Spiral Staircase

He bursts in to clang

the double helix, 

resonating joy.

I’ve always tuned in to

this cantillating with

each strand as it’s subtly


by the corresponding long

chains.  Even as a teen, kneeling

by a crumbling gravestone

listening to the tiny clear

salute-bell of kin.

But he flings wide

an unexpected development.

The magnetic pull of three

geese honking over the lake,

a solitary gander struggles

apart, and they’re followed

by two large separate flocks

veeing noisily through

my awareness.  Right now

the tribes of ancestors

sing hallelujah choruses

at each heart-opening,

this grandson holding the bold


life, singing across

a new day, wet and gleaming.


Inspired by: Unexpected, Develop

Under The Numbness

“Honesty is an alive process.” ~ Thomas Hubl

I was a tourist in We-space
when Grace spoke up, silvery
and focused, an opening for
Love to run in, arms outstretched.
Joy, tumbling in cartwheels,
lay panting on the grass to listen.
All week, I have been feeling numb
and curious at my seeming
poverty. Where are my emotions?
Do I only feel them when a wound
is flicked like a whip
on a sensitive horse’s flank,
from sedate walk to wild gallop?
I hereby celebrate this milestone where
they nudged me playfully
and tickled me unmercifully
so that when I received the terse
text that I’d lost my job,
emotions surged like hot lava.
My rational mind dictated
don’t be self-centered, here
is good reason to celebrate.
My grandson will no longer sit
in his carseat for an hour each way
through treacherous traffic,
no time for breakfast, a rude
awakening with the solace
of his beloved grandmother.
He gets to stay home with Mommy!
I will leap to logic later; right now
I am bereft, honoring these feelings
of abandonment, love being snatched
from my arms with no warning.
I can feel the rising clamor
of earlier, similar incidents
when my base was too small
to ride these huge feelings,
and I wail, airing and allowing
all of the grief, the sadness, the mad.
I grab an emotion color wheel
to help me name
the rich shades in this rainbow
swirling through me. This is untold
wealth and hidden treasures:
I find peace
lodging comfortably here —
surprise — and a deep respect
as I allow myself
to enjoy being alive. All mine:
searing emotions, brutal
vitality. And later, dream
faces of old friends
and lovers bring abrupt
devastation, and this time
I name it
to their face and mine.
I feel it
with my tender heart
this time.

Inspired by the Rag Tag Prompt: Milestone

Inspired by the Daily Addictions Prompt: Poverty

I recycle 2016 Daily Word Prompts: Tourist

The challenge to write a poem combining these three prompts daily is inspiring!

Plutchik’s Color Wheel of Emotions

Songs of Praise

I arrive in every second,

in order to laugh and cry…

the rhythm of my heart

is the birth and death of all that are alive.

My joy is like spring

so warm it makes flowers bloom

in my hands.

My pain is like a river

of tears so full it fills up

all the four oceans…

I arrive in every second.

~ from Please Call Me By My True Names ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

As I run beside this two-year-old boy

barefoot and laughing my heart

opens wide, and my own inner

two-year-old peeps out, shy and worried

she’ll do something wrong.

She watches this child who wails 

passionately when I take off his dirty

airplane shirt, only stopping

when he feels his anguish

acknowledged by this deep presence

I bring to him.  We are healing every

two year old, those stuck in the frightful

past, those here right now,

and all the ones to come.  Can you feel

the stirrings of your own heart, no longer

separated by time or space

or any belief of our separation?

My imagination sparks

this innovative human

unrestricted by any need for civilization.

Let his joy welcome every being:

the charmed trash collector, the smiling

gardener waving from a riding

lawn mower, the wagging dogs,

honking geese and rumbling aircraft.

We arrive in this very second

honoring our wildfire passions

united at last on this garden walk,

trampling through the fragrant

flowers to greet every bug

with an exuberant, 

heartfelt, “Hi!”

Inspired by the Rag Tag Prompt: Imagination

(This video of Mirabai Ceiba sets Thich Nhat Hanh’s lyrics to beautiful music.)


You Think This Happens Every Day?

He’s two today and he can call

my name, Bibi, with all his heart.

We talk on the phone.

I’m singing to him and honking

and quacking, cawing,

even scolding like a great blue heron.

He’s singing them right back 

to me, and I can feel

the fire in our hearts ignite.

He breaks into a rush of

tumbled words and nonwords,

a story he wants me to know

and though it cannot be translated

word for word, these disembodied

electrical signals transmitted as

radio waves and converted back into sound

are soul speak: I understand.

We are celebrating each other

as if centuries had divided us

up until these perfect moments

of pure connection.

I hear his mother say,

“Tell your grandma bye-bye” 

and instead he yells,

“Hi, hi!  Bibi!  Hi, hi!”

And so we laugh and explore

until we finally

say farewell with joy

bursting from our cells,

all the deep places where

we treasure true love.

Inspired by The Daily Word Prompt: rush