Friday, December 30, 2011


Photo: Joan Jett


She would, she says,
if she could do it all again,
be a rock star.
I can see it in the heels
she swears feel fine,
even when she stands all day.
It's in the spiky hair she wears,
the way she can dance all night
and drink me under the table.
Last year, she took voice,
thinking that the local stage
might be her place to shine.
Then life interrupted,
and she left that dream behind.
But if she could, she'd be a star,
Hit the road in a bus,
Live life hard.
She's Joan Jett.
Me? I'd be a gentle poet.
I haven't told her yet.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


There goes with me

A fair-haired girl
Whose apple cheeks
And almond crescent eyes,
Whose outstretched hand
And flat-footed hope
Perpetually beckon,
Leading through
And through
And out.

Monday, December 19, 2011



Empty yourself
So as to be filled
With Grace,
The undeserved gift
Of Christmas.

Old Wives Tales

photo - Lee Frielander

Mag 96
This little verse is a response to the Magpie Tales photo prompt at left. Frielander often uses shadow in his photographs. Join Tess Kincaid's other magpies here.

Old Wives

Apple peels and Letters
Teaspoons in a cup
Sleep atop a wedding cake
Count the buttons up
Rich man poor man beggar
Time, he is a thief,
Shadows to remind me
How futile to believe

Friday, December 16, 2011

Still Life, Vanitas

This photo is of a Vanitas still life by Abraham Mignon, a Dutch painter of the 17th Century. This style of painting often includes luscious fruits and flowers that, upon close inspection, aren't as inviting as they seem. In fact, they are teeming with insects and dripping with decay. It's the worm in the apple, so to speak, the grim reminder that we, too, will come to dust.

Not a very cheery start to the day. Sorry about that. They come when they will.


sickly sweet
and sticky
overblown and ripe
like bees buzz
the peaches
on this wall
like flies buzzed
when she died
like the skull
shines beneath
the waxy skin
like purple pools
beneath her eyes
like the days pool
in empty glasses
like the sand

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



How is it that we live
outside of others?

How can we show so much
yet be unknown?

My children do not know
the me they see here,

the one who needs to soothe
herself  with green,

just as I do not recognize my mother, 
who was the prettiest girl he'd ever seen,

swishing her skirts down St. Paul's streets,
licking on a ten-cent cone of cream.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Truth is No Stranger

Truth is No Stranger


Stranded on the shore
of a world she never knew,
longing like a lover for a sail.


The seduction of solitude
the final lover stretches calm
across the Gulf.


The water, finally,
the water fills her
like no lover ever could.

Magpie Tale

Sunday, December 11, 2011



In church
we touch,

hold hands,
sit shoulder to shoulder;

my foot
hooks your leg.

We touch.
In prayer,

we stand,
heads bowed.

I hold your arm
for balance.