photo by Ben Neale

My mane is a primitive vine –

A blind communique –

I’m too lazy to make it shine –

with pomades or hairspray –



Tie it with an elastic band?

Or tame it with some heat?

Some say pin them down – every strand!

But that looks way too neat –



I shall remain a loose bun lass.

I even favor plaits –

to styles of some imagined class.

For vines don’t fit a vase.





Pedal to the Metal

photo by Samuele Errico Piccarini

We switched places at the gate

for my ultimate test of surrender

her smile and jokes betrayed her cool

take it slowly, speed limit’s 25 here


Am I OK?

Yes, you’re perfect


Yep, doing beautifully


As she drove (slowly, oh so slowly) to our cul-de-sac

I remembered my driver’s ed teacher

he was old (probably my age now) and balding

with two student drivers in the car with him


Emily T., tall, popular, blonde, took turns with me

She (with the perfect curls) could do no wrong

her mistakes were met with encouragement,

her proficiencies were met with praise


but me – with my glasses and foreign mien –

my errors were harshly judged,

and my victories gleaned silence

This injustice – as all maltreatments do – ripened into a gift


for his words and demeanor (and all the other abuses I’ve known)

created a wound

which turned into a scar

and thickened my skin


everyone knows thin skin bleeds easily












The Abandon of Advanced Age



When I am a woman of old,

I shall never do what I’m told.

I’ll walk in puddles of deep muck,

and never give a flying…care.


To the ice cream parlor I’ll shuffle,

and wolf down a chocolate truffle.

For hours and hours I’ll sit,

and never, ever give a…care.


With my sister, we will hang glide,

and bi-monthly, we’ll scuba dive.

I might be on a crime program,

but I really won’t give a…care.








Health · poetry

Natal Day


I’ve walked this trail so many times,

in seasons of both joy and grief;

matters bloom which suspend belief,

now I’m mezzo from birth to death.

This term, I’ve come to realize,

the purpose of one’s life lodges

not in popular mirages,

but undulates upon each breath.






poetry · writing

A 15 Year Old Poem (Home)


Home was Tammy Wynette singing twangy about d-i-v-o-r-c-e,

and Lionel Richie on my small radio, under blankets at night.

Airmail from Sunchang and mom’s lonely tears on the kitchen floor,

the wailing of Korean soap operas mingled with Fonzie’s voice.


Home was sex, drugs and rock n roll knocking on the door,

while Lawrence Welk swayed elegantly in the living room.


Home was as long and drawn out as the Mississippi River,

as sweet and sad as my first kiss with Torin, a black boy

who whispered “pretty young thing” as we stood on the porch.

My brother asked, “I saw you kiss him, did he use his tongue?”


poetry · relationships

Ode to Kerstin and Her Boys


Preparing for the dinner fete

Bought fish, veg, cake and wine

Suspense meets calm as time appears

At last our love combines

Your sons – maturing to great men

quickly they get settled

Our daughters  – browsing internet

join us for tete-a-tete.

Supper’s ready, we take a seat

Salmon is smoky yum

But wait, asks Nate, where’s the kimchi?

Just happen to have some!

More great conversation is had,

Boys give chase to the pooch,

While violins ser’nade,

Us three take sips of hooch.

 As all good things come to an end,

The boys get quite tired,

You gather kids and things, we hug,

I am left inspired.

Personal Success · poetry · relationships


Ava 8/2016, age 13


Beloved second born of mine,

Your wit and humor are divine;

Not ceasing to amaze,

Your smile rivals sun’s rays.

You walk with violin and bow,

Sports, parties you’ve had to forego;

Committed to ideals,

You cede an even keel.


As we trod this life of unknowns,

Your sense of justice are loud sones;

Ignorant peers bemoan,

Your rationale full grown.

My nerves and heart are overwrought,

On those occasions when I thought,

My love -passion – crested,

Stern words manifested.

Although the moon may wax and wane,

Effort and ache are not in vain;

Their eyes – of not import,

Your own dreams you must court.