Saturday, February 6, 2010


Clear blue sky and warm sun
Gorgeous earthy tangle
Of oak and agave
Fragrant hedges
Dewey with recent rain
All turns
Like love in my breast
Home smells
Coffee, onions, lavender and bleach
Warm my blood
That should be thick as bacon grease
In these pale Northern veins
But instead
Seems to run thin
As new maple syrup
Around my tired bones
Through my stinging heart
Outside the green-black grackles
Tune their strange vocal radios
While here I sit
Pen to paper yet again
Still searching


The rainwater piles up at the foundation
Melting the mud and clay and sand
The branches of the Live Oak are slick and green
And the ball moss sprouts ferocious tendrils
The vibrant rooster of mysterious origins
Which appeared two days ago
Hides from this late-winter deluge
And the raccoons on the roof are quiet in the chill nights
Down by the wild rushing creek
The prickly pears drink what they can
And the little lizards are nowhere to be seen
The swans with their great white wings
Glide the lake unconcerned
The pigeons however are miserable

The Curiosity Shop

The little bell tinkles knowingly
Ushering her out of cold rain and heavy thoughts
Into another world
A grandmother’s attic
A collector’s back room
A museum of dreams
Formal faces without names
And needlework by hands long gone
The stacks and shelves make alleys
And it seems she could lose herself
Like Alice among the teacups and books
The picture frames and bits of lace
Old advertisements with wildly grinning girls
A hundred or more salt and pepper shakers
Must dance, she thinks, in their odd perfect pairs
When the lights are out and night falls
On the belt buckles and license plates
The dozens of mirrors – etched and indigo and crystal clear –
And the small stuffed fawn
An Indian head glares down from a wooden tray
Half obscured by a Victorian parasol
And fans blow old wedding veils
Like a mist across a milk crate of worn Teddy bears
And another of LPS and colorfully creepy medical prints
She giggles over a giant fork and spoon
Then gasps as, turning, she is
Confronted by a legless armless mannequin
In a jaunty hat
This palace of wonders is full of secrets
Small vials of dark unknown things
A pile of bronzed first shoes
No longer wanted
She is caught for a time by a photo
A smiling group in a sepia garden
With one young man looking, not out,
But to the side of the frame
His expression mixed
His subject, like so many other stories here
But resurrected in her imagination
walking slowly
under skies
un-Austin gray
steam rising
off Barton Springs
cloaking cormorants and herons
and big white swans
in ethereal splendor
making knobby-kneed cypresses
appear somber
and mysterious
cars passing over Zilker bridge
hit a heart-beat rhythm
tires catching blacktop seam
thrumming pulse
to throbbing soul
on path below
round rocks roll
from beneath
my muddy sneakers
dropping down
sheer sides
to turquoise creek
like an excited mutt
running in the park nearby
my soul scattered
under the red oak leaves
hiding the menace
of poison ivy
still a threat here
even in winter