Wednesday, June 30, 2010

what to do

when the pain 
eats it's way 
through the brain

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

All That's Left

It's 1943. The country is still at war. A young girl catches a ride with a handsome airman. A few months later she meets him in San Antonio and they are married. This, her second marriage, will end in sorrow.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Letter from the Mother Who Never Came

She wants to say
something, anything
but words fail
leave only a trail
of regret, sorrow

She has to borrow
from the past
words that last
forgive me
forgive me

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Washer Woman

She was a widow and a washer woman who lived with her small children in a cottage on the edge of town, near a cool spring. She gathered the clothes each morning from the families in the village, sorted the darks from the lights, the shirts and pants and long skirts from the bedclothes. She set up her pots in the yard, gathered wood from the pasture across the road, and made her own soap from leftover kitchen grease and lye.

She boiled the whites first, then added bluing to bring out the sparkle. The lye soap helped take out the red dirt stains from the work shirts. The pants were scrubbed on the washboard. Each piece was wrung out and draped across the fence to sun dry. The work was hard but it kept her family fed and a roof over their head.

The Dilemma

Artwork by Franz Marc

Stuck in the middle
between the one she loves 
and the one her lover wants

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sink or Swim

One of the worst things about getting old is not being able to jump. It’s not like she needs to jump or even wants to. But it’s just one more thing that she has to leave behind. Some days she’s ok with it and some days she really hates it. For the most part she’s in denial, looking in the mirror without her glasses, trying to find that 40 or 50 year old that had so much fun. That side of this aging thing, the mostly good side, is the self delusion: the ability to see what she wants to see and turn a blind eye to the rest. 

But then she looks across the breakfast table and sees the son who’s creeping up on 50 and the fantasy falls apart. His choices, good or bad, are hers as well. She worries, that like his mother, he won’t take care of himself until it’s too late. Until ignoring the high blood pressure, eating the wrong foods, and not getting the right kind of exercise takes its toll. Like it or not, their boats are tied together. They will sink or swim in tandem. If it were in her power to do it all over again, maybe she would make different choices. But, having come to this place, having come this far, she cannot, will not, must not give up.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Something We Can All Do


A Message from friend, writer, entrepreneur Therese Becker:
“I just did a blog that includes a small ceremony we each can do numerous times each day to help with this crisis in the gulf.  It comes from Ralph Blum's Book of Runes.”
A Ceremony Honoring the Waters
I send the energy of love and gratitude to the waters and all living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings.  To the whales, dolphins, manatees, turtles, sharks, pelicans, fish, shellfish, planktons, corals, algae…to all living creatures, I am sorry. Please forgive me.  Thank you. I love you.
Check out Therese’s website and blog at

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Swimming with the Angels

Drowning Angel by OJ Hansen

She almost drowned once
fell in love, for a while
grew strong but never cold
kind but never weak

she kept commitment at a distance
chose good sex over security
thought she would defy the odds
and stay young forever

Searching death records for her ancestors
she ignored the ones who died early
from sickness or suicide
focused instead on those
who lived to be 80 or 90 or 100
counting on good genes  
to outweigh all else

It's Not Much

But it's a start. My new stand-up Junk Art workshop. I figure there's a deep meaning behind my obsession with rescuing bits of rusted metal, ribbon, plastic, glass, and other odds and ends. But, in the meantime I'll settle for the shallow satisfaction of having a place where I can work--if and when I want to.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


OK, so most of my friends know that I am deathly, dangerously, insanely afraid of snakes. Have been all my life. 

So, hows come when I check my email this morning there's this website that shows all the places that have poisonous snakes. 

Here's my response. This is the only way I can handle snakes, of any kind.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Backward, Turn Backward

Oh time in thy flight
Make me a child again, just for tonight
--Elizabeth Akers Allen

One of my favorite memories of my father is our day trip to the lake with my two nephews. We didn't catch many fish but we caught a bit of magic that comforts me still.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


can't write
can't think
can't feel
not real
wish I could steal
a few words from someone
borrow a line of language
to corral my feelings
the anger
the self-pity
shake off the hopelessness
but, I guess
there is no end
around that bend
in the road
no different place
what a waste

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just Once

just once she wanted to hear silence
no phones, faxes, or computers
no job to go to or deadlines to meet
no dishes to wash, no bills to pay
no weeds to pull or grass to mow
no litter box to clean or floors to mop
no plans to make, no excuses, no regrets
just dreams to fulfill

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Obama to BP

"Don't make me get the vacuum cleaner cord!" (It's an inside family joke, not very funny, but very appropriate to the current situation.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mort and Emily

In this town there were two mutes and they were always together. Mort lost his voice in fourth grade when Mrs. Donnelly made him stand in front of class and recite "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." Emily was born that way. Some said it was a curse on her mother for not attending Wednesday night prayer meetings. But then half the members of Rock Chapel Baptist Church didn't attend and their children had all their faculties.

Except of course, there was that young girl who was born with water on the brain and poor Mr. Hughes who had that terrible crippling disease and had to drag himself in his wheelchair around town with his good foot. But neither of them was born here so they didn't count.

Mort and Emily both lived out on the Seminole highway and rode the same bus to school. Emily usually sat alone on the front seat so that she could see the driver motion toward the door when it was time to get off. After awhile, Mort began to sit up front too. And eventually he sat in the seat next to Emily. She didn't seem to mind.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Aphra and Zaida

The girls were born six minutes apart, Aphra first, then Zaida. Their mother died six hours later, leaving them in the care of their father. Randolph was ill prepared, having hardly adjusted to sharing his bed and now struggling to accept the emptiness.

His mother suggested a wet nurse but then he would need two. The thought of having anyone replace his wife was too painful to think about. So he bought a case of canned milk and more baby bottles and rolled up towels to create a nest for each baby in an apple crate.

At first he couldn’t tell them apart, so he wrote their names on the bottom of their feet. He loved the soft murmur they made when he lifted a foot to see who was who.

They grew fat and rosy and soon followed his face with their eyes. His sister came for a week to help figure out what to do with their mother’s things. What to keep so that someday they could finger the lace and pearl buttons and smell the delicate perfume that was the woman who brought them into the world.

100 Years and Not Counting

Reportedly, this is the 100th anniversary of the dubious invention of the bra. I'm sure when I got my first one I was thrilled. Later, well not so much. In the 70s I decided they were a useless, uncomfortable apparatus, took mine off, and never (almost never) put it on again. A minor feminist gesture but a great act of personal liberation. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Mind of Their Own

Margaret walked around to the back, checking to make sure the handy man had finished repairing the door to the storage area. The agent assured her it would be safe to leave the keys in the lock box. All that was left for her to do now was find some place to go every day. “Buyers don’t like to meet the seller face-to-face,” Betty had insisted.
Still, she thought, wouldn’t they want to know it had been well-maintained over the 30 years that she and Harry had lived here. He was real handy and did all the work himself. If he hadn’t toppled over that morning, right in the middle of putting the pale yellow ceramic tile in the bathroom, she wouldn’t have had to call the handy man at all.
She could tell from the look on his face, the wide eyed “what the hell” on his lips that he wasn’t expecting to go now, to go this way. But hearts have a mind of their own and when Harry’s was through, well it was just done.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Approaching the Finish Line

They call me "The Fixer." For the last month, I've stepped up to a familiar role: picking up the pieces and creating order. Highlights include finding a home for the frozen turkey, making sure everyone got paid on time, and digging up the documents requested by the auditors. Fun, sometimes frustrating, but with any luck, tomorrow will be my last day. WooHoo!

PS We had to cancel the turkey bowling tournament.