Cat Haiku

Sweet gray cat sleeping
Closed eyes, pink nose, white whiskers
Sweet gray cat dreaming

Cuddle with me please
Soft strokes, chin scratches, cheek rub
Contented purring


The Old People I Know Remember Five Digit Phone Numbers


The old people I know
tell stories
about finding parking at the Christmas eve service
about (mis)adventures at the AT&T store
about why they won’t go to Charleston, because they are afraid they will fall and break a hip.


The old people I know
paint with watercolors
read poetry
and go to the doctor.


The old people I know
eat at McDonald’s
follow baseball
and remember Guadalcanal.


Uncle Harry fell asleep
at my father’s memorial service.
Death becomes so common
that you fall asleep
at your brother’s funeral.


The old people I know have
a marvelous, silly grace
a quirky insight
and a decaying body.


How wonderful, the old people.
God save the old people.
But he doesn’t.
The old people I know go to church, though.
Maybe they are saved
and I don’t even know it.


The old people I know
remember five digit phone numbers.
RE 4-2543 is what my mom used to say.


The old people I know have driveways.
And when I back away I wonder.
Is this the last time I will see this house?
Is this the last time I will see you?
But we act casual.
Like it is nothing, really.


Good bye old person who I love so much.
With forced smiles and
guilty good byes
we make it seem like
no big deal to
the old people I know.

Have You Ever Seen A Turtle Run?

My husband called me
from the mall parking lot.
Someone left a turtle
in a box.
Come get it
he instructed.

Red-eared slider
what a beauty.
Big, too
maybe ten inches across.
Shifting about in the box
as we leaned over to admire.

Turtle rode shotgun
in my Maxima.
Jostling around, agitated
wanting out of the box.
Maybe he was thirsty,
thirsty for freedom.

I plopped Turtle
in the warm, green grass
near the warm, green pond.
Off he went!
Sprinting toward that mucky water
surely setting a turtle land speed record.

Have you ever seen a turtle run?
I have.


It Is Not The Bed

The sheets are on fire
Not a slow building ember to flame
A searing, blistering chemical burn
I swear it is the bed, not me

I am spread over the untouched cool middle
A flash of lightning
A low rolling rumble
I swear it is the bed, not me

The dog’s marshmallow jowls on my side
Peering, worrying, sniffing
Sweet brown eyes checking in
I swear it is the bed, not me

My hand on her head, she drifts off
Dreaming of fields or cats or belly rubs
Maybe I am approaching this all wrong
I swear it is the bed, not me


My grandmother wrote on envelopes

Glass jars
Olives, mayonnaise, jelly
Lined up on windowsills

Aluminum pie plates
Parker House roll tins
A haphazard tower of foil

Berry baskets
Derelict stacks
Cornered on the back porch

Ten year old instant pudding boxes
Betty Crocker Butter Brickle cake mix
Tang, neon orange cement

Grandchildren called three names before landing the correct one
Cousins named Bell
Friends named Viola, Pearl and Clarence

All best displayed around
The Sunday dinner table
Covered in floral print oilcloth

My grandmother wrote on envelopes


Every month I turn
the calendar early
This might be bad luck
I turn the page anyway
Why am I in such a hurry?

Every Sunday I cheat
at The New York Times Crossword
The clue was chum
The answer was pal
I thought it was bloody fish guts

Every day I write
on a MacBook
Could have bought the pro…for who?
Not me.

Can’t Outrun My Dog

Outrun tv facebook and twitter
What are zombies but
521 bestest closest friends
posting questionable videos
on a little blue bird

Outrun insanity ignorance and politics
Wonder at diversity   open the gait
Marvel at accomplishment   in a hijab
Lace up a strong spirit
Pin on a vivid goal

Outrun fatigue worry and doubt
Mysterious how expending energy invigorates
Certainty seeps in as sweat pours out
Honor belief   in all forms
A starting line is nothing but hope

Can’t outrun my dog
Four legs are better than two
Effortless jubilant unflagging enthusiastic
Never questioning
Our glorious contentious throbbing world belongs to us all

My Mother’s Name

I cannot run and cry
I tried
In a 5K to benefit breast cancer research
Names of women lined the road
Some survivors
Some not
My mother’s name among them

I cannot run and cry
I tried

Fortunate Twelve

Conquer that most human trait of putting a
Label on everyone and everything.
Minimal thought or action is required to gain
Acceptance into the mainstream, which is a
Symptom of laziness or apathy.  Probably both.
Ordinary may be safe or dull, but not
Meaningless, because we need a benchmark to see a
Symbiosis between madness and reason.
Purple is just red and blue after all.  Colors are an
Elixir few understand in the effort to stake out a
Territory of aspirations, because it is not about earning a
Fortune, but being fortunate.

2 Haiku/Home Territory

Open the back door
Morning sky in Tennessee
Pink territory




Shasta and Cleo
Home is their territory
Friends sharing a world