Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)







Friday, September 18, 2020

POPO 2020

 

Never have I been so late getting out my PoPo mail. Postcards that should've gone out all throughout August are finally getting sent mid-September. It's been a strange year and I'm simply not going to give a list of justifications, because they would likely fall on deaf ears. So many of us are living in upheaval. 

I did things much differently this year, writing poems as the August days bumbled on, meaning to transfer them to postcards and send, but ended up with a typed out list of short thoughts/poems. I promised everyone in Group 1 would get a card, I just didn't say when. I jokingly promised myself I'd get them out by my birthday, which is today, and I gasp to think it took that long. The time came for me to put the whole project together and I decided so as to make them legible, I would do as some others have done: cut and paste. I loved it, because what it forced me to do was find (out of a pile of postcards collected in my travels, visits to various local and faraway places, and estate sales) the exact right card to go with a verse. Sometimes it really hit the mark; other times you may need to use a bit of imagination.

These pieces are written with the same abandon all PoPo cards are written; spontaneous, unedited, naked. There has been no editing done in the cut-and-paste procedure.

There is no particular order, since they didn't get sent out Day 1, etc. I apologize to my PoPo friends and promise to do better next year, in which I'm hoping to figure out a way to send cards I've found at estate sales that were once written on and sent by strangers, with me writing something about their words. It will be exciting to see how that might turn out. 

Some of these cards I've hung onto forever and felt it was time to send them on their way. I've left some notes about a few of them.


POPO 2020

Looking out into the humid night, the sounds of tiny animals screaming, the weather getting hotter with every minute, relentless night creeping slowly to a hotter dawn, waves crashing on the cliff below, the only rhythm inducing sleep, fighting in the air with cicadas.

 




 




********************************************************************************

My life has been a revolving door 
of opening chapters, 
all suitable for short stories 
some on the edge of terror, 
other narratives of bliss. 
Maybe I should write a book.

(Little Oddfellows - One of my favorite reading/writing/meditating/lunch/meeting places in all of Seattle. Just on the edge of the CHOP/CHAZ.)


                                                           **********************

   

 A man being a boy again

Faded red fenderless Schwinn

His shirt flapping behind him

Plaid, black and white, open and free

Coming down the hill

In the shadows of impending dark

A man being a boy again

No mask

Remembering


                     

                                        *******************************************




This morning my daughters call me
Bring scones
I arrive
They’re sitting outside around
The fire
Smiles
Their children not in sight
Teenagers off on perfect errands
It’s just the three of us
This is home


               ****************************************************************



Pre-covid. It’s a thing. Last February we weren’t even sure what to call it. Coronavirus. Covid-19. Covid. The Rona. Now it’s part of our natural speech. A thing we live with every day. Will we say post-covid at some point? What will it mean?

(Here was a postcard that I've had for a long time from a collection of my mother's, who passed ten years ago. It was hard to let go of, but I know it's now going to be in someone else's precious collection.)

                                                      ****************************




I pieced ears.
Anybody’s.
I didn’t really like it, but they asked.
A raw potato half, held behind the lobe
A thick darning needle thrust deep
With thread to pull through
Black thick
With instructions
Of care
As if I was a hippie nurse
A girl for all ages

(I hope people see the humor in the choice of this card. When I came upon it, looking for the right car for the sentiment, I nearly collapsed laughing.)


                ****************************************************************



 
The bees used to bother us
Now it’s a surprise to have their company
At the beach or park or dinner table
We’ve invited them to come
But they’re busy attending bee funerals

(It's been tough letting go of my Carl Larsson cards. I love them so; I wish I had a large house, with a huge room, where I could hang prints of all his pieces. Such a marvelous artist.)

******************************             ********************          *******************************             *******************
 
 

Some years are just bad.
It’s not only 2020
I remember 1994
My world crashed
It never was the same again
Nor will this be
We need to find bright angels
In these years
And tell them to follow us home.
 


 (Turner is another fantastic artist. Some of his pieces look like washes and nothing more, until you look closely. This is The Sun of Venice Going to Sea. Absolute magic.)

*******************************************     ************************************************




Summer’s finally come
now it’s the end of summer
while it teased us along for weeks on end.
Green tomatoes – will they turn red
given the eastern morning sun?
Or will it be another year of
no other satisfaction than smelling
the rich deep vines and
pouring water on the tender arms.

 

      (I hope Rosina enjoys this card. It's a local artist Molly Norris Curtis. 
        I love it and send it on to a new  home.)


**********          **********          **********          **********          **********          *******


Floating around the pool, 
holding hands to not drift apart, 
giggling, gossiping, 
people thinking you were 
my boyfriend. Back to my place 
for an intense game of scrabble, 
dinner roasted on my open grill, 
then you, 
off to meet your boyfriend. 

 


*****************************************




March 

How we imagined August. 
Or did we even dare to think about 
August then? Masks kept our faces 
warm and let us scowl at strangers. 
Come August, we continued to scowl.
August barely existed as we’d imagined it.

(I'm glad I have a photo of this card. It's been hanging around for a long time and I've always loved it.)

*************  *************  ***********  **************  *************  ***************  **************



Flesh was a color in the crayon box. 
Bandaids were all the same hue.
I lived in a small town in Washington. 1962.
A young black man wanted to go to school
JFK federalized the Guard.
In my town is was hard
To imagine. 
 



             (A dismal image for what still continues to be a dismal situation.)



*******************************************************************************



Now we’re looking for good deals
On masks but we want
The fashion statement type, not those plain ol’…
I like your Seahawks mask. Where’d you get it?
The smaller size for kids
With Sponge Bob and Elsa.
My granddaughter has one
for her Teddy bear.
I want one that says VOTE!

********************
 


I walked by your door yesterday
The old wooden stairs
Up to your loft where you lived
4 floors up with 2 spoiled cats
And watched the night life
and the day life below in the
streets of 1st Ave. You live in
Barthelona now and your
life has always had a
hint of mystery.

(This is my last card of artist Marjett Schille. She was a friend of my mom and at one time I had several of her postcards. Mom is long passed and not sure what happened to Marjett but her whimsical art is a treasure.)
     
********************                     *********************                ***************************               *************************

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And one was blocked by an impenetrable wall
But the view was clear
Yet I was forced to take
The other
Though it clearly was not my choice
And struggled on the way to way
It has made all the difference
Of the bitterness that surfaces now and again
With recollection of the road not taken.
 


****    ****    ****    ****     ****    ****    ****    ****    ****    ****    ****     ****    *****



I struggle to be a poet
It’s like time is against me, 
and technology thumbs its nose 
at me as I take two steps forward
and three steps back.  Sometimes
the stumbling gets the better of me.
When I fall, I get back up again
Slower each time.
It's a good thing I'm not a pianist 
Or a brain surgeon.

**********************************************************************************

To sir with love… Sidney Poitier. 
White girls could love him 
like my mom loved Harry Belafonte 
and Nat King Cole. Then Janis Ian 
wrote that song. And we nearly got whiplash 
Wanting what we'd never wanted before.
 







********************   **********************  ******************   *****************



Morning with dew lashing my bare toes 
as I walk the dog, hoping 
warm weather will last into September, 
a small fog hangs at the end of the road, crows 
and seagulls competing in the big green 
bins for morsels, a moon still pasted 
on the horizon, gossamer, fading fast.

(J.M.W. Turner again. Magical shapes on canvas.)



**********************************************************************************



Mom had something against those who sleep in the morning, pulling us out of bed to do chores on weekends and summer days. Now I luxuriate, catching up.


(Carl Larsson again, such clarity, as opposed to Turner)

 

********      **********         ***********    ********      *********    ********  *********



We once wandered through the Farmer’s Market, making slow decisions, back and forth from one vendor to another. Now we hurry, moved by a line behind us, masked and distanced, willing their way in, while we wind our way out.


(These are almost the last of my Van Gogh's)


***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***   ***

 

I keep missing the moonrise
and now when I see it, 
high in the sky, 
I mourn a little, not being able to 
garner the energy I could 
if I’d only pay attention 
and make myself available to the sky.

 



                                 *************************************************




Sunday morning on 
the waterfront. Fog has just lifted 
with a chill still in the air, 
promise of a true summer day, 
with everything going my way.

***************************************************************************************

 


When I lived in Mexico and people would ask where I was on vacation from, I told them I was on vacation from life and expected to last until I died. Unfortunately I only lasted until I had to pull up tent stakes, sell the condo and use different talents.

                                         *****************************************



Our flag used to represent our nation, .
not it only seems to represent 
some of us. 
But who? 
Which side am I on? 
Even as I search the boundaries 
I don't know which piece of cloth 
To use in case of surrender.

 ***************************



In the park I hear a child crying, 
everyone looks. 
His father bends to commiserate 
while people crank their necks 
to hear the pleas 
of a woe begotten preschooler 
in need of another popsicle.

*****************************

 

Three Days
Feb 28 - the Opera. Yardbird, half empty seats; 
after all, the opera is a bastion of the elderly. 
Nervous, we sat close, far from others. 
Feb 29 - the school auction, half empty seats, 
knocking elbows with friends. 
No hugging, shaking hands. 
No masks. Yet. 
The school made almost $1 million , 
so somebody was there besides us. High Hopes. 
March 1 - family breakfast, still no masks. 
Kisses hugs. Last ones for three months.


**********************************************************************************



 

You’re a different person now. You’re 
Philippo with short hair and 
a mind boggling diagnosis. You’re 
still as carefree and goofy, but your beaming face but now 
shows the serious decisions you must make, 
and only you can be in charge. Now 
you know who loved you’ve always been. 

In the clearing stands a boxer – 
a fighter by his trade.

(When I went to pull a postcard out of the pile for this sentiment, my hand grabbed this Carl Larsson for our friend Philippo, who will fly this weekend from Puerto Vallarta to Los Angeles to begin treatment for brain cancer, an astonishing revelation that brought his little community in the jungles of Yelapa together in their customary way, Mexicans and gringos alike. It's been a long process already for him and it's just begun. My wish for Philippo is the peace this room conveys.)

**********************************************
 

I don’t always trust Siri and Alexa. 
Are they really my friends? 
Do they like me? 
Are they telling me the truth? 
I don’t think they’re government spies 
but I do think they would stand me up 
for coffee and scones. 
They’d probably meet with each other 
and talk behind my kitchen.

(I can't describe my delight at finding this particular card for Siri and Alexa, no two ghostly roommates.)
 


                                            ***************************************************



Writing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the thing that makes me happiest. I live between berating myself and reading something over and over because I know it’s good. I’ve lost all my writing jobs due to covid and now I write for myself though I can’t even seem to post a blog. There’s no closure with writing. It never stops. There’s always something new.


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Thank you for reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Covid-19 and Me-70



Remember that poem about a crowd of daffodils? William Wordsworth; I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud. This Daffy-Dills, yours truly, is eschewing crowds these days and considers this poem in a deeply personal way. 

I’m completely isolated, doing zoom sessions with family and taking solo walks on the Interurban Trail, which runs behind my abode. 

I’ve lost over half my income but I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a place to live and enough monthly money to get me through. While I'm in favor of making health care workers the priority when it comes to triage, it also frightens me to think of myself expiring, isolated and ignored, because of age. In a worst-case scenario, I would not be at the top of the totem pole.

I don’t have positive proof but it’s reasonable to say I already had Covid-19.
January 20th, I went to Olympia to participate in Lobby Day. That evening, my friend Lea and I met at a great club, Rhythm & Rye to see Jovino Santos Neto Quinteto. We felt pretty lucky to find them there the same night. I was feeling particularly healthy and youthful! The next day was wet and cold and we gathered in the belly of the Capital building. We met with representatives and I was able to chat with Senator Jesse Solomon about issues important to voters in our district. In the afternoon, I bid goodbye to my friends and left the chilly basement of the Dome, headed for the long drive home to Shoreline, in the pouring rain and ensuing darkness. On the way down the mall, I slipped on a patch of water-soaked moss. I fell hard on my butt, catching myself with my gloveless palms. Muddy and soaked, I got to my car, and merged into traffic. When I arrived home, I stripped my mud-caked clothes, tossed them in the washer and went to bed.

I was sore the next day but dealt with it. Thursday wasn’t much better and by Friday, I felt sick. At the end of that day, I shook so badly, I had a hard time getting my key in the lock. Mind you, it’d been five years since I’d been ill. It felt like a personal affront to me; an attack.

The next day, my daughter Olivia took me to Urgent Care; before we could hardly get a foot in the door, they sent us to the Edmonds ER. I was tested for flu, had a lung x-ray, and my throat swabbed. The flu-test came back negative but the doctor prescribed Tamiflu anyway. It was $101 at Walgreens. Seniors with Medicare not being covered for Tamiflu. I later discovered that Bartells down the block was charging $175. The Tamiflu was totally ineffectual.
MY PILLOW

By Monday I was much worse, had missed Sunday brunch with my writers’ group; my granddaughter Mila’s singing performance on Saturday afternoon; and Saturday night opera Eugene Onegin with my daughter, Emily.

I saw my primary physician and she did more tests, with no great reveal. I eventually was diagnosed with extreme upper respiratory tract infection. Wednesday morning, January 29th, I wondered if I'd ever get out of bed, but started to make a turnaround on Thursday, and by Friday, I couldn’t stand myself any longer. Clean sheets and a shower produced a new but partially broken me. It was January 31st and no one here had heard about coronavirus in China.
It was a slow recovery. I had a tough time getting my stamina back and accounted for that to being seventy years old. I’m pretty on top of my game for an old fart but worried that I’d had some kind of setback. My throat continued to be terribly sore and I had a nagging cough. My doctor ordered new tests; the throat was a major concern. Everything came back normal, so I was out of the woods, but mending was obviously going to take awhile. (A shout-out to my daughters who kept me alive and supplied with popsicles, the only thing I could eat for days.)
MY CANDLE

One month later, on February 24th, I wrote to my doctor again, complaining about the cough and I still a sore throat; should I be concerned. Here's her response:
I wish I could help you feel better faster! If it helps, I saw a patient today who has a very similar story - was sick, now generally better, but with an awful sore throat and a little cough. Maybe it's a particular virus that's going around? I'm really not sure.
That was February 24th
Less than a week later, things started to get crazy.

On March 3rd, my doctor put me in touch with the Department of Health. I explained I had not been traveling. There was little anyone could do, but being in a database was not a bad idea. Since that time, I’ve received a total of four calls from the DOH. At the time, it was nearly impossible to test someone who they believed might have the coronavirus, let alone test for antibodies.  

January 8th was the first day of winter quarter at Shoreline College, where there is a comprehensive program for Chinese students. They learn English and once they've mastered it, move on to universities. It’s part of their immersion process. Students who, in the past have lived at my property, are now attending institutions such as Penn State and Cornell.  Since the on-campus living fills up fast, I always get a flood of these kids right before a new quarter begins, fresh from China.

The week prior, I did tours of my available units for quite a few new arrivals. One drove a brand new, temp-plates, white Mercedes and had two friends accompany him. As is my nature, I shake hands, which I also did with these three young men. One of them seemed to be coming down with a cold. 
It would seem likely, that if I did have the coronavirus in January, the closeness with possible applicants such as these, would have been the source. 

The fourth and last person I talked to at the DOH asked me the same questions the former interviewers had but wanted to end our conversation with an admonishment. She let me know that, whether it was indeed Covid-19 that I had contracted, it was unlikely I'd gotten it from Chinese students. It was my turn to ask questions. She read back to me undetailed notes from my original phone call interview. Making me out to be a racist made me feel almost as sick at the virus itself and I know the ineptitude of one notetaker is not a reflection on the entire system.

However, what's happening at the top is terrifying. Hearing the bully in the White House refer to Covid-19 as the China-Virus makes me grind my teeth. We know that’s not the case. And when do we stop the uninformative, press conference of the arrogant and dishonest? One tiny man tries to get the truth to the public but he's clearly outnumbered.

I think we may be in for a long haul. As I hope we'll get back to close-to-normal life, I rely on the fact there are ways to stay in touch and keep from being idle. Take walks with friends and stay six feet apart. Zoom and Facetime with family and friends. Clean cupboards and go through photos. Read books that have been gathering dust. Write if you’re a writer. Paint if you’re a painter. Sand a piece of furniture and order paint online to create a masterpiece. Bake.  Exercise (especially if you eat what you bake.) Call old friends and send emails. Catch up. Wash, wash, wash your hands. 

We will get through this.
.
.
.

Thanks for reading.




Sunday, February 23, 2020

Take Care of Your Chicken


Not one given to speeches, famous for attending a media event and saying “I’m only here so I won’t get fined,” Marshawn Lynch, running back for the Seattle Seahawks, shared valuable words of wisdom, following the Hawks loss to the Green Bay Packers in Wisconsin on January 12, 2020.
“This is a vulnerable time for a lot of these young dudes. You feel me? They don’t be taking care of their chicken right, you feel me? So, if they was me, or if I had the opportunity to let these little young [players] know somethin’, I say take care of your money, African, ’cause that shit don’t last forever.”

Marshawn Lynch


Retired at 33, Lynch was called back by the Seahawks in an attempt to help regroup after several devastating injuries left the team sadly unprepared for the playoffs. It also raised hopes and spirit for fans. Though they didn’t make it to the Super Bowl and we don’t know if 24 will be back again next season, this we do know: Marshawn Lynch is a man of few words but he definitely knows what he’s talking about when he expresses himself. Lynch is well-loved by his teammates and fans. His sense of humor and respect give him an edge that we don’t see enough of in the NFL. 

In this clip posted on January 9 to his Instagram account, Lynch is seen joking with another veteran who also returned to the Seahawks in a time of need, Robert Turbin. The two old men purposefully seat fellow Seahawk/cornerback Tre Flowers between them and Lynch gives Flowers a humorous preamble to the chicken speech he would give after the Green Bay loss. Consider that Flowers was signed by the Seahawks to a 4-year, $2.75 million contract with a signing bonus of $298,729. It’s good to hear from Uncle Beastmode about how to take care of your chicken. Seeing that Flowers graduated from Oklahoma State with a degree in management, he's probably inclined to listen.

I get the chicken story in a way that I have one of my own. About twenty years ago, I had the honor of giving a ride home to the grandmother of a young man, César, who was at the time, in my employ. This was in Mexico and his Abuelita lived high in the mountains of Nayarit. I had a 4-wheel truck and nothing else to do; it was off-season, summer. César drove, as he knew the way and the terrain. I sat in the tiny jump seat in the back and hung out the window, as far as possible in the humid September heat. We crossed the same river four times, as it wound down the mountains, and at each crossing, minus a bridge, we watched for crocodiles. Never saw one, but the point would’ve been to not run them over.
César

A day spent in a tiny village with no electricity or indoor plumbing, grandmother’s stove a hand-hewn clay oven that stretched up through the ceiling, and the ubiquitous chickens wandering in one end of the house and out the other, with the prized pet rooster, pictured here, was an honorable time for me. Not many are invited in and hosted as I was that special day.
Abuelita's Prized Rooster

A couple weeks later, César showed up at my condo in Puerto Vallarta with this lovely resin chicken. He cheerfully explained his grandmother’s gratitude for the ride. Not only had we delivered her back to her village, we brought with us months of supplies, packed into the bed of my truck. We also had coolers full of freshly caught fish, some of which we feasted on that afternoon, the rest to be dried and smoked. 

The live chicken the grandmother had gifted to me would not go over well in an urban condominium complex in downtown Puerto Vallarta but I was blessed with a replica to remind me of that day. Though it was over twenty years ago, the chicken is still with me, guarding my entry, with my trusty golfing monkey, who has seen better days.

The Chicken and The Monkey

How is this all related to a running back with the Seattle Seahawks? As I grow older, the importance of planning my future taps on my shoulder every day. I have been very lucky. I didn’t always take the best care of my chicken, not just once in my life; living lavishly, not deeply feeling true gratitude for gifts given, both physical and otherwise, not committing myself to causes that make a difference in a diminishing world, not acknowledging how important it is to look after others, though they have no way of giving back. 

The chicken represents all these things and unless we closely listen to the messenger, we are likely to miss the message.

 Thanks for reading. 





Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Por Fin - August Post Card Challenge






August seems like such a long time ago but in the world of words, it's simply part of another season. I love the postcard challenge every August and try to form an intelligible blog of cards sent and received but this year, I've fallen more behind than ever before. Yet, here they are...por fin...at last in Spanish. Sadly, this isn't all of them, due to my poor record-keeping this past summer. I bring in the new year with wishes for everyone and plans to do a much better job keeping up with my blog. 

I hope you enjoy these poems, the cards that were chosen to carry them on their journey and invite you to peruse other posts on my blog. 

Richard Novak talked me to sleep. He came and sat on the big Naugahyde chair and spoke softly, while I nursed one baby, sandwiched between me and her brother, whose back I rubbed with my spare hand. I tended to drift off to sleep somewhere in the middle of Richard's gentle words that hung in the shadows of my California sunset room. I never knew where Richard lived but at some point, he became quiet, left and went to that home, night after night. I never thanked him. I found his obituary online. Richard had so much room in his heart. 

The morning of the Sylmar earthquake (1971), all I wanted to do was sit still, and hang onto something, anything. I didn't even want to be in a moving car. Aftershocks knocked me around, just when I'd get my bearings again. A big bang started it, with bright flashing in the dark. The sun rose suddenly and we didn't know what happened. Sixty people died.




Dad would gargle his Listerine and we would laugh and laugh. I wish I could remember these things with you today. I walked by our old house when you were dying... just a street away, and there lay before me a multitude of images; our childhood. 
Frances (our grandniece, age 10, who looks so much like us in so many ways) walked with me one of those days. We sought out the handprints, initials, and dates you and I left behind in the concrete that Dad poured so many years ago. We are history, you and I. 


We used to say, in full seriousness, our mother would live to be 100. It took us all by surprise. She died at 89 after a diagnosis of brain cancer two months prior. We were filled with sorrow (and some with remorse.) She was not! At 89, she's stoically claimed she's seen enough and was ready to find out what came next.






 Pick up your skirt! Lift your knees and raise your arms! Yell out with a vengeance and a grin! It's time to win! Ring the alarms and wave the banners! Carry your pride high! Forget your manners! Tell the world we're on our way! Dammit! Women will save the day!



 I used to walk across the Aurora Bridge, up and down Queen Anne and downtown, through the market, over Capitol Hill where my bro lived on Roy Street, up to the U District. It was a mission-like walk, directionless, yet focused in an odd way. I didn't always know where I was going until I got there. Doors were always left open in those times. 1968










Living killed my brother. Years, he lived so close to the edge, Falls were inevitable, but he always managed to claw his way back up to paths with brambles and beauty. He was never hostage to the truth and has been called both a "man of few words" and a "Storyteller." I miss him.



My dad spoke highly of these guys, as if he knew them, growing up in Idaho, Montana and Eastern Washington. In the way we talked about favorite athletes, celebrities. Some say Butch lived his life out in Spokane and only the kid died in Bolivia, but my dad said it was not likely Bolivia, but Mexico. Interesting... my dad's fascination with these Crooks. He wasn't fond of movie stars at all. He hated Frank Sinatra. 



Sitting in bed, Sunshine covering me in its warm morning blanket. Reading last week's New Yorker, listening to birds gossip. Tweets, chirps, caws, wishing briefly... That perhaps there might be someone, almost anyone, who would bring me a hot cup of tea. And yet again, maybe not...




Do you feel as tall as you look? Do you feel as tall as you are? You stand over most of us with eyes that wonder in your own head, seeing things you'll never share, not with us. 



There were always laughs because that's what it was like when he was around. Uncle Russ sat at our dinner table, told silly jokes and riddles, and gently teased us. That was before before he married again. Aunt Myrtle, as we were told to call her, was shy and my mom said not really his type. When he died, Aunt Myrtle was the one I mourned for. I was a kid, 13 maybe, but she never got the chance to be a part of dinner laughs, nonsense at our house. She was all alone again, like she’d been before him. We couldn’t find a way to bring back those jokes again. 

At my brothers memorial service, I spoke to you on the phone from Portugal, where you now live with your wife. I loaned you my guitar, you said, in 1966. We chatted about music, my brother, Portugal. I struggled with images rolling in my head of you, New Year's Eve, 1966, and months later coming home to find you chatting with my mother in our family kitchen.



Sitting in bed, Sunshine covering me in its warm morning blanket. Reading last week's New Yorker, listening to birds gossip. Tweets, chirps, caws, wishing briefly... That perhaps there might be someone, almost anyone, who would bring me a hot cup of tea. And yet again, maybe not. 


It was words that made me stay in Seattle, New Year's Eve 1999. Not numbers, not 2,000 millennium scare, not weather, not fear flying, or computer crashes. Words. Words took me away again, sent me away, drove me away, pushed me away. Many words, one word, your word, my word. 





I left notes for John on the bulletin board of a Portland hang out cuz someone told me he had moved to PTown, too. One day I found a response. We were notes passing in the night. I wanted to see John and talk to him remembering our one quick historical moment of passion. It was 51 years before we would make contact again. Over someone else's death bed. His eyes of blue. They shot across the universe in the invisible ether and I felt naked again.








When we drive down Interlaken, Ewan's eyes are fixed on the ravine, leaning forward in his booster seat, straining the straps, hands gripping small armrests, skinny little boy legs dangling, swinging slightly, using his imagination, seeing things in the trees; creatures, humans maybe, moon people, samplings from the pockets of his mind.

 I was four years old when I saw a buffalo, a bison, for the first time and my Dad held me by the waist and cantilevered me over the fence and let me touch the majestic, tangled, smelly, beautiful head of what was now docile, broken, long-ago decimated; our national animal, a symbol of what we became.


She held images inside, tight and nonconforming to her other parts. She wouldn't allow her body certain sensations, less to awaken the noises she had silenced with expertise. The scent of burning corn husks could spring to action demons she couldn't personally be responsible for. It did no good to cover her ears; the hearing happened as an event she controlled with a feverish chill, a complete lack of love, A coldness as cruel as the autumn of a desert moon.




Tonight I read through all my old postcards and was haunted in my sleep as I tried to recall a street. Was it a corner? A dust road? A paved street with busy traffic? I exhausted myself battling images, memories, sorrows, and joys.



(After living in Mexico for 12 years) I've always found it interesting that white women, gringas,  are excited to meet Mexican men, dance with them, drink with them and often have affairs with them. But in the US, when a Mexican man makes attempts at conversation with a gringa, compliments her looks or makes a subtle pass, he is considered cheeky, even dangerous.

We had unmitigated hope. We thought all was right with the world. It was so short lived; it was as if we had nothing but a dream. What we've learned is that when all white people love all white people, there will no longer be a black problem.




My mother favored all of her children at different stages of our lives, and hers. She was whimsical in her favoritism; preferential treatment doled out in the same unexpected manner as rule changes and obtuse parental authority.
















We must keep living life to the fullest. 
Never give up. 
Cross every possible bridge. 
Bridge every possible Gap.
Sail all the oceans. There is so much to be done and many who are up to the task.