Saturday, March 31, 2018

Two Roads

Unity and support,
Owning up to past mistakes
Admitting privilege and prejudice.
Or keep the blinders on,
Admit to nothing,
And repeat past behavior and prejudices.
Work to heal
or to further the divide.
Are there any other alternatives?

Friday, March 30, 2018

She’s a Lady

Tom Jones,
She’s a Lady.
Not a song I would expect to hear
in a coffee shop
with original artwork on the walls,
“Baby You’re a Rich Man” painted on one of the tables,
college students working on assignments
a community bulletin board,
and multiple piercings and tattoos on customers and staff.
Commercial, this place is not.
And yet,
Tom Jones just sang to me.
And the women at the next table
who is wearing TOMS shoes,
No relation.
Which I suppose means this place
attracts a more upscale crowd than I thought.
Even so,
she has probably never heard of Tom Jones.
And She’s a Lady still doesn’t fit
the laptop crowd and lone artist painting
on this Good Friday afternoon.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Laundry Night

Sometimes a mundane task isn’t so mundane.

Laundry night.
Wash, dry, fold, hang.
That feeling of having completed a task,
And the smell of clothes
Warm from the dryer.
Not freshly baked cookies,
But almost as good.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Celebration of Life

Another invitation from afar
to celebrate a life well lived,
Accomplishments, friendships, quirks,
Got to love him or her kind of stuff.
Makes me wonder,
Who will show up for me
and what will they say?
What if my children give a party
and no one comes?
Just play my kind of music,
have a good time.
Then scatter my ashes on a mountain trail,
and keep on talking, singing, and living.
That’s all I ask.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Marching in the Streets

I almost subtitled this one: another rant. Triggered by too many posts and comments by FB friends and friends of friends, and a few overheard conversations. 

Children leading marches in the streets,
giving speeches,
being interviewed on news shows.
And what do some people think
about young people caring enough
to speak out.
who care enough
to organize
a movement?
For some reason,
rather than applauding students
who choose to exemplify what democracy means,
Some people find a need
to mention Tide pods,
Somehow insinuating that an entire generation
is trying to get high
on laundry detergent
And therefore we shouldn’t take them seriously.
I guess that is easier than
admitting that
children may have a legitimate concern
and care enough to speak out,
organize marches,
and exercise their Constitutional rights.
I guess it is easier to paint a broad brush
and ignore the individual truths
being spoken
Than to listen to the message.
Our children are trying to save their future,
The one that we the people, their parents,
seem bent on destroying.
Our children are trying to create a country
in which their safety within the borders is protected
as strongly as their safety from dangers
outside the borders.
What Tide pods have to do with that,
I have no clue.
Just another diversion
from what really matters.
Just another attempt
To silence the messengers.
Just another day
in the life of a democracy
where so may people seem to have forgotten
what freedom
really means.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Turn your shirt backwards

I love reading.
Phrases that make me think.
Turn your shirt backwards to confuse the ghosts.
Thank you Terese Marie Mailhot
for quoting your mother.
I was told things like,
“If you smiled your face would crack.”
My father once told me not to think so much.
A teacher once told me to mouthe the words
Because she didn’t think I could sing.
I much prefer things that are superstitions,
Like the one my mom told me
about having your head in the ground like an onion.
Phrases that make me think.
I’ll stick with Mailhot’s shirt backwards.
It’s harmless compared to what I was told.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Time to Downsize

Empty shelves,
Dust where books once stood,
Outlines where trinkets once sat.
Waiting for the movers
to take what can fit in the new place,
and bring the rest
to Salvation Army or Goodwill or wherever they want to.
Time to downsize.
Done this before,
But this
is the last time.
The next downsizing will take place
without him.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Riding the line

 I’ve had a few conversations lately with some newly single and a couple of been single longer than they’d like folks. No one wants to feel lonely but most of us like having our alone time. Sometimes the line between solitude and lonely gets crossed and it’s hard to get back.

Riding that yellow line
that separates
from lonely.

Some days
all it takes is a second
to cross into the wrong lane.
Asleep at the wheel
is never a good thing.

There’s only one driver on this trip,
and too many exits
offering a way off the fast lane.

Trying to stay the course
without GPS
or directions,
makes it easy to stay in the wrong lane
for too long.

Even the longest road
ends at some point.
and you need to decide
which way to go.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Too personal

I wrote something yesterday but decided not to share it.

Too personal to share
without hurting someone.
Too personal to share
without revealing a side of me
that I don’t want people to see.
Too personal,
Too close to the bone,
Too close to the heart,
Too much
to share.
But enough that I need to occasionally let it out,
Let the beast free,
Before it tears me
to shreds.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday morning

Hiked with a small group yesterday, stayed overnight and going out on my own to check out some easy walking paths and trails today. Traveling alone means setting my own pace. Feels like a vacation. Hiking does that for me.

Sunday morning breakfast.
Planning an outdoorsy day,
Exploring new trails.
Breakfast would be more relaxing
if Fox News wasn’t on
the hotel breakfast room tv.
On the plus side,
Soon all I will hear will be
my footsteps,
water flowing down a stream,
birds and bugs,
greetings from other hikers,
And hopefully a lot of silence.
The kind of silence that allows you
to escape the “real world”
And find your own peace.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

On the Trail

Where the trail ends
Reality begins.
Or maybe it should be,
When the trail ends,
Life begins.

So keep on walking.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Do you want to know a secret?
If I tell you
it will no longer be hidden
and a mystery.
It will become a known fact
and one less secret for me to hide.
So, what do you say,
Do you want to know a secret?
Or would you rather
wonder than know for sure?
Or maybe you just don’t care.
And that’s okay, too.
Keeping the truth hidden
can become a burden.
And not everyone wants to carry
someone else’s load.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Procrastination Haiku

Time constraints and stress
Running against a deadline
Don’t procrastinate.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Take the Night Off

Take the night off.
I know people mean well when they say it,
but my mind doesn’t always want to turn off
just because I’m home
and the sun has set.
Most days it seems like
that is the signal for my brain
to go into overdrive.
So, if taking the night off means
not going to work,
Sure I‘ll take it off.
But if it means shutting down my head,
I’d rather leave that decision
up to my thoughts
and take the night off
once my conscience is done
with it’s evening ritual
of reflecting on the day
and how to survive tomorrow,
Then I’ll call it quits on thinking
And relax with a book, or the tv, or my laptop.

Take the night off.
I can do that,
when my brain is ready.
Yeah, people mean well,
They worry about me,
Think I can be too ntense.
I get that.
Which is why I don’t sit still
for too long.
So I think I’ll just write a little more
And see where this night takes me.
Let the night take me on a ride,
Rather than me driving.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Afraid or Selfish

I’m not sure I like how I wrote this.

Which is worse
Being afraid
Or being selfish?
Why is either one bad?
They are natural feelings
And natural reactions.
What is worse
Is not realizing that you
can decide
to not be so afraid
and to not be so selfish.
What is the worst?
Not acknowledging your feelings.

Draft two:
Afraid to speak up
Too selfish to act.
Not sure which is
Sometimes a little fear
Is a good thing.
Sometimes thinking about yourself
Is long overdue
Worse would be
Not realizing you have a choice
About fear and self.
Worse than that
Is not acknowledging the feelings.

Still not sure that’s what I want to say. But they’re both close.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Secret Sauce

My light poem for the day.

Secret sauce.
That special ingredient,
Feature, or technique
that makes the product
Keys words here are
Instead of Triple X,
it is Triple S.

Optics or Ethics, that is the question

I’m not a slam poet, but sometimes I need to express my thoughts and poetry is how I do it. 

Concerned about optics,
instead of ethics.
What does that teach your children?
Make your choice based on
what people will think
Instead of based on what is right or wrong.
Is that the value we want
future generations to follow.
And hey, if religion is so important to you
Maybe you should ask
What would Jesus do?

Friday, March 9, 2018

Another Upbeat Poem, maybe

I just wanted to write another upbeat poem. Somehow it morphed into this. Not sad but deeper than I planned to go.

Trying to keep it light.
Despite the comfort
of sinking into the comfort
offered by self absorption.
Trying to be mindful
of the feel and sound
of the keys as I tap letters.
My sock catching on a toenail as I cross my legs.
My rolled up right sleeve
falling onto my wrist.

Trying to see if I can write happy
instead of sad.
Global or generic
instead of self.

Trying to put on paper,
in verse,
the satisfaction I feel at work,
the solitude of home,
the comradely of going out,
the closeness of family even though they live far away.
Happy thoughts.
Light, not dark or deep.
Scratch the surface
rather than digging.
Trying to keep my hands clean,
And my mood light.
Trying to avoid going into the
black hole
and wallowing in
the self pity
that is always waiting for me.
For now,
It is not going to lure me
and claim me
For now,
I am staying in the light.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sunny Day

Trying to continue on my upbeat writing streak.

Sunny day
brings happier thoughts
than gray skies and rain.
Weather dependent mood swings?
Perhaps the barometer can be used
to predict

Pressure is low,
So the chance of happy moods is rising.
Pressure is high,
So the chance of sad, mean, and irrational is going up.

Hoping for sunshine
and dry weather
with a burst of rain and gray,
once in a while.
Too much happy could get
Too much gray could get

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Fortune Cookie Truth

The fortune cookie speaks the truth.
Break it open
to reveal
the path to a happy future.
Now all you have to do
Is find the road
or person
or place
or star
to follow.
That thin little strip of paper
just might contain
the secret to a happy future.
And who knows, maybe the numbers
will be lucky for you, too.
Stranger things have happened.
At least that’s what my fortune
once said.
And it was right.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Back Room Rockers

This one is a work in progress. Just started it tonight and it needs some editing. Just a fun poem (maybe a song) about the Memphis Ukulele FlashMob back of the room regulars.

Music night at the
Barbecue joint.
Got the Back room rockers
Singing, playing, and dancing.
Their hearts out.

Back of the room
Shout it out
Sing it out
Shake it out.
Strum it out.

Back room rockers
Doing their thing
Back room rockers
Got their own form of swing.
Shuffle steps,
Shaking hips,
Bend the back
And raise that uke,
Raise that what?
Got a fun four string to play
While doing all that singing, stepping, dancing, and shaking.

Back room rockers
Got their own style
Back room rockers
Got their own form of wild.
Back of the room
singing, playing and dancing
Their hearts out.
What’s age got to do with

Monday, March 5, 2018

Cuts like a knife

Words can cut like a knife,
And not necessarily a clean cut.
Sometimes it’s just a jab.
Sometimes it’s jagged sawing with a serrated blade.
And sometimes it’s like a slasher,
Just can’t cause enough pain..
Can be used for civil discourse,
Measured, thoughtful, constructive.
Words can also be used
to rip out someone’s heart,
And hang it on a shelf,
For the world to see.
Blood dripping.
No mercy.
Meant to kill.