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is the prescription
when all my cords are frayed
from being wound so tightly
and I no longer remember
how to,
when clearly there is
for a refresher course,
busy as I am
in this hectic, important life.
But that tiny part of me
that is not insane,
not addicted to the word
Calmly writes this cure
in the margins of novels
I want to read this summer,
writes it across the top
of the dusty picnic table
waiting in the yard,
writes it in sunscreen and lemonade
across the wide lawn
till it meets the trees.

Late, Again

Welcome back to the tightness in the chest, the almost-frantic voice demanding, Hurry, from between clenched teeth. Hurry means wrong again, means miscalculations in the intricate morning mix, ingredients that must be layered in particular order, precisely measured, a cake that never rises, a dance the whole household knows and nobody greets with joy. Hurry means measured wrong again, one shower too long, or shampoo in somebody’s eye, lunch boxes left on yesterday’s bus or we’re out of bread. Again. No one can find a pen for the permission slips that appeared in the night and so they pile up, years of field trips, from zoos to Shakespeare festivals, signed in crayon or eyeliner or not at all. But there are shoes on every single foot and each delivered to its proper place to spend the day. By the time you reach the office, someone should be there to greet you with a medal, a fanfare, at the very least a gold star and a mug of coffee, crowds applauding all you’ve achieved before 8 a.m., followed by space inside a quiet room with a soft chair where time stops sprinting towards the finish line. This room is yours for as long as you need to breathe, to settle your racing heart, a room where absolutely nobody ever says You’re Late.

The Moon’s Report

She writes:
You asked about humans.They are easy to describe, since I see everything in my light—with some small help from the Sun. I’ve watched and I know. I can tell You all about humans. As You hoped, they are very wise.

But, really, how could they not be filled with wisdom? You handed them understanding on a silver moonlit platter. Honestly, not that it’s my place to criticize, but their world is a little too obvious. Look at the hints You gave—on their round home, with their round heads and round babies, they couldn’t possibly miss the point. Then, all those wheels and spirals everywhere—seashells, seasons, nests, rings buried in tree trunks. And besides that, all the going and returning—tides, of course, but flowers, blizzards, leaves…oh, the list goes on and on.

How lovely it is for them, how clear. My advice: It would have been more interesting to give them a challenge, or at least a tiny puzzle. A static world, or one where all movement was linear. It would have given them something to figure out, instead of surrounding them with answers.

Look how they dance, how they gather together for births and weddings and deaths, living their circled lives on their round planet, calm and joyful, with so much evidence to show them the difference between finished and unfinished.


sounds cold, no
humor or passion.
Instead, see
as ballet—perfect timing,
gears in pink tutus.

Casting Spells

In that moment I glanced away, some witch cast a spell on my children. I remember one golden flash of light. I blinked against the dazzle while they grew tall and secretive, lean with a hunger to be Away. Now there are whole days when they are strangers, sweet or surly, prowling this world we shared, looking for a way out.

What else can I do but study every spell I  find? With luck and diligence, and so much time now that I’ve worked myself out of this job, each day is patched together with spells I cast myself. They are listed in the book we all received, along with Dr. Spock in his serious dark cover. The other book at every baby shower is Spells For Moms, with teething, tantrums, and chicken pox full of notes in the margin, recipes adjusted to taste. But now I’ve reached the back of the book, with all its untested spells. One marked Acceptance, another called New Chapters Blossom Like Wild Violets. And the last spell, the one I practice every day, titled Good Fortune For Their Roads.

Weather Report

Don’t escape into dreams
which are cool to the touch
filled as they are with frothy drinks
topped with pink paper umbrellas.
Here, every day is sunny
and you’ve found your sunglasses.

Instead, move forward
into the complex weather of real life.
Storms brewing,
bills to pay, children, cars, cats.
Everything is messy
and has Opinions.
Doldrums and tiny dust devils
and time for a nap and a dance
before the next emergency.
Tornadoes spelling out
This Is Not A Drill
across your sky.

2 Senryu

Some days the world sighs
like a mom sick of questions
I can’t stop asking.


I count calories
to distract myself from counting
dollars or mistakes.


At that age, I wondered about
God’s last name
and why swinging high
made your stomach drop
and why that felt so good.
And about the edge of the universe.
If everything has an edge, I reasoned,
Then out there, beyond the moon,
beyond the galaxies,
there must be plywood joists,
propping up the scenery
at the edge of everything.
Beyond that backdrop,
the scent of fresh-cut wood,
plain floor littered with
sawdust and crumpled gum wrappers
and beyond that—
This was how I learned my mind
could feel like swinging high.


Burn for Now—
All these plans built
With dollars and curtains,
Chicken dinners and sensible cars,
Changing light bulbs, going to a job—

The ghosts hidden in old photo
Albums, jewelry boxes, dishes
In your cupboard,

And that invisible future
Painted on the inside of your forehead—
Burn that, too.

Burn the whole house of yourself.
Stand still in the charred doorway
All that’s left of your proud life.
Rubble of all that didn’t work out.

Leave these smoldering ruins
Step forward.
Feel how light
When there’s nothing left to

I Am

taller than I pictured
and sudden as the spearmint
growing wild at the edge
of this careful garden.
I am strolling up to the door
of my next life,
the third date with myself,
I’ve charmed myself
as best I can,
smiled as I wove my story
kept my baggage
mismatched and colorful.
I’ve tilted my head and studied
my future over candlelit dinners
trying to picture us together
as I describe to myself
the shape of dreams I’ve gathered
herding them back each time they wander
shutting them in the yard till now,
the third date,
the one where I go all the way.

The Novel Bunch

aka: The Happy Bookers

Red Wolf Prompts

I came to where you were living, up a stair. There was no one there.--John Ashberry, "The New Higher"

typewriter rodeo

custom poems on vintage typewriters

A Poet in Time

One Poet's Writing Practice

Writing the Day

A Ronka Poetry Practice Since 2014

Invisible Horse

Living in the moment

Leaf & Twig

Where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry.