Monday, August 31, 2015

Mindful Poetry: Today, August 31st

Mindful Poetry: Today, August 31st: My father died while eating peanut buttered toast and sliced bananas Before he finished his last bite his head fell back as if inspec...

Today, August 31st

My father died while eating
peanut buttered toast and sliced bananas

Before he finished his last bite
his head fell back as if to inspect
a cobweb on the ceiling

This is how my mother found him
when she returned to the breakfast table
carrying her toothbrush smeared with mint paste

“I felt for a pulse at his neck, but
there was no beat,”
she explained for the eighth time

Neighbors flood the phone lines
and stuff the refrigerator full
of wild rice hot dish, tuna salad, and slaw

Instead of his arms hanging limply
at his side, Mom described how they were spread out
palms up, his devotional still open on the table

Like a skydiver prepared to take flight

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Time in a Palindromic Lesson

You don’t notice that time has passed
You aren’t having any fun
When that happens
It won’t help to tap on your watch

Measuring sky by sun might work, but
It’s best when you ignore time altogether
Throw away contingencies because
Time will escape you if you don’t

(this poem can be read line by line starting with either the first line working down or the last line working up)

Monday, July 13, 2015

I’ve learned to notice

I’ve learned to notice where water comes from
Down from the sky, caught in cisterns and saved,
then used by the single scoop-full to flush a toilet
or poured by the bowlful to take a bath

I’ve learned to notice how skin is covered
out of protection, not modesty
out of practicality, not frippery
a sign of age, a mark of adulthood

I learned to notice where my foot is pointed,
how not to step over someone
or touch their head
even a yang-sow of the night has an honored head

I’ve learned to notice
every other place in this world
is the center of their universe, too.

-a poem about being a foreigner

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Fool's Paradise
Lost in
Yuri Gagarin
Zero, don't you know how wonderful you are?

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Sweetest Drink

Yesterday morning, she didn’t awaken
Sometime at night, as stars shined
Her final breath left her forsaken

Moonlight bathed the living room, outlined
a fleeting hospice, this snippet in time.
Earth’s incessant crush confines

Yet in death, it slips away, like a dime
through her frail fingers.
We mix life and death in a sublime

porridge over which we linger,
then lick our lips, taste the sweet
prick of death as it malingers

close enough to trap all in complete,
eternal verdict. It snags my arm,
but I do not concede its grasp or retreat.

Death has come for her, it signals no alarm
as it curls and caresses up her form.
It purrs, “Come willingly, there’ll be no harm.”

I watch her aura as she faces the imminent storm
Susurration amongst the clouds, she hears
a bugle’s echoing call as if to inform.

Then walks the path, picking primrose and baby’s tears,
clutching bouquet to her face.
Yet the perfume abates and disappears.

To her lips she presses the loving cup her hand at last has taken. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tsarnaev's Blood

I wonder
Who would Jesus kill
If he were the judge today?
It seems Tsarnaev’s life
While worthy enough for
Jesus' sacrifice
Isn’t worthy enough for
Us to preserve

The more I think on it--
Picturing my savior with
Nails pierced through
His hands and his ankles
Allowing his death willingly
For people named Tsarnaev

The more confused I feel
Because by using the death-
Penalty, aren’t we in effect
Saying, Jesus’ death was insufficient

We want not only our Lord’s blood
on our hands, but also the blood

Of Tsarnaev’s? 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Whale Song

There is a whale out there in the ocean who sings at a different pitch than all other whales. No other whales can hear him. Here's my luc bat in honor of the lonely whale.

Whale Song

Let the lonely whale swim
Out on a wave; his hymn, too high
For others to hear. Cry,
Lonely whale. No reply can bounce
Back to you, nor pronounce
Your mating call. No ounce of sound,
Not one whisper, has found
Your heart’s desire. Drowned, your voice,
Is dead. It’s Hobson’s choice.
There will be no rejoicing, no
Fete, no whale-bride to plough
Through the seas so let go and swim.