31 December 2015

thoughts at the end

was for writing
for reminding myself that
even though it was not my best year in any other way
I still wrote more
than the year before,
and if that is not a success,
what is?

30 December 2015

fractured prose

The shameless self-promotion 
from the Facebook group read, 
'Looking for the perfect 
CHRISTMAS PRESENT for that friend 
or relative who loves poetry 
and laments the fact that modern 
"poets" have abandoned it 
for fractured prose?' I was
inexplicably delighted by
this accurate characterization 
of what I write, as if it had
no value or purpose or reason
for existing when, for me, 
it represents how I think
with my bent toward narrative
prose combined with my fractured 
concentration and attention 
span because of the pain 
and the sleeplessness
it causes, so thank you,
disparaging and dismissive
and self-righteous poet busy
flogging your own obviously 
superior form of writing, for
unintentionally presenting me 
with the gift of words 
to accurately describe 
my own.  : )

26 November 2015

24 November 2015

When your eye says no

Today was the kind of day that goes like this.
Me: Hi, eyeball, I'm going to gently put this piece of plastic in you, so I can see.
My eyeball: No.
Me: Oh, I'm so sorry. Do you have an eyelash or something that's irritating you?
M.E.: No.
Me: Is there something I can do to help?
M.E.: No.
Me: So, can I just put this in and then leave you alone?
M.E.: No. N. O. Nonononono. Have I made myself clear?
Me: Perfectly. So, how about some glasses today?

21 November 2015

Birthday questions between book chapters

Why, do you suppose, is it so hard for me to
rest--to focus only on ignoring my own 
entropy--when it is so recharging to my 
soul? Is this constant excuse of attending 
to the entropy around me instead, especially 
when I need rest so desperately, another 
series of the small acts of self-sabotage I 
am so good at not noticing myself doing 
until I write about them?

20 November 2015

Tomorrow's pledge

I will ignore should
and do what needs to be done 
hibernation, rest

19 November 2015

plans for this birthday

Plans for this birthday include
French toast, apple crisp, tea, 
the couch, blankets, music, 
hibernation, limited human 
contact, pain medication, and 
BOOK. Book. book. BOoK.
They exclude news, opinions, 
politics, brainlessly repeated 
rhetoric, and any internet not 
directly related to writing with 
the exception of the blog I am 
going to create for me 
and a friend 
to share.

16 November 2015


When did this happen?
Trees stripped so bare already
November half gone

15 November 2015

Sunday afternoon, autumn

and when the wind is
not blowing I want to
stop and stand in this
sunlight recharging
storing up warmth
until I get too stiff
from cold air and 
have to move again

13 November 2015

the shame of late autumn skies

Sky blushes deep pink,
ashamed of bare branches, 
but spring will come again.

12 November 2015

November gales

On the sides of homes,
gales of November slap rain: 
last wrath of autumn?

11 November 2015

Autumn means

The cuddliest
box elder bug in the world 
just wants to snuggle.

10 November 2015

me and the box elder bug swarm (again)

Yay, it's warm again!
says me and the box elder bug swarm 
as we bask in the last (?) breath 
of summer. They must think 
we bonded because later they visit me 
at home, and they are terrible guests 
who won't leave no matter how 
many times I tell them it's 
really time for them to go.

09 November 2015

Revenge of the Slow Cooker: Brain vs. Stomach, part 14

Stomach: That sure smells good.
Brain: Sure does.
Stomach: We should eat it.
Brain: It's not done yet.
Stomach: When will it be done?
Brain: Hours from now.  Here, have some of this to tide you over.
Stomach: Don't wanna.  Want to eat thing that smells good.
Brain: It's not done yet.
Stomach: Will eating it now kill us?
Brain: It could make us sick.
Stomach: I don't see the problem. Could is not will.
Brain: Sigh. That's why I'm here.
Stomach: How will we know when it is done?
Brain: When the timer goes off.
Stomach: It's supposed to be on low and cook at 140 degrees, but it's bubbling, so doesn't that mean it's over 212 degrees and thus might be cooking faster and thus might already be done?
Brain: Wow. And here I thought you weren't paying attention when we did our earlier Internet research.
Stomach: What it if overheats and explodes and then we don't get to eat any of it because you have a cheap slow cooker and didn't listen to me?
Brain: Can you please shut up?
Stomach: Don't wanna.
Brain: Sigh.
Stomach: That sure smells good, doesn't it?  Time to eat it yet?
Brain: Sigh.

08 November 2015

the sound of autumn in November

This is the sound of autumn in November
trees newly bare
leaves piling up on the ground
perfect slolam courses
for gusty winds to play in
before they all get bullied to dust 
by power that doesn't know its own strength

04 November 2015

we are determined to make this week better

when I got to work, there was
a poem on my keyboard next
to my wrist brace, and the poem
was deep and wise and magical
and the tree on it was where the
magic lived twisted ink branches
bereft of leaves that will live next
to the painted full moon waiting
for whatever happens next

to sleep, perchance to dream and stop swarming about half drunk on summer's dregs in autumn

short warm relapses
brief resurgence of insects
autumn cannot last

03 November 2015

he asks if

This new brother of mine asks
tough questions, like whether I would want
the death of this family friend to be less
hard for me to deal with

because the truth is that in some ways yes
I would because I am very weak right now, but
mostly I puzzle because I don't understand why
it is so

hard.  Why this death that I still know
next to nothing about?  Why this man
who I interacted with for real maybe
4 times in my life? Is it because he was

younger than my father because his son
was my classmate because he was
someone I admired and wanted to be
happy and because the day he died

my new brother said something about
C.S. Lewis that I wanted to share with him
because it would have made him laugh?

Because it was so sudden and that
scares me because there is never
enough time to be with all the people
we love and admire because the fall

brought death and separation in, and
there is nothing I can do about that 
when I am always so very far away?

autumn's pirate bounty

no pirates in sight
gold is scattered everywhere
fall beauty all mine

02 November 2015

remember when singing

I think as long as I can remember
when singing didn't hurt this much,
I will be okay.

01 November 2015

winter always comes

light, mouse, deer, leaves, friend
too much death in autumn
winter comes too fast

31 October 2015

28 October 2015

falling faster

Did you see the sky today, Brother Wolf?
Clouds on clouds grey on grey as trees bled out
leaves from fatal wounds of coming winter.

27 October 2015

attack of the zombie leaves

autumn crawls deeper 
into buildings leaves 
ghost in on the cold 
breath of the wind seeking
the remembered warmth of 
summer not creepy at all

26 October 2015

ghosts of autumn

leaves creep toward warmth
ghosts of autumn drifting in
not creepy at all

25 October 2015

I never really wear jewelry

I never wear jewelry
because it's not practical
to wear it with a wrist brace

today I wore jewelry
it didn't stop the pain or
even make it better, but

the green beads were beautiful
handmade for a living wage
in South America, so

this is how I can fight back
against what I'm not quite sure,
but it still feels important

24 October 2015

Saturday questions

  • Who cuts themselves with eggshells? Under their fingernails? Seriously?!
  • Why must foods high in iron taste uniformly gross? Perhaps because I taste it every day as it goes down the back of my throat when my nose tries to bleed but can't because of the swelling from the allergies and the deviated septum from the 6th time I broke my nose?
  • Why does winning something feel so nice, even if it isn't something you really want or need? I'm sure the folks I share it with will appreciate my good fortune. : )
  • Why do I still laugh so hard at good burping stories? Burping. Heh.

23 October 2015

Suddenly, autumn

the leaves have fallen, Brother Wolf,
trees bedraggled and beautiful
as rain drips softly, on and off,
wind gently prods now-bare branches
mourning summer's fallen playmates
regretfully swirling the dead

22 October 2015

temptation to do

In light of the dizziness, swelling, poor wound healing, brain foginess, pain flare-up, thyroid struggling, cold-intolerance, anemia, and my inability to grasp anything (literally or figuratively), one could argue that I might be overdoing it and should use my day off to, oh, I don't know, rest and NOT try to DO ALL THE THINGS, since that do-things strategy seems to not be working for me very well. At least it will be raining. Lying on the couch watching the rain seems to be about my speed right now. Must resist temptation to do . . .

21 October 2015

20 October 2015

19 October 2015

18 October 2015

the poem about the dead deer (attempt 18?)

ruin of Monday morning first
day of autumn weather doe curled
impossibly graceful dead with
startling boneless acceptance
that only the shattered display

12 October 2015

11 October 2015

when you are happy your thyroid is failing (again)

My thyroid is on the ropes again.  Yay!  I'm excited about this because

  • I noticed and got it checked (eventually, dang brain fog)!
  • I wasn't making it up; it's worse than ever!
  • it might be related to one of the numerous new allergy meds I've been trying to get off decongestants on the off chance I will then sleep better!

These are all good things (more or less) because the sudden weight gain and enormous increase in joint pain and other symptoms have a reason now and are not a signal that my body is tired of all this crap and has given up.  See?  Yay!  And if they were caused by a med (and I have a culprit in mind already), then maybe I can get my thyroid working again like I did the last two times and won't have to go on a med for it forever yet.  Hope springs eternal!  (But has to be cautious of increased dizziness and on the alert for overdoses that lead to heart problems.  Really noticeable and obvious heart problems.)


10 October 2015

09 October 2015

every fall they come

how do I destroy
drain flies of autumn swarming
in my house this fall

05 October 2015

02 October 2015

01 October 2015

30 September 2015

ninja tree frog

one tiny tree frog
stealthily basks on the ledge
storing autumn sun

29 September 2015

28 September 2015

the night after

the night after the bloody eclipse,
the wounded moon recovers, swollen
large and obscured by scar tissue clouds

already this tired

deer die on roadsides
last day of summer weather
already this tired

27 September 2015

late to the blood moon

by the time I get there, the eclipse 
is on the wane, and the moon looks
small and hard and far away, like 
an angry marble reflecting all the
sunrises and sunsets the Earth is
starting and ending off to the sides
where I cannot see but still believe

the last dragonfly (gathering strength)

garnet dragonfly
rests on summer sun-warmed toe
before autumn comes

26 September 2015

riding in circles

He is riding his bike in wide circles, passing between my garage and my car in the sort of test of skill small children set to themselves while I try not to fall off the ladder in my garage as I organize and restack moving boxes.  He passes through again and again, and I lose my balance a little each time I see him out of the corner of my eye, but I never actually fall, and when I am finally finished, on the hood of my car (precisely centered) is a sprig from the crabapple tree I refer to as the cherry tree, and it makes all the half bugs I find in my hair for the rest of the night matter less.

23 September 2015

now it is autumn

purple twilights fall
more frequently now, like leaves,
now it is autumn

21 September 2015

Life and fortune

Sometimes life
is--like my most 
recent fortune cookie 
("People try thing, because they 
just don't want it enough")--
pretty much incomprehensible
to the folks on the ground.  Hang 
in there, anyway, and maybe try 
another fortune cookie?

19 September 2015

she is dancing

We are in the orthopedic shoe store, and she is maybe 3.  She is dancing around me, spinning and giggling and trying to be sneaky and noticed at the same time in that inept and charming way 3-year-olds can, and I make eye contact and smile a small sun smile at her as she twirls by in her unsteady orbit, and she smiles hugely at our shared secret and keeps turning, and eventually her mother or grandmother notices and blessedly laughs instead of being needlessly angry, and the grace is sweet and thick among the smell of leather and aging.

18 September 2015

the first mystic

He said, "He
was the first
mystic I ever
met," and some
day I want to
write a poem
about that, too.

16 September 2015

When I am not sleeping (much at all)

It's like every bit 
of progress and forward 
momentum disappears into 
the brain fog, and I am 
left with only 
the weariness and 
the grimly-held 
hope that the switch 
will flip again 
soon, so I can 
get the normal 
inadequate amount 
of sleep and 
recapture my 
scattered wits 
and will and 
write on.

13 September 2015

the difference between

I have been thinking about 
the difference between

thinking you are the puzzle
thinking you are a piece, 
thinking you are the tapestry
thinking you are a thread, 
thinking you are the body
thinking you are a member of it.

12 September 2015

revenge of the dragonflies

I longed
for more
but when I
sprawled on
the deck, they
tickled me
to distraction.
We studied
each other.
I wondered why
I love them so
much more than
other insects
with equally ugly
or even more
beautiful faces.
Jewel colors?
Sporty wings?
prowess? Inability
to do me any
real harm?

11 September 2015

another sleepless night

a moon so bright 
the shadows 
of the tree 
thrown on my 
white curtains 
at night were 
visible to me even 
in my blindness

10 September 2015

I blame Stonehenge

Between the cryptic
tonsils and the tonsilloliths
(don't look up pictures),
I feel justified in blaming
Stonehenge for all my
throat illnesses.  And
lack of sleep, too?

09 September 2015

watching dragonflies

the cold comes
suddenly and I

have not spent
nearly enough

time watching
dragonflies from
deck hammocks to

last me through 
the long winter

07 September 2015

nostalgia or eyeball floaters

was the sky
a clearer blue
when I was 
young, or could 
it just be that 
there are 
more floaters
in my eyes now
that I am older

03 September 2015

nightmare dogs of sleeplessness

At night
the light
spaced poles
can make 
even Tiny
Dog into a
creature of
moving too
low to the 
ground with 
far too 
legs and
its usual
silence so
in daylight
leaving me
with fear
my mail
and frayed

01 September 2015


What is it about just knowing
that Tiny Adorable Illegal Dog
is not, in fact, actually illegal,
that makes me want to cuddle
and pet it even more despite 
the fact that legality 
has nothing to do
with allergies

31 August 2015

small victories? a (terrifying) glimpse into my head on a bad day but at least not on a pike or anything

Missing a deadline because you are not sleeping well and thus are terrible at adulting is really irksome.  I felt like I was a plastic bag on a windy day getting blown around from one thing I needed to do to another and then all of a sudden there were no more days left.  (However, I did manage to exercise enough self-restraint to keep myself from replying with a number of mean things to a guy being a(n incorrect) grammar/writing jerk to one of my friends on Facebook.  That was a heroic effort today.)  These are the times I think I will never really be an "author" instead of a writer.  (This is not actually an awful thing because I'd rather be a writer even when I am not sleep deprived and scattered to the four winds.)  I already have no desire or motivation to get my work out there like one is supposed to do, but when a call for entries that seems tailor-made for my work comes, and I am a space cadet due to sleep deprivation for a couple weeks and miss it, it's frustrating, and I want to wallow in self-recrimination (which would be easier if I didn't keep getting distracted by everything in the world), but I also know that melodramatic wailing and stressing out is something I need to avoid (it's really bad for me because it kicks up the pain that leeches the sleep that scatters my brain all over the walls of the house that Jack built).  Did you know that sleep deprivation by itself causes symptoms that look almost exactly like fibromyalgia?  They did studies (that are totally illegal now) once upon a time.  (Seriously, Blogger, I promise fibromyalgia is a real word.  You and certain members of the medical community who also don't believe in it are not helping.)  I'd love to promise to do better next time, but if I'm honest with myself, I'll probably be sleep deprived next time because I am always sleep-deprived to a varying degree, and I just want to throw up my hands and give up, but that's not good either.  All of this thrashing makes me more tired, but the pain makes me not sleep.  I LOSE NO MATTER WHAT I DO OR DO NOT DO.  Therefore, I am going to go read a book, so the day is not a total loss.  Here's hoping I have the self-control to stop reading book at a reasonable time in order to not make things even worse . . .

30 August 2015

Part 2 of some ramblings in honor of 6 years of blogging (yes seriously, technically)

It's kind of fun for me to read back through the years.  Some times are more fun than others, for sure, but mostly the super non-fun times are the silences, the spaces in between posts that sometimes stretch on and on.  (Or sometimes I was sacrificing all my creative energy to gulping down the entire catalogs of certain authors, so silence does not necessarily mean rough seas.  It could also mean selfish ones. : )

There was a thing Blogger offered once where you could get a print out of your blogs like a book, and I think I would really like to do that some day.  All the typos that got through would hurt my soul deeply, but I want this more-recent writing to be available to me so that in the rare chances where I see a call for submissions that I am actually drawn to, I can look through my 450-page monster thesis to see where I was from 2003-2009 and then continue looking through the blog pieces I've written since I started in 2009 without having to stare at a screen and scroll for days (which basically makes me want to stop looking).

I love weaving together readings by combing through what I've written and searching for strands to draw together and braid into some kind of story.  Right now, that story I can page through ends in 2009.  (Someday electronics might rule the world and be able to emulate this to my satisfaction, but that day is not here yet.  I hope it comes soon-ish and is accompanied by anti-gravity bras and other useful technology.)

With that, it's obviously time for bed.  : )  Cheers!  (And thanks for reading, faithful ones.  You are the cherry on top of the sundae.)

29 August 2015

the moon tonight

the moon tonight is red
on a field of dark blue
with clouds obscuring
and magnifying it as it
watches the fog grow

28 August 2015

Part 1 of some ramblings in honor of 6 years of blogging (yes seriously, technically)

In honor of my 6th blogging anniversary and because I felt compelled to write every day again, I challenged myself to blog here every day for a month.  I more or less succeeded (with some instances of cheating), but there were 30 blog posts in 30 days, and I don't want to stop, even to get back into the discipline of just trying to do 1 blog post every day split up among the 4 blogs I have, so they are all updated regularly.  Forward momentum is powerful, and I don't want to hobble it by setting arbitrary rules.  All that's to say that if you are one of the few family members and friends who reads here regularly, the flood will not be abating for a while.  (You're welcome.)

I recently wrestled the haphazardly unpacked stacks of my notebooks from over the years (starting my second year of my MFA apparently), and there was so much drafting in them that never made it onto a page for even the cursory editing efforts I put forth here that I could seriously post one every day for several years before I had to start coming up with new material.  I totally want to do that some day.  But I also want to leave room for the NOW, so this can serve as more of a record again, a slightly humorous (when possible) way for the limited folks I've told about it to know I'm still here, still thinking too much, and still really obsessed with teeny tree frogs.  (I sort of think they're my current muses but not actually really at all.  They're just cute in an ugly way, and they can hang in there with the best of them.)

27 August 2015

TAI and Bujold's new story

When I staggered out of bed this morning like a tremendously clumsy yeti, TinyAdorableIllegal Dog (TAI for short from henceforth) was whimpering fit to break your heart.  He was so loud that I could clearly hear him from my second floor condo with two doors in between us.  The sound was so pitiful that I nearly flung open the door to see if it was dying.  Then I remembered that I was not clothed for company and that I can't see a darned thing without corrective lenses.  I lumbered away from the sound and into the bathroom.  I have no idea what caused TAI to make that sound, but I hope it never happens again because I will cry.

The day ended sort of better.  I was donating plasma to get money to pay for my allergy meds, and I was reading the new novella by Lois McMaster Bujold, and I was just having a grand time.  (Not with the donating because DudeBro put the needle in kind of wrong, so it hurt a bit more than usual and was kind of bleeding.)  I was just giggling and occasionally snorting and grinning my face off because LOIS MCMASTER BUJOLD NEW STORY YAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!!  It's in the 5 Gods world, and it's great, and I've barely started it, really.

Actually, I have no idea how close I am to the end.  I want it to go on and on and on and never end as I often do when I read Bujold's stuff.  I hope it at least gets me through one more donation.  Two more to go before I can afford both allergy meds!  Wish me luck!  (And health and copious plasma.)

26 August 2015

All I wanted to do today

All I wanted to do today
was lie on the deck
reading a book.  When
I am very sleep-deprived,
I do not adult well at all.

25 August 2015

Can I quit this club?

The infographic said 1
out of 10 
people has 
every day
and I thought
9 out of 10 people 
What is that 
like?  It sounds
awesome to not be part
of this 10% club. I don't
remember what it's like
not to be in this club.  
I've been 
in it longer
than not now.
Does this tithe
of pain count
toward some total
I do not understand?
Would I feel
any better 
if I did

24 August 2015

Augtober melancholy

unexpected beauty
of a random scrap
of filmy white plastic
gliding in for a landing
from the dark grey sky and then
                                                         leapingflapping back
                                                              into the air
                                                  with a flick of
                                                        the wind's wrists

stub of a severed
rear windshield wiper
waving regularly
                                        faithfully (futilely?) 
despite being



lavender twilight

23 August 2015

summer (plums)

p l u m s
plums plums plums
plumsplu msplums
plumsplu  msplums
plums     plums

22 August 2015

forests burning somewhere

Friday the light that fell 
from high windows cast 
an odd shade on 
corporate carpets: 
orange-ish pink.  

The sun was a large 
red-orange ball 
when it set.  

The moon (just past 
one quarter) is coppery.  

Forests somewhere 
are burning, and we 
are far enough away 
to only see the beauty 
it adds to the light.

21 August 2015

good things about the rain

Good things about the rain and cooler weather this week
  • regular demolition of spider web blocking my deck door 
    • How many times will it take before it gives up and goes far away to more welcoming surroundings?
    • Hopefully this many.
  • more tiny tree frog fairies on the windows at work

20 August 2015

Midwestern weather whiplash brought to you by the start of a new school year

Several days 
of scorchingly 
melting August 

by a week 
of November


this Midwestern
weather whiplash
brought to you

by the start 
of a new
school year?

18 August 2015

Keep on going

Four froggies clinging
grimly to windows
every time I passed.
A personal best of
sorts, and I swear
one was showing
V for victory.

17 August 2015

This week's mushroom miracle

I have learned that, if the mushroom pieces are big enough to spot but small enough to swallow whole without chewing, I can eat mushrooms.  (Works for lima beans, too!)  It's the squeakiness when I chew them and the texture that doesn't agree with me, not so much the taste.  Does this mean I will be cooking with them?  Um, probably not really so much, no.  Unless they repel spiders.  Then I would be cooking them every day.  Seriously.

16 August 2015

When I can taste . . .

There was a day last week that I could taste.  It's pretty rare and seems to happen maybe when general inflammation is down, my allergies are more at bay, and the barometric pressure or whatever it is aligns and then, behold, I can REALLY taste things despite a nine-times-broken nose, and all the allergy and sinus problems.  It is kind of glorious, and it helps me understand why people like eating food.

Normally, food is something I eat because there are nutrients and stuff in it, and it fuels me.  If it tastes like blah all the time, that's actually kind of convenient.  I can eat healthier food that may not taste great (and might thus be cheaper).  If I could taste well, maybe I wouldn't go near it.

On that most recent tasting day, I was in the big cafeteria at work (not the mini version we have in our building), and I had some food that was amazing.  (Those green beans!  That chicken fajita wrap full of peppers and onions!  Droooool.)  So sometimes food tastes amazing.  Thanks be to God.

15 August 2015

Dear Spider, please!

Dear Spider,
go somewhere
else to build
your work of 
art.  It is 
splendid; I 
appreciate its
and its beauty
and your
but your art
is in an inconvenient 
place.  You are big 
for a spider, and I
have no idea if
you are venomous 
(though I am likely allergic to you even if you are not), 
but in a contest 
between you 
and my vacuum, 
my vacuum cleaner 
would win.
(Until you crawled out in the middle of the night to wreak spider vengeance on me and then sleep on my nose, so you'll be the first thing I see in the morning, so I can wake up too paralyzed by fear if your venom hasn't already rendered me dead, in which case, the sleeping on my nose would be kind of overkill, don't you think?  Let's be reasonable here, as much as we can.)
But I'm not sure 
it would kill you, 
so there would have to be 
flailing and smashing, 
and neither 
of us would 
enjoy that at all.
Please, for the love 
of God, go 
build your lovely 
web somewhere 
(Seriously.  Even in front of the screen door instead of the door I actually use.  Go now.  Please.)  
I wish you well 
in direct proportion
to your distance 
from me.
Someone Who Wants to Use Her Deck Again Some Day Soon.

Give me justice!

Imagine me, if you will, in that Japanese trope from crime shows where the victim lies facedown, with one finger outstretched in the act of writing (using her own blood) the name of the murderer even as she died.  You see the letters M-O-S-Q with the tail of the q fading. If I die unexpectedly in the next few days, it had to have been the mosquitoes, who are, no doubt, in their evil lair right now, drunk, satiated, and thinking they are above the law. Don't let them get away with it! I demand justice.

Stay tuned . . .

13 August 2015

11 August 2015

God of the stars

Dear God,

Thank you for stars 
I can see even in 
the middle of 
the city.

10 August 2015

who wouldn't cry

The sun was already out of sight, but it was still a dreamy, shady 80 degrees, and I went out to the deck and set up the hammock (even though I've already REALLY overdone it this week), and some of the new neighbors were there, but they weren't swearing, and their illegal dog was acting really weird, and I wonder if they also don't realize that when the signs get put on the grass out front that it's been treated to make it look soft and lush and inviting and is now extremely poisonous to pets and children, the poisoning also applies to the back, and I wonder if the tiny, adorable doggie has been poisoned or is just trying to whack underground moles to death with her skull, but then I get back to my book, which is nonfiction and makes me cry anyway because I'm so tired, and it's so beautiful on the deck now that I've swept away the dead neon green and black wasp and the last bits of sunlight are showing me the glowing spider webs above the neighbors' yard, who wouldn't cry?

08 August 2015

2 butterflies exhausted

Two butterflies
on the deck dancing
with each other reminded me
that I can still appreciate beauty
even when I am lying on the couch,
too exhausted to go outside to
play with them.
One  was a
of some kind, brilliant
yellow and black in the
rare sunlight, and I have
a particular love of swallowtails
even if they are not blue.  This
is rest done right, my friend
with no chance of ill-timed
dizziness to cause

07 August 2015

Today I am grateful for (2)

Today I am grateful for

  • 2 teeny tree frogs on the same window pane at midday
  • 2 deer walking across the work parking lot in the cool of the evening after I got out of the gym
  • 2 AM bedtime after not-enough-time with two old friends and two new
  • weather too gorgeous to be believed
  • 2 functioning hips to walk to the ice cream place
  • 2 dollars to spend on ice cream

06 August 2015

that night (and early morning)

I wonder if I am better 
at being present 
here and now or if I 
am just finally as good 
as I used to be when 
I was a child.

05 August 2015

Farewell to the Lady

The July painting on my Pre-Raphaelites calendar
was "The Lady of Shalott" by William Holman Hunt. 
This awful reproduction made me long to see
lines of threads snapping and unraveling like
whips, like the lady's life when 
her curiosity got the better 
of her self-control.

04 August 2015

Sleep deprivation and spiders: definitely an awesome combination

It is not as if I imagine that the second the door shuts when I leave in the morning that all the spiders descend from the ceilings, raise a tiny cheer, and then start licking my toothbrush or peeing on my pillow.  Really.  

It's just that I hate the way they only seem to come out when I don't have my glasses on, and all I can see is this fuzzy moving blobby blur like the mosaics they use in Japanese comedies to show you where a cockroach is.  (I know they're not cockroaches because they are too small and because spiders move differently from insects, so I can tell even mostly blind.)   They just seem much larger than they actually are because of my lack of ability to focus on anything further than two inches away from my nose.   I know this, truly, I do.

I'm fairly certain they're not making faces at me.  But again, I can't really KNOW this without my glasses on.  I am not going to set up tiny hidden spider cams around my house.  That would just be silly.  

(I blame all this on Allie fordrawing pictures of scary spiders.)  

Also, it's not like I want to destroy all spiders.  I just want them to be sneaky and not get caught by me.  Because if I catch them, I have to acknowledge their existences, and if they flaunt their existences, I have to end them.  (Why don't they LISTEN when I tell them to go away, or I will kill them?) 

I am trying to be reasonable here, spiders.  We can coexist as long as you live lives of fear and secrecy.  Why is that so hard for you?!  Don't you want to live?!

It may be that I am not being fair or reasonable about this.  Maybe they are starving because there is a lack of bugs for food in my house.  Maybe they are crazed by hunger and can't help staggering around in a daze the one time a day I am in the master bathroom.  Maybe I should have more compassionate thoughts toward them.  

I just can't.  And I'm okay with that.

02 August 2015

northern sky, sea grey

Did you look
at the northern sky
this morning?

And did it look 
like the ocean from 
where you are?  

There was this band of dark blue-gray clouds low on the horizon and a bank of fluffy grey and white clouds above it, and it reminded me of the shoreline leading to the ocean in Wales on an overcast autumn day, layers of blue grey with some whitecaps.  I took a picture, but it didn't do the view justice.  It looked like I could walk out there and put my toes in the ocean again.  I knew it really wasn't the ocean, but the beauty and transporting other-worldliness of the effect made me miss the real thing, homesick.  I thought you might understand.  I hope you do.

01 August 2015

a summer moon

I called to tell you
to go outside and look
at the moon right now
because it hung above
the river banks an
impossibly huge and
pitted pewter coin
ready to fall.

31 July 2015

30 July 2015

About resting badly

for Liz, who is probably right

"You're doing it
wrong," she says
on Facebook in what
I imagine is the aggrieved-
affectionate tone the
Bloggess' long-suffering
husband Victor uses
when he says it to
her.  I think she's right
because other people
would not encourage
resting so much if it
did as much damage
to them as it somehow
does to me.  Does
anyone know where
I could learn how to
safely rest?  Are there
classes for this sort
of thing?  I can't see
the solution as: stop
resting because being
exhausted is bad
enough, but it's worse
when I add resting-
related injuries to the 
mix.  There must be 
a way for me to learn 
how to rest more 
safely.  Maybe
if I practiced it 
as often as I am 
supposed to, I 
would be 
at it?
It can't

28 July 2015

it takes two

you need two
teeny tree frogs
to get through
the day
two great friends
to get you through
the night.

27 July 2015

why I'm writing this July off as a loss

Two things I learned this July:

  1. Classical music can be hazardous to your health.
  2. Resting can be dangerous.

26 July 2015

I just wish it had happened AFTER I shifted the books

I suppose it was
inevitable that I
would trip and fall
on the hammock

because no blessing
has lately come to
me not accompanied
by cursing. This

is why resting has
not been particularly
restful for me

24 July 2015

Brahms like clouds

I was trying to figure out why 
I kept thinking of clouds when 
I listened to A German Requiem, 
and I think it's because, 
in the Requiem, Brahms
--like those majestic 
piles of middle-high 
refuses to be 

23 July 2015

first tree frog fairy sighting

Yesterday was the first day
I spotted a tree frog  clinging
to the third story window.

I was afraid they were not
coming this year, since I
had not seen any in June.

Maybe they come this late
every year with the cicadas,

and, like everything else
these days, I just forgot.

It's good to see them again
this year always every time.

22 July 2015

Can I have an open sing of Brahms' German Requiem instead of a funeral service when I die?

When I die, instead of a funeral service, I think I would like to have an Open Sing of Brahms' German Requiem (in English, since few of my friends understand German).  It should be conducted by someone with the intensely dramatic, passionate enthusiasm John Hoffacker brings to it (make sure there's nothing above him in reach).  If the soloists could be as good as Justin Staebell and Kristin Morant, it would be amazing.  Since I am not rich and because it's worked pretty well all the times I've done it, I'd recommend all volunteer orchestra and choir with my friends mixed in with whatever voice part they want to listen to (a hard choice since they've all got good stuff) and right up against the orchestra because that makes it even better than a recording.  I might recommend Hamline United Methodist Church, which is a physically and sonically beautiful space, (and so there can be an organ).  I'd like to request a harpist, too.  This is what I would like because this music is so powerful that even when all the instruments aren't there, and nobody can get all the way through the end of the third movement right, and my voice is shot before we finish the rehearsal, which should ruin everything for me and make me miserable during the performance, being a part of the words and the music and the skill with which they were assembled by Brahms and pieced together by an orchestra and choir leaves me with joy, hope, confidence, and peace in the love of God and the place He's prepared for His people to rest.  Those are the kinds of things I'd like people to go away from my funeral carrying.

21 July 2015


I had forgotten a game
I used to play when I rode
down tree-lined sidewalks
where I would sit up as tall 
as I could to try to brush 
the overhanging leaves with 
my bike helmet.  Now that I
do not have to be hunched, 
deliberate, and slow when
I ride, I remembered and
played it again today.
Everyone who plays this 
game is a winner.

20 July 2015

on a beautiful day in summer

I am trying not
to let it matter
that I can no longer
remember the color
of the spring blossoms
on the backyard
crab-apple tree
of my youth.

18 July 2015

the first thing

The first thing I liked about this home 
was the pink tree out front in full bloom. 
Not that pale pink kind, though that 
is lovely, too, and not 
the really dark, deep 
pink but the middle-darkish 
pink that smells of heaven and keeps 
it's fruit all year round, so it is 
beautifully dressed even in the winter 
when the other deciduous 
are only 

17 July 2015

First anniversary

On this, my first
anniversary of owning
a home, I am grateful
that I have this space
to inhabit and infuse
with blues and greens
and peace and rest.

02 July 2015

To the white moth perched on the only part of the ceiling that is not white but red

To the white moth perched on the only part of the ceiling that is not white but red:

You are beautiful
and baffling.  Perhaps

you should stay inside
where it is safer and

your inability to use
your camouflage is less

likely to get you
killed and eaten

by something more
grateful for your

mistakes at fitting in
than your success

at standing out.

12 June 2015

3 things I don't love in late spring

Three things I don't love in late spring:
  • cottonwood fluff drifting
  • mosquitoes
  • dead turtles smashed on the sides of the roads

27 May 2015

the song of the temporary car

My temporary car sings me soothing songs of welcome when I get into it and when I turn it off, it caresses me with a few chords of farewell.  It is huge, with a cavernous trunk and four doors.  The rear-view mirror is magically treated to prevent glare from sun or high beam behind one.  It has digital readouts of the temperature inside and outside.  There are lots of numbers displayed.  The radio is touch screen activated.  It has power everything; I am careful not to accidentally hit any buttons or knobs or levers because I have no idea what they will do.  (One of them is probably a seat ejection button.)  The temporary car is quiet and smooth.  It accelerates and breaks with no stomping required.  It does not even have keys.  It has no rust of dings from impolite other people's doors.  Did I mention that the trunk could comfortably sleep at least 3?  They give you these courtesy cars at the dealership to tempt you with luxury.  Don't you want a better car than the broken one you are bringing in to be fixed? they ask with soothing siren songs.  Don't you want this car?  And I say No.  I can't even figure out how to work the air.  I don't care about or need all the fancy knobs and levers and numbers.  And if I got knocked off a bridge into the water, and the electrical system shorted out, I would die trapped in this fancy temporary car tomb.  No, I don't really want this car.  I thank god for my low-tech car.  Yes, my cheap little car has two spots of rust on it (curse you, hail storm), and driving it is a small wrestling match, and it hurts to roll down the windows, and it has been mercilessly dinged by other cars in parking lot battles, but the 6-year-old I took to see Peter Pan said the seat-belt buckling chime sounded like Tinkerbell, and this car is mine until death do us part, and luxury has never tempted me away from practicality.  (Also, I know that my little car has no eject button and that if I end up in the water, I can crank and open my way out to safety.)  My car is my own, and I will not be tempted away by another.

03 May 2015

hoping for a rainbow

After the torrential rain,
hail, and wind gusts made me fear
for my windows
and forced me
off the road, I
was hoping
for a rainbow. 

And there it was.

02 May 2015

between me and the sky

I love spring because
there is something
between me and the sky
besides the naked
bones of tree branches.

04 April 2015

mourning dove

On the day my uncle finally dies,
I can hear a mourning dove 
on the roof of my home, and 
I cannot bear to do anything 
that makes noise because then 
I might miss 
hearing it sing.

16 March 2015

this is how I know it is almost spring

This is how I know
it is almost spring
the tree in
the front yard has
dropped nearly all
its berries
held safe
throughout the winter.

01 March 2015

Taking a sick day

It feels like a waste for a weekend day, but I'm really feeling awful, so I am taking a sick day today.  Just as soon as I finish the laundry.  And the dishes.  And the bills. After that, I am going to lie on the couch, propped in a posturally correct position to do one thing: watch foreign DVDs with no English vocal track.  (When I do this, I can't multitask by doing other things while listening to the show.  I have to focus on this one thing.  [Whether I can or not is up for discovery.]) 

I will not
  • obsess about how I should be  cleaning the floors or researching hot water heaters or using the voice recognition software to dictate quotes from books I've read to get those shelves cleaned off. 
  • waste time looking around the internet for information about how to get rid of broken toasters and frying pans. 
  • get bent out of shape that I can't write ALL THE THINGS. 
  • take apart and put back together my tiny Christmas tree (in sad shape after two guests knocked it off its display shelf).
  • read (my elbows, wrists, and hands,  are killing me), and I won't even take notes on what I'm watching. 
  • berate myself for not sorting through files or any of the other cleaning tasks that remain from moving into this space all those months ago.
  • think about how sleep deprived and tired I am and how much I dread going to work and having to interact with people when I feel this unwell (my patience and filters are just gone, and I say things sometimes that I just shouldn't).
  • think about how helpless I feel in the face of this pain and inability to sleep.
  • worry about how much more my back hurts or why it feels like I have bruises all over it.

I will
  • work hard at not curling up into a miserable ball because that will make various things hurt more tomorrow.
  • look out the window at the trees and the sunlight.
  • remember to get up and drink water. 
  • even eat something, if I am feeling less sick. ( I probably should; if this is an allergy/weather change nausea, then getting some food in my stomach to dilute all the snot draining into it is probably a good idea.) 
  • rest as hard as I can. 
  • hope that tomorrow will be better.

24 February 2015

these small acts of self-sabotage

Why is it that I seem to be most compelled
to write when I am in more pain and know
that writing will make the pain worse?  I am
so ornery sometimes.  Are these small acts
of self-sabotage or attempts at redemption?

22 February 2015

I'm sure it has nothing to do with my clumsiness

How is it
that in any
bottle of
with an even
number of
pills I need
to take 2 of
I always end
up with a
single pill?

when the magic happens

Why must it always snow only
when I cannot look properly?  It's
only when I'm driving or at work
or lying in bed calmly despairing
of sleep (and sometimes even
sleeping) that the magic happens.

03 February 2015

the tree in winter

I've told you about some of the house
problems, but have I told you about
how beautiful the tree out front is even
in winter?  Those dark, sharp, gnarled
branches and their deep burgundy jewel
berries and the long shadows they cast
from the streetlight just next to them
in the thaw or on soft snow glittering
like tiny diamonds takes my breath
away every single night I live here.

03 January 2015

Let it Go: college magazines from 2004-2014 edition

Why is this still so hard?  I have about a decade's worth of my undergraduate college's magazines that it's difficult to throw away.  This reluctance makes no sense.  It's not as if I am going to read them.  It's not as if someone else needs them.  Recycling them so they can be something useful like toilet paper seems obviously preferable to having them lie around gathering dust.   

It's just that it feels so final, like another acknowledgement that I have given up my dream of teaching there.  As if, if I were to apply again, they would get up to the contract stage and then say, "Do you have all your alumni magazines?  Did you read them all cover to cover" and then when I said, "No," they would have to regretfully inform me that since I didn't keep the  magazines and now couldn't read them all cover to cover, they couldn't hire me.  As if my problems with them theologically and otherwise would even let me get to that point.   

Time to let go.  Maybe a symbolic, purposeful burning ceremony would be better, but I'm pretty sure my condo association has a rule against that.  To the recycling bin with ye!  May you be made into bicycles for the poor in other countries or toilet paper or printer paper or something else people will use.  Seriously.