DEDICATIONS, PLEDGES, COMMITMENTS. For the past. For my own path. For surprises. For mistakes that worked so well. For tomorrow if I'm there. For the next real thing. Then for carrying it all through whatever is necessary. For following the little god who speaks only to me. --William Stafford

Friday, April 11, 2008


Your hands can smile
With touch
Your pink nails laugh
With their half-moons shining
Smelling of things grasped
And let go: deliveries
And departures

Day after day
Hands are your navigators
Across smoke rainclouds
Starlight leaves ice
Over and over
They tell the story of your life
The left one
The hand God gave you
The right
The hand you make

They are a library
Clapping time
For the rest of your life


Ice is braided against the air,
curled and roped like the girl's long hair
bright as frost,
in the hands of the boy who could take a dare.

Curled and roped like the girl;s long hair
are the roads that might take them anywhere.
The hands of the boy who could take a dare
are strong and fierce.

But the roads that might take them anywhere
are not straight but forbidden,
and strong and fierce
is the face of the sun, that won't let go.

Not straight, but forbidden,
they go nowhere. The day is cold.
The sun that lies, that won't let go,
turns the ice to a vapor that fogs the air.

They go nowhere. The day is cold.
The girl is gone. The sun is bold,
turns the ice to a vapor that fogs the air
in the hands of the boy who could take a dare.

(Egad this was HARD. But I tried. It's been a long time since I tried to conform--to patterns. I don't even know if this is close to what it's supposed to be. Non-conformist that I am. It's hard to find lines to repeat that hold up and to have the piece as a whole make sense. This was really HARD!)

I'll remember ya, honey
think of it as a gift
I was lucky
yer a lucky bastard
yer the one that got away
in an empty and amorphous space
it became confusing
the lighting was different
windows, things like that
it had almost a documentary feel
of new things and old things
because you have new tools and you always want to explore
everybody couldn't help but notice
it's the kind of journey you go on by yourself
in those days everything was very exciting
they did everything before my time
unfortunately there was a lot of night
day, night, I learned, so now
I will pray for you
once we began to shoot
everything was dirty for whatever reasons
done with something you might find in the streets
I just simply
pictured things a different way

Oh, may there
bright angels to
you far and may they
sing lullabies in your own tongue. May
you not

fierce dark face
the man who led you to this fearful
dark place.

Oh, let there
a mother, who
smother you with mother-kisses, 'til
you wake.

The body of 7-year-old Hser Nay Moo was found last night in the bathroom of a South Salt Lake basement apartment in the complex where she lived. Hundreds of volunteers searched for almost two days before she was found. One of the searchers said, "I'm scared. I'm hoping for the best, but every time I open a Dumpster lid...God forbid."

We are all mourning for this tiny girl who wore her Sunday best, a pink dress, pink shoes, and a pink jacket to her tragic death. Someone has tied a pink sign with pink ribbons to a tree outside the apartments. It says: You are never so Lost that Angels can't find you. Police have arrested a young man for her murder.

God bless Hser Nay and her family.
The Idiocy of Trying to Justify a Mortal Position

The Borg says resistance is futile
Amalgams of culture, collective
Hive mind. The stuff of our spirits says
That we all come from the same substance.
What is eternal? Skin color, or
Poverty, or inequality?
Reward is no justification
For suffering what is offensive
Through the birth process, either that, or
Is it just random? Or because they
Were strong? They are all potentially
Dangerous. Lift the veil. Let us see.

I see you everywhere except in dreams
--Karl Shapiro

Someday this poem will be
a memory, like
the ten dollars you got
winning the spelling bee, like
the sweet smell of the tobacco pouch
in your grandfather's pocket,
the grandfather you adored, how
the gold string that tied it vanished
like a coin drawn into a magician's sleeve
amazing the child who watched,
who was you, the child burned
by illusions that turned into dreams,
the child, awake now
to the ruin of old age, but you
cannot heal her, you cannot cry.
You know no words of comfort.
You pronounce her dead
and move to a far country,
sunless, without air.

(Grandpa and me, ca 1942) Xanadu,according to Coleridge, was a vision in a dream, a fragment, a sunny dome built in air, a savage place holy and enchanted, where "the sacred rived ran down to a sunless sea."
A Woman Without Arms

A woman without arms
is still a woman, nonetheless,
given a torso, two good legs, a head.
Without a mirror
she falls in love with herself.
Think: Venus.
Think: Winged Victory.

Think of wings that have been interlocked
so long, folded like an apron, unfolding
now as intricate as a moth's.

She has abandoned rings,
fingers, files, polish, gloves, bracelets,
for these feathers. Yet
she hungers for touch, for the
astonishing grace of nakedness, the endless warmth
of flesh, the chill of water.

She has forgotten how to hold a pencil,
how to play the Tarot. The harp
sits silent in the corner, gathering dust.

How does she eat? Make bread? Who
will feed the mare? Who
will water the fading plants, and gather
sticks for the fire, and turn the pages
of photographs, those foursided pastimes?

And where are other angels,
so long unseen?

About Me

My photo
1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.