Saturday, December 29, 2012

Birthday

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Let's span the poles
hand in hand
as we celebrate this
most important day of
birth and rebirth
life and sobriety
friendship!
I bow to you and then
we dance, joyfully
graceful, toes twinkling
in the aurora borealis
of our hopes and dreams.
Giggling over sweets and tea
delighting in our
commonalities of
friendship
wordsmithing
humor.
Despite the fact
we've never met,
virtual sisters joined
by choice.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas past



















The inner child weeps as
we decorate the tree,
her tears seeping down
my cheeks, at the
memories attached to
each ornament
some made
some given
some sad.
I gently hang
the tiny stocking
with her name,
remembering the
sisters who each have
one just like it with
names in glitter.
She misses them,
as I do, but contact isn't worth
the pain
that is always
delivered.
So many sad
childhood Christmases,
not about the presents
or lack of,
but about the annual message
delivered of
being
'less than'
'not good enough'
'bad'.
Never about anything
positive, only
negative.
Unkind, untrue words
spoken by
abusers
child molesters
parents
clergy,
undeservedly certain of
their goodness
rightness
righteousness.
We survived those
young years, to tell
our truth
and to make
joyful holidays
happen
now.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Privileged duty

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Purposefully inking the dots on

the pristine white card,
thoughts of other elections are
unexpectedly recalled.
Puzzling over that first absentee ballot,
seeking others to witness my
tentative choices.
Fearfully following
the ex husband into a church 
in an unknown neighborhood 
on a scary dark evening
to elect the lesser of 
two late eighties bozos.
Listening to a boyfriend berate
me for my presidential choice
while he gave my sick self 
a ride home from the polls.
Standing with legs wide apart,
my small daughter playing between
with toys and my shoelaces,
binky firmly plugged in her tiny lips.
She rises and grips my legs
as I study the options,
carefully poking the chads out.
Taking my niece today to register and
vote for her very first time, feeling
the pride of being an American and
a woman and voting my beliefs
without apology.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sins of the mothers

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Generations of dysfunction
abuse and incest
emotional neglect and
alcoholism and death and
physical harms
continue and continue and
continue, harm without end.
Sadness and rage at the
powerlessness to protect
or treat those affected, who
are unwilling to see the
unfolding shape of their
damaged lives.
The victims want no
help
will not acknowledge the
reality that these
problems
have their roots in
several generations back, when
child rearing was often
violently unchallenged,
those bloody lessons learned
then inflicted thoughtlessly
on innocent children
who then go on to taint
their own babies.
The wheel spins on, ancestors.
Could you pray for your children
to escape this cycle?
Is there hope for your purgatorial
willingness to do the right thing
now?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Delighted to be

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Every day a joy
for as simple a reason as
the house is always clean,
kitchen counters are clear,
fridge is tidily arranged and
not a condiment graveyard.
The table is smooth, stain-free,
pretty, elegant. The floors
shine under meticulous care,
reflecting the flickering lights
many vanilla candles throw.
Coziness saunters through
every inch of home, possessively
relaxing in every nook and cranny.
Deep waves of well-being
roll out every evening,
blanketing the neighborhood
with the ecstatic contentment
of living in peaceful solitude
once again.

*********************************

Thank you, Hyde Park Poetry, for the award!





















I would humbly like to nominate Fire and Ice for consideration in future awards!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The last moment

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Hoping against hope
until the very last
moment
that things could be
different and that
we
could still be 'we'.
There was the last
moment
of telling you
I was leaving.
Then the one when you
signed the separation
agreement,
the only thing
we've agreed on
in years.
The last faint chance
as I bought
a new home.
And the so very weak
speck
of hopeless wishing and
swallowed tears,
mourning,
as I began
to move out and
move on.
Even that first dinner
on the first night
under
my
new roof,
you still could not give and
be
who you promised to
be.
Even now,
your children
your friends
your sister
plead with you,
not to take
these steps.
You smile
and
continue.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Living with intention



















Rebuilding
flying high
I refuse to be
categorized as
starting over.
These changes are
just the latest leg in
my life's journey.
I strive to make every
moment, every movement
matter. Working with
deliberation and
thoughtfulness, forming
each written letter and word
with precision
crafting my home with
an eye to beauty and
sensuality and the
simple pleasing of
my soul
so long denied by
the structure of
another's dreams and
routines.
Mine
all mine.
I am responsible for
the shape of
my life
now.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Missing


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Listening for the thunderous
sound of feet on the porch
seconds after the car door slams,
I only hear the wind chimes.
Longing for the loud
messy tornado of you
wrestling the dog on the
scarily clean floor.

(Submitted for Thursday Poets Rally, Week 71, 8-22-12)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Inner children dreams #2

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The little boy and girl
played side by side
quietly,
the boy glancing up
periodically from
glaring at the girl
to stare defiantly
at me.
The little girl serenely
dug in the dirt
with a stick
stirring, shaping, discarding,
eyes fixed on her imagination
while he picked up handfuls
of soil,
first sifting it through his
fingers, then clenching it
with his fists
wanting to throw the dirt
at her.
He dropped the dirt
and ran away from us
to hide behind a tree,
my eyes following
him alertly, knowing
his mind as I did,
aware he wanted to
sully and sadden
what he could
not be. In her separate world,
she carefully arranged
rocks and twigs and dandelions,
gently prodding ants into line,
trusting me to
protect her
still.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Letters to God

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You led me
slowly
to this place in
my life.
I am grateful
that You were patient,
gentle with me.
Showing me the way,
You waited for me to
make the decisions
that needed to be made
by me,
though I begged
You to make them
for me.
Knowing what I needed
better than I did,
You loved me
through it all to
today.
Oh, it has hurt but
I love You
trust You
follow You
because You alone have
never betrayed me
as so many of Your
other children have.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why must I wake up?

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In a dream of
the funeral of my marriage
the church was packed with
people who didn't seem too
sad though they all showed up
afterwards to the reception
to eat and talk.
An old friend was a sort of
emcee there, showing me racks
of junk food and books of
craft projects.
All the while, she busily
painted huge mural
backdrops onto canvas stretched
over the floor, then hanging them
up with complete delight in her
own efforts.
At the end, she gave me a kindle
book of house listings that was
tuned to an Etsy store made up
of possibilities, my finger flipping
the pages, dreaming.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Inner child dreams

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The baby was in my dreams
again last night.
She was healthy, pink, chubby,
over-dressed in winter snowsuit
in the middle of summer's heat.
What a blessing to see her thriving
and not failing as she was when I
first dreamed of her in my arms....
This time, she was hot fussy overwhelmed
I peeled off the suffocating
layers and spoke to her in soothing
lullaby tones. As her sweaty stressed
body cooled, she fixed her eyes
steadily on mine, insisting on
my unwavering attention,
letting me know with
her clear green gaze that I
must take care of us
now
not later
not allow us to be smothered and
minimized and ignored.
I picked her up, dressed only
in a tee shirt and diaper
and held her close, smoothing the
heat from her skin.
She laid her head on my shoulder,
trusting.

Messengers

http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&rlz=1C1CHKZ_enUS440US440&biw=1600&bih=775&tbm=isch&tbnid=KhHYumVKIQe35M:&imgrefurl=http://arbroath.blogspot.com/2010/04/carrier-pigeons-to-be-used-during.html&docid=MunVJ7ixH5pB5M&imgurl=http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_f98opUNuVXc/S9L8_qKKG6I/AAAAAAAAO_8/moKQJyA6jM0/s400/carrier_pigeon.jpg&w=400&h=300&ei=aivmT726Nsfi2QXVwIjaCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=374&sig=101858965575365153697&page=1&tbnh=130&tbnw=178&start=0&ndsp=36&ved=1t:429,r:23,s:0,i:186&tx=137&ty=43
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Coffee with one
Lunch with another
Phone call to a third
Putting out the word
Slow boat to China
Carrier pigeon with scroll
Smoke signals on the bluff
Telegraph key tapping
Emails whispering
Drums beating out the
message, echoing in the
hills, of my latest
bid for freedom.
Dreams coalescing as
I talk, surf, shop, commiserate
with true friends who have
no doubt about their
sexual identities.
I need a place to live and
a comfy bed to sleep in.
And tea.
And a puppy.
And books, the vessels
of my thoughts,
putting me afloat in the
beautifully clear
stream of single
-mindedness.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Communication

We have none.
I ask you questions
and you totally ignore
me or answer thirty
minutes later and then
you are cranky when I
ignore you because  I am
exasperated by your attitude.
I try to talk to you and you
snore or watch tv.
Awesome attitude for someone
who says they love me!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Fly to the spider













I mourn
but not really
your presence in
my life.
I can't remember
anymore
if we really
got married or
was that just a
spectacle to frame
your lies and
selfishness in
a socially
acceptable venue,
followed quickly
by the spinning of
a sticky web
that damn near
trapped
me.
Image credit

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Graduate

The long awaited and
feared day is upon me,
the Kid is graduating from
high school and preparing to
fledge to college.
I look in the mirror and
see only myself, at that
age, so excited and so ready.

I wonder how my parents felt
on this day. I only remember
exasperation and perceived
disappointment.
I hope it was so much more
positive than that.

I only have joy for her!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Listening













'Tears from heaven.'
'Seasons of love.'
'Kisses sweeter than wine.'
The songs play
the tears flow
the memories stream
the rain falls and
we recall and reminisce
as we listen to each other's
love and longing for the
music of her laughter
for Mom, missing
her still, though it's
been two years,
today it feels like
just a few hours ago.
Her giggles chime
like distant bells
in my head
right now
and I smile,
forgiving.
'I'll take you home again, Kathleen',
God whispers to us.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Terror

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This child, this child, this child
What is wrong, what is wrong?
The tremors and convulsions
wracking her body, anxiety twisting
the features of this most precious daughter,
tears streak my face
as I hold on to her, soothing,
loving, worrying, hyper focused
as I always have but
this, this, this is so new and
unknown and uncontrollable.
Oh my girl
praying for solutions
hoping for the best and simplest
but fearing the worst.
In anguish, I finally comprehend
the caregivers of those with
various disabilities, delays and
challenges, their selfless love and
duty to the one they love,
unconditionally committed
as all true loves are.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Freedom's Lullaby

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Sleep, my dear,
and never forget
the freedoms our mothers
fought for.
Sleep my dear,
and do not fret
our rights not smothered
by bores.
Sleep, my dear,
and never regret
being female not other
like before.
Sleep, my dear,
while women still sweat
for equal pay while many another
were called whores.
Sleep, my dear,
while I chant vignettes
"her"story made rather
daily, ever more.

(Written for NaPo Day 18, "Write a lullaby", 4/18/12
and inspired by this video on women's suffrage.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Inner Child

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Dear Inner Child,
No need to be scared,
precious one.
He's just a man asking
a few non-threatening questions. 
He's not trying to harm you.
Don't let him under
your skin, don't be afraid.
Let me make it better.
Ah, let me blot those tears 
and let's go for a walk under the
blue skies of a Wyoming spring, 
calming the terrors and uncertainty
of your smallness, still mentally
trapped in the centennial year, 
unable to grow and let go. 
Look, I see the apple trees starting
to bloom, their delicate pinkish-white
blossoms slowly opening in
the tentative warmth of the new season.
Come to my arms, precious one,
and heal.
(Written for NaPo Day 17, "Epistolary Poem", 4/17/12)
(Also posted for CarryOn Tuesday #152, 4/17/12)

What if

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What if
she was and is
a saint and
the stories of her
passing were true?
And what if
she truly did humbly
take our failings
and hers with
her into death?
And
what if,
on that final night,
the house was stuffed
with the skin-tingling and
hair-raising presence of
deceased family and
heavenly host,
crowding in to
joyfully await her
joining with them
in the Eternal?
And what if she saw them,
knew they were there?
Why would they be there if
she hadn't ultimately been
loved and forgiven?
What if my latent negativity
regarding her is
ultimately misplaced and
misconceived and childishly clung to,
despite the certain imperfections of
her earlier life and
her children's parenting?

Could I be that happy for her?
That forgiving?
That excited?
That healed?
That...open?
(Posted for dVerse Poets Pub, OpenLinkNight Week #40, 4/17/12)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ocean












Tides run strong and deep
seemingly sweeping peacefully
around rocks and obstacles
moving boats and docks and
seaweed in gentle tetris patterns of
of lunar pull, blues and greens
and silvers and misty dreams.
Then waves crash and wind
shrieks and a storm arises and
the apparent wrath of
storms and tsunamis rises
destructive and terrible surges
and everyone wonders why
this is happening to them.
If only they'd really been
watching the weather and
the signs, they'd have seen
this one coming.
(Written for NaPo Day 16, "Ocean", 4/16/12)
Image credit

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Triplets



















The colors swirl, whirl, twirl
around the world, curled, furled.
My love was new, few, true.
Your words were flowery, towering, lowering,
the truth was ne'er to be found, sound, round.
Confusion reigned, swayed, brayed.
Shapes shifted, wafted, rafted
while the moon looked, frisked, docked.

(Written for Mag 113, 4/15/12)

Dreams of college















We trail after her and the group
during the campus tour, joking quietly
to each other, proud parents
of an uptight, snobby, super
smart teenager who is terrified
we will embarrass her on this,
her first visit to the college
where she will spend the
next four years of her life.
Beneath my veneer of indifferent
pride, I study my own barely
suppressed excitement at this coming
change in her life, remembering my
own university days, some of the
best days of my life, of freedom,
of autonomy, of release from the
shackles of parental control, of
expanded thinking and world views.
I want to dash around and peek
in the doors of the classrooms and
dormitories and dozens of campus
facilities, pretending to be eighteen
and on the cusp of the beginning
of my adult life, not plodding
through my middle age, longing
to be my daughter.
(Posted for Poetry Picnic Week 31, 4/15/12)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Date night

Spritzing her neck and wrists
with perfume, Hawaiian White Ginger,
she studies herself in the mirror.
Her long flowing floral dress with
seventies colors and patterns
swirls around her ankles, silkily
gliding over her skin.
Her waist-length, curly brown hair
is firmly upswept on her head,
elegant, controlled.
The dressy low heels tap across
the floor as she kisses each child
on the head and then takes my
dad's arm to sail out of our house.
After watching the car back
out of the driveway,
we kids race the babysitter to
the popcorn and chocolate chip
cookies, ready for fun,
games, and tv, sans parents.


(Written for NaPo Day 11, "Write a five senses poem", 4/11/12)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Go and catch a falling star


















Go and catch a falling star
an angel's tear,
a sailor's yarn.
Find a precious moment, dear,
and cherish it through
all the years.
How can one hold
a falling star?
After all, it is moving,
brightly far.
My dearest girl,
your light is incandescent,
your arc long and luminous.
I watch you soar and cheer
you on, as you travel the
night sky of my life in
your own
vivacious galaxy
not falling,
but rising,

(Written for NaPo Day 10,
"Write a poem using the first line of another's poem", 4/10/12.
I chose "Song" by John Donne - my daughter's favorite poem.)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tranny vision

I'm a girl. Yes, I am.
See my nails and boobs?
Don't be telling me I have a beard shadow,
girlfriend, after all those hours I spent
shaving and putting on my face.
Ooooh - check out these kicky sandals.
Do you know how hard it is to find
size thirteen women's shoes that
aren't butt ugly?
What do you mean, blue eyeshadow
is so seventies? I think it really brings
out my eyes.
I just love wearing hose and heels
and the silky feeling of lingerie on
my waxed legs. Don't you like it too?
What? I don't understand why you
think that June Cleaver went out with
the fifties -she's my hero and what a
woman she was! Nobody could
wear a girdle like that lady and
believe me, I'm trying.
I'm so proud my panties and bra
match, I could just burst my pretty
little dress. Well, it isn't that little,
I guess;
I believe I'm doing well at
disguising this disgusting
quarterback build with shoulder
pads, aren't I?
What do you mean I'm not fooling
anyone?
I tell you, I'm a woman,
all woman, and I've felt this way
since I was four years old.
Why can't you accept me
as I am? I'm not a guy!

(Posted for NaPo Day 9, "Pick a character to inhabit", 4/9/12)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter blooms

In Wyoming it may be
officially spring but things
are barely getting a dusting
of green peeking through the
brown detritus of winter kill.
At Easter dinner, our hostess
invited us to watch a beautiful
video of flowers blooming
over and over, numerous shades
and varieties of blossoms and
I had hope for spring to
eventually spread her colors
here too.
(Written for NaPo Day 8, "Go Outside and Write", 4/8/12)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pink is not the new female



















You think that donning
pink
automatically makes you
a woman
and that
wearing pastels and
blouses with darts
feminizes your figure
not to mention your surety that
long pink and white
acrylic nails definitively
engenders you a girl
and that all this
unquestioningly allows you to
pass as a chick.
Lip gloss pink shines
your lips and rainbow
hued toe socks adorn your
feet with slip-on shoes made
for women giddily slapping
against your heels.
But really
a clown does the same thing -
puts on the colors and
the clothes and the crazy
but everyone knows
he's just a guy in drag
playacting and that he's
a dude underneath
and so are you, no
matter how pink you
doll yourself up.
I never wear pink but
there is no doubt in
anyone's mind that I am
all girl when they glance
at me, unlike the harmonic
dissonance that occurs
in the minds of those who
gaze upon your ludicrous
pink femaleness
because female is a
state of mind not
a color.
(Written for NaPo Day 7, "Color", 4/7/12)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Fur kid




















She sat on my lap
panting joyfully to
be held close by me,
eyes alertly watching
everyone and everything
in the vet's office.
She was happy, so happy.
But she was very ill.
I stared at her head
memorizing the way
the sun lit up the fur
on her head, making it
glitter golden red
as I restrained my tears.
I swore as I kissed her head
that I would never forget
her and the love that
always sparkled from her
huge brown eyes.
I went outside while the
vet gave her the shot,
and wept bitterly at
having to make this
decision about my
best friend ever.

(Written for NaPo Day 6, "Write a poem about an animal", 4/6/12)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

First days

She never looked back
on her first day of kindergarten
as she skipped eagerly
into the classroom
with a crowd of
little kids.
I cried as I watched her go,
so proud of her assurance and
fearful that she might somehow
be hurt.
Now she's eighteen and getting
ready to go to college.
I wonder
will she look back?
And will I cry again on
the first day of her very
adult life?

Written for NaPo Day 5, "Opening Day", 4/5/12)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Transitioning blues















 





I believed in you and who you said you were

I believed in you and who you said you were
but you weren't who you said you were

I believed in you and who you said you were
I believed in you and who you said you were
You said you were a man who liked to 'dress.

I believed in you and who you said you were
I believed in you and who you said you were
And I lovingly accepted you as you said you were

I believed in you and who you said you were
I believed in you and who you said you were
Then you told me the ugly unwelcome truth

I believed in you and who you said you were
I believed in you and who you said you were
Now everything must change to match your sense of self

I believed in you and who you said you were
I believed in you and who you said you were
And your changing has nearly made me lose my self

I believed in you and who you said you were
I believed in you and who you said you were
It's time I believed in me and who I know I am.

(Written for NaPo Day Four, "Write a blues poem", 4/4/12)
(Also posted to Hyde Park Poetry Rally, Week 65, 4/4/12)
(And to Poetry Picnic #29, "Art, Music & Poetry", 4/6/12)

Post(er) wedding

They are married
faces radiant with
hope and dreams
white dresses
black tuxes
innocently honoring
their day and
each other.
I watch, torn between
my joy at
their happiness and
my PTSD horror
of what might come
next.
I was a radiant bride
just a few years ago,
only to discover
later,
next,
the groom
was not who he said
he was.
Not even a 'he',
in his opinion.
There is a
difference between
being on one's 'best'
behavior before the
ceremony and
flat out lying
one's ass off about
some fundamental
truths.

Written for NaPo Day Three, "Epathalamion", 4/3/12)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Our day will come...














Well, our day already came,
the day I naively agreed to
marry, not knowing that
what I thought was a
dream of a fairy-tale was
really a horrendously
dishonest
nightmare.
MY day will come
when I get sick of this
bullshit and
pack my stuff and
get on with the rest of
MY life
weirdness- and
horror-free.

Written for NaPo Day 2 Prompt, 4/2/12)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Adolescence vs. menopause


















Teen girl and menopausal mom: hostilities,
hormones and drama galore.
Tears, fears, boys, anger, identities.
Teen girl and menopausal mom: hostilities,
grandiose, liberal, political, obscenities.
Weird, mercurial, emotional and more.
Teen girl and menopausal mom: hostilities,
hormones and drama galore.

(Written for NaPo Prompt, "Triolet", 4/1/12)

Carpe diem













Every day I stare at you and
wonder how you can be so
shuttered and brain dead,
low gear and low energy,
no apparent emotional, spiritual
or intellectual activity
measurable.
If there are
depths to you,
they are
undetectable and irretrievably
buried by your fear of
self knowledge and surety of
contented complacency.

My inner world is indescribably
bursting with vast landscapes of
thought ranging from
arid deserts of despair and fear, to
sturdy forests of ideas and interests,
brightly flowered fields of inspiration,
sparkling lakes of deeply felt emotion,
rain showers of spiritual experiences
constantly surprising my soul with their
cleansing clarity,
waterfalls of memories,
sometimes clear, often muddy with sorrow
or disappointments, yet always,
my intellect bubbles with curiosity and
potency, green eyes shimmering with
eagerness to
live and learn and grow.

And I want to talk about it all - with you.

Oh, how can you just sit there?
Wait...you are snoring now
while my fingers dance delightedly
over the keyboard, trying to paint in
words the vistas that burn brightly in
my mind.

(Written for NaPoWriMo Day One, 4/1/12)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Uncertainty


















What about (now) old hopes of
love and intimacy with the
man of my dreams?
You aren't who I fell in love with
and this manifesting person is
so not attractive to me
not to mention still unknown.
I still occasionally see
glimpses of him and
yearn for his power and passion to
surround me with safety and
honesty.
The girl just doesn't
do it for me and I
long for the
man, sure and strong and silent.