Sunday, October 9, 2011

What's it all about?

There has been a lot of criticism of the Occupy Wall Street movement, much of which centers on the supposed lack of a clear message.  It's not that the message isn't clear, it's that there are is a long list of grievances and unless the sources reporting take the time to hear many of these, they will remain ignorant.  Of course, considering those "reporting" are in America, they're either completely stupid or just plain lying if they say they don't know what this is about.  In fact, I think you'd have to be from another planet to not know what this is about.  I am not a politically or economically-minded person.  The intricacies of this mess are a blur to me but the big picture is that our country has been robbed and the whole world is suffering. 

My personal complaints in relation to the Occupation:

*  Working too many hours for too little compensation.
*  Working full time with no health-care.
*  The fact that higher is out of reach education due to the cost and lack of promise in the job market.

But also:

*  The difference in percentage of income paid as taxes by the ultra-rich over the past 30-50 years.
*  Millions of Americans lost their savings, retirements, homes, and got no compensation.
*  Those who were at fault for the losses got a "bailout", (because they run on our money), but not a cent was returned to the people who actually lost everything.  Not a single person went to jail.
*  Students graduating college can't find jobs in the field they studied for, and if they can they don't pay enough to live, let alone pay back their enormous student loan debt.
*  Millions of Americans have no health insurance.  Of those who do, most have to pay large co-pays and pay for many things that aren't "covered".  Health "care" is an industry, aimed more at "treating" dis-ease than preventing or maintaining health or curing anything.  Big Pharm. is an evil industry.
*  The 1% (top wealthiest) greed has infested everything, causing us to relentlessly pursue our planet's natural  resources and use forms of energy that are ecologically toxic. 
*  We've been brainwashed into consumerism and have lost much arcane knowledge, we need to regain more power over our own well-being.
*  Our food is tainted, the government has allowed the modification not only of prepared packaged food-type products, but also of your basic tomato.  It's getting difficult to get clean seeds.  There are far too many money-makers in our food system, putting pressure on farmers and exponentially over-charging consumers.
*  Our politicians, (and, therefore, our policies), are insistently influenced by large corporations with designs on wringing every cent out of the world while polluting at their leisure. 
*  The "two"-party system isn't working anymore.  The super-rich should be taxed properly and out of that more reasonable tax-pool, each individual who is elected by any party should be given the same (reasonable) amount for campaigning and time in televised debate or, better, just making statements and taking honest questions. 
*  Voting should matter.  There should be no electoral college.  One person, one vote.  Period.
*  And we should be able to vote on EVERYTHING.  We should not be at the mercy of congress sweeping in mid-term and abolishing our new, shiny health-care reform.
*  Every American citizen, (I believe every human being but I have to start where I am), should have health care, a college education, decent primary schooling that is not based on standardized testing, a home that's made of healthy, natural materials and is affordable, work that pays a high enough wage to pay bills and enjoy life, fewer weekly hours worked and more time off, healthy, clean food that isn't "genetically modified" or made of chemicals...
*  We need to be more local.  I'm against sending work over-seas but for a somewhat different reason than some.  I do want things I buy to be made here, as near to me as possible so that the transport of goods does less damage.  I also want these nasty corporations to stop setting up sweat shops in other countries, paying people disgustingly nominal wages to work in brutal conditions so that I can have some cool stuff at the Target dollar-spot.  If we stop all of that, if we bring our work home and take our money back, stop warring all over the place, we could go to these countries and help because our own country would be functional.
*  We don't want to be at war anymore.  Bring our soldiers home.  That's a lot of people who could work at designing and building clean, sustainable power sources.
*  There is a lot of work to be done in this country.  There are a lot of jobs to do.  We just need the money to pay for them.
*  We're not alone.  The reason we've sat in American and watched as Egypt and Libya and Greece and so many other places erupted is that it's been almost-tolerable for so long.  Not only do we have a lot of conveniences here, we've also been taken with the idea that we're somehow in a bubble, that the things the rest of the world has to deal with don't affect us.  "Well, sure glad we don't have any evil dictators here in these great states!"  Unless you really stop and think about it.  Or if they get really greedy and just decide to pull a mighty heist right before everyone's eyes.  Like they did.  It took us three years of stewing over that to get to where we are today.  We're standing up for ourselves, and we're standing up with the rest of the world.  We've finally said, "We're with you!  We're not going to take it anymore, either!  We're with you!".   I'm really glad to be here, watching and cheering and, soon, marching with the whole world.   

 It's about taking it back!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wall Street is Occupied

It's happening!  The revolution we've needed, the one I've felt brewing under the surface of our society, has finally begun!  There are thousands of people filling Wall Street in New York City, speaking for the millions of Americans who are finally fed up.  We're tired of struggling, of outrageous student debt, jobs that don't pay enough to live, being scammed out of our savings...  We're tired of the top 1% holding so much wealth while their special interest groups lobby with their almighty dollars to make changes to our system that hurt the other 99%.  Our schools are horrible, taxes are all out of proportion, the cost of living has increased much more quickly than wages, and our government is doing nothing to protect us.  They're totally fed by and beholden to these big corporations who are running our country into the ground. 

I've never paid a lot of attention to politics or finance.  Over the past few years I've tried to learn more about what's going on and it's completely crazy.  I understand why I didn't want to know.  We've been conditioned to look the other way.  We're mollified by T.V. and movies, video games and various other distractions.  We're pitted against one another  by "issues" that don't interfere with the corporate agenda.  I feel this fresh air blowing across the country.  We've finally woken up.  There are finally enough of us who don't want to look away anymore.  We want things to be better. 

The fact that this is happening in America is very important.  I have no crazy ideas that America is still the most "powerful" country, and certainly not the most wealthy, but we are the most watched.  I wish it wasn't that way but even if you look at the entertainment industry, someone can be wildly famous elsewhere and utterly unknown here, while most big American names are known in many other countries.  Who in America had heard of Alanis Morissette before "Jagged Little Pill"?  And she had two huge albums just north of the border.  Unfortunately, for a long time, we've also been one of the least politically active societies.

We're supposed to be the leaders of democracy.  I feel we, the people of the United States, have an obligation to the rest of the world to hold our government accountable.  We have freedoms that others don't.  So many people have risked so much the world over to rise up against corrupt systems.  We have it easy here, in a lot of ways, and that's been one of the problems.  We're finally outraged at ourselves.  We realize we have the power to change things and we're done being complacent.  Our forefathers sent us a lovely statement about what to do in times such as these.  :

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

(We should say why we're pissed.)

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

(We all know that part, right?) 

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

(We, the People, are in charge.)

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.  But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their further security."

(People will put up with a lot of shit but at a certain point, enough is enough.)

My new favorite document is the Declaration of Independence.

  It's time.  Enough is certainly enough.  There are a lot of things wrong with this country and with the world.  People everywhere are taking steps, brave steps, to create change.  I'm buoyed by this.  Those people down on Wall Street, and the others all over the country in support, and all over the world in similar battles, they're hope incarnate.  These people are heros, they're our voices and our outrage, they're pursuing justice for millions.  God and Goddess bless them and protect them!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pub Prologue

Would you like a round of rollicking wit?
Or to hear of Nature's succulent tit?
A tale of two lovers, star-crossed and horny?
A knight lost and stuck in a mire deep and thorny?
A kind old and rich, half-dead on his throne?
A princess made maiden without any home?
A dog and a man who danced for their bread?
Something to tickle as you numb our head?
Shall it be twisted like labyrinth’s gait?
Keep you on edge of your seat and breath-bate?
Stories of gods, the old or the new?
Something about me? Something about you?
Something well-known, familiar, and rusty?
Or something bawdy, bodaciously lusty?
Something to color your dreams tonight?
Or to keep you up turning over with fright?
A tale of a barnyard and what's done out back?
Or of traveling man with mysterious sack?
Shall it be magical, whimsical, Faye?
Or heavy as pondering your dying day?
A story of olde handed down mouth to ear?
Or one I just wrote, this very year?
Do you want royalty, high on their- selves?
Otherworldly places scattered with elves?
Pipers and rodents are overly-done.
Shout out a brand new idea just for fun!

The Michigan Renaissance Festival is in full swing right now and I won't be attending this year but I think it inspired this!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How to Not Let the World Drive You Crazy (if you're me)

For my 100th blog, I thought it appropriate that I actually show up and write a blog, (rather than just post some poetry).  The obvious topic: Why haven't I been blogging?  Ok, gather 'round girls and boys and we'll work this one out.

I think the main thing that has kept me away has been the things I've been thinking of.  They don't have any simple solutions or plausible explanations.  I can't find that Pollyanna spin for any of it.  I suppose it boils down to shock and awe at the state of the world.  The problem with that... ok, I can't even begin to breathe on a whisper of a hint of the problems with that.  But the problem with me thinking of it is that it is without solution.  That is, as long as we look at the big picture.  And I've written about this before so I know this already.  When you stand too close and look at the details, when you try to work it all out and make some sense of it, when you try to see what's really going on behind what we're told, you feel very, very small.  And that's no way to ignite a revolutionary state of mind, or to promote any sort of hope at all.  What a person has to keep in mind is that the world is absolutely, incurably, undeniably, sickeningly, and dangerously insane.  And it's not our fault.  Well, that is, it's not our fault- individually.  But the point is that we're not meant to try and affect that mess.  We're not supposed to be out to slay that wind-mill.  We're each here about our own individual business and that can get lost in a heartbeat as loud as this world can be. 

Ah, there's the thing that does me in- the roar of the world.  It comes in so many voices.  It's the T.V. I stopped watching, the horrors that are happening even though I'm not looking, political opining, so many -ism's, so much abuse and cruelty. It's just a big, loud world out there and it can rub a person raw just to know about it.  My reaction to that is to retreat till the scabs heal.  I'm really glad to say that I've learned a lot in this quiet time.  Rather than dwelling deep within anything, I've simply been staying really close to myself.  I've watched my responses and thought about how certain things affect me and why my responses might be so different from those of the people around me.  People are fascinating people.  We can have so much in common and yet such different ways of being.  One of the most important things I've started to, (finally), realize is that sometimes people just don't understand.  I think I forget about how unique we all are and expect that other people can understand why I might deal with something in a certain way, or even an opinion I might have.  Something in that "wanting to please" part trys to tell me that if someone else can't comprehend what I'm going through, I must be doing something wrong.  I forget that it's me who's going through the thing.  Of course someone else would do something differently, they're not me!  I can see where you might be getting bored right about now, what is this, Sesame Street Self Help?  But bear with me, this is ground breaking stuff for this girl. 

So I've rather sloppily established two things so far.  1. Don't worry about the world.  Have compassion but don't let that drain passion.  2.  Don't worry when they don't get it.  They never will and it won't ever matter.
Well, that feels better.  Now I have to add something I, (mercifully), learned a long time ago.  3.  Laugh at yourself!

 I can not stress the importance of number three.  I would make it number one but if you skip one and two you won't be laughing at anything anyway.   I think I may have a mild form of what Big Pharm likes to call social anxiety.  What that really means is I'm shy.  And I, (as I believe we've covered), think too much of the opinions of others and, for some reason, really want to be understood.  Again, I can not stress the importance of number three.  I have had some awkward moments and uncomfortable situations that might have literally killed me of embarrassment in my teens.  (Yes, I understand the word.  I actually believe I might have died of heart failure or brain aneurysm in any of several situations in my life had I not learned the ability to laugh at myself.)  I would really like to announce my retirement from the habit of occasional dorkiness and doing things others find strange but it would be short lived.  Besides, trying or not, I'm one of the funniest people I know.

4.  Have good friends.  This is a tough one.  I am a very lucky person in that I have some very dear friends who have become a family to me.  I've retreated from them in a lot of ways too but the retreat is something I'm willing to retire from.  I think I just take in so much from so many directions and I haven't learned to filter it properly so at some point I just start to hide from everything.  Again, this is a thing a lot of people don't understand but knowing that, I can try to at least explain the need.  I feel like I've made so many gains.  I know that I tend toward depression in the winter and that was surely an issue in that season but my desire to spend a lot of time alone outlasted depression.  I started to understand what that time is for.  I need to make a conscious effort to sit with myself and process what I've been through in the day or week.  It's a nasty habit of this culture to plow ahead through each dayweekmonthyear without really slowing down to say, "How do I feel in this moment?".  So, I need to ask myself how I feel in this moment and then pick up the damn phone and call someone to talk about it.  I also really want to get more comfortable processing these things with my friends, rather than brooding over them alone.

5.  Write.  Writing has been my anchor at every turn and for so long in my life.  It's what happens as a result of my life.  It's the safest way to figure something out.  My other favorite pressure valve is singing.  Sometimes I don't have any words for a thing but a ton of emotion.  If I'm excited or angry or overwhelmed, I'll put on some music I like and belt out a few songs, it helps push the excess energy out.  Also, sometimes if I'm feeling lazy I can sing and get energy, too.  It helps I live in a house so I'm not driving neighbors crazy.  So maybe number five should officially be 5.  Find things that make you happy and do them.  Or, to be more specific, learn what soothes you.  Having outlets and hobbies and interests is an essential way to nurture the soul.  It's these things and our connections with others that really make our lives. 

This feels like another really disorganized post but it also felt like a good write.  I'd like to recap:

How to not let the world drive you crazy if you're me:

1.  Don't worry over the world's details.

2.  Don't worry what they think.

3.  Laugh at yourself!!

4.  Have amazing friends.

5.  Do what you love and what nurtures you, (even hiding away sometimes).

Wow, that's doable.  See, I should have just blogged a long time ago, I would have figured it all out.  :)  Not really, its a process.  That is, it's all part of the show, folks. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The gods are inconsolable.

(excerpt from a work in progress)

I'm watching this new Trickster god
and he says, "Look over here!",  but I don't
as he pulls a paper flower of politic
out of his ass
and even Loki and Anansi
shudder to see
what the other hand is up to.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Can you find the poem within the poem?

One at a time, please
One at a time
I'm a one on one kinda
or maybe two or three
but put me in a room full and
what a mess I feel
Too many
faces voices conversations
emotions intentions states of being
too much information to
in anything that looks like sense
And I may make for a corner
to scope out the scene
try to make invisible and observe
stand back and see more clearly
in a place of some sort of
and somewhere that feels
safe and out of the way
and not in the middle
and not having to think
of something
say when you don't
have any idea what people
are talking about
and you really want to
sit down and
figure it all out with

Thursday, July 14, 2011



my sisters are a battlefield
broken war-torn territories
ravaged by misunderstanding
raped with neglect
shot in the back by subservience
and our tender off-shoots
our sweet rows of makings
we do our best to tend with open loving hearts
knowing still that we bring them into a world
that makes war against itself
makes war within ourselves
makes war out of and into everything crawling upon it
so that what we do our best to grow
has still to contend with blood-soaked soil
with the bones of some like them
with skeletons others think we don't see
and we,my sisters and me, we're battlefields
walking around in shells that a less and less covert war
is being waged against
walking around in shells that are somehow not right
somehow not powerful
or not given trust
when what's true, more true than any of this,
is that what lay within us,
we, the sisters of the earth,
is the only living solution to all this death
our freedom is the freedom of all
it's the freedom of women
and it's the freedom of children
and of animals
and even of men
because as it may seem the white men are ruling this world
what's really come to pass is that their world
is ruling us all
and though we lay beneath their feet
there is yet a heavy weight on them
having used such strength to hold back our Amazons
they now falter
they now fail
again and again they fail us
with their “ideas” and “plans” and “proposals”
because not one single time in any proposal put forth
can you find the word love
or the idea of freedom for all
the idea of borderlessness
the idea of differentlessness
they simply can not see
the whole within the one
they need us to show that to them
but they've long since stopped listening to our talk
if we want them to listen
we have to talk man talk
and man talk has no translation for
the good of all
it has no understanding of
the end of all wars for good
it doesn't include the concepts of
living sustainably, communally
because this is what we all need
we need our sisters to help hold us up
it gets tired, walking as a battlefield

Monday, July 11, 2011



We seem to be busy with the business of
throwing all our cards on the table
face up, of course
mostly hearts, a few clubs, a couple diamonds
and they're all spades because
we call things what they are
and there are a lot of them
enough to build a house I think
or I think
we could build a city an Empire!
complete with sewers and skyscrapers
with Japanese bridges and Georgian hotels
with stop signs and churches with parking lots
with laser light shows and skies full of stars
with seasons that swing one to the next
into years of how have you been

But I've seen these cards before
and the cities they can create
I've seen them balanced-ish
piled up lavish and extravagant
I've seen them
make into fantastical, impossible shapes of wonder and magic and awe
so many empires forged
by the hands we've played
and, like any game, these cities have ended
towers felled and bridges torn (though never burned)
temples tumbled and roads akimbo
trees uprooted and clouds collapsed
not carefully put away but
turned to simply cards now
splayed on a dusty table, sticky with
after party and two empty bottles of Boone's Farm
in the back corner of a room
that no one ever goes in to anymore

Or, at least it seems that way
I think sometimes I
dream there
little snippets of places
I'm sure we made before
and it falls out into my journal
from time to time
till I start to wonder if there aren't little trolls
building bridges back and forth from
your deck to mine

Or, maybe it's just that someone left the door open
because we seem to have found our way back to that game again
now standing, a bit awkward by the table,
as we always are at first
and when it's been so long
'do you remember how to play?
or which deck is whose?
or how we made that one cool thing, you remember...

and the city starts to build itself again
empirical regeneration takes place
ripples the table into asphalt undulation
almost without our attention a new
but familiar cityscape is constructed
and we, duly deposited in the middle

So we find ourselves here,
in this new place
made of old spaces
and it must be time to talk strategy
but I look over at you and I'm wondering
how to strategize my way out of the game
I no longer wish to rule an empire of play
and I notice you haven't picked up your deck yet either
and we're a little nervous standing
in this city we're supposed to be building
a city of this-is-what-this-looks-like
and I decide to walk away from the table

You ask me where I'm going and I tell you
I'm looking for the last bridge out
of this city
back into the world
and I walk away without asking
whether or not you're coming with me.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Relay for Life 2011

Last year I watched the Relay for Life from my backyard and was inspired to write a poem that I shared here.  The event is happening as I write this and earlier I decided to walk over to the park with my daughter and hand out a few copies of the poem, I suppose in gratitude for all they do.  I looked around for the main tent for the event and was being shown who to speak with when a woman walked up and asked, "You're the poet, you wrote that?".  At first I wasn't sure we were talking about the same thing.  How did she know about the poem the I had just walked over to share?  Because I posted it here, she found it and they had planned to read it at the luminaria ceremony.  They asked if I would read it and I almost chickened out, to tell you the truth.  But then I said I would do it and I'm so glad I did.  It was wonderful to offer support and gratitude in that way and a great experience. 

So!  In honor of that wonderful annual Ypsilanti event (and all the others) and every person walking around the park behind my house right now and every person sleeping there because they've walked themselves tired, and everyone involved in, supported by, remembered by, and blessed by that event, I'd like to re-post that poem.

Just Before Midnight

Amid the song of a soulful night bird
and the scent of a damp, happy willow
across the sound of the Huron gliding by
I watch

On a path encircling the park
surrounded by luminaria
they walk

They walk for their family,
their friends, themselves
for memory and the chance of anticipation,
for dreams cut short and those made possible

The path beneath their feet,
on any other day like any other path
is, for this time, a sacred space of healing and unity
it's a circle of community
of shared grief and triumph
of support and understanding
of true empathy

This walk is for warriors
these are people who live life up-close
and with eyes wide open
because they know how fleeting a gift this is
and how graciously given

These are warriors of grace and vulnerability
who know what it means to love ferociously
the strength that takes, and that which it gives
They have come here through moments
of intense contemplation, through new
rearranged priorities, with changed
worldviews, and open hearts

They bring colorful tents and coolers
are served midnight pizza
have music to move them along
but my favorite is the laughter-
that audible evidence of joy
shared one to another

These warriors come here as
humanity at its best
they come to do for others
to raise awareness and give voice to the silent
to celebrate life, having learned what that really means

They come with faith in themselves
and in one another
because they know they can make a difference
and they do.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Con Pluma en Mano

Con pluma en mano

The Muse wants your meat
she wants you heart and soul on a platter
over and again every day
she cares not if you're driving or working or trying to sleep
she strikes on her own time in her own moments

she often sends little trinkets
shiny junk for journals to collect
and if you don't, if you refuse these gifts
she takes away your meat
takes the big thoughts little by little
striking indifferent matches to
ideas before they become words

summoning her only makes her grin
but she'll pounce when least expected
insisting words, sounds and silences
creating the compulsion of pen on paper
or fingers on keys striking mercilessly
till her tide abates and she's appeased

she has favorite places
spots to sit that tend to host her visits
she likes the outdoors
and while she can't be commanded into presence
she takes kindly to those
who make special arrangements for her
who honor her with simple ritual
and wait, patiently open
with pen in hand

Friday, May 20, 2011

What to Call You

A poem I wrote last winter.  Maybe more to come.

Thinking of your name and how it can feel
surprisingly strange in my mouth like
not what it's meant to mean and how
we so seldom used those words
to each other but I see your name
a lot of authors named that, you know
and I work in a library
(hi, nice to meet you)
and I see your – that word – I see that word
and if I let it, it brings me your eyes
it brings a little reluctant smile
a warm softening born in an old moment
it can bring your touch, so much gentle comfort
and a giggle, in how it's never quite fit

I'd have to leave this language
to try and put some sounds to you
maybe en EspaƱol, mi compaƱero
but I think even there it will become a poem
there's no one word in any single language
if Time could talk, we'd work something out
and Light waves describe how they inform experience
through the twice upside-downed eyes
and Scent explain how my nose knows
what you've touched and not touched
and my Skin explain what comes through
so that when we touch you go straight to my bones
and if Memory could collaborate to collect the colors
of all the pieces of time we've shared
and if Energy were given voice and the inclination to testify
to how it's gathered between our bodies

if Atoms had voices
or the Universe could sing
maybe I could find a way
but for now I'll just call you
hey, how've you been?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stopping By

I really had every intention of sharing poetry last month and when I looked at what I'd written over the winter, there wasn't much I wanted to share.  I also want to commit to blogging regularly again but for now I'll have to settle for stopping by once in a while. 

I hate to come here to complain but I'm having one of those micro/macro-cosmic angst kind of days.  I tend to let stress build up and then experience it all at once.  It's always mostly money.  I have to wonder what I'm doing working a full day every week just to pay for gas to get to and from work for the week.  Then I wonder why billions of people are starving while America is full of dumpster pizza.  The prevailing injustice of this world makes my mind swim.  I truly can't grasp it, I can't believe it's this way.  My inner idealist is sure it doesn't have to be so. 

This is probably a "syndrome" and there's probably a pill I could take.  I'll call it WTFS, What The Fuck Syndrome.  In honor of my new neurosis and in the hopes of spreading it, I'm sharing a poem I haven't posted on this blog.  I wrote it last year and it's one of my favorite. 

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen and
Welcome to the Church of What the Fuck is Going On?

There are so many directions to place blame
Patriarchy. Corporate Greed. The MEDIA. Technology. Bad Government. Complacent Society.

we didn't know any better
there were so many flashing lights
and signs and voices
“Look right this way!”
and so many moving parts
and satellite beams
and digital ate analog like the way
video tried to kill the radio star
multinational multimedia channel channel channel shop! on line on T.V. by phone
for non stick hi-tech hi-def plastic remote control motion sensor
sensor sensory
sensory input
in put
what are we putting in?
is this stuff filling you up?

I'm stuffed!
I can't take any more of this
junk-food for the brain
high-fructose information
this saccharine distraction
layer after sticky layer
in conveniently disposable packaging
or beamed straight into your brain
only 49.95 a month

it's every new sensation
competing with so many 15 minutes
crammed between increasingly inane human antics
followed by what they call the “news”
this veil they hang meant to convince me
that this is all there is, or ever could be
constant daily rhythm of
get up go to work go home eat zone out go to bed repeat
no wonder we're numb

they're pick-pocketing our freedoms
insisting it's for our own good
rewriting history to take away truth
back room deals and
out-right theft
tarnished elections and
toxic incorporated
paparazzi exposing personal privacies
while government corruption goes untold

It's all such a spectacle, disparate but sparkly
disorienting reminding me of the Land of Oz
and we could all use a little more heart,
a lot more courage, a clear mind to think,
and the knowledge that our homes are our homes
but without those we keep moving,
perpetuating the system we seem to be stuck in
keeping heads down, arms and legs inside the vehicle
with lemming-like devotion
to our own degradation

And when we walk out of step,
when we stop and look around
when we start to think on our own
we're labeled disloyal, unpatriotic, crazy
If we start to raise some eyebrows,
that voice always comes along
to remind us The Show must go on
and to take our seats and please,
pay no mind to that man behind the curtain.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy National Poetry Month!

Last year during the month of April I posted a bunch of poems. That may be a good way for me to get back into the habit of blogging. I recently fell in love with the work of Nikki Giovanni, spent the winter reading her. I wrote this about her in January.

to Nikki

Woman, you are a Priestess of poetry,
bringing us the talk of God
in the voice of the Goddess
like it should fall in a woman's ears
and if Heaven thought to talk
of mortal life and love
of the doings and goings on
of we little humans
way down here

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Poetry Reading!

 I read at a poetry reading in Ypsi. on Monday.  Some of this stuff is already here but this is what I read:

At the Washtenaw Coin Laundry

I love this town and all its colors
so many shades of black and brown and tan
on skins and eyes and hair and hands
accents that come from I know not where
languages lilting lyrical lullabies
myriad mantras
so many gods all one
All One
cultures not clashing
not shocking me
only calling to my eyes and ears
with whispers of lands I'll never see
secrets of souls
swishes of fabric and whiffs of oil
spices speak sustenance
words awaken wonder
music exciting in mixed-up modes
drifts from windows where
kitchens sit with laden bread
always a table to be filled with old places
aromas abundant call back in time
ancestral answers gifting with grace
a smile touching eyes
gives me welcome without words
human-ness beyond language
beyond any perception
of not-like-me


She walks out freshly into her
own world, that of her making
virtuously attuned to its every breath
ever entwined, ever open
receptive to the ebb and flow of
each cycle as it passes
intuitively present with every moment
giving graciously all the gifts of herself
never failing to abide by her heart

maybe I should eat

I need some more words
I think I'll have to start
eating dictionaries
because I can't seem to come up with
enough words
or the right ones to
mean what i'm saying like
how I love the word mobius
and I know what it is
and what it looks like but
sometimes I use it when
I mean something else and so
maybe i'll have to
eat up some geometry books too
to try to find a better shape
to metaphor with
and sometimes singing
even in words that have nothing to do with it
seems to get out or get across
what i'm feelin at the time
in the most direct, most satisfying way
so maybe I should eat some cds
or music books or my violin
and when it starts to become
too surreal like
life has gone
quite strange
maybe I should start eating
some of the old and true
fairy tales
warning us of how twisted
and mistakenly lovely
life can be


nothing ever touches anything else
not really
but right now
our electrons are
to repel one another
because you've invaded
                  you have entered
                              you've been invited into
the space that my body occupies

i sigh
i smile
physics shrugs


I don't want a lecture from longview
I don't want to pant in pantomime
I don't want crazy accusations
based on incorrect equations
or conversations leading to
conflict or kamikaze questions
I don't want expressions that come so loudly
but without any truth behind
I don't want tangled opinions
poisoning what I'm pondering
I don't want auctioneering inauthentic audio
I don't want to dilute my language
I don't want closed-minded opinions
or discouraging dissuasion
I don't want to deal with drama
I don't want pompous pretension
I don't want judgment jumped-to unjustly
I don't want to mourn mortifying misunderstandings
I don't want to navigate needless negativity
I don't want side-long glanced suspicion
I don't want mistrust in advance
I don't want base, boorish behavior
I don't want tormenting or taunting
or shameful fingers shaken
I don't want the volume of violent voices
I don't want fists standing in for sentences
I don't want unsolicited advice
I don't want decisions made for anyone
I don't want labels obscuring people
I don't want anyone's nature negated
I don't want time taken toiling in talk of tedium
I want to hear something real
I want safety in honest exchange
I want courtesy to be common
I want Universally open minds
I want constant, complicit, compassion
I want recognition of our similarity
and reverence for our differences
I don't want there to be sides

Now, if you still can,
talk with me

and some bits

They say we carry the weight of the world
on our shoulders
but I know that's men talking
cause I carry that weight
on my hips
and they sure are sore lately.

They took away the beautiful figure of the truly feminine and injected her, instead, with saline, collagen, silicone, even extra fat, all trying to attain some mythic concept of beauty in a culture that so disbelieves in myth that they can't even get the moral of that story...


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Remember Pollyanna?

Michigan winter really takes a toll on me.  February 2nd was Imbolc, a day that signifies the Wheel of the Year turning closer to Spring!  I was blessed with a day off work due to the snow and found it extremely relaxing and restoring.  I think over the past decade of learning, (if not always celebrating), the Pagan holidays, I've started to become attuned to the seasons and the passage of time.  Maybe it's romanticism, but what a great thing to have in spirituality!

Whatever the cause, I do feel a bit more light, like Pollyanna's waking back up.  I think I'll ask life to try and schedule more difficult issues in warmer months.  Every year I feel tired and am easily depressed in the winter.  This year I've started to wonder about a new theory of depression, at least for me.  I think it's a kind of forgetting.  Like something inside slows down and I just start to forget how to go about my day.  I forget that when I'm having anxiety and difficulty dealing with a crowded store, my almost-smile is my best defense.  It keeps me feeling warm and safe and reminds me to slow down, and stops me from shining a scowl at everyone who looks my way.  I forget about laughter and what great medicine it is.  I think I sometimes even forget how much I love everything and everyone.  I forget, again and again, how much better I feel after spending time with friends. 

I think that may be the most important thing to remember.  I want to hibernate all winter, leaving the house only for work and necessary shopping.  Ok, I don't even want to go to work, but you get the point.  I don't want to drag myself out into the cold and wind.  My feet get wet sometimes or the bottoms of my pants.  And it's COLD!  I don't like the cold!  But then I get over it and go, because I know it's good for me and will make me feel better.

Last Friday was my birthday and I went to Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and watched free music with my daughter and some friends, then went to a friend's house for coffee, cake and wine.  It was wonderful!  I went to my mom's Sunday for dinner.  Then Monday I went and visited another friend and had delicious dinner and lots of fun, and Tuesday was Witches Night Out so that was a ton of fun.  (I'm just realizing that I ate at all these events.  Coincidence that I had such a good time?)

Between the year moving along and dragging myself out to have a good time, I'm finally feeling better.  I think I wasn't doing as well as I assumed with winter when I got that medical news and, coupled with the terrible way the information was delivered, it caused me to blow a fuse.  I really think I've been in a fog or in shock the past four weeks or so.  So I'm peeking out into the world now, remembering how I wanted to blog a lot this winter.  Really, remembering a lot of things I wanted to do this winter and I'm honestly not sure what I've done but that almost none of what I set out to do is done.  But winter's not over- only almost, and that's a good thing. 

I'm doing my best to welcome Polly back from her slumber.  Maybe she's been hanging with Persephone for a while?  Whatever, I need her and I'm feeling almost able.  I want to jump up and feel exuberant and shiny and excited again soon!!  I have great gratitude for all my friends, I couldn't make it through this season alone.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


They say that God never gives us more than we can handle.  They are full of shit.  If that were true, there would be no suicide.  If that were true, there would be no such thing as a desperate act.  If that were true, none of us would need any help, and we do.  We all need a lot of help in our lives- so much more than most of us are willing to admit.

I saw this within myself first- struggling and struggling and even denying the need for help when it's offered.  Then I started to notice the weight of others around me.  I think about what life asks of some people and how little support some of us are offered. We all feel good when we help someone and we know that, so why do we go to such lengths to "do it ourselves"?  I know that- for most people- asking for help is a lot more difficult than offering help or agreeing to do so.  It seems we all have this false notion that if we aren't able to do everything in our lives on our own, we're somehow generally incapable.  So then why are there so many of us?  Why develop relationships and create families if we're just going to go it alone, anyway?

I've noticed, lately, that I feel less love than I'm used to.  Like, love-for-it-all kind of love.  I've felt grouchy and irritable and resentful of people around me.  Just in general, which is not really my nature.  I'll blame some of it on winter.  I've always had problems with this season.  But there's so much more than that.

Maybe I would be feeling better if I asked for help.  Even if I'm not sure what that means right now, only to say that I feel like I need it.  Maybe that's the beginning of kindness?  I think there is a type of kindness in asking for help, in trusting someone with what feels like vulnerability.  Because like courage is moving through fear and acting in its presence, strength may be found by exposing vulnerability and asking someone to acknowledge and help heal it.  (This is all just a theory.)

P.S.  In the realm of things "they" lied about, that thing about loving something and letting it go and if it comes back it's yours?  That's blarney too.  Just thought you'd like to know.  But my thought is that if you let go with all your heart and in a loving way, you make room for something else that fits and will give love in return.

P.P.S.  I think this post makes less sense than any I've written.  Don't help it, though, it's still making some kind of point, I'm sure.  Or I hope.  Or it just felt good to write it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Therapy Poem

So, as a woman we have an extra doctor's appointment we have to make every year.  A couple years ago I had an abnormal pap.  I was treated and recently had another abnormal result.  My doctor's recommendation is to have a partial hysterectomy- removal of the cervix and uterus.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I'm not even 35 yet!  But the more I've thought of it, the more sense it makes.  My mother had uterine cancer which is very hereditary and also difficult to treat and to detect.  So!  With all that in mind and also the fact that I do NOT want any more children, this seems like the logical thing to do.  I don't have health insurance so I'll have to, probably, jump through some hoops to get Medicaid to pay for it.  I think, (again), that it's totally bullshit that I am a working person living in America and I have no health insurance, (and struggle with money daily), but I'll save that for another post.

I'm talking about my uterus here.  I realize to some it may sound strange to have an attachment to a particular organ, but most women would understand.  That's my womb!  Like, my womb!  It's kinda, well, special.  And I realized a huge spiritual reaction to all of this.  Like, the life-cycle of a woman is tied into the three aspects of the Goddess- maiden, mother, and crone.  What does it mean if I give up my uterus?  Can I still call myself mother? (Of course and my daughter will too.) But these are some of the things that have been circling in my brain.  It's scary.  It's scary to have surgery.  It's scary to lose an organ. Now, I must admit that if she asked for my tonsils or my appendix, or even maybe a kidney, I would not go through the same things.  That's not to say I would not be scared.  I'll be clear, I would be terrified.  Again, surgery and loss of an organ- scary things.  But, this is hitting me a lot harder than that would.  I never really thought about it before.  I am attached to my uterus.  (okay, obviously)  But in a very emotional/spiritual way.  So, as I was taking this all in, the night I learned this, I had the urge to write it. 

I don't often deny the muse.  Like, I just don't ever do that.  Whatever I want to write or wants to be written by me, let it come.  I don't edit in my head anymore- I write too much, who am I to decide what's good before it's even on paper?  But this.  This was a difficult write to start.  The first three lines or so popped into my head and I felt the pull toward the keyboard and literally groaned, "I don't want to write this!"  Like, I didn't even want to be living it, let alone did I want to write about it.  But good sense prevailed and I gave in.  I'm glad.  It helped a lot.  And it shows me moving through the emotions.  Dancing in fear and confusion and just a couple steps forward toward courage and an identity that could never reside in an organ.  So, I'm still processing, especially since this is all just talk right now.  I'm very glad about my decision, I only hope it's feasible and will be history soon.  Any prayers would be helpful and appreciated, if you do pray.  But overall, I feel pretty lucky.  I was able to go to the doctor and find out what is wrong.  I will make it through this and one day I'll just look back and say I was brave when it counted, even if I was terrified at first.  And I know, I couldn't be brave if I wasn't terrified first, right?

not surrender

so the doctor says
maybe surrender your womb
but she doesn't use those words
     remove           uterus
like it's an organ
like a part
of my physical body
and not the place
where I grew my daughter
and not the place
where all of humanity
and not the place
that makes me
and she is a woman
but uteruses are her business
her work
like woman's work
working on women
and she maybe doesn't know
what all I hold there
and what we all have in there
and that it's the warm red place
where some secrets hide
and where a goddess sleeps
and it's where I grew my daughter
and I don't want another child
but it's my woman self in there
and even if they don't take my eggs
and even if I get to keep my hormones
that place will be gone
and I look inside to wonder
how things will move
because I'm not pieces
I am a whole
I am a woman

but the body-part
that walking around part of me
she says it's just not fighting
and I think what do you mean
I'm strong
I'm fighting every day
surely if the rest of me will
my body will fight too
maybe no one told her
maybe she doesn't know
those cells don't belong
do you have a phone, doc
an in-there phone
so we could call her
and tell her to woman-up
because it's taken me too long
to get this far
and I know that if I have to
I will surrender that part
and be still whole
and be still woman
because I am

because I am a fighter
and I know no part makes me me
and I know I will move through every fear
and I know where my power lies
it's not in that warm red place
and it's not in a place that can be
it's a part that will always be
that will come with me
even when I leave the body
with or without its womb
or any other parts
that can't seem to fight

because whole doesn't come
from a collaboration of parts
and strength is buried deeper
than the deepest inside me
it rides up through the earth
to fill all the unseen parts
and becomes the essence
of who I really am

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Something to Say

Hi everyone!  I finally feel like I have something to say.  That is, I've been thinking of something I need to come here and write out.  So, we all know a congresswoman was shot at in Arizona.  Let me first say that I'm appalled at how the media mentioned shots fired at a congress person and left out the data that other people had been killed, including a child.  That was just the first bit I saw of the story, when they weren't sure the congresswoman survived.  I detest the media.  If you've ever seen the movie "Natural Born Killers", Robert Downy Jr. plays a media personality in that film and there's a tiny shot where he's shown as a devil dripping blood.  Ok, it's gory but that little picture really exemplifies the media for me.  And it's not their blood they're covered in, it's our own.  It belongs to every citizen who is influenced by biased media, and every person whose life unfolds in the light of their skewed truth.  But I digress (as I so often do)...

What I find interesting is the question that keeps coming up about whether or not the hateful speech of the right has anything to do with this tragedy.  Let's look at that.  So, people are actually trying to decipher whether or not one political party's rampant politicking on subjects that really get straight under peoples skin could have, potentially, been enough of a trigger to send a mentally unbalanced and probably improperly medicated person over the edge to the point that he would try to kill a congresswoman for (I suppose) being a democrat.

Wow.  That's heavy stuff.  I mean, think about that.  If we're asking the question, the answer is irrelevant.  If we're asking the question, it means that we know there is a problem.  I was talking to a friend recently about how polarized we seem to have become and how it scares me.  This is one of the many possible outcomes of a country feeling like we're on different sides.  It makes me so sick because it's to the benefit, (until days like these), of each party to argue.  It helps their cause to have something to oppose.

I just have to say now, to anyone who is pro-life or against gay rights, if you vote based on those issues, you're wasting your time.  The republicans don't give a rat's ass about abortion or gay rights.  They use these issues because they know they can get to you with them.  And I, being rampantly pro-choice and a huge supporter of gay rights, am in no better shape because I know if I had to vote republican to keep my body free, or to see friends gain the right to marry, I would.  And what does that say?

To me, it says that the words mean nothing.  Ds and Rs, they're all the same.  The biggest problem, I think, when it comes to voting or any political thought, is that we're so hemmed in by these two parties.  They know it and so they can use whatever tactics they want to point our attention away from what they're really doing and to whatever they can use as distraction.  In a country where mental illness is rampant, where stress is probably at a planet-wide high, where we're fooling ourselves that we're still #1 and that everything is fine because our favorite show is about to start, where so many of us are so ignorant about the real issues, does anyone else think it might be a bit unprofessional and dangerous to start manipulating the public in order to gain a vote?

We have to become a bit more independent.  We look to these people as leaders. If they were really leaders, someone would be working to make our country work.  Driving a wedge between people based on issues that, really, shouldn't even be political is not responsible leadership.  The anger I feel at people who oppose my beliefs scares me.  I have to keep reminding myself that they're not "others".  I don't want my beliefs imposed on anyone's life, but I really think the government is digging too close to the lines of what should not be their business.  And, oh look, we struck a vein of crazy and let it loose on an unsuspecting public.  Woops.

I wish, again, that I could be giant and get everyone to go along with my plan.  Like, let's mind our own business and let people do what they will, knowing that if no harm comes to anyone, there's no need to worry.  Let's demand that our public servants serve us, instead of us serving their agenda by feeding in to their manipulation.  Let's hold our politicians up to the standards of - well, any standards would be good.  Let's start expecting something from them and stop simply accepting what they do.  There's some sort of unspoken understanding that politicians are somehow above reproach.  I say that's crap.  Let's speak up!  I can't be the only one who feels like this!  And I'm not giant yet so all I can do today is write this.  And do my best to go away feeling less angry and more compassionate, which is what we all need, I think.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

a tiny hello

Hi everyone!  I've been gone quite a while and my only real explanation is that I haven't had much to write about, or I haven't felt moved to blog.  That is, I've been writing like crazy, just not here.  But I miss reading everyone so I'm going to take time to visit and I thought I'd share some recent poetry and stuff.

Things on my Fridge
You are a forest 
needing sun to grow stories
& the sea is your dream
rain beats a languid chant
to make fresh mist beneath a bare purple sky
explore your new voice
wild as a bouquet not from a garden
delicate as a petal still

your smile is a story library


whisper moon language

              cover your (heart)
from the world
              under shadow
              create beauty          (*never,cover,world,under,create came together)

wander the ancient library of the human head

explore this magic life

A poem I just wrote.

maybe i should eat
i need some more words
i think i'll have to start
eating dictionaries
because i can't seem to come up with
enough words
or the right ones to
mean what i'm saying like
how i love the word mobius
and i know what it is
and what it looks like but
sometimes i use it when
i mean something else and so
maybe i'll have to
eat up some geometry books too
to try to find a better shape
to metaphor with
and sometimes singing
even in words that have nothing to do with it
seems to get out or get across
what i'm feelin at the time
in the most direct, most satisfying way
so maybe i should eat some cds
or music books or my violin
and when it starts to all seem
too surreal like
life has gone
quite strange
maybe i should start eating
some of the old and true
fairy tales
warning us of how twisted
and mistakenly lovely
life can be

Something little I wrote last November.

Her nostrils flare like a horse when she's hot
and sometimes, when she looks at something
that makes her want to run, like to the barn,
you can tell everything else is out of focus.

Something I wrote a few days ago.

working stiffs

So what has us working
as we toil for our supper
and nobody seems to be singing much
about anything
and sleep tends to defer to the needs
of a person to be a person
and sometimes around other people
and these natural needs take
an unnatural back seat to the
make-believe needs of
a culture of has-to-be
where balance is so sorely twisted
that if it were struck, even for a moment,
it would be askew
and it seems to me that most people don't see
that it's only this way because we say it's ok
we get up too early
go to sleep too late
eat food that's not that at all
being, often, grossly under-compensated
for our time and our energy
both of which are so consumed that
it becomes difficult to look around
it's hard to take it all in
to fathom the big picture
or bother to ask questions
 about- why do we do this thing
but instead just keep doing
because it's what we all believe in
and I may be a bit on the fringe when i'm thinking
we've all lost our minds