animals, Just bitchin', poem, writing



She follows me,

a slinking, silent presence filled with expectation.

Her coat is dusty.

She’s been rolling in dead leaves,

rubbing her skin against pavement and stems.

She itches;

a pleasure that will turn to torment with age.

A black ghost, a shadow.

I offer food, water, play, affection.

Green-flame eyes bore into mine.

Stupid human not to understand.

They are everywhere.

She is near the end of her life

and her world is thick with spirits

I can’t see.



Just bitchin', poem

For Fatherless Girls on Father’s Day


As you recall times shared with family and father,

some of us look back on a singular lack.

I remember hearing ‘Girls don’t need fathers as much as boys do.’

Emphatically and thoroughly not true.

The place where a father might have been is empty and dark.

Less than grief, but more than loss, a separate chamber in the heart.

We’re girls who learn men from the outside first,

slaking a congenital thirst.

We grow up strong, we make up the lack,

But there’s something that we never get back:

the memories others celebrate today,

fathers and daughters along the way.

We’re grown women who have learned our way,

but the father-shaped abyss echoes today.



animals, Just bitchin', poem



Bounced awake at 3 a.m. by feline urgency.

Pet-propelled, I follow the meowing fur-alert to the door.

Open it.


But not our wind.

Not native to a northern clime.

This is a wind from the south, spiced with cinnamon and roses.

Santa Ana, the Witch’s Wind.

It reaches deep into our DNA.

Barefoot and pad-pawed, we walk into the primal.

The wind has claimed this night for the naked and the mad.

Blood surges.

Reason departs.

We hunt.



image:Night Wind from

poem, writing

A Goreyesque-ly Good Day


The weather is savage.

Wind churns the bay into frothing whitecaps.

The waves batter against the bulkhead with force that resonates through the cottage’s foundation. Two feet of concrete seems like a flimsy barrier upon which to depend when salty droplets pepper the windows.

Leaves and pine needles fall before the gusty assault, turning into missiles that sting the flesh, scoring it with reddened welts.

You feel small and mortal and anxious before such force.

It’s the perfect start to Halloween weekend.

To make it even better, the online literary journal Goreyesque has published my poem ‘Ogre’ in their Halloween edition.


Always a fan of the subtle, sublime, and unsettlingly brilliant author and artist Edward Gorey, I am honored.

Once again…

…Happy Halloween…


Just bitchin', poem



She is slinky.

She is of indeterminate age.

She prowls the night with avid eyes, searching for something to satisfy her hunger.

Glimpse her from the corner of your eye, and a sense of danger flicks your instincts to life.

She is watching.

You are wary.

In the shadows, tawny fur…tawny eyes connect with yours.

Noise and music and safety is a scant ten yards away.

No one will believe this.


poem, writing

Another Farewell…


A raging beast, the disease came back.

At the end her memories rose to the surface,


A champagne distillation of her life.

Words halting and slow.

‘City lights,’ she said. ‘I saw them

like a belt of stars against the night.

Do you know, I could find their echo in the streets…

Fairy lights twined through iron balconies

like a giant’s brush of glitter.’


Her eyes closed.

‘Smiles. I never realized I’ve seen so many…

so many…

Do you know, thinking of them makes me feel warm…

in here…’

A decimated hand touched the hospital gown

over her heart.

Eyes opened, so earnest.

‘I think the most precious thing is trust.

I used to think it was love, but…

Do you remember the rabbits I found?

How the mother let me help her babies?


That wasn’t love. It was trust for love’s sake.’

Her words grew fainter.

‘Maybe it was born of love,

but trust comes first.

I’m going to miss all of you.’

For the last time, lids lowered.

‘I’m going to miss weather.

I hope there are storms…’


She left us

with the image of a woman

raising her face to taste rain and thunder.


poem, writing

Good Friday


A quickie post, because it doesn’t happen all that often.  Just frequently enough to keep a writer hanging on.

But it’s one of those moments when a thousand rejections are worth it, to know there was an acceptance waiting in the wings…

Thank you, Page and Spine Literary Magazine!