Sunday, September 24, 2017

Six cars

People live here their entire lives

There are six cars
In the driveway,
One SUV,
One motorcycle
In front
Of the house
Across the street.
We want to hope
The best.
We fear
They do not gather
For a celebration.
People on our street
Live here
Their entire lives.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Grackle conversation

It's fun to project our thoughts on animals...even if they're thinking or talking about nothing at all.

The grackles line up
On the crab apple branches.
I believe
They talk about
What’s next
In Gracklese,
Although maybe
It’s only usual
Saturday conversation,
Like we have
Over a cup
Of coffee.
No plans here.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Remains of World War III

Sometimes a distance in time allows the possible enormity to sink in. It never quite occurred to me that the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War and World War III were linked. Of course it did occur to my father, who fought in WWII. 

We always begin
With our own experience.
Where else
Would we begin?
Then certain pictures
Bring home
How widespread
It was,
How widespread
It is.
The remains
Of the possibility
Of World War III
Are left
All over the world.
I begin
At a fall-out shelter
In northern Minnesota
With enough food,
Even dogfood.
I was seven
And a cat
For Halloween.
My parents
Had the radio on,
Tried to make things
As normal as possible
In the north woods
Of Minnesota,
That October.
The remains
Of the beginning
Of World War III
Still remain
All over the world.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Here's to life

Here's to life.

It takes awhile
Sometimes years
Sometimes decades
To speak into
The deep sort,
The core sort.
It winds its way
Around our limbs,
Around our necks,
In order to move
In order to breathe
The only option
Is death
Or life.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Today I decided to listen beyond what I normally do. Surprise...I heard more.

I enjoy
The unplanned conversations
The people
Who drop in
And through
My life,
The unexpected folk
Who don’t say
Or do
What I thought
They would.
The element
Of surprise
Expands my life
When I let it.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Guest pass

Ah, the wonders that appear in the email box. So many guest passes.

Now comes
An offering,
A guest pass
To apply
For the next level,
More letters
After my name
As if
More letters
More levels
Are needed.
I like
The offering part,
The guest pass

I pass.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

One Christmas

This is for my aunt, Catharine Seybold,  my mother's oldest sister. I am now the last Catharine Seybold in the line, after my grandmother and aunt. I never knew my grandmother, but I carry her name and genes. My aunt counted on my mother to pass on the name. So here I am. I write in name and memory of both of them. I write with love of language. I write remembering Aunt Catharine's wanting the "best translation" of the Bible for her bookshelf. A connector between us. She rarely (probably never) went to church.

One Christmas
Her present to each of us
Was the recently-edited
Chicago Manual of Style,
I don’t remember
Which edition.
She and a colleague
Were the authors (editors?).
When she left The Press
She wanted to hear
From me
The best Bible translation
To keep
On the bookshelf
In her retirement community.