Building the Dollhouse, Part 2

cream paint today—Buntlack
in the German which reminds me
there’s no hurry, not for me
(rain sounds like peace and wind
can’t rush it away)

if you’re a little older than when
we first dreamed up this project
that only means your skill
and taste have improved
but then I wonder

(the geese fly over
again the rain sighs
and stops)
if some twelve years of after-
adjustments have made you

want to leave these details
to me and should I be glad
you don’t mind?
we can’t be free of second-guessing
in any season

September Dance

Gold coins strewn here, there
piles gleaming—birch and redbud
fling them, showing off


Crabapple shakes out
brown tresses; these red jewels
will do, firm-fastened


Spruce in winter green
stands cool by the fence, unswayed
by north-wind rumors

Aging Song

After the long farewell to beauty of face
when body also sighs, fades, frails
what is left to me is only this grace:
beauty to give in word and voice

You will know I have not quit my place
nor turned strident in the striving
but have found peace in this quiet, by choice
by ink-stained fingers, dirt under my nails


Sharing this post from last November for International Day of Peace.

Graceful Press Poetry

A long year of watching
strife. (Earth, ocean, sun
sky, the very air above
suffers.) So this means—?
Come. Could we love?
Breathe peace song
in every language?

I was feeling pretty blank this morning, so I pulled out my mystical Magnetic Poetry set. Here’s what I found in the words. PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 18 prompt is “an idea poem.”

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Building the Dollhouse

Firstly, and to my surprise
it gets me out of bed, mornings.
Planning the work—all this trim
cutting, paint, glue. What to do
while waiting for things to dry.

I wish I’d known sooner
not to keep these projects
out of sight, out of mind (spiders
gliding between rough-ridged
roof and basement window).

No, put it smack in the library
incongruously turquoise and yellow
in the mellow, bookish front room.
Cover the writing table with stuff
like paintbrushes, sandpaper, tape.

We said we would. We will.
From piles of unlabeled wood
like any noble endeavor, bit by bit
imperfect. You need to cheer
each day’s slight progress now

that we’ve stopped pretending
you care about construction.
Waiting for the decorating
you are here for color consults
to tell me when I have blue in my hair.


You think you can prepare
for sudden loss. The late call
all the what would I do if
and what will I do when…
Much like you pause in the dark doorway
before quick-crossing moonlit floor
launching into bed as if
the monster can’t reach his long hands
snatch your ankles, yank you under
even so

Seasons Will

Remember blossom
plum-white, redbud, cherry pink?
How we were young then?


Webs sag with season’s
bounty, these crickets singing
spinners leaving home


Sunlight slants again,
yellow leaves sifted and dropped;
thyme droops, shrivels, spent


Summer spread to dry:
coriander, basil, dill,
fragrant seed by seed