Thursday, June 15, 2017

Could It?

Mid-June, really chilly
windy, harsh
grey clouds-
could it, would it dare
on the Summer Solstice?

The birds and I
a few passing deer
and that pregnant squirrel 
we all hope not.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Note to Lady Murasaki – 6/4/17

When you visit me
please come sweetly,
not like the evil spirits
that kill the soul and body
of your broken lovers.

Come like the West wind
the one that touched me this morning.
Make it your calligraphy, songs
down the fragrant paper
flying like gulls across the waves.

Did the written wind start
in your garden? Was it a single
brush stroke that began everything?
Explain the power of longing. Please
explain, what then 
when beauty fails.

Another Day

wind from the West
on my cheek damp and clean
            from a mountain crossing

and starlings with nesting grasses
flying toward a hole in the eaves

Monday, May 1, 2017

Sijo for my Trip to West Virginia

 flying to West Virginia
            sun shining in Oregon
leaving the river willows
            waving vivid green at last
coming back home quickly
            Will the river wait for me?

friends still young in my heart
            growing greyer and mellow
flowing time etching fine lines
            in those dear happy faces
the sunny times of laughter
            halos in the soft, sweet evening

what will the parade be like?
            Morris dancers of Cornwall
ringing in West Virginia
            spinning around Maypoles
and me wearing the white horse
            high on my flowered hat

those glorious guys, the green men
            banjos, flutes and wild fiddles
ancient drums coming across time
            to West Virginia for May
Can the ghosts of ancestors
            fly there too and join the dance?           

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Amulet for Time Travel

Walking through each gateway
time chapters, unseen traps,
let me be protected by this soft collection
gathered in an amulet.

Calling on all their gifts and powers,
the red-gold of my grandmother’s hair
lily-of-the-valley for grandpa, the gardener
R.B. the green of his printer’s visor
grandma B. the smell of fresh bread
and powerful honey.
From my father, a sepia photograph
and my mother, a silver mirror
and these are just from the capricious dead.
Who knows if they are paying attention
if they are larking about 
on their motorcycles
somewhere else.

Calling on the sweet living
the ones who give me love and flowers
and art and music and delicious
conversation and tough talk, too.
That is the purple heartbeat
of this guardian.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


April 1, 2017

When you sat waiting
looking away from the paper,
waiting for the certain thing,
the image, the talisman
did it come in a flash?
a falcon of a realization
diving right into your heart?

When he became your vision
you created a beloved
more lovely than anyone, ever.
For you,
this light animated the whole world.
Waterfalls sang his songs,
leaves quivered his messages.

When did you know that beauty 
is not nearly enough?

Good Morning Lady Murasaki

April 2, 2017

Today I will design a purple doll for you,
a paper doll that can carry a poet’s dreams.
I’ll follow the river of time.
It flows from dawn’s
indecision to a steady sunrise
shaping the edges of this rough garden.
Here, high on a Northern plateau,
no one knows what will bloom or 
what will be killed on a frosty morning.

willamette writers

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