Friday, November 30, 2007

the year in review...

No, just kidding. Why would I tempt fate by acting like 2007 is done when there's a month of it left to endure? But when it is done, it will be none too soon. When you start the year with major, emergency surgery followed by months of convalescence, for some silly-assed reason you think things have got to get better. That, it appears, was a mistaken assumption. What followed was and is only slightly more pleasant.
Shackleton survived some rough times. His doomed ship was named the Endurance. I have no ship, but if I did I would name her More Mountains. I'd prefer her to sink in warm waters off the windward coast of Tortola when her time came. The Endurance was crushed by ice near Antartica in November of 1915. Shackleton died at age 48 while on another polar expedition.
I've just had a rough year. Still afloat though... not iced-in or buried on Elephant Island. I remain hopeful.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Tao Te Ching~ on Control

The Way flows and ebbs, creating and destroying,
Implementing all the world, attending to the tiniest details,
Claiming nothing in return.

It nurtures all things,
Though it does not control them;
It has no intention,
So it seems inconsequential.

It is the substance of all things;
Though it does not control them;
It has no exception,
So it seems all-important.
The sage would not control the world;
He is in harmony with the world.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the molehill chronicles

In my predictable way I look up
the steep incline that was harder
going down than on the sheer ascent.
Imagine the apex as just another step,
the inanity of even one quick breath
of jubilation. What I failed to fathom
has scarred my palms, taught me
that a stone-bruise heals

with unbearable leisure, insists
on the homage of a wary tread.
After the summit, in the long exhale,
silence brings a sighing coda,
infers a false relief… almost done.
What waits is the scrabble, pebbles
that offer no purchase. Crags
and scrubby growth conspire

to give no ease, but send me
plummeting like broken sod
into a ready grave. Threats
of weather are always at my back,
clouds scheming like statesmen.
And after my descent, sherpas scatter
like dulcet dreams at dawn and life
tenders the cheap embrace

of one who has found a new
and truer love. I was always the one
who hoped for foolish things,
thought I might find new softness
carried on an old wind,
a door propped open
even as the storm
caught up with me
once more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


autumn, originally uploaded by Sea Dream Studio.

Today was in the 70s, but the cold is headed our way. The temperature will drop 30 degrees tomorrow morning. I'm shivering just thinking of it. Try as I might, I cannot seem to find much joy in this season.

Maybe I need a lightbox.

Or perhaps I could hibernate.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

wrong love

I am so over love right now. All I can see is misguided, rejected, burnt-out, stupid, lousy, rotten love... wrong love. The world teems with it.
ugh. yuck. blah.
And this season is dreadful... I'm sorry, but it is.
I am sad, but I'll get over it. I am just weary from this ass-kicking year. 2007 has been a whipping. I am counting the days until it ends and hoping so hard that the new year will have some better mojo.
Ah, but I must amend this post a bit. It is my son and his wife's first anniversary and they practically glow with happiness. So I suppose not all love is bad afterall... Their sweet tenderness for each other warms my craggy, cold heart.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I hate autumn...

John Atkinson Grimshow (1836-1893), Autumn, Leeds

not now

I am not entranced with topaz
and amber leaves, nor thrilled
with gusts that reek of swift decline.
You would argue it is me, proclaim
the power of my influence

as if it were season unto itself.
You urge me to translate the world
creaking on its axis as a song,
but what I hear is the lumbering of days
carving deep ruts that will not heal.

Time after time I tilt my face
to the distant sun only to tread
on prickled husks, the brittle
ruins of spent desire. Still I stoop
to prod the awful crush,

taint my palms with tomb’s dust.
Winter paces on the ridge, spreads
frosty fingers against a washrag sky,
eager, as always, to slip them under
my summer skirt. Your old sweater

is speckled with beggar’s lice,
woven with the bleached threads
of every mislaid betrayal.
No, I am not devoted to your bonfires,
your wheels of wheat, the promise

of snow that hovers near your lips.
I pull curtains shut, brace the doors,
lean hard against the smudged hours
that blow like smoke and ash
beneath the splintered threshold .

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


You come to me with the moon
in your arms, cradled like a son, proud
as if you had brought forth this miracle
from the sky with your own hands.
The hem of your mythology sweeps
my threshold. Me, I sit on a stool
by the western window, concentrate
on the savannah’s fluent, topaz dance.

I thought Africa was beyond you
that your wings would tire somewhere
over the beguiling Caribbean, but no,
you have come with stars in a rough sack,
a wild river caught in a green jar,
a rain of snowy petals in your wake.
I breathe the wildness of your journey.
There are tigers here, I tell you, hungry

things crouch in every shadow. Beauty
is a ripple beneath a pelt, the sinew
that trembles before the leap.
Oh yes, I welcome your treasures,
but for now please come empty
your hands and watch with me.
Let me show you a marvel.
This is Kenya and I have found something

true. There beneath the acacia tree
where sunlight plays on slender blades
she watches with her golden eyes.
I feel her strength, her inborn grace
as it flows in every measured step.
When you kiss me you will know
it too. Africa blooms in me, verdant.
untamed. I am the grassy plain below the lioness.


It is comforting to recall being at this stunning place. I know it is there waiting for me. I recall the long twisting pathway down to The Baths, the massive boulders, the impossible blue of the Caribbean. Christopher Columbus named this place. It's not going anywhere. Today the water is warm and calm there and it it will be the same when I return.
On this day I am island dreaming and making art...