I call my poetry collection "Throwing Tomatoes from my Balcony." Presently I don't have a balcony, but I did at one time throw tomatoes from one. I'll add to the poems every now and then.


I've become as the cold rivers
of the melting winter,
rushing down the hill
of weathered woods, of bedded pebble
to the lake below.

On my way
the earth drinks of me
deep inside its darkness
I speak in reflected sun
of trees budding, of life,
and a readiness.

You are as the earth to me.

Bloom


I wore next to nothing
on my walk today
so the air could touch me all
at once,
again and again in its breezy way;

and the poets and the music
put my tattered
back in the right place.
Stay green--
don't give the devil anymore
than he takes.

He couldn't guess at how I'd react.
How could he guess that I choose to laugh?
I choose.


Old people
collect obituaries
like baseball cards,

the vital stats,
facts
they hold,
show, explain

because they were at the game.


Us

A broken machine
stuck in the lonely country...
we get out
and walk.

One more thing
left
for the weather
to rust.

We can't afford
to fix it.


And this too is a gift
that i can drive off in my car
and let the sounds of my cries mix with the wheels
that take me to where you can't hear.

See the sky bleed red and pink;
there's a world out side of me
that doesn't feel--

and this too is a gift.

The ache of taking back
what you took away with the touch of your mouth;
i breathe on my own again--

before,
your breath my breath your breath.

Now I breathe alone

gasping
with the shock of it.


Mary's Way

Take Him down from the cross.
Remove the nails; cast aside the thorns.
Place Him here in my arms,
He was my Son.
He is my God.

And I will hold Him
as I did when He was born,
my Child
so kind, so good.
You know not what you have done.

Dress His wounds, kiss His side,
if you would have eternal life.
With every act of Love--

take Him from the cross.


Automatic Self-Destruct

There's a bomb in my body

ticking away, since birth,

a bloodstream poison set to release in my veins,

triggered

by each beat of my pulse

that counts up to that predestined

expiration date.

If the world doesn't eat me,

I am killed by old age.


Silver

illuminated metallic moon,

the taste of tin on the lip of a can,
its beaded droplets sweating the ghostly satellites back at me.

i wink,
watch the river sigh its ripples sterling,
feel the weight, the cool press, the solid sliver
of a cross and its balm,

while the green leaves glisten in a shade of silver.


How crickets became lucky

We couldn't afford an exterminator.


It reminds me of Vincent

I saw the doe limping across the road
in November,
its brown pelt torn high and ragged in the front
where the leg meets the body—a bad shot.

This is misery, this is what its like to be hurting
with no hope
of help.

I saw myself in its slow awkward gait,
not even a trail of blood to follow.
She would live—maybe,
or maybe

she would be drawn to the deer pen
that I knew was a few yards off
near my sister's house.
Maybe there she'd lay down
near her fellows.

A herd of soft, black eyes…

either way
first there was winter and an icy field.

'The world is sad enough', I told my daughter, 'to be making it any sadder.'


Time passes

as drops of rain

that leak in the house.

You rush to and fro,

a single pan

to catch the closest to the floor.

There are too many holes;

a sick child, an electric bill, fighting again;

on and on, time passes

with only you.

Eventually, the pan overflows.


I accept that you may have to leave
at a moments notice
or no notice at all.

We may be strolling along
and I'll turn to show you a sliver
or to tell you a story,
and you'll be gone—

ahead, I guess.

The people we walk with
have different theories,

but I'll say you've gone ahead.


I don't expect you
to be my everything
for what then would I bring?

My heart is big enough to house
more than one kind of love.
Isn't it better to have room,
thousands upon thousands of open doors?

It would take my king a lifetime to explore.


As the moon brings the sun
into the night;
afire with love,
you make everyone
about you smile--
with proof of day.


i know where to kiss
because i know where
it hurts most.

i've been broken in so many places
that everything you hide
shows

on my map.


True,
I've caught myself smiling in your direction,
looking for your eyes,
thinking what you must think of me
nearly anytime we've spoken.

But once I had you safe as a brother

until you pulled away,
quiet and cool
and suddenly I had to prove
that I didn't like you too much--
because people whispered?

We were too familiar.

Now you treat me as if I'm false?

I have to watch my every action
even though I'd never act on attraction
or ask
for what's not mine to have.

It's sad,
to flirt in avoidance,
to be silent,
to look aside,
to refrain from the smallest touch of the hand--

it's as if we've confirmed suspicion,
since you're the furthest thing from a brother I can think of now.

Who is it that you don't trust?


Happiness is a lie,
but forever, i won't cry.
Sure as Hell, ain't gonna give in
and just let the devil win.


Verses for the Lady of Shallot (free of mirrors)..

Then most tender did Sir Gawain lift her from the pyre,
a sudden sad weight upon his heart
to hold the light Lady so cold against his breast,
"No, she was cursed," he said.
Moved, he bent and gave a kiss.
Charms breaking, life within her returned,
for she was his, and he was hers.


When your eyes fail you,
starring at movie stars and magazine ads, diet fads that
point and laugh,

like water and glass speaks
outrageous, backward lies--

why do you pay them mind?

Use my eyes.
I see someone I love,
isn't that beauty enough?


The Surgeon

Death cuts pieces from our hearts,
wrong directions of tumor-us self--
death cuts.

Sometimes-- too far.


The pain is great because the gift was great--

is--

time is relative;

do not mistake the veil for the true;

what if he left but to return to you?

And into that vast always the way, the distance is different but the arrival the same,

the very same instant?

Then surprised spirits you two must be, together reaching eternity,

the tear down of the wall of blinds

he never left you because there is no time--

then.


The Couch Potato

He sat there on the couch
Like a lump, like a blob
He stole my place,
The little slob.

He took the remote too,
And wouldn't listen to me.
Its not my fault, he sneered,
that you had to pee.

Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster,
A stupid show he turned on,
And I would get no sympathy
From the person I call Mom.

My brother is a couch potato,
I'm sure it's clear to see.
He stole my place and left me bored,
Now I'm lost in self pity.


Stop.

Patience.

Wait.

War has a face,

a child's.


Remember when you were as wild as a weed
and grew where ever you pleased.
No gardeners to lock you in
to say if you were, or weren't, wanted?
You just lived.


You know you're getting old
when pillow talk
consists of who's had the harder day
so who should be on top.

You hear his Lets have some Action,
as wanna Snap, Crackle, Pop?


Observes the Lady of Shallot:

If Arthur be wise
he'd knar have sent another
man to fetch his bride.


Never again
but over in Sudan
the African Union reports
the devil is man.

Each day,
each day,brings bloodshed, innocent.

A soldier takes up an infant to smash her open
as he would a bottle against a wall--no thought.
Women gang raped, men castrated, tortured;
villages looted, burned; all killed

as I quietly cover books upstairs in a library in America

and not too long ago, slavery,
not too long ago, Auschwitz,
not too long ago someone called a boy it
and someone knew, someone stayed silent


Marks of affection:

Like wild flowers for my mother,
Little things for my Lord
Propagate like sunlight
Spreads across a field.


You can read my love in the dailies,
In a morning cup,
In a steady, strong touch
That smoothes out the knots.

Romeo and Juliet
What did they know?
Ours is a love that hopes.

In the kiss goodbye,
In the kiss hello
Constant,
Ordinary.

Yes, read my love in the dailies,
In the sway, ebb, and flow,
In the small stays of the married
That bind us close.


Last Words

You can miss me, if I'm first to go,
but don't prove your love
with grief.

Id have you live--
live joyous
if you wish to honor me.


This ring on my hand
is more than decoration.
Do not ask again.


Ghostmaker

Black half moons
rise beneath vacuous eyes,
bones like November
trees thrust against a pale sky,
my tresses, the brambles of the gardens decay,
take another pill;
sleep enraged,
seeing you
seeing;
i wake to scream
the cut of the wind;
its cold;
since your death,

i am the ghost.


Fortune teller--
bank--
a sucker for a sucker,
I think.


The Eternity Code

In knowing comes loving
In loving comes serving
In serving others come to know


I cannot stop the caldron of the crystal ball,
a' swirl with the worlds influence, or the
ill-formed figures that flash within for
the blind who see light and shape;
but I do deny fate,

and read only the signs that point me
the right way.

Love is
compass,
the north star,
the internal map of the migrant,
within every possible future
if we so choose it

God's courage.


Christmas went like a car in drive--
like cruise
there were things to do,
exits to take, tolls to pay, and waysides for breaks.
Everyone I asked said they were glad when it was through.


The tiger tries to convince the dove
that birds don't have wings,
that terrible teeth and terrible claws
are the ends to every thing.


Angler (or Had)

The world presses in on every side
just beneath the surface It lies
buried in the sound floor
the gritty pretty unassuming

messages

I am pushed along
in wave after wave
I am pushed along
while It waits covered hiding
the big Eye blending right in
how meaty the offering is

distracting
hanging
dangling

looking for a bite

as I am pushed along the glitz
mistaking
hunger for love--

It sucks me in
such a little fish.

And I wanted It.


Gift

Morning,
I am pleasantly pressed
under heavy blankets
in a bed that is dreamy, soft, warm.

Outside my window the snow falls, swirling
with wind and weather across a dim, clouded countryside;
I see through half-closed eyes,

hanging on
to the languid thought
of a gossamer kiss
that in the sleeping was born,
and in the waking is missed.

All day, I carry you through the cold.


When the clouds beneath her feet and the winds have fell away,
Do you want me then? Here, to break fast the ends of the day.

When dark kisses sky, so to cool the land,
Do you need me now. There, to fill the hollow of your hands.

My warmth all too human,
but real and true and made to bless
Love, this hurt, requires of me
that I do no less. When the clouds beneath her feet and the winds have fell away,
I love you, take me--

as rain disrobes the desert dress
to restore the garden,
as sweat heralds the fever's escape.

Take me, take me. I stand with you.


The maple's leaves flame,
bursting like a firework
frozen in full boom.


As the sunrise is;
We are ordinary;
as the sunset is.
Each day I wake to fall
asleep in your arms.


With night, petals fold.
I shy away from his touch
until insults cease.

He doesn't love me.
The hard shell of a seed forms
clothing my soft heart.

i pray not to love him.


1

Stars clothe the new moon,
to shimmer in the black sky
when you and I meet.

2

Sequence of kisses
awake the night, naked blaze,
tremulous nova.

3

We of endless light,
satiate through the spaces,
then falling join day.


Harvest Moon

The landlocked dream of the sea,
Bares its Technicolor teeth
In fifty feet waves
In seething, unfurling, pounding
Energy poised at my temples waiting to snake
Down.

And in the throws of it
The bed sheets twist their chains
And my body sweats its sheen--
All I see--
Is heat lightening, across the cornflower blue,
Night,
Above the gold grainy fields baying in the wind
Until I wake--

Alert and sensing
The tide thrumming in my ears,
The warmth coursing within my body,
The tenuous, caged, restless needing.

And still you sleep unaware
That I'm pacing my fingers across your cheek
Down your chin to the hallow of your throat,
Your pulse point inches from my lips,
The taste, the musky scent of your skin
Racing me to press closer, to whisper

Release Me.

My love is as steely sweet
As a rabbit snare's bite.


I came for Solstice,
seeking the sun, low and forgiving
in the sky, seeking the lines on your face
to mark the smiles of my passing.

I came to be ablaze in the late afternoon,
to feel beauty once more course through
my body, to wash myself in soft light,
to be washed in your gaze.

I know there are rocks to be picked;
I know there are fences to be mended;
I know the fields wait, dark and patient
under the overgrowth;

but I'm listening
to the crickets and the katydids;

I'm running barefoot across the pasture,
dark green and bronze;

and I'm thinking on the contrast of your farmer's tan
and my own capable heart.


Make of it, what you Will

I

If bubbles were clouds
and clouds were bubbles
then my children must be Raphael's cherubs
only cuter, and without wings
and their halos? Bathtub rings.

II

There once was this saint, I can't remember his name, anyhow
he told God to quit Shouting
upon seeing an exquisite blossom.

I'd never tell God that--his children are deaf.

III

I try to see the God in everything, everyone.

IV

Prayer:
Please Lord in your Will, in all that is Love, where I fail/succeed.
Please God make me into the person You want me to be.
Teach me through joy. Carry me through pain. Grant me a grateful heart,
That I may sing Your praise.

V

The older I get the more I realize its all about packaging and lighting.

VI

This is what I get about Suffering
It's a mystery.

Maybe Jesus died and rose, so that we wouldn't be afraid, that pain is only temporary like a celestial Hit me with your Best Shot or Is that the best you can do, Punk?

Maybe death is like birth and that's why it hurts so much.
Maybe birth is like death and that's why it hurts so much.
I don't like it. I think I'm allergic to it.

Maybe Jesus suffered and died to turn Suffering which is Bad into something which is Good so that when we decided we wanted to know the difference between Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, Suffering which is the opposite of Good came into being and the Sacrifice made it Ok for God who is all Good to accept us in all our misery. I'm not sure if I buy that though. I mean to a point I do, but

I know it's about Free Will. Free Will is That important, that people are allowed to perpetrate these grave evils.

I don't know where it is but somewhere between Nature and Nurture there's a choice.

I need to pray a lot. I'm easily confused.

God is our Father. We are his children. Think Natural Consequences. Think Life is a Big Time-Out. Think Don't hit your sister/brother. Or maybe think, little baby at the light socket. I think were all infants.

We were made to be joy

VII

Spiritual Klutz

I hurt myself with these thoughts
dashing towards the truth.


Love (for Husband)

Will you wear
like my favorite sweater,
Deep
Forest green,
Ever angoric upon my skin,
Complimenting warmth
As the threads of this life thin,
As the knitting tears;
Will you be there--
That which I can't bring myself to toss aside?

Because there is nothing new or better
Which would feel as fine.


My beautiful place is tenderness,
all blurred around the edges,
overflowing
to love this much and know.

Till I see my children in every news story
and I rush outside where God tries to hold me
in the arms of the sunset.

I tell Him
it's the color of the Monarch's wings
I found crushed on my doorsill last summer,

the feeble way it tried to fly.


Life is Change.
Change is Growth.
The Peaceable conflict facilitator of Both.


Would the red line be pretty,
like a bracelet, the droplets like fat charms dangling? Scarlet pearls?
Is this an occasion of festivity to dress for?

Would the red line be angry,
like a leviathan's swift thick ink, expanding, billowing in warm waters dark.

Is this my way to blind you? Stain?
Or is the red line merely sad,
as i am sad,
as sad as the sorrow of Mary, the gash in her heart where all the world's pain hides.

Weeping.

Why didn't she draw a red line?
And why can't i
cry the color that i feel
as pretty, angry, sad as Her Boy did. ..

Minus the knife.

Suffer

These secret bleedings. . .


Pandora's last evil
Bruises internal.

Hope shatters us,
It's glass,
Till we ask is the image
Distortion or real?
We who

(whisper)

The silences--entrapped.


Like old war veterans,
my sisters and I sit around the mother-to-be
in the kitchen;

claiming our children as souvenir shrapnel,
trading stories,
out doing the other in gory detail, even though we've heard it all before:

the cross-legged breech sitting Indian style butt-first
would not be turned,
the vacuum shoved right where it hurt worst and getting stuck,
the block that stopped the contractions,
the epidermal that didn't take,
the tearing past the episiotomy couldn't sit for weeks,
the instant waking after a last second Cesarean
with that fcking nurse
pushing on the stitches and holding up Polaroids of the baby,

Excruciating Pain.

And my niece
with the round play groundball

belly

actually wants us to be there,

till we start to argue about names.


This almost touching of trees
separated by a road,
their branches
like swords about to cross
or hands about to clasp
into arches for the just wed;

no wild entwine together--

still and silent--
they grow
imperceptible

as an exchange of leaves, of letters,
or a glace across a room.


I was sitting in school.
It was quite boring.
The teacher did drool on about moles and chlorine...
I almost fell asleep.

So I doodled little cubes all over my paper,
And daydreamed about a huge rodent with saber-like teeth,
Eating my teacher.

Immediately I felt better!


Ours is a winter love,
a tether hold,
in this uproarious
foam spray
of a world;

we cling to

the dual lines
of each other
and are wise
enough

not to wait
for the starry
skies
of summer.

To live on


Say what you will,
bird of prey,
aiming straight at my jellyfish clear.

Think me an easy target?

i'll hollow you out
with laughter.

You stab
and I hear
the muffled vibration
of an already cracked window;

anesthetized;

my exhaustion the diamond veil
you bloody yourself upon,

while I remain at the pinpoint of removed,
inviolate.

No more room for any more pain.


You say my eyes are a deep warm amber,

But I know you think

they are chipped, flawed, and cut hard.

And you say my mouth is like exotic fruit,

But I know it's

Much too easily bruised.

And my skin, you may claim

Is scrubbed to pink rosy,

But to tell the truth,

It's just petals I've crushed.

And my love is never,

Never good enough.

My hands are without purpose.

My feet are not dainty.

And my voice it bleeds, it is so raw.

You've said it yourself, I scream for love,

Where no love is to be found.

Save Me, Change Me, Re-create Me--

If not--

You can always Blame Me.


Starving

On a lack of love,
Light as a feather
Empty as words--
I--
Know it wouldn't take much,
To lift me
To say
To touch
To kiss,
To lift me
Out of the abyss;
I swear I left my pride
A thousand days away
I beg you,Why do you wait?
I'm Easy to save.

Throw

Down

The Rope.

Voice in the Dry Well to the Shadow Above
AKA Maiden In Distress


Dandelions

Weeds to my sister

nasty little beasts that dot

her golf-green lawn.

But I remember...

once upon a time

when she and I thought they were magic.

A flower that turns into a

feather that turns into a

wish if you can catch it.

We'd crown each other with the blossoms,

bejeweled in necklace, bracelet, and ring.

And what wicked laughter

we'd share when we played

"off with their heads."

The tiny fellows littered dead at our feet

until we'd snatch them up to attack,

rubbing each others arms and legs leaving vicious yellow streaks.

We'd give them as gifts.

We'd carry them in by the shirt full

to display in Mason jars...

I don't know how she can call them weeds.


i remember...

the blur of it,
the crushing of my throat,
the teary distortion
ripping away,
as i dropped the rose
like blood paint on your grave,
this seeping.

i couldn't see your face.

back then i didn't realize what i was doing.

i only felt the bites,
the clawing,
the water shed drowning,
as each cannibal memory
crashed in on itself,
now empty screaming.

the dark earth roaring in my ears,
covering you up
beneath the weeping August sun,
two days before my eighteenth with the air
so scalding thick,
i couldn't breathe,

couldn't breathe.

so instead of cutting off my right hand,
or my left arm,
or my young girl legs;
i took every thought of you
away.

i forgot your face.

you see,
it hasn't been the seven years
that robbed me of your favoring smile,
the warm history
in your caressing brown eyes.
it hasn't been time;

i'm the only theif.

i had to kill
that part of me that was yours;
to forget, i was that weak...

alone. and now when my youngest tugs at my sleeve,
points to the pictures and asks 'Momma Who?'

vaguely, dimly,

i recall--

curly black hair, tattered paper backs, gold rimmed glasses, tan olive skin, dark hawk's gaze, a knowing just for me, a well's voice echoing those few shared phrases spared, a feeling?

but then it is the furnace heat as we waited for your lungs to fill, and talked to you like the hospice people said to, even though your sight was closed and you didn't look like you with your hallow bird bones caving; you couldn't answer because of all the water rising inside then spilling outside, blurring...you to me.

and the old hungry hurt rolling...
taking you away
because it's still too painful.

and I choke
on words
that i long to tell
my girl-- she has those same brown eyes.

ii

forget-me-nots
have tied me up,
painful images of you.

and pretty though the binds be,
each flower a memory;
i cannot move or be moved
into another's comfort, embrace,
into a life without grief.

iii

i once prayed that you would die.

how foolish of i
to think that the sun's imploding
wouldn't erase as much as the fading winter light.

i said it
was because you were hurting,
but it really was because i hurt.

does my youth excuse
the irrevocable?
and what is more selfish
to wish your pain away
or to wish it back?
after all,
i knew i wasn't going to get a miracle,
when i asked, when i said

have her die or have her live;

god doesn't work like that.
he let his own son suffer,
the cup pressed firmly to his lips.

did you hear me,
crying behind the walls
that separated our rooms?
as you fought to breathe, did you hear
your ungrateful child.

when did you give up?

sometimes i feel like that prayer spit upon your courage.

even now,
all these years,
sometimes i feel
that i'm the reason.

and that's why you don't bless me with dreams of you,
why you don't haunt me,
why even the memories have been redefined
by a fire
which consumes--
and stills


Defender

i

When life is an endless trudge

in front of Percy's Wheel,

and weary I,

and stubborn I,

Fling up my arms,

sink to the earth,

plant myself there, and say,

"Enough."

He turns to me and smiles,

offering his hand with a look

of amused

requirement

that makes me give up—

the giving up.

ii

He laughs me out of my blues,

He tickles me, he teases too,

He laughs me out of my blues.


if thoughts counted,
if need alone made things true,
how often have I thought of you.
Yet poor is fantasy,
would the real you, touch the real me.