Sunday, July 02, 2017

Happy Independence Day!


the cardinal
sounding off
like the Fourth of July

with gratitude to Rebecca J. Davenport for a spectacular ending

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Letter to the Predator


Dear straight Christian friend,

When you post a picture of
a burning gay pride flag online,
I am not merely encountering
an expression of an opinion.
I don't simply see a person
making a statement
about an issue.
I don't view it as
an individual "deeply devoted
to a faith based on mercy and grace"
taking a stand amidst a culture war.

I see my friend
advocating -- and perpetrating --
violence against me.
I feel threatened
and frightened
and sickened.
I see -- with my own eyes --
my friend proclaiming
to me and the world
that I am worthy of abuse.
I witness my friend
declaring me fit for
gasoline
and matches
and burning flesh
and torture
and death.

I see that my friend --
my "loving, compassionate, Christ-like" friend --
is not, in fact, my friend at all.

-- Your gay neighbor

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Happy Father's Day!


Snow Garden

Our yard was a garden
of snow and our father
was the gardener. He
made snow forts and
an obstacle course of
sorts for my sisters and
me in the front yard one
winter. It was an exciting
adventure, and a little
bit scary, but I felt safe
knowing that Dad was
guiding the sled and
guarding the fort. I still
remember his laugh
that day as we squealed
with delight, holding tight
to the orange, plastic sled.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

(a cardinal and a bluebird)

a cardinal and a bluebird
sitting on a white fence
suddenly feeling patriotic

Thursday, May 18, 2017

(Trying to kill the spider)

Trying to kill the spider
on my steering wheel at 70 miles an hour
without killing myself or my fellow interstate travelers

Friday, May 12, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!


The Dancing Queen

She taught us what it meant to
be married to melody -- singing
and dancing across the linoleum
floor, sometimes lip-syncing and
sometimes belting out the lines
with gusto. My sisters and I sang
into hairbrushes with a sparkle in
our eyes, while the vinyl spun
'round and Mom reigned as queen
of the dining room dance floor.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

When I Read a Good Poem

When I read a good poem,
I hold
each
word
for a
moment
in my mouth
before
---- moving
on to the next one, like
one
bite
of creme brulee
after
another.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Record Store Day!


To Have and to Hold

If I can't hold a record or a book in my hands,
it doesn't seem quite real.
It's virtually invisible --
seemingly nonexistent.
While I can appreciate
facets of the digital world,
I want to hold art
in my hands.
I want to touch it.
I want to experience it
in a tangible way.
I want to own a piece
of the magic.
I want to commit to it,
like a partner,
like a spouse.
No cheap fling for me.
Nothing to consume quickly and
walk away from easily.
I want to invest in it.
I want it to mean something.
I want to connect to it
physically and emotionally.
I want to see it,
touch it with my fingers,
and hold it in the palms of my hands.
I want to engage with it.
I want to spend time with it.
I want to spread it out on the table
and study every inch of it.
I want to join myself
to the force of life and love
that created it.

Note: You can see the prequel to this poem, "A Johnnie for John," here.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

(I danced with a bumble bee unwittingly)

I danced with a bumble bee unwittingly
during my afternoon walk
very carefully.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Poached by an Egg

Finished the last of
the hard-boiled eggs
this morning and
stabbed my thumb --
the shell shards
actually drawing blood.
I never knew
Easter eggs could
be so violent.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

(Two bees)

Two bees
during mating season
gettin' busy

Monday, March 27, 2017

(Dear Co-worker)

Dear Co-Worker:
If you're picking your nose behind your clear glass office door,
I can still see you.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

(Dear Co-worker)

Dear Co-worker:
"Soft" whistling still counts as whistling
in our privacy-free office.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

(The loudest ones)

The loudest ones
in the office are often
the loneliest ones.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

They Say That a Little Mystery Is Sexy

We know exactly
what you think and feel
about
every
little
thing
because you tell us --
unsolicited --
every
single
day,
all
day
long.

That is the one reason
I believe "sex"
belongs in the office.

Monday, March 13, 2017

(A splash of water)

A splash of water
does not a clean hand make, dear
lady of the john.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

My Ears Are Bleeding

People who live alone --
or lack a healthy, romantic relationship --
often evolve into
filter-free social terrorists.
They have no one with whom
to share their innermost --
or most trivial -- musings,
so they hold folks hostage
by bombarding and blathering on,
sharing observations and opinions
not meant for public consumption.
They drop verbal bombshells,
sending aural shrapnel
into the ears of their victims
and operate as if they have no reason
to reserve these comments and concerns
or to relegate them to someone
who cares.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Polished and Professional

He
wakes up, showers, shaves, dresses, combs his hair, goes to work,
and is considered a polished, professional man.

If I
wake up, shower, shave, dress, comb my hair, and go to work,
I am considered an unpolished, unprofessional woman.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Operation Umbrella

I woke up this morning
to discover that
I had been living my life
under an umbrella
I was handed
years ago by
clergy, patriarchy and society
an umbrella that
limited my view of the world,
shielding me
from the sky and the sun,
sheltering me from
fresh air, free thinking,
free movement,
and my assimilation
with others
(and, ultimately, myself)
an umbrella that
I had been holding
above my head
with my right hand
for thirty-some years
an umbrella
I held because
someone handed it
to me
under the guise of
"instruction" and
"protection" and
"tradition."
That's what
you do when
someone hands you
something, right?
You hold it?

It wasn't until I
noticed the feet
of someone else
moving in a different direction
a different pattern
than me
that I dared
to peak outside
of the confines
of my covering to see
how that person
was able to move
so freely,
so functionally.
The umbrella
got in the way of
my view of that person
and it was then
that I noticed
the pole in my face
the handle
that had become
such a part of me
that I did not see
it
apart
from myself.

It wasn't until I
became aware
of the umbrella
that I realized
that I was actually
holding something;
that my view had been
almost entirely obstructed;
that I had the use of
only one arm
and one hand;
that there's a reason
I had felt so
tired and frustrated
and limited
along the way;
that I finally lowered
my arm, released
the umbrella,
and threw my head back
to an open sky
and the smell
of possibility.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Miss Misogyny

What if we gave
patriarchy a breather
and placed women
at the helm
of the world --
mostly large, loud,
"girls' club" cronies
with inside connections
who view men
largely as pieces of meat --
regardless of their
intelligence, experience
or finely tuned talent --
women
who snicker to each other
when a man enters the room
and verbally rate his hair,
face, pecks, crotch,
rear-end, weight and
sense of fashion
as soon as he
leaves the room;
women
who value the
opinion of other women
over any man
nine times out of 10;
women
who, as a matter of course,
assume that women
deserve to be consulted
and considered before
any man's opinion is ever suffered;
women
who appreciate a
good-looking, fit, fashionable
man as a means to an end --
flirty ego booster,
Playgirl playmate,
sperm donor, or,
maybe, if he's lucky
and hot enough,
a trophy husband --
women
but who deem all
men who don't pass
"the pretty test"
as nothing more than potential
back-room assistants,
ghost writers
and support staff;
women
who openly mock and belittle
any man who gets
"emotional" after
being treated as less
than a woman or simply
a sex toy or merely
an annoyance
to be endured;
rude, harsh women
who -- no matter
what they look like --
are only interested in men
who look like
fashion plates,
models and personal trainers;
women who base
their opinions of
a man solely on numbers --
bust, waist and inseam --
women who dismiss
any man who challenges
them with a genuine
concern or thoughtful
comment or genius idea?

Oh, but wait!
That would be
disgraceful,
disrespectful,
discriminatory
behavior,
wouldn't it?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

(He is offended)

He is offended
when misogyny is found
to be offensive.