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#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 15–Old Umbrella


Old Umbrella

You survived two seasons

maybe three

The red umbrella I bought for this summer

box unopened

still cocoons in the garage

When poets arrived to write

beneath your shade

two ribs poked through

required this non-seamstress

to tuck with thick thread

uneven stitches, soon torn

unable to stop the inevitable

sag and flop

Yesterday, a tiny promise of rain

dampened my face as I sipped coffee

and wished for a deluge

today, autumn sun, feeble, but comforting

suppressed any desire for your services

Still you stand

no more a shield from earth’s elements

your familiar presence

completes my morning comrades

serene Buddha

steaming cup

flutter of pray flags

loving pup



#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 14–If I Were the Me


If I Were the Me

If I were the me

that I want to be

I’d travel the world and sing

Given the chance

I’d break into dance

‘cause I could do anything

I wouldn’t be shy

I’d find the right guy

but I’d be just as fine when alone

I’d lose all my fright

of driving at night

A sociable self-assured crone

I was a mouse

and he was a louse

and it happened a long time ago

When it came rushing back

I felt under attack

since I thought I had finally let go

A month of rhyme

may just be the time

I needed to rant and to rage

I’m ready to quit

to get rid of it

and emerge a mischievous sage


When I woke up this morning and was still lying in bed, I looked at my phone and saw the prompt. Luckily, I keep a notebook by the bed, because this silly little ditty poured out.


#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 13–If You Were Me


If You Were Me

How can you tell me not to judge

when you have never feared

imminent rape?

How can you say, “You will destroy his life” when

I have heard that anger before

from an abusive alcoholic man

declaring his innocence in a voice

the once again overpowered mine?

What about her life

her innocence

her truth

her bravery

when she knew it would

destroy her?

Do you wake, shake, sweat

as he returns again and again in your dreams?

Do you walk faster at night to your car

in the dark parking garage

look over your shoulder

each time you enter an elevator?

Have you posed for a picture with your students

in our country’s capital

with a senator you admired

then felt a hand where it didn’t belong

told yourself you imagined it

or he didn’t mean it

learned better later

My truth is my truth

I will shout it even as his courts

hold heavy fingers on Justice’s scales

empower and excuse rich white men

uphold the disenfranchisement

of We the People



Damn.  Poetry is a good way to work through anger, but I had no idea how much I needed to do this.

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 12–YAG Operation on One Eye and the Second Noble Truth


YAG Operation on One Eye and the Second Noble Truth

Today a doctor

used a laser to return

sight to my hazy left eye

Now I see flowers

soup labels on the top shelf

blurred for many years

Doctor’s schedule full

right eye must wait for five months

Suffer in half sight


A Senryu.  Desire causes suffering, or I didn’t know what I was missing, but now…  A different last line might be: Half sight not 20-20.

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 11–Wabi-Sabi



We softened gold to repair the cup

Rebuilt the wall with bigger stones

Life is wabi-sabi

After the fight we kissed and made up

Used tough thread to mend the seam

We softened gold to repair the cup

Quan Yin’s lost hand became a flower

You made me laugh to stop my moans

Rebuilt the wall with bigger stones

We danced when grief became too raw

Then turned our tears to playful song

Life is wabi-sabi

#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 10–Today

IMG_5884This morning the sun kissed a rainbow on my cup



Today sunlight slanted through the window to the prism glass of the china cabinet and turned to kiss my cup with a rainbow.  Today meditation mind emptied momentarily before memories of old loves skipped and fluttered, filled the void with laughter and longing.  Today Miriam Makeba’s Love Tastes Like Strawberries rode the sunbeam across the kitchen.  I wondered where it had been hiding since my youth, but Alexa found it and I danced and sang in the lonely house, tasted strawberries and love from long ago.  Today the vaporous sad ghosts said, “Get out of this dreary dwelling, take Tashi, she needs a walk. Laugh with the living.”  Today a cool breeze tempered the hot autumn sun. Anticipation boosted our journey to coffee and I climbed the hill with a hope-filled heart.  Today sunlit tables teemed, but silent students stared vacantly, barricaded by ear buds. Today we sauntered slowly back down the hill, less reluctant to reminisce with garrulous ghosts.



And a minute later there was only a memory.



#OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 9–Love is Quiet


Love is Quiet

Love is quiet

gentle breeze that

laps against my rugged, 

ragged shore


Love is comfort

warm devoted dog

her whimpered, 

whispered snore


Love is tranquil garden

joyful butterflies

swirl with lusty pleasure

swoop again to rise


Love is peaceful prayer flags

faint flutter in the breeze

jacaranda blossoms

below the blue silk skies


Love is longing

as I linger on the ground

gold petals fall around

I still want to be found

to lift my voice

and roar