Susie & I in September

“We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.”

Virgo - 1907 - Painting

My friend in the garden, Susie Clevenger, and I had virtually no background on one another except for the poetry we share on our Real Toads platform. But, hey, we wrote a poem together! Go read Virgo’s Beatitudes here →click:) It was by mutual agreement it would be without rhyme (big sigh of relief), and we found inspiration from this quote by Henry Rollins.


sheer season

i want that blond

i want that smeared

pepper jelly
from your jar

on my tongue

i want to sit on the ice chest

rolled in just in case
we decide to go

out on the lake
but go for sandwiches



for dVerse

mostly sunny

the sky’s so sweet!

the honey fields are back,

and all i want to do is sit inside-out,

a crooked …  77 …

          howl at the sun

with a harmonica

spread over my lips

like a half-written poem.


a Twiglet for Misky

This isn’t a poem. It’s me talking to you outside of a poetic line.

I just wanted to say I’m heading back to summer camp with all my loves. (I’m serious. This isn’t a poem.)

They installed wifi this year in the dining hall, but shhhh, we’re not telling the campers.

We still like camp being an electronic-free space.

IMG_0256  IMG_0212

I will be absent from my blog for awhile, but I’m hoping you all enjoy your summer.

Just promise me you’ll get some fresh air now &then.


Oh, and wish us luck getting our pup into the ocean with her new life vest.

(This isn’t Sky in the picture. Our dog’s cuter, &she’s a girl!)

And hey, maybe –just maybe I can smuggle a live-action doggy pic to all of you soon.

(I’m such a hypocrite about the no electronic thing.)



I’ll Tell You How The Sun Went Down

I’ll tell you
how the sun
went down
in a golden
bath of butter, –
it’s fire
slipped into
the small
side pocket
of my white
bermuda shorts
much like
a woman
steadily spilling
into water
when a man
is watching, –
to awaken him

for dVerse & Real Toads

I Remember Some Umbrellas

I remember some umbrellas had lights. Reflective beads.
How we had to wind the handles hard to open them up.
How every time we forgot to roll them down, an accidental
wind would have its way. I remember the years wicker held
us in softer lines, and the time your sister Mary came &said
our place made her feel like nothing bad could ever happen.

I remember the dove and her babies. Your strawberries.
Dancing on the concrete in my suit like I was 4 instead
of 40 to that new song about sunshine, or maybe a house.
I remember hanging curtains, because you wanted shade,
&unfolding a rug which the dog chewed-up on one end, just
like she did to the underside of my hammock’s striped sling.

I remember sunscreen, hair bands, safety gates, squabbles,
and timeouts. Tossing the girls goldfish into their mouths
like they were water creatures or mermaids. I remember that
popcorn drizzled with peanut butter&honey tastes better melted
in the sun. I remember Marco Polo pauses, reflective small voices,
that April’s always too soon to go swimming, that ice never lasts.

day 29 NaPoWriMo
for Real Toads

FM Station 99.9

Ode to farmer-style
Clutch, no A/C,
Windows down. Driving
To the KOA swimming
Pool. The one with
The twisty slide
Past Enterprise, but
Before Junction City.

Ode to short shorts,
Loose tank tops that
Halfway conceal
Spearmint-striped bikinis
We never imagined were
Revealing. Their straps
Looped thoughtlessly in a bow
Beneath sun-soaked ponytails.

Ode to the hum of the road,
Katrina &the Waves &FM 99.9
Here’s to riding a ribbon of road
In middle America in a
Plastic-nosed car.  How we
Needled seamlessly through
Lazy August heat disappearing
Right before our eyes.

for Real Toads

Low Water Bridge &Mud Creek

It wasn’t a fence we wanted to jump
but a bridge we wanted to ride.
Every man, woman, teen or toddler
in Abilene went down low water
bridge one way or another.
One time, a kid rolled his trike down
&got a spanking from his Grandma
when he got home. Bigger high school
boys tested their skateboarding skills
down low water, pushing aside worries
over washout holes &no helmets.
Another time, a man put his VW bug
in neutral to see if he would come out
on the other side without any juice.
Even I rode down low water almost
every single day on my girl’s bike
with two quarters tucked under
my fingers to pay admission to the
swimming pool on the other side.
I had my terms: I’d pull up hard
on the handlebars, gain enough speed
straight-up pedaling like a devil or else
get off my bike &walk in shame
with one of mom’s bath towels hanging
around my neck. If it didn’t rain, if
low water didn’t get washed out I mean,
I’d pedal to swim in the pool, or else
I’d swim &fish for crawdads right there
in Mud Creek. Either way, Mother Nature
wanted my feet to get wet that summer.

(for Quickly)

Puff & A Prayer

To think of time—of all that retrospection!
Walt Whitman, To Think of Time

Remember the fertile summers we lined up five beds against the wall beneath the window panes, feeling lucky to catch the breeze flitting across the hill where we would watch for the L.A. Unified
School bus to come chugging up past Mountain High Ski area with a hundred happy campers ready to be greeted by our tail-wagging, white fur-shedding Rookie dog. And everything was regular meals, singing songs, guacamole from Fernando if you asked, and that chalk dragon I drew on the rock retaining wall for the kids. Remember the Animal and Science Guys? Ukelele and Magic Guys?  The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in costume, and that rock star drummer guy still drumming with just one hand. How did he tie that bandana around his head? I never asked. And how was it you came to me once, back in our room with our full bed and four twins, to lay your hand upon my hip socket that felt like bone-on-bone grinding me down a few years to pray for my pain, which I’d gone to the doctor for, but I swear after your touch instantly vanished! At the end of that summer, Jerry the caretaker, asked me to wash Puff the Magic Dragon off from the wall on account of we were renters, and not year-round owners. I never looked back on it until today.

for Real Toads in memory of The Rowdy Ridge Gang Camp

I’m All In

I’m still the same girl I used to be; dreaming of wild new swing sets complete with chutes & ladders, bells & whistles. I never played pretend with plastic Barbies. Too busy and had no inclination.

As a pesky kid, I convinced my Dad to hang a rope swing in our backyard. Sadly, he took it down after he saw I was killing the grass.

Undeterred then, and even now, no obstacle has stood in the way of my dreams to fly through the air, to climb new heights. I’m shameless and stupid like that. My guardian angel is the best.

Tomorrow is the first day of summer vacation with my kids. Of course, I’m taking them to ride the newest roller coaster on the mountain. It’s twisted, come on! Then, in late summer (after 4 weeks at our beach job/yes there is a God who blesses me) we’ll trek to Colorado and breathe life in from a mile high up. In my opinion, a breezy suspension kind of day with bungee cords, chains, and bridges to traverse is the best kind for living.

I’m all in, Summer! But you already knew that.