Can I be a rough draft after 66 years?
When am I enough?
I am the fading words,
the dangling sentences,
the incomplete thought.
Is my life in the red folder or the yellow
or am I a footnote in the story of another?
Am I a work-in-progress or a blueprint
or the open question with no answer?
Am I the fact in yesterday’s diary or
the unknown in tomorrow’s?
I am not a poet major or a poet minor,
just one here, finding words where I thought
there were none, writing in the margins,
squeezing into tiny spaces of white. …
Medium saved me after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. I don’t recall how I found this community. Perhaps, it found me. When all felt desperately hopeless, this became my home and refuge.
Nearly four years later, I own two publications: Weeds & Wildflowers and R.E.A.D.I.N.G. WAR. Weeds & Wildflowers has been the recipient of my attention while R.E.A.D.I.N.G. WAR has languished, but I plan to change that soon. I’m also an editor for SnapShots and House of Haiku.
By trade, I am a contract bookkeeper, a career that serves me well but is losing its luster. …
I thought it would get better when all the parts of you were gone. The parts bagged and boxed, discarded and dumped. The stacks of what you thought you needed but never used. The piles of a wasted life.
I thought when the dumpster left with 30 years of you, you’d go with it. I thought sweeping and dusting and washing windows would clean you away.
I thought I’d walk in the door on a warm September day and feel the lightness of clean, the brightness of gone, the rightness of done.
But the energy was the same. No, the energy, your energy, was worse. The sparkling house felt dark and dank and deeply depressed. You remained. When all else was gone, you stayed. …
2020 was epic in so many ways — globally and personally. I am trying to capture bits of it in four posts — one for each quarter of the year.
Here is my first quarter story:
We ended the first quarter with sorrow and fear. We lost our dog, Sophie, in February and our guinea pig, Jolly, in March, and we entered the first stages of a global pandemic. In a state lockdown, lives were disrupted, and new ways of living were invented.
I have a bookkeeping service. Most of my clients are attorneys. They were considered essential businesses and remained open. …
petals of summer sunsets
in the frosty air
I work in an office that abuts a protected forest and greenspace. In the midst of all the pines and oaks, there sits a lone camellia bush that produces the most gorgeous blossoms in the winter. I work long hours this time of year and enjoy taking a short break to sit on the back porch of that office building, admiring the brilliant reddish-pink flowers that bring to mind summer sunsets.
I waited for the call
that there was one for me
when there haven’t been enough
for so many
It was a cold burn,
like fingers on dry ice.
The magic in the syringe
screamed to be noticed,
I’m here to help!
We need so much help.
We need so much hope.
A freeze washed over me,
colder than the January morning,
forewarned that could happen,
I welcomed the chill.
Thought of it as a sign
of hope and life and
maybe, one day, someday,
Nothing changes now,
mask in place wherever I go,
washing and sanitizing
Is that a glimmer I see
on the horizon,
in my garden,
nestled in my heart?
Dare I hope for spring
in a winter long?
Dare I hope for peace
in a country divided?
I feel a lifting, a rising,
a releasing of the tight
that held me rigid for
four torturous years.
I feel a tickle of warmth
in air that’s been more
North than South,
I smell springtime molecules.
My camera itches for
blooms and buds
and crystal-green leaves,
while I long for joy.
We’ll hitch a ride on history
and the promise of change,
and tiptoe across shattered hearts
and fractured fealties. …
who takes more than he needs,
who begs for what he doesn’t —
he is my brother,
my OCD twin,
who prepares for the worst
while hoping for the best,
even in Florida when winter
is a momentary breath,
he hoards like his kin
in Massachusetts or Maine,
begging for what my money buys
when he could eat on natural abundance.
He is my totem, my kin,
steeped in the worry of tomorrow
and the preparedness for all the coulds.
He multi-tasks, laying groundwork
for the very worst when all is good.
I am the squirrel,
the planner and the worrier,
the gatherer and the worker.
I have his limitless energy
and his intense exhaustion.
We are brother and sister,
in our distrust and in our hope,
playing in the sun while
gathering for the snow
that will never come. …
A pencil should not need a label saying pencil. Necessary here for recognition.
To know it’s an instrument for writing. Or drawing.
Attempted here. Success not achieved.
My hand quivers when art is the goal.
Not from age, though I’m old. From fear of lack.
Lack of the eye and the hand for what others scratch with confidence
or swirl in colors that start as blobs and end as flowers or sunsets or ladybugs. I swirl blobs; they stay blobs.
Art is not my talent but consistency is.
My lacks are many.
Notes flow from my lips like vomit.
Acceptable only in lonely showers or deep forests.
Not for humans. …