The Wrens of Regret

they come to us every day,

flitting and flapping, singing and winging

in constant endless streams of commotion

their numbers growing each morning

vexingly exponentially like the warning of

the algebraic certainty of the federal debt

they never rest 

their exclamation-point tails signaling 

squirrels, crows, hovering lovers

and a single rose blooming on a distant asteroid.

So here we stay

our what-ifs piling around our ears

with the insistent incessant persistent coming of the wrens of regret 

Childhood Monster

My brother warned me 

It - The Blob -

-shiny gloppy sticky jelly monster-

lived and breathed and oozed

behind my sofa,

just a second’s slime 

away from my tiny bed.

Night after night 

I cowered under cotton covers

and waited

-chest tight, eyes wide, breath slight-

for the moment I knew with 

every quivering inch of my skinny spindly self

would come,

and slime would ooze out and consume me,

limb by 5-year-old limb

in excruciating slow motion.

Now I laugh fondly at my little girl gullibility


When a slash of moon disturbs my dreams I carefully avoid the sofa.

That Girl

Fussy curls,

Sleek silky bob,

Petite, statuesque,

Brunette, blonde,

She was everywhere,

That girl my mother glorified 

Why can’t you be more like her?

Church-bred girls beguiled her -

-smiling Doris Day and Donna Reed

dolls gliding in uncomplicated shoes

with starched manners

and puffed sleeved voices.

She never noticed the soiled lips,   

the crumpled tissues stuffing the bras,

or worse, the girl behind the script.

Anna's Hummingbird

No bigger than a wish,

He is neither jewel nor light

nor gleaming sun.

He is nothing but silent flight.

His dainty wings

span no more than an elfing’s hand. 

Yet their fairy size

cannot keep your 

soul from finding flight 

whenever he alights.

His silent breath has no flute,

he sings without lilt or tune.

He will not rouse you from your bed

unless your eye spies the sun-bred

shine of his breast - not black, nor brown, 

nor sleeping blue, just pink - no other hue.

Love Fiercely and Well.

Succumb. Love will fill the fissure between 

your bones and soul -  beneath this wish and need

to drink it deeply, swimming veins with bright

impossible fish that tickle toes, and 

nibble fears and tears, now swept clean away

beneath the weedy currents of mistrust and lust

that doused and drowned a simple longing

for belonging. So, succumb. Set yourself

ablaze with phosphorescent waves of heart,

Or better yet, breathe a volcanic spume

of flame, red and bold as coursing blood.

Embrace the hot chaos, powerful and true.

Now hush. Love, invited outlasts a storm.

Breathe glow and gleam of embers, ever warm. 

A Partial (not impartial) List of My Attributes at Age 69

Wispy fading thinning hair

(I’ll dye it purple, I don’t care)

A sloppy nose like an overblown rose

(but it’s still prettier than my toes)

Frayed linen skin - all thin and baggy-

(do I sound  just a wee bit haggy?)

creaking knees that sing off-key

(I actually enjoy their harmony)

My shoulders slump, my tummy’s round

(blithely festooned and colorfully crowned)

Yet I’m quite fond of my gnomish cast  I am happily truly myself  at last

Wilding song

Music blooms beside and between us

A surround of sound, a constant refrain -

the river’s gurgle, the brook’s blue burble

the slipping dripping splish of rain,

and black basso hush only mountains sustain.

French verbs lilting, Hawaiian lips sighing,

German nouns quilting, Shona crying.

Crows speak angst in raucous chorus, winging 

to sweeten the tweets of robin’s decrying. 

Be still,  just listen - the hush, the sibilance,  the ringing embrace - a wild heart’s singing, 

Creek Song


The creek hums

with the sun’s tongue

singing to me, entranced on its banks,

by the lazily lapping,

licking and splashing trills 

of light atop the bubbles and burbles.

Treble notes that never permeate

the shadowy depths. 


Betsy’s wand of a tail wags in rhythm -

A metronome lashing and flashing 

to and for, conducting, 

as she places her paws in delicate pauses

between the rippling pebble notes.

Dipping and sipping

and snapping at twinkles of minnows 



Jan brings bread and glinting string.

Crooning and lilting in my ear,

“Shhh, if we’re very still, 

 We just might catch an electric eel.”


We hush, the three of us.

Slipping and swaying, 

Listing and listening

to the glisten and gurgle,

Till suddenly we are awash in giggles

Watching the string dance and wiggle. 


Betsy leaps, splashes into my lap,

Slapping her tail, spraying  sprinkles

in a tuneful  croon of light.

We hoot and we warble, singing and 

Ringing out to Mary and Doug,

To Leslie  and Jae. to join us,

this sunny day, in merry boisterous chorus.

Blueberry Bush

We brought you home-

You were just a wee sprout,

proud and newly grown.

Smaller that the baby 

blueberry bush outside your window

We rooted you deep in the loam and dust of us.

We fed you on niblets of story and sunlight

And watched your spirit unfurl,

Curled and bold like blueberry leaves in early spring.

We waited for that first fruit -

That sweet tang of your tongue on words

ripening beneath soft petals of  love.

You would thrive, we knew,

like the blueberry bush

we planted when you arrived, rooted deep in the loam and dust of us.

Index of Witches

Spindrift clouds. The air breathes mossy and sweet. Some come with

fly-away eyes, others have pinpricks reflecting night. Their hair snaps 

with static or sings with silk. Magic unfiltered. Robust smiles. Flared fingers.

Their lips sealed with secrets. The scent is unfelt - of whimsy, maybe.

A mess of pine bark, night-blooming jasmine, portulaca pollen and

octopus ink, I think. Of course, with underlying musk

of book dust. Their limbs are gangly or soft, hips slim and fat and more.

The sap rises in the dandelions to greet them, and the buttercups spread to meet them. Daylight blooms sweet when the witches come.

Tim's Step Stool

Sunlight warms its wood

 - loving strokes in the shape of hands

whorls of light layered brown and gold 

like gleaming hazel eyes.

Scars stipple the skin of the legs and bench -

Pale, rippled,

etching deep the satin flesh.

Still standing  solid and certain beneath garlands of devil’s ivy- -Thriving writhing vines -   a wreath for worn edges -  verdant  with unapologetic life A gleaming presence in his eternal absence.

35 years gone.


It falls like a gentle poison, glazing

blood and bile - a slick and sickly sheen too thick

for breath or breadth of thought, muscles lazing,

eyesight hazing as though facing a lick

of light and shade - the flicker of candlewick

that limns the mind but obscures the fine crease

between skin and bone, beneath heart and ease

that pleats the soul delicately, like lace

so fine it binds the loosened fragile piece of self forever lost to its rightful place.

We are Pendulous

Time braids our bodies to earth

sticky spider silk

plaiting minutes in pouches

dangling like bushtit nests

caressed by wind and rain

ephemeral as buttercups

fleet as the crows at dinnertime

in a leaf-fat autumn dusk.

We are pendulous

expressions of the endless now  possibility.

Rulers on the Rampage or Time Will Tell

Those flagrant vines, all piss and breeze  -    

-The rich and rapacious weeds who prevail  

upon the bony arms of limping trees

to shelter their limbs that clutch and flail

at meager branches grown from wintering roots,   

and seek the summer’s sap in lifeless mud.             

Beleaguered fibers thirsting for green of shoots

to feed the brazen thrust of greedy leafy buds,

all doomed to never bloom, yet sprouting creepers 

who finger fragile core of fleshy fruits

where sleeping seeds burrow ever deeper

awaiting release from suckering brutes.

But love quickens Gaia’s feracious womb where seeds erupt to smother weeds’ voracious bloom.

Water Lilies Ballet

Water Lilies Ballet

A frolic of dustlight

a merriment of sunlight

slowly deliquesce 

into arabesques of color

violet shimmer, cobalt gleam

cadmium yellow, viridian green 

tonal mist glimmers the air 

a playful pirouette of pigment

sending sense of sunlight asunder

Yet below, quiet wonder,

a muted requiem of hue

cobalt swirls with palest blue

vermillion fades to rose

A delicate dance

in shadowed depths

Sunlight plundered.

Coffee Solitude


Ah, bliss

Just a whiff of mist rising 

licking my waiting lips.

This fragrant kiss

too rich to resist.

still I linger

Watching a finger of steam rise,

A swirling cirrus blurring the blue 

And lifting my eyes

to rippling sky loud with clouds 

tossing sparrow song, crow clamor

and inner chatter


A moment of wonder

winging, singing, flinging me

into caffeinated gratitude.

Solitude Ah, bliss.


He poured umbra over his shoulders sluicing color off his back to puddle languidly in desolate corners and seep soundlessly away spilling frail filaments of lost light his grief made lucent

Eurydice's Crow

on lusty scrape of wind, she soars to settle, hushed,   

too dense with lilt of pine and sun to rise anew 

her satin feathers rest yet fluoresce air, unrushed, 

with languid fragrant breath of slow perfume

tainted wild and wrestled from wind and shadowed sky

and froth of flagrant tempests yet to bloom

she’s harbinger, soul-singer, soothsayer, spy our mothers’ muse shining through stygian gloom.

sunset at sea

All day the sun had danced on these fledgling waves

jagged hillocks gleaming like rumpled silk

limning the peaks and valleys the ridges and folds with silver glints of fire. 

Now as the sun retreats to gild the hills  

the waves rekindle its fevered touch

tamping it down to drown in fathomless depths

Swallowing it whole to sink below wrinkled water

to resurface as hammered silver jewels A burning grace


it sits on the tongue 

coats it sunny yellow

buttery melt lusciously sweet

it licks the back of bare knees 

a puppy kiss of ticklish bliss

mornings it teases the lips

tingles them pink

savory sip potently deep

middays it warms the arms

with azure breeze

breathily etched, sunnily fresh

twilight it bedazzles the eyes

in winking skies

shimmery swing radiantly bling 

it babbles it sings 

it chimes it rings 

this flagrant fragrant chorus we sing happy