Blanket: To Love is to Die a Little Too

Stiff jointed, I hobble
Towards the coffee pot
Pouring steaming self doubt
Potent with frustration
Blackened by dark words.

Sometimes you can
Fall out of love with
The love of your life.
This descent,
A slippery slope
Filled with handhold twigs
Along the way,
Can happen gradually,
Almost imperceptibly.
The sun moving across the horizon
Inching so slowly
But ambling
Towards twilight, nevertheless.

Appreciating the depth and quality
Of spirit, a beautiful soul,
You love this person, still
Terribly, terrifically.

But when the roots
Of disparate values stick,
Unwillingly statuesque
Untouchable and stalwart and
Always ever present,
Your heart can sag
And turn away,
A heavy fatigue
Trending towards lukewarm futility.

You come to understand
What you wish you could deny–
That you don’t think you can,
Want or should continue
Because things
Are not working out
And are unlikely to improve,
Particularly when talking
About the issues
Is always best done
At a “later date”
So that in the end,
There’s no time like “never”.

Also, you know your own ability
To bridge dicey emotional subjects
With constructive tact and diplomacy
Is wobbly
So that while wading
Through troubling incidents
You have been wholly unable
To reach across with
Patience and dexterity
Without being overwhelmed
Stymied and
Driven crazy
By rigid stubbornness
To help arrive at
An alternate reality,
If that were ever possible.

Gray winds howl
Rattling fragile
Single paned emotion
Allowing drafts to
Create distance and
To chill hope.

Snow falls flaking,
Melting first, then staying to
Blanket landscape protuberances.

Here, now, a return to a lonelier,
More expressively impoverished life
Whose icy stillness also bespeaks
A harsh beauty,
Unassuming in its stark simplicity
Requiring a different,
More muted survival patience.

Ruthless decision
Crystallizes a blinding glint
Caught and razor cut
By a random sun ray.

With each day passing
Amid roaring silence,
I marvel at how fast
A glass house can crumble,
Shattering years spent
Piecing together quality experience,
Building upon rainbow prisms
So bright and multifaceted
That scattered
Intoxicating Possibilities
Adding glitter to any room
And felt like Forever.

Poof, gone.

The ache
The devastation
Of dissolution.

I am still a flower in bloom.



Zip! Another Breakfast Minute–Day 22 of Getting Dressed


Early morning lying in bed
Breakfast thoughts
Get me moving and up.
Feeling my way
Down the dark hallway,
I fumble for the light switch.

Eighty nine cent pancakes
Drowned in sticky syrup
A la Burger King
Energizes one of my coworkers,
Not me.

I dream of toasted bagel
Crispy edges browned
Demarcating rims
Luxuriously smoothed
With cream cheese
Topped with smoked salmon
Audaciously covering
Every whited inch


Vine ripened tomato slices bleed,
Piqued by red onion
Cut into thin rings
Giving the whole musty creation
A bit of zip.

Hands fish about
Moving aside tired sandwich bread
With an amazingly long shelf life
But now, starting to sag, at last,
Handsome baguette
Wrapped in crinkly clear cellophane
Waving a crispy, “Hello!”,

Never used but meant and
Still hope to, rice paper sheets
And whole wheat tortillas
Lying flat at the moment
But waiting for hummus
And roasted vegetables
Or bean and cheese embraces,

I see, to my small horror,
An utter absence
Of holed chewy delivery.

There are no bagels left!

I soothe my disappointment
By drinking hot espresso
As much as I desire
While readjusting.

In the end,
I enjoy a standby favorite–
Whole rolled oats
Made thick and irresistible
With Greek yogurt and almond butter
Mixed in and sweetened
By agave nectar.

Life on this day off
is still good…

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Zip: Give me Some of that Funky Stuff

Monday am
Within the thick of
Morning rush hour folks
Getting to their office buildings
Coffee cups in hand,
Bent over on phones x me too.

Ok I’m on smooth light rail now
Speeding me southward
To a high end mall
Management likes to call
A “retail resort”
For a longer term promo.

Coffee is life.
Give me that funky zip
Required to be peppy all day,
Almost every day, on hard floor
Playing with other people’s kids,
Cleaning, smiling.

Three days done, 2.5 weeks to go.
I can make it through.
I can do this.

This doesn’t have to be long.
Every post
Doesn’t have to be deep
And reflect spellbinding experience
Or life changing ideas.

I am just saying hello
Because I am glad to be
Flexing written expression again
By entering this arena,
However briefly.

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Unravel: Using Medications to treat Anxiety–Day 21 of Getting Dressed


A gnawing ache
Intermittently cuts out
A piece of my side
Leaving a gaping lonely hole
Making me hobble,
Tilted and off balance
Baffled as to how
I got sidelined
Spectating in the stands
While players run afield
Assisting and scoring
In their own lives.

Some days, the undertow
Of physiology pulls me down
So much harder than others.

I want a warrior mentality
To hack through life’s outback
Difficulties with machete calm
And cultivated strength
Underneath massive,
Protective banana leaf shade.

How do people keep their
Inner coils well shaped,
Spaced so evenly and
Operating smoothly
During what feels like
Heavy bouncing from
Life’s unexpected
And unpleasant surprises?

Maybe They don’t either.
Maybe they, too,
Feel the ends
Of their heart strings
Getting pulled out
From underneath them

Unraveling spools of composure
And sense of well being.
Maybe the highly evolved
Can also lose their focus,
From time to time,
And forget to make a point
Of seeing beauty
In a smiley face pancake
Or to experience the gentle feel
Of crisp clean sheets
Wrapped around sleepy smooth skin.

Or, maybe some people
With more balanced
Physiological chemistry
And a longer track record of
Robust positive mental training
Are lucky enough to notice
And feel on a little less
Of a grand scale?

I want joyful ways to
Always envelop and uplift me
100% of the time
Giving me depth of measured
Perspective and confidence
To love myself and others,
A warmed inner glow to guide me,
But I know that kind
Of blanket consistency
Is not possible.

While determined to rise above,
There is a definite
Chemical quicksand
That is inclined to make me sink
With self doubt and
Nervous negativity.

Drowning would only require
Allowing my body to go limp
While I ducked my head
Below the surface.
So easy to do
In its very familiarity.

But I want to live
And have a sane existence, at that
And so fight
Tooth and nail
Against my physiology.

Besides medications,
Nothing is 100% full proof,
Including anxiety and fear.
Those feelings dissipate
When held onto loosely and
Allowed to slip away
With ocean tides of
New incoming awareness.

So what about using
Medications to ease anxiety?

I tried that too.
Antidepressants cap
Gale force storms
Within a muffled fog.
There is appeal to living
Inside an emotionally cushioned
Bubble where
Life’s blows fall
With only the softest “thunk!”
And disappear quietly and quickly.

Those meds were a plus
Because they cleared away
Unproductive mental cobwebs
And thereby enabled me
To be the best person
I could be.

But getting through life
With medication aid
Is a double edged sword.
They work almost too well.

I found those meds
To be numbing and
Personality robbing.
While I no longer had
Access to such deep lows,
I also no longer possessed
Any highs of caring
Or passionate feelings.

All my emotions,
Including happy ones,
Became dulled,
Flat lined.

While looking from a
Perch up high on the ceiling,
Down at myself,
I watched my own life
Proceed along from a distance.
Those were odd sensations that
I’m disinclined to relive,
If I don’t have to.

So I sit here today,
With my whole self
Wobbling fragilely in one hand,
Unsure of the most
Healthy way to proceed
Until I do feel better.


Healing: Confessions of a Non-Runner Running

Sunday am started with a loud “Bang!”
Before the sun had risen.

Partner accidentally rolled off the bed,
Had fallen on the floor
And was moaning for help.
Startled from sleep,
I lept up and turned on the light,
Afraid his back was broken
Or something else devastating.

The only damage
Was a skinned knee and
Him feeling shook up
From the unpleasant surprise.
I put ointment and a Band Aid
On the knee as much to
Reassure him emotionally as
To encourage healing
And then left him in bed to resume
Decimating forests
With additional log sawing.

My morning improved.
Blueberry banana pancake and
Coffee feasting followed the incident
(I needed a reward after what
I had just been through,
Didn’t I?)
Also supplemented by
Brain stretching with my
Daily gratitude notes as well as
Making a fun list for,

“What does your ideal
Solo movie night look like?”

Sooner than later though,
I need to make my legs work again.
A light breeze and
Medium strength sunshine
Blanket the region and
I need to get up and out running
In this perfect spring weather.

I do wish I enjoyed the pursuit more.

“Running is life,”

A long, tall guy once remarked.
Not much of a runner,
I personally disagree with
Such a statement.
Much more of a swimmer,
I love feeling light while
Moving through water
Harkening back to some
Primordial instinct of
The way things used to be
For us as a species.
Running feels so much heavier
And more difficult.

I still make myself run
Sometimes though because
I appreciate the benefits
Of cross training.

Plus, there is something appealing
About being able to strap on
Just a pair of trusty sneakers,
Get outdoors wherever I am,
And breathe deeply while
Moving my arms and legs.
When I’m going at a maintainable pace,
Running allows my mind to wander
More freely and with
Less judgement than usual.
There are no pools, ice rinks,
Elaborate Pilates apparatus or
Large, expensive animals
(Like horses) needed.

But my short legs can only take little steps.
My feet hit the ground quickly
Making miniature dog nail
“Tap, tap, taps” on gravel.
I keep my stride purposely tiny
To prevent stretching my legs out too far,
Which results in IT band pain.

Also, if I try to go too fast,
My lungs feel like they are
On the brink of exploding.
Cold white pain fills my rib cage
As I wheez while catching my breath.
Even 5K races have called for
The aid of Ibuterol inhalers
These past few years.

Thus, I allow taller, longer strided folks
Which can include young children
To easily pass my panting self.
Sometimes people whizzing by
Are even engaged in
Lively conversation!

I notice these people run differently.
After they step with a “Tap!”
There is a pause before the next step.
They appear able to defy time and gravity
With a kind of aerodynamic suspension
Unbeknownst to me.
The space between each step
Seems like Eternity

I didn’t end up running today.
I swam and used the gym instead.
Tomorrow is another day.


Champion Joy List Maker–Day 20 of Getting Dressed


In my determination
To turn away from
Hunched over, rotted darkness
In favor of opening up
To nurture my most creative
And inspired self,
I’ve been diligently scouring
The Internet and books
To find “how to” ideas.

I spend early mornings
By candlelight, searching for
And reading articles
To uncover and compile lists
Of things I’ve determined
Sound like fun or
Provide helpful tips
I want to be sure to remember.

Writers suggest discovering new
And rediscovering
Old, past loved things to do.
They say taking
At least a little time
To do something enjoyable
Stimulates the brain,
Encourages more positive feelings
And can further
A person’s engagement
In her own life.

Committed to giving myself
My best shot,
I find I’m quite trainable.
I’ve taken suggestions to heart
And have actually done
Many brand new things such as:

– Taking a peaceful walk
Through my neighborhood
To drop a handwritten postcard
Underneath the door of a friend
I’ve not spoken to in awhile,

– Bought whimsical flowers to
Brighten up our lives
By dispersing small bouquets
Around the house in
A mish mash of jars and pots,

– Made my first mixed drink,
A Scorpion,
Complete with crushed ice,
Ingredients measured and mixed
In a shaker,

– Successfully reupholstered
A shedding office chair
With decorative duct tape,

– Watched many side splitting
Standup comedy routines
On YouTube to distract
And redirect me away from
Anxious or angry feelings,

– Written short daily gratitudes
On index cards
Along with the day’s date
For later reading enjoyment,

– Watched the sun rise in the park,

– Took long deep breaths
Using guided meditation
Or by listening to
Ethereal elvin music,

– Made lists of entertaining lists
I want to keep such as,
“What does your dream house
have in it?”

– Began listening to audio books
Again, in earnest,
To be able to get through
As many quality, hefty books
As possible,

And so much more.

A champion researcher
Into things of self interest,
I keep looking for
More new information
Every single day,

Changing the words slightly
In my Internet query
To try to net different results
To yield yet more suggestions
On projects to try and
New ways of being
That I’ve not seen before.

But this is getting harder.
I’ve gotten to the point now
Where I’ve already
Read most of the pages
That come up.

I have to admit,
I’m greedy and
Never want the supply
Of new ideas to end.

I have to admit another
Unanticipated thing–
The “high” gained from
The challenge of
Finding appealing new ideas
Is almost greater than
The benefits of
Their implementation.

Thus, though it might seem odd,
I wish the search
For new possibilities
Could be endless,
And ongoing
Just as much as
Becoming the kinder,
More joyful person
Incorporating these projects
And strategies
Are supposed to bring out.


Pressing Pause on “Unhappy” to Reflect upon Gratitude–Day 19 of Getting Dressed


I believe that
Freeing myself from
Yesterday’s anxiety and anger
Will leave more room in my head
For experiencing today’s joy.

It’s the emptying process
That can be so hard for me.
My habit is to love
Holding on
To the “bad” stuff by
Rolling mentally unhealthy thoughts
Down a thunderstruck hill
Over and over again
Until they become
Enormous solid snowballs.

That phenomenon,
Difficult and real,
Is part of my physiology,
Part choice
My obsessive personality
Is inclined to make.

In the meantime,
My plan is to cram my mind with
Thinking about the good
In my life that’s sitting
At the tip of my nose.

I press “pause”
On anxious unhappiness
To glance towards gratitude:

Last night I got about
7 hours of uninterrupted sleep
To help clear my head
To be better able to
Appreciate all the
Interesting possibilities
Today holds.

My 1925 water based steam heater
Has been working
Without a hitch this year!

The weather has had many moods
And is now colder again.
The boiler is temperamental
And hasn’t always
Functioned properly
Especially when
The temperature fluctuates.

But our house has remained dry,
Toasty warm and welcoming,
So far,
This entire winter
With no basement flooding

And completely absent of
Speech impaired, elderly repairman
Whose knowledge about this
Specialty piece is suspect,
At best,
Who mistakes my questions
About the boiler with
Interest in him
Followed up with grabby hands.

I get to reconnect
With one of the first people
I met when I moved to this city,
Almost 20 years ago,
Hugely pregnant and
Did not know anyone else
At the time
Besides my husband.

She was my “mentor mother”
Within a program designed
To help women navigate
Through the emotional ins and outs
Of having a first baby.

I had lost touch with her
Through the passing years
After the program ended.
But I always remembered
The volunteered time
She spent with me
Every week
Checking up to make sure
My daughter and I
Were doing alright.

Today, we will meet again
At a popular vegan restaurant.
Time to get my vegetables on!

That is all for now.
Making myself add more
For the sake
Of having a longer list
Will feel forced and


Obsessing About the “Small Stuff”–Day 18 of Getting Dressed


Phew, at times
I amaze my own self
About how unwell I can be.
Constant ruminations
Over what are, in the long term,
Most definitely
Unimportant slights at work
Turn and twist inside my head
Playing and replaying
Hotly relived as,

“I should have said this.
Maybe I still can and will!”

Burning my insides still.
The past.
The event is OVER.
Other colleagues possess only
Firefly short memories about
What doesn’t pertain
To them directly
And so nothing else
Via social media
Can or should be done
Nobody else cares!

Social media platforms
Bread and butter communication
In my industry
Easily accessible via phone
Make for continuing my misery
So easy, on and on
Checking and rechecking.
Writing about what happened
Reading responses
And then adding more
Of my own comments.
No, not done yet–
So hard to forgive myself for
Bypassing the opportunity of
Getting the last verbal “punch” in
To expose how fake
The person really is…

Regardless of how
Anyone else would feel,
Would acing on the angry intention to
Publicly “skewer” someone
Be beneficial for
My own emotional well being
Even if that’s exactly
What the person “deserves”?

Still obsessing?

When will I give
An ugly and ultimately
Inconsequential person and situation
The flea bite, non-importance
They truly deserve?

When will I make the decision
To choose lighted joy
Versus the need to appear right,
Get my Zen on by
Focusing on the very real,
Good and important things
In my life
Versus allowing myself to
Get dragged down into
An my age old,
Deeply rooted pit of
Anxiety and fury?

Later, apparently.

Meanwhile, I’ll go ahead and
Waste my day obsessing.

I know and want to
Move on,
Feel sane,
Healthy and
Balanced again.
This is me sweating
The small stuff
Big time.