Unmasking Favors For Mercy—Sexuality Reconsidered

Gaping, oozing.
Gauze to dab and absorb
Putrid pus,
Scarring and puffy stiffness,
A degree of
Hardening over
In the aftermath.

“I want to be
A source of peace for you,”
You tell me.

The ridiculous nature
Of that comment
Made me laugh.

Joint participation
Life elaboration,
Calm, relaxing serenity?

My strong suspicion is that
Peace giving has never been
A regular gift
You’ve bestowed upon anyone
Including yourself…

Hovering over me
Raw desire
Crackling sparks
Burning skin and hair
At the edges of
Consensual violence
You hold me down tightly
Arms pinned over my head
Unmasking favors
For mercy.
Lost in brambled wilderness,
Grabbing for rooted tree trunks
As I fly by,
Limbs flailing,
I can’t move.
There is
Nowhere to go anyway.

My body
So firm and developed with
Tense, rigid motions
Becomes an open sea under you
Flowing a salted essence
In our togetherness
Carving rocked canyon passageways
In foamy roaring rush.

Under paddles of
An ever turning fan,
I forget about
All our mixed blessings—
Fulfilled emotion
Delayed longing
Twisted fury amid
Bankruptcy of past choices
Enough to impoverish
An entire continent
Between the two of us.

All this
Becomes a trickle
Through misshapen deserts
Ebbing to a half halt
Into watery finger tips
Creeping up flat smooth shores.

Time and place cease.



Sludging Through the Grit of Human Essence

This Thanksgiving will be different.
Perhaps the first time ever
That at least some portion
Of family will be absent
From the table.

We will be in town
Convening with friends instead—
Something I’ve always wanted
To be able to experience.

Years past, while we
Juggled car seats and strollers
At crowded gates
Waiting to board planes
To sit crammed among
The coughing and the
“Big-boned” spilling elbows
Over tiny armrests into my ribs,
Sister has often related
How she is bringing over
These sides and
Even the turkey, once,
To her neighbor’s
Across the street.

I’d like to wake up,
Be able to
Roll out of my own bed,
Celebrate good health
And a day off from regular life
To run a 4-mile race
With 10,000 other people
Under a cool but bright and dry
Colorado sky and then
Walk over to my neighbor’s house
Bringing sides and wine to share
Like we are going to do,
This one year, at least.

Parents don’t live
Forever, of course, so
Making a point of
Spending holidays with them
In addition to making other visits
Must occur most years.

One day,
Parents won’t be around
To have to travel to see,

But this year,
With Daughter making the
Day-long trek from Maine,
We will all be together at home.

After all,
Daughter, then Son too,
Will one day have a job
And be involved in
Relationship(s) that may prove
More compelling and
Thus won’t always be
Available to spend this holiday
With us either,

Such is spending days
Moving through this planet—
Kids growing up,
Everyone getting older and
Wiser, hopefully

Sludging through joyful and
Painful passages alike,
For there will be both
With varying lengths, intensity
And some occurring simultaneously
Or overlapping
And mixed together

To form the grit
Of human essence.


Particular Musings From an Emotional Cusp…

Sifting through
The security line at
The Boston airport,
I consider my trip to Maine
For Parents Weekend,
About a month ago now.

Seems like a lifetime ago
When I was “young”
Before certain key events
Aged me
Light force warp speed
Into a wiser, elderly framework
Caning betrayal and heartache
Followed by resulting complex,
Confusing romantic arrangements
Previously not known to me and
Whose dicey edges
Prove difficult for me
To stomach and digest
Leaving me feeling limp
And bogged down mentally and thus
Not particularly
Emotionally present
During the visit.

I recognize
I wasn’t much of a parent, really,
For Daughter and
Am sorry for that.

Still, I’m glad to have
Made the 2100+ mile trek
To see and support Daughter
In her new east coast
Collegiate world.
Showing up, even if unengaged,
For important events
Must be
Way better than nothing….?

Heading to wherever,
People stand quietly
Within stanchioned boundaries
Waiting their turn
To be considered safe enough
To board aircrafts.

“Did you run the
Yosemite half marathon?”

I overhear a woman
From the next aisle
Asking a tall slender man
Right behind me.
Glancing back, I notice
He is wearing a sweatshirt
That indicates
His participation in that race.
Through long pants,
I am still able to
Discern massive,
Developed quads underneath.

“Yes I did. It was brutal but amazing,” he said.

“There is a whole national park
Half marathon series,”
He tells her
And the man she is with.

“Awesome. We both
Just ran a half
Along the coastline
This past weekend,”
She responds.

As I had just run
My first half marathon
10 days prior as well,
I listen intently
Without participating,
Fascinated by the coincidental
Shared experience of
Four strangers
In such close proximity

And start to ponder
The potential benefits
Gained from wearing
Race branded gear, now and then,
When out and about.
Maybe I’ll wear my race shirts
More often out in public too.

Maybe someone will notice
And ask me about my race.
Maybe I can meet
Other athletic healthy people
That way,
Find some common interests
And possibly even become friends.

Mind whirling,
Maybe I can eventually find
Another person to run with
And who wants to even travel with me
To a destination race….?

Maybe not—
By developing such a
Full arc of events and wishes
All from a
Hypothetical trajectory,
I’m aware that
I may be expecting too much—
But the ideas began forming
And hold my interest
As possible future goals and desires
To look forward to.

To the extent I am able
To turn those ideas
Into reality
Remains to be seen.
I have miles left to go
And “Promises to keep,”

Still, the concepts
Gave my possible future life
A degree of
Making me smile
As I turn towards
The approaching unknown…


Atmospheric Head Spaces Cleaned Out and Reconsidered

My atmospheric climate
Still shrouded in clouded pain
About things done and over
Makes me cringe and
Want to run away from myself.
How can I become
More well again?

“I love my life moments”—
An exercise to shift focus
To lighten mental load
To look forward
To surface from
Swampy bog heaviness
Drowning despair
To leave mental deserts
Filled with land mines
Unleashing anger shrapnel
Ambush cutting through
Tender skin,

I consider listing ways
Of my being in love…

Cognac—dusted cherry
Cheery finish pepping up
Any glass of red wine
Already lustrous in
Varietal swirls housed in
Oak and dried dark berries
Makes me smile in
My newer discovery
Of coloring an evening’s success.

Just a small pour, now,
A wee wine spike
To respect the unexpected
And often sudden slamming
Spirits can wield…

Masculine “play”
Fleeting, meaningless and harmless
Makes long hours
Standing on concrete floors
Under bright lights at
International trade shows
Highly entertaining—
Bringing me
More in touch with
The sheen of my internal beauty
And any lightness of being
My soul possesses.

“I’m a student at
Colorado School of Mines
Studying super computing,”
A dashing, dark haired
Man with olive toned skin
Tells me.
Locking eyes, we smile.
I feel feminine attraction inklings
Moving within me
Immediately dissipating
As he moves on to the next booth.
I didn’t even know
This person’s name and
Knowing wouldn’t matter anyway.

“I’ve developed and
Programmed database processes
And now am head of
Texas A & M’s campus computer
Administration,” another
Nameless man lets me know—
His cocky, confident
Self promotion and
Blatant male preening
Warm my insides, momentarily,
Regardless of his short stature,
Barely my own five foot height.

I retain a soft spot
In my heart for males
Possessing strong quantitative
Analytical abilities
Making good money—
What can I say?

Thanksgiving holiday approaching,
I seek friendship and family building
Here at home, for once,
Not wading though airport lines
Crammed into tight flight seats
Breathing questionable
Controlled air.

We have, in our situation,
What I consider a luxury this year
Of not having to travel anywhere
During the holiday season.

Those are a few
Of my favorite life moments
That come to mind that
Bring me slices of joy
Right now…


Black Fear Keeps Me Living

At times I still fret
Over your whereabouts
Even when in town
An oblong fluttering
Tapping on glass walls of
Sanity and wellness
Fragile and see-through.

I want to be different
More settled into my own projects,
Busy being my own person
Delighted with
Resourceful ways of learning
And being.

So I gather up my reins,
Roll my shoulders back
And sit tall
To harness personal energy—
I seek work, execute events,
Cook dinner, do laundry,
Bake, write and
Try to listen intently
When my children talk
To engross myself,

I need to get there

But still…
In the back of my mind
I’m waiting.


While sipping hot tea
Alongside vegan
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
Packed dense with
Whole wheat flour and oats,
Yet, recently from the oven,
Are soft with supple warmness.


I have no interest in
Living through and
For anyone else.
Anger creeps.
A dank well out of which
Knotted gas wafts
Filtering the color
Of life’s appetite.

I hate myself for worrying
To this degree
And at times,
I wish we were both dead
So that both of our souls,

Equally tortured with
Twisted visions of
Wanting to be loved,
Striving be a Good person
Under the backdrop
Of needing approval from others,
Searching for safety, security
While determined to stay alive
And engaged as, at least,
A somewhat productive society member

Shot down from life’s sky,
Could finally crash
In a forced rest
And bleak peace.

But then,
Deadness is so final
Cold black
Coffin of nothing.
An afterlife?
That’s for another post.

To be dead means that
Children, the budding adults
They are becoming,
Out of necessity,
Would continue living
Will find career paths,
Have children of their own
Experience rich joys
And deep sorrows
A portion of which
I would have created.

Sister and parents,
My primary link to heritage,
Would grieve
While they too
Would proceed through life’s journey
Navigating through
Aging and health issues
And everything else
Without me.

The need to be included
In their futures,
The fear of being outside
Looking in from the sidelines
Behind death’s unforgiving barrier
As a faint and distant observer
Versus vibrant participant,
Left out from
Key people’s glass raising
During life’s monumental moments,

All moving on without me,

Keeps my will to live fueled
Impressing upon me to
Use my limited time well while
Living on this planet
By finding and seeing joy
And meaning
In fractured minutes.


Winning Gratitude—Sometimes You Just Got to Grab It!

Anger courses through
My veins, curdling,
Disfiguring smile fragments
All crooked and cracked
To force light in
While socializing with
Daughter’s friends
During college homecoming weekend
Alongside their parents
So polished and tall
Fresh from Nova Scotia vacation

Loss of right arm,
Now rotting at the stump,
An amputated heart
Dulls eye twinkle,
Discoloring future outlooks
Taking me away
From fall foliaged
Daughter focus.

I’ve spoken of
My recent evisceration
In great detail lately and
Will tamp a heavy lid
On those emotions
For the time being,
Switch gears for sanity’s sake,

To breathe sunshine
Through my exoskeleton
Spread my toes wide
To feel prickly grass creeping
Through phalanges
While spreading a flowered blanket
On the ground to
Unpack picnicked goodies
Present in my life.

Peering into
My gratitude basket
Stiff joints creak in dusty,
Rusty protested must.

This past month—
Embroiled in
Emotional beheading,
Corpse flaying
Skin left brittle and
Hung out to dry,
I’m a bit out of practice.

But here I go
Grabbing items by the neck
Wriggling with reptilian reluctance
From exposure to daylight…

My luck is with me
In the in-law department.
Not everyone has extended family
She can stay with
In different cities
Who will house, feed and
Drive substantial distances
To visit Daughter.

I’m lucky for being
One able to hop a flight
To travel to northeast hinterlands
For parents and homecoming weekend,
In the first place
To see Daughter’s new life now.

Coffee and wine
My primary daily liquids
Run plenty on this trip
As do puppies, fall leaves,
Kid activities—bygone
In my own life
And so missed—
So the trip has been
A successful, good one.

My birthday approaches—
I’m blessed with
Supreme physical health
Muscles rippling with
Striated use
Strong functioning
Internal organs,
Facile inner systems,
Well oxygenated blood
Surging through every capillary

So far so great
So much so that
I’ve begun looking into
“Racecation” destinations
To travel to
To run a half marathon
At sea level
Versus higher altitude
In the US and/or
In another country.
Not everyone can pull that off
In her mid 40s…

Friends will “willingly”
Gather to celebrate my
Increasing wisdom
Noshing on fried food and drinks
While we lose track of time
And forget the world’s troubles
To karaoke our hearts out.

I’m aware that not everyone
Including myself, at other times,
Can pull that one off either
And I’m thankful on many levels
That this year I can.

I smile inside
For the delicate souls
In my family still breathing
Into their lives and mine—
My children, my partner,
My parents, my sister
Who even called me yesterday—
All precious beings
Alive and well enough
Hospital/nursing home free,
Unhindered by chemo or surgery,
All ambulatory,
All speaking and making
At least decent sense, thus far…

I haven’t lost anyone
For anything yet.
I know someday I will.
Everybody does,
But that time is
Not quite here yet.
That kind of fmaily fortune
Still runs through my fingers.


Finding Loyalty to Yourself Regardless of the Actions of Others

Solid hard hours of sleep
Leaves an optimistic possibility

Dragged down with
A broken heart and
The tyranny of my own thoughts
Hydrogen sulfide stink
Infiltrates my bedroom
An unwholesome beady eyed troll
Digging deep with twisted claws
Always mining my soul.
So now what?

I reach
Finding only dry brittle leaves
Crumbling between my fingers
Sifting through the ash
Of what was
What could have been
And what will likely be.

I open my eyes
To days dimmed to
The sun’s warmth
Parched from feeling
The pliability of
Robust physical health
I was so lucky
To celebrate yesterday
Running the best race imaginable

A magnificent accomplishment
Achieved through months
Of consistent determined
Training and preparation
A loyalty to myself
Not everyone possesses.

Instead, overwhelmed,
I have allowed
Panic, rage and sadness
To curtail joy
To pillage my appetite
Dull my tastebuds
For tasting and savoring life
Leaving me weakened
Crawling towards the finish line.

This bleeding out
Needs to end
A tourniquet I construct
And wrap myself
Must cease this sapping.
I want to be a better,
More mentally healthy,
And maybe loving person, even.

I need to look forward
Consider what I want now
Develop goals I want to have
And shine where I excel–
Moving inch by inch
Working on making my plans
Come true the best I can.

An upturned tortoise
Wobbling on the shell’s curve
Legs flailing, mid air
Soft underbelly
Vulnerability exposed
I’m definitely off balance
Who knows exactly for how long

But I’ll get there.






Falling out of Love With the Wrong Person

Believe me
Sometimes you know
You’ve fallen out of love
And it’s “over.”
There’s no turning back.
Light switch permanently off.

Some door that once opened
Into lighted magic phenom
Aurora Borealis
Now has a cold knob.
Ashes behind tears
Gale force black ink squirted

Octopus arms suction
Formaldehyde cadavers

Be done with this eternity.
Be strong
Stay safe
Be sane.


Elastic Heartache

Being kind
A warm fire heart
Crackling with welcome
A steady hand
To guide gazes towards light
Palms turned up and open
To receive life’s gifts
Relationships, opportunities.

Knowing depths of positive
Sometimes fleeting–
Nothing lasts forever–
But also pausing to see beauty
In the scratchy,
People quirks
Barren polish
Dented sheen


Less can be more.

I wonder how to make “good”
On all the promises
I’ve made to everyone.

Stilt walking
Uneven sidewalk frayed and pocked
While holding high ball glasses
Molecular thin transparency
Filled to the brim

I wonder exactly how
To step correctly
To avoid tripping and falling

Or getting a long peg leg
Stuck down into
A ridiculous divot
Everyone else except me
Spotted and steered left
To safely avoid
While my blind self
Lost footing
Then toppled.

I wonder how, in this process,
To keep everyone happy
I don’t always know
If my heart and hands
Are big enough
Have sufficient taffy
Elasticity to stretch
Absorb and
Envelop everyone
With the time, energy
And love they so crave
And deserve.

I don’t know if
There’s enough of me
To fulfill you–
To meet your needs.

I am aware that
There just may not be.
I breathe to quell
Rising panic
In attempts to expunge
Creeping grief

For I am nothing without you.


Can a Person be TOO Popular?

At times I shelf
My feelings in a box
Locked, tied, hamstrung,

I don’t always know
The shape therein,
The textured manifestations
Of starred joy
Dotting life’s landscape
Emitting a soft brightness
Flexible in cheeky brilliance

But also sadness and pain–
A mismatch–being on
The wrong page,
A footfall lag behind
Other, more popular
Resourceful people.
Me, Always a squared peg.

Is it possible for another person
To be TOO well liked?

Missing the last step
On a winding stairway.
A stumble downwards
Into an infinite moment
Of nothing.

Despair–unreasonable spans.
Webs of acid clutter
Overreaching across
Oblong distances,
Tubular in its hollow fullness.

I rack my brains trying
To figure how to make
My life work out
In a way that makes sense,
Will nourish my heart,
Keeps me safe, healthy
And growing too, ideally.

I wonder if
I’ve been a fool
Lacking proper adult judgement,
A pauper urchin in my instincts,
To correctly understand people–

Demon shadows rise within
Fingering obscene hand gestures
Sporting ugly faces
Deepening my fear
As I wonder whether
I’ve been wrong to marvel in
Fine leaflings of trust
The beginnings of sprout
A daring to hope,
To actually arc my mind and body
To reach for futured “yeses”.

The crush of that possibility
Of having erred in this manner
Butchers me open
Leaving grizzled intestines
Dangling in forever length rust.

A wholesome unwellness
Just for me
Right here, right now.