Second Day Chili

Potent comfort steams off thick blue bowls of

Yesterday’s chili

Seems that which is mulled, mused

Holds  solace flavored seasoning

Like poems that sit overnight on laptops


Into profound silence of approaching chill

Edging mostly eastward

Swarms of  Canadian and Snow Geese

Gyre as one

Undoubtedly distinct voices

Now that hushed Lawn mowers and leaf blowers

Are a muted majority

Reserved for emerging spring.


Hands cupped around the blends of Second Day Chili

We eschew cable tv

We devour  nostalgia from

Name that Tune

Boggle, WordTwist, CatchPhrase

Cackling brashly over the shadows

as our old brains try to connect

Nuggets of  timeworn Golden Oldies.


But mostly it about us.

Finding ties in times of disparate reasoning

Fueled by spices

Of second Day Chili



Wind always weeps on the prairie.
Sounding much like
A lost kitten in tall grass .

This random winter is worsening
The wind screams and howls
Across miles of frozen tundra
Seems there will be no famous Colorado blue sky winter
No breaks in the clouds.
Wisps of flakes whip up every noontide.

Yellow Dog helps sweep the driveway
For the nth time.
fog and whispering from low cirrus
Suddenly turns to rage
screeching from the north
like an angry atonal twister
The 50 mile an hour
Wind either excites or disorients Yellow Dog
and he disappears into haze.

I replay a video over an over
Of me standing on the walk
Screaming into the unrelenting snow .
Auntie Em calling for Dorothy
In a Kansas quake
but my voice surely can’t be found
In ice and fired flakes.

I wasn’t wearing a coat or boots or glasses.
now I search in my Buffalo Robe coat
But the whole world looks to be
A sprinting Yellow And White Spotted Dog.

A deceptive oneness

he’s certain to know which way is home.
We walk together thousands of times each year.
Along the same four blocks.

The garage fills with snow.
while I am the weeping prairiesong
In a moment the empty drive suddenly drifted a foot
I hold brick wall for security

it’s an old-fashioned Prairie winter
I wonder how all those before us survived
without sidewalks.
Central heat, electric lights, snow tires.

white and white dog suddenly
emerges from nowhere
finding his way home by chorus or cadence.

he’s laughing.
After days of confinement
In the mud room
he’s had quite an outing.
while emptying cars
slide and slip
trying to find their own way home

Anaphoric. An expression which interpretation depends on the previous phrase.

A grain of Sand

It finally warmed up enough after last night’s wild blizzard to walk a little bit. I noticed a young man walking near the church. He was wearing loose, baggy pants that were dragging on the ground and wet up to his knees. I shook my head, “kids these days..” that style of clothing irritates me.

He stopped us by asking if there was a priest he could talk to at the church. As we searched, he told us his story.
He was driving to Arizona when the blizzard hit suddenly on the interstate. The temperature dropped 40 degrees in an hour and his car died. He spent the night in the car with his two dogs. The temps dropped to 10 degrees.
This morning he walked about 6 miles in the snow with only a parka, no gloves or hat. He had left the dogs in the car in search of some kind of help. He was broke and near tears.
He was so grateful for a couple bowls of soup I had in the crockpot and a sandwich. We helped him get a hotel, get his dogs, gave him some canned goods. 
Was I apprehensive talking to someone I didn’t know? Yes.
Was I nervous with someone in my house that I did not know? Yes.
Was I intimidated by his age, manner of dress. Yes.

Was I altruistic? No.
I saw desperation in his eyes.
Desperation is a dangerous, dangerous predator.
On a 10 degree winter night, I am more afraid of a desperate man than one with a roof over his head and a stomach full of soup and tortillas.
This was Hurricane Sandy for my little town. And I thought of all the risks those people took.
And I was a little less afraid to take a little gabmble on a single soul.
We booked him in a little old hotel appropriately named,
The Sands Inn.

shorn lambs

It’s taken years to teach him to trust

But today

Charlie balances precariously on my knees

While I sheer his long winter coat

With noisy electric sheep clippers

He’s a bit too large for a lap dog

His legs shake and skin crawls

As I ease away the shaggy fur

I check his split lower lip where he fell against

The stone steps yesterday

In a rush to greet me.

His blinking winces,

 tells me how much it still hurts.

I massage along twisted aching vertebrae

Where he was hit by a car two years


I shave it close, to the skin

Because he’s suffering with the absurdly hot

March weather

And pink patches of bare

Show through.

I add aloe and sunscreen to his tender skin

Already bright red from blaze of spring.

My fingers crave long silky ruff

At the nape of his neck

That drains away the pain of early


When I bury my fingertips.

He stops trembling long enough to

check my throbbing thumbnail,

hit with a hammer

then, my forehead where I raised up too fast

And snapped against solid birch kitchen cabinets.

He licks my salty face

Surprised by the taste

He stares at me with an odd grimace.

Tastes my cheeks again.

 He leans hard against my rib cage.

Resting his sun-warmed face along my neck

And sighs deeply.



A whopping poof of smoky powder
Flies through the kitchen
Just from tying my laces.
My walking shoes and Charlie
Have walked every day
In wind
Which changes direction
by the hour.
But not the content.
exposed topsoil
Foolhardy are we
to believe in a
vanquished Nature
that Dustbowl eras ended.
Yet, here it is in my kitchen.
Specks of Montana and Oklahoma
Dancing in the sunlight. from the
Sunroom window
Where the aspen trees twist dangerously
In daily Breezy conditions.

I worry about the warm days.
I worry about the trees leafing
out in January.
thousands of white bags
Roiling down the alleys
Headed for the Gulf of Mexico.
Or Alternately by the hour
The Arctic Circle.

I worry about Spring
Where certainly, as is often true,
Mother Nature will sing her revenge.
Mud packed snow will pile 4 feet high
Cement- like against the doors
Tornados will fly over
Your town or mine
laughing demonic dancers
Taking our cars, sheds and garages.

Charlie won’t move today
from his new
Two ply bed.
Not even when I pick up his leash.
Clouds of dust fluff from his ears
When he shakes his head, No. No.
coughing like an asthmatic.

I scream at the constantly
Grey dirt sky.
People are staring at me.
I brake my car in the middle
of the abandoned Street
for a mass of contractor’s plastic
choking honeysuckle,
Frightening my passengers
and a few lookers on.

It is full of powder.
Idaho. I decide.
maybe a pebble or two of Nevada


It’s the perfect day for writing

Our standard Colorado blizzard

Winding down

Outside the below zero window

Circled in ice and frost,

Two flickers

Brave the sharp wind

On the old cottonwood tree

Searching for that I cannot see

Happy to find

What they can

out of dead limbs

I am too lazy to join them

In the search for beauty,

In a blizzard,


Hiding under the cover of duvet

Dreading the icy hardwood floor

Under my feet.

So today’s poem goes


With my apologies

a single string

January has that deep gray gloom
To its day. worse in the nights
We miss the solidarity of humanity
With the Christmas carols and
Yards and yards of bright lights
We loathe to pull down the indoor tree
It seems to have been a single friend
Through the darkening winter

So She keeps a string of bright white
Strewn across the bannister
Like steps leading to an old friend
Guiding her way
Up the too quiet bannister


photo credit to michaelswanderings.blogspot