Poetry

  • Pebble Tossed

    “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

    – I have lived my life as a pebble tosser – picking up ideas and projects, molding them with my thoughts and intentions, and then gentling tossing them into the water of the world to see what impact they might have. Sometimes the ripples are immediate and obvious. Other times they seem to come back to my shore years later, like an echo bouncing back across the canyon.

    I have recently become fascinated by how the ripples caused by others have touched my life. A book recommended, a gift given, an insight shared – all tiny ripples that make me who I am. When I was younger I used to think of myself as a rock, an island of self-made determination. Now that vision has expanded. I see the rock was just one pebble on a vast shoreline, a shoreline that is constantly in flux, constantly changing with the ripples and tides.

    This site is about those ripples.

  • “Good writing is always about things that are important to you, things that are scary to you, things that eat you up. But the writing is a way of not allowing these things to destroy you.” John Edgar Wideman

  • Slippers

    I see your slippers,
    They say you are coming home.
    I am truly blessed.


    …..Back when we used to travel for work (remember those days?), Roak would be gone from home for a couple of weeks at a time. I loved the quiet and solitude of those days, just Greta and me in our mountain retreat on top of the hill. On one of those days, I came around the corner and stumbled on Roak’s slippers and was overcome with gratitude for his imminent return. These were slippers that would be filled again; not keepsakes that I couldn’t bear to throw away, reminders of someone I had lost. This haiku is a tiny reminder to appreciate those who literally and metaphorically fill the slippers in my life.

  • Vogon Poetry

    According to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, “Vogon poetry is, of course, the third worst in the universe. The second worst is that of the Azgoths of Kria. During a recitation by their poet master Grunthos the Flatulent of his poem ‘Ode to a Small Lump of Green Putty I Found in My Armpit One Midsummer Morning’ four of his audience died of internal hemorrhaging and the president of the Mid-Galactic Arts Nobbling Council survived by gnawing one of his own legs off.”

    For me, Vogon Poetry is the words that seem to tumble out of my head often out of nowhere. Sometimes they occur while I am hiking. Sometimes they come while I am in the shower. Often they show up while I am riding on the back of Roak’s motorcycle. (And frequently, they are not poems at all.)

    Unlike the Vogons I do not post these as a form of torture. However, if they strike you that way, run now before your ears begin to bleed! I understand.

  • The Bounty

    I stop, momentarily, in front of the house called ‘The Bounty,’
    its sign now haphazardly leaning against a tree in the yard.
    And I wait.
    Waiting for the feelings I know must be here someplace.
    I am revisiting this place that we bought many years ago.
    A place that was going to be our home, our future – until it wasn’t.
    Surely I must feel something. Sadness? Grief? Relief? Anger?

    Awkward.

    I just feel awkward.

    The current owner is leaning on the deck rail, looking at me, looking at him.
    Do I need something? Am I lost?

    No sir, actually I am just fine.

    This ship has sailed.



    In 2007 Roak and I bought this house in Puerto Viejo Costa Rica from a chiropractor who lived in Atlanta. We had a signed and accepted offer on the house. We hired Costa Rican attorneys to create and file all the necessary paperwork. We transferred the agreed-upon amount of money to a Costa Rican bank, and then we waited. And waited. The seller stopped responding to us and our attorneys, and eventually, we were forced to abandon our claim to the property when he accepted another offer. We got our money back (minus attorney fees), and moved along with life.

  • Transformative

    I collect words, literally. Little pieces clipped from handbills, theater programs, birthday cards. I never have a plan for them, I just like keeping the words that inspire me. This year on Christmas day some of my words came together to form my intention for 2022.

  • Dear Utah

    Dear Utah, 
    For the last few days, I have been exploring your back roads, 
    moving through your landscapes, 
    taking in your aromas of cedar, aspen, and alfalfa fields from my vantage on the back of a motorcycle. 
    I have had some time to ponder you, so I hope you’ll hear me out. 

    I can’t speak for all travelers, but I don’t think I am unique. 
    I didn’t come here for your city lights (we have those back home). 
    I didn’t come here for your weak coffee, hidden liquor stores, or overpriced lodging. (Can we work on that?)
    I came here for your endless unmarred vistas, 
    For your slick rock hiking, 
    For your desert pools, 
    For your solitude, 
    For rock formations that blow my mind, 
    For your……wildness. 

    Utah, my friend, you did not disappoint. 

    But, don’t blow it.

    I know that Zinke and his pals want to “open you up,” 
    sell your assets to the highest bidder,
    reduce the size of your grand monuments.
    Does that frighten you? It frightens me.
    Your wildness makes me a better person. It takes me outside of my head, gives me perspective, makes me care. And I’m not the only one – so many writers have said the same, in such soaring words. I can send you books if you want….

    Dear Utah, 
    Please save yourself. Take action. Protect the vistas, canyons, peaks, washes, hoodoos, and wildlands that make you, you. Show us how to take the long view, how to be a part of the earth not outside of it. We’ve got your back.

    #resist 



    This poem was written in 2017 while the Trump administration was working to reduce the size of Utah’s National Monuments and open up our public lands to private oil and gas developers.

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