Moorish Influence

I would leave this northern cool-clime,

find an antidote to delicate rose summer

nights that shiver still under the moon…


Give me a land of gold heat-shimmer, blaze-

blue sky and silent afternoons, reflecting

pools below pierced and carven screens,

ceramic tiles that mesmerize in endless

whorls of red, yellow, green. White walls

in sun-glare and hidden shady doors

drape themselves in bougainvillea

and lounging cats while inside I luxuriate

in striped silk cushions and spicy scents,

silver pot and mint tea. A mosaic fountain

plashes in the courtyard. The day releases

skin-scent; stars expand and breathe.


Inspired by dVerse, Around the World!

Alternate Trains

A long look

down short

track or short

glance down

long track

looking longingly

for one train

out of town

curving sharp

around farmland

having tunneled

through hard hills…

The empty car

is better seat-

silence sun

slanting against

glass so you see

not only waving

grain in fields

(broad flat-

horizoned view)

but your own

reflection heavy-

eyed age-lined…

No. You want

the fast train

to the city

at night lights

dim beyond

drinks car

view starry


open like

a dream


in the rhythmic

bump of tracks

someone’s sleep-

deep breathing

and slowly



that sings

your future


Travelers, Part II

We’ve been talking about Texas again.

What is this restlessness twitching our veins?

We plan and we plot these points, connect

dots on a map: a route, a view, a destination;

always moving, all ways looking ahead.


Why we can’t just breathe and appreciate

what is here, the cobbled streets and cafes,

centuries-old relics of vast human past—


Why it won’t simply root my feet to this spot

to know it is one I have wanted to stand in

so long and with such longing—


But our world-view, once expanded, shrinks

to the size of a dot. We crave the round finish,

the chord resolved. When a wooded German road

reminds you of Georgia (though there is another

road and another, beyond and unexplored),


I wonder if it’s time to go home.


Travelers, Part I

It is possible, I know, to become immune

to the beauty of our surroundings. Again

and again we catch ourselves taking this life

for granted, like someone dozing in a chair.

Sometimes I jerk awake and am surprised,

as by a third-floor view of red roofs, distant

hills, three bright white/blue/black magpies

in the eye-level treetop.



I meant, before I left, to sketch your mountains

your rich sun-slanted endless variations:

black crags heather-muted, gorse-golden

hills bristle-forested all greens

rising grassy fields white-sheep-scattered

lichened standing stones in mossy woods


I meant, before I left, to sing your waters

your sparkling cloud-cooled endless variations:

stone-tumbled beaches wave-blunted

streams rock-bedded rushing down

slow-sand firths tidal-slipping

sudden valley lochs in silent mist


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.