Teen Philosophy

Smile. Put on a bright face
I say and you ask why
should feelings be shelved
shifted like leftovers
to the back of the fridge
not good enough for company
only for quiet lonely lunching
a secret warmed-up snack
when no one is there
to see

PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 27: a leftovers poem.


would it bring you peace to discard
this entire hand of life? to draw again
as many years, breaths, fresh heartaches
theme-park rides? throw it all to the wind
that chaff-blows east from west; stretch
to that dark edge and dive into the wave
that crash-washes all trace of your salt-perfume

when you emerge gasping from the surf
it is a birth; when you emerge blinking
from the dirt-walled cellar, it is a birth
the prairie swept clean, coast swept clear—
even of your own black-cloud faults, beliefs
that you were the hurricane, tornado
lightning arcing from sea to earth to sky

draw again, draw again
see the garden dew-fresh, unflowered, full
only of possible-to-be

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 23 is to use a playing card for inspiration. I drew two cards from our Fluxx deck: Discard/Draw and Peace.  


These small tasks that maybe need

doing like basting the meat, taking

one set of sheets up and one down.

I hung the small paintings in their small

corner to remember Tuscany by as if

leaving them on the dresser could

cause me to forget


gray days are in plenty this time

of year. It goes with the drip of rain

through dwindling leaves, this draining

of my heart-well: clean, scour, overhaul

and wait for something better. It’s okay

to sit here knitting, okay to hanker

for silence and slumber. It is not winter—

the streams still run, sluggish, under

leaf-mould, damped-down—but soon

the frost, the bite, that memory of being

alive to the ambitions of spring. Please God,

remind me to pray for the green

in us all, a reason to cry

and to care.


11 September, Mozartstrasse

A day of sun and rain either matches
or causes my mood; we have the illusion
like prism’d spray that we have arrived
at a cross-roads again

(the garden drips fruit-full but yellow
un-leaving but budding for fall bloom
as if no one knows what’s coming)

A day of rain and sun so I vacillate
poised on the balcony-edge of ennui
and sudden energy of making-purpose
jealous of sparkling brilliance

(the drops gather waiting on waxy leaves
spattered tiles, blown roses, trembling
energy before they are ripe for a splash)

I dress in gray and that’s not working
I drink tea and tree-gaze and that’s not working
We weigh this decision as if we had any sway
over these flighty earth-bound souls

(the sky is sudden in the hills—
watch clouds overspill forested heights
race wind-chastened down our valley)


unwind one of those days

that I cringe from (yearn

toward) human touch


no one likes to be accused

of failure—in the street

in the heart or anywhere


cookies aren’t the cure

nor a brisk walk! nor any bottle

don’t sell me your solutions


blessed are they who make

beauty: their fruit shines

over rivers of bitterness


don’t blame someone else

don’t blame yourself; leave

your sentence open-ended


Laws of Nature

It is irresistible, this impulse to seek

the flaw in the diamond. I must discover

and tell anew that the first day of summer

is but first of long fall to darkling end.

It is the (s)matter of gray caught in corner-

eyed mirror, debate whether to get up

of a sunny morn (for the heat seeds

its own raincloud), sudden insight that I was

this child only summers ago and now

this child (long ago relinquished to earth’s

spinnings and cunning traps) is the sought-

for fruiting. How we give way to the bud

when we thought only to blossom.

We shrivel, all energy spent in the making.


Literary in the Forest

Miss Havisham, dear Ophelia, let us flee

this dark house, the cruelty of misplaced

desire, the paneling of which is suitable

only for our coffins. Let us find another wood,

a brighter home of our own choosing, lush

with fern, moss-hushed, honeysuckle glinting,

scenting the sunlight and the hill-born(e)

breeze. Let us step from the shade into glade

of pink foxglove, listen for rocks’ water-song

and silence of trees.

                                            There is no revenge in pity,

no sympathy in surrender, so cast off your wrecked

dresses, your sodden tresses; care not about full-

filling hours. We will study butterfly wings, speech

of birds. We will deck ourselves with wild roses—

or toss them at the b(r)ook.