The Great Globe Escapade

Let a frown be your umbrella~Oscar The Grouch

The great globe escapade dream-like began
in a foreign locale where women mask
while browsing past cheap trinkets and you can
call relics from my childhood vintage, ask

at any Shipshewanna market stall.
Playing photographer, beauty I trail
my friends, two Nordic goddesses I call
framing my shots in joy intentional

and they willingly pose deadpan and all
around I hear the murmur in the crowds,
who is that? Oh, she’s famous—can’t recall
and then the vendor cries, and he is loud

no pictures, can’t you read? just radiating
animosity, the cranky man
claiming his legal rights. I end his prate
showing each frame, I offer to abandon

any shots he wishes. Truth, I’m charmed.
He’s bought into my she’s-all-that intent
just as I’m stepping into it. Disarmed
by flowing joy he grudgingly consents.

I grin, thankful his unique eyes can see
my expanding possibilities. How
to step into the challenge? I must be
curious and wild, tuned right in to now.

Inspired by: Umbrella, Dream, Escapade and Locale.

What’s Coming

At the top of my list, of course,
is breath, but my next best friend

is death. They walk me, teasing,
loyal life wants to live

escorted in the arms of lovers
dancing in the flavors love

layers. Naming every birth
we create separation illusions

with our powerful beliefs
that sweep us past and future

rocketing by the song-now.
Birds chittering through oldgrowth

forests sound the alarm as we
play foreigners, our roots forgotten

we emerge from trees
and soil, composted

through uncountable millenia.
We chirp until named, we spread

our wings in arrogant denial
a flurry of greed to clothe ourselves

with what we buy in fear of
our imminent demise. Missing

the call to shine, eminent
moment of this particular voice

in this astral alignment.
When we walk in peace with our death

unafraid, we open up the stranglehold
past, let go of the predetermined

future at last, the patterns blown
in our explosive joy.

Death isn’t lurking, looming, it’s coming
for you now in deep orgasmic waves thrumming:

Our only prerogative, let’s be clear,
is to be alive right now, right here.

Inspired by Prerogative, Explosive, Foreigner and Eminent.


The Old Stomping Ground

For M.C.

I met my old lover on the street last night.~Paul Simon

At four in the morning, I detour from prone
shadows rasping through the sudden chill

winter’s first hard shove and though I
bunched my summer blankets in a scrum–

nervous dreams–still sharp cold nipped
every inch of skin I offered. When a lover

dies, we all clamor for recognition, jostle
into chronology as if grief gives rights

at last. All the newly revealed lessons,
once mouldering in the dank basement and that

final call we never made–did I think that
he would rise from his deathbed, demand

my distant voice? He plucked my heart
in his passing, so I reenter that sticky

web I fled so many years ago, the one
I carry with me still, in the dark enjoining

strangers and new friends, regale my
side, painting romance over the edge

of terror and pain revisited. Oh, I saw
this day coming, long ago, and yet right now

there is not even a glimmer of dawn, not since
nightfall descended. The moon is bursting

wide-eyed full over my shoulder as I peer
into indigo east searching for signs.

Inspired by: Detour, Nervous, Shadows, Nightfall and Linda Hill’s Stream of Consciousness prompt: ground (which means no editing, just put pen to paper and press publish.  No matter how much I wish I could change.) The soundtrack for this one is Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years and Stars by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Boiling Frogs

I declare a media shutdown, mute
the system volume that blares

and jeopardizes my relationship
to love. Subtle insidious streams

debut as innocence until I scald
accustomed to the boiling. My error

becomes clear when I refuse to hear
the beating drums. To jump, I focus

on world-people (those without bombs
or obscene hoards of cash) kind and

open-hearted. I walk my talk and
greet peace-lovers and child-raisers,

dog-walkers and home-fixers. We
make our way through days informed

by songs of care-takers and meal-makers.
All concerned with the tones that

matter emerging from our heart-
set intentions to evolve.

Inspired by: Debut, Error, Jeopardize and Accustomed.

The Essential Dive

Double-crested cormorant gold bill pointed
skyward before you dive, I’m already

missing you. Native in three realms
at least, and I’m queasy here

on the porch, just in time to heed you
knowing to go deep today, into

the fundamental roots anchoring
my mistakes. Yesterday I stretched

far past my former limits
seeking to duplicate my youth, perhaps.

In the tenuous now I’m tremulous
as the earth shifts beneath me.

I’m longing for the easy paddle
through the surface. My hunger

dissipated, dehydrated, headachy
with clouds of pain and sorrow,

even the sun brightening above
is too much, though I’m still here.

In the deep night, summoned by the
moon, I tried to see the hole

of my absence through the years,
to know my worth through casual

eyes of friends and family, immersed
in their own trials, appearing

distant in the false narrative
of separation. Listen, I know well

the claw that raked through me
unsettling to the depths I avoid

brought all this surfacing, my grip
holding the wriggling essential

truths of my existence like the morning
catch. And though I imagine letting

go, life keeps me holding on and
rising, dripping, from the dark

places, flying to the top of this
nearby tree. What feeds me emerges

infusing every molecule of stardust.
Eyes closed, I swear

a bird I’ve never heard is
chirruping, insistent, my name.

Inspired by: Duplicate, Missing, Fundamental and Native and a very hard 24 hours.

We Hold Each Other

I’d like to weigh in with my

insightful advice but the way

I live is like a nude in

a society of actors who relish

Shakespearian garb.  Everyone’s

talking cravats and hem lengths

and I’m feeling my skin.  The party

is wining up and wheying down

with curds and soufflés and trifles.

I consider the purity of water,

infuse it through harmonics

whispering I love you below the drone

of exuberance in this mass

consumption.  The tenuous

connection stretches taut between

us.  I can’t recommend the choices

moving me into this quiet pool

of reflection.  Your dance moves

quick while I fast.

We hold each other somehow

stripped down, dressed up

singing rhymes

perfectly in time.

Inspired by:  Nude, Advice  and the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt weigh/way/whey.

Love Unmasking

Work on your stuff or your stuff will work on you.~Steven Forrest

Yesterday the zinging web presented
strangers and neighbors’ dogs,

my nimble heart like a bee among
nectared blossoms until I lumbered

home. The introvert with social skills
so easily called beyond the borders,

feigning strength even to myself.
My overwhelm a necessary piece

of the tenacity today.
I matter.

Reaching into my core, the innermost
fires of the planet breathing

life. This is it. Welcome
what is in my way. These precious

blocks, so long scorned
and ugly, dark shadows of

unresolved trauma I carry
weighted and slow until you

laughing and easy, hold out
a hand. Together we open

these cumbersome boxes and shine
the tarnished treasures within.

Inspired by: Nimble, Tenacity, Web and Welcome.

Heart Without Words

In our caring listening space, we provide the other person enzymes for digestion of unintegrated experiences.~Thomas Huebl

At Café Nicole paired women lean in
to share long lyrics, a muted background

drawing my gaze. One holds a
sympathetic listening space and

the other is free to elaborate,
every table a brunch therapy

two well-tended women with gesturing
fingers and sparkling stones. The parking

lot glistens with the latest models.
On this excursion from another

planet, it seems, I watch these
shows of friendship on the patio

as they shiver into the unexpected
breeze in the canopied shadows.

The food is hip and full of
ingredients I can’t stomach.

I fork my undressed field greens.
A few years back, the woman

I was would make snide
comments, pitying the waitress

and the unturning tables.
No one has stirred, lingering

over congealed plates when we
arrive, dallying over water

as we leave. The waitress is smiling so
perhaps her tips are huge.

A chance appears right now
to attest that better

is a word that judges now
inadequate, focusing on an

unattainable future. Eyes open
to the messages here, I see

whether we tune in or close
our eyes with loud la-la-las,

we stroke each other’s fields
with tender sensibilities, altered

irrevocably even as
we walk away without a word.

Inspired by: Snide, Excursion, Attest and Friendship.

Under The Stories

For Sue and Tilly

Hawks kree in the bowl
of tree-encircled sky above.

I sit in gentle sway whole
and deep in a container, love

zinging through cells out
into you, my extended

immune system overwhelmed and stressed.
Suspend flight, landing

finally in this expanded
heartspace. Autocorrected and

chastised away from our true
speech, we dare with a scintilla

of hope to utter secrets.
We take our hidden pieces

out into this humid air
thick with revelations, vulnerable

as we show what shames us.
The sickly pieces, pale and frail

from the daily diet of
being shunned, slowly absorb

the light. We bring out
gratitude for the lifeboats

constructed in dire straits
which carried us to this new

shore. A black dog instructs
us to be present, wriggling

joy at each chance meeting,
time no factor. We turn

the corner of trouble and exclaim
in wonder

at this new face, vibrations
we gift each other, serene and

sacred connection. Right now
is everything we’ve searched for.

We bring it all
into presence.

Inspired by: Diet, Flight, Scintilla and Trouble.

Word Power

Farmer: “You can have my gun…when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.”
Creepy Alien: “Your proposal is acceptable.”~Men In Black

Last night under the half moon’s gaze
swallows swooped into the portal

of setting sun. Study abandoned,
drawn into that calm lake

mirrored trees and pastel clouds.
I should have pitched

a tent in this wildness,
slept under the guidance

of stars. Inside, under square
and unforgiving lines, rigid

corners halting the circling
air, I despaired. Why am I here

on this precise planet, witnessing
these particular atrocities?

A friend gave up last month,
in a minute on a day in a week

of pain and sorrow. Far away,
blasting the closed-off sham

consciousness of
individuality. And the tear

in the fabric her being held
is memorialized by an outpouring—-

does she feel it now? Is the myth
of separation finally pierced

like a veil or fog by light?
I woke firm in my decision

not to post a poem, not today.
Convinced my voice just adds

to the noise preventing our
communion. Still here now

I go with the flow
by this lovely lake, my words

carrying me to you
and yours to me

our mutual celebration
this daily game we play.

Inspired by: Tear, Memorialize, Creepy and Sham.