Autumn’s vigor will not be spent. I think

each day will be its last. Hard wind all night

and morning comes, still red and gold remains.

Even under gray clouds, the yellow light

pours from the hills. Even October rains

cannot tear the tenacious colors down.

Blackbirds gather to offer their chatter

against the brittle corn. Warblers have flown

away; geese are flying. The winter birds

stay. How is it that autumn now is sweet,

more lingering than spring, kinder than summer?

Winter is a melody I’ve not yet heard,

but I shall sing in time. The seeds are scattered.

The bright green grasses fade around my feet.



~for my sister, since these are mostly her words


This week I am watching the goldfinches closely

to see if they notice that the lettuces have gone to seed.

Remember that article on “lettuce birds”?


No bears for a week–and we all know,

not seeing bears is best for the bears.

The whole yard is play-acting


as if Summer is all gone.

The flower heads are hanging low and scruffy.

We are really dry here, so


some of the ground is like hardpan–

too much heat and not enough rain.

The flowers that have thrived are portulaca,


cleome and surprisingly,

sweet peas.

I have decided that some misspellings


are new words emerging from latent

and perhaps, askew genius.

I have a keen interest in politics,


but our country is so polarized that it is insane.

Somedays I am so scared…

God help us  (and he will, by and by).




I dreamed I was falling in love. I was

young again. We sat on stones and talked about

mountains, and opera and our favorite

newspapers. It seemed to us that at last

this was the real thing. I woke up early,

happy. One of the cats was on my chest,

one at my feet. My husband and the dog

were snoring, like they do. The room was cold

but the blankets were watm. It’s autumn finally,

after a long spell of sun and dust and blue.

The rains came and washed away the ash trees’

amber. Before long, only the bones will show.

This is how time drops away, how the peace

you once longed for at last comes to pass.


October 1, 2015


A strange poem that evolved over the course of several years–combinations and recombinations.




Before touching the wall, open the door.

All creatures feed hunger.

If it hurts, you can cry.

Oak women walk in deep space under the land.

What is the Wolf? He is all paths.

Give an eagle feather from a safe distance.

Witches can sleep under the dragon.

Your tongue betrays your well-hidden heart.

Eagles rise when fools fall.

You walk only once along the unpaved road.




I will make myself.

I was melting in the upset,

wearing that woman’s face.

Run!  There is that crazy,

old and horrible shouting voice.


Please hurry 

before reaching the dead

on this clear morning.


Density is pressing.



Plants such as I gathered

grew for hours.

They worked for me.

They grew love, in my place.


I love the roots.

All my time is alive.



Stop the unstable woman on the shelf.

She is like an upright piano girl,

with pale blue gloves.


I have time to go into the water.

I will throw her something cold,

or watch her paint her face.


Flamboyant manikins

posture in the Meadow.


Sneezing Bear woke up in the fire

with his beautiful sister.


Nuns will read to me. 


I am filled with the paralysis of hymns.

City sparrows sing out of tune.


The cigarette girl’s hair is a smoking flame.

She hears the voice of Joan of Arc.

So that she can change direction safely,

she whistles at the crossroads.


One sparrow blows one note for the blind.

I will stop the small world,

carry my own bag in the yellow light.


My flute is heavy on my little shoulders.  


In the corner box

the blue morning




Empty store front:

I may rest behind the window

on the floor among dirty breadcrumbs.


Corruption and corruption

at the door of the house,

the side yards without grass.


My cart cracks a twisted trail

through tumbling wooden bottle boxes

in the dry and crackling rain.


One day my father went away.


My brother on his pedal tractor.

Our mother was a crooked tree.


My father threw a mountain at our house.


We stood around the fire;

we collected smoke.


I have a little book where I keep

a list of the things I see at night.


There is time between the leaves of my ashes.

There is fire in front of everyone.



Shiny apartment with my mother in a box.

Under the nails I still feel dirt.

Where will the princess let me sleep?


Hyssop, primrose, wormwood, thyme.


I saw a Bluebird, a Hummingbird,

planted flowers around the willow.

Woodchucks sat on the stone walls of the Sun.


Lady’s mantle, burning bush, iris, peony.


Remember the old Ford tractor

driving the forest people?

Someone chased the pond heron away.


Every winter, some flicker of misery shuts down.

I am using redpolls to steady

the memory of my father’s hand.



My cousin slices my lunch.

I heard my aunt proposing watermelon.

She was never dead, I know. 


Where is mother’s 100 acres of horses?

I raised two new poems

printed on dried beans.

We have the same birthday.


At the end of the corner

I find the sharp-toothed demon of sleep.

Tell the nun she’ll 

burn in hell for the Protestant cousins.


Ask one of the friends

about giving your life.

Can you find me just a pear 

or a cooky with raisins?


My brother did not come.

He explained that I don’t know.

It was just a bunch of little boys. 

Undoubtedly his distinctive reason.


Why is this my cousin’s house?

A quiet quiet remedy for life.



Time to collect beach glass.

Stakes are currently available

to disabled women.

However,  it is not my way.


You can learn the secret.

It is the secret

after all isn’t it.

I know them.


Crazy is like the circle

of premature death.

In the closet stuffed with fear,

you hold the key like most of the people do.





You should sit with her for awhile.

How do you know it’s junk mail?  


She is outraged at her mind.

I need to resubmit myself.

Must you dance in my tracks?

Pretend is the meaning of life,

the emperor’s clothes.


She stares at SUV tail lights.

All criteria tell me lies.

My children are happy they weren’t eaten alive.

Sleep, sleep, feet, feet,

personal injury.


Tie her boots.


She thinks happiness is a bad joke.

The world is hell.

The spiritual wise man bitches.

Time is valid.


She sings to her shoes.

The public throws umbrellas.

My wounds write trivia.

It is time to worry about death.


Take time to listen to her,

singing in her dilapidated house.

Clear the snow garden.

Dig a hole under the stairs.