Wednesday, April 30, 2008

#29, 30 No Alarms

No alarms and no surprises, no alarms and no surprises, please.

(I'm busy and desperate, so I stole this from Radiohead because it's been running through my head all morning, and I can't think of anything, just 1 to go!)

Okay. Hurrah! Here is the BIG #30!!! It seems to go nicely with #29!


Monday, April 28, 2008


So, seventy-five years is next to nothing in the grand scheme of things!

(I love you more than I love chunklate covered grab crackers--and you KNOW how much I LOVE chunklate covered grab crackers!)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

#27 Outrageous Contrasts/Oil and Water

little david

your smooth soft freckled body
and the quiet fury of those children
in grass up to your knees
that burns like fires in the fields
kites that fly in circles
naked jaws and neckbones of skulls
the shaken joy of snowflakes
crawling lines of blood, and the spit of guns
and the sleeping gift of seeds
a fucking handful of shit
lucid shoals of children's laughter
preserved, a needle in the brain
a bird's egg in the hand
the stone that killed goliath
your soft clinging mouth
exhausted children calling, calling
like the lamb before the lion
the kid goat tied to a tree
like a kiss upon the brow
the tap tap of a drum
a bed that's warmed by love
faraway no thing moves but
the silence of a secret
the blinking of a crow's eye
where church bells thrash the morning

(Video: The Prayer Of The Children))

Friday, April 25, 2008

#26 Hallowed Ground

In the temple
of our flesh,
we follow Adam.
We are the earth.
The earth is us:
a Holy Family.

(The prompt is the painting "Hallowed Ground" by Rick Mobbs.)

# 25 Inspiration

And so I said to myself: Self, whatever shall we write about Now? I know--we'll write how he wore his mentor's thumb on a chain, a necklace!

(Note: David Belasco (1853-1931) was a famous American actor/director/playwright whose early education in a San Francisco monastery may have inspired his wearing a priest's garb most of his life, which in turn, inspired the nick name "the Bishop of Broadway."

At the age of 12 he ran away from the monastery and joined the circus. He became an actor, and in Carson City, Nevada, he met Dion Boucicault (whose thumb he is rumored to have worn on a chain about his neck as inspiration.) His off-stage life was often extravagant and bizarre. As a director, he would rip out his pocket watch and stamp it to pieces in front of his actors (he kept a stockpile of these cheap watches for just this purpose). And it was reported that he once dragged actress Leslie Carter around the stage by her red hair to inspire emotion and passion in her performance. I'm just sayin' here that I know it would have surely have inspired ME! Anyhow, this is the way I remember it from my theater history classes long ago. If I remember it wrong, please let me know....)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

#24 Girls

She's the kind of girl who will rescue stranded earthworms on rainy days.
. . .

At the school bus stop early this morning--yes, it's raining again--a worm fell into a puddle in the gutter. Everyone there surrounded the puddle to watch. One of the dad's there saw it as a teaching opportunity and they began a discussion on respiration. My first impulse was to pull the worm out, but I (being the self-conscious old codger that I am) was too concerned that this guy would think I was a crazy lady. I decided to wait until everyone was gone to do it. By that time the poor worm would have drowned. So, one of the little girls there did it! She walked right in, took him in hand and laid him in the grass. Hurrah for her! Boo for me....

Speaking of first reaction to this Texas/polygamy thing was acute embarrassment. I just wanted this whole affair being blasted out into the world by CNN and everyone else to go away. IT won't. And yes, I was embarrassed by my peculiar FLDS fringe-cousins (most of you already know I am LDS) with their peculiar hair-dos, and their funny dresses and wierd lifestyle....and I am appalled at the idea of a thirteen-year-old girl marrying a fifty-year-old man and having babies. Even though one of my great-grandfathers had two wives at once, I find the principle of polygamy incomprehensible. Most of us believe in obeying the laws. These people live in a world apart (or think they do).

BUT--they are a part of American society, if not culture. Their constitutional rights have been grossly violated, and the seven hundred Texas authorities were WRONG to go like gangbusters into this community with their tanks and machine guns and M-16 rifles and badges and helmets and begin storming into homes (and their temple) on the flimsy evidence of one phone call that turned out to be a hoax. The caller was NOT an abused 16-year-old, but a disturbed 33-year-old Colorado woman who has done this sort of thing before.

STILL--the state's police and do-gooder child protection people continued to remove 437 (Can they count? They first said 416!) innocent children from their homes and families. I think this is outrageous! The authorities broke into private homes and essentially kidnapped hundreds of children! WITHOUT EVIDENCE. Think: The invasion of Iraq and WMD's that were never found. What an arrogant and unmitigated disaster that was. Think: The Gulf of Tonkin incident (never happened) that led us into Viet Nam. People looking for excuses to do the WRONG thing.

If there are people guilty of doing bad things they should be punished, and their crimes stopped. But not like this. These are Americans, people, just like you and me. If they can break into their homes without evidence, they can break into yours. If they can break into their sacred places, they can break into mine. Who will be next? Probably me, because my brand of Christianity is not "mainstream" and I wear funny underwear. You might be next, because you are Amish, or Muslim, or Seventh Day Adventist, or because you home-school your children, or because you protest the war, or are Gay or Jewish.... It doesn't take a great leap of imagination to see where this might go. And it must not!

My mother taught me that two wrongs do not make a right. My church teaches me that I must obey the laws of whatever country I reside in, that I claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of my own conscience, and allow all men to do the same. If there is abuse going on, by all means, help those who are being abused, and punish the guilty. But don't violate an entire community with an armed invasion and steal its children. These children are gentle and polite, used to praying twice a day and eating fruits and vegetables from gardens they have tended. They haven't seen TV, so they don't hero-worship the Power Rangers and Hannah Montana. They are used to playing outdoors, to giving and getting hugs. They are tender, and kept squeaky clean and combed. They are loved! One Texas lawyer who volunteers his services on behalf of the community has written the Texas raid was a "fiasco" and observed: "Once again, the Texas state government has shown it couldn't pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel."

Shame on you, Texas! Let the children go back to their mothers.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

#23 Haiku

The moon is a hole
cold wind wears a black slicker
the last bus goes by the board

photo by B O H E M I A N

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

# 22 Earth Day


I once saw a women,
Call her Isha, heart and bones
Formed, in fact, chosen, like Eve
In Eden, by the breath of His mouth,
By a rib in the sweet dough
Of her flesh. Before she emerged
Was it like a fire, then? Like coming
Out of some great silence
Not dark, not light, but out of some
Infinite blank page set so suddenly
Aflame: No Thing, igniting some dust,
Some tinder, with sparks, bonfires, conflagrations
Of particles created, colliding, decaying,
Like everything she knows as real?

And After Word, under a harmony of
Constellations, after the naming of animals,
Those beautiful beasts in the rumbling seas,and
In the seeded fields, knee-deep in grass, or
Above her, touching the air like God
Walking on water, like men and caribou
In marshes, planting rice, like women
Dancing under trees, like children digging
For treasures, like the painter with his
Oils and brushes, like the doctor with his
Medicine bottles and his pills, like the soldier
With his rifle and his helmet and boots, like the
Boy with his book, like the murderer and
His victim, like the drowned, and the saved.

It is so hard to be chosen; to be
The Beginning of The Rest of the Story
Is to divide and expand forever outward
In a sequence of possibilities, growing greater
With each division. We are mere followers.
As simple as that.

(Okay, in honor of Earth Day I wanted to write something that would suggest earth through the Big Bang, through Eden, on to whatever is ahead, and I wanted to do it using this wonderful painting of Rick Mobbs, called: Tapestry. based on the Fibonacci Sequence. It didn't turn out quite as I imagined it. I think I bit off more than I could chew.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

#21 I Am A Desert

Today I am dry, dry as the dry Kalahari, dry as burnt toast.

Photo: Kalahari Gemsbok

Sunday, April 20, 2008

# 20 His Mate

Their calling voices clash over the great dark fields, each of them alone.

# 19 The Great Horned Owl

Listen: the call of a Great Horned Owl, lovely, if you're not a field mouse.

Friday, April 18, 2008

# 18 (Place Names) RWP

A Map of American Sentences

I don't live in Toole, Dutch John, Duchesne, Ibapah, or Nephi.
I won't live in Koosharem, Iosepa, Mexican Hat or Mummies.
I might live in Sundance, or Thistle, or Roy, but not in Skutumpah.
And never in Kolob, La Verkin, Hog Spring: my hometown's Salt Lake.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

# 17 Mother


She wears a straw
Sombrero to hang the clothes
On the line
It keeps the sun
From her pale freckled skin
She carries the wooden pins
In a green-flowered bag
Tied at her waist
The wind whips water
From the corners of the spotless
Sheets the long pants and
Endless shirts, figures
Writhing in a blast
Like men afire
Racing like couriers with
Meaningless messages
Her red hair twists around her
Pale freckled face
Like flames
Her tiny white hands fasten
Each pin like a candle
A row of candles
On the trembling line
She bends over the basket of
Wet clothes again and again
Hushing the baby
Who weeps at her feet
Tomorrow she irons

Prompt from Poetic Asides: Write a poem in the 3rd Person--keep yourself out of it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

# 16 Los Abuelos

Los abuelos,
the old ones,
know the music
of embers
and ashes,
hold both longing
and love
under a holy
chalice of stars.

Okay, this is icky, but maybe I will try another one later. I like the picture. Maybe you can do something with it!

It makes me think of that old song BOTH SIDES NOW: I've looked at life from both sides now, from win and lose, and still somehow, it's life's illusions I recall--I really don't know life at all.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

# 15 Facebook


Out there, somewhere
you have real faces, like
or unlike, mine. People
I pass on the street
might be you. They are
all going somewhere. I, too
am going somewhere.
Sometimes our eyes meet
but only for a moment.
Was that you I saw
last month, at the airport
going to Buenos Aires, or Seattle?
Was that you behind me
in line at the supermarket
buying wine and flowers,
oranges from Florida, avocados
from Brazil?
Do I know you?
My face is a keyhole.
Your face is a key.
This little glass contains
the world, unlocked.

(For all you bloggers, who are also friends, out there, somewhere....)

# 14 A Rothko

Red bird rising
Deep blue day
Born again: green

(3 lines, 3 words each, a color in each line, tic-tac-toe pattern)
Photo by mightyquinninwky

Sunday, April 13, 2008

# 13 Haiku

another fine day
the paper whites are blooming
take a deep deep breath


Saturday, April 12, 2008

# 12 American Sentence

Starfish wept true tears when the abandoned nest of nine duck eggs grew cold.

(See AS # 8!)

Friday, April 11, 2008

# 11 Image Prompt

A Woman Without Arms

A woman without arms
is still a woman, nonetheless,
given a torso, two good legs, a head.
Without a mirror
she falls in love with herself.
Think: Venus.
Think: Winged Victory.

Think of wings that have been interlocked
so long, folded like an apron, unfolding
now as intricate as a moth's.

She has abandoned rings,
fingers, files, polish, gloves, bracelets,
for these feathers. Yet
she hungers for touch, for the
astonishing grace of nakedness, the endless warmth
of flesh, the chill of water.

She has forgotten how to hold a pencil,
how to play the Tarot. The harp
sits silent in the corner, gathering dust.

How does she eat? Make bread? Who
will feed the mare? Who
will water the fading plants, and gather
sticks for the fire, and turn the pages
of photographs, those foursided pastimes?

And where are other angels,
so long unseen?

(Painting, Rick Mobbs, at mine enemy grows older)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stickney Crater

They named this large crater, whose impact nearly split the tiny Martian moon Phobos apart, Stickney Crater, after the wife (Chloe Angeline Stickney) of its discoverer Asaph Hall. See Previous post.

Photo credit: HiRISE, MRO, LPL (U. of Arizona), and NASA

# 10 Sweet Nothings


So, what did Asaph and Chloe speak of in their early hours, over breakfast, heads together, the eggs and oatmeal congealing in the bowls, coffee cooling, toast growing cold? Did he mention, in passing, how he had discovered this tiny Martian moon, a mere
eighteen or so kilometers across? Did he mark its triaxial shape with his inkpen upon a napkin, and did she respond by calculating how its mere 27 x 22 x 19 kilometers were equal to 17 x 13 x 12 miles, and did she wonder aloud, if one were standing on the surface of such a tiny world, and gave a great leap, would one escape its gravity and simply keep on going to some far planet of one's own? Did he wonder if a woman in society should avoid education, and concur with the great Doctor Clark of Harvard, whose study concluded that the intellectual development of females would proceed only at the sacrifice of their reproductive organs? When Asaph turned away to butter his cold toast, did she spit in his cold coffee, and go upstairs to stand at the window, looking out?

(NOTE: Asaph Hall discovered the two moons of Mars. Chloe Angeline Stickney, a professor of mathematics, gave up her career when she married him. He had been a student of hers, and he and his classmates made a game of devising questions and problems they were convinced she could never solve, yet she never failed to solve them. After their marriage, when he refused to pay her "a man's wage" for assisting him, she refused to continue her work. Three cheers for Chloe!)


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

# 9 Fibonacci Sequence




these marvels,

today being another

ordinary Wednesday. You study this

group of ordinary objects: seashells, flowers, curling leaves,

until your eyes burn, your heart nailed to these visions like ripe metaphors

rattling to get free. Like Leonardo of Pisa, you have an abacus, that just might move you down the rabbit's hole

with Alice. Lewis Carroll knew the Secret: add the previous two to find the next. The Farey Tree, Goedel, Escher, Bach and Mandelbrot are famous now as Mother Nature, with her eternally born again

chambered nautilus, her dandelions and daisies, chronicled teeth, swarms, cellular automatons, algorithms, fractals, black holes, dark matter to the very ends of observation, seeds growing through your floorboards and out your windows, rearranging chaos into immaculate order, the world rich with order, the Hindu mathematics of it all: Fib's rabbits hopping toward infinity, like Pi.

(The Fibonacci Sequence: 1 1 2 3 5 8 13 21 34 55 ... etc. Syllables or words. Add the previous two numbers to find the next. Like Pi, it could go on forever. Remember that old campfire song that never ends, it just goes on and on, my friends....)


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

# 8 An American Sentence


But, dude, it takes a heap o' cryin' those crocodile tears, to count.


Monday, April 07, 2008

# 7 A Rambling Nonet

I had a dream last night I had this
fox copper tail ruddy tongue
and a mouthful of showy
teeth. I also had a
nest of little birds
which he gobbled
damn my tears
one by

(A Nonet is syllabic, beginning with 9 syllables and ending with 1.)

Photo: Barry Neil, "I feel like chicken tonight."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

#6 Pi, or, What Worries You?


color the graph
Circuit is a path,
parent is an adjacent vertex

numbers passing....
compare with cycle.
A child of a vertex is lower.
See: tree.

(Pi is 3.141592 and so on, to infinity. Infinity worries me, mathematics scare me. Pi, Christine says, counts syllables (or words) in that pattern, one stanza or several.)

Saturday, April 05, 2008

#5 Tribute


I see you everywhere except in dreams
--Karl Shapiro

Someday this poem will be
a memory, like
the ten dollars you got
winning the spelling bee, like
the sweet smell of the tobacco pouch
in your grandfather's pocket,
the grandfather you adored, how
the gold string that tied it vanished
like a coin drawn into a magician's sleeve
amazing the child who watched,
who was you, the child burned
by illusions that turned into dreams,
the child, awake now
to the ruin of old age, but you
cannot heal her, you cannot cry.
You know no words of comfort.
You pronounce her dead
and move to a far country,
sunless, without air.

(Grandpa and me, ca 1942) Xanadu,according to Coleridge, was a vision in a dream, a fragment, a sunny dome built in air, a savage place holy and enchanted, where "the sacred rived ran down to a sunless sea."


Friday, April 04, 2008

RWP: Family Matters

Aunt Mabel

This town is haunted by some good deed
that reappears like a country cousin, or truth
when language falters these days trying to lie,
because Aunt Mabel, an old lady gone now, would
accost even strangers to give bright flowers
away, quick as a striking snake. It's deeds like this
have weakened me, shaken by intermittent trust,
stricken with friendliness.

Our Senator talked like war, and Aunt Mabel
said, "He's a brilliant man,
but we didn't elect him that much."

Everyone's resolve weakens toward evening
or in a flash when a face melds - a stranger's, even -
reminded for an instant between menace and fear:
There are Aunt Mabels all over the world,
or their graves in the rain.

- William Stafford -

#4 Idiocy

The Idiocy of Trying to Justify a Mortal Position

The Borg says resistance is futile
Amalgams of culture, collective
Hive mind. The stuff of our spirits says
That we all come from the same substance.
What is eternal? Skin color, or
Poverty, or inequality?
Reward is no justification
For suffering what is offensive
Through the birth process, either that, or
Is it just random? Or because they
Were strong? They are all potentially
Dangerous. Lift the veil. Let us see.

(I am losing it, folks. It's only day 4 and I am losing it....Borgs?)

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Your footfall echoes--
my old teakettle whistling
charms a frosty night

Our nights are still frosty, even though spring has sprung. Nothing is quite as good to charm a cold evening as a cup of hot chocolate. Here are some photos from Easter. A family update!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

#2 Cadae


Oh, may there
bright angels to
you far and may they
sing lullabies in your own tongue. May
you not

fierce dark face
the man who led you to this fearful
dark place.

Oh, let there
a mother, who
smother you with mother-kisses, 'til
you wake.

The body of 7-year-old Hser Nay Moo was found last night in the bathroom of a South Salt Lake basement apartment in the complex where she lived. Hundreds of volunteers searched for almost two days before she was found. One of the searchers said, "I'm scared. I'm hoping for the best, but every time I open a Dumpster lid...God forbid."

We are all mourning for this tiny girl who wore her Sunday best, a pink dress, pink shoes, and a pink jacket to her tragic death. Someone has tied a pink sign with pink ribbons to a tree outside the apartments. It says: You are never so Lost that Angels can't find you. Police have arrested a young man for her murder.

God bless Hser Nay and her family.


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

#1 A Pleiades


Sports is not my long suit, yet
something like a softball catches
summer visions of my dad,
sainted, with a wad of gum
sanctified to one purpose:
stuffing it in the umpire's
short-winded, surprised pie-hole!

My dad loved baseball. He loved to listen to it on the radio, he loved to play. He once pitched a no hitter against the great Satchel Paige. He had an opportunity to play for the Los Angeles Angels, but passed it up because he loved mining more (or thought he would get rich quicker). He chewed a wad of gum like some players chewed tobacco. Once, when the umpire was yelling at him for something, my dad calmly took the wad of gum from his mouth and shoved it into the umpire's gaping, wide-open mouth, stopping the tirade instantly. Whatever works!