I’m sniveling,

I’m fault-finding, and fact-checking August and September. The “End of summer” is a grandstand brag! The sweat at the base of my neck, and the damp curls residing there say there is no ‘end.’ I admit to liking one initial burn on my flesh like any other vacation fool might, but enough is enough already.

I’m spitting. I’m ingesting triple digits every stinking day. I’ve lost my cool, (I’ve missed my appointment with the air-conditioning man), I’ve lost my mind, and any sordid count of these sweltering days.

1-2-3, cuss, 1-2-3, cuss. That’s what heat will do to you. Flatten and fry you. Start a fire in you, — or in the old bowling alley, or in the canyon hills. I’ve seen it go down. I’ve seen it go up (in flames). It’s enough to make me want to scratch my fingernails though the taped box top of August tanks and crops. Come on, September, let’s be chill. Can’t we curl up under the covers?

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it’s my apple heart
shriveling in on itself
— august burnt tattoo


(with apologies) for dVerse




you &i both know i wore the delicate gold link necklace
of emerald bright green lakes for as long as i could
&didn’t i say i would love our fragile ecosystem to death?
&did i not suffer daily sunsets? overlook watershed moments
to wonder, “how come our clasp is accidentally estranged in my hand?”
&couldn’t we un-break the dark corners at the continental divide, you say,

but i note a diminished tenderness, in that

aspen leaf floating
from nymph lake to dreaming lake
— empty is the bowl


for Real Toads

Punching Dragons

after they said mom was in the hospital, i hung up, watched the sun sink into the sea.  at 2:45 in the morning i got up, ate some cereal, read some words, thought about joseph’s coat of many colors and went back to sleep. around 8am i woke up from

the sweetest of dreams ~
punching dragons in the gut
sharks in the noses

Basketball Hero

He may as well have been wearing a superman cape over those white side-striped short shorts.  Player #30 approached the crowd behind coach’s bench to shake the hand of a red-faced gentleman in the stands cheering his home team on with the aid of Jack Daniels or Jim Beam. “Kill the bastards!” “Let ’em have it!”  The drunk man bleated.  But after the “hero handshake” the spectator was subdued and glowed not from Jim Beam, but from an extended kindness.  “30, 30, he’s our man, if he can’t do it, no one can!!”

a right hand hook —

a wholesome grin shot to the heart

never misses

(for Clete)

Leaving The House This Morning

Every dish is dirty. The cat hides under a bed. My daughter cracks open a Cheetos bag for breakfast. This will end badly. Two Tylenol, two errands, two more texts.  Message from other daughter: idk. whatever. bye. To which I reply: Stop being so snotty. Push send. This will be the death of me. Moody skies. Two hundred miles to go. Road-tripping. My fingers rake tangled hair. I paddle hard. East at first. Swim south-west into eucalyptus and oaks. I roll down my window, grab some air in one hand.


laughter is leaping
a hundred miles faraway
tickling pink orchards

What you say strikes me funny. Something about slow and swaggy. Yes. Slow and swaggy. I hear myself laugh as we roll down the highway. I forget myself and start naming trees and plants like I’m a botanist.  Of course, I use the word flora. Of course, I use alliteration. Bird of paradise, bottle brush, beech…  (There aren’t any bleeding hearts.)

Crack the Sky

th-5Heaven pours forth a speech of mercy and kindness, but I don’t receive it.  All I hear are pelts of rain hitting the roof. With another fire to put out at home, I can only mutter and sputter about the inconvenience of this so-called goodly rain. Going the extra mile on a short lunch break peeves me. Even more so that I should get wet. Driving too fast, I deflect exclamation points off the windshield more effectively with the daggers in my eyes than those Quick Lube wipers that need replacing. At home, I push a pair of dry socks into my bag and fling a broken umbrella onto the floor of the car for a quick turnaround. Under a patriotic shield of red, white, and inaugural blue, I sprout disdain for this sudden leaky condition. Returning to room 503, I am aware [just now] of how empty I feel.

I position a coffee mug under a drip in the ceiling.

this old rain bucket ~
i promise to cup my heart
if you crack the sky

Linking up again with Ligo Haibun’s February 7, 2014 with the prompt: Empty

‘Round the Mulberry Tree

Here we go ’round the mulberry tree,  mulberry tree, mulberry tree.


Everyday ’round the mulberry tree the same people go to and fro, to and fro, passing the old man’s lemonade yellow house with the white Virgin Mary fountain that nobody ever questions. It is winter, and the old man wears a gray fedora and gloves. He stacks a beaver-pile of spindly mulberry limbs neatly at his front curb.  What’s left of the tree looks like the hand of my uncle bungled up with arthritis at the knuckles. I want to melt it away, so I think of summer when the old man hog ties the mulberry’s leafy branches to an elm branch forming arms over his purple washed car. I must admit the mulberry looks downright saintly and smart when it arches like that. Like bending that way was its entire purpose all along. I heard it was Herb Watanabe, the drugstore guy who died, who brought the mulberry to town. So here it is, and on we go ’round the mulberry tree, the mulberry tree. She goes, he goes, we go. There ain’t no fruit. Nah, there ain’t no fruit in it, but if you’re lucky there might be some shade.

Life Moves Pretty Fast…

“If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

Thirty years slide by insidiously, cramming decades of memories into attic eaves and basement corners of my parent’s house.  I mark abandoned creams and colognes ‘bathroom;’ graduation announcements, wedding invitations, and mom’s broken baby doll in a ruffly blue dress ‘attic;’ baby furniture ‘for sale.’ I sort collections: model cars, magazines, Coca-Cola trays, christmas ornaments, angels, handwritten letters and cards summing up life at the time. Then dad starts giving it away:  x-large shirts, his time, his money, an art easel. More hugs. It’s better now without the chronic angers of the house. Better with clean closets and empty drawers. Still, I cry a little for the necessary losses, for the lurching —

[Written for the first installation of Haibun Thinking – a new Haibun Writing Challenge]

Ordinary Days

It’s the usual suspects. Sentinel trees at the south end of town, a lone sparrow on a barbed-wire fence, a white horse I call Angel in the corner corral. Oh. And all. that. land! I love roaming with the coyotes and jackrabbits; happening upon sunning lizards and field mice contented with holes for homes. If the wind is up, I head for the ashen river bed to sink low into its serpentine crevices. I adjust. My shoes. They never fail to leave prints in loose dirt, for the lost to find a way over gates and under fences. I notice things. Like this anchored thing in the ground. Some tossed wall art? Some twigs all twisted? Neither. Someone’s bent-up backyard grill rack, the weight of it now in my hand. With a heave and a ho, through the air it goes. This old new thing. It gives me glee.

ordinary days
satisfactorily dislodged ~
wind comes sweeping through

Time Traveler

deja vu~
seized by the same moon
once again

I’ve been here before, to the other side of the moon, but I’ve wandered so long, traveled so far that I faintly recall this place–this  soft strand of fiber twisted aright in my brain. Hither and thither, so random the beauty. I see the moon, and the moon sees me as I travel upon this lighted rail for a million moons. Yet a million suns.

day dreamer
voyage to the sun~
wander love

Written for Carpe Diem #368  (1500 Km into our train ride with Aleph)