Thursday, August 30, 2007

Poetry Thursday (final) -- The Walker

Didn't follow the prompt -- but something I wanted to write a poem about. Going to miss our little get-togethers . . .

The Walker

He walks around and around the Ferry each morning
Covering the tiny circumference of its deck
Wearing a thin path of footprints in the morning moisture
Energy expended while traveling into the city.
Weather makes no difference to his determined step,
Just pull up the hood on his yellow rain jacket.

All the while . . .
Sun circles around the Milky Way
every 225 million years
Earth circles around the Sun yearly
Moon circles around the Earth monthly
Earth rotates on its axis daily
Ferry circles its route every ninety minutes
And the Walker circles the Ferry for his half hour trip.
Watch and see, tomorrow morning it all spins again.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Change


Nothing stays the same – seas rise, buildings fall
Babies are born and people die.
The rest run routines of comforting illusion
That if it’s not the way it was, it’s the way it should be.

But the uneasiness remains, floating above each day
No one really knows what part of their life
Might disappear without warning leaving only empty echoes
Being beloved is no shield, just an assurance of heartache.

Reasons why are unknowable and even so no consolation,
Unable to relieve the paralysis of uncertainty
But without choice everyone goes on carrying on their backs
The unceasing risk that it could all change tomorrow.

Note that this wasn't written in response to Poetry Thursday shutting down -- but it certainly is appropriate in a bittersweet sort of way.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Flip Flops

Lightening things up a bit after last week . . .

Flip Flops

When I was young if you went out you needed
To wear proper shoes that covered your toes
To protect your precious and vulnerable appendages
From horrendous injury marked by pain, blood, and gore.

Flip flops were not proper shoes. Okay maybe for a trip
To the beach or pool but certainly not appropriate
For going to the store, or church, or riding your bike
Because of predatory escalators, pews, and spokes.

But now it appears that flip flops have come into
Their own, evolved beyond their use at pools and
Showers into standard footwear to go out anywhere
To the store, to the office or even (gasp!) on a hike.

Of course this no doubt signals (according to my mother)
The beginning of an epidemic of bloody toe injuries and
Other catastrophic amputations as well as the end of
All modern civilization as we know and love it.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Anti-racist Parent Meme

1. I am:
Caucasian and immigrant members of my family came to America from England (early 1800s), France (via Canada - late 1800s) and Germany (late 1800s).

2. My kids are:
I have a daughter and son from a former marriage that are genetically related to me and my ex (family came to America from Wales). My youngest daughter is African American and was born in the United States.

3. I first started thinking more about race, culture, and identity when:
My husband and I were in training to adopt my daughter. It was the first time that I had really had to confront white priviledge and understand how it affects how I see the world. However, I must say that it had been lurking in my mind for many years -- really ever since I was in second grade, living in the south, and came face to face with how difficult the living conditions were for many African Americans there -- I was delivering a ticket to a play I was in to the home of a black girl in my class and until then didn't even know how poverty could look and how connected to race the situation was.

4. People think my name is:
English -- it's actually Scottish (my husband's family came from Scotland -- but close enough).

5. The family tradition I most want to pass on is:
How we are there for each other through thick and thin.

6. The family tradition I least want to pass on is:
Ignoring difficult family problems and muddling through rather than facing the facts and coming up with a solution (painful though it may be).

7. My child’s first word in English was:
Not applicable -- daughter is only nine months.

8. My child’s first non-English word was:
See no. 7

9. The non-English word/phrase most used in my home is:
Totally English speakers here.

10. One thing I love about being a parent is:
Baby hugs. They are the best!

11. One thing I hate about being a parent is:
Lack of sleep. I thought she'd be sleeping through the night by now . . .

12. To me, being an anti-racist parent means:
Raising my child to have a positive self-image about herself, her looks, and the culture she was born to. I want her to know that she will face people who will judge her because of the color of her skin, but she will have the skills to not allow this to stop her from doing something she wants to accomplish (and also to educate some, too -- if she wants to). I want her to feel proud of her heritage and comfortable with her history as a transracially adopted person. We are working to forge connections for her in our community to help this happen.

You can read more about Antiracist Parent (ARP) at

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Ode to Pat Tillman

I'm not really much interested in politics -- and the war is just plain sad in my opinion -- but this possibility crossed my mind after hearing about his personality. Also, no disrespect to his memory or his surviving family intended -- this poem is supposed to be anti-war -- if it makes any kind of statement other than a warning to strong personalities considering the military.

Ode to Pat Tillman

The dangers of war are known to all
Multitudes of ways to make men fall
Mortar, landmines, infection, disease
Conspire to bring soldiers to their knees.

But other dangers some soliders face
If fond of putting others in their place.
Group dynamics requires some tact
You never know how others react.

Those surrounded by men heavily armed
Should know life is not magically charmed
Decision could be made by those helping you win it
The squad would be better off without you in it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Familiarity

Here's poem written in response to feelings brought on by the adoption of our daughter.


Two adults with children
Seen anywhere together.
First photo of a new baby,
Pictures of kids as they grow.

You search to see, cannot help
but ask – how are they
alike? Does he look like me?
Does he have the “family” eyes?
Does she have, heaven forbid,
the “family” nose?

How pleased we are to say and hear
“He looks just like his daddy” or
“She’s a spitting image of her mommy.”
As if a match was to your credit.

It’s done without thinking
this alliance of familiarity.
Why do we claim a child
through bone or body shape?
After all, the surface shows
So little of what a person is.

This superficial visual sort
cannot be the only way
to put together family.
What a different process if
character was as visible
as the color of the skin.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- The Ghost Orchid

Inspired by a family connection to a recent news/Internet story.

The Ghost Orchid

Rare ghost orchid found in Florida
In a preserve we visited as children
Running sneakers on the boardwalk
So noisy we’ll scare everything away.
Luckily our noise did not bother the plants.

Just look at the roots, experts say
It’s been there for years as we grew
From children to adolescents to adults
Then bringing our own rambunctious children
To walk the planks but still no one saw the ghost.

Hidden behind sheltering green cypress branches
It bloomed each summer for two brief weeks
Beauty unappreciated, unseen, unbeholden
With nine blossoms -- three times normal --
Corkscrew Swamp’s overachieving orchid.

But a hurricane whipped by global warming
Tore the screening branches away to reveal
The rare blossoms to be cherished, prized
Like time has torn away the everyday
Making treasures of family memories.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

London Lions

Decided to select what pictures to post from my recent London business trip (with one lucky day on my own) by following a theme -- here are my London Lions . . .
Lion from the atrium of the British Museum
Image of a Lion Hunt, again from the British Museum
A Lion Adorns a Building in the Middle Temple (one of London's Inns of Court)
Lion and tourists in Trafalgar Square
Lion that guards the end of the Westminster Bridge

Poetry Thursday -- Beach Theme

Felt the weather couldn't justify any other theme for this Thursday . . .


An inverse island of salt water
Sits shimmering under the cruel sun
Making a haven for skittering crabs
To tuck under wet rock and sand.

Movement dots across the tiny world
Lucky barnacles throw out their nets
To harvest the concentrated stew
Blinking like hungry Christmas lights.

Squatting anemones are pale coins
Scattered across the puddle bottom
Rising columns of bubbles betray
Others sheltered beneath the sand.

A group thrown together by fate
To eat or be eaten under the beating sun
Who will be left to live on after
The tide returns to rescue the marooned?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- What I've been up to

Here is a poem that I hope explains why I've been MIA for a bit. As always, critique is welcome.

The Move

I always dreamt that someday I would
Live near the sea, in the tangy, humid air
Of childhood vacations, stiff with salt.

Now I find I do. We left behind the rumble
Of rushing cars and trucks, packed it all
In crisp cardboard boxes and sailed away.

A wave-rounded rock lies cool in my palm
I breathe in that air and wonder about
How strange it is for someday to arrive.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Fifth Photography Assignment -- Masculine

All the female members of the class had to take photos that showed "masculine" things or traits and all the male had to take feminine -- should be interesting . . .

Here are my masculine pictures:

Old school . . .

New school . . .

Big screen TV with gratuitous violence

Oil -- what's more masculine than that?

Stately lion

Fourth Photography assignment Before and After

Before Her First Communion

And after --- at the party!

The cake before . . .

And after being decimated by the hungry hoards.

The table before the party . . . and after.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Third Photography Assignment -- Temptation

Fast cars can be a temptation (yay, I got panning to work.)

Harley Davidson -- now that's a temptation.

This guy really gave into temptation -- dealing drugs.

When you have no teeth, pizza is a temptation (or I guess when you have teeth, too.)

Poetry Thursday -- Villanelle

A Life is Slight of Hand

A life is slight of hand and tricks of time
Bright eyes flash signs that truth and love might grow
But know the mind’s tight grasp won’t start the chime.

Then stolen love is not returned, a crime
To one means naught yet to another a blow
A life is slight of hand and tricks of time.

The search goes on without poetry or rhyme
Yet love is found somehow in light’s soft glow
But know the mind’s tight grasp won’t start the chime.

Commitments made and side by side to climb
Now hearts can ask is there more than to know
A life is slight of hand and tricks of time?

A babe was sought but proves too long past prime
A dream so doomed to fail from the logic flow?
But know the mind’s tight grasp won’t start the chime.

Boon child did come, chance aligned sublime
She grows each day a pace that will not slow
A life is slight of hand and tricks of time
But know the mind’s tight grasp won’t stop the chime.

Well, that was about the hardest poem I've ever written. But it's done, done I tell you!!!!!! As usual, critique is welcome.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Second Photography Assignment -- Power

The law has power over all of us.

Money is power -- certainly in a capitalist society.

And, finally, the dog is one thing in my life I have some power over -- usually.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- borrowed line

Defenses Breeched

Once burned, twice high I
Stacked the bricks and tangled
Twigs like barbed wire atop
That place where emotions
Bubble out so not to strand
A tender soul once more in
Firing range.

But bit by bit, like drops of
Water hitting stone to make
Sand washing to the ocean shore
The wall crumbled away and I was
Rescued from the world of one
Or was it just a flimsy fence
And he a man of steel.

Thanks to Marcia for the closing lines of this poem. I actually read her poem after I finished mine and we certainly had two different takes on it. Just goes to show the versatility of language.

First Photography Class assignment -- motion

Grebes at Greenlake
Fast shutter speed -- moving objects frozen
(I actually "broke" the rules here with "merger" -- the heads of the grebes on either end of the shot -- but I think it balances out)

Spring Ride
Slow shutter speed -- moving objects blurred

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- to, for, from a poet prompt

To a Poet

Ah, Poet – you serve up language
in tiny bite-sized pieces
Like a primped and garnished
entrée of nouveau cuisine.

But can the experiences and emotions
that splat across our lives
Be properly piped onto a plate
sauced and orange peeled, just so?

Instead, with your words drag me
inside your skull to peer out
Objective made subjective
to feel, taste, touch, me within you.

And then and only then, my Poet,
your work will earn from me
The coveted cordon bleu.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Family FotoFun Friday

We're not going to get my daughter's picture taken on a bunny's lap -- but here's a picture of her with a Easter bunny.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Image Prompt II (A Little Late)

My older daughter is choosing a college and it is heavy on my mind. So I had to write about it . . .

The Choice

A thousand opportunities
A hundred paths to take,
Now three doors are open,
And there’s a choice to make.

Once a babe in arms – eyes bright,
A child that danced and played,
A teen that wouldn’t listen,
Now a woman to be made.

One door will take her far away
Another keeps her in sight.
The third is not the place for her
The fit is not quite right.

Each one is right,
Each one is wrong,
No matter what,
She’ll soon be gone.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Family Fun Foto Friday -- Feet

Here are my daughter's teeny tiny brand new baby feet --

and her chubby jumpy four month old feet. I think both are as sweet as can be.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Poetry Thursday -- Image Prompt

Deer Valley Petroglyph

The tap, tap, tapping
Of rock upon rock
Chips fly to reveal
A self portrait, two arms, two legs
Time travel in the desert.

Five splayed fingers like those
Curled around the rock
Or tapping a keyboard.
Do you, too, have the burning desire
To shine on after you are gone?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I've created this place to store results of creative work online -- I plan to participate in Poetry Thursdays and Family Fotofun Fridays. I'll also post pictures from my Monday photography class to keep things moving between challenges.

. . . and I'll keep reminding myself:

This isn't like math; there's never a right answer.
Lyn Lifshin

Comments are always welcome.