Strawberry Shortcake

during the endless hot sticky summer,
dinner was kept simple.
Mom didn’t want to heat up the house
by cooking a big meat, potato and veggie meal.
Heading out to the garden, Dad and I would
get to work picking strawberries.
Mom and I had made shortcakes in the cool morning.
Strawberries were sliced and lightly sugared,
cream was whipped. shortbread cut in half…
then came the layering in soup bowls.

except for
and scraping spoons,
no need for conversation;
it was too hot to talk anyway.



Preliminary yawn –
radiant heat soaks physical
melting resistance to nonconformity.
Average and normal
are too tame;
somewhere buried notions
rise to surface.
Upon reflection
it’s time for sprinklers,
blowing bubbles,
flying kites,
and jumping rope.
Spontaneity is refreshing.
Sun bakes away dampers…
hop scotch anyone?


More dirt beneath the nails

grubbing in the garden again…
I can’t get enough of the warm soil.
tucking seedlings in,
sun warms my back;
silently wishing them well,
the birds start singing to the evening.
tidying up the tools and flower pots,
light lingers preventing waiting stars
from making their routine appearance.
the earthy smell coats my clothing
along with sediment handprints.
Contentment settled in…
growing flowers and vegetables serves
an internal drive for participating in renewal.
The bonus is beauty and harvest.


The promise

Between cats and dogs
between art and words
between flower and vegetable raised beds
between teaching
between family and friends
I show that I am here…
still viable,
still living,
still observing,
still feeling,
still loving.
I promised myself
to keep creating
because life is meaningless
without whimsy and beauty.


Elizabeth Bowen said, “I am sure that in nine out of ten cases the original wish to write is the wish to make oneself felt. It’s a sign, I suppose, of life’s decreasing livableness as life that people should feel it possible to make themselves felt in so few other ways. The non-essential writer never gets past that wish.”

leaving ceiling light on
charges luminous plastic stars.
moon rises without not within;
ceiling stars don’t circulate.
permanent placement
equals no celestial changes
because their stagnant liability
lacks earth rotations.



Trying to face forward,
the past is sticky.
I still miss family members
that have spread across country
and all the elders are now deceased.
Reminiscing threads tug when facing dawn;
it doesn’t matter whether its gray or brightly colored…
the memories rise out of sleep.
Shrugging off the intricate webs,
these dreams pass into darkness
until deep the next sleep reveals
the strength of lasting connection.




walking holy
threadbare in sandals
feet protest the miles
blisters retaliate
burst their liquid
scab and bleed again
slowing pace toward
sacred destination
gnawing hunger intensifies
water barely quenches thirst
upon arrival –
is that all there is?
exposing folly of expectations
rumination of the divine
amongst the disappointed
the journey home is always quicker…




So many in a day
Swarms of them buzzing
Prioritizing with a flyswatter
Until swinging fails
Ultimately the to-do-list shrinks
While more choices pile up again
And again…

these have to end or begin again
and again…
why and what flutter toward the light
attraction is not always fatal
spontaneity finds a place
but reasonable thoughts prevail.
In this case:
Why bother.
So I won’t.



As an equal opportunity user of words,
I will not discriminate.
No word is too odd, offensive or unorthodox
for me to fill in the blank.
No shortcuts.
No shame.
No judgment.
My trusty thesaurus is lovingly worn
from pulling words hidden in aging memory storage unit.
Flipping through the pages produces
tactile impetus as fingertip travels down the columns.
So many words…
So little time.


Sitting too much
lost track of time
the glaring monitor orb
dims my eyes
preparing handouts for classes
searching the web
simplifying effluent blah-blah
guilty of too much information
when I always say to my class
please keep it simple


Get out your tap shoes!

Too bad I never learned to tap dance.
I tried in my late 30’s…
the teacher put me at the far end.
The others caught on quickly;
at the end of the line,
I fell even further behind.
I quit and kept my awkward.
When I teach, I do my best
to include everyone equally.
No one gets sent to the end of the line.

But this is not about being ignored.
This is about celebrating art sales.
This is about happy dancing
without rules and technique.
Lace up those shoes…
start the invigorating joyous
free form tapping.
Awkward be damned!


Closer to earth

Cherishing every breath,
every sunbeam and moonbeam,
every blue sky or even dismal gray…
vision upon vision to store for eternity.
Second by second,
this body moves closer to earth.