Tug of Ocean

Swimming against cold tide,

salt burnt eyes and nostrils.

Gulls call from shore…

core temperature drops.

Swells opposed course.

Fighting to get forward,

up and down each crest:

island… water;

beach … water;

island… water.

Bobbing in tumult,

one stroke forward;

one stroke pushed back.

Tug-of muscles,

tug-of ocean…

fluid provenance

birthing death.




Experienced Heart


Groaning inwardly…

at an outward airborne comment :

but wouldn’t it be selfish to put your needs before someone else?

Misappropriated by tables closeness,

it accentuated that women are still brain washed.


She couldn’t help but listen…

the conversation continued as the two women sipped tea:

Do you take care of yourself as well as you do for family and friends?

You take care of them; they should take care of you.


Being selfish is so different than self-care.

What goes around comes around… think about it.

You do ignore yourself to some degree.


She wanted to say: Think of yourself as your own guardian angel and act accordingly.

Her firsthand experience as caregiver had run herself into the ground; giving, giving,

giving her spirit to others she had ignored her own care.


Groaning inwardly as she left the cafe…

at outward airborne comments – the discussion moved into pro-choice.

She wanted to say… our bodies – our choice; our spiritual views are not a religious

political ideology dictated by patriarchal archaic rules too.

A mouthful to say but these thoughts came from her experienced heart.



Every Morning


Same drill upon dawn’s entrance…

What day is it?

What do I have to do today?

These questions made it easy to forget

to be thankful for waking from sleep.

Clothing laid out the night before

was draped over a chair; rolling upright,

they were pulled on in the same order.

Since they were what she wore yesterday,

the day before, the day before that…

it made one less decision every morning.

Everything’s going to be all right…

clutching her sides, she lacked the facility

to render emotions into perplexing reality.



Closet Space


Old family photographs are fading;

the albums are tattered.

The pages crumble and corner tabs

release their grip…

the ability to recognize aunts, uncles,

cousins is fading too.

There’s no one left to help clarify who is who;

there are a few notes in my mother’s fine script

via a fountain pen but no one is left to relate

those do-you-remember-when stories.

Scanning seems a reasonable process

to pass on images to distant cyber savvy relatives.

Least the decrepit photo books won’t collect dust

and discarding them will free up closet space.




In the Mist


Serving up a hefty cup of ambiguous indifference,

the gray skies weigh as much as a lead blanket

coating a once brilliant connection with you.

Chamomile tea relaxes; its steam releases a brief

transportation to a less rainy afternoon in the wilds.

Watching for your colorful spirit to flame across the sky,

I’ll perform exactly like we were trained.

to deal with the unusual,

to deal with the unpredictable,

to deal without your physical presence,

until we meet again, in the mist between dimension.





Heart Song requiem


No matter how hard she listened

his song was beyond her now.

The love he once projected was

long forgotten;  cast into metal…

a featureless face remained blank;

his visible form was barricaded

to prevent escaping feelings.

She tried to sing her song to him;

she tried to sing his song to him…

his hearing was focused elsewhere.

Cold, unresponsive, mechanically

committed to be among the walking dead.

Tart and sharp, his response stung;

her response… heart song turned requiem.



To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten.  Arne Garborg



Sentimental evolution

punctuated a tear or two;

the dam held strong

even when cutting onions.

Concrete and mesh investments

sanctioned the required debit.

Emotionless dexterity coopted

manual crocheting of alternatives.

Hands sat idle as if knuckles

were swollen with arthritis.

Tonight began the trial of ignoring pain.

Mentally repeating a feel good

scenario while tapping piano keys

for requested carols;  the discord increased

until the holidays were dead and gone.





Writing Class


Cascading doubt swollen with torrential disdain

roared sweeping unleavened confidence away.

A maelstrom of dubiousness flowed in her direction.

Respecting elders, she consumed his derogatory

critique that expressed satisfaction at her tears.

Being true to yourself was over rated in this class.

Stifled voice objected heart’s desire to continue

writing from her soul; there was no excuse for abuse.

For now she gave up, she’d write vomited recycled

pompous prose to survive this necessary requirement.

Taking mental notes, the professor made such a dynamic

character to study;  without revenge, he would be cast

into the protagonist role for her mystery series…

this would keep her sane until the end of the semester.





Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in.
Louise Brown


Tiger Macabre


I have that ferocious tiger by the tail.

Bouncing to avoid claw and teeth,

we’re an odd duo of lithe and awkward.

Spinning in dervish fashion, time blurs;

long ago advice echoes into the frenzy…

position yourself VERY carefully before you let go.

Muscle spasms in calves and foot cramps

signal the end of the dance with tiger macabre.

Nauseous and light headed my grasp fails;

flung into space, my body descends to touch down.

Feeling like I fell into a muddy hole, I wake

jumping from my saggy mattress to walk

off the double duet of leg and foot cramps.

Before climbing back into the valley of fatigue,

I check under the bed for the tiger.






Stomach gurgled about to puke…

the oh so ripe breakfast banana disagreed with it.

The orange had been hiding a wealth of green mold;

the apple had been oozing brown gooey mush.

Fruit resources depleted, it was the banana or nothing.

Gagging its barely manageable form, there was

no need to chew; stomach contained its plotted escape.

Mother used to quip about our Scotch-Irish stomachs;

genetic digestive stubbornness that prevailed to kept rocking

contents confined within gastric walls without release.




Wicked words


Foul mouth spits

indiscernible curses

into salted air.

Low tide fish odor

has nothing on her mood.

Jangled phrases resound

leaving a tortuous trail

of bucolic holiday pain…

his long distant ears burn.






Not one piece of blank paper in the car;

so words jump in-between prior directions.

Scraps of paper left from recent travels

have just enough space between scrawls.

Making good use of kiss and smooch,

the new words rush into traffic signals,

across the turn left until School Street,

then hang a left, destination on the right.




On Thanksgiving


At the end of the day,

you should smell like turkey,

fresh cranberry sauce, gravy,

pumpkin pie spices  since

the house and company have

been soaking in these scents

all morning until The Meal.

Permeated with preparation,

stuffed with well-set intentions,

tryptophan-ed into obsolescence,

the TV mumbles to syncopated snores.