Virtually Empty

We sink uneasily

into our corpulent bodies

bloated with excessive

ingredients that never satisfy.

Longing for relaxation,

to close our eyes

erase the schoolbus in Yemen

and the children dead by U.S.



means support.  How much do you pay

Jeff Bezos for slave labor?

There is no simple purchase

in this world.  The cheap

throwaway is detrimental

even fatal to another being.

We cruise virtual aisles

filled with pirated plunder,

exclaiming with pride

what a bargain,

uttering an oath

at a hint of true cost.

The one percent dine

on delectables snatched

from our local noses.

Guards patrol gardens

and we huddle, hungry,

at the entry gates

of the promised land,

heads bowed,

eyes glazed

as we enter the flickering

screenshots of a more

palatable feast,

one click away.


Inspired by:  Relaxation, Detrimental, Corpulent,  and Oath.

All My Relations

I am deep in the now

when her cries pull me

into the middle of the road.

“Where are my children?”

They were warned yet they came

so they’re separate, safe

in cells, so safe. She stands

on the black pavement

her stance a brave flag.

Alone. “Where are my sisters?”

It’s a mystery.

The shadow of an eagle falls

across our faces, and we peer

too late into the sky. Missing

without a trace. I grab big

fistfuls of space

my gift as she is calling,

“My brothers, where are my

brothers?” Locked in solitary

with cruelty inked into their souls.

But this is the law.

From my open hands

the now

fog rising from the lake

on a cool autumn morning.

“Where are my elders?”

In tiny rooms where they can’t

fall, don’t worry so.

A strong vine pushes through

the cracks. There are calls

from the trees in languages

long lost.  Roots paved over

push and shift beneath our shuffle.

“Where are my neighbors?”

Cowering from the bomb, bomb, bombs

or bombarded by our virtual cries,

numb, disconnected, blinded

to the love guides.

I open my heart wide

the only place to offer

relational space our chance

to dance with time and

uncover the raw connections

feeling flayed at this demand

to reclaim our forgotten family.


Inspired by interrelationship

Deep Connection

“The music loomed large in the experience: ‘I was learning a song and the song was simple…it was one note…C…it was the vibration of the universe…a collection of everything that ever existed…all together equalling God.'” ~ Patrick Mettes in How To Change Your Mind

I used to believe meditation

was an island in the storm

a way of calming that inner

soap opera, a place to notice —

whoa, these actors on the stage

need a break, a gentle but firm,

thank you for sharing

meaning shut up already.

Here I sit

noticing the sensations of my body,

feeling all these swarming emotions,

aware of the mindless chattering.

Tuning in to the space that holds us.

I thought that meditation

was a spiritual practice to be scheduled

along with exercise and meals.

Morphing now to become the essential

way to frame my day. 

And now I see that meditation is

constantly allowing me to drop in,

ground myself, inviting the parts

of me that emerge from the dark

locked places to see through

my eyes this new shift in reality.

Vacuuming the rug as way.

Listening to you as way.

Including, expanding this yes,

now this. Embracing the resistance

with compassion. Ah, this no.

Knowing meditation keeps revealing

all that I don’t know. All that I could

never imagine knowing. This.

Now this not knowing.

I just recycled 2016 Daily Word Prompt: Island


Every day my friends and I
like playful dogs on the beach
chase the tossed tidbit.
Some catch it in midair
and return it jouncing.
Others of us leap into the rough waves
and emerge shaking
our whole bodies. Some dig deep
into the earth, sniffing out
treasures. We all view
each returning prize, or
as many as our hearts can hold.
I try to watch from a viewing stand
where I distribute likes and follows,
a comment when my head galvanizes
or my heart is splintered by starshine.
None of us have led a gentle life.
Poets, artists, writers, we have risen
from the flames, unbearably disfigured
yet like magicians we transform
our pain into wonder, white doves
pulled from hats impossibly deep.
Sweeping our capes and bowing grandly
to those who say the kindest words,
I see you.
Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: wonder

Be Right Back

I have tried walking away calmly

while he is reading a book with someone.

I have slipped away quietly

even sneakily

when he is absorbed by puzzles.

Once as he was eating food he loves

I was there and back again

and he never took note.

Yesterday I walked him into the room,

discussed what happened there,

and then closed the door between us.

Oh, the cries, the pounding on the door,

the calls straight from the heart

devastated, abandoned with no resource

no matter who else is in the house.

And the relief on his face when I finally

after two long long minutes

reappear, tears still staining his cheeks.

He has only been on this planet

for a such a short time;

we still count it in months.

I have the feeling that he knows me

in some other plane, and that

he has things to share before I go back there.

That bathroom could very well be a portal

that I use to go back and forth

to a place he loves and misses.

It could be that he knows what I don’t,

that far too soon this grandmother

grandson bond will transform yet again,

that our time together is so sweet

that we should be suspicious

of the doors that separate us

even for a very short time.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: suspicious

A Winter Dream

When I am no longer bewildered

and can live deeply

with an authentic voice

and firm boundaries,

when I can respect my own

weirdness and let go

of the need to please,

when I can welcome

even the harsh, brutish teachers

into my strong heart,

when I can realize

that my heart is always connected

to yours, and our power

is the gentle patient kind

that erodes canyons

— and sometimes engulfs entire villages —

Then I can lift a finger

and move the ocean.

Then I can hear your voice

and see you truly.

Then I can emerge like a great work

of art, inspiring you,

giving you a safe container

to spread your roots deeper

and lift your branches to the sky.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: bewildered

Speak up, darling

To be perfectly candid
would invite attack from all sides,
so I attempt a simple request:
please don’t call me names.
Even that is greeted by hostility.
Why do you stay,
you may ask.
I am finally strong enough to say
if I can’t stand up authentically
in my own family,
isn’t every other voice I use
a lie? And if I retreat from this aggressive
treatment, won’t I simply recreate it
once I am “away”?
It is becoming quite clear
that now is the time to speak my truth
with as much compassion as I can gather
for the ears, so long shielded,
and the eyes, so long blindfolded,
who do not like what they hear
and want to change what they see.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: candid