Poetry and Spoken Word

Circle Dance

So much is happening to you
today, tomorrow, now
I know you cannot answer my text
respond to things beyond your pain
you are in the nucleus
pressure where the rotation begins
concentric circles of caring and timelessness
ring around you

your children form the first band
unbroken love
I am in the 4th or 5th circle
waiting, hoping, hallow prayer

I feel your tight resilience
stretching every fiber of courage
wrapping around us
twirling closer to the center

This circle finds its own
beginning and end
No one pushes or changes position
We wait to travel closer to you

Everyone will be on this journey one day
where circles of compassion dance
I hang on to the edge of my circle
with hands and heart on my arch
spaces above and below
of the stories we share
One day we walk out of this maze
together in the memory of what was

My Melady

Yesterday you poured
Your new body
Into lingerie
The lace writing
On your skin
I saw you fall
Into the mirror
With a man
Who sees you
The muscles
And flesh
Of your integrity
The fragile fabric
Of your grace
As doctor
My Melady
Is now his too


You and I
witness love
in wide smiles
as a mirror traces a stare

At times your taste
smells like mud
heats my tongue
and glues my shade to yours

I stretch across you
as close as skin can fold
our sweat separated
in trust patterns

In the evening
we linger over meatballs
trading the spoon
as we fall into a chair of our history

I look closely
or the spaces between us
where moments rise and fall away
and we share the same bruise

I imagine myself
weeping into linen
in the face of our aging
when suffering is louder than air

I know you were born
to be outside your head
inside a deal
of paper adultery

We jump over stones
our grandchildren drop on tomorrow
bright pink promises
lasting beyond death

And I know we loved
before we met

Ode to Summer

Oh summer I lean into your
light tilting the evening
longer wings of June and July
I sit to watch the wild dusk
in cloud motifs and layers
of summer love affairs
I lie on the moss unclothed
upside down openings between
leaves of green and yellow
my senses smell growth
little ants trace drawings
on my bare legs
I relish the flash of cold
intimacy of nature
as I dive into the dark lake
Oh summer I kneel down
to your rainstorms
the crash, the burst
the tension of creation
I praise the ground
where wildflowers now shine
and sun ameena through
as I cherish a book to linger,
hover, lounge, luxuriate, loiter
in your lazy arms.

White Suffering

White noise
Amid long halls
Bed sheets that drool
Doctors in drapes
Hearing bleached stories

I wear sunglasses
It is too shiny to speak
Hurt lines drop
Deeper than logic
On the walls

Nothing flies here
Two pills
Lie on the floor
Like lovers at death


now is over
as we lean into
the seconds of later

upcoming rings
of uncertainty
weaving new algorithms

birds flying into windows
stars falling from the sky
babies waking us up

a grand child asking
“is it morning yet?”
a sticky sneeze

what will be
moving forward
until we know

or don’t know

now is over
in the breath

in the shining buds
of spring
in your last words


I am here, waiting

for you to come back

after 46 years

to hold my hand

like you did when I was 7

to listen to my question

“Who am I ” when I was 8

You left at 19

before I graduated

the deeper understandings

I want to visit your calm

intellectual logical mind

like a slow dance

motionless, holding court

as you only could

or sail in open chatter

like spinnakers downwind

I want to know that

you loved me

as an adult, a mom

and a grandmother

and feel you beyond

the pictures on my wall

with no family challenges

of the 60s and 70s

and the light of my words

remembering our trust

Red Secrets

Nobody told me
that anxiety
drools on your pillow
voices carry their own scents
or that memory
crashes the tides of time

Smiling cracks my face
obituaries are prose
funeral kisses
are wetter than rain
and crying children play violins
on my nervous system

I feel wisps of intimacy
in dark nosebleeds
wild skin rashes
or shared insomnia
that steal the mind
in waves of silence

A purple toothbrush
in my husband’s mouth
We blow our noses over
crumpled damp napkins
old tea stains
on shirts we have hugged


The dirt under your feet
The lines on your skin
Red roots beneath
Purple privacy
Under your sentences

What is under the under
Surely you can imagine

The pain below
Your lover’s body
Under their kiss
Dropping below sensual
To wide wonder

Or the grated stories
In the mud of memory

What is under your smile?

What is the wink
Underneath your eccentricities

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