when i realize

when i realize
things develop more quickly
in the dark if i close the door
— i close the door

i smile enigmatically

surprised to be listening
to the fugitive
life of things

— wrists clicking
bones turning
biologically (i think)

here’s an unsolicited sound
of shoulder cuffs rotating
my face towards breathing

Michelle &Michael
are there as well
— articulating

about a box
of sorted ‘Questions’
— imparting something
(history; as best as i can tell)


for Real Toads


You Think To Yourself

Becky never moved,
but you quit visiting.
Her house with
cheerful yellow curtains
became too heavy to lift…
you swore it. So you dusted
her shelves, once-and-for-all
to erase your prints.
Every housewife’s dream,
she said, but you never
dreamt it would end
like that, that you’d sink
so low. And the rest you lost?
In short, quick order;
supposing that’s the usual way;
disdain, refrain, disengage
the brain. That’s how you lose
all your friends. You wish
you could lose yourself too,
dont you? Give it up
to good riddance, but you keep
forgetting to put on those dusting
gloves; the ones that can cover over
registered prints.

(for Quickly)

How to Grow Kick Ass Friendships

In order to grow kick ass friendships, you have to get down to brass tacks. Assignment #1– spend a weekend with your budding bad ass friends and proceed to laugh your asses off. Continue with such asinine running gags like asphalt, astonish, asterisk, asteroid, or my personal favorite– Asiago cheese. If anyone asserts the Uranus joke, no one shall laugh. That’s just dumb. Aspirin shall be passed liberally, and if you ever tell anyone outside of the circle what happened on your slightly askew weekend…think again, as you could be tagged an asylum escapee, which is one kick in the ass you don’t want. You know, I’m really not sure why I’m telling you all this. I assumed everyone knew all aspects of how to grow kick ass friendships, but dare I forget another golden friendship rule: we should never a-s-s-u-m-e anything, because it makes an ass out of u & m-e. In the end (not ass), if all aspirations fail consider that at least you’ve written an honest assonance poem.






empty words ~ a haughty east wind in your mouth

[Inspired by Job 15: 2,3]

The Burden Is Light

 The emergency brake of the church van we borrowed was wedged stuck.  Rip, crack!  Let’s roll, and not use the brake from here on out.

“Punch it, Maggie!” My friend on the bench seat with the walking stick kept drilling me.  No matter how many times she said it though, no one could recall what movie spawned that line.  I hoped it wasn’t Thelma & Louise, because we all know that one didn’t turn out so well.

Two hours of chatter spilled us onto the sun-baked Cambria shore.

We brought no bibles, but we played.

We chuckled and giggled and gave our stomachs a good work out at the restaurant grill where we stuffed ourselves with baskets of french fries dipped in ranch and ketchup.

After an all too brief trip through a three-story antique store with the remarkable smell of old paint mixed with mashed potatoes, we quickly determined who among us were geologists, Disney collectors, book lovers, fashionistas, or kids-at-heart.

Some of us grabbed caffeine and chocolate from the corner store before hitting the boardwalk to say good-bye to the surf and sun, but the fat ground squirrels there made us suspicious of their intent as they came too close for comfort to our sandaled toes. Screams. Giggles.  Get in the van!

God was good to us with unforced rhythms of grace.  In each other’s company, we walked as free and as light as He allowed for the day given.  I’m grateful for all the ladies in my life, who collectively carry each other’s burdens and live in the light of God’s mercy. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Walk with me and work with me.  Keep company with me, says God.

It isn’t religion, it’s relationship.  We plough and pull together.

She’ll say, “Punch it, Maggie!” and I’ll unload her walker after I find a parking spot.

(I hope you’ll find your rhythm of summer is a soothing one.  Cheers!)

The Truth Is…Friendship Is Golden

IMG_2526We gathered ourselves together because we were falling apart–apart. I was in charge (oh why am I always the one in charge?) of making it happen last summer, so I rented a room for the four of us in a century old house (because I’m cheap vintage like that) and dubbed it the “old friends are better than gold” weekend.  I’m kitschy like that, and cling to a theme for direction. “Old school”, “old ladies”, ya, ya…we all concede nobody’s getting any younger.  I borrowed some vintage dresses/costumes from a collector and brought my camera that was able to shoot on a timer.  It was midnight when this picture (plus 58, minus 7) was taken.

I swear we had not been drinking. We didn’t need to. We were so giddy from the whole idea of gussying up for a secret photo shoot that one snicker inevitably led to another. Shhh! We don’t want to wake the bed & breakfast hostess in the back room…How did I get the camera to self-shoot yesterday?… Where are those instructions??…Pull your dress down; we’re not taking those kind of pictures!…What should we be looking at?… Should we be silly or serious?…Oh no, she’s coming!…Stop laughing!

We had been caught in the act of playing dress-up…at our age!  The house hostess shuffled in, wrapped up in her house coat. She raised an inquisitive eyebrow, stuck a fork in the pie she’d foraged out of the fridge and offered to take a few photos for us. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it well that “It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”  Sure, it was stupid how we tried to be flapper girls at midnight, but we needed a magical flight from reality.

We purposefully reminded ourselves to “let it go” and to change the subject when conversation got too heavy, as it did when we talked of our collective losses. The truth is, we had lost fathers to cancer, mothers to Alzheimer’s, energies to the wind, and body parts to gravity. But we could still laugh.

For one summer night, we were neither wives, caretakers, nurses, chauffeurs, cooks or maids. We were teenagers who giggled and rattled the old house screen doors and mom checked up on us in our room. Our laughter filled the foyer with an aroma more intoxicating than the sweetest potpourri. We squeaked like rusty gold hinges, hanging on to a shared fanciful and fleeting moment. Last summer’s memories of my “old friends” are beautifully golden and I think the time’s ripe for another one of our gatherings.

“I count myself in nothing else so happy as in a soul remembering my good friends.”-William Shakespeare

Weekly Writing Challenge: Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction
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