31 January 2012


The sun breaks
over the tree line
dripping yellow yolk
on sky still white,
a fitting beginning
to the ending
of this river.

The last small stone of 2012--or is it?

May you travel your river of stones with grace, with joy, with peace...

30 January 2012

Street Art

Pigeon droppings
and rubbed-out
cigarette butts
spatter black asphalt,
a cacophony
of tan and white,
a reverse Pollock
of sorts.


29 January 2012


I am not sure why
this morning I notice
the angling
of my daughter’s
cheek, the lengthening
of her legs,
the blond softness
adorning my son’s
upper lip.

But I do,
and it tastes
like good coffee,
sweet and bitter.


28 January 2012

Into This Good Day

The espresso machine
wakes up louder than me;
with a shudder, the boiler
warms water, steam pops
the filter, a low-pitched whine,
and coffee streams with a hiss
into waiting white cups.

Work finished,
the lights blink off
into daytime slumber.


27 January 2012


The wind pushes dark sky
warm and swollen
to make room
for the brittle sun,
to ease the clouds
clogging my head.


26 January 2012

Pre-Dawn Peace

I cup the morning
quiet much as I hold
my breath on
the inhale: close,
rare, anticipating
opening doors,
feet on stairs
signaling the slide
to the day.



25 January 2012

Listen Up!

my children
actually hear
what I say
like tonight
over fish
when the son
hugged the
and said


24 January 2012


My morning coffee
tastes smoother
stays warmer
in the old
stoneware mug
created when
I was young,
until found
in the yard-
sale bin.


23 January 2012

Walking through Lexington Market on Monday Morning

Fog settles,
Cotton batting over
crushed peanut shells,
chicken bones gnawed
to marrow, bottle caps
and cigarette nubs,
ash ground into asphalt
cracked and broken,
cardboard sheets propped
against the alley wall,
one man’s home.

Fog settles,
a temporary shroud
to the day.



22 January 2012

Stomach Ache

Funny how laughter,
the real deep-in-the-gut
rollicking guffaw kind,
works muscles you never
knew you owned.


20 January 2012

The Fittest

Birds flutter on the porch
pecking at sporadic seed
scattered on the table
before flying to birch branches
to eat.

On the fence,
feathers fly,
the cooper’s hawk


19 January 2012

Temper Tantrum

My daughter screams her frustration.
Adrenalin pounds against my ribs,
small fists, and something
inside of me almost snaps.
But I swallow and swallow
until those fists melt
and all that remains
is my heart
a hummingbird’s wing.


18 January 2012

Truffles in Class

We talk of graphs and data points,
quadratic terms and p-values.
Hands cover yawns, remnants
of the last meal, then push
back sweater sleeves
to expose time passed.

The box passes
around the table,
little cupcake liners
filled with treasure
balance atop notebooks.

Sugar powders upper lips
smiling through bites
of relief.


(Thank you Kal and Kremena for the lovely new year present).


17 January 2012

To My Sister

Walking outside
late last night
the howl in the trees
reminded me of waves
hitting rock, stars
tumbling from
black Maine sky
into moon-licked sea.


16 January 2012

Before Going to Bed

Inside, we on the floor
snuggled among pillows and fleece,
the cat curled under tented knees.
Television sheds the only light.
My hand circles my daughter’s
belly, good-luck Buddha.

Outside, the gutter rattles with rain.

15 January 2012


The yoga studio floor chills.
Above, squirrels clatter on the roof.
I pull blankets over me
their scratchy yarns itch my neck.
Minutes pass, the plaintive wailing of the flute,
the whale sounds irritate,
my belly has no room
for my breath,
But I breathe, breathe,
anyway, find the rhythm,
and the cold, the animals,
the music disappear.


14 January 2012


The table groans: herring three ways, smoked salmon, hardtack and rye bread, beet salad and pickled onions, meatballs simmering in the crock pot, ham and the sharp tang of cheese. Laughter and talk fill the air, escalating as the pot of glogg reduces, and as my guests make merry, I remember my heritage, my grandmother’s smorgas, the relatives drawn from miles around, the children at the children’s table, my mother’s face pink with happiness.

It seems fitting, somehow, today is her birthday. Skaal, Mom. Skaal.


13 January 2012

Baking Pulla

The cardamom
smell from the baking bread
reminds me of fingers
bruising leafy herbs
before the sun beats
too hot,
butter melting


12 January 2012

end of a day

Tiredness thrums,
thoughts and words jumble
all the day swirly-whirly
like maple seedlings
on a spring breeze.


11 January 2012


He stood on the corner
by the 7-11 hands held out,
one gloved, fingertips cut
out, the silk white
against his ebony wrist,
the other palm bare and honest.

He asked, close to baritone,
“Spare some change?”
I gave him my stock answer,
wishing this once I truly
did own a quarter or two
to press into that hand
of grace, to earn his blessing
“beautiful” left in my wake.

10 January 2012


This morning
treading down the stairs
before the sun rose,
the house cast dark
as a starless night,
a hole to never,
a page filled with
black pastel,
until I turned
to the kitchen
and through the window,
the moon, luminous,
washed the rest
of the world
in pearly splendor.


09 January 2012

Before Going Home

Sitting in the car
in the cold dark,
a moment before
turning the key
sleet hits the windshield,
faint chimes.


08 January 2012

My son the angel

Sunlight filters through the sanctuary window. When my teenage son passes, the light plays on his face and billowing blond hair in such a way that, for an instant, he appears ethereal.


07 January 2012

Where I Write

My writing space inspires me: a paper mache sculpture made by my daughter, my son’s baby picture in a Winnie-the-Pooh mug, stationary from Florence edged in Paisley, three dictionaries, multiple Moleskines, a post-card from Charles Baxter, a print of Three Cautious Crows from an artist friend, the We Can Do It mug filled with assorted pens and pencils, the desk tucked into the bay, looking out to three redbuds, bare-limbed now but which promise pink beauty in three months.


06 January 2012


In writing my character Ben
I realize after spending six years with him
he has become more of me
and I of him.


I have spent the past 3 days rereading my first novel BRIGHTER THAN BRIGHT, reconsidering how many voices to present, and in this close reading I have learned so much: about myself, about Ben, about this story and what it means.

A novel is never finished. And that's okay. Peace...

05 January 2012


Lying in the dark
in savasana
my pulse sings,
a river in my ears,
a lullaby.


04 January 2012

Music Practice

Sitting at the computer
wondering what to observe
with quiet contemplation
my son finds the beat:
the keyboard sings
a steady drum, my girl
improvs along the upper
register plaintive minor keys
the Epiphone riffs
some place between jazz
and grunge,
the room explodes.


03 January 2012


The water frozen in the cracks
of this worn asphalt road
glints in the sun, reminding
me of Japanese potters who stuffed
gold into the cracks of pots
which surrendered to the kiln’s
heat, reminding me
of my own flaws needing tending.


02 January 2012

Maple Tree

Leaves cling stubborn to bare limbs
veins trace rivers through tea-stained parchment
translucent against the wan winter sun
beige ghosts of crimson glory
the furled fists rustle, chimes in the winter wind


01 January 2012

New Day

The day breaks shiny and new. Hoar frost glistens, yielding to the sun’s light. Trees throw bare branches into crystalline blue as if to net a bird. Inside, all sleep but me, the quiet broken only by the refrigerator’s hum, the meowing of the cat waiting to come in.


Today marks the beginning of A River of Stones. A month of close observations, of discovering the essence of being. Each observation written, a single small stone which joins the river.