Saturday, April 7, 2012



I dream of you,
your bouncing curls and chestnut eyes,
your little girl laugh
that echoes off walls,
off buildings,
bounces around the Grand Canyon,
causes tsunamis off the coast of Japan,
and then skips back to heaven.

And I will myself not to wake,
wrapping arms around you,
feeling you…
so real,
breathing you in.
As if I could inhale your soul,
like my wanting could wish you
into existence.
But when I wake
my arms are wrapped around my belly
and I’m breathing in salty tears
and I’m still empty.

They gave me Valium to calm me,
to make me forget my worries,
my apprehension,
my pain,
but still I remember.
It was cold,
the surgeon was humming along to classic rock
as she readied
sterile stainless steel tools,
preparing to dissect me.
She removed the broken parts that day,
but her scalpel slipped,
and she took a piece of my soul.
And when I woke,
I was empty.

Now, each month
half a hope is born,
a wandering homeless spirit
seeking a place to settle.
I name each one Grace and love her
for the few days I feel her in me searching
before she blinks out of existence.

For a year I cried each time I went to church,
watching babies bounced on hips,
over shoulders.
I could smell their hair
from seven pews away.
The pastor said God can heal anything,
so I’d stand with hands on belly
praying forth a miracle.
Let me be Sarah,
or Mary,
or any other woman
who caused disbelief and scandal.
Let me be the 16-year-old
too scared to tell her daddy
about the boy who let her down.
Let me be the woman standing outside the clinic
with a choice to make.
Give me another mouth to feed,
sleepless nights,
and temper tantrums.
Give me bouncing curls and chestnut eyes,
and a little girl laugh.

But you can’t pray back a uterus.
So instead I pray,
“God give me the grace to accept
with serenity the things
that cannot be changed.”

I pray for acceptance,
I pray for Grace.

And I am still empty.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Have Seen...

Today I learned that a former student, and dear sweet girl died. Authorities are looking into the possibility of suicide. They suspect drugs were at play.

When I first met Ashley, she was 15 years old. She had run away from home, and she was scared. She walked into my classroom in the juvy looking as if she was about to cry and swearing she would never be back.

The problem was, Ashley kept running away. And when she ran away, she ran to the arms of a much older man who introduced her to meth. Meth took over Ashley's life.

And promise as she would to never return, the call of the meth was always too strong I guess, and Ashley was back time and time again. Each time she was a little thinner, looked a little less healthy, looked a little harder around the edges.

But inside she was still just a girl. When Ashley laughed the whole room lit up; she shined. Everyone seemed to love Ashley. She was kind, and funny, and wanted so badly to live a good life.

When she was 17, I wrote this poem for her, and a few other students at the juvy who were 'repeat offenders.' I was inspired by Allen Ginsberg's epic "Howl." And while this will never be anything like Ginsberg's literary accomplishment, I offer it now in memory of the sweet spirt I saw in Ashley.

May she finally find the peace she sought, and may her soul finally feel free. Rest in Peace, sweet child. You were loved.

I Have Seen

I have seen your generation.
I have seen your mind.
I have seen the best minds of your generation given over to self-despising, apathetic, complacency,
"This is how it is…
This is how it is…
It is NEVER going to change."
I have seen you walk in
Eyes glazed over and soul-less
A body of skin and bones
I have looked into you
And seen nothing but darkness
I have seen you eaten away by meth,
by an addiction you give your life for,
as you say
"This is how I am…
This is how I am…
I am NEVER going to change."

I have seen you cry.
I have seen you cry,
and I have seen the tears wash away the cloudiness.
I have seen the flicker in your eyes.
I have seen the fire in your soul.
I pray for the day you see freedom.
I pray for the day you fly.
I pray for the day you shout to the world,
"This is who I am…
This is who I am…
I am free at last."
I have seen the best minds of your generation.
I have seen you

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dear Daughter

Dear Daughter

I hope you draw your world like Harold, with his purple crayon, only I hope you have a whole box of crayons…the big one with the sharpener, Crayola. ‘Cause they’re the best and your mama wants only the best for you. I hope you color your dreams in aquamarine, sunglow, timberwolf, cotton candy, and wisteria on canvases the size of Kansas.

I hope you stuff those little feet of yours in pink plastic princess heels and imagine yourself royalty, because anything is possible, and honey, when you dream, your eyes sparkle.

And then I hope you kick off those heels and sink your toes in deep oozy mud. I hope you search for worms and frogs, not ‘cause you want to kiss them and turn them into princes, but because you are curious just what this world is made of.

I hope you stomp those feet and say “no” like you mean it. Heck, I hope you do mean it.

I hope you give those lungs of yours a workout screaming “no!!!” because there is power in no and you are powerful. Don’t ever let anyone tell you differently. Not even yourself.

There is power in no, and there is courage in being different, and there is strength that comes in being you no matter what.

I hope you hug. I hope you hug and hug and hug some more. I hope you hand out hugs like candy; that they are like bandaids for healing hearts and mending broken friends. I hope you love without judgment. But when it comes time to pick the one you hug forever, I hope you pick one you don’t have to heal.

I hope you learn to sit by yourself, to be alone, to be at peace, to just BE. I hope life finds you many times at the beach with waves stroking your feet and God playing with your hair.

I hope you buy yourself some rose colored glasses, and if you can’t afford them, then baby, you can borrow mine. I hope in your eyes dandelions never become weeds, but are always wishing flowers. No matter how much of this world you drink down, I hope the glass is always half full.

I hope you laugh. I hope you laugh the kind of laughter with your best girlfriend that makes your face hurt and other people look at you like maybe you’ve lost it. They’re just jealous sweetie. They want that kind of light inside their souls too.

I hope you feel joy. Not happiness, though I hope that for you too. No, I mean joy, where warmth rises from your toes to your eyes and then radiates. Joy, where it feels like a thousand butterflies have simultaneously emerged from their cocoons into a fluttering mass in your chest. Joy, where you know you can be anything and you know true freedom in your soul. Joy, where you’re pretty darn sure that if only you had a set of silk wings, you could fly.

And when your wings tear and you fall from the sky, I hope you brush yourself off, sit yourself down, and start sewing. ‘Cause if there’s one thing your mama has learned it’s that there’s no point in crying about yesterday and it does no good to worry ‘bout tomorrow, so best get down to business today. Your wings doing have to be perfect sweetie. They just have to be yours to fly.

I hope you learn yoga, how to make chocolate chip cookies chewy, how to shoot a gun, and the art of not procrastinating on doing the dishes.

I hope you listen to your mother, listen to your friends, but most of all, listen to that voice inside of you.

I hope you sing.

I hope you dance. And I hope you don’t care if anyone is watching.

I hope you stand up for the underdog, stand up for yourself, and stand up for what’s right.

And when the world gets a little overwhelming, I hope you remember that nothing is as big as it seems, except for your mama’s love.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Let's Do 52 - Weeks 13 & 17

I went to the beach this weekend to relax, and ended up spending all day Saturday walking on the sand, collecting sea glass, and enjoying the wind in my hair. I got these pictures (and many more great ones) while there...

Week 13 - Connect
The place I feel most 'connected' with the earth, and the most grounded in who I am is on the beach, with my toes buried in the sand, listening to the waves roll up. Here is my 'connect' picture, showing just that.

Week 17 - Tired
Stumbling upon this little guy was a like a miracle. This baby seal was sunbathing, trying to find just the right way to get comfy with his driftwood pillow. He woke a bit when I walked up to take his picture (I got about 2 feet away from him), but as soon as I walked away, he went back to sleep.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Introducing... Mattsicles!

My friend Matt shared this oober simple recipe for popsicles. We dubbed them MATTSICLES! They are SO good, and incredibly good for you too. These one have 7g of protein each, and only about 88 calories. Awesome!

Here's what you do...

1) Mix one big carton of Greek yogurt with one sligthly defrosted can of OJ.
2) Pour into 3 oz Dixie cups. Put in a stick of some sort (I may or may not have stolen some coffee stir sticks from Starbucks, and broken them in half).
3) Freeze and enjoy!

Now I...Write: Hike-U

I am participating in a writer's workshop at Peninsula College with writer-in-residence Nancy Rawles. Its pretty exciting to be thinking about writing again, after quite the hiatus, and to be starting to dust off my pen and paper.

Today in class I was reminded of a form of poetry I know as Hike-U. Nancy Rawles referred to it today as American Sentences, and stated it was something Allen Ginsberg (who, if you're not familiar with him, was an amazing Beat poet) started. I figured there was no better way to get back into the swing of things than with a short and sweet one-liner. So here for your reading pleasure, two new ones, and three from years back...

Crickets chirp in the velvet dark, inquiring to the others' nights.

Chaos ensues around me, children screaming and running wild.

Eyes nod shut as the students grow weary of her incessant droning.

The digital hollow zero holds no solace – "no new messages."

Musty pages lock away secrets uncovered only in reading.

Poem @ 5th Coffee

Thanks to Tom for posting one of my poems up over at his site, 5th Coffee! Go check it out, and look at some of his other stuff while you're there!