Beside the House of Worship

Beside the House of Worship

Like every poem I blog, this is a draft poem in progress. But this one I’m pretty certain will make it into the next book. It came almost entirely on it’s own. I was trying to write something else, at a terrific workshop with WA-state poet laureate, Elizabeth Austen, and walked outside afterward kind of kicking myself that what I was trying to write wasn’t working. Then some fat rabbits at my feet startled me, I went and sat in a coffee shop on my own, and this showed up, almost in its entirety…

Beside the House of Worship

By the sea
on the sidewalk of my own neighborhood
grass-brown rabbits startle, dart away
on my walks I see more back feet
more flashes of tail
than peep-show patrons on pay day

Beside the wet sidewalk
in town near the center for the arts
after we poets convene
three fat black rabbits picnic
a fourth fellow yawns
a fifth, bathes conspicuously, back foot on high

I startle, look away
that was close, too much presence
more of God than I expected
I dart away home

my pastor is poetry
my imam imagination
my rabbis are rabbits

wow even poet gatherings
flashes of heaven my nuns on Sunday
can’t compare

come silence
come sweet true self
take patience by the hand
meet us outside in the tall grass
beside the house of worship

Low Tide

Low Tide

Salt thick drips beneath the pier dark wet
hangs in air humid
with seaweed exhausted
and driftwood damp
parts, body, of crabs eaten recently
left by birds pirate
who gorge themselves crabbing out of season
without license
barnacles shake themselves
from nose to tail
like a dozen rows purple deep of dogs tiny wet
beach just revealed more mud than sand
quicksand vile and smelly
who’ll steal your boots
for fun
and laugh as you curse
in socks gooey ruined
fall on your butt, fuming
then laughing,
only then notice starfish orange families
humans waterproof and full of humor
basking in sunshine warm and gratitude immense
floating in ebb
feet happy wet


Ballad of a Flirty Captain

Ballad of a Flirty Captain

I accept responsibility
for floating adrift at sea
everything else I ascribe to luck
Life’s not controlled by me.

I fell in love with Mystery first
who often visits here
to experience her argument
for wonder over fear.

I fell in love with Magic next
brought forth by woman wise
crafted raft to follow her
back to paradise.

I fell in love with Ocean then
whose depths I cannot reach
and fell in love with Humankind
loafing on her beach.

I fell in love with sultry Sun
at shameless first embrace
I fell in love with Sky and Clouds
with Rain upon my face.

And so my ship was caught in tide
while captain flirted with the Whales
left me aground on unknown shoal
no paddle, mot or, sails.

This captain chooses Love and Play,
ahead of Serious Work,
genealogy denying claims to Picard,
confirming surname Kirk.

I accept responsibility
for floating adrift at sea
but these mermaid fairy pirate friends?

pirate friends

If women were pirates

If women were pirates

If women were pirates
ships would smell of jasmine in summer
cinnamon in winter
rain in the springtime
Pirate hats would be more fabulous
Treasure would be friendship
and children and loving this moment
And booty
Oh, that booty
would be
shakin to the music
Every god
Every damn
Every day

When women are pirates
lands conquered
lie within us
Relationships a safe refuge
Fog and mystery a delight,
most days,
freedom that’s found
happens within the chaos
Through it
Beside it
shakin that booty
and holding hands
Every sailing
Every away and
Every coming
Every home

As more women become pirates
tears will flow like great rivers
ceilings will shatter
until there is only sky
Abundance will be noticed
warm soil between fingers
smooth stones in pockets
cracks allowing in the light
blessed food offerings and
the dark warm blanket of night
Vulnerability will become our beloved worn boots
Gratitude an unstoppable broad’s sword
Kindness a golden front tooth
Sharing taken for granted and
Life, not so much

And booty
she’ll be dancing
like no one is watching
Except for your eyes
now known to love pirates
still surprised and delighted
to be here with her dancing
Every God
Every Damn
Every Day


Help wanted: poet

Help wanted: poet

Bella on sillWork begins

with fed cat

on the windowsill

with butt in chair


Ears to be perpetually tuned to TWBS,

the wind and bird station

even during the big meeting

especially within the mundane


Good work for pirates

with tied tongues and agile fingers

who delight in looking silly on paper

and lighting the fireplace with old resumes


Good work for the remarkably interested

in everything

and the remarkably bad

at caring about when they showered last

or brushed their hair


Good work for souls inclined

to bow before nature

and stand up

to words

For those not long bothered by the labels


self-centered, and

useless,Who me?

except when the page itself

softly nudges delete


Good work for hearts

sometimes embarrassed

by how much they love

stunning broken places

and glorious piecemeal selves


Good work for those

with gratitude unshaken by humans

most days,

yet rattled,

and able to move in a flash,

when the dog farts.


Finds wild peace within rivers

in the wandering

the wondering

the longing

and the looking on.

Within the never knowing

the wading in slowly

and the jumping

all in


Sometimes prepared

always surprised and utterly delighted

when the whole bloody mouthful

falls away




Apply within.