On International Women’s Day

three women used their phone app
to find Lois of Clovis
who was in over her head
with more than a child or five (or six?)
how had those golden thread heads dissolved
like Splenda packs in lukewarm water? just
where did they go, and where are they now?
now Lois was lost in her haystack house
with a sugar lump melting on her hip,
a vacuum cord ominously threatening to stop her
should she try to open the front door,
say “this is it.” “come in.”
Lois bit her lower lip,
and the three friends immediately came in.
one woman lit to the kitchen, started running
hot water, adding gleeful soap suds.
one woman’s hands began skillfully
folding tiny clothes and undersized underwear
careful to separate picture books from zippered pajamas.
one woman knelt on the toy room floor
separating Mr. Potato Head’s limbs and lips
from a smattering of what was labeled this-n-that.
and the three women loved her.
and Lois of Clovis fed her sugar baby
while the two little walking bumble bears
robed, disrobed, giggled and hid their winsome smiles
beneath plastic woven laundry baskets.
and all at once, when everyone saw the haystack was re-moved
that the floor was clean, – well, their gumption exploded
into pink, blue and green party balloons!
and Lois of Clovis, -awake, sleepy, anxious, stunned,
was changed, –


for Quickly & Real Toads

I’m completely

over this
backlit peach
silhouetted by
a blushing moon

what is this world
that i should
be in it?


Imaginary Garden

before dinner

i was breathing
light &easy,
jogging around
a circle loop
atop Jackson Lake
in my nondescript
tennis shoes.
i passed a smaller
camp’s empty amphitheater.
one more time,
i went down &around
the loop filled with sugar pines,
darting bluejays,
this time noticing bench seating
carved into the earth.
i circled again,
young enough not to break
a sweat traipsing over hill
and vale. this time
a cross entered my vision.
i kept jogging around
those cross beams
looping again. &again.
until on the 7th loop
i stopped &embraced it
“see how much I love you”

&that’s when
i was breathless


Love for Real Toads

some doors are open

when i can’t map
where’n the world
my heart is, –

say it’s over an ocean
or up in the air, –
you break in

tell me you should
write down some of the crazy
things i say

and my heart’s a ninny, –
smiling all toothy,
and laughing its left

ventricle off like
it’s free
admission to the circus

where only you and i eat pizza
with ricotta
dollops on top

like little islands
without borders, –
floating on red sauce

or green sauce
or white sauce, –
string lights on
a kaleidoscope wall


for Real Toads
&always Mackenzie

the sour truth

she’s straight up
loving him
kamikaze style

it’s vulgar
only because of
his half-heart


another round for dVerse


outside of normal

if i’m to write
in especially
ordinary language
i’d say,
are you thinking
what i’m thinking?
we’ve got
(me &you)(us)
&you’d say
our purpose
is simple,

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

this much, we can let go of, –

the verdict i held on you
for damages done
building sawdust houses,
&injecting your eyes with
obscene amounts of Visine, –

we can let go of the cost
of all that water, –
thousands of evaporated droplets
of lost time, –
thirsty for greener grass

we can let go of you wanting the top-
of-the-line everything,
&for all that
chocolate chip ice cream
&insanity every night

we can let go of the one thousand
t-shirts you bought, – you could never
wear them man, but it happened
on the back of a cereal box, –
that i understood everything

&it came with the cost of pity,
&then go-go dancing love,
that you’re more than
just a father
but a broken, beautiful man

&we’re probably the only ones
able to find deeper meaning
in the line
chocolate chip ice cream, –
because we’re the ones chipping away

this much, i can let go of, –

for Dad submitted to Real Toads
using my last text message,
“able to find deeper meaning
in the line chocolate chip ice cream”

The Past Two Days in Reverse

Bury you under a tree
Remove you from the cardboard box
Why do we love so quickly?
Cry because we can’t save you
Dilated eyes, half a heartbeat
A vet combs through tortoise-shell fur
Taps lightly above each eye
0.8 ounces – A girl!
Try to drink water
Here’s a turkey baster,
Here’s a wet pinky finger
You sleep here on our hearts,
We drown/pick off fleas,
We wash you in Dawn dish soap
-Your eyes are open
We name you Felix or Ophelia
There you are under a tree

Spanish Moss

We made a love nest

two days in a tiny house

~Trees had long soft hair

for Real Toads

but, or because (of blue wings)

but, or because
i have no instincts
no ambition
i go to school
to find a husband

but, or because
i have no vocation
the boy with 7 habits
of highly effective
people dumps me

but, or because
of the mountain meadow
or his mountain mama praying
he, of all people,
introduces me to you

but, or because
of a sunny valley
a kiss on a hand
a chrysalis lets slip
blue wings

for Real Toads
photo credit Bjorn Rudberg