Wednesday, August 29, 2012


—for Jonathan

Stone not yet placed, but weeds
fill in. New home, extra room.
Crib unused, still up and dressed.

Earlier, the breeze unseasonably
cool. Now, melted sun-pelts splash
across shoulders, drizzle down backs.

See the family ringed around
the site, fingers intertwined,
prayer whispered:

One who carried him into
the world for three seasons.
Another who carried him out
in a tiny white case.
Delicate daughter, able
to comprehend.
First son, tow-headed two-
year-old I think I must be,

Who, moments later, will run off
to twirl a pinwheel. Will scoop up
the small American flag blown loose
onto a narrow hallway of grass,
then wait for feedback.

—The Penwood Review, Spring 2005

I knew no sadder thing. I flew up there to see if I could help, and together we visited the site. All the details in "Pinwheel" are literally true, down to the strange weather: cool, then suddenly blazing. My sister later asked me for an item of remembrance, and I was glad I could give her a copy of the print journal containing this poem. Each year since then, in recognition of Jonathan's birthday, the family has been placing a pinwheel beside the small stone.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Too many months

too many months
with a for sale sign
in our yard,
this old house reluctant
to let us move on

Ribbons, Fall 2010; Take Five, Vol. 3

This actually went on for much longer—nice house too. The situation was surreal—the recession, well, plus . . . long story. It seems I'm good at buying high and selling low. The eventual buyer, on August 26, 2011, got a real bargain, including some brand-new beautiful wood floors and new AC units. Insane: had closing just one week after the offer and had to be out of there within a few days after that. The temps were above 100 degrees F as we were madly throwing things into vehicles. It wasn't surprising that I soon ended up with a huge case of flu—and hubby with a series of migraines—and at the same time came the massive wildfires near our new home to the north (see an upcoming post).

By the way, can you see the red-and-white for sale sign? More photos by ImageANAlogy:

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'm just a woman; with sugar

I'm just a woman
building her life
around a garden. . .
this deep-seeded need
to nurture

—Moonbathing, Issue 6, Spring/Summer 2012

with sugar
I lure hummingbirds
into the garden;
you, though, never were drawn
to sweetness and light

kaleidowhirl, Autumn 2006

No, this is not a photo of my garden; it was taken at the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont. I don't have much of a garden here on this patch of ground that was notched out of the forest. For one thing, it's hard to grow anything "normal" in this somewhat harsh environment where stubborn yaupon thrive. For another, I've found the native trees or plentiful weeds, combined with the heat, give my immune system major fits. Also, because of the condition with my back, I haven't been allowed to bend very much. So I've been staying inside a little more often. I suppose my garden now is my poetry.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Red clay soil

red clay soil,
hardened into ceramic—
with a trowel
I attempt to chip
my way out of this drought

—August 2011

For more than a year, we were in a state of "exceptional drought." The times were strange and trying in a variety of other ways too. I remember squatting down by the ground last August and trying to chip through a small area of hardened sandy loam and clay. Eventually, things got better, though not before getting worse.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


I am hollow with petals of August.
My thoughts form deadened fields,
even before the sun is opened full.

The air hangs humid, in tarry slabs.
Bricks of heat are savage
against backs, across faces,

While garden plants lie listless—
fading, faded—their lips pursed.
At least rain threats bring variance.

It hasn't always been like this:
There were years the sweat would tap dance
on vulnerable skin, not cling.

But now the world's awry;
and the Texas summer doesn't quit, 
just blurs itself into the fall.

—Pebble Lake Review, Summer 2005

Augusts can be brutal here, even when we're not officially in a state of drought. Two more months, two more months, I tell myself.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sinking deep

sinking deep
into memory foam
if most impressions I make
are as temporary

Notes from the Gean, 4:1 (Summer 2012)

That foam felt really good several months ago, after I royally did my back in.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

He warned me

he warned me
he came with baggage,
not seeing
the hefty knapsack
I lugged around myself

Ribbons, Spring/Summer 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

They don't tweet

they don't tweet
they don't do Facebook—
my band
of faceless friends
with nothing to say

Notes from the Gean, 4:1 (Summer 2012)

Well, not all my friends and family members are faceless—I'm not either—but a good many are, and adamant about it. Though Facebook may come close to violating a few personal principles of mine, I must admit it can be a convenient tool and an endless source of fascination. I haven't gotten into tweeting, though. ;)

Note about the artist, Karen A. Smith: I became acquainted with Karen more than 15 years ago. I'm pleased she agreed to produce this drawing for use at twigs&stones. "Joe Goodbuddy," the recurring character in her artwork, is a regular person wandering the halls of Corporate America. Joe's been seen at various other places too, such as on the walls of a solo exhibit (68 pieces) at Darke Gallery in Houston, Texas, and at the Big Show 2006, Lawndale Art Center, also in Houston. 

Watch for Joe's return at twigs&stones a few days from now. This next time he'll arrive with baggage.