Monday, June 26, 2017

Warm bones

We live with two cats, an old gray tabby and a young calico. When the tabby yowls, the calico makes sure to check on him. She is also the one who keeps the cat box clean.

The big gray tabby
On occasion
Finds his way
We need a ranch for him
As well.
Yesterday my beloved
Carried him downstairs
So he could be close
To food and water
And litter.
Then he climbed
Back to bed
In the living room.
His voice
Is still strong.
We hear him
The house.
Now he sleeps
In the sun
It warms
His bones.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

What will happen

Word is we will be getting some sort of new BCP in 2018. I wonder if the Eucharist will not be in the middle of the Book?

What will happen
If the psalms leave
The Book of Common Prayer?
No longer the rubrics
Which tell us
What to read
On what day
Of the month?
Will they still be numbered
As my first husband
So he knew
What to read
Will they be there
At all?

Friday, June 23, 2017

Our home is filled with birds

In memory of Thomas Sadler Roberts

Our home is filled
With birds.
No surprise here.
Curlews and crows
Water birds
A loon
In the dining room
Never too many birds.
My great grandfather
Would be proud.
He knew the birds
Now replaced
By the Mall
Of America.
He knew the birds
Of Minnesota
Before the Metrodome
Was built.
Our home is filled
With birds.
We remember him.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Childhood memories

I was always the iron
My brother the race car.
We moved
At the same speed.
He usually bought
Board Walk
And Park Place
Put hotels everywhere
I moved more slowly
Did not pass Go
As often
I was the iron
My brother
The race car.
I do not remember
What piece
My sister had
Or the speed
She went
Or the number of houses
She built
Or how many times
She passed Go.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Nests are made from all kinds of things. I have never seen a wire nest.

We have not repaired
The screen.
The wires dangle
Odd angles.
Strange pieces hang.
The goldfinch has found
For her nest.
We wonder what kind
Of nest
This will be.
The goldfinch
Is delighted.
What wonder is this.
What eggs
Will this protect.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Today is my day

Today is a solitary day. We all need them. I may even pull some rhubarb.

It’s not quite cloudy
The sun goes in
And out
Sky is blue and white
And gray
Now the birds proclaim sun
The cats
Move with it
The way cats do.
Today is my day.
I will pull weeds
Clip extra mulberries
Decide who
To call in
To do the rest.
Today is my day.
I am glad.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


I am still processing my February "adventure." Many people had a part to play. I remember some of them. I do not remember others. 

The neighbor next door
Rescued me.
I remember only
It was a man
I do not know.
I went to the hospital
With sepsis
In the end I remember
I might have died.
It seems
All the neighbors
Were called upon.
Of course
I do not remember
Which ones
Except the one friend
Who told me
I bumped myself
Down the stairs
In a stunning way.
I’m glad
Was stunning.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


I am hung up on poetry being accessible. I know accessibility is probably in the mind and heart of the reader.

There are poets
Who write indecipherable
They are often
In the annals
Of the Library of Congress
Or even beyond.
The poems
Do not echo
Anyone else’s
I wish I understood
The accolades.
I do not.
I am not
Anyone else.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Rhubarb for free

My family would tease me about all the rhubarb in the freezer. I moved from making sauce, to freezing it for later. Now it's back there waiting.

There is rhubarb
Back there
I cannot harvest.
There is rhubarb
For anyone who loves
I will make you
Iced tea
Sit a spell
Or not.
Take the rhubarb home
Make pie or sauce.
Rhubarb for free.
Ready to harvest.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Nine goats

I can picture the goats and the donkey, smiling.

Nine goats
And a miniature donkey
Are at work
In Pittsburgh.
They clear underbrush
From a local park.
Nine goats,
A miniature donkey.
They eat their way
Through the park.
I imagine they smile.
When they are done
There will be more land
To clear.
Nine goats
A donkey.
Then there will be more
To munch.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Our thirty year old box turtle died this morning. We sit Shiva. We are sad. Goodbye Felix.

We sit Shiva
For Felix
The turtle who made it
To thirty
On blueberries
Some dogfood
And recently
Red wigglers.
We sit Shiva
For Felix
Now dead.
It is right
To remember

Sunday, June 11, 2017

To return

This feels odd. I know it's not just tea vs. coffee. The last major adventure in the hospital I gave up coffee because it was wretched hospital hardly seemed worth it. Now we're back to coffee.

We still return.
How long will it take?
We drank tea
After cup
Of tea.
Now it’s back
To coffee.
We still return.
We do not know
How long
It will take
To return
To really

Friday, June 9, 2017

East to west

The last time we went to Europe I don't remember this particular difficulty. Yet, this time, here it is.

We practice the return.
Our body clocks
Are somewhere in Labrador
By now.
When they will arrive
In Chicago
Is too soon
To tell.
A friend tells us
It is always easier
Traveling east
Than traveling west.
We creep west.
We wait to return

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I realize I might have called this "tides" but it occurred to me I might want to call something else by that name. Since this is directly tied to the trip to Lindisfarne which spellcheck tells me is not a word, I figured it needed its own space. The island of Lindisfarne is beautiful, well worth another visit, and then another.

No one really lives
On Lindisfarne.
The tides go in,
The tides go out.
The tour buses arrive,
They leave
With the tides.
No one really lives
On Lindisfarne,
Save perhaps the solitary fisherman
Or two,
The scone lady
And her husband,
The gardener.
The tides go in,
The tides go out.
The tour buses
Honor the schedule.
We hear of one lady
Left behind.
The tides
Wait for no one.
This is the way
With tides.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Are we there yet?

This is not the first time in the course of this travail that I have asked the question. I suspect it will also not be the last.

He says
I’m doing better
But not better enough
To drop a medication.
I ask
He smiles and says
We’ll consider it
In four or five years.
I feel like the child
In the backseat
Of the car.
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
How about now?
Not yet.
Four years
Five years
A million years.
Are we there yet?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

My kith, my kin

I did not write while in Europe. It seemed I would lose something if I did. I wanted to pay attention in a different way.

Europe had more stairs
But better bathrooms
It’s still amazing
The people I see
My kith
My kin
Even somewhere
On the autism spectrum
Our brains
Our feet
Our lives
Our loves
Our cares
Our light
Our dark
Here we are
All of us
We walk in the sun
We walk by the light
Of the moon
Of the stars
With our kith
With our kin.

Monday, June 5, 2017


Ah, cats. This is the first time the kitten has been without familiar human company for any stretch of time. The older cat knows "all will be well." He sleeps and eats until the next person arrives at the front door. He knows that person will adore him.

The kitten
Has just figured
She was abandoned
For two weeks.
She spent
The last two days
In cuddle mode.
Out come the claws.
Now she races
Through the house,
Up and down
The stairs.
The older cat
Takes it
As it comes.
Food and water,
The occasional lap.
He sheds on
On whomever
Will allow him
A lap.
He craves attention
From whomever
Walks through
The front door.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

No puffins

Home again. I am glad to be home. We are planning a closer trip to see puffins.

In the blue chair
With the cats,
The familiar birds.
My beloved added
Three birds
To his life list
But alas
No puffins.
We shall have to
Try again.
We joke
That we take a vacation
Like this
Every ten years.
We will try for puffins
Next time,
In less than
Ten years.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

In between

I have never been an easy traveler. I have never "rushed" well. I do not "rush well" in particular, these days. How is it possible to lose a walker? Let me tell you.

Still in preparation
For the trip.
I am not
An easy traveler.
I left my walker
In women’s T-shirts
At Target,
Had to ask an employee
To find it for me.
He did.
I left my walker
In the parking lot.
We drove back
To find it.
We did,
In the lost
And found.
We listened
To comedy sketches
On the radio
To and from,
Wrote our own sketches
In between.
I am not
An easy traveler.
It helps to laugh
In between.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Getting ready. No, we have not packed yet. Yes, we are getting ready to pack.

In the morning
I clear my brain
By writing.
It surprises me
What has been left
Just as
It surprises me
What leftovers remain
In the refrigerator.
I did not remember
We had that
For dinner
Three days ago.
To get with
The clearance
Before we leave
For the trip.
That is recyclable.
That is trash.
Those are cats
Who need
The loveys only we
Can give.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


So many more things to plan these days. Back then it was just me. Back then so many things did not occur to me. My father told me he could get anywhere in the world in 24 hours. Now I wonder what good 24 hours would have done. 

All the particulars
Of such a trip.
I did this
Much more easily
When I was 19,
Took the Orient Express
From Paris
To Athens,
By myself,
With a train compartment
Of Germans.
We spoke in sign language.
We pointed.
We shared water
And oranges.
Oh I did this
Much more easily
I did not know
To panic
When my passport
Was confiscated
As we entered
I did not know to breathe
A sigh of relief
When the passport
Was returned.
I know
So much more
I know
So much less

Saturday, May 13, 2017

More preparation...check

Norway in a Nutshell...fyords and mountains and trains and buses and boats...

Sump pumps...check
Compression socks…check
Dry cleaning…check
Oslo via Stockholm…check
Still more to do
Glad we don’t leave
Until Tuesday night.
Amazing this is only
A two week trip.
I will miss
Being home
But glad to travel
See my daughter
And friends.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Order beginnings. It is vital to keep beginning, then beginning again, even if it means getting up at 7:30.

She comes
Every other Friday
Makes us get up
At 7:30.
It would not be
Our preference
But this is what fits
In her schedule.
I make the coffee
Write the check
Make sure
The recycling
Is in the bin.
My beloved makes sure
The car is moved.
We both make sure
We are dressed.
She comes
Every other Friday
Makes us get up
At 7:30.
She creates order
Out of chaos
A place
To begin again.
The house smells good
When she
Is gone.
We begin

Wednesday, May 10, 2017


We got seats with more leg room this time around. We did not fuss with the menus. I am excited and apprehensive. The turtle is boarding with our son. We have hired someone to care for the cats.

Are you excited?
Are you apprehensive?
Do you know
What you are?
I know the trip
Will be better
Than the last one,
Squished in the back row
With seats
That did not lean back,
With meals
That were all
Except for possibly
The vegetarian option.
I ordered kosher.
I understood kosher
Was always better.
The flight attendant
Was confused
At this cross-wearing person
Who did not care
If she opened the cover
Of the meal.
In the end
The kosher meal
Was still
Airline food.
Am I excited?
Am I apprehensive?
Do I know
What I am?
I will be
What I am
No less
No more
No kosher meal.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


I have to look up sparrows every time I see them, every time I hear them. 

I know sparrows
Can tell one
From another.
We are the ones
That think of them
As plain
With maybe
One distinctive
They are anything but
One sparrow
Knows another.
I have to look them up
When I see them,
When I hear them.
Someone has decided
What determines
They have
No such terms
Each sparrow knows
Its own kind.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Pomegranate seeds

For Laurie Michaels, with whom I share a throne, with whom we share thrones with so many others.

I majored
In Classics.
I did not think
Of Persephone
Except the six pomegranate seeds
She ate
In the Underworld.
They made her Queen
Of Hades.
What of the six seeds
She ate
In the world above.
Surely she had a throne
The crown moved
From the Underworld
To the Overworld
Until it all became
One world
If we look
If we notice
Where the throne is

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Men's socks

Ah, the suppositions we all make. Ah, the kin we find...when we're looking

The salesman
In the wheelchair
Wanted to direct me
To women’s socks.
I told him men’s socks
Would do the trick
With my braces.
Women’s socks are too thin.
He nodded
On the way out the door
The salesman
Wished us a good day.
My beloved told me
The salesman
Wore braces too.
I find kin
Some in hidden braces,
Some with walkers,
Some in wheelchairs.
The man in front of us
In church today
Cannot chew.
I am grateful
I can.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Some will stay

Therapy is interactive. Sometimes people stay. Sometimes they don't.

When people
Come to me
 I ask
What they would like
To focus upon.
It is different
For every single person.
No matter
What my training is.
Where does it hurt?
What brings you here?
We’ll start there.
Maybe we’ll move on.
Maybe we won’t.
Some will stay.
Some won’t.
I never know.

Friday, May 5, 2017


We are taking project at a time.

In search of
Someone to stare
Into the garage
No judgment
No extra words
Submit a quotation
For most of it
To go.

Will be gift
Number one.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Blog spam

I wondered where it went.

My own blog posts
From my inbox.
Someone in Google land
Decided my writing
Was spam.
I only appreciated Spam
When I went camping
As a Girl Scout
And then
Only fried
Over a campfire.
I retrieved the writing ,
Claimed it back
Into my inbox.
Life in computer land
Is more complex
Than I knew.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Cat person

We meet the person who will potentially take care of the cats while we are gone. Juneau will meet him lovingly. Calli will most likely hide. She looks like a different animal since her "groom" or "kind of groom." We have never had a cat who needs grooming before. She was part of a litter of "woods kittens." Now she looks like a shorn sheep.

We meet the cat person
This evening.
The older cat
Will love him.
He loves everyone.
The younger cat
Will most likely hide
She takes forever
To warm up
To anyone.
Her groomer
Clipped the mats
From her fur.
She now looks
Like a partially shorn
She would not sit still
For the whole groom.
We meet the cat person
This evening.
He will meet
One cat.
The sheep cat
May never appear.