Monday, April 30, 2012


Ok can't be done on Mondays.  We had a staff meeting today which put me out late.  Then light treatment at 4:15, run home to walk the dogs, and rush to Jacksonville for Yoga.  I get home after 7 and it is time to pack lunch, and eat dinner.  I clean up and it is 8.  Time to write for the blog.

Did I read a book?  No.  I did read the newspaper.  Did I watch mind less TV?  No.  I'm writing and I think that is ok.

I will try for tomorrow when all I have to do is my workout.  It will be May 1 and I will be done with blogging for the month of April.  I think this has really been good for me.  It is discipline and keeps me occupied.  Does that count for mindless TV?  Well, it does keep my mind off my thoughts and writing does not lead to depression for me.  Just thinking!  Ha!

Also I have produced worthy poems I think.  They satisfy me and preserve my memories.  I look to the past for my salvation but need to look to the future for my life.  I will not "dwell" in the past but I will examine my "debris" because that too is valuable.

There are things from my past I will always love and cherish.  I will not give those up.  I will take them out to periodically examine them and then lovingly pack them back away because they have made me who I am today.

Canning Memories

What good is it to open jars,
long sealed on pantry shelves?
Rimmed in dust
and encrusted in spider eggs?

If I took them off the cellar shelf-
(shuddering at the wispy touch of mummy silk)
would light reveal
preserves or rot?
Could I hear the hallow sound
if I pinged the lid with my knuckle?
Would the dull thud reveal
 sooty strings of decay?
A seal broken by the years?
a stench of you long gone in the ground….

Or could I hold it to a light,
swinging on the end of a chain,
where the memories would be rich ruby red.

I’d climb the planks
of stairs,
feel the breath of cellar rock
at the nape of my neck.
I’d stride to the light,
and hold the memories high.

Maybe then to examine for cracks,
leaks of air, bulging sides.
Sniff for foul.

Would the memories hold with examination?
Or would the first touch of air,
dust the insides,
just as I am sure your body now resides in dust…

I take the church key,
apply with surgical precision,
pry the lid back,
and wait…

Whiffs of crème de mint, Tangueray, Oreos,
flypaper spit, and cigarette smoke,
on a late night prairie train…
with the Perseids
showering us in August,
melting across a Kansas sky.

Then they are extinguished…
 burnt up….

Like we are long since dead,
you in your coffin,
and I in my glass jar memories…

Sunday, April 29, 2012


I got the reading in but spent too much time on the internet.  So no mindless TV tonight.  I left this late too.  Which means later to bed and potential crabbiness in the morning.  Room prep took much longer than I planned but we are starting a new month so it is a whole new Number Calendar thing to prep for.  Most of my time was spent in Bridges.

I still need to write my self -evaluation for the year and a forum entry on Select and Sequencing.  Math Studio is in a week.  I am perpetually behind.  I did get my phone calls made.  Considering how much I hate phone calling I am proud of myself for that one.

I am not looking forward to the energy the new student is bringing to class.  It is difficult to go back and reteach everything with like 30 days left in school.  Unfortunately he seems to set off the rest of the class.  It makes me weary.

Fighting "feelings" today. Ugh!  Unreasonable and selfish feelings.  I just can not go there.  It brings me down. Time for mental health strategies...


I finished a book so I got my reading in for the night.  Nothing sounded good to watch on Hulu so I watched a vlog from Worldview Everlasting and Jonathan Fisk.  So that probably doesn't count.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Grasshopper Pie 2012

What good is it to open jars,
Long sealed on pantry shelves?
Rimmed in dust
and encrusted in spider webs?

If I took them off the cellar shelf-
(shuddering at the wispy touch of spider silk)
would the light reveal
preserves or rot?
Could I hear the hallow sound
if I pinged the lid with my knuckle?
Would the dull thud reveal
black sooty strings of decay,
sliming the jar sides?
A seal broken by years,
The stench of you long gone in the ground….

Or could I hold it to the light,
swinging on the end of a rope,
where the memories would be rich ruby red.

To climb the planks
of stairs,
feel the breath of cellar rock
at the nape of my neck.
To stride to the light
and hold the memories high.

Maybe then to examine for cracks,
leaks of air, bulging sides.
Sniff for foul,

Would the memories hold with examination?
Or would the first touch of air,
dust the insides,
just as I am sure your body now resides in dust…

I take the church key,
apply with surgical precision,
pry the lid back,
and wait…

Whiffs of crème de mint, Tangueray, Oreos,
flypaper spit, and cigarette smoke,
on a late night bakery on a prairie train…
shooting stars in August melting across a Kansas sky,

Then it is gone…

Long since dead, residing in your coffin
And I in my glass jar memories…

Peter Pan

I think if I were to be a man I would be Peter Pan!


I watched a full episode of Greys Anatomy on Hulu.  That put me up past 12:30.  Since I can sleep in on Saturdays it was ok.  To do this during the school week will be the challenge.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 2

Well I did not sit and read between 5-7 because I walked the dogs and watched 2 of my students play flag football.  I got home a little before 7.  I did read Thursday and Friday's paper though.  One I read while eating my supper which is my normal habit.  I did read the Friday paper, sitting at my table with a cup of chamomile tea.  That was different.  I count that as my reading.  It was after 8 when I finished.  I broke a pattern tonight!  It is also Friday night so I have a bit more freedom to stay up late.

I sat at my computer then and wrote a poem.  Something came to me and that was good.  I am preserving memories in my own little way.  I have put off hanging  out on Facebook, which is also a habit change.  though I did make a new friend today from last night.

She is Lutheran and going to Higher Things in Irvine, CA this summer.  She is also an elementary school teacher. She has a lot of the same Lutheran friends I have made on Facebook.  I enjoy my Lutheran community on line.

As for my other practice I will sit and watch some TV tonight.  It is time.  I have lots to think about-  a new job opportunity?  Life alone.  Ways to improve my teaching.  Plans to keep myself healthy, mentally, spiritually, and physically.  I am still mourning the endings in my life.  Sad things...  there is something brutally sad about the ends of dreams...

August Grasshoppers

Brown spit of a bug
Swaying on a Christmas tree in Kansas,
Crickety legs bunch and jump, springing in 98-degree heat,
missing my hoe by inches.
Battered by hordes of grasshoppers in Biblical proportions,
a plague of dust devils, teasing our toes in rubber thongs.
Orphan and enslaved,
(At least if felt like that to my 11 year old brain)
We hoed those damn Christmas trees in August
in afternoon sun.
sweat , dirt, grasshoppers, blisters.

Instead of a grandma, sharing snapping beans in a rocking chair,
with trips to the river to catch blue gills and catfish,
it was grandparents slaving us to trees.

Was this what my Dad felt like when he was yanked out of school to work the farm in 8th grade?

I can’t look at those bulging eyes of a grasshopper
and not feel the heat, scalding my shoulders,
or the sweat glazing my face
and greasing my glasses on a slide in gravity.

I hear their raspy legs
the whir of thickened wings,
and shudder at death
of a dad I can’t say I really knew.

with my own children by my side,
pulling star thistle thorning our woodlot reserve,
they gleefully chased with coffee cans,
fish bait.

There was a promise in those legs drumming on the coffee can lid.

A promise
Of cool sheltering trees,
Water skipping rocks,
Lines cast
to mark the passage
of fish swimming upstream.

Oh how those grasshoppers danced on the water!
Tugging on the current,
by hook,
oozing the tobacco juice spit.

Rising to the temptation,
Biting in hunger,
Flashing silver in Oregon sun….

We bathed our ankles in earth spit,
tangled our casts,
roared in glee at each tug.
Trout slayers with grasshopper guts!

The joy of lives,
with the river’s breath…

The grasshopper plagues
no one knows.
Somewhere the trees have grown past Christmas.
Grandparents are remembered in cemetery fields.
The woodlot’s been sold,
children have grown.

I watch and listen
to summer
in the rubbing of wings…


Thursday, April 26, 2012


Today was counseling day.  I always feel drained and unsettled afterwards- in a kind of a good way.  There is always  a lot to ponder.   Counseling is like a clarification of behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.  It is self-affirmation.  It is practice.  It can be many “a ha!”  moments  or  maybe just a tiny one.  Often it is a revelation or a connecting of dots.

Today involved celebrating some successes and reminders of how far I’ve come from that beaten down, over weight miserable woman I was 2 years ago.  I find I need to constantly remind myself of how far I have come in this journey of self.

Am I finished?  No.  I like the action of bouncing my thoughts off a trained professional.  I like what she can tell me about my actions and reactions.  I like the revelations she brings me too about what I am thinking and feeling.  There are relationships I need to work on and fix.  There are future actions I need to get ready to encounter.  There are strengths I need to build up.

My assignment for the next 3 weeks is to make myself sit down and watch a TV program.  Also to pick up a book and read for at least 10 minutes.  I need to get used to sitting still in my apartment between the hours of 5-7.

Right now I keep myself so busy till 8:00 o’clock before I allow myself to sit down.  Then I try to go to bed at 9.  I’m scared to sit still because I don’t want to think.  I’m afraid of depression.  So I am going to start taking baby steps so I can get comfortable with me by myself.

I am also going to work on strengthening my adult committee member who I want to be in charge.  She needs to become stronger to deal with my needy stubborn child who only wants what she wants.  My child in control is disaster and chaos.  That child needs to realize that the adult will take care of her so her needs will be met.

These things are doable.  So simple but I could not have made this plan by myself or even come up with it by myself.  That is my counselor. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Oh when they weigh so heavily upon the mind I wonder what was real and what is just my imagination of what I wish for?

Trying again.....

Yesterday I had just finished writing my blog and poof! it disappeared.  On the old Blogger drafts were saved automatically.  I cannot find what I wrote.  So I will try to recreate what I remember writing about....

It started off with what happened during my work out.  As I was making the circuit I started to think of the figurative language I wanted to use to describe Vassar Junction and "Grasshopper Pie".  I was getting some good imagery going when I got distracted.  In that second the language vanished.  (So maybe it was appropriate that I lost everything last night?)  I was liking it too!

I knew I needed to come up with something for my blog and that I need to get to bed at a decent time.  Often when I write the time slips away and it is closer to 10 PM  than 9 PM when I get to bed.    I really need to be in bed by 9 PM to be a highly functioning teacher the next day.  Nobody likes a crabby teacher and it takes supreme patience to teach the little ones!

(Just clicked save...)

I did not want to post one of my "old" poems because I'm really not liking what is left and they are a wee bit embarrassing.  The only thing I had in my journal was from Sunday and it was written in a daze when the words were just bricks.

So here goes...

" I hate endings! I can't figure them out.  I can't write them.  I can just go through them.  Does anyone ever get endings except God?"

I also had part of an old testament verse sounding in my head.  Maybe from Isaiah?  I believe it was part of a prophecy about King Herod killing all the baby boys in Bethlehem.  I believe I went there also because Pastor's sermon was being like new born babes.

Babies from the Bible

"...Rachael crying in the wilderness..."

over Bethlehem's loss.
Babes slain in a vain king's name.  Ran through with swords?  Heads dashed against walls?

Like Moses and the babes in Egypt.  All those babies thrown into the Nile.

To Acts where we are compared to newborn babies.

Death/ Life.

to be so tired
the brain dead in sleep
bad decisions?

I want to be fed by Your Word
but I am incapable of self discipline
right now.

I can't wrangle
it to the dirt,
dust it with motes,
The ventricles are numb,
words are lodged in ear wax...

This MRI of Scripture
lights up red
in my left prefrontal lobe.

catapulting synapses
bridge my corpus callosum

That was my stream of consciousness writing from Sunday.  Thank you Troy Boucher and Dan Daniels for teaching me about stream of consciousness!

The journal ended with 2 great quotes from Michael Bjorge in adult Sunday School.  I was a little bit more awake then!

"You stick with having fun.  I'll stick with the joy."

This is in reference to people saying Christians are stick in the muds and never have any fun.  Well, sin may be fun for a season but it corrodes and ruins you in the end.  We will take the joy in forgiveness.  Besides Lutherans are not Pietists.

"There are no hangovers after church!"

Basically this is what I wrote about yesterday.  A little longer today.  I be verbose most of the time.  That's what comes with a person madly in love with words!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I officially hate the new interface.  I just lost my whole blog I just wrote.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vassar Junction , 1979

After I graduated from college, Southwestern College in Winfield, KS, I had no idea what to do with my life. Idealistic, romantic me, got a BA in English, Speech, and Drama. It was not a very marketable degree, especially since I did not get my teaching certification.

What to do?

I never allowed myself to do summer theatre because I needed to make money for college and summer theatre really did not pay well. I had missed auditions for any of the theatre but I thought maybe I could just work around theatre. Inhale some grease paint so to speak.

I decided to ask Bruce and Veda Rogers if I could work at their summer theatre in the restaurant they were opening, Vassar Junction. Much to my surprise they offered me a job in the theatre company and a chance to audition for the shows. I grabbed the opportunity!

While there I developed a very close relationship with a man. Strictly platonic in action but I loved him with a pure heart, knowing I could never have him. It was a special time and a special relationship for me. "Grasshopper Pie" grew out of one of our times together at Vassar Junction. Looking at it now I feel it is incomplete- but I feel that a lot about my work...

He's dead now, of AIDS. I regret a lot...

Grasshopper Pie

I took the chocolate crumbs
and butter, squeezed them
through my fingers. A mud
pie that found a home in my
You whipped the Rich's
topping, colored it with
Crème de Menthe. The marsh-
mallows clung to your fingers
in sticky clumps.
The ice machine and refrigerator
kicked to life and blended in
with the mixer.
The late night flies buzzed
around us as we drank our coffee,
smoked our cigarettes. We were
no giant-killers, we left them
alone as the crème and crust cooled.
We made the pies, the green peaked,
foam swirled into place.
Yours filled and stroked,
while mine flopped against
the blackened crust.

Oh I itch to revise this so badly. I think it would be a worthwhile project to resurrect. This person deserves my words. He's the one I rode with to the West Coast- California. From there I took the train to Oregon and that is a story you are starting to know...

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Ok I am scanning old family pictures. It is kind of hard to see the family we were when the kids were young. Pat was a good father and husband then. How did it happen that he could change so much? He is not the same man today he was when he was young. I mourn for that man.

The man he is today can not and does not want to change. He is enslaved and the chains just get tighter as he grows older.

I am sad and grieving for the marriage we had at one time,when we worked together to raise our children and be a family. It seemed that after the children all left home there was no reason for him to try anymore. God, knows I tried. I finally ran out of ways to stay with him that were safe and good for me.

I realize now I can only change myself. I cannot change anyone else. That is their journey. I can only keep on working on myself to become healthy in body, mind and spirit. It is a lonely road but something I need to do with God's help and the friends He has provided me with in this lifetime.

In memory of the man I loved, married, and had children with- Patrick John Holtz.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Another version...

White Sunlight

When white sunlight
hits hail, scatters
the narrow beams
of light,
they plank the sky
in hues of eerie yellow.

off each other-
a game of pinball,
igniting lights
with each slam.

In that engulfing gloom,
the bruised sky,
full of broken veins
of light,
into violently spinning air.

The fat finger of death
curls its way to dirt-
wedging itself downward.

By power flashes,
I strain to glimpse
The finger of God.

In that frozen
thoughts on internet
Doppler Radar
pinging velocity
across the plains,
I see where the blue turns to black,
and roars to silence.

The neutrality of Space,
a vacuum
that is you.

I am gravity,
spiraling earthward-
an ice ball,
burning up
in atmospheric divergence.

Face planted to fears,
grounded in a crater
of my own making.

In your silence I stand…
watching the approaching super cell.
It surges forward in darkness,
wrapped in rain,
from sight.

I await the ending-
the surrender,
debris swirling
to the West,
My pieces-

landing in someone’s front yard…

Friday, April 20, 2012

Still playing with tornadoes

Still not liking it... More research? Leave it alone and come back?

It is a discipline. To write when you don't feel like writing. To write like taking batting practice. You don't always hit the ball. Ya strike out a lot. Kids played baseball so it is a metaphor in my life. 100 useless strikes can lead to a game winning home run. So this may just be a strike out.

White Sunlight

When the white sunlight
hits the hail,
it amongst the wall clouds
at the flank,
off each other:
chased by lightening.

In that engulfing gloom,
the bruised sky
full of broken veins
of light,
spills over,
into violently spinning air.

The fat finger of death
curls its way to dirt...
frozen in a hell like stance
by the power flashes,
I strained to glimpse that "finger of God".

Across the prairie
on internet waves
Doppler radar
pinging velocity
mountains no barrier
divide no hindrance
separation of East/West
dry line/ warm front
reaches to satellite space.

The neutral zone
a vacuum,
a silence
that is you.

No wind shear,
no super cells,
the dew point
to produce.

The barrenness
of self,
cold and adrift
in space
where nothingness exists...

Rachel crying in the wilderness…

Thursday, April 19, 2012

First Night Home

Oh I don't remember when I wrote this. Circa 1979? It sounds like I was already in Oregon and came back? I don't think it was in my Senior project. Anyway it is about the farm in Abilene, KS, I know that.

First Night Home

Strike the old set!

Replace those earth-clinging trees!

Remove the ocean’s breath.

Thin out the paint in the sky.

Tune out General Motors. Change the set to:

Hot, dry heat, a plain’s sigh.

A windmill creaking and groaning

under the weight of night. Offset

with coyotes howling and an overture

of nocturnal insects. Add the clatter

of a feeder, a bawling calf. I

enter, the extras offstage,

carrying on about harvest and baby Sarah.

I move downstage to face

the horizon, huge and uncluttered.

The stars come as lights on a stage.

The solo spot, the moon in its

yellowish orange glory,

focuses on me,

and home.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


So do not like "Edit" at all. It just makes me admire Denise Levertov even more. How she could take such simple words and phrases and create sound, smells, and pictures with her words? Mine does not have that power. It lacks emotion, meaning, and imagery. It makes me want to go on a rampage of wildly choosing words and see if I can get some power going.

It still is a good exercise in writing though. The discipline to match her meter and imagery and still convey meaning is very difficult! I like the challenge. It engages my intellect and stirs the eternity in my being. That satisfies me on so many levels of me.

So I am not sure if I will try to fix it or free write it or maybe both. The figurative language of tornadoes and storms is rich. Not only that but it is personal. I like the connections in my mind, heart and soul. Humph, text to self. Text to literature. Text to world.

It is good to write....

"We have “eternity” planted into our minds, causing us to look beyond and outside ourselves and imagine the transcendent and the holy." Rev. Bill Cwirla

Bravo Rev. Cwirla!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012



2nd draft

Long after the wedge roped back
towards the sky
I know it is after me:

It came in close to my earth
on the furrows
and upswept my debris

straight-line winds behind a funnel
am I the farm
intact rotating vertical?

And in that vortex of wind, hail
The track lost,
Doppler beams highlighting the red dot,

I am chased into the notch
I know I’m
alone facing myself,

Convergance of warm dry lines
race at me
caught in dreams dying.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Stilling playing with tornadoes

First draft in a writing exercise in the style of a Denise Levertov poem, “Losing Track”


Long after the wedge roped back
towards the sky
I know it is after me.

It came in close to my earth,
on the furrows of the field,
and upswept my debris.

Straight-line winds behind funnels…
Am I the farm?
Intact or rotating vertically sky-

And in that vortex of wind, hail,
the track is lost.
The Doppler spins, highlighting
a red dot in a pink background.
I know I’m lost in the air.

Convergence birthing mud,
in violently rising air,
illumined by power bursts,
lightening torches…
the violence of hopes dying.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Debris by Wind

Debris by Wind

It occurred to me today that once again I’m picking up pieces of debris in my life. Destroyed bits, ravaged by the wind this time.

The first was debris by water. The Japanese tsunami had just happened at the time of the break up of my marriage. My husband in a fit of anger, can’t remember if he was sober or not, accused me of being hoarder. I was deeply offended by that remark. The things he accused me of hoarding were the bits and pieces of my life that I had hung onto because of the memories associated with them, A broken tea set, a picture from my baptism, art from an old lover, books from my mom’s childhood, baby clothes- mine and my children, photos from generations past, lovers notes, friend’s letters, dried corsages from proms and theater shows. This was not trash or “debris” to me.

In my anger I wrote a poem about my “debris”. Far from being debris they were my treasures and things I could not throw away. I would not throw them away. I think that is what he wanted me to do- throw it away. That was one line I would not cross. I would not throw my debris away.

At this time stories came out about the huge rafts of debris coming our way from Japan. It would wash a shore in Oregon. That seemed a fitting metaphor for my life. What was debris to others was not to me. As I am sure the people of Japan would agree with me on this matter. It was the remnants of their lives washing up on Oregon’s coast. Just as the remnants of my marriage and life would be washing up on a desolate rocky shore somewhere else.

So my treasures, my debris, is packed away in old trunks, for me to periodically take out and examine to see if it is something I can throw away.

Oh so fitting that my husband works at the dump. He continually kept throwing things away in our house so the only things left were the thing I would not part with. We had patio furniture for living room furniture. He would just wear me down with his nagging till I gave in and would throw it away. He threw away our marriage when he chose his drugs over me. In his drunkenness, he pushed me too far. There is nothing wrong with my debris.

So water is my metaphor for the end of my 30-year marriage.

So how ironic to go back over my pieces of debris and reacquaint myself with my first love at 16. Of course I kept everything he ever gave me. I have love notes and letters, artwork, drawings, and pictures. I lovingly examine each piece and packed them back away in my old trunk. A few pieces I kept out to hang on my wall.

When the chance came to reacquaint myself I leapt into it. I plunged. I re-embraced all those old feelings. It was glorious to feel again!

Then came the massive tornadoes in Kansas. Wedge shaped, rain wrapped, E3 tornadoes, that hurled trees into power lines, lifted roofs to fling into pastures, splintered and chewed up house and barns in its way. A different kind of a debris, but debris nonetheless. Instead of being swept away and thrown up on rocky sand ledges it's being swept up into rotational winds that dip and bow and heave debris miles around.

Just so my emotions have been sucked up into a vortex of straight-line winds forming notches in my brain and heart. It went from what would be love, to desolation of too many years and too many relationships in between. A failure to withstand 133 mph winds in houses that have only been built to withstand 90 mph winds.

I am bereft.

So once again I am faced with looking at the debris in my life and having to decide to keep or throw away?

It must mean the next one will be debris by fire. What will be left after fire? Sooty ash and charcoal?

See "More tsnami"

Saving Tornado info

Saturday, April 14, 2012


I have been following the storms in KS over the KSN news internet. Wedge tornadoes, straight line winds, dry line, doppler radar. I am amazed at the advancement of technology and storm watching. They talk of notches and show it on the radar. The tornadoes are in the notches. They can tell where the wind speeds are. So far no loss of life. They have been warning people of these storms for 2 days and they are right! One went right through Wichita. Right now Salina is getting ready for another one.

I'm all anxious feeling over these storms. It has stirred up all these emotions I have been trying to put to rest. It's like those straight line winds at the back of the storm line has blown all the way across the mountains to Oregon to my little apartment. Ga, memories of the past and the illusions I have created from those memories. Dammit.

Tornadoes have always terrified the living daylights out of me. I had nightmares every year when I lived in KS. Not one nightmare since I have lived in Oregon. It was always personal. the tornado had a personality and it would deliberately chase me. I would always wake before it got to me. Chilling. Ironically, I never went through a tornado till I was in high school in Salina.

What a metaphor.

So I broke the silence.

I keep striving to be better.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Thinking about resistance and what hard work it is in everything. I don't think it ever gets easier but with the habit of resistance you get uses to it. Like batting practice, weight machines, yoga, wellness plans, sin, and people. Sometimes I wish there did not have to be resistance yet I know it makes strong.

There is a poem somewhere in that....

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I wanted
to see a concert.
I saw
puffy eyes,
temporay tattoes
dirty faces,
scratched hands,
bruised kness.
I heard about moms
they can't see,
brothers and sisters gone,
new puppies.

Sad humanity
in 7 year old bodies
needing someone
to listen,
be there.

I don't want to see their future
if I can't change it for them....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sylvan Grove

This is another poem from my senior project in 1979. Dang my memory! What I thought was this was another exercise in writing a poem in the manner of another poet. I thought it was a Denise Levertov poem. I thought it was "Losing Track". Now I am not so sure.

Sylvan Grove

The temporal


Stones lie

in their beds of

grass. The grass

slowly bends



marble heads, the trees

twisted where storms

sought shelter.

The prairie

ascends, slowly bends

up the slopes,

transfixed at the headstones.

A silent prayer of the prairie,

so temporal, it is

nothing else but

eternity itself, a life

too short to know.

Barbara A. Meier, 1979

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Salutation Denying Exchange

My original writing exercise for my Senior project in writing poetry was to write in the style of another poet. At 20 Adrienne Rich was my favorite. I wrote this poem in the style of her poem- "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning". What I forgot about was the Original "A Valediction Forbidding Mourning" by John Donne! WOW! What a revelation at 55 compared to 20. It brings to mind Dr. Wroten and Survey or English Literature 1 and 2. You can't find find Adreine Rich's poem on line because of copy write laws but you can read John Donne. Then to read what I wrote at 20 is an insight for me. So much emotion caught up in it all and how much has not changed. The past...

A Salutation Denying Exchange

Adrienne Rich at my 20

My empty isolation. Your false affection.

The crowds fled and left me.

Clothes worn to attract.
Smiles to vacant air.

They gave me a Coke to ease my thirst.

Before I drink this I want to say:

The sorrow of a goodbye never lasts,

The I’ll remember and write never occurs,

The relief on the glass that brings me no comfort.

No holding. No remembering.

Stained glass in a ditch of disposables.

A final word: the bottle is a metaphor called people.

These symbols remain: cradle, cell, casket.

When I see a person I am thinking of an act.

When I hear glass break I know it is gone.

I could think: these bottles have other uses

But what they are I do not know.

To be remembered somewhere, sometime.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Alive - round 2

Ok, yes I am writing to just be writing. I made the commitment to blog everyday. So these are not masterpieces -or inspired but they do contain memories and what I am feeling. Probably not something that should be shared. Oh well, it is what it is and yes, therapy. Does it bother me to share? No. It's my writing persona. Just as going onstage is acting out a different character so writing is a different person than who I am. Probably a wee bit more or too much so dramatic. There is something about playing with words that I find comforting and soothing. So I am self- soothing. I am trying to get over this time in my life.


“Good to see you alive.

Me too.

How are you?

I’m fine.

Well, plugging away at least.

Sometimes I even forget you are out there.”

I get that rush
of your name
then anger all over again,
Then just sad…

It’s called:

Replacing thoughts.

I go to work,
working on,
talking to me,
preserving me.

Reminds me of the labor
of tomato picking,
boiling water
to remove skin,
the squeeze to remove seeds,
sanitizing lids and jars,
sweating over the stove,
burning fingers,
packing the tomatoes tight.
Testing, tapping to assure the seal-
Being the bacteria slayer.

Unpacking rubies
To the mudroom shelves….

Unpacking my life,
to assemble,
once more.

Killing bacteria…

Hard stuff.
Sometimes I wonder
of the accuracy of thinking….
It is easy to be fooled
by illegitimate thoughts.

Resolved for this minute,
this second ,
this hour,
to cut, scald, juice, seal,
and hot water bath can.

My day,

their day.

For me

it's the children
and self-preservation.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I think if I were to get a tatto

I would like this.


VDMA stands for the Latin phrase: Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum or in English: The Word of the Lord Endures Forever. This battle cry of the Reformation comes through in various hymns such as in A Mighty Fortress: “The Word they still shall let remain.” It reminds us that the Scriptures are the only sure guide for faith and life.

The motto is based on 1 Peter 1:24-25. It first appears in the court of Frederick the Wise in 1522. It was used by Frederick's successors, his brother John the Steadfast, and his nephew John Frederick the Magnanimous. It was used on flags, banners, swords, and uniforms as a symbol of the unity of the Lutheran laity who struggled to defend their beliefs, communities, familiies, and lives against those who were intent on destroying them.

Thanks to Norm Fisher for this definition.

Playing around with weather

A work in progress first draft and unfinished taken from the summer spent in Emporia, KS

No woman/man
can walk out of the atmospheric river
by themselves,
especially at 5:00 PM
when the wind shifts from southwest
to northeast.
Charnel smell of slaughterhouses,
gagging on memories of cauterized blood
Miasma of death
tinting skies coppery
with bruising green clouds
(White sunlight being scattered by big hail stones)

that hiss, boil, bleed hail, rain, wind.
A dry line encounter:
where East meets West
Where moist meets dry.
the passion of death
in a dance in the wind-
a stalking of 2X4 impaled on a tree:
crucifixion of windmills.

Your death hung
there-chained with our sins
like the cross around my neck.
The down drafts and wind shear
of sin suck my life away
I need your vortex of salvation.

No southwest corner of the basement will save me.
I have no Doppler radar.
I am no storm chaser.
I can't make it mine by myself

I live in a slaughterhouse of sin.
Death is the only outcome of this storm
of my life.
But the breath that comforts,
gently calls my name
in the silence after the storm ...
when I realize relief of birds chirping
in a fallen creation.

The resurrection
gives life to destruction and debris
that is my life.
The blood not burnt
the body not charred
the water
a down pour of grace.

colors refracting light
in an atmospheric river

Old one/not mine

O night that is brighter than day,

O night more dazzling than the sun,
O night more sparkling than fresh snow,
O night more brilliant than all our lamps!
O night that is sweeter than Paradise,
O night delivered from darkness,
O night that dispels the sleep of sin,
O night that makes us keep vigil with the angels,
O night terrible for the demons,
O night desired by all the year,
O night that leads the bridal Church to her Spouse,
O night that is mother to those enlightened!
O night in which the Devil, sleeping, was despoiled,
O night in which the Heir brings the co-heirs to their heritage.

(Asterius of Pontus AD 341-400)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

This is hard work!

So I wanted to school myself in an Adrienne Rich poem. Man it was hard work to write in another style than my own. It just makes me admire her even more and despair of my own ability. But it was a good to do. It made me think. Far from being over I will never look at wrack the same way again!

Finished the Adrienne Rich-My version of "Diving into the Wreck"

Shoveling the Wrack

First having read the Book of the Dead
and packed the sand bucket,
and tested the surface of the shovel
I put on
the waterproof slick coat
the chunky boots
the heart and polar scarf.
I am doing this
not like the Ugliest Catch
with their scraggy-haired crew
aboard tower tossed seas
but here alone.

There is a tangle
of kelp
the kelp is always there,
piled hazardously
at the high water mark

I know where it is from,
I've always known
it reeks of death
and teams with orange plastic rope

I bend, touch the slime,
pulling strands of nylon, still
the tangle remains
the rot envelopes me
green bulbs
of kelp
bladder of ocean air

I scrabble
my scarf entwines weed
I burrow like dogs digging treasure
and no one tells me
where the sand
will begin...

At a glance the mass is green and then
it is kaki and then brown and then
beige I am smothering in sand and yet
my shovel is mightier
it strains my muscle with leverage
Till the ocean bubbles up
to collapse the hole
I am capable alone
To dig my hole and bury
this wrack of life.

Then: At the beginning
my life grew upward
surrounded by a forest of kelp
Many strands
among the rocks
and the weight
was buoyant in the waves,

I came to dig through the wrack
The blades are the experiences
The stipes are life.
I came to see what was salvageable
and what pheumatocysts intact
I grip the shaft of my shovel
tense my muscle
scooping and anticipating
treasures buried.

The life I lived for:
the wrack and not the sand
pieces of vegetation, not the ocean.

The seaweed flies swarm
upward toward my face
disturbed in their feeding
attracted by the rotten smell of kelp
their maggots gorge
on gelatinous fiber
eating away at membranes
of memories stored in gas-
filled bladders.

I spread the kelp
on the dry sand shelf, nudging it,
But the shovel is not enough-
My hands need to feel
The putrescence of life.
it coats my hands
as the flies invade the nose,
the mouth,
the ears.

It makes a bed when spread to sea,
a mattress to bear my weight
green strands grow from my sides
Medusa hair of kelp.

It’s hard to see
where my life begins or ends
on the high tide line.
The ocean nips
at my ankles.

Between the wrack and rock
below, above the wave
the harvest continues.
The sand, the kelp,
the shovel
Begin again
in a Book of Death
where my name is written.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Last night, I was distracted in church thinking about tornado imagery. got a piece in progress and I think I want to use more tornado language. Going to start with this article
EF-5 200 mph winds
"finger of God"
Tornado fatigue
Doppler only works on big ones
pinpoints spinning supercells
EF-0 60-70 mph winds
70-80% false alarms
most US homes are built to only withstand 90 mph winds
mobiles can flip in 70mph winds
highest winds ever in OK in 1999 301 mph
rain wrapped
wedge tornadoes fat writhing
Tornado sky= eerie yellow sky
white sunlight being scattered by big hailstones
Wall clouds mutating thunderstorm spinning violently produces rain then hail
spinning lowering cloud base at the rear flank is called a wall cloud focus of violently rising air
large hail larger the stronger updraft needed to keep them suspended mid air
baseball size or larger? more likely to have a tornado
Isolated supercell forms 20-75 miles ahead of a squaw line
Warm front/dry line
wind shear(changinng winfd speed/direction with altitude)
dew points 60F enough juice to spawn storms
Severe storms flare up along the leading edge of dry desert air the "dry line"
During the spring in the Central Plains, thunderstorms frequently develop along a "dryline," which separates very warm, moist air to the east from hot, dry air to the west.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Good to see you alive
me too
How are you?
Im fine
well plugging away at least.
Replacing thoughts
working on
talking to
preserving me
Hard stuff
Sometimes I wonder of the accuracy of thought
It is easy to fool
Which thoughts are legitimate
Resolved for this minute
this second
this hour
their day
For me today
it's the children
and self preservation

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I hate just being able to give minutes to writing but it is all I have to give right now. I guess it is better than not writing at all. I like the idea of comparting a leg cramp to an earthquake, to yoga, to a life experience. I don't like all my word choices yet but it gives me pleasure to contemplate the similarities.. There is power in word choices. Wish I could make my words snap and bend like tetonic plates subducting under each other. How the release of words can make a world shake and be destroyed. Can any good come of an earthquake? Is the rebuilding piece from a disaster really that good of a thing to go through or is it always just little deaths with each roll?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

3:11 am 2nd draft

It starts with a contraction,
a shudder,
turns to a roll,
tightening to knots...
like a freight train roaring down the tracks
the earth twitches and shakes off its top layer.

Just as the cramp

grips the calf.

I wait.

Watch the pictures rattle…
Anticipate the next twitch.

Will it ease?
or escalate?

It always escalates .

Why do I bother to lie?
and wish for sleep?

It won't come.
The cramp won’t stop.

The pain that starts mid calf,
travels to the arch
of the foot,
of downward facing dog
and a forward fold.

Just as the ache from head to child
planks my adult.
Board like,

To tighten
the muscle
requires the stretch
to rebound and snap with tectonic

the pieces
of my debris.

Straighten the frames
upon the wall.

For the next tremble of muscle.

I grasp
but leaks in cracks,
break loose.

I roll to floor,
hobble to gulp magnesium.
Turn up the heat,
lay the leg flat,
and think
of past actions.

I'd text you sorry
but what good would that do?

The strength I need comes with practice.
Warrior 1 shifts to Warrior 2.
The end result is a stretch,
and a cramp that haunts my night.

I know it will be easy someday,
the body will lay still,
the earth will be silent.
My legs won't cramp at 3 am.

one a day

Ok with 1 blog a day there will be no perfection but there will be ideas to play with in the future. So this will be more diary like but I will play with language.