Entry 32: Tree


She dances solo

On a patch of grass

Across from the prison wall


Birch white, with swirls of gray

Like a couture gown on a Paris runway

She wears no leaves of jewelry


Waves her curvaceous branches

Her trunk stretches

Towards the sun


She is aglow from within

My throat aches to

Not have the skill


To expose her visual beauty

My words are corny

Analogies juvenile


I envy the painter

Who shapes and shades

Shadows and highlights


All I have are saturated words

Inadequate for

Her Majesty, and I

I am unworthy

Entry 31: Edith


She sits on a stool behind the door of the women’s bathroom at the back of the bar.  The floors are the color of dark mud, and the stall doors look beaten up by years of neglect.  It is a tight fit: she and I are within a hug’s reach while I wait for one of the two stalls.  After using the bathroom, I wiggle past her knees and the rolling cart that she has stocked with liquid soap bottles in various scents.  She squeezes the orange soap into my hands and I turn to face the spotted mirror above the narrow sink.  A hand-written cardboard sign is propped against the back of the rusty faucet, announcing that she is Edith and that she would appreciate any tips for her services of giving soap and paper towels to visitors of her bathroom.  

Above the sign, a small wooden shelf hosts reused plastic containers, filled with remedies for assorted problems that could be encountered by a bar-goer:  rubber bands in multiple colors, individually-wrapped mints and candies, single doses of aspirin.  She has stocked each item thoughtfully, and I assume, with her own money. 

I am most touched by the container that now holds assorted sizes of tampons, imagining how fortunate one would be to find Edith’s bathroom, out of hundreds of establishments, in the midst of an unexpected period crisis on Bourbon Street.

Entry 30: Time Stretches


I open my eyes to a morning glow

for one moment there is


the clock stands silent

until my mind knocks on the door of my


chattering quietly then quicker

the clock ticking and tapping

I inhale a slow


soothing the prattle

my neurons awaken pulsing with


choices stem from there

in the morning I meander among the redwoods

and delight my taste buds

filling my stomach with freshness

I then voyage to the

farthest waters watching blue whales

leap from choppy seas

mid-day I attempt to learn to knit

fingers fumbling

relieved of the burden to know-it-all

over dinner I commune with a loved one

sharing heart stories and dreams

then I paint works of art that

mirror the anatomy of my soul

before dreamtime I ponder and

breathe in

chest expanding

the wonder of a day where



until tomorrow

Entry 28: Center


my toes solid on the ground

the vortex thrashing around

me, my stomach feels the uneasy

tickle of the winds sweeping

threatening to yank me

into the spin cycle of dust and trees

and houses, the screeches pierce

through my ears

to my brain, destabilize me

and I get swept

into the vortex

thrashing limbs,

contorted neck,

dust in eyes,

wind-tangled legs,

without success

i grasp in the air,

reaching for the calm

close, it is there

desperate for the

still center

out of reach

of the tornado

grasp again

for the tornado’s



Entry 27: My Boring Morning Commute


I travel the same boring route to work for over an hour every morning.  Much of it is on a slate gray, two lane highway, and on most mornings, the sea of cars lurch forward, then rock back as we navigate the traffic in a collective wave.  Each morning, I pass the same field, and the same gas station.  The same rotary circles by the same prison, and the same American flag covers the entire back side of the farmhouse.

There is nothing spectacular about my daily commute, it’s likely as unremarkable as your own. But one day, there was something magical about the snow-lined branches.  Another day, it seemed a miracle that the sun pierced through the stubborn winter clouds that had been present for over a week.  And today, I found fascination in an outrageous bumper sticker– how does the owner decide what bumper sticker will represent her best?  I am similarly fascinated with how one settles on tattoos and Tweets.

Anyway, I digress.

These days, I stick to this boring route, even if Waze tells me another route will be shorter.  I take glances at the sun glistening on the snow, where the field houses a massive and lonely boulder.  

One day, my mind wandered to the inside of the prison walls and wondered if it was here that Jose, a spirited and joyful resident at a homeless shelter, learned transcendental meditation.

Another day, I saw a flock of birds fly over my line of sight, not in the typical V-shaped pattern, but in an elegantly organized cluster.  I am not sure if they were heading north, or south or somewhere else entirely, but they seemed to be taking the scenic route.  

I have come to love my boring commute.  In its routine, I am freed up to connect with my surroundings, and acknowledge what is unique about today.  Even the road more travelled by, with attention, can make all the difference.

Entry 26: What if we were to take from the Earth


What if we were to take from the Earth

Only what we needed

To feel whole and fulfilled and beautiful?

What if we were to ask others to give

Only what they were capable of giving?

What if we were only to create

Art and poetry,

Relationships and communities,

Products and companies,

That bring love and healing?

What if we each were to feel the pain

Of all other beings?

What if you were to expect yourself to be

Only what you are in the


Stillness of your safe place?

What if we were to take from the Earth

Only what we needed?

Entry 25: Vibrance


Sacrifices dilute

Fade my colors

Mixed with your tired hue makes

Mushy gray violet

The color of nothing

Sucks the joy out of


Inside me knows only my true

Color will complete the masterpiece of my


You need to find your primary


I cannot pour my paint onto your


I can only shine my

Light as you feel your way through your

Darkness. I am shining my


Entry 23: Never


I never walked through a cold forest

Alone with my fears

Lighting a fire to survive.

I never jumped from a plane

My face skin whipped by

Gravity’s wind.

I was never violated

Body and soul crushed by someone’s need

To seize.

I never left the shore for long

My leash reeled me back in again

And again.

I never felt hunger for food or ambition

Or heart-break that made me want to die.

I dab, with a fumbling brush

My wound, my doubt,

Onto a homemade canvas

Wondering if I have anything

Worthy to say