Fine Lines

I’ll trace them, if I may.

This is not to blame my children

nor to blame myself for having children

(it was foolish, pure instinct) but can I blame

Pinterest for conflicting inspirational quotes

on pretty posters? Can I blame well-meaning

bloggers for telling me these are the chores

your 4-year-old should be doing and how

to raise boys in this ravaged world?

Abyssus Abyssum Invocat

There is a chasm between two souls

deeper than the deepest ocean rift

and more full of watered mystery


To have given birth is not enough

To have carried and nursed is not enough

To love with this whole fractured being is not enough


We have a deeper communion, perhaps

with Other than with each other

That knowledge is not enough


I’ve often dreamt of your drowning

torn from my arms and lost in black water

It is the deep calling to the depths in us


Shall we take the plunge? Shall we sink ourselves

to the very floor of the abyss—abandon all

claim to one another and therein find our kinship?


*9 May 2015…A year since I wrote this, I’m realizing it’s a Mother’s Day poem of sorts…

Inspired by We Drink Because We’re Poets Prompt #9: Write a poem inspired by a Latin proverb. I was interested to find that there are at least two interpretations of this one, “deep calls to deep” (taken straight from the Latin Vulgate translation of Psalm 42) and “hell calls to hell” (meaning, loosely, that one bad thing leads to another). I’ll have to prefer the first sense.


Tell me if you’re game for a little dig

at our history. Not the tourist-trap

grabbing of photo-surface rubble

but a real excavation:

Let’s look at foundation.


Smash apart the facade marked “1379,”

bulldoze right through the war’s reparations

(all-new electric, clean-water pipes—

the glossing of horror for a new generation):

Let’s make an excavation.


Throw down stone by stone the rotting

temples. Send sandals to museums

and pocket the coins, shut your ears

to the years of blood-screaming conflagration:

Let’s dig the foundation.


Auger deep through layers of weapons, potsherds,

bones. Build mountains of mud and sand, crush

ideals and human promise, fossils since time began.

Later we’ll puzzle over fragmentation

or play a game of recalculation.


There’s nothing here not damaged, exploded,

shaken, nothing whole to the earth’s core

since we learned greed and hate.

(But tell me you’re game; let’s excavate.)


Where is hope’s fountain

that deep well, that rock?


We don’t have the machinery to cut it.


My first attempt at a Speakeasy prompt: #160. 


Mornings at Home

It would be the morning the boat left

(not the one she dreamed, coffee-mug in hand

gazing out the window at the season’s first rose—

the morning he returned and the floor still sticky

from yesterday’s juice spill)

or any morning after


Every afternoon an excruciating exercise in desk-sitting

watching the sun cross, sink, disappear

Every evening a ticking away on the wedding-present mantel-clock

and old news the worst news: death, war, nature’s havoc

Every night a dark-staring contest and the house creaking its joints

some small balcony-creature scritching at the door


It would be the morning the boat left—

the third of May—the docks a hundred miles away

and she would be home with the juice spill

every morning now looking just like the last


Inspired by We Drink Because We’re Poets Prompt #8: “Write an ode to Mornings…anything goes.” I skipped the “ode” part and embraced the “anything goes.”


Crossing an ocean counter to the sun

has brought me forward both in space and time:

my home was long ago and far away.

From my person then and there (O frantic soul),

this journey takes me farther every day

and settles me more nearly in my rhyme.


I found it wasn’t hard to bid farewell

to places I knew I’d one day see again,

but here each sight is rich, unique and brief;

I want to linger and yet race to the next.


This will be a goodbye full of grief.


I thought I’d mess around with the NaPoWriMo Day 26 prompt: Write a curtal sonnet. I made a bit of a mess. It’s also partly about goodbyes, which is the Day 30 prompt. *sniff*

I Am Not Quite Myself Today

Today I am a journeyer, a woman of the world


I am someone who says goodbye

without tears, who does not consider

whence the next meal will come

I am someone who leaves behind the hairdryer

(there are always hats), someone who irons her slacks


Today I forego nature for an international flight

Today my heart glows under city lights


Inspired by Quickly’s Prompt for April 24: Write a poem in which you are not quite yourself.

The Bumblebee of Forgiveness

Forgiveness–a social insect–
feels fuzzy, visits flowers every day
(A few hardy species range
into very cold climates)

Once common in the West
forgiveness is in danger
Its decline could cause changes
in the countryside

Forgiveness should be incapable
of flight (a misconception)
All you need is a spare hour
to go walking, recording
forgivenesses you see


Inspired by NaPoWriMo’s prompt: Write a replacement poem (swap an intangible noun for a concrete one). I found some great info about bumblebees at Wikipedia,, and