Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Make Messes

I adore messes.

Messes are:
1) The result of creativity
2) A reason to make creative excuses
3) An excuse to be creative
4)  Reminders to make space for creativity

Wait. Did I remember to mention the 'C' word?


Not THAT 'C' word. THIS 'C' word:


Messes comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and rhythms. What did you create with your mess today?

The Smell

The Christmas tree smells
Like the brick wall at the light rail stop
Near Pratt Street
The perfect place to write your name
Vertically without being seen
We thought the smell was
The Christmas greens wilting on the wall
Above the heat vent
We moved it to the perfect place
All the neighbors could see

We thought the smell was permeating,
carried in the warm gas wind,
Through the door
Perfect! We'll move the swag
To the curb with the Christmas mulch

The smell persists. I didn't go there.
Did you? We packed away Christmas
Under the stairs
We'll open the windows. The winter is perfect
To freeze our toes. We'll wear socks

The smell. THE SMELL!
Here's a Santa clothespin. Close your nose.
Up it goes
No perfect escape. Nowhere to go
We stare as the cat squats down

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I reread a Women Who Run with Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes about Jungian female archetypes recently and something new sticks every time I read it. This time it was a word:


In our culture alone is very scary word. We are afraid of dying alone. We feel sorry for our friends to who spend holidays alone. We find life partners so we won't be alone.

Consider a new way to look at alone. Alone started out as two words


At some point in language history all one was squished together to be alone.

Take a look at these pictures. Pick one and describe how alone looks to you.


Air tickles and smells of sea and conifer leaves
Lifting heady breath
One of me, miles granite crevasses
North points to
Endings or beginnings. All one

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dizzy Dance

Stop for 5 seconds.

Today is December 21, 2011.

We are sitting on a watered rock that is hurdling through space at 67,000 miles per hour or 30km per second flying around super hot ball of gas moving 7.3 times faster than our rock that is tucked inside the arm of galaxy that moving 4.5 times faster than the gaseous ball.


 Dizzy yet?

Facts from

Monday, December 19, 2011

Balance--Tip the Scale

I spend time in the light. I associate light with a lot of things--love, laughter, healing, life. I send light bombs when traffic seems to be overly aggressive, and I'm lost in the speed and hurry. I send light when I hear of someone sick or ill. I send light when something wonderful happens.

I thrive in the light.

I've also spent time in the darkness--the days of dark when life is hopeless.

Today I've opened the closet door and "to do" buried me. Here in the darkness, I find my courage; I know my fear. They lead back to the light.

Balance lives in darkness and in light. Cherish both. Where's your darkness? How does it lead you back to the light?


Behind me
Under Stairs
Sidewalk cracks
Attic corners

Out breath spaces
Closed eyes
Toe fuzzies

Mashed-up rainbows
Invisible yin, chasing yang

Lingering for rain
Bathed in light
Saved today,
tucked away.
                                                                               Darkness left

Monday, December 12, 2011


Last September I decided to learn how to play the guitar. I really wanted a piano because I already know how to play one. A guitar is cheaper and transportable and doesn't require removing my favorite writing chair from my favorite writing view.

A guitar is something new.

I'm an adult, so I can do what ever I want, right?

Fine. There's more.

I was madly in love, and I wanted my love to write us a love song on his 12-string guitar. Love did not write our song, and I was determined to write and play a song of my own. I stared up at a wall of beautiful guitars in awe and indecision. I walked out of the music store with a lefty acoustic, a hard case, and thee months of lessons.

Playing the guitar requires diligence and practice and then more practice and diligence. Unlike the straight line of a piano, the guitar operates under the theory of chaos. Guitars make no logical sense.

I do not do chaos.

For the first month I couldn't feel the fingertips in my left hand. I had a blister on my right thumb from strumming. I couldn't read guitar tab. I played everything up-side-down. I practiced 30 minutes every night. I showed myself no mercy. My teacher* laughed.

Six months ago, I wrote a song full of love and joy. I sang it until I didn't cry anymore.

I love play making music as much as I love writing. The cool thing about a guitar is that you can make the same note or chord at least two ways. I learned more than how to make a pretty song and a chord.
  • I learned chaos theory--now I can find my way in and out of almost any kind of trouble
  • I learned patience for those times when no one hears me
  • I leaned diligence because I can say it again tomorrow
  • I learned to be gentle with myself so I can sleep at night
I still can't play that song I wrote on the guitar. The trouble is the F-cord.

I stopped practicing, and I am here at the beginning.


I'm not a beginner because I'm learning how to strum or where to put my fingers or how to make cords. I'm beginning because I've lost the strength in my left hand. It gets tired to fast to make it through a 30 minute lesson. My bars are muted on the high strings and require both strength in your left hand the muscles of your lower back. Bars are also absolutely necessary to play an F-cord. I'm back to my fourth lesson: Power cords...only this time I get to play with  three fingers instead of two. Soon, with diligence and patience and gentleness, I'll play an F-chord, and then I'll play that song.

Beginnings are new and humbling and exciting and petrifying and joyful. Where have you stopped practicing? Are you ready to begin again? What's new in this beginning?

*Thanks to Charlie, my teacher--F-chord extraordinaire.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Singing Harmony

I'm in this relationship. Ten years ago, it was about fun and love and my insatiable need to give an underdog and show someone what it is like to fly--and when I'm honest with myself, there was a lot in it for me too. Now this relationship is more of a misunderstanding, and I have a lot stories.

We all have stories. Looking at our stories from a literary view it's like this. When we look at the truths in the stories we hold closest to our hearts, we forget that we write and tell our stories. Facts are facts, and the tone is sung in many different harmonies.

In my stories of this important relationship how do I separate my story from the human being? Where do I stand nose-to-nose, and where do I let go?

Tearing down my stories is painful, joyous, and everything in between. It means admitting that I'm wrong, that I have treated someone unfairly, or that I may have to make a change in how I am. More daunting, is realizing that someone has the same stories about me and singing a new harmony doesn't mean I'll be seen in a new way. I keep practicing, and I keep loving into it.

Here's a song that reminds me to keep practicing:

My professor Dianne Connelly says humans word the world. We make history. Dianne also says a story is not for the teller, the story is for the sake of the listener.

Today look at one of your stories and the tone you sing in. What story do you want your great-great grandchildren to hear? What story do you want to teach your children? Our stories are contagious, and we are all writers.


Garbage spews forth
From your rotting larynx
Suffocating the dust particles
Dancing in the sunlight
You mouth closes

My numb tongue
Bitten through
Pausing to lilt sulfur
Between black powder dust
Invitation for reaction

Shoulders kiss my ribs
Sun casts tree shadows
Behind your head
Winded branches tap the rhythm
I breathe, singing in the rain

Letting garbage lie
Letting powder fall
Seeds planted in thirds
For next year's flowers
Will you sing the fifth?


Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't Question the Universe

Today has been the oddest of days. It reminds me of the Taoist story of  Maybe. Normally, I would have worried and questioned myself into a headache, a backache, or vomitted by now. I haven't.

Our fiber line was cut this weekend, so we didn’t have Internet.

I kept my cool.

I didn't flip out when the phone company said they couldn't fix it until Monday and I was going to miss work and couldn't even work from home since I didn't have a connection.

If we had had Internet, I wouldn't have gone to bed by 9PM last night, and I wouldn't have gotten up to run this morning. I wouldn't have known the circuit breaker for the treadmill tripped.

I kept my cool and decided since I was already in may sneakers, I would run anyway.
The same circuit also powers the freezer so I got the extension cord. If I hadn't used the extension cord to power the treadmill before I plugged it into the freezer, I wouldn't have noticed that the extension cord has to to be placed just so or it won't work.

I kept my cool

If I hadn't been home this afternoon waiting for the phone company to reattach the fiber line, I wouldn't have been playing with Legos, and I wouldn't have remembered what a sweet amazing genius I live with.

I'm still cool.

The chicken stock is frozen, contact with the outside world is reestablished and who knows what the universe will reveal tomorrow.

What's in your way today? Let go of the questions and welcome each oddity as a gift.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celebrating Rejection

Today I got my first rejection*. I've faced rejection in countless way--anger, fear, tears--and today I did something else with it. I smiled.

Rejection comes from the courage accept both success and failure. I am reminded that I am a beginner, and I can't wait to do it again tomorrow.

Is there a place where you are hiding your rejection, fear, or anger for a failure. Bring it out and love it today!

Inbox Re: Please
Nearly canned for spam
And served with toast and eggs
Quick breath
Eyes squeezed shut
Now wide open
Click of a mouse
Courage sent
Courage opened
Re: Re: Please
"Thank you."
I have another
To send tomorrow

*Thank you to Truth and the Little Patuxent Review for letting me down easy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday's Grace

As people shop for Black Friday deals and gain the advantage with pepper spray, I am cleaning out THE SCARY ROOM, also known as the office. I shredded a huge box of very old paper work, free-cycled like crazy, and can see the floor and the top of the desk. I think the last time that happened was when we painted.

How did you celebrate the day after thanks and giving? If you were feeling a bit overwhelmed by the frenzy consider taking a breather with a White Friday (or Saturday)...clean something, give something away, or let go of an item you haven't used in a really long time. How did it go? Were you happy, were you breathing deeply in a way you forgot you could, were you sad?

Friday's Grace
On this day best deals, credit cards, and pepper spray
I spent the day a different way

Celebrating cat hair, dust bunnies, and criss-crossed paper shreds
I started chore I avoid with dred

The recycling bin's full of boxes, bottles, and the like
Last year's Christmas cards found--what a hype!

The livingroom's a disaster with pretties and books
No longer loved and searching for a new nook

The floor I can see, shining red oak beneath
You won't see my grief

For the dust bunnies, pretties, or boxes
I am dancing circles in my socks-es!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fall's Reveal

This morning before the west wind blew winter in, we took a stroll down by the river. We walked over a suspension bridge and were greeted by a chorus of whistles and calls from the birds. In the summer, when we tipped our head up, we were  lucky to glimpse a tail or the flash of a wing in the canopy. Now that fall's nearly over, we pointed up at which birds were calling one another.

Fall reveals what we don't normally see. I've been feeling a bit naked this week, and it's not all pretty and neat. I'm very aware of my selfishness and my unwillingness to consider my own actions in the judgement of others.  The word "humble" has come up more than once, and I could buy a black kettle to go with my cast iron pot.

In the Chinese tradition, the law of the  five elements, fall is a time of letting go, of grieving, and of dying. (Have I said that already?) Melanie at Journey to Wildness offers death (and fall) as the time we stop to reflect on the life of plants and the people around us.

Here I am naked, uncomfortable, reflecting, and letting go.

Take a few minutes to see what fall is revealing to you. Light a candle, ring a bell, play a song, love it, cry, and embrace the last breath of fall to let it go.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanku, Thanku Very Much

Once of the simplest forms of acknowledgement we can gift is saying thank you.

This week spin a few verses of your own in the form of a Thanku. The Thanku was coined by  The Thanku is a little twist on the Japanese poetry from the Haiku. Thankus are three lines following a 5-7-5 syllable pattern. A Thanku is themed with something you are thankful for. So if you are up for the challenge, write one Thanku or a million this week!

Thankus for my contemporaries at the Writersvibe
(Yes, you give me wings and I'm flying)

Gifts abound we all have
Found. If not for you, my write
Still lost underground

Encouragement here
Fear shed in flight, presence known
Now trimmed when overgrown

Thankus for my neighborhood family:
Neighbor adoption
You see, this lucky girl will
not be late to eat

Or for company
Of laughing friends, licking pups,
Brined turkey, red wine

Stuffing prepped the day
Before, french onioned green beans
Please, I will take more
Naked Red 'tators
Cut and boiling in the pot
Mashed with cream. Yum! Yum!

Apples in my bag
Fresh-picked from Maryland's trees
What a pie you'll be

Pecans and jack daniels
Butter and chocolate make
Sweet end post turkey

Please share with us here, share around your Thursday table, or share with our friends at the Teaching Authors. The teaching authors will be rounding up Thankus and the like between now and November 30th to share on their blog.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Gifts of the Loyal Guide

I have a friend who's promise to us and to the universe to show up as a loyal guide. Yesterday, in two minutes, I listed my gifts to you. Today in two minutes, I listed her gifts to me. Her list is easier.

This week I'll exploring the gifts of acknowledgement with more than a *.

For today, pick someone or something in your life (past or present) and spend two minutes make a list of the gifts you have received. Keep them handy.

Gifts of the Loyal Guide
Student of Life & Love
Listening ear
Audio books
Mother--from a new perspective
The drum as eyes (only the guide wasn't wearing a blindfold)
New food and restaurants
Distance healing
Letting go
Comfort in not knowing
Letting go of worry
Welcoming life as death
Life as gift
Welcoming generosity
Asking for help
Sameness and different-ness

Yesterday, our loyal guide took her last breath.

Last night I dreamt of being in a row boat with my son. Water and storm clouds as far as we could see. We were alone. I felt my heart beating faster and my breath getting shallow. The sun came out and a voice told me to look behind us. I took a deep breath and looked behind us. a rainbow filled the sky. "Look, look, a rainbow!" I said and I pointed. I turned around again and the water was filled with boats and people with their chins tipped up and fingers pointing toward the sky. My heart beat slowed and I found myself smiling and waving my arms so hard I almost tipped the boat.

Ever the loyal guide--even as her soul passes from this life to the next.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's Your Gift?

Writing is one of my gifts. Here and the writersvibe is how I share it. I find that sharing myself nourishes my soul and creativity. Sharing our gifts takes courage and brings us together. This is how Charles Eisenstein shares his gift.

No how quiet or out loud our gifts are. They matter.

Today, take a few (yes two) minutes and as many of your gifts as you can. Acknowledge your gifts and how you use them to give love to your children, to your family, to your community, to your town, to your country, to your earth and how it changes both your gifts' recipients and how it changes you. Keep the list somewhere you will look at it everyday.

Gifts of Jules
I write
I remember seemingly useless bits of information
I'm not afraid to sew without a pattern or cook without a recipie
I get dirty
I clean up messes
I make messes
I can't draw a straight line
I don't know
I cry at the end of movies, even when they are happy
Details, details, details
I acknowledge mistakes
I'm a mum
I see the invisible

--that's my two minutes!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Last night we went through our puzzles. Spread out before us was an era of plane rides, smiles, floor time, accomplishments, tears, and firsts. I requested the letting go and let a five-year-old choose which puzzles were given a new home*. I hid a shadow of tears and a smile as he proudly set aside Thomas the Train puzzle we bought at Stausburg Railroad and Santa's gift three Christmases ago. These were both deemed "too easy" and ready for someone else to play, discover, and love

I grew up with puzzles. I remember being five or six and enamored with a an  500 piece astrology puzzle. I could tell you I was the Aquarius drawn with two lines bumpy lines and carried water. We would work on that puzzle for weeks at a time when the Arctic winds swooped over the prairie and took your breath away the moment you stepped outside. By the time I was twelve, I could do that puzzle on my own in a weekend.

Edges smooth face outside
Bumps all round sort by color
Then pieced together

Today as I comb my fingers through the pieces of a mandala, I smile at the little hands beside mine and tune my ears to bouncing chatter. Together: We are a moving meditation. Together: We are a knowing. There is place for every piece and a piece for every place. As one piece joins another, we celebrate. When we finish, we'll gaze in wonder and take as much joy in disassembly as assembly.  Some day we'll start this puzzling all over again.

I imagine my mother wore the same smile--a mix of wonderment, pride, memories--then as I wear now.

This week, piece together a own moving meditation. Here are a few suggestions: Take a walk, do a puzzle, wash the dishes, brush your teeth, cook your favorite meal, eat an apple. Let it be a moment (or moments) of complete indulgence and awareness. What does it feel, smell, sound, and taste like? Please share with us what happened!

*Thank you to Jen, Doug, Will, and Julie for giving our puzzles new homes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pull Up a Rock and be in Wonder

Last year in my leadership program we learned to sit.*

We learned to sit in the woods--still as stone--and look and listen for 30 minutes at time. Once we made ourselves part of the trees, the leaves, and the rocks, we saw and heard wonders we'd only dreamed about--the wings of a insect zooming by our ears, the rustle of the leaves as the wind blows, sparrows playing the underbrush so close we could hear the morsels in their beaks snap as they ate them.

* Thank you to David and Anne, teachers of how to sit and be unseen.
I haven't practice sitting for quite a long time. Today I did.

This week, when you have a minute or ten to yourself, find a place that suits you: a park, a stand of woods, a trail, a lake, a canyon, a mountain. Pull up a rock or a tree and sit for 10 minutes or for 60. Be still. When you shift or move, move with the wind. Bring your vision from telescopic to panoramic.

Sit and be in wonder. What happens?


Moon fades right, sun warms left,
Forrest ready front, Maple holds us all
A flick of a tail and red flashes by
Whoosh of a wing close behind
Ground rustling calls the squirrels from beyond sight
Rushing the proud oak
Running round and round and round then back down
All heard in the drum of running feet
Hawk screams somewhere east
Crows call north, fading south
Delicate taps shift west
Woodpecker needles the branches tree
Shift. Tap. Tap. Tap. Shift. Tap. Shift Tap. Tap.
Jay screams past in blue
Between the large trunked trees
Too big to hug, perfect for sitting
And becoming

Friday, November 11, 2011

Headless Worms

On a recent trip to the library, Box Turtle at Long Pond by William T. George caught my attention. It's another found-forgotten book I remember fondly from my childhood.* It was added to the top of our stack, the magical number seven. Box Turtle at Long Pond has been requested multiple times a bedtime and not for the amazing and detailed illustrations but for the headless worms. "As quickly as he can, the box turtle bites the heads off each squirming worm. Then he goes back to eat them, one by one."

I often write the softer side of nature. Beauty is also found in the brutality of survival and sometimes, as our box turtle learns when a raccoon eats his headless worms, in the brutality of defeat. Even still, the life of the box turtle is perfect as it is, and, by evening, he settles in to sleep with a fully belly.

Tonight find beauty in something you consider brutal, repulsive, or just plain mean. 

*Thank you, Mom, for those hours and hours of sitting together reading! I still love children's books the best.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time Lost

Time. I have an obsession with clock time. 40 hours a week. Time to get up. Time to go to bed. Time to exercise. Time to eat. Never enough time. Practice 30 minutes every day. Time and no ambition for the never ending to do list. I have a love/hate relationship with the clock. I stopped wearing a watch, and still I know the time. The small shuffling steps this morning at 4:30 AM is another reminder of the time:  Lost sleep and gained time.

Here's a song from the Shadowboxers that serves as a reminder to let go of time. Losing time can be quite pleasant.

Today, let go of time. Get lost in the woods or in your favorite thing (writing, cooking, puzzling, reading, people watching). Live by the rising and setting of the sun. Eat when you are hungry. Sleep when you are sleepy. What happens?


The sun turns
Yellow and red maples to gold
Leaves one by one fall
Buoyed like butterflies
On the shifting breeze
Covering the still green carpet below
Breath held
Suspends time
Delighting in your furrowed brow
Recreating Earth
By color
By number
By direction
Stream through seconds,
Full rotation in
Full rotation out
Breath regained

The clock's been wound

Closed eyes
Feel the warmed gold
in the day

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pajamas and a Purple Crayon

As we admired moon this evening, it followed us from our backyard to the stop sign at the end of the street. Only the lure of pajamas with buttons kept us from the night time wanderings to see how far the moon would follow. Is this the moon that inspired Crockett Johnson to create Harold's moon in the 1950s?

The new moon graced the sky last night

Tonight the moon blinds the star guides
Tonight the sun shines after setting the dark
Still hinting at the day's final blues

Tonight alluded colors bleed
From the tips of turning trees
In to white night

Tonight does the moon follow us
Or do we follow the moon?
Put on your PJ's tonight, grab a purple crayon, and draw the world that one no one has yet imagined by line, by word, by brush . Will you go with the moon, or will the moon go with you?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Worry at Attention

I was in a leadership workshop over the weekend, and our speaker, Charles Eisenstein, spoke of giving our worries and our hurts and our anger and our bumps and our thorns some loving attention as they asked for it. Today consider that we've been trained to stuff those emotions away as if that part of the human experience is wrong or bad or negative. Consider that we are trained that we need to control our impulses when our bumps and thorns or even our desires speak. So our bumps and thorns grow and grow and grow until they can't be contained any more then they start poking our friends.

So today, make a list worries, hurts, angers as they come up for you--big or small all of these bumps and thorns are important today. Give them some loving attention and see what happens. If you are comfortable sharing your experience, please share.

Worries at Attention*

Stand up straight!
Be proud!
Show yourself!

Come out the deep dark recesses
Of my belly
Of my grey wrinkles
In the scar on my knee
Behind my ear

I see you hiding behind my littlest toe.
Don't be shy. Come out and play today!
All are welcome here

Stand by.

Get in line and file
Even lines
You on the end
Come to the front.
Now cover.

Fear of Failure
Shuffle back.
You're out of line
Not Listening,
You're not listening!
Go to the front and
Bear the guide

Open ranks, march!

I'll give you
A hug
A squeeze
A tickle

We'll cry
We'll sneeze
We'll giggle

Be gone
Fall out

Rest before we reassemble

*Thank you to the U.S Air Force for teaching me how to march and giving me a command voice. I still have two left feet, and I still bounce.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Photosynthesis: Light Change

I was surprised and delighted that tonight's bedtime book of choice was Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. This week has been the week of the zombie, and the dream of playing in the trees and gathering fall's treasure was a wonderful escape.

The leaves have lost their chlorophyll and the trees are carry their food underground for the winter. Photosynthesis for our trees is on hold. Nancy teaches us that "photosynthesis" is the compound of light and change. Since our trees slumber, we'll spin a little light and change (and sleep) of our own.

Tonight be a tree. What season are you in?

Tree to be
Winter's waiting buds
Spring's gushing green
Summer's sun-lighting leaves
Fall's suspending nibbles

Living illumination
Swilling cloud brew
Vacillating shadow source
Inhaling recessed heart

Terra-firmed anchors

Monday, October 24, 2011

Occupied Zombies

About 10 minutes ago, I was wondering what Occupy Wall Street was about. A year ago I would have been sleeping on the granite and in the middle of the crowd. Now, you'll find me and my pen or keyboard finding some love to put into it. The first question that comes to mind is: What are we willing to give up to change? The second: How did it happen? How did it happen that Wall Street and finance became root of all that is wrong in our world?

Tonight consider, what are you willing to give up to change and how did happen? What will you do to make it happen?

How it happen?  We went to sleep...

Car get. Door shut.
Drive. Fast. Stop.
In line park. Walk. Don't look up.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
Elevator. Push #3.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Coffee drink.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Coffee drink.
Pee. Front to back wipe. Soap. Scrub. Wash.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Coffee drink.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Coffee drink.
Lunch. Close your mouth. Wipe your lips.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Water drink.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Water drink.
Pee. Front to back wipe. Soap. Scrub. Wash.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Water drink.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Water drink.
Stairs. Don't trip. Rail hold.
Beeeep. Door hold. Walk. Down look.
Car get. Door shut.
Drive. Slow. Fast. Slow.
Home. Door unlock. Inside go.
Cat feed. Washer start.
Time card. Email. Facebook. Blog.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Water drink.
Zombie type. Mouse click. Water drink
Dryer start. Treadmill run.
Hot shower. Runners' stretch.
PJs. Fridge open. Cardboard bread.
Peanutbetter. Grape jelly. Traingle cut.
Sandwhich eat. Water drink.
Dishes wash. Clothes fold. Square away.
Tea drink. Sleep. Away dream.
Zombie type. Mouse click.
Zombie type. Mouse click.
Zombie type. Mouse click.
Zombie type.
Mouse click.
Zombie mouse.
Click type.
Mouse type.

Go back to sleep.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lazy Saturday

Today is a lazy Saturday. The sun is shining lighting up the clouds to a hopeful blue with the sky peeping between. The leaves are half changes and a few that eager to let go fly in the breeze like summer's butterflies and birds. To set the mood here's one of my favorite fall tunes* by Cheryl Wheeler When Fall Comes to New England. Cheryl captures the sights, sounds, and crispness in the air today. Please listen and let yourself be here with us.

Let yourself be lazy. Steep in the fall. Take a stroll, a bath, drink a cup of hot apple cider, or lay a blanket in your favorite outdoor spot and stare at the clouds. Lazy Saturdays are an art form. Practice

*Thank you to Mikey for introducing me to an east cost fall through Cheryl Wheeler's music before I'd ever set foot on the east coast.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Moon's Delight

Today was our first Kindergarten field trip. We rode back on the bus snuggled together planning glorious ice cream pancakes with marshmallows and chocolate chips and whipped cream on top. A finger shoots out and voice says, "Mom! I see the moon!" Until this year I never looked up to see the moon's daylight magic. Fortunately, there's a pint-sized teacher reminding me how we are connected even when we aren't together and the Indigo Girls* beautiful song "Share the Moon." And YES, I do cry ever time I hear it!

Tonight or in the morning, go find the moon. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, open your eyes and marvel at the moon. Please remember to look up!

                                                                    You find the moon
                                                Hidden behind contrail
                           Stripes across the sky
      In Sun’s time

                                                                      My child,
No matter our travels
Moon follows us
early in the morning
Found flashing through the trees
In my blind space

I trust your eyes to marvel
You remember to look
When I’m phased and glazed,
My heartbeat rising,
Hands holding too hard
Watching minutes rise on the radio
And subtracting nine
Wondering if we’ll be on time

I trust your eyes to find the moon
My heartbeat and hands just right
As we marvel the magic in the daylit moon

In Sun’s early light
In Noon’s full shadow
In Eve's sinking amber and lavender
You find the moon

On Mondays and Tuesdays and Wednesdays
    In the time before light
                    I look up. I find the moon
                            Hand on the car door
                                       Breath deep in my belly
                                                     Wind puffs smoky wisps away
                                                                        Moon mirrors me to you
*Thank you to Jen & Mark, full of possibility, for the reintroduction to the Indigo Girls

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stopped at the Procrastination Station--All Aboard!

A few months ago I decided to move on to a new job. Of course, I was asked for an updated resume, and I’ve been procrastinating. I haven't moved on to a new job yet. Writing poetry is more fun. Tonight I’ve decided to make writing a resume fun too. Who said a business consultant's software prowess can’t read like poetry?

May Angelou says:
Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.
So tonight, I challenge you to take on a something you’ve been avoiding. Jump start this avoided thing with something that you love--art your way. If it’s cleaning, put on your favorite CD. If it’s doing the budget or paying bills, write the check in crayon and put bunny stickers on the envelopes. Draw a picture of what life looks like this avoided thing is done. Create your master piece! Go have fun!

Knacked the anomaly
Spinning rainbows less the sun
A spread-sheeted extravaganza
In a fish bone diagram

Racing resources meet
Off-season lemon limits
Softened in bloodied honey
And scattered with cinnamon

Three-armed juggler packing
Bunched bananas and bouncy balls
While balanced one-footed atop
The square root of eighty-1

Exponentials in two to the twelfth
In at least a ba-goo-trillion bits
A byte found is simple
Amidst a smuggled giggle

Control F will find your way
At a clearance price
In seven hours a day
Now go outside. Let's play.

Monday, October 10, 2011

In the Light

When I'm sure I have all the thorny bumpy negatives in life turned into the most beautiful light, love, and empowerment, I'm reminded of how important those thorny bumps are to the love I've created and how easily I can create those thorny bumps myself.

Today I set about obsessing about a particularly bumpy thorny email, my shoulders were snaked up around my ears and  my crown was nearly snapping under the power of my clamped and grinding jaw. So I printed the offending email and with my yellow highlighter I borrowed an poetry exercise from our contemporary Traci and set to turn those words into something we can live right into.  You can find the exercise Traci shared with us in her blog Jots Beyond the Margin. The short of the exercise is:
  • Pick something already written
  • Mark words you like
  • Without adding words, use the words you chose to write a poem.
For my poem, I picked words that were positive and empowering with a few prepositions and pronouns.

Forward Confidence

Come, we'll play at the showing
Agreements talk; walking in time
Movement together in everything
Someone else can guess our rules

The goal: Make hope truly truth
Coverage seen to the right and way up
Differing ways find benefiting choice
Fill together with decisions
Final wholly matter is together
I see you in the future clearing
You and I start to run there
Thanks for forward confidence

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sweet Goodbyes and Happy Hellos

I bought a new treadmill.

It's once in a lifetime event on that list of things I never thought I'd do like
  • Buying a new car
  • Having a natural birth
  • Learning a language that looks nothing like English
  • Being a mother
  • Getting a college degree
  • Seeing an ocean
  • Living in a another country.
All of these moments were full of excitement and sadness.
I'm letting go of a faithful friend. The relationship I've had with my worn Old Girl is something straight out of the Tao Te Ching: "To empty is to become full. To wear out is to be renewed." I thanked her for gift she is: sanity in a place with none. With tears, the shiny new Smooth Operator has taken residence in my Old Girl's place. The Old Girl is folded up and ready for new home.

Tonight consider the Smooth Operator has come into your life and what Old Girl you let go of to make space for him.

Last Ride
No asking
A brisk 10
A fast 20
A    long    slow    50
Slowly today, my friend
I've not much to ask
Only this last ride
Steeped in
Comfortable cheeps
Companionable chirps
Stubborn inclines
Wandering wisdom
Yes, Old Girl, we still fly

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dig: Get a Wiff of the Earth that Grows Us

Early this evening I found myself surrounded by shovels, trowels, and mini dump trucks. I was elbow deep in the dirt and earthworms digging up the lawn to plant flowers. I don't know what possessed me.  Maybe shower of fall's chrysanthemums colors? Maybe the hours spent digging in the Nebraska sand as a child? Who knows! What I do know is that the smell of the earth draws me in and forever holds grass and dirt stains on the knees of my jeans.

Tonight allow yourself to enter your favorite childhood activity and savor its adult comforts. What did you learn? What did you remembered that you may have forgotten?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In an Afternoon

 Today is a day that passed by pleasantly amidst the bumps and snags flowing from one moment to the next. I'm reminded of Jason Mraz's song, After an Afternoon. You leave it a little breathless and wanting for more. Today think of the moments that leave you breathless, where do you feel it--not in your head, not the feelings happy, sad, ambivalent--really, where to do feel it? In your big toe in your right foot? Now show us, give us the words and put us in your body.

In Jason's world

In our world

An Afternoon

We're late. We're late. We're late.
Sitting at the base of my collar bone
Keeping time with my heart

Balloons! Balloons! Balloons!
The pounding time Flying
Left eye to left temple

Stop! Stop! Stop!
Ballooned eyes see the red.
Never ending brakes lit up ahead

Socks, socks, socks.
I look down and swallow the lump
Bowling with no socks!

Tears, tears, tears.
Welling in the backseat
Don't worry, we'll find some socks.

Where? Where? Where?
Long, lurid breath brings a sigh
Socks are easy to come by

Panic. Panic. Panic!
Where's the party girl?
No, no Lucy here.

Hand. Hand. Hand
Small and warm to the car
Oh. Four weeks early. Let's go...

Home. Home. Home.
Backyard mud, squishy toes
Belly laughs and clay river dams

Breathe, breathe, breathe
Warmed face tipped toward the day
Eyes close. Ears steeping little songs

Monday, September 19, 2011

Deal's Wild

Who are the people that have most influenced you life? Who's that someone whispering in your ear imbuing you with strength and courage from when you don't think you can walk another step, take another breath, or climb another hill?

Today, in a way special to you to honor an ancestor who's life influences your own.

That woman for me is my Grandmother Zenobia. She was a nurse, she was a teenager during the 1930s, she would smoke cigars with my dad, and who know what she was going to pull out of her bra! Today is her 94th birthday. She didn't see me graduate 8th grade and so much life has happened since then. I still hear her voice. She didn't whisper and she doesn't still.

Deal's Wild
Salt and pepper coiled neatly top your head
Shuffling to the bathroom
The rush is on
We know when you make it first
We'll never get to go

Shuffling back to the kitchen
Easing down to the blue chair
Walker at the ready
Deal the cards.
What's the game tonight?

"Oh I dropped one!" You say
We're on to you. Must be a 1 or
or wild down there.
Here it is!
Not even a smile. You win again!

How many words are in
There's no E! It's a hard one!
Bits of paper with words
Scribbled everywhere

Achoo! The magic tissue
appears from your chest
Ready at the front. Drip.Wipe.Wipe
Hocus Pocus!
The magic tissue's gone again

The hum of old country
From the small radio
Fills the silence. I'm stumped again!
No E! Had I looked
Would I have seen hints of your smile?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Living Bliss

Life has a funny way of speaking to us sometimes. It's been a long week with a bit of unnecessary suffering thrown in to the mix. And, yes, I helped! Some battles we fight. So I decided to find myself living in bliss. What's your bliss?

Living Bliss

When fate flings flaming feces
Under foot

Breathe lavender

When impossibility impresses its image
Above the sink

Breathe possibility

When hit with wholesome Hillary
Between the eyes

Breathe hope

Be free. Live out loud. Imagine. Smell roses
Sleep bliss

Breathe bliss

Friday, September 16, 2011

Superheros. Who are you?


It's time for blog of my own, since the uncontrollable stream of poetry seems to be at a trickle and jumping head first into the cascade of a novel runs my blood cold. Blogging is writing!

I'm not sure what we will find here yet. A rhythm? A rhyme? Something to bring us together with the forces stretching us in all directions.

A writing prompt for today: Sing a verse. Play a rhyme. Show us. What superhero are you today?

Word Girl

Word for fist
Word for thought
Caped in comics and
Riddled sudoku
Pencil in hand
Eraser nubbed

Word Girl's words never snubbed

On the world-go-round
Legs weightless
White knuckles dance
Grins like the slivered moons
Orbit Pupils wide
On this fly-go-ride

Word Girl's Coming

An O
An M
An A
A few SS
And an ION

The world-go-round
Screeches still
We all Breathe in
Dizzy still

World Girl's rescue?