Ward of the state

Born of rape, now a child of the state,
how will your profile be painted? Continue reading

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Writing-Down-the-Baja-ha-ha

What could be better than going to Baja Mexico in February – from snow drifts to sand dunes; from tires spinning on ice to waves crashing on the beach; from white-out conditions to bougainvillea and cactus flowers in bloom? What could be better than all that? Going to Writing-down-the-Baja, a writers retreat led by author Ellen Waterston of The Writing Ranch, and attended by bra fitting expert and author Elisabeth Dale. Not that I knew the latter would be there or that there would be surreptitious glances at my breasts to determine did I know what I was doing  bra-wise. No, that was a double-barreled bonus. Continue reading

Performance appraisal 2017

christmascookies

Will work for cookies.

 

Pat stamps fast tracks –
tap tap taps.
Baas assays Pat’s annals,
yack yack yacks,
alarms Pat. Nay ‘scape.
Can’t sass. Facts am facts.

Pat drafts a brash plan,
charts tasks, basks –
ha ha ha – all’s grand and
all that. At last, Baas marks
Pat A1 – nay spat – pays scant.
Alas, tax man grabs all back.

Blue becomes you

Sun glides over snow, checks the pulse of earth, cracks open the ribs of this black morning, revives light. Colour rises, rosy – respires.

Dawn yawns, inhales grey, exhales pink. Later, when the day dons blue we force ourselves out. For the dog. Why else venture into frozen lung territory where breath pinches nostrils, a sign not all pink is benign.

We creep across the snow crust, wish it were pie crust  we could eat instead of feeling eaten. Snow bites our feet. Where did my toes go?

We unpin icicles from the roof, chew blue, become the hue because this is what we do in winter – respire*.

___________

*I’m tinkering with the word respire which means to breathe, but also has an older definition meaning “to recover hope, courage, or strength after a time of difficulty.” I like the idea that winter is a period of recovery, not just something awful to be endured and gotten through. And of course every dawn is just that – hope for a better day.  

Here’s a musical take on blue for you, something mellow to sip your coffee by. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4PKzz81m5c – Chet Baker – Almost Blue

 

bluebecomesyou-1

Milkweed husks

 

 

 

 

 

Silence and abandonment

Dear Ilya,

I read your poem “Town Watches Them Take Alfonso” this morning as I cradled a cup of coffee, caffeine infusing my bloodstream. My heart rate rose with each sip. Its bitter mouthwash browned my teeth, a consequence I live with because I like the ritual.

Some people practice morning writing but I start the day with a poem that is delivered to me from Poets.org which is how I found you. Afterwards, I sometimes write a poem inspired by lines read or sometimes I free-write based on the resulting brew in my head. Occasionally I read the daily poem aloud in the car as my husband drives me to work tunneling through the darkest winter months with high beams of beautiful words.  Continue reading

Senectitude

nationalgallerycanada

National Gallery of Canada overlooking Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada

They say it’s all in your attitude but today
the calendar displays the ultimate
senectitude – time’s run out for forays.

 

This annual cleansing ritual winds down
to winking seconds, a lewd tyrant’s
frown and unglued verisimilitude.

 

They say tomorrow we are clean without
a shower or being nude but this New Year
starts in a dirty stream praying to St. Jude.

Yes, yes, I’m feeling glum. If you want good cheer, go here and here.