Monday, December 31, 2012

Intently haphazard

All of my posts over the last year have been my writing. But, I would like to end the year with a poem by Denise Levertov which has given me my motto for the year ahead. Best wishes for a Happy New Year.

Overland to the Islands

Let's go—much as that dog goes,
intently haphazard. The
Mexican light on a day that
'smells like autumn in Connecticut'
makes iris ripples on his
black gleaming fur—and that too
is as one would desire—a radiance
consorting with the dance.
                       Under his feet
rocks and mud, his imagination, sniffing,
engaged in its perceptions—dancing
edgeways, there's nothing
the dog disdains on his way,
nevertheless he
keeps moving, changing
pace and approach but
not direction—'every step an arrival.'

by Denise Levertov
from Overland to the Islands
publisher: Jonathan Williams, 1958

Frank and Zeke are dogs that I loved and are no longer dancing edgeways in this reality.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The world turns green

It seems almost cruel
to show such splendid days
when cold and snow is blasting
across the continent.
But, this is our reality.
The rains come, the world
turns green and the palms
glory in the late afternoon sun.
Hmmm. Winter?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter's rest

 Life in so many forms slows for winter.
But, a brief walk toward my neighborhood park
tells me that winter is a time for new beginning
in our climate. Slowness, here, comes in mid-summer 
when the grasses go to seed and lack of rain 
tempers rampant growth.

In December, even a big Pacific storm is moderate:
an inch of rain, winds 30 mph, temp in the 40’s and 50’s.
So, quiet winter with its short days is a soft renewal 
in California. I love living here. It is home and where I was born,
in an early Spring quite a long time ago.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

Sending warm Christmas greetings from sunny California.
(Well, it is actually wet and cool today)

Santa seems to be part of the busy crowd in my neighborhood ─
out shopping and stocking up on goodies for the celebration.

I hope your Christmas-tide is full of happiness and warmth.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Around the next corner

A dear friend has the constant quest
as a guideline in her life.

Always looking, just around the next corner,
perhaps where she has often looked before,
but, ever trying to fill the day with interest.

A nice thought for these winter days
when it seems my world is pretty static
and winding down with the year.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Waiting for the storm

Quiet afternoon, watching the waves,
gradually higher and higher…..
a storm generating over the Pacific
while we wait for sunset.

Monday, November 26, 2012

How the light gets in

This lovely poem just suddenly appeared
on the now empty vegetable planter,
sidewalk-side of a wonderfully diverse
elementary school in my neighborhood.
Must be some wise and beautiful kids
coming up in this world!

From Leonard Cohen's Anthem

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A modern Thanksgiving

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Oh, how times have changed.
It wasn’t so long ago that even a phone call
to bring everyone to the holiday feast
was kind of suspect….a note more proper.
Hope your day of thanks was technologically
correct and everyone found their place at the table.

Everyone...yes, everyone, family and friends, at our feast had an IPhone!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Contemplating trolls

I am not a collector,
well maybe have too many books.
But, I can barely grasp keeping
troll dolls locked in cabinet ▬
even more distorted by the beveled glass.
Isn’t it wonderful that we are all so different?

Monday, October 29, 2012

A feathered friend

So many in this busy City
find friendship from their pets.

So many in the quiet country
find companions in their animals.

It seems somehow strange for me
to meet a man on a busy sidewalk
with a friend and companion
that I thought would be found
on a quiet lane.

Silver Laced Poland bantam.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A hint of winter

Wonderful scent of rain,
but not quite yet.
A brisk touch in the air,
but not quite yet.
Crisp leaves in the fading
grass. Not quite yet.

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Across from me on the 33 bus:
her shopping bags were brimming,
carrots still with their tops, low fat milk
and nutritious, multi-grain bread.
As we rode for many blocks,
she was talking, maybe a bit too loud,
sometimes laughing,
in conversation
with someone not there.

She seemed sad, I judged.
And, yet I know nothing
of the fullness of a life
lived in her world.
Where did I find sadness?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

It is fall

Wet pavement after the Equinox─
beautiful patterns evoke memories.

The air has a faint chill, it is fall.
Summer’s ease begins to fade.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I don’t question
the intricacy that
coping and aging requires.
But, I am glad
I don’t forget
what it once took
to navigate my world.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Of course, blue moon is metaphor.
As the second full moon appeared
over the city rooftops it seemed,
like distant love, so very real.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tide line

A crisp, slightly gray day.
Low tide opens a path:
inspiration for a short dance
or a meandering walk into the mist.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Simply too strong

Rigid, tight shadows and strangely linear:
sometimes the world as envisioned
by some feels simply too strong.

Monday, July 23, 2012


…such a modest way
to describe everyday situations
that confuse and compound life.
To be able to pin point them
in 10 minutes  would be such a relief.
Hopefully they are not on TV.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Life’s passages sometimes seem 
strong and clear. Step by step 
moving toward the end of a corridor,
fully aware of dark at the end. 

And then, light through a window ─
the journey continues.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dangerous resting place

A quiet Sunday morning,
watching this tiny hummingbird
build a nest in a towering Avocado tree.
Frantic coming and going,
then, she rests on a branch
of a dangerous and beautiful Angel’s Trumpet.
Uncaring about its toxicity
and seeming at peace.

Sunday, June 24, 2012



I once dreamed of playing with a rainbow,
joyfully sliding through the sky.
Someone had a more practical vision:
an earthbound rainbow drum,
unchanged by transient clouds.

Life’s path

Do the challenges on life’s path
ease from mastering the creative
playground? Just wondering what
I learned on time-worn, static

Photos taken at a new, creative  children's playground 
in my neighborhood. (Dolores Park, San Francisco)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Another vist

Recurring patterns in nature,
the leaf, the flower petal, the butterfly─
how can I think that I am somehow
separate? Duality simply fails
common sense and observation.

 Another visit from the cabbage butterfly

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Mid-day and it sometimes seems
too much to achieve that balance:
beauty, progress and serenity.

A lesson in the cabbage butterfly:
its tiny feet holding a beautiful
meadow sage, enormous wings
spreading into the light.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Bach thundering in the postlude,
leaving, just as he desired.

Celebration of a life so well lived.
In modesty, he chose Mighty Lak’ a Rose
to balance Prelude and Fugue in D.

And as the last notes faded,
the evening sun streaming
through ancient, west-facing
and farewell, friend.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In the teeming crowd

In the midst of a teeming crowd
some curl their heads toward warm feathers,
seemingly oblivious to their world.

A grizzled old man and a very sad young man
sit on a nearby street each day, kind of like birds,
part of the scene, yet tucked away.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


That sudden turn:
to catch a partly heard conversation,
perhaps startled by a sudden breeze.
I cannot decide: lack of focus
or responding to the moment?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Staying in the moment

Quietly sitting in the warm Spring sun
waiting for nothing I can name.

A slight breeze through the blooming
tomato plants: contemplating a harvest. 

And, then a tiny visitor brings the moment,
now, and it is simply perfect.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Touched by a butterfly

The touch of a butterfly
on a child’s finger.
So evanescent,
yet filled with strength and trust.

Many things complicate life,
when we are neither child nor butterfly.
Too often fear and knowledge
overcome the gentle moment.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Protea in California

Immigrant days:
feeling I don’t belong,
forgetting that
great beauty
is often alien.

Unlike the god Proteus
who changed at will,
I cling to a vanished
personal form,
yet knowing
that we are all transplants 
who must adapt.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday phone call

Seems so odd, what we remember.

With such a vast store of memories,
I miss the Sunday call, 
very long-distance,
with my Mom. 
The last one ─
about eighteen years ago.

Usually, we talked about weather or
breakfast, or what she had seen on t.v.  
Sometimes we would talk wildflowers:
a great love learned from her Mom.

Seems so odd, what we remember.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A village up-rooted

The neighborhood bee-keeper’s hives
swarm out of fear or dislocation,
seek a safe haven.  
A frantic search: 
much like life
every day
in war-torn countries 
every where.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Blessings

Wishing everyone many blessings at Easter.
The rebirth of seasons and the hope of a beautiful future
seems to be with so many this time of the year.
My hope is that it true for you.

The creator of this little street garden in San Francisco
certainly has both trust in the passersby
and a light approach to living in the world.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Things change

So many things are changing:
gardens in amazing bloom.
friends embracing both loss and joy.
And for me, life is full and yet I contemplate:
Hafiz said, “something missing in my heart tonight
has made my eyes so soft”
Again, things change.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Somehow the blooming, budding
strawberries in a street-side garden
were a jolt of awareness─
we are truly past winter now,
even though the rain continues
and gray skies are nearly as common
as sunny and blue.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sweet possession

A child dropped his mandarin orange
on the playground sidewalk.
Mom said, “No, don’t pick it up”.
Within minutes it was a glorious feast
for a house fly on an outing. Or,
a beautiful resting place.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Warmth to protect

Yesterday, on a chilly outing
with friends, we saw at the edge of a parking lot
two small, stubby cats entwined on the pavement.
Love making? No, I realized that one cat
was very ill and the other was using its warmth
to protect. Heartbreaking, yet heart affirming.

Note: this feral cat was not one of the cats in this observation,
but one that I had encountered a couple of weeks ago.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A matter of perspective

a young dove overhead
watching me with curiosity:
a reminder that this gray day
offers interesting perspectives--
if I look for them

Sunday, March 11, 2012

After satsang

Reaching skyward,
aspiration made concrete.
The daily task:
rising from separateness,
seems diaphanous
and often slipping away.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A bubble

The day seems evanescent,
perhaps breakable, certainly fragile.
Just floating and waiting,
looking for cause or reason.
The lesson: just be.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pollen blessed

An untidy row of tulips
most wide open in the early sun.
One fully occupied…a lazing,
pollen-blessed bee
starting Spring’s work,
with Winter not quite gone.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Spring can be gray

Stub ends of last year’s reeds
pushing through a vernal pool.
Summer’s crushing aridity and heat
will provide a new crop of sticks next Spring.
The seasons here are reflected in such plain things,
sometimes. Not everything is green or blooming
to welcome us into a time of rebirth.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hummingbird protector

A loud, cawing raven perches on the roof edge,
seemingly a predator in this quiet neighborhood.
Undaunted, the tiny Anna’s hummingbird streaks round
annoying the huge black bird…until finally the “threat”

Last Spring, the harassment was directed
at an invader hawk. Hummingbird protector!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

To the end of the pier

Contemplating the fishing pier with its faltering pilings,
I wonder how many of my own are weakened
by life’s storms, from the constant motion of its waves.
How many solid posts do we really need
to go all the way to the end? 
Probably not all of them.