Check Your Baggage

When I am down and I forget
the way we were when first we met
hold my eyes, reach out, my love
just recognize we are kind of
the same, inside the skin and bark
and fur and feathers. This whole
game of hide and seek when we pretend
we only go so far and then we end
palpable here as we avoid each other
all the struggling excluded brothers
here converge, awaiting flight
we bite our lips, we are polite
lacking special courage that it takes
to bridge the gap for human sakes
though crises loom, we’re in our heads
sneering at our different threads.
I’m sitting in the terminal
poised boomerang’s return
to my roots. My potential’s germinal,
nearing spring, and so I yearn
with this young heart to serve
the sour and the cynical
a dollop of joy and verve
bless the inimical.

Inspired by:  Terminal, Boomerang, Sour and Young.

Soundcloud recording here.

Inspiration Opening

What’s so great about inspiration is sometimes it finds you when you’re not looking. Wong Kar-wai

At six a.m., I take the bait although
my sleepy head would rather wait.
A rousing game of “find it!”
my invention for a puppy with a passion
for sleuthing and detection–
German heritage behind it
shepherds her to gather all
the simple English commands.
She’s alert to my demands.
I’m filled with mirth.
All my lovely ways to start
a quiet day abandoned
in these romps. Finally her brain
is tired, she plomps on the pillow
at my feet, instantly asleep.
My muse, undaunted, spins a tale
and I leap out of habit
to begin at the finale, taste
the joy in what is given me
complete. When I in haste
to serve surrender my pace
unnerved I waken into pure
creativity and verve. My pen,
top speed, transcribes each
word so curiously freed.

Inspired by: Mirth, Bait, Lovely, English and the final scene of a novel that arrived during play like a beautifully wrapped gift.

Soundcloud recording here.

When I Say Jump!

Breath regulates our meeting
illuminates the precipice
we poise, suspended in the liquid
light, recognize the love-torch
eyes that greet with such delight.
We let go of the egregious past
just so and, too, the looming
future-painted evils we predict,
here, now, open and loyal
to this moving universe
in this expanding space
just after the exhale
but before the inhale
so precise and still.
I don’t know jack, you say
as laughing time appears
riding the practice of water
we emerge as waves
the world in motion
just before we submerge
we smile and point to the next
peak where all our separate
particles could meet, each voice
thrumming in the ocean symphony
we plunge into the thrilling dark
dance of the sea, accompanied
by this life we breathe.

Inspired by: Egregious, Jack, Torch and Regulate. Featured photo is a favorite precipice where locals leap at Waimea Bay on Oahu.

Soundcloud recording here.

My Island Temperament

Bali Ha’i may call you any night, any day. In your heart, you’ll hear it call you:
“Come away…Come away.”~Oscar Hammerstein II

Of all the lusty lives I’ve led, I favor these,
touched by the magic waters of the south seas,
my inhibitions shed, and I slipped out of time
to stay. Though people there I seemed to’ve left
behind, in fact our hearts are ever intertwined.
We reach across the miles in dreams and
notes, photos enclosed. No story ever told
really grows old. It winds inside the places
where I sat, the headlands slippery and wet,
waves crashing o’er my prescient head still
smell the salt. I burned those memories, a
treasure thread to keep–knowing I must go
and yet return in sleep. My blood
and lineage pulled me back to roots
unsettled in the stolen land so how
could I stay and steal again, when home demands
I make amends? The worlds are spinning
through what’s real, captured in this love
I feel that like a creeper or an invasive mint,
I set down roots by dint of poetic intent.
And though I’ve leapt across the oceans
every life I’ve left behind continues
in the new soil
in me and I in you the web expands
with each small truth
brush strokes with knowing hands.


Inspired by: Lust, Temperament, Brush and South Seas.  Featured image: my favorite coconut grove in the Guajira Peninsula.  (I changed the form after great feedback from the wise Judy Dykstra-Brown.)

Listen on soundcloud here.

Saturday Morning at KCC

I go early to Kapi’olani

in cherimoya season and the

two swift weeks of Golden Glow

mangoes flown in from Maui.

God embodied in flesh,

nectar dripping as you gasp

wordless praise.  The online

Japanese tour guides recommend

fried green tomatoes and lehua

honey.  The lines stretch out

impolite tourists purchasing gifts

for the folks back home.  I stay

ahead of the local chefs pulling

wire carts laden with Pupukea

greens, gaidon and neki,

liliko’i and avocado.  They’ll wipe

a seller out in a second.  By the

Thai stall, the waft of guava-

smoked meats grabs me.

I moan over a lobster

empanada, clutch my taro

puff pastry for later as I

linger over orchids: dendrobiums,

vandas, cattleyas, bedazzled

eyes and nose, seduced at last

by this oncidium, burying my face

in chocolate

vanilla fragrance. Walking slow

in a trance as a ‘ukelele

moves the hula dancer,

her graceful arms beckoning

me to join her, the final step

in my paradisiacal morning.

CherimoyaKCCFarmersMarket copy

Written for the dverse prompt: To market, to market

Maybe Today

Sliding open these glass doors
I want that great blue heron to

believe I am no threat–he’s
flying across the lake in croaking

protest. I’m considering how to treat
the things in my life with respect.

Bidding goodbye with gratitude to
what no longer gives me joy.

I thought I was spartan but
possessions cling to me like burrs.

I once traveled for three months
carrying only a small backpack.

I found that every gift
lightened my load. Hiking boots

for my huge feet hung from my
shoulder. I remember traders

from Otavalo fingering the leather,
offering exchanges of colorful woven

treasures. We settled on a spare
camera and my sketches from San Agostin–

an eagle swallowing a snake, a two-
headed warrior, mysterious deities

carved into stone, abandoned so
long ago the sculptors’ only trace.

My towels are hung slipshod,
my drawers higgledy-piggledy,

sulking in the dark the things unwanted
as I push them further, filling

my space with everything I have no time
for and a some day that never comes.

Inspired by The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, the book I opened in response to the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt:  “open book, point, write.” Pick up the closest book to you when you sit down to write your post. Close your eyes, open the book, and place your finger on the page. Whatever word or phrase your finger lands on, write about it. (And, as always, the post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.)

The Plane Truth

My fingers are hungry for
ebony and ivory

keys to tickle up in space.
Or give me six strings and

a capo, my voice is ravenous
to dispel this damper.

Unprompted lyrics linger
on my tongue, scents beckoning.

I make no sound but my cells
are twangling music, waking

play me!
Welcome home.
We’re back

in time, when I could hear
the planet’s rejoicing as it moved

through my ears and danced
along my fingers.  A rich cascade

open and accepting, the gates
have finally reopened after so many

years lost in a fog.  Invisible
and half-forgotten, the misty trail

purposefully obscure.  And the why
doesn’t matter, not now, zinging

as the child next to me cries
air pressure pain, unwelcome surprise

in what was sold as a treat.
Such a long, long time to be

sitting here in this crowd
of muted passengers, the windows

offering the solace of cloud song.
They are gathered in the sky like

awesome angels, fat, cherubic chuckling
as our passage pierces.

We all tuck into our places,
headphones firmly fastened,

shielded from the very music
that can save us if

someone could hear our inner
cry. Throw me a rope.

Drop me a line, free
verse in this syncopated time.

Inspired by: Line, Dispel, Rope, and Awesome.