We need. We

Our grasp usually
exceeds our reach
We need more
Always more

We need we need
One more touch
Car, bank deposit , TV, iPhone, iPod
Really tho

me time
We need more hours in the day
We need someone to remind us
To check more hair growing out of our ears
To pull slivers from the bottom of our feet
To tell us that our garden is too large
For our faltering energy

We need our parents’ voices
Even if we are ourselves aging
We need someone to tell us
To eat better
Slow down
Take naps
Sleep 8 hours

We can live alone
Stare at screens
Chat on line
Work in solitude
Pray in silence

We can
We Need We

#535 Giant morning stretches accompanied by stupid noises

Originally posted on 1000 Awesome Things:

Crack that back.

Everybody’s got their own gorilla jungle noises when they wake up in the morning. There’s a few famous moves for waking up your bones:

1. The Insane Wiggle. This one’s the classic. There’s no focus and direction here — you’re just twisting and turning in a crumpled lump of sheets and twisted blankets. Maybe you squeeze your face into your pillow, pull your legs into your chest, or just let out some long slow grunts to feel that stretchy buzz in the small of your back.

2. The Starfish. This is where you lay in bed and stretch your arms and legs in all directions. The starfish works best if you somehow managed to land a night in a king-size hotel bed by yourself.

3. The Old Man Can Walk Again. When I lived in Boston my roommate Joey was famous for this. You’d hear his…

View original 301 more words

T Rex TExt

i invntd txtng.
Well, at least I thought I did and for it I heartedly apologize.
For we have become a short
Single line read
Sort of society.
Except for my mom
Who denounces advancing
every year still mails
handwritten valentine cards
To each of her 6 children

I made the announcement of
my invention
last year on in my Facebook page
(where announcements of all types are apparently now made)
it was dubiously met.

When pagers were popular,
my coworkers and I would send
coded messages to each other.
It was a faulted system at best.
Tricky. And we had to think ahead of the system.
Pagers could only receive a numeric message.
 Of course, there aren’t enough numbers to match letters
or even sounds adequately
as the most common letters t,r,m were missing.
The numbers had to be put in backwards
and the pager tipped upside down to read the message. Misunderstandings were a given.

For example, the word “hello” was punched into the dial pad as “07734”.
image We added a 411 or a 911 depending on the urgency of the message.


Facebook friends responded.
Military vets chime in that they were using the subversive technique on radios and calculators when digital first arrived in technology.

An argument ensued. Baby boomers SHOUTED

Don’t be ridiculous!Ovaltine decoder rings implemented a numbers to letters system in the 1950s. Then the old CB radio folks jump in with a 10-4 GOOD BUDDY!

A visit to the cable tv 1930s movie channel reminds me that we used to say phone numbers like this HA9—-. A mnemonic device, apparently, to help people remember the new long seven digit phone numbers. Thus, PEnnsylvania 6 five thousand. (which for some reason, also required some shouting).

I admit defeat to Bookworms reminding me of Sir Arthur Canon Doyle’s, Adventure of the Dancing Men from 1898.

Then one must consider Navajo Code Talkers.

Codes and signals are embedded in our language history as we reach to communicate across distance, in that secretly public way.

Circling letters on gum wrappers in grade school and tossing them out bus windows.

Mt me drng rcss at mnky brs.

k. i. b. der.



It’s no blindness



One certainly does not expect
Sunburned eyes
In the midst of the worst winter
In the last 30 or 100 years.
Strolling in
ultra violent violet light
Glare on glare
Sun on snow
Even from unrelenting haze.
Blue so iridescent
So pure
When I come into shelter
from dazzlingbright Skies.
There it is.
Snow blindness.
Can’t see the forest for the trees

It’s a study to be blind
Hands steadying along walls
Telly without the

My prism heart colors my own apparitions
Now bleeding
My weary eyes
Spill out my own illusions

My sight wanes against the
Foolish belief that nothing

’s no blindness.
We are warned
But rarely listen.
The longing heart
Hears only love’s beat
Without discernment
Visors shut out deception
Blinded from wiser voices
Deafened by yearning choices
The heart doesn’t always see
The heart doesn’t always hear
What’s best for this me.

There’s treatment.
No cure.
There’s preventative measures
No assurances.
No antidote but time.

One could wear glacier goggles
Block out any possible chance
Of seeing ice crystals glisten
Off the trees
Perfect flakes shimmer
In painful Blue
But the tender heart wears no shades
Opening eyes sightless
Not gleaning
What is ahead.
Transience filters through
In the cracking ice beneath.

See me.
Seeing you.
A collaboration with three women who I have never met, but whose hands guided me to form this verse.
My thanks to them.
Rosemarie Mohr My-Heart-Speaks-Envisage
Debra Carson Squyres
Maureen Kwiat Meshenberg https://www.facebook.com/Heartcalling; https://www.facebook.com/HearttoHeartquotes4u; https://www.facebook.com/WomenAsVisionariesWithLoreRaymond

The River Reigns Here


A fabulous view from the South

Originally posted on Levybrakes:


A trough at high levels of the atmosphere became established over the interior West. Meanwhile, southerly low level winds directed a rich flow of moist air from the Gulf of Mexico into the Midwest. Upper level disturbances riding eastward from the western trough encountered the moisture-laden air, spawning drenching thunderstorms.

Wave after wave of these storms rumbled across the already soaked Mississippi River basin from June through August. By the end of summer, some locations had received over 30 inches of rain – nearly 200% of normal. ~ The Weather Channel

I never watch the weather reports

Well I do


not really

Mostly out of curiosity

rather than for information


The air always tells

What it will do


I listen intently

The Weather Bug

serves to obscure

What I already know


Patterns remain the same

decades past


Connection with the sky

Connection with the mother

View original 191 more words

Lamentation of Swans

they warned us
As best they can
If we listen like Ancient Ones.

Miles, the short haired cat
In August
Suddenly grew a long thick ragged coat
Shot with silver
Yellow Dog called unto his Ancestoral cousins
husky and border collie
Growing a woolen fleece dense as a highland sheep.
as cold September flood waters destroyed
Colorado towns, farms, forests, roads

I stood and watched for hours
As a murmurration of starlings
Murder of crows
Flight of swallows
Hosts Of sparrows
Freckled storm wrecked
skies with a blackened rush

‘That means something’
I told my troupe
Who yawned in the autumn sun

How do beasts read the earth
Seasons in advance
Feeling dread of harsh winters
Before summers last tomato ripened?

When did we stop listening?
How foolish and puny we are
In the face of natures collective knowledge

How frightened we are in our cars
And houses
Caught unaware
When fuel tanks run low.
Viewing ourselves without options.

I feel great angst
I selfishly sheared little lamb
in mild mid December
To make it easier to attach his collar

I lie

his static electric shedding fur is a nuisance
A shower of hair fills a room
When he shakes off imaginary snowflakes

I cropped his ears and tail too short
i pay penance
On our twenty below february walks
I stop often to warm
His bare ears with my bare hands
In the sharp wind chill
He’s shivering without his dense wool ruff
Even with his sweater on
‘ I’m so sorry’
I whisper into his bright red ears.

He sniffs the yellow charcoal sky
Buries his head into my buffalo hide coat
He forgives me
He always forgives


warms the cockles of his hart

He leaps
Twice from his right foot
Twice from his left
Skipping, skipping.
Warming up
Out loud he sings,
“Alive, A-live O”

The first song
He ever learned
In its entirety.
An Irish rounder refrain
From summer camp.
He didn’t know about dominant seventh chords
Or the texture of melodies coinciding
In different voices

The meaning was not at all clear
But he loved the cadence of
soft lament
tragedy of hope
Hope for freedom
Freedom from a life of capture.

He feels the burn rising.
He’s practiced so many times.
On the hundreds of small streams and creeks.
He envisions himself a gazelle.
Silently sailing from one safe bank
He leaps
Just as all the times before
He feels himself hover airborne
for that extra fraction. of time.
Alive. A-live O!

Oh, to cast in bronze,
Memories of Our finest moments.

This time his landing
Is accompanied by
A resounding crack
From somewhere deep within.
He knows he won’t imitate
The gazelle again.

Now as he shifts painfully
From creaky knee to the other
behind gleaming counters
of The Piggly Wiggly Seafood Market.

He dreams of her strawberry hair
of cherry bonbons
Burgundy against chocolate.
And those few fragile airborne flights.

He owns it, yet
carries the prophetic dirge.
chanting softly now:
In Dublin’s fair city
Where girls are so pretty
He first set his eyes on
Sweet Molly Malone
She wheeled her wheelbarrow
through streets broad and narrow
Cockles and mussels
alive a-live O!
She died of a fever and no one could save her
Now her ghost wheels her barrow
through streets broad and narrow
Cockles and mussels.
A-live O!

He knew even skipping in his Keds
Along bogs and bayous
There is
No utopia.
Not on this side of Jordan


Once again my muses rise to coach me.
Thanks to K for the concept and to E for the last line.

Dianna, goddess of the hunt

My tiny masseuse
Walks her practiced, powerful fingers
To find the knotted, bundled muscles in my neck
These angled cords and rods
Taut like bow against arrow
circle my head, ears, tipping my semicircular canals
Keep me from finding my sea legs
When try I to stand

She takes them as her mission
Finding fiery sore, angry places
where I didn’t know
I had places

She presses til my ears roar, rush, whistle.
Til my eyes well up with tears
Til I cry out for my mommy.

She hears no pleas for mercy
Only her fingers hear in her hunt
for errant myalgia.

My long irritated nerves
Creak under her ministrations
She releases the vile toxic acids
I have held there
Hunched over decades of computers.
Weighted by spreadsheets
Spread thin by deadlines and demands.

While I wonder why.
I pay for this by the hour
I know that I will pay for several days
Sleeping in hot baths
Surrounded by hot rice packs.

For days afterwards, I will find where
Her fingers traced a lineage of resentment
I will rework raw points with tennis balls
Round wooden pegs
until slowly released
rods and cones will allow me to turn my head from side to side
Without stagger or stumble.
Finally choleric bundles spun away

I realize as I text with Charlene and Rachel.
I do the same in my lone afternoons
And in my nightmares
I press hard against the knots of my failed history
In the night I grit my teeth
Until I crack the gold.Caps.
Wear through diamond drilled amalgams.

My mynd must relive every foolish blunder
The stupid and the unkind
The speaking before engaging the cortex
Cruelties both descending and ascending

Perhaps a few more sessions
Or a hundred more texts
gritty grains of angry sand
Will slide away

I will sleep without clenched jaws
Without angry knots at the base of my brain
And the dizzy sky
Will be just that
A blue canvas
And me.
my arms twirling me about
in winter’s ceaseless snow
Spinning spinning spinning
from me

Blind staggers and slight of hand

​the real Mary Poppins had a miserable sort of existence
While the sparkling Disney castle
A fascade to cover dark days

Some stagger through miserable lifetimes
Like ill, affected cattle with blinded, blunted brains.

To be a play
with legerdemain
A enchanted quill holding magic decade ink
That draws broken years back into spotted feather filters
Erases errant ways
Rewrites a discordant score
Makes it all come out
Our governances all kind, sweet, full of sugar
No warts, no gruel, nor barley water
With life’s nursery spotless
Dancing within chalk drawings.
laughter and hot teacups rising us to rooftops.
Spellbinding words change
cold, embittered straw bosses.
Only chimney sweeps shake our hands.
Our tupence fed birds sated
Our kites soaring
Harmonics rising

Fade out
.with gold Helevetica font credits
Fade out
to cloudwhite

With gratitude to my muse, who knows who she is

My enemy. My friend.

​remember ​

In childhood how a fisticuffs
Led you to reach out your hand?
Turn what you thought was enemy
life long friend?

How years after years of sibling rivalry
At a crossroads
Found your sisters
As ports in a storm?

Suddenly at 25 or 35 of age
overly strict parents
Became role models
And you find yourself calling them to hear your own voice.

I have a love/hate like that
Oh, yes, we have warred
Fought like cats and dogs
Over 25 years
Nearly half my life
My friend has flung me to the dirt,
Made me see the light,
Fought my battles for me,
Changed my way of thinking,
Altered my vision,
Eased me into a quiet retirement.

Oh it is one of those friends
You want no one to see you with
Keeping hidden,
Making liars of you both.

My teacher:
Bringing me
Wisdom, persistence, patience, determination, resolve.
We have spent holidays alone,
Vacations in silence,
Days in darkness,
Nights in introspection.
Brought me to my knees
Taught me prayer.
Made me into a homebody.
Reclusive poets are we.

I have clung to my friend in desperation,
And I know, of course,
My friend cannot live without me.
We are closer than ever these days
Moaning and bemoaning as our
30th anniversary together approaches

All those rough and tumble years
Leaving their scars and marks
We ache and complain about life’s foibles

There’s an odd comfort
Knowing we’ll be together
Come what may
Rain or shine

​Meet and greet my frenemy….



blessed are those who spin. . for they shall be called wheels

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game. Joni Mitchell

gin makes me laugh
Reminding me of our childhood
Playground where a massive
Maypole of steel chains with handles
We called striders
photo (1)

Swung children at a mad speed
Til inertia lifted feet from earth
Circular flight
or not, as
Sweaty palms slipped us
At concussive force onto the
Dusty ball field
Giddly deciphering the extent
of our bruises we
Rushed again to leap aboard
We used to think dizziness was fun
photo (3)

I am visiting a land of carousels
Which comes to me with that same speed
On whirlwinds
eddy currents
Without courtesy
Of warning,
takes me for spin after spin

And I plead
Nay, beg to return to familiar ground
But this place has no such landing.

I could feel rich
For I have two more of everything
On this merry go round
Two rocking chairs,
two pinging phones,
two howling dogs.
Two swaying swings,
two or three tv screens
All repeating the same slideshow
Click. Click. click
gyrating letters on two keyboards
drives poetry from my heart
two coffee cups
neither of which my four whirling hands
can grasp
as they plummet to twitching hardwood floors
my cedar flutes lie silent
16 fingers
cannot manage to cover 8 holes
Even in the dark
With mom’s satin night mask over my eyes
I lie like Dorothy of Oz
In the eye of a twister
Waiting for mattress and house to
drop to earth
Two doctors with two opines
Two ear crystals
Two neck muscles

I can step
off the
merry go around
There I have four knees, four feet.
None of which will lend me steady ground

While starlight reels counterclockwise
I cover my four eyes.
photo (4)
I try to believe
that these things pass
And soon the trip.
Shall end
I step onto the swaying dock
Leap off the playing ground striders
Grip breezes as they shudder
Shake off extra shadows
Hang up extra phones

Remember how it feels to walk strong and steady
If I dare I crane my sore neck
to look back
has the carnival left?
Painted Horses still
spinning screaming octopus dismantled
bumper cars stacked neatly
leer with fake headlights
‘A pox on your kind’

my two hands search for fence rail
Or walking stick

It’s not there
I don’t need it anymore
I’m off the carousel.
photo (5)

Quarter to midnight

We dream through sunlit mornings of this life​

Wondering just who might appear

And when. ​

What surprises might form in the colours of earth.

I searched in long hot lazy afternoons of my summer

I bear frown lines from squinting against the sunsets ​

Still believing

‘Cause that’s what the fairy tales say

I wearied at sundown in my life ​

Resting quietly in the garden of my own making

Contented with what I had sown

Though small the harvest

I could not have expected anything at the edge of my night ​

When I am but a shell of the self I was


Warm against the barren trees



Along my leafless limbs

At quarter til my midnight

i wait for ​

Aurora Borealis

Winter vacation in Omaha

There’s a comfort in the cold
Winter sets in with a bit of snow
To muffle humanity
No kids screaming on at the corner
As they jump on their trampoline
No three wheelers rumbling in alleys
No lawn mowers endlessly foolishly
Grinding manicured pastures
No cars screeching brakes while
Windows open pounding out bass rap
Dogs inside garages
Make the long freezing nights silent
Far, far in the distance coal train
Horns spilt the cool dark like a acoustic zipper
I open my westerly window to see the sharp bright stars
To listen to humankind hibernating
As the last Canadian geese nosily cross
The fading sunset
I wonder if townsfolk too
have all headed south
To seek comfort.

For me
I would rather vacation in Omaha
I love the sharply painful frigid air
It fills my ipod headache with the calm
That January brings
Where I wait by
Flickering tv light
For sleep that will arrive
On the next train
Or the next


My thanks to my cousins MAB and MCB who inspired me to writ this bit


Identical cousins are we
planted within the same year
on this earthbound journey

When north polar express gales
I tip. I lean precariously
When Chinook pulls on my foliage head
My root arms lift up sod
I have that hollow feeling inside

Barking beetles boring into my layers
Sloughing off the years
Like cotton would

sighs of cousins fingertips
aspen against poplar
brushing by like dust
bring that welcome
minute relief
just knowing we share each others long history

but 50 years is a mere blink In gods eyes
it is just there I sense it

that hallowed feeling inside

post office complaints

I apologize to my faithful readers but this is a story that I remember every year at this time because of its innocence and simplicity.
Sometimes I just can’t beat an ages old story. And this is one of them.
This is paraphrased from the writings of my Aunt Faye in Blue Glass Plates. it is so sweetly poignant as it provides us a snapshot for a Christmas in the 1940s.

Turkey Tales

My Great Grandma Katherine spent hours every day caring for her flocks of poultry, ever watchful of snakes, stray dogs, and coyotes near her new home, poetically dubbed Rim of the Prairie. In October of 1941, her diary records that Great Grandpa Louis killed a 40 inch rattler on the bunk house step.

In particular, she raised prized turkeys which were capable of short distance escapades. Ageless at 66, Katherine would saddle one of her ponies, Snow White or Pokey, and patiently herd the turkey flock home from their sojourn to the Arkansas River.
The purpose of these fine turkeys were not just for sale, $150 precious 1940 dollars for 80 of the fowl ($1500 in today’s money) but as gifts to her closest family members. Grandpa and Grandma lived in the remote south eastern Colorado town of, yes really, Fowler. So the 1940s answer was simple and straight forward. She prepared ‘dressed’ turkeys by wrapping them first in waxed paper, then in brown paper and tied securely with cotton string.
Then, she mailed them. Parcel post. Mail moved by railway and items were sorted while the train was moving: packages took approximately three days. (Imagine, if you can, the surprise of a postal worker, sorting 5 immense turkeys on board). (Now, imagine the response of such an attempt today at your local post office).
Great Grandma’s diary records the mailing of one set of Christmas gifts on December 17, 1946. The Farmer’s Almanac reports that during this week, the daytime temperatures were 47 degrees, night temps 30, with no snow throughout the month. The Almanac further reports that Christmas Day throughout the plains of Colorado was 64 degrees. On December 23, my mother’s family, had not yet received their turkey. A family visit to the Postal Service Annex in Downtown Denver’s Union Railroad Station initiated an all out search in a huge, tin roofed building, appropriately sided by chicken wire. The large, lumpy 12 pound package was fairly visible on the top shelf. Apparently, times they were a’changing as modernization crept in. Clearly written on the side was the correct address with the mail carrier’s note, “City carriers do not deliver large packages to your mail box.”

My mother’s family was thrilled by the prospect of the feast as they were all hungry for the ‘fresh’ turkey. All the trimmings accompanied this fresh turkey, as had been done for the one before and the one before that.

Grandma Katherine’s diary does not provide insight for further Christmas gifts, but she lived past the century mark. Makes one wonder, how long did she battle the mainstream, mailing turkeys parcel post?

cold shoulder to prayer


My eyes are frozen
My glasses fogged
I can’t see even though
It’s a sunny Colorado Day
The temps hover at 0
But there’s no wind
Yellow Dog braces me
As the sidewalk dips and sways
Curves, ices, twists
No need to struggle to see through
My hats, hoods, scarves.

My huge clunky snow boots
Keep me from feeling
Potholes, patches, sinkholes, turns
I grip tightly
As his thick harness and frozen leash
Lead on
He instinctively falls into his seeing eye dog role
We’ve practiced walking on ice
He slows when I slow
Counter balances when I waiver

Normally pulling and straining at his leash
He leans in close so I can feel his ribs along my knees
Rise and fall
Skate and skip
We maneuver through silent streets
Fog, mist of a ghostown
He knows his job
And he takes it seriously

Holding back the impulse to dart
After squirrels taunting him from the oaks

We’ve reached the open field
He laughs and talks a bit
In his yowling howling yaps.
I release his leash
I’m a leech pulled from him
He covers some ground
Like a pinto pony
He’s the same color as this earth
Copper and white
Reeds and snow
I can’t see him for the blinding glare
My useless glasses
The empty leash feels lonely
In my hand and I strain to find him in the field
He’s turned back to check on me
Before I give him A signal to run
…toss a ball with a bit of crumpled snow and mud
” Go. Go” my hands speak for me
Because My voice is croaky
He’s been locked inside for days
He needs the run.
He blurs into the tumbleweeds and rushes

Already he’s reached the canal
I feel panicky without him to guide.
Me over
hidden prairie dogs caverns

My calls are muffled by three scarves
Rising wind. Rising panic
And a strange repetitious
cherclunk noise from sugar factory hydraulics

I’m starting to get really cold
I’m frightened without him
I can’t whistle, for I’m already
Feeling windburnt on my face
I can’t see him
And I start to cry
I call, cluck, clap,stomp
Why won’t he come?

My screams come out as little coughs of steam
He’s nowhere to be seen.
I drop into frosted weeds
My head in my hands

Like all my prayers screamed against the cirrusky
Silence is the response
But He’s there. He reads my fear from 1000 feet.
‘I am here. Just reach out
When have I ever left your side?
Lets go home.
My paws are cold.’

He snuffs at my tears, shakes as if he’s been soaked.
He takes the leash into his mouth and tugs.
We stumble together along the iced railroad tracks.

I wonder if I have some of those Pupperoni sticks.
He deserves a bagful.
I look down to make sure he’s there.
‘Wanna snack?’
He laughs
‘i was there all the time, ya know.’

I do now.

Dad views bikes through life’s lens

Years ago, maybe 30, I drove a woman, her daughter and son (about 8 years old ) to and from church on a weekly basis. One Sunday the son saw a bicycle a little ways from the church parking lot, “No one is watching” he said, “I think I’ll take it”.

Faith destroyed.
Then maybe 30 years later I received a message about a free boy and his new bike. Faith restored!

“In my mind I envision ( myself. A ‘new old” bike cast off from a Rich relative for Christmas. Happy to learn to ride it, falls and all)
Sailing my ‘new’ bike
Wind through my hair.
the lack of brakes

Of no concern as
first flakes fly

He doesn’t feel the cold
Just free.”

♥ I’m FREE, Dad, ♥

bicicleta gratis

It’s an oddly warm afternoon on November 25-ish

(I don’t bother with calendars or clocks any more)
for a hundredth time
Yellow dog and I amble thru prairie dog hills and holes
To view TriState Canal

An essential feature in this desert land.
Still full to the banks with September’s

‘Once in10,000 year flood waters.’

like bizarre Colorado weather 

I find something peculiar there every day
It’s 70 degrees again
errant wave or county ditch rider
Has tossed a child’s bike onto the low bank weeds.

it’s a lost amphibian
submerged for months
Chain, nuts, bolts rusted but
Still rideable.

With my knees tapping my shoulders
And yellow dog laughing beside me
we must appear an odd circus act as
I balance treacherously for a block home
On a tiny child’s toy lost to raging water.
I wonder if anyone is watching

But maybe most everyone is used to me by now.

I tidy up the little frog
Oil the chains and bolts.
Except for the brakes

Like a little chameleon

it appears new
I am too lazy to take it to Goodwill
So I peddle it to JustDownaBlock catholic church
leave it in a ragtag children’s bike rack
As I walk away, looking back at the toy

I wonder what kind of world we live in?
Is the world basically honest
Or evil?
Are others out only for themselves
Or can a loose bike survive a day
In warm November breezes?

A week passes. Little Green
Sits alone still
I can see it from my picture window.

I feel restored by humankind’s honesty

I make a sign
‘Free bike
una bicicleta gratis’

(In my worst Spanish)
Paper flapping dangerously in the rising wind
I can see  dark wave clouds moving over distant mountains

A squall is coming
The next day, froggy bike is gone
Permission granted to start another life
My faith in humanity restored
At least in this neighborhood.

70 degrees suddenly

Flips to 17

In what I guess is two hours time
I can smell snow in the air.
In my mind I envision
Somewhere a pint sized person
Is sailing his ‘new’ bike
Wind through his hair.
the lack of brakes

Of no concern as
first flakes fly

 He doesn’t feel the cold
Just free.

benny and the accidental tourist

“One pill makes you larger. And one pill makes you small.
Go ask Alice when she’s ten feet tall.” White Rabbit

Sleep evades me
Every night of my life
Sheep won’t line up to be counted
No Zzzzzzs appear
No dreamless slumber
No visions of sugarplums
I used to stare at the dark
Breathe deep yoga breaths
In for count of 10, hold,
out for count of ten
Sleep never came easily for me
Except in those long away
Working summer afternoons
As three o’clock approached
I could scarce keep my eyes open

Now at three am
I play scrabble against
A ruthless computer.
Facebook cyber spy
On ppl that annoyed me.
fast forward black and white movies on tivo

A kindly doctor
Thinking he was doing me
A favor
Offered me a tiny white sleeper
Just one more to my growing pill stack

It was a glorious thing
Sleeping through noisy nights
Comatose to thunderstorms
Fireworks and barking dogs
Five years I slept in peace
In the bosom of Benny Zopene

A google search
Brought knowledge
I feared
Blunted brain
Dulled senses
Panic rising, not falling
Short term Memory fading

I was an accidental addict
My body needed the drug
Or else.

It was time to face
Or else.
As the wicked witch said:
These things must be done delicately

Even so
I’ve suffered the curses of
A thousand thirsty camels
In a sandstorm
As Benny Z. will not release his grip
So easily
Months now into
What is called Detox
(a place I never dreamed I would have to go)

My hands tremble so that
I can’t hold a cup of herbal tea
My knees fail under me
I trip over rugs, dogs, shoes, socks
None of which are there.
I’ve broken every plate and glass in the cupboard.
I wear sunglasses inside
To watch tv
Muscles cramp and twitch
My teeth hurt
I stare at food
It looks familiar
But it doesn’t interest me
My heart goes out to anyone who has tried to stop smoking, drinking, gambling.

I’m too sick to talk, drive, shop
I forget what I mean to say
I stumble over familiar phrases.
I wear clothes piled up on the floor
I won’t wash my hair. or clean my glasses
In this place where Benny reigns as King
I take three more pills to counteract
his exit,
stage right.
I attend thanksgiving dinner
At my mom’s house
but only Via Skype webcast

Poetry fails to find me
There’s no rhythm nor rhyme
In this place
Where I scarce can leave my bed
But where I cannot sleep

Benny Z and I are nearly through
I’ve shaved a little more fuzz off his face
Every day
My words come easier
that will require another white pill
Another accidental tour


granola 5.0

milking stool


In every cowshed, next to every tipping milking stool and leather horse harness sits a barrel filled with molasses coated grains. Grain barrels were conveniently located next to dairy milking stations. Throughout time, a tightly closed lid was an optional feature.
As kids, we snuck crunchy snacks while scooping up coffee cans of sticky oats and corn to bribe cows into their stanchions. Or to entice ponies to take a bridle and saddle.
On the phone, my mom’s laughter drives me to near tears as she describes a scene for her own childhood munching molasses morsels. The open barrels contain all food fears of today. A list too long, but starts with e-coli and ends with hantavirus.
Candy was not a luxury grandpa and grandma could afford in the 1930s. My dad had seen what decades of sugar cubes did to horses’ teeth, so candy did not play a part of our diets. So the blackstrap mix had to serve as a substitute.
Granola bars weren’t invented by the hippie generations. They were an afterthought to days spent in barns, listening to the sounds of milk foaming in a pail, watching a line of cats at the ready for a squirt of thick cream shot their way. We didn’t give second thought to cleanliness of the surroundings nor the layers of “dirt” piled around the shed.
These things weren’t worried over any more than Native or pioneer leaning over to toss a buffalo chip into an oven in the midst of kneading bread dough. Nary a hand washing station to be seen.

I still crave the fist- sized hard clumps of molasses tightly gripping wheat, corn, oats, and rye flakes. A perfect handful pick me up, snitched while whistling for horses or calling low in age-old cattle lingo, “Comebossy, sucalfe, suuuuuuboss.”

Plastic wrappers are just recent upgrade, minus the fun of stealing sweets in an old rustic barn. And minus a few ‘extras’.