Poetry & Prose


After saying goodbye to my son 


I did not weep today

When you flew away 

After bringing

Your young cats

Home to my house

And spending 

Three precious days 


With me

Not profundities

But little things

Kitty coddling

Endless movies

Cooking and laughing.

After those days ended

And your dear image Vanished behind 

The revolving glass 

Then, when my bliss

Should have fled,

I refused to let it go.



I kept you with me.

All the way home

I carried you 

In my heart

And you are still 

Right here,

Alive and real

And sweet as honeydew.


This I promise

This I swear

And only this

Is true:

The essence 

Of you

Is in me

And the essence

Of me

Is in you.


That is why

No matter how

Things appear


Is illusion

And even Death


To fear.

His trickster’s knees 

go wobbly

And he slips 

Like a shadow away

In the Light 

of this 

Round and Shining Day.

And only now

That I have told you


Only now

Am I weeping.



Dark shadow hurtles

across the sun – small black cat 

hunkers down to leap

Sit spot

At my sacred spot

leaves dance in the lush light wind

deep silence resounds


Plunging west 

On the freeway

In the rushing silence

Of my hurtling pod

I contemplate 

The Mystery:


Rough gold hills 

Like ocean swells

Lifting on all sides

Afloat with their cargo

Of oaks

Roadside bushes

Waving their pink hands 

At the hot blue sky

Curling fog 


Dark on the horizon


And all at once

With the tenderest



The World

Ripples me open

With her dulcet kiss

And I swoon inside 

With ecstasy




At my hand and eye

So steady

On the wheel

I tell myself


Remember this:

You thought 

Your senses

An inviolable


Keeping you inside

And the world

And all others



But now

It seems

The senses 

Are a bridge

Or a door

And you,

And all Beings

And all Things

Are in no way 


But One. 


Choosing a New Ground of Being

May we come sailing out of sleep

on the Wings of Intent

arising every day and every moment, 

and falling every night

into the arms of a solemn and kindred Trust

that All Is Well.

May we reside in this wholeness

this luminous no-space-time

alongside the pains and bothers of daily life

grounded in the perfect peace

that allows cheerful acceptance

of everything


Like going to see an amateur film 

by a dear friend (us)

a flickering and grainy melodrama

important and worthy 

of every minute of our time

because it is so sincere

yet still

just a movie


Getting Unstuck from the Past


In my dream

I was pouring over a thick old book 

Of cartoons

Its pale pages covered in plastic 

Like an old photo album

The black ink faded to murky blue

In thousands upon thousands

Of detailed drawings

Of mundane moments with my family

Including my dead husband 

Who was looking over my shoulder


Apparently, I marveled to myself,

Once upon a time

I had drawn all these.

How could I possibly

Have spent so many hours

So long ago?

They weren’t bad,

It must have taken me forever…

I turned the pages 

Completely entranced

Until my husband asked me why

Was I keeping all that?


When I woke up

I had the thought that

Maybe I need

A colonic.

Maybe that

Would loosen up and dislodge

All those pounds and pounds

Of impacted memories

That are stopping the flow

Of living my life

Plugging the pipes

Of just being me.




White sky holds bare trees

Birds embroider space

A girl walks by 

Not knowing where to put her eyes

A boy passes 

Gazing about him in search of clues

And I sit in the simple brilliance of things

Writing what I don’t understand

Because inside me

Is a roaring blaze of joy

That burns all thoughts

Leaving only the crucible 

Of Communion

For Jay


Climbing a hill

In a wide open valley

You and I


You go first

I follow


You do not know

I am there

But I see you

Laying out your life 

In wide arcs

Across the future


The rising sun

Glances deep

Across the bowl of your life

With its beginning

And its end

And all the rich

Flora and fauna

In between


The clouds go

And come


And richly spread

Across the valley 

And the sun lances

The clouds

And the light

Breaks through all around


And there really 

Is no dividing line

Between heaven 

and earth

Between you 

and me


For June 


When we knocked

- how many years ago? -

You hid behind your door

Ready to slam it

On our fingers

Should we prove

Strangers of bad tidings

In the night

In the night


But then 

The bird of possibility

Lit on your shoulder

And said

What the heck, 

You can always grab a frying pan

And bonk them on the noodle


And so

You opened the door

And much to your surprise

And our delight

You welcomed us 

Like long lost friends.


Indignant stander-up for 

The Rights of Idiots and Gods


On the full exposure 

of Creeps


of bright bridges

To the sky

You keep

Your vault of hidden memory

Sealed away in your bedroom

And peak into it each night

To keep it safe


And night and day

You love and love and love


The irreplaceable gift

Of Your Self

Opening your heart

Like a great crimson flower


In the forest of your doubt

Tending it

In all weathers

With the gentlest of hands.

God is driving


When it’s raining like this, 

long and calm and steady, 

I feel like I used to feel 

riding home at night 

in Quincy, the old Plymouth,

with my parents 

in the dark front seat

talking softly,

my father driving 

my mother holding the baby, 

and me lying lulled 

on the worn vinyl in the back, 

no seat belts

and all is well.

Only now 

God is driving.



Help me

Help me, 

I say to the one who can

I can’t hear the silence

Don’t fight it, he says

Wherever you are,

you are.

So i sit on this bench

where the oaks stand red

in the evening sun,
and the languid wind 

moves through and passes on

And my mind and heart

scatter their seeds

that blossom 

into whole trains of thought

and the silence is lost

under their rolling wheels

and i ride them 

up and down

and all i can hear

is the sound

of my wanting

Yet I am comforted

For all the while 

I know

the Silence 

is holding me 

in its large

and patient



Sacred Grief

Today I woke up sobbing. Deep, refreshing, almost musical sobs that tore me from head to toe.

I had been dreaming of Jorge. 

Yes, I still grieve, even though I have long learned to live happy in myself, while my love lives in another time and place. 

But last night I was with him again, and he was warm and sweet, peaceful as the Sun, and I basked in his presence happier than reason can tell. 

Then, after three days at my side, he had to go – he had to return. And all my old grief fell in a torrent upon me, surging through me, churning like snowmelt, sweeping me into the Great Sea of Love, where grief and joy are joined.

Sacred grief is not the same as terror or desperation at being alone and lonely. It is a sacrament, the recognition of a great and holy love for a being who has moved on, but who lives eternally in the depths of our heart.

In the River House

Was it a trick of my mind

my love

that you died and left me

escaping into realms

I could not penetrate?

For here you are with me

in this yellow kitchen

at this long table with friends

in our large and beautiful house

built down the cliff from the high bluffs

all the way down to the river.

Here you are with me

alive and smiling

sad that I left

but happy to the brim

without a trace of rancor

that I am back again.

Can it be true

that it was I who left you,

and not the other way around?

That some requirement

of destiny trapped me, some theater

I had to play out alone?

And you, kind soul, bowed to your role?

Nothing could have dragged me into this charade

but Death herself

barring the way to your side.

Did she really hoodwink me

for my own good?

Oh let me quickly learn

what I need to learn

let me meet the goddess within

and let her leave off

hitting my thumb with her hammer

to wake me up!

For I have believed in death,

and mourned and wept

and learned the ropes of living

just on my own.

But now that I have seen you

held you and kissed you so sweetly once again

I do remember:

nothing is so real as our love.

Now I know you keep a place for me

here in this river house

by the deep, sweet waters

where children and friends

and a feast await.

I know I have work in the shadow world

and I have looked away from grief.

But how I have longed

not knowing the depth of my longing

to be at your side

all these years.


let me dream you beside me

until we next awake.

It's not how I look


Out walking yesterday

I asked myself

How do I look?

Aging white woman

short brown hair sticking out

in odd directions

average height

casual dress, no makeup

body on the sturdy side

but carrying my years well,

still functional

still smiling

and still mothering

endless children


But today

looking out

from inside my eyes

at the rainy hills

and the wet road

and the gentle people

it strikes me

It's not how I look

that is important.

It's that I look,

and how I do that looking.

That is the Fact

and the Act

that is Sacred and

Most Wonderful.


Their Mercury Retrograde

Suddenly, long after I believed I had released them from my grasp, my tame adult children leapt out of hiding, roaring like a tornado through my tidy life, upsetting the crockery

My son, unmasking himself, nearly gave me a heart attack as I watched him launch himself into the Void, tender, valiant and hard as steel, soaring away into perilous galaxies where no mere man has gone before 

My daughter, in a wild freedom dance, flung Revelation all over my lovely period furniture, burning holes in the upholstery and liberating me from all the false hopes I had so proudly hung along the walls. Then she disappeared into the forest to learn from the wild animals

And I all withered in a corner had to be reborn, a naked babe, and grow up all over again

Now at last the Change is over, like a natural disaster that lays bare the raw earth, opening its beating heart of diamonds and rubies and molten gold

Now at last, I get to loll in bed in the late morning, catching my breath and wondering what to do with this new, unruly treasure

Moon Feast


There are the regular times

Of peace:


When I wake up before the world

And catch it

Just sitting there

Not going anywhere.

And bedtime

When I finally give it all up

And stop Running.


It’s in between

That the going gets to me –

Doing doing doing

One thing after another

Always on deadline

Seeking some






Once in a while

Sanity hits me

And I walk

In the evening

To the end of town

And sit on a bench

And just look

While the sun goes down.


There are the valley oaks

Their brown trunks

Wearing gold brocade

The magpies flouncing

And scolding

Flaring their flamboyant tails

From tree to tree


And the Moon

Almost round

But not quite

Like a ball of white

Potter’s clay

In the fumbling hands

Of some genius

Still learning

To make the world


Then God feeds me

Placing the unfinished Moon

Perfect in its imperfection

Just there

On the blue plate of the sky

Between the sprigs of tree-parsley

A feast to quiet

The heart.


No Rocket Science


Today I have

Once again


What the sages have been trying to tell me

All along:

That Thinking

In the sense of prodding around 

To see how I’m feeling about life

In any one moment

Is unwise.


Because Thinking

Is nothing but the futile attempt

To stop the flow of time,

To snatch Life out of its happy dance

And trap it,

Possess it.

I seem to believe

That if I could do this

It would keep me

From dying

But obviously

I can’t

And if I could

I’d still die

And the great glowing world

Would die with me.


That’s why 

Whenever I fall into 

Belly-button introspection

Trying to skewer the squirming moment

On the pin of my mind

I always find that I am



On the other hand 

When I’m just





(As in writing 

Or reading

These words)

There’s no judgment

No attempt

To pin down the moment.

Only Being 

With what’s going on.

No rocket science,

Just the Great Good Luck

Of being alive.


Florida Hotel


Out my window


angelic with white

oh-show-me-the-glory tops


In the room next door

they have banished me

for making noise

washing lettuce

in the sink


at first

a glumness

offers her fishy head

above the surface

of my pond

you could be offended

she says


so true

i reflect

yet lounging here

in my red plastic chair

feet up 

on the air conditioner

is not half bad



something else 

is lurking here 

just under surface 

of things

some kind of 

crazy and senseless



so why mess around?

a moment of misery 

may be a thrill

but it stands no chance

in the last gasp

where everything

is nothing 

but piles

of light




standing like a tree

shows me

that if I go way slower

and take twice as long

to do everything

in my life

I will end up having 

MORE time 

not less


I will likely live longer

from so much 

less stress

but even if I die 

five minutes from now

I will have 

actually been here 

to enjoy this eternal moment

and that’s because

standing like a tree

spreads life out

over a small space

the way a puddle mirrors

the Universe


The Value of P.E.

I suppose it is good to try to teach children sports.

Certainly for the born klutzes, the ones who are always chosen last – oh the pain and suffering! – and who wilt with relief at the end of each day’s torture. 

But also for the born athletes, the always chosen first, who run and leap and execute arcs of triumph at every turn.

Because for everyone, P.E. is a perfect lesson in Failure.

For the duds, it’s simple – you fail and that’s that. Six years old and you’re already launched on a lifetime of humiliation and search for self-improvement.

But for the winners, it’s even better. Toe at the starting line, your competitors grinning at you in savage fear, you have to keep beating your own best record – what if I lose this time??? Will I still have friends? And without them how can I admire myself? 

So the winners, they get the best of Failure’s training.

But no worries – life is always fair. Whatever your forte – being good, being bad, getting A’s, being a liar and a cheat, being a clown, being popular, being a bully – there’s always the chance that you will fail.

And that’s where life begins. 

poetry and the ego


the ego sits frustrated

on her little throne

where they have her licking stamps

and addressing envelopes

working for peanuts


these messages

always come from somewhere else

from the Spanish

from the Profound

from some Other Place


they're never in her own words

but always have that foreign lilt





but no matter


the job tickles her

she may just get up one day

and dance!