Monday, November 18, 2013

Driving at Night

Moon phase mosaic. On the floor of Kansas City International
As the days get shorter, the child in me longs for the sunlight. Tonight I remembered how much I enjoy driving in the dark. Driving in the dark is when I am closest to my friends and family that died. They seem to wrap me up--buffering me from the unseen dangers in the dark. The dark reminds me of all the things I have accomplished in the day--or my life time and reminds me what I have left to do.

Where was the last time you let the darkness wrap around out. Where does it lead? Is it dangerous? Is it comforting?

Driving at Night

My heart leaps at the feeling of my brother beside me
laughing and laughing. his smile shadowed 
in passing headlights along the rolling hills
outside Bridgeport, Nebraska

I feel the weight of the car shift.
I steady my hand on the wheel
as my Grandmother joins us
I used to be the one in the backseat
Grandpa driving 45 down highway 26.
It meant that we stopped for breakfast
before we hit Henry on our way to Wyoming

Caution has a place.
Fear leads to haste.
Pride is allowed.
Sorrow is precious.

Tonight, my dear friend joins us
The undertones of sunblock
and something sweeter fills my nose
I smile. We've come a long way, and
we aren't finished yet.
She is ever the guide.

I was missing her tonight.

Smiling and crying,
I barrel down a six lane Maryland highway
like the wise moon will stop
waning and waxing and becoming new again.
The car is full. I am wrapped
in the arms of heaven
the on-coming cars are sharp and bright
in this well lit darkness, 
I'm whole and I am home.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday Mornings

Even before I quit my job, I started picking up trash between the Jumping Bean's (JB) school and home. Thursday trash sweep has come to be my ritual and my contribution to the health and well-being of my community and yours.

This morning's sweep was full of fall blessings and the winter silence. For the first time in weeks, I felt a moment of elusive peace. I could breathe.

Where are you finding peace and room to breathe in the descending energy of the fall?

Thursday Mornings

cold crinkle of a bag between my fingers
there is me, the calling of the crows, and the stillness in the wind
dried summer foliage reveals last year's soda bottles,
on-the-go lunches, midnight parties--heard more than seen

An orange flash of cellophane winks at me from the fog-coated grass
my thumb meets its fellows and the dewed plastic
reminds my fingers that it's getting cooler on Thursday mornings

I stand for a moment to let the distant rush
of the morning pass through me
I breathe in the silent wind and let out my last breath,
until the next one comes with no thought of mine

the post-Halloween trail of sugar dreams
peeking out from the leaves. they wait for me.
squirrels run with the last of summer's bounty
afraid I've come for their breakfast. i only take what's left behind

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eager Fall

Chill lay like a blanket
Over the greening grass
and fading trees
The train calls long and slow
Out over the dark
Early morning travelers
fade though the early morning

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Around the Clock

The Jumping Bean and I have been playing card games and solving puzzles together. Being seven is a new world for both of us. When I taught JB how to play Around the Clock solitaire (also known as "clock" and "clock patience"), I remembered playing it when I was about his age.

What games do you remember from childhood? What sounds, smells, or sensations do you remember when you played them?
'Round the Clock
Twelve o'clock Three
Three o'clock Seven        Seven o'clock Nine
Nine o'clock Queen        Twelve o'clock Six
Six o'clock King
A Jack winks on a dirty floor
Dishes in the washpan
Snakes in the outhouse
Grandma's musty comfort
Eleven o'clock Ace
One o'clock Four       Four o'clock Five
Five o'clock Ten       Ten o'clock Ace
One o'clock King
Cards slick and
Worn dull on the edges
King to the bottom
I want to win.
One o'clock Nine
Nine o'clock
Time to go.
Put the cards away.
Nine o'clock eight
Eight o'clock two
Two o'clock six
I want to win
Almost there
Six o'clock king
"Now, Julia."
Cards scooped up
Spades and diamonds facing
Hearts and puppy dog feet
Or were they teddy bear feet?
Dashed and angry
I lost again
And discovered
the last ace was missing
there was no winning,
I played anyway

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Simplicity in Wonder (in Love?)

Really it's all this simple: Be curious. Be in wonder.

Done. Tada.

Today's poetry is a list of wonder. Not complicated forms or rhymes. Words. Simple words.


Four swallow tails butterflies my nose to theirs
A snake sunning on a log
Frog squeaks and kurplunks
A leaf bug missing a leg
Green Dragonflies
A turtle eating a water lily
Blue dragonflies land on my leg
They have stripped wings
A dam washed away with the tide
A perfect reflection
The buzzz of a bumble bee so close he's fuzzy
Blue gill following me
Smooth river round stones cold under foot
Sharp shells poke my toes
Tiny yellow flowers bloom in the marsh
Grand blooms to tree fungus
Smooth roads, few cars
On a Sunday in August

What's on your wonder list?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pictures Who Write Themselves (The A-B-C)

I promised the poetry that went with my collages...

Feeding the Beast

Restless crowds gather feeding anger’s children
Baron tracks of desert breed striking beasts
The crowds cry for fight. The idle wait

A snake strikes.

Heroes backed into spiked cacti
Crowds heave, binding freedom
with the ropes of disappointment,
stabbing hope with rusted blades

The heroes hold. Faces skyward,
eyes closed to the frustrated masses
Treading sand, treading water 
The heroes hold

Passions & Gifts


Open hands, full harvest
Weaving blue, gold, and green
Fabric that holds space between
Death and growth
Growth and death
Only the flame of a match
Sets the sun to fire
The grapes to green
Only hands hold the circles
who scrap a shell on the stones
who rustle a cape of night wings
Lay back on the stones
Warmth at your back
The flame in your chest
Seen and almost never heard

What parallels do you see in the collages and the writing?
Check out the Writersvibe over the next few weeks for other exercises for un-stucking yourself.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pictures Who Write Themselves (The 1-2-3)

I've been flirting with Cristine Mason Miller's book Desire to Inspire for several months now. She (and all the book contributors) have some great exercises and thoughts to help you move through your own creative process. Based on one of these exercises, I made some big collages to bring out some of my aversions and passions.

This is how I did it:

1) Cut stuff up (I so enjoy this part!)
2) Make a pile of images you are drawn to
3) Make a pile of images that give you the willies or make you want to throw up.
3) Layer it up (I used 20x30 Foam board)
4) Glue it down
5) Put it where you can see it everyday
6) Write a phrase that comes up for you for each image (Don't put a lot of thought into this, just write it down)
7) Contemplate what the words reveal

For steps six and seven You might consider what led you to layer one image over another or why you chose to give each image its place in your collage. On step seven my phrases become poetry. I didn't struggle with or plan that, the darn things wrote themselves.

Here are a few passions I was able to put to work with the collages:

  • Moving humans from a place of purposelessness to purposefulness 
  • Using what already exists in nature (trees, rocks, sun, growth, seasons) to connect humans to gifts
  • Connecting us to our gifts gives us space to move to a place of connection and purpose
  • Bridging a connection to nature with human-enabled technology

Stay tuned for the poems I created with these collages.

What comes up for you when you look at these images? What comes up when you take words out of your writing?

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Night Guards*


Armed & Headless
Wiggly across the night lit walls
“We are not silent,” they say
Their dark rustle keeps
creepers and peepers and buzzers away

Snuggle in.
Close your eyes.

Let the giants send you safe away
to dance in shade & day lights
Resting your back
into their sling-shot arms;
they catch the peach juice
dripping down your chin

*Thanks to JB for the prompt. He said the trees at night to Transformers without heads.

What do the trees turn into at night for you?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Picture Prompts

You know how much I love picture prompts. Here are a few for you off my camera. Pick one and write for 15 minutes.