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Silent Retreat–Day Twenty-six #OctPoWriMo October 26, 2017

IMG_1204Lieu Quan Meditation Center, Warner Springs, California

Silent Retreat

Sit on meditation bench
something happens, doesn’t
mind falls into dark abyss

No words, no images
bow to towering stone Buddha
sit on meditation bench

Above me the Buddha sits serene
below the Buddha I bow
something happens, doesn’t

I am the one who bows to the stone Buddha
I am the statue that crumbles as it bows to me
mind falls into dark abyss

Ode to Stuffed Peppers at Adams Avenue Grill–Day Twenty-five #OctPoWriMo October 25, 2017

(From the website of Adams Avenue Grill–Stuffed Red Peppers with Polenta)


Ode to the Stuffed Peppers at Adams Avenue Grill

Oh to return once more to Adams Avenue Grill
where carnivore and herbivore found delight
and each midst pleasure took their fill
and swore allegiance to sweet appetite

Quinoa, mushrooms in deep red peppers stuffed
pine nuts, feta, spinach, wicked wild rice
blissfully bathed in Tuscan white bean stew
opulent onions, garlic for the spice
jaded palate’s joy awakened anew

The Lover–DayTwenty-four #OctPoWriMo October 24, 2017


The Lover

I fell in love with Facebook
because he made me laugh
bought my heart with kittens
pandas, a giraffe

And as our love deepened
he taught me others care
for our endangered planet
and the critters living there

He showed me social justice
Black Lives Matter, Occupy
I saw the truth through Bernie
and how corporations lie

I joined up with millennials
who grew and found their voice
and folks could marry whom they loved
and women had a choice

But the power to change opinion
to control what people share
can corrupt the best intentions
and I fear he’s heading there

When did he become distrustful
of the posts that my friends read
when did he decide to be the one
to choose what people need?

Has he fallen for big pharma
as he’s joined the one percent
when he said your post was fake news
was that really what he meant?

Is my lover an abuser
it’s so painful to believe
let’s find another way to meet
before I have to leave


Messenger–Day Twenty-three #OctPoWriMo October 23, 2017



Another day in high school I ran
an errand for my teacher when
I became death’s messenger
President Kennedy
childhood ended
heroes die

Too Tired Tanka and Haikus–Day Twenty-two #OctPoWriMo October 22, 2017


Hike to get in shape
joints and bones express outrage
legs threaten to cramp
chores will go undone again
dog sleeps upside down on couch

Is something awry?
though I hold pen to notebook
the page remains blank

After hike in heat
why do brain and hand rebel
when knees are what ache?

Tashi didn’t go
now she paws my sunburnt skin
all I want is sleep


Old Vegetable Bed–Day Twenty-one #OctPoWriMo October 21, 2017


Old vegetable bed

In my old vegetable bed
New sprouts

On the anniversary of your death
A wedding

Life Song Day Twenty #OctPoWriMo October 20, 2017


Life Song

Lifetimes ago I took time to heal
from a dream derailed by a man’s
inability to give love without hurt
and though my heart could never be new again
time passed and I met another man
a kind man who settled gently into my life
like dandelion down

no more days of motorcycles
Mexican adventure
intense joy
inevitable pain

now the rise and fall was more like breath
build a company, watch it die
move on, another try
careers, our band
all merged into our life song
steady comfortable drone
below the onward happy notes
that were our children

children so soon gone
to sing their own life songs
and their happy notes
though muted by distance
became separate melodies

then below life’s comfortable drone
a new tone
discordant, wrong
his trembling fingers, no longer sure on the keyboard,
we ordered a vibraphone
his breath weakened, an oxygen concentrator
a brace to hold his head up from his chest

but nothing fixed the fear in his eyes,
as nonexistent children appeared
his hallucinations filled our home

dementia, I dread you more than anything

even more than the serpentine coiled guilt
decisions regretted,
doubts if I could have done more

his pain ceased seven years ago
but time has its own breath
expands to allow happiness
a hike with the dog, dinner with friends

again by his bedside
his last breath