Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Coffee Talks

I walked by
a serious conversation
in a coffee shop
between father and son.
It all came back.
My knees went a little weak
when he told mom.
When she held herself
until we turned a corner
and then I thought
I'd have to carry her to the car.

I remember wishing
I could feel grief like that.

And I wondered
If the news
In the coffee shop today
was shaking their world
As mine had shaken.

In that moment,
Wishing I could go back
and hear it again,
To feel grief like that.

Still in the aftershocks
Even once it's over
And he's gone.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


The middle of life opening, 
for most
Is when he had to go.

His bad days became always
And what it meant changed
From sadness and stress
To death.

A body rejecting itself
Phlegm and mucus,
Drowning in fluid,
Never ending nausea and pain.

For a moment he stayed
Only to say
Of all the things he'd accomplished
We were the best.

And then he left.

First to sleep hours away,
Waking angry that we didn't wake him to say, 
"not yet -
There's still life to live!"
But what could we have said?
To wake the bones,
To take away the regret?

On the day his breath
Became rattled and ragged
I watched the sunrise.
Then went and told him
I watched it, for him -
The moment when the sunlight
Is enough to see the other side
But still the city lights shine
Bright enough.

The in-between,
He shared with me

We told him of his bravery
And grace.
We kissed his face,
And said, "we'll be ok."

This was today.

The mind I needed,
The voice that spoke to
Depths of soul and truth -
Cut through to it,
Gently, without apology.
How powerful his love,
And that he's loved.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Last night
He asked me to lay down beside him.
He held my head,
With both arms.

I was conscious of the weight
On his shoulder.
Of the bones
And frail.

Of his guitar nails
Tickling my shoulder
Like when I was a child.

I could hear his heartbeat
Breath pausing for too long.
A slight movement made
So he'd inhale again.

Then he asked me
If I ever wondered about
Our minds being too closed...

I told him
Only when I think it's open.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Truth About Life

Sometimes, your petals fall off.

Sometimes it's winter and
You search for water and green
But find a sea of white.

Sometimes you're the one cloud
Separate and lagging
Behind the rest racing for
An endless blue above the ocean.

Sometimes a smile
And a hand-hold
Mean the whole world.

Sometimes you need your kid
To read you Rumi.
To sit with you quietly
While you cry on the inside.

Until you wake up in the deepest breath,
The clarity that makes no sense
In all this fear of life and death,

We're blessed to be here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Water

I met a boy,
high up in his thoughts
Escaping dark.

Keep it light.
Hush and smile,
Try to make her happy.

Don't dig too deep
Now's not the time
When it pulls you, skip aside...

It's ok
to disconnect.
Humanness is fluid.

Where you are one day you leave,

This is just to say,
It's ok.
With me.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Early Adieu

He told me today.
Aggressive and late detected.
For a moment I was 12.

I felt like my petals fell off
Like a strong current swept me,
Helpless and spinning
Tossed up and under
Blinded, childlike,

As if it were winter and
I bent towards earth buried.
Seeking, searching,
Water and green,
Beneath a sea of white.

Like I was the one cloud
Separate and lagging
Behind the rest racing for
An endless blue above the ocean.


Stopped me, spun me,

I watch closely now.
The eyes that are mine
In the face growing thin,
Talking quickly,
Guilt ridden.

"It's not your fault, Dad.",
I want to tell him.
Smile and show him I'm ok.
But my eyes are his and he knows
Their nuances.
The truth within the slight
Somber understanding.

Then I held it together,
Smiled, stayed practical.
I felt his heavy thanks,
The wave of graciousness.
I thought of his strength and pain,
This beautiful man trying to figure out the impossible;

How do you tell your child you’re dying?

We left smiling
I told a joke.
I hugged him close and he choked
On tears not meant to be seen.

Then we left cheerily.

Hung my head as soon as the car door closed.
Couldn't hold
My heart,
or him here.

It's ok.
This will fade into acceptance,
peace and light for having such
A blessing.

You've been the best thing.
Taught me patience, love, understanding
Relinquishing the shallow things
Awareness of ego and
The soulful self reflection -

You were everything you should've been
For me.

There is greatness in him.
A man who stands beside a child and opens wide,
Unaware of what is shared with the world.
A man who sits with dying friends,
Who understands the loneliness,
Who hands out companionship,
Despite the cost in loss.

Don't doubt it now,
Reflect and feel your soul, proud,
Of all you leave behind.
Seven lovely lives,
that never would've been without you.

I'll take you where you wished you'd gone,
The Andes, Cuba, the amazon
We'll pray with shamans and walk the Inca trail.

Then visit cities, like new Orleans,
Boston, Memphis Tennessee,
All the blues bars, rock and jazz,
I'll hear you in the walls there,
Underneath the notes played,
Inside the knowing faces,
Of those who feel the same.

Your love lasts miles
Despite any distance.
There is music we can listen to,
Whenever we might need to hear you,
Landscape we can look upon,
To feel your hippie spirit, strong,
Rocking solos as you forget to breathe.

Now there's no need.

We'll take in all the air you left us
Ocean breezes, mountain echoes
Phone calls to answering machines
Messages you left me,
"Even the fucking bears would miss you if 

you were gone".
You will live on.

In every new dirt my feet land on
In every foreign face I lay eyes on
In all the life I come upon,
You'll be.

My father living through me.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Split Screen

Marriage is a funny thing
One never seen the same again
after divorce.

Hindsight is enlightening.
Like when the cruel one emerged,
Even the new girlfriend got in on it.
She really is a sweet thing
who never had any place in things between us.

But I know it was never about me.
How could it be?
She never knew me.
You did.

When things got mean
the pain grew deeper,
And the walls just wouldn't show up. Though I wished for them
Something knew better.

Our split was the redefinition of
no more resistance
and maybe that's why we never worked.

If it hurts let it.
If its in the way speak of it.
If it makes you want to hide and shy away,
there's something there to face.

I needed to even when you couldn't.
Truth, even too much of it, 
was how I had to live.

We got through it one way
in the beginning and 
that was no small feat.
But then in the end, 
those nights I cried and didn't
want you to touch me 
'cause it was so lonely -
we were taking turns in different worlds 
And I know it hurt you
as much as me.

But I always loved you. 
I'm sorry for the things I had to go through
that couldn't be shared. 
I'm sorry for wishing so hard you could be there.
For not seeing you just couldn't 
any more than I could for you.

We needed too much, we two.

And there were times I had to
Live in a lie 
Get by until the next breakthrough

Must be a human thing.

We can't always have the answers when the questions arise. 
Sometimes you gotta soul search to find 'em.
I couldn't speed that process 
No more than you.

Maybe we weren't so different, us two.
The bottom line is, I loved you.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Paper Yoga

The mail came.

I put it away.

Cleaning floors, dinner for four,
Cracked open doors.
Dog walks, tv talks, bedtime stories
Four nights ignored.


I lie on my back,

Pull knees to chest,
Plant feet.
Push shoulders apart,
Reach hips up -
Gently work towards 
The crack.

What my heart does, opening.

Colors of emotions.
My blood is rushing.
I breathe.
Throat choked in fear of

Memories flood and flow. 
Keep breathing.
Keep reaching until
It's open wide.

When there's nothing left
My body bends
Brings me to my side.

An infant,
Grieving innocence.