My photo
Poet, Artist and co-owner of Lasting Images Photography

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Just wondering...

.....since I don't speak Chinese... what the anonymous posters are saying to me????? I have just been deleting. Figured if they could read and understand my poetry they should be able comment in English.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

new Reading

Went to B&N yesterday and bought 3 new books. Should keep me up on my bedtime reading for awhile. I am soooo glad I finally got the right reading glasses!

Rebuilding files

I found some hard copies ( you remember paper?) of some of my lost poetry. A bit of typing but I can get them back in my hard drives. Not all the lost files...but a start. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


What I call blue, you see green.
What you call bitter, I taste sweet.
Nor even know the truth of it
if there is truth at all.
Blue is a summer sky, loneliness.
Green is young grass, envy.
We wrap our words in our own 
meanings, unwrap each other’s
with our own metaphors.
You said to me
I loved you the first time I saw you,
the way you looked in blue.

Invisible Train

Invisible Train
I never saw the iron horse
whose course stalked mine. I saw
lights flash red in other people’s eyes, heard 
a cold, shrill whistle in the words they spoke.
Wind delivered 
distant wails,
skeletal rattles like the clatter of tracks.
Tickles of smoke stung my nostrils, tremors 
rolled under my feet.  Once

at a crossing I heard
a whine, felt a knife slice air
into ripples across my face 
                             but saw  nothing there- 
the way sun’s light frosts
forest green, pine needles appear to shiver 
though the day is warm,

                             that sort of illusion- 
I thought if I stretched my hand into its path
it would pass right through me. I would feel 
the shake and sway

of boxcars all up my arm
but could draw back uninjured in its wake.
                             The real illusion.
At night by orange vapor lights
anonymous switchmen went about
their silent work, set wheels 
to rails that in time
would bear that thundering
force on our collision course.
I didn’t look. I didn’t see.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Some abstract poster art


Still wishing I could Topple the block. i can't seem to write much new..just rehash old stuff.

An old one:Scenic Routes

Scenic Routes
The children’s teary-eyed complaints       
        Are we lost?
you meet head on
        No, we’re together.
By now I’ve learned that every journey 
includes its share of scenic routes.
Picturesque detours through parking lots,
dead-end alleys.
Sometimes we actually leave the map,
drive across grass,
bumping our way back to where we were.
You drag us on illegal
hikes through construction sites,
daring acts of trespass,
choose sudden, unmarked roads
that turn into footpaths, end
at a stranger’s decrepit barn, populated 
by bats instead of cows.
Wading into rapid streams,
you roll rocks up waterfalls- 
snapshots made without a camera.
Adventure is often a mistaken turn
where blinding views leap up
to hit us right between the eyes.
The unexpected joy of finding 
what we never knew we’d missed.
Are we lost?
        No, we’re on the scenic route.

Cruise out of Seward, Alaska

Botanical Gardens/British Columbia

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Poetic Devices

Poetic Devices
I sold my car to become a poet.
Not for money but device-less
My computer too.
That window without
a view.
In days to come
I shunned my dishwasher,
listening instead to the swoosh 
of suds in the sink.
The squeak of a clean plate
echoed in my voice.
One morning I noticed 
the air conditioner’s drone,
that constant groan of cold air 
had to be cliche.
I traded its roar for tacky ticking--
then I tossed my clock
and bought a sundial.
Always I reached
for what had never been
invented. Further and further back
till there was no written language.
Eventually I had to stop
writing altogether, get myself
a drum. 
the pound of pure sound--
never mind its wordless rendering.

I dream I am chased by a tiger
panting without metaphors
for my fear or here
sitting in my mud house
without a carpet cleaner.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There is a sense of ruin at low tide--
drowned things surface
like relics unearthed, spiritless.
Thorny spikes of urchins, random wrecks
of shell. You poke broken remains
as if seeking the essence of the thing
as distinguished from its matter.
You hunt for the delicately pleasing
in the difficult diameter of a bone
knowing you’ve no control over
what washes back in and what
stays lost forever.
At high tide, the sea was full,
continuous. Every form within it 
had an interconnected sweetness.
Beached, these twisted strands
of kelp are slimy waste, unlikely links
in survival’s chain. 
You sit on a callous of rock, a painful outcrop 
that wasn’t there 
before the tide swept back
leaving lifeless artifacts behind.

Moon Cove/Sardinia 2001

Moon Cove
But we were there at noon.
From caves sought more for cool than privacy,
we gazed across turquoise glass,
poked at our indifferent lunch
of hard-boiled eggs
and bottled water
imagining moonlight and wine.
We tread the rocky barrier
to the sea wishing we’d brought 
different shoes,
found the water less than warm,
bobbing weightless above its stony bed
as tiny fishes nipped
at our toes.
Up the face of the cliff
that curved above the cave,
rock climbers, 
their ropes strung taut,
kicked off the surface, dropping
down, then pulling up
again in a motion like the surf.
We never saw the stars rise above
the place somebody named Moon Cove.
As we stumbled back toward the pier
our philosopher guide offered simply,
Some years, the sea, she brings us sand,
mounds it up in snowy dunes; some years
she takes the sand away and brings us rocks.

Lost Sea Gulls

Lost Sea Gulls
Where did I get the notion
that anything with wings
knows always where it’s going?
In Reno sea gulls ride the heat
of hotel floodlights,
just circle
and circle seven hundred at a time
as if it were a lighthouse
in the desert.
Newspapers scream stories
of planes that crash
hundreds of miles off course.
Dragonflies persist
diving into the electric shock
of my patio bug zapper.
But any day now,
I trust angels will find us--
our pain among millions--  
       wrapping us in white wings.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Still Waiting

 Still Waiting 
Let me breathe your branches
in October wind,
fall-colored streamers
on chill air.
Let me put my hand inside
your coat, orange with yellow patches,
and lay my face
against your chest.
Because I want to tell you something,
stand still, an autumn tree,
knowing what will likely come
but waiting.


Worlds wait in a word,
multitudes panting to have
their say.
You might have owned its meaning once
when, held secret in your head,
its other voices eluded detection.
But you have come to know
the spectrum 
can not be glossed over.
Speak and you risk interpretation.
Stay silent and that ,too,
becomes an object of imagination.
You are an actor
in your own life story.
Though you intrigue to steal the scene 
from other players, they add 
the small details that color your role.
The audience fills in the blank lines.
And in the end
no one knows or really cares
what it was you meant to say.
Your love affair with your meaning
lands on the rocks, deconstructed
in dialogue.

Toppling Blocks

Toppling Blocks

No time to dig deep,
pull from memory and leap
off the roof without fanfare.
The primary purpose
of this exercise is to exorcise
the beggar demons
that gather on the edges 
of the brain, crying 
to been fed words    words    words.
Cast out a line
and drag in whatever it hooks,
discard whatever it leaves.
Take solace in the shape
of letters drinking the whiteness
off the page
and have another cup


I see her again
on my way to work.
Always I see her
at the same corner,
her assigned spot on the planet.
Today I realize
she has become a landmark.
The walk takes fifteen minutes
past the library,
ten past the woman
who’s as transparent as my face
in the store window behind her.
She looks up 
and we take inventory.
Feet apart in run-over running shoes,
holding her bag as if it held her life.
Her hair uneven, her mouth a straight line.
She isn’t sure what she’s been searching for.
Maybe she was pretty once.
Her eyes, 
the color of nothing.

Choosing New Clothes

Choosing New Clothes
I have this idea
of wearing a tree.
Running my arms up 
through branch sleeves
letting leaves slither over my torso--
a shirt of fragrant
forgetfulness, unembarrassed
by the peepholes
light weaves
and wind whispers through,
the shedding 
of threads to weather.
I’ve long been clad in cement artifice,
city-shaped coat drawn tight
against violence,
controlled and silent,
sharp and hard.
It keeps out the cold
only by being a better example.
I choose new clothes, to wear
a forest in my hair,
step into mossy slippers,
wrap a rainbow
around my neck.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Waking Up Picasso

Waking Up Picasso

There is so much vocabulary involved

some people spend a lifetime on it-

I just woke up Picasso

from my two month coma

since then I’ve rarely put down a brush:

round brush

flat brush

mop brush

fan brush

or stopped to think if it’s a good idea

painting everything in my house

walls, of course-

fill with landscapes and portraits

I listen to music to set the tone

and the rhythm

much has been written about color theory

from cobalt blue to alizarin crimson-

there’s a bright, bright yellow too,

I can’t remember the name

black and white can’t be made

by mixing other colors:

add white and you lighten,

black and you darken

though many artists don’t use black at all

fabric can be painted on-

curtains, chairs, pillowcases-

tight is bright

loose weaves let the paint seep through,

reduce the intensity of colors

wrinkles wreak havoc with a design

but that can be interesting too.

when painting on wood-

tables, bookcases, window facings-

I use an acrylic polymer

containing at least 40% water

to raise and swell the wood grain

flaws create mystery,

how they melt into the pattern

paint will peel from metal-

appliances, magnet boards, steel doors-

the more layers you apply

and scratch away

it becomes an old billboard shedding its paper,

showing all the bits beneath.

glass enamel is best for glass

but requires firing in a kiln.

transparent acrylics will get you there

without the fire-

windows, mirrors, glass cabinet doors.

the carpet presents a challenge

till I decide to drip and drop

like Jackson Pollock,

smearing and spattering,

shaking glossy oils right off my hand

I ‘m in the toilet

when I suddenly notice

the smooth white surface

of the bathtub,

surely the purest canvas in my house

I call the paint store

and ask the girl

what do you use to paint on porcelain?

she didn’t know but would call me back

the silver faucets will do okay

but I picture a green whirlpool

circling the drain

you have to make a paste

she said

when she rang back

mix the fine pigments with mineral oil,

but first apply a medium

consisting of copaiba,

lavender and clove oils

to make it dry quickly and keep

its lightfastness

but by then I'm on to other rooms,

other walls,

other floors,

other materials-





chasing an image around the room

humming, drumming

or rattling out rhymes

that only seem to annoy people



But Where Was I Before?

You are

Here now

Now you are

Now you are here

You are here

Now you


You are here now

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Town

This site looks like the old Utne Cafe. Runs on Motet. Lots of the old regulars are there too! I am so glad to have found this place.

Staying in the Lines

Staying in the Lines

Red lights start to blink

in my rear view mirror and

I wonder

what if I could put blue

everywhere red now stands,

would it make a difference?

Color sneaks

into every meeting, presses

its significance. What if all the world

were a fresh coloring book--

white pages/ black lines

and nothing more?

I could grab a crayon, dress

that cop in a red clown suit--

far better too

if I could flip back a few pages

and, without overrunning the edges,

make the corpse bleed blue.



I don’t understand

the revolving door.

Moving, always moving

in one place.

There is comfort

in an open door,

a closed door--

knowing just where I stand,

one side or the other

of somewhere.

But here I turn

forgetting where I got in,

unsure when to exit.

Okay, I’m an idiot.

I find I’m transfixed

by the man two slots

ahead of me.

He is both fat and flimsy,

held together

by a bow tie, a ghost

between sheets of glass.

I can’t decide if I follow him

or if he is following me.

Without Instruments

Without Instruments

All that exists we imagine,

the great circle of the earth tilted

on magnetic lines,

minute organisms that dip and bob

in a glass of water-

all either too large or too small

to examine without instruments. Our fingers

can’t peel back mountains

to extract the molten peach pit

at the core nor charm bacteria

into a snake dance with the songs they drum.

We imagine

that we move along parallels,

tropics that never converge,

each believing

in its own symbolic power to inscribe

the surface of the earth with its existence.

We imagine

that we wind like thread around a spool,

strands of singularity, each

its own color and texture.

We imagine that it matters

what we think,

what we do,

what we say. We believe in ourselves

like geography, like science,

something written in a book--

too large

too small.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

All of these began life as New Orleans sunrises.

Another one

Experimenting with layering different photos and art work. Got some interesting effects I think.

Friday, March 05, 2010

My brain cells are fried

What WAS the name of that lake in Canada on our 3rd poets' summit???

I wrote this one after that trip and dedicated it to Ernest, Pat, Sonja and Carol F.

Poets Should Not Wed Poets

In Santa Fe, all the downtown buildings

are pink adobe. Some two-story

geometrics with arched windows, some--

like the McDonald’s--

squat, rosy boxes beside logo-bearing signs.

It’s all very picturesque at first,

so visually poetic.

But I wonder do the buildings tire

of each other,

search in vain for steel and glass

or a tiny white cottage,

even a rusty mobile home?


Balance beside a Canadian lake,

those who speak

and those who listen.

Moving waters

and the stone grottos they lap against.

Silent cedars

and the bears that prowl amongst them.

Milky moonlight

and the coffee-black sky that accepts it.

Poets should not wed poets,

should not struggle with metaphors

for garbage night.

Much better to tune ears to casual wisdom

and write it down

without fear of infringement.

New and old friends.

Just found Michael Snider on Facebook. Remember him from Utne? I also found my college roommate and an old friend from yahoo chat days who we once visited in Montana.

Anyone got suggestions for poetry and/or photography blogs? Have been cruising around a bit and find an occasional interesting site to comment on.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Another one

The flower boxes in French Quarter

Spent some time today tinkering with some photos. This one we took on our swamp tour on the Nawlins trip.

Monday, March 01, 2010

my photo

Ernie says I need a new picture. I told him "you are a photographer...make me one."
Frankly it was this or my driver's license photo.

No title yet and probably a work in progress

In the mirror first I see myself

then the streaks of Windex Mama left behind.

On the third look,

I see her staring back

from another room , the cat under the bed,

the way that picture looks


Today is the first time I’ve noticed

that everything is a tableau

worth writing down.

In the kitchen I arrange the objects

on the formica tabletop.

Salt and pepper shakers shaped

like Mickey and Minnie, a sticky syrup bottle,

Mama’s plastic plates with the pink rose

in the very center.

Our turquoise vinyl couch

always squeaks when I sit down

and unfold the funny papers.

The cartoons are Black and White,

the blurbs in balloon boxes.

Outside lawnmowers hum,

kids glide by on two wheel bikes.

The summer air is breathing peace.

We have not yet become human metaphors

for mass consumption.

I am no longer certain if I am there

looking ahead

or here looking back.

I see myself in the mirror first

and then the world turned backwards.