My First Collection of Poetry is now available for purchase:

Selected poems from Dancing the Bones of a Far Older Future, all rights reserved:

Come Closer

There is a peace, here
in this place I remember 
this intimate breathing space 
your body and mine. 

It is both
our very recent past
and part of a
far older future
embodied by ancestors
who knew each being by name: 
I know their names,
just as I know yours once I meet you
a process of meeting 
and being met.

Now that you know me
there is an intimacy between us
when you say my name 
your breath
a small wind
that softens my face
into the sound of your name

this is how friendship is formed
a way in
to the landscape of love.


As our kids return back to school 
after six months of pandemic 
and facing a future
of climate catastrophe
the most important lesson I can teach

 is how compost works.

How old stinky banana peels
and last night’s spaghetti
get put in a pile with slimy carrot rinds 
and rotting mashed potatoes
which then becomes
the most important thing needed
for growing future seeds.

But first, it stinks.
Then it rots.
It’s stench calls together
all the tiny lives
no one thinks are important
and they quietly digest all that garbage
leaving their poop behind
as a valuable resource
transforming all that smelly glop
into fertile, black gold.

I want to remind them 
that compost is boring.

It takes a lot of time.
It attracts flies and worms
and creepy crawlies.
It’s not the fun part of the lifecycle.
It requires patience and perseverance.

I also want to remind them that 
the creepy old white men
standing on the rotting piles 
of racist patriarchal trash
are losing their balance, 
slipping and dying away.

It is their generation’s ability
to digest all these
old broken structures of yesterday 
and make something new

that makes the compost ready
to amend these broken lands
and lays the groundwork
for the tiny carrot seeds of hope
to grow our more sustainable future. 

Family Weavings

There are patterns that are short-lived, 
the way a hand brushes away a stray hair.
There are other patterns done so often, 
they form a groove
and sing their own song:
a chorus of refrain and return.

We are given tapestries
ancestral weavings of various threads 
some cordage made of nettle and sinew, 
hard to the touch and stinging
even after all these eons,

other threads made of molten gold 
precious as jewels 
made long and sonorous 
fabric songs 
of silken mirth and wisdom.

Weaving our own lines into the cloth,
what we weave
with what care
or what chaos
depends on our attention.

We are given the blanket,
a tapestry interwoven and complicated. 
To unravel the threads
is not impossible,
but clearly Penelopian.

We hold the lineage of threads in our hands.
We cover our sleeping children in these quilts
the patterns absorbing
into their subconscious sleep
into the dreams of their future lives.

Cherished objects, quilts. 
Museum pieces tapestries
family heirlooms
knitted blankets sacred sutras: threads.

Perhaps we are not at liberty 
to undo the errors of history.
Perhaps it is just our turn
at the loom.

To sit, to weave
each stitch a prayer of attention*
to create our own patterns
dancing totems of wisdom and folly 
habit and intention.
To leave for our children's children 
to befriend the repeated mistakes, 
our humility before God.
To perfect the love
woven into each stitch
to pass on what small wisdoms we have learned.

We, the weavers. 
We, the woven.

*Quoted line by beloved poet and mentor, Sally Atkins “Each stitch a prayer of attention” from the poem “Breath is the First Prayer”.

Trained to be in Love with the Now
under the too hot breath 
of the late summer wind 
as I danced my yoga
under the clear blue 
future of the sky
I thought,
I love the Fall.

Next I thought,
I love every season.
I love the deep invitation of Winter 
to go within
cuddly with a good book
and big mug of hot, honeyed tea.

I love the transition
wet and windy blue
into the new promise of Spring.
I love how Spring 
gives way like a lover
falling into Summer
into her hot heat
her ripe abundance
the dance of fullness.

And now I love
how tawdry Summer speaks
in dry husky corn 
and voluptuous squash.

The sweet acidity of juicy tomatoes 
and the cool kiss of cucumbers.

I love every season
because I have trained myself to do so. 

I love every minute of this
one and perfect life I have been given.
To take what is mine
for only this one breath and stretch it out
to encompass 

a whole year

and then


Sacred Ash
I literally dust off my typewriter
dust, the ash of all our dead skin cells
I remember and list all the images 
That live within me as seeds:

The dried egg shells
that I blend into a fine powder
that look just like my mother’s ashes.

The ashes of activated charcoals
that leave little round pucks 
of spent prayers 
and how looking at them,
I remember that ash, too
is a holy substance.

The mounds of sun bleached,
broken white shells on the seaside
that speak about the lives
of mollusks farmed long ago
who have left their rugged bones 
as reminders of their short and glorious lives.

And how when I pour my mother’s ashes 
out into my hand
for her third death anniversary
on the Spring Equinox
how they look like pulverized egg shells
and sun bleached oyster shells.
A mix of fine silt and the hardened, 
stubborn bones
that refuse to become dust
that remind me of her tenacious spirit
her loving, oceanic heart
so vast, so constant
in her tireless love for me.

So she comes to me in dreams, 
with my dead cat. 
She hugs me as she sorts boxes
of Christmas candle holders
a box she saved for a day like today.
I hug her, and feel her 
warm flesh in the dream 
not the ashes and bone pieces, so dry
so without the illumination 
of animated flesh.

And so it is, that the fine dust of time
that has settled on my typewriter this morning
is a second hand recording of moments past 
and becomes a welcome silt
of where future rivers
meet dream oceans
of mothers
and beloved pets
and hopeful horizons.

And I remember
how calcified shells
feed living bones.
How dust becomes
fertile soil again
and how the passing squall of rain
and sunlight through the cedars this morning 
washes open my heart
like a delta
reminding me of the confluence 
where the warm flesh of my hand
meets the sacred ash it holds
at the intersection
between my body 
and god.

Stadiums of Absence
For Stella Marie, Jan and Lynne

So now I understand loss
which is to say that I don’t understand it at all. 
The oddest absence.
The empty hallway
where just yesterday she stood
and you talked together
you in your angry, articulate
ups and downs
and consonant staccatos.
She in her inside voice
vowelly growls and breathy woofs.

You think after all we’ve lost:
friends, lovers, parents, 
memories, technologies
we would be good at it by now.

But it turns out you still need all the room where they used to stand
all that room that needs to stay open
as “space available“
but not for sale or rent.
Stadiums of absence
big blank spaces
where they used to stand 
where we will stand one day 
when the game’s over
and the janitors
are cleaning out the the stalls
sweeping up spilled popcorn 
and lost dreams
in those empty
stadiums of absence.

Turns out,
that’s just about how much space we’ll need.

Earth Bodies, Sky Spirits

Where sea becomes sky
the circle continues bleeding
bleeding into
green blues
grey scale
sea scale
fish scale
mermaid scales
the scales balance
heaven and earth
linking the dead and the living.
how is it we bury
the dead
in the earth
but imagine their spirits 
existing only in the sky?

earth dwellers
our clay bodies break break open
and leave the clay husks
lightning shoots forth 
soul a shooting star 
thunder claps
the gun explodes
the clay pigeon 
explodes in the air 
and the clay body
rains down on earth
from sky 
to sea.

Where does sound go 
once it is no longer heard?

Strawberry Moon

Inside, looking out
the invisible wind
moves through the landscape. 

Tall summer grasses dance
as unseen hands
brush their tops 
and they bend toward
the red wing blackbird nests
hiding below.

What is it to watch the unseen 
move through your life?

Crab apple limbs flailing, 
leaves shuddering.
The trellised Concord grape 
and the faded prayer flags waving in unison.
There is a necessitated emptying out
that comes
before the new can arrive.

The mowed field, 
the empty studio 
and the deep quiet 
that accompanies the next arrival.

If you sit at the lake long enough 
for the silt to settle,
clarity arrives.

If you can stay with
the discomfort of the unknown, 
and endure loss and emptiness 
a few moments more
on this full Strawberry Moon, 
six golden haired children
will come running through
that freshly mowed field, 
galloping kitten in tow, 
exploring this uncharted field of infinite possibilities.

And the unseen wind continues, 
ruffling their hair,
the long grasses,
the surface of the lake,

your life. 

What Water Teaches Me

King tides and long drenching rains. 
We are in the time of Great Waters.

Time to flow fluidly with gratitude 
and drink soup & tea.
Time to let old insults roll off the back 
and watch for new
mushrooms to emerge overnight 
in the fertile space created 
where resentment is composted 
and made into fruit
watered by the forgiveness 
of their mycelial roots.

This is the time to allow rains and waves
to wash away the bitter, 
the hardened,
the calcified.

Even stone cannot stand up to flowing water 
and her old companion: Time.

Time to return to the softness of water, 
how in its shapelessness
it can become take any form.
How it can be liquid, solid, gas.
Can float from sea and become cloud,
then rain drop
then river
and return back again to sea.

Time to be watery again. 
Time to let tears flow and resentments go. 
Water has returned to us to nourish us
and remind us: all is fluid,
all is flowing.

We are but drops
returning to our birthplace, 
rivers flowing to the sea.

Stillness We Expect to Find

Now I notice
the peaceful ones
the clean ones
the ones who have made friends 
with the stillness.
Youth in all it’s precious unfoldment 
of tiger lily petals
and lightning ambition 
shoots across the sky 
and heads
as all sound does 
towards silence.

It seems as we approach that horizon line
the sunset of our lives
a still deeper silence approaches us
beyond entropy
beyond fear
we approach enveloping light
or darkness
depending on
what we expect to find.