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New normal

I am wandering
confused and lost
in unfamiliar terrain,
desperate for a map.
I see a stranger
who sees me too,
and I whisper-ask
“How do I find my way
back to before,
back where I felt
back where I knew
I belonged?”
And his head moves
slowly down and away
toward the street
and he whispers back
“You can’t get there
from here.”


Wednesday prompt: Write a direction poem.


I forget

I forget my promise sometimes
when the days grind for too long
and the dogs make us both crazy,
when I’ve let my eyebrows go wild
and I notice I’m invisible again.

I forget the words I whispered
on Sunset Beach in summertime,
our feet bare and our hearts light
but heads knowing better than most
that storms can come on so fast.

I forget I said I’d keep trying,
the vow that mattered, the hard one,
because walking away is my default
and we both know I don’t want you
to actually let me go.


For John.

Wednesday prompt: write a Valentines poem



Wednesday prompt: Write a password poem

Just once before I die
I’d like to saunter
head swaying side to side
subtle and stylish of course
through sunken alleyways
up to a heavy wooden door
worn from use and age
with a bullet hole or two
and knock raprap rap rap rap
until a large tattooed man
missing some teeth and hair
grunts approvingly
through a small opening
before the door creaks open
to grant me safe passage.

Up and at ‘em

Wednesday prompt: write an up poem. 

The cold (or is it flu?)
took me to bed by force
having its way with me
through the whining last days
of that lousy last year.
Perfect ending, I suppose
but here it is
the beginning again
and there’s insurance to buy,
and perhaps new tires,
so this morning finally
I cast off the shackles
and coughed my way
bitterly to work.


Wednesday prompt: write a “made sense at the time” poem.

He said to me:
You hear things
I never said,
poor thing,
but it’s okay,
I’ll look after you,
just trust me.

I let myself go
assuming always
that I owned all blame,
until finally
I saw his shadow
in the gaslight.

Back in the day

Day 30. It seems like the month just started, but here we are at the end. Prompt: write a “back in the day” poem. I have three.

Serenity now

I used to hate the serenity prayer
but eventually I accepted it
only so far, nobody has granted me
the wisdom to know the difference.


I remember Monday
like it was yesterday
before our dog was ashes
in a velvet-wrapped box.
Live every moment with love
because Father Time
is neither cruel nor kind,
he’s simply passing by.

Another life

In another life
I was made of trust
my sleeve-heart an easy target

In another life
I partied wild-child style
to take all the sharp edges off

In another life
I sat in the dark
afraid of my own shadow

In another life
I rocked a child
as if I could make that moment last

Love letter for Bo on his last day

Day 28. Two-fer. Write a love poem / anti-love poem. So much is missing from this poem, so much of Bo, our first foster dog, our first foster-fail. But I guess it’s enough to know that he was here for far too short a time, and that he loves and is loved deeply. But this is his last day, and this is all I have.

These last hours
are making tracks
as they walk across our hearts
the nails click-clacking like
paw prints in concrete
stepping stones for the garden
we will plant for you in spring
someplace sunny for you
my love,
how you’ve always loved to bask
and these last many months
we kept you in
because of the medicine
everything about side-effects
about day by day to make it last
to make you last for
just one more day

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