot take
and share this picture

of tree top frosted
in snow and light

framed in the office window.

snow is magic

I will know I am too old 
the day snow stops 
seeming magical to me.

16 February 2013

Winter Wound

The tree outside the corner of the building, trapped in an acute angle of ugly 80s architecture, was thriving.  I admired the close-up view of its limbs in all seasons, this most recent season spread with snow.  It must have been too close for some because one day I passed and saw the bright, raw wounds of hacked-off limbs now more distant than before and fully bereft of snow.  And I told myself I couldn't start crying in the hallway at work even if I felt like someone had just callously and with business-like efficiency taken a knife to a friend of mine.  It must have been scratching the glass or pounding on it right next to that lady in the corner's ear. It wasn't like they'd cut us on purpose, fully knowing.  They probably didn't even think of it, didn't see it that way, didn't know how much it would hurt us.  They didn't know, I told myself, wiped my eyes, sniffed, and started limping a little more slowly to my next meeting.

09 February 2013

not quite a snowpocalypse

branches recoil
blobs of snow plop
I watch from the window
and turn on the Christmas lights

05 February 2013

wind advisory

wind rattles the vents
temperature sinking fast
trees whip in the gusts

tonight I pray
for those outside tonight
may you find warmth

01 February 2013

Isn't it too cold for snow?

the sky is that eerie dark
red-purple like the bruise on
a badly sprained ankle,

it is snowing that huge,
clumpy, plastic, synthetic,
fake-looking snow like
that diorama of Canada
I did with spray globbed
on and looking terrible

but sparkling like
diamonds chips
in the right light

26 January 2013

winter wonderland

sky bruised purple gray
snow gilding trees and branches
winter wonderland

19 January 2013

When the truth hurts

Safety is a lie
we tell ourselves
to sleep at night
and to get out of
bed in the morning.
Like most self-
deceptions, it hurts us
when it shatters and
lets out the truth.

12 January 2013

"The Lady of Shalott" by William Holman Hunt

"I am half sick of shadows," said
            The Lady of Shalott. 
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

I am glad it is December,
that the awful November
picture on my calendar has
flipped, that December's picture
is one I have seen in person.

Few calendar prints can capture
a painting, so while I am glad
the November goats are gone, I long
for the real thing whole
and complete and beautiful.

But this is a lie because
I love this smaller test
painting by the master's
own hand since he was
mostly blind by then and
couldn't paint the full
canvas himself.

I prefer this panel
because I remember
how the unraveling
threads in it sliced
through the picture, so
sharp the air between us
was nearly bleeding.

08 January 2013

05 January 2013

Winter Walking Wisdom

At times when there is
no way around the shadows
walk through them quickly

When there is no way
around shadows in your path
walk through them boldly