Monday, September 29, 2008

My ship is sinking

My ship is sinking
Though furtively I plug holes
It is futile
I race side to side
In an attempt to prelude loss
But as a result
The bolt is rocking
About to flip
No longer can I see the shoreline
nor the hues of blue
The once gentle swaying
Feels more like turbulence
I am seasick
I am drowning
Throw me a life jacket

Friday, September 26, 2008

Touch Therapy

Touch therapy: it’s what I need
 to caress your cheek
 to run my hands through your hair
 to intertwine my fingers with yours
 to stroke your chest
 to feel the warmth of your body as it radiates heat
 to purr to the rhythm of your heartbeat
 to experience contact, head to toe
 to relax in your safety net
 to remember I am alive
Alas ... you are not here to touch


Memories sustain us:
Reminders of heartfelt moments,
outstanding accomplishments,
and endearing encounters

Memories constrain us:
Reminiscences of painful detachment,
unfathomable failure,
and loss of control

Memories … a catalyst to pursue or relinquish dreams

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Past threatens

Just when the past
Threatens to tighten its melancholic binds
Precluding movement into the future
The present barges in
Demanding to be reckoned with

Por eso

Appreciate all that is and can be
Dwell not on “what ifs” and “if onlys”
For someday today will be but a memory
And tomorrow will be forever out of reach

Friday, September 12, 2008


What refrains
Echo in your mind
Long after
The music
Has stopped?



Addresses, destinations, jobs
Now and forever
Floors, on the landing
What was and what will be
Then and eternity
Heaven and hell
Heartache and true love
The sheet and the blanket
The lines on the pavement
Sunset and sunrise
Between it all
Is me

Neither here not there
Not a baby or an “elder”
Somewhere out there
Not flagrant, not plain
Neither asleep nor awake
But a different
State of consciousness.
Not only in between,
But also all inclusive.
Better than on the edge,
In between is safe and comfortable,
With a low affective filter
Allowing me acquisition of
New language, life skills, love

Take Time to Wait

Take time to wait

He waits

For hues and contrasts to elegantly pose
For restless clouds to play king of the hill
For wispy yellow pink highlights to play peek-a-boo
For branches to frolic in the evening air

And he waits

For the setting sun to calm the western skyline
For the gentle breeze to unfurl the flag

And he waits

For the perfect composition
For the perfect setting captured
He waits

But if he waits too long
The moment will be gone

Monday, September 8, 2008

Don't Be Afraid of the Darkness

When my kids were little, I used to sing to them every night at bedtime. Usually the songs were a combination of campfire songs or old classics with modifcations in the lyrics so that they applied to my kids. One night I started singing, making up a song about not being afraid of the dark. After singing a verse or two I was asked to sing it again. I hadn't really thought about what I was singing, but I managed to recreate it. After they fell asleep, I wrote down th words. Slowly but surely I continued to add more verses and tweak what I had each night. Some day I'd like to make a children's book with the words and make a recording to accompany it. (Don't worry, it wouldn't be my voice.) Here's the song/poem:

Don’t be Afraid of the Darkness

Don’t be afraid of the darkness,
’cause it’s a special time
when you can see the lights
that you couldn’t see when the lights were on.

So don’t be afraid to turn off the light,
you just may be surprised
by all the lights and shadows
that appear right before your eyes.

The stars shine a little bit brighter;
the moon comes out from behind a dark cloud;
the street lamp in the distance
shares it s light both near and far.

The light sneaks down the hallway
and underneath your door.
The light you see in the darkness
is like none you’ve seen before.

A nightlight can ease your worries
And chase away the gloom
The beams of a passing car outside
brighten your night black room

A flashlight under the blankets
a hug from your teddy bear
don’t fret, don’t frown because you know
morning will soon be there

So next time when the lights go out
and you start to feel some dread,
don’t be afraid of the darkness
just remember what I’ve said.

Soon it will be tomorrow
the night will be but a memory
the sunrise of the morning
will put the darkness to bed

So don’t be afraid to turn off the light,
you just may be surprised
by all the lights and shadows
that appear right before your eyes.

Don’t be afraid of the darkness,
‘cause it’s a special time
when you can see the lights
that you couldn’t see when the lights were on.

Simple Joys

In the middle of chaos, of a word full of turmoil
It is in the small things I find simple joy:
o An unsolicited hug from my teenagers
o A compliment on my teaching
o A snuggle from a fuzzy kitten
o A rainbow filling the sky
o A call from a long lost friend
o A smile from a passing stranger
o A touching Hallmark commercial
o A wave of hand at an intersection,
o A sink empty of dirty dishes
o A $10 bill in a pocket of last season’s jacket
o A good night’s sleep
o A chat with you

Was It Just Yesterday?

Was it just yesterday
Or yesteryear
That we gazed into each other’s eyes?
Was it but my imagination
The veracity of our connectedness?
No words were spoken
Of tomorrows or forever,
No promises made to be broken.
Secure with the knowledge
It was what it was, and nothing else
I close my eyes and sigh.

Music Permeates Our Lives

While in the car we sing old favorites
while at pre-school, rhyming songs
in church we sing praise to God
on VH1 we hear the top 40s
while roasting marshmallows we sing campfire songs
advertising jingles relentlessly stick in our heads
at sports events we sing the national anthem
or our school fight song
at bed time, a lullaby
yon the dance floor, "our song"
in the shower, the car, the church, the classroom
country, jazz, rock, contemporary, international
eight track, cassettes, records, compact discs
phonograph, record player, walkman, boom box
jingle, ballad, love song, fight song
it sells, it soothes, it energizes, it romanticizes
Music does so much.
Music permeates our lives.

She Catches the Words

She catches the words
And puts them on paper
Which she hides away in the darkness

And the candles no longer burn
And the moon is hidden behind the clouds
And the shine in her eyes is gone

The words will not lead you there directly
The path is not an easy one
Not for the weak at heart

What do you care about
When you fall into my words
Into my eyes
Into my life …

I will catch you

While reading lines of poetry
I noticed that I was not alone

I listen and I think I hear you there
I thought I saw you there
And again over there?

The words of the poem come wafting on the breeze
Like a pleasant gentle perfume

I can’t find my way

But I know he is there
And I’ll follow the words
I don’t care about the risk
I don’t care about the difficulty

So I let myself fall
And I fall in
I fall into the fountain of words that is you.

Store your Secrets

Where do you keep/hide/store your secrets?
• Under your socks
• In a locked box
• A sealed envelope
• A deep hole like buried treasure
• In the depths of your soul
• Behind a wall in your heart
• In an old black backpack
• In a discarded photo album
• In the imaginary confines of your brain
• Under your bed
• In the confidence of your trusted friend
• In a personal diary
• In the words of a poem

It matters not .. .
What do you do with those secrets?
Or what they do to you?

Do they . . .
• Trap you?
• Lay mute?
• Give you nightmares
• Make you cry out in the night?
• Stifle you?
• Depress you?
• Caress you?
• Haunt you?
• Control you?
• Mold you?

Or are they well kept … wherever it is you keep/hide/store them?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

In my queen sized bed

As I lie here in my queen sized bed
My blanket pulled up to my chin
To fight the night’s chill
Before sleep whisks me away
I find my thoughts wandering
To you in your bed so many miles away
Are you under the covers? Or on top?
Are you naked?
Do you sleep to one side or commandeer the middle
Do you like to be held as you fall asleep,
Maintaining contact throughout the night?
Or do you prefer your space as you slumber?
Sleep beckons me now …
I will succumb …
To be with you in my dreams.

Darkness calls my name

as darkness calls my name ... and begs me to sleep ... I strain to stay awake ... one more minute .. one more hour ... in the hopes of seeing you ... alas my heavy eye lids have won .. and the bed will be my keeper ... sweet dreams my sweet.

Time passes … and still we wait to be together

Face it

And as you face the unforeseen winds
Fear not that which awaits you
Embrace it
Cherish it
Return to share your dreams and visions

Trying to make sense

Trying to make sense

Too many showers have fallen.
Clouds of turbulence
Disrupt my sunshiney disposition,
Create a storm in my life.

When unexpectedly
A brilliant, awe-inspiring rainbow
Leaves me breathless
And I long for the unattainable pot of gold

After captured in time
By the magic of photography,
The rainbow abruptly fades away
Leaving the nothingness that previously existed

The photograph of that rainbow
And the memory it represents remain
But in time, they too will fade.

hasta la luna

tú a mí me gustas
desde la tierra hasta la luna
de ida y vuelta caminando

la distancia de monterrey a Michigan es lejana
pero tu amor y el mío
la hacen corta

te veo

te veo y me ves pero todo es nuevo
lagrimas no caen
y sonrisas brillan el día
aunque la distancia nos separa
nuestra conexión nos conecta
y mis ojos ven que sí todavía hay espero
lo veo en ti

No estaba buscando nada

No estaba buscando nada
Ese día
Pero te encontré
Yo, como de costumbre,
Te dije direcciones
Y tú, sin saber, las recibiste
Las primeras palabras mías

Y empezamos

A platicar, charlar, hablar, comunicar
De muchas cosas: familia, música, amor
Y lo que realizamos
Es que juntos
Tú y yo
Sonreímos más
Y esto es lo más importante

I fell in love

I’ve loved, lusted, been enamored
Been loved, been on both sides of unrequited love

When I was just five I first fell in love
But my daddy said, “He’s no good; his dad’s a drunk”

When I was ten I fell in love
With a boy in my class
But my daddy said, “He’s no good; he’s black.”

When I was 16 I feel in love
But I quickly found out he was just being nice

When I was 17 I fell in love
But I realized he wanted only one thing

When I was 18 I fell in love
But my dad said, “He’s no good for you.
He’s a wanderer with a motorcycle.”

When I was 21 I fell in love
And it was so real and right,
But he was scared. He fled.

When I was 25 I fell in love
But the support and love ended; I left.

When I was 37 I fell in love online,
But he was married
And in real time, we didn’t click

When I was 40 I fell in love
It was sporadic and he wasn’t ready to commit
As I wasn’t “the one.”

When I was 43 I fell in love
and he treated me like a princess,
but I wasn’t ready to be royalty,
so I sent him away.

At 45 I fell in love
but I didn’t have the right
For his heart was not available.

And now, I’m not in love.
And it is okay. Next??

And then ...

And then . . .
After . . .
I thought I would flee
Return to my empty bed
Allowing you your space
Your independence
Your life
. . . not wanting to cross any emotional lines
Even though our bodies
Had already erased any physical one that existed
But still …
My instincts screamed
And you invited me to stay
And I did
Next to you, by your side
Through the remains of the night
In the morning
The dreaded morning
Desire to stay . . . reluctance to leave
Voice in my head crying “run!”
But we kissed. You hugged me. We talked.
We were still good.

I worrry too much

Perhaps I worry too much
Perhaps not enough
My interaction with you
Taunted by my intentions
Too open
Too closed
I cannot find the balance.
I need balance.

The Confidentiality Clause

The Confidentiality Clause

What is it about confidentiality clauses
That makes them so secretive?
So mysterious?
So clandestine?
So indicative of wrong doing?

Having one of my very own
Has forced me to close the box
In which I have stored memories
Good and bad
Less my story be told

My back is turned to that which I cannot reference
Leaving a gap in my past and a hole in my future

Ever since I was a little girl,
Playing school with my dolls
Reading books to my stuffed animals
Solving math problems for fun on my chalk board
I knew I would be a teacher
Just like so many of my relatives before me.

Junior year in high school
I, like so many of students before
And decades of students after
Took an aptitude test
Confirming my inclination towards being a teacher

Although stewardess, cow girl, and massage therapist
Were other careers in my top five,
There never seriously existed
Any competition for my career path of education.

My love for teaching, my passion
Grew with every classroom of students I greeted.
So many times, my commitment
now exhausted
Accused me of having a mistress: my steady job

And now I wonder … should I leave
Break up
Find a new lover

A Few Words

I suppose this would be a good a time as any to say that these poems are not posted in any certain order. They range from recent (just written today) to very old (as in at least 30 years ago). The catalysts for my inspiration have varied greatly and will continue to change, I imagine, day to day. My main topics are about falling in and out of love, family, friends, grief, nature and music. Once in a while I will think ... "hmmm ... I should write a poem for ______ or a poem about _____. But usually my pen just calls to me and says "It's time to write" and I write. I hope you enjoy.

I'm Not Done With You Yet

I’m not done with you yet
There’s still so much I want to do
With you
For you
To you
Because of you

So much to share
Stories to share
Jokes to tell
Hugs to exchange
Lessons to learn
Tears to cry
Songs to sing
Joys to discover
I’m not done with you yet

I Dance!

It Matters Not . . . I Dance!

A ballerina I am not,
Though my love of dance is strong
Tapping my toe to every song
Feeling the music fill my body
Till every muscle is full of motion.

One cannot truly dance without a smile
Plastered securely,
Highlighting sparking eyes.

Music fills my soul
And all my being.

Swaying slowly
Or stomping feet
To the rhythm:
A square dance
A quick romance
The hokey poky
The hustle
The tango
The Macarena
A masquerade
A holiday parade

Slow or silly sophisticated or hillbilly,
What matters is the dance

Measure Time

We measure time in so many ways
While holding our breath … seconds
When running the mile … minutes
(lots of them for me)
a movie in hours
a semester in weeks
a year in seasons
a life in years
and a relationship in experiences . . .

first e-mail, first phone call, first irl date
first kiss, first hug, first overnight late
new restaurants, new movies, new places to go
new just for us . . . new jewelry to show
misunderstandings, separating rifts
insanity issues, random gifts
time to talk, to play, to work, to scheme,
time to wonder, to grow, to laugh, dream
all of these times mark the passing of us

no matter the incident
however time’s marked
what matters the most
is time together in heart

How Old Am I?

How Old Am I?
Sometimes at night
I curl up in the fetal position
before I fall asleep.
Clutching my teddy bear,
I read bedtime stories
and laugh out loud.
When I see hopscotch
“chalked” on the cement,
I must play.
The candy in the checkout lane tempts me.
My mom buys me things
‘cause I’m her little girl.
I look both ways
before crossing the street
and I hold hands with my little friends.
Arthur and Barney are role models in my home.
I know all the songs.
When I hear music, I begin to sing, dance and clap my hands.
Scary movies give me nightmares.
Every morning I pack my lunch for school.
I sleep alone
in a queen size bed.
How old am I?
I’m the mom, don’t ask.

Who would think

Who would think
that behind old prom dresses and graduation gowns
under moth-bitten sweaters
in a box with the four flaps
tucked under one another
beneath old school pictures,
an outdated magazine with laughable fashions
and a pile of over due bills
is a dust covered wallet
whose measly contents are limited:
a temporary license stapled to its predecessor
a work ID, and a big screen movie card
hidden in a secret zippered pocket
is the movie ticket stub
you told me to save forever just because.
And now the memories overwhelm me more than they should
and I tuck them back away
for another day.

This man

I know not this man
Who calls --- just because
Who says not the words
But shows that he loves
This stranger I have met
And newly befriended
After years of animosity
I know not what turned the key
But this man
Has always meant the world to me
This man --- I call my dad


Friendship –
An irreplaceable gift
That can only be shared
Not given or taken
Cannot and should not
Be defined or destroyed
By any one event, action or word
A bond that endures
Time, distance, neglect and mistakes in judgment
Not determined by age, location
Financial or social status
Race or place
As strong as ,
Durable and everlasting
Yet, as fragile as glass
To be treated and treasured with care
Worth the effort ….

Silent Tears

Silent tears fill my eyes
as my heart swells,
my throat tightens
and I begin to shake

What releases the floodgate that holds my memories in tack?
o A song on the radio or a melody hummed by an unknown passerby
o a subtle scent or a whiff of perfume, perhaps ode de watermelon bubble gum
o a holiday celebration full of familiar traditions
o a threatening thunderstorm or a gentle rain shower
followed by a double rainbow
o an echo of your voice on the wind
o a dream that awakens me in the middle of the night
o the reflection of your smile in a child’s eyes
o a photograph depicting a captured moment in time whether stoic or comic

So many waters at constant battle, this barrier at my emotional dam
but not one tear, not one memory will I lose.
I will remember and treasure each ... always.

Monday, September 1, 2008

What is Real?

What is real?

If a blind man cannot see the colors of a rainbow

If a deaf man cannot hear the wind whispering in the leaves

If a mute cannot speak words of passion

If a man cannot distinguish cherry from strawberry

If a man cannot smell the perfume of a field of flowers

If a man and woman share the intimacy of love but have never touched

Is it still real?