Proud to show off my daughter Nyssa’s latest artwork for Woman with Landscape.
Mist lying in the deep valleys,
sunrise on white windmills, fresh cool air
blowing down from Canada after the rain.
Heard the mate-seeking brag of the rufous sided towhee
before I spotted him posing at the top of the thicket.
On my walk home, I passed a pair of teenage girls
boarding the school bus, talking animatedly
oblivious to the morning chill
in their summer shorts and tiny tops.
A kid pulled out right behind the bus in a banged up Toyota.
He grasped the wheel at ten and two,
wearing a frown of concentration and a baseball cap pulled low.
His studied air made me think he had timed it just so!
Because who wants to be stuck behind a school bus?
Except a guy with a shiny new driver’s license and a second hand car.
Did he hope that every time the bus wheezed to a stop
the girls would turn in the back seat and sneak glances at him,
gazing casually off into the distance,
and note the slight bob of his head keeping time
with the rock tune playing loud through his out-sized speakers?
Perhaps he dreamed of catching a small finger ripple from the redhead,
a half wave that could be turned into a hair flick if not reciprocated.
Did he hesitate for a second – who me?
Before realizing that yes, there was no one else around,
so that yes, that slight dimple in the cheek and finger flutter
must be for him. And yes, I imagined the slow creeping grin
and the deep hollow of lust and loneliness in his gut
flooding with happiness.
Dear Cardinal, I am so sorry
the cat who we keep as a pet
ate your partner.
You advertise for a mate
all over again
from the top of the forsythia.
Is it my guilt that detects a sad note,
or does that beating nugget of flesh
pump regret through your veins?
Either way, I absorb your loss,
buried no doubt as cat shit
under the earth freshly dug for peas and spinach.
In late March I had the great pleasure of staying in a cottage on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park, California. Each day I hiked and explored with my family. Having never spent time in a desert before, the landscape was a totally new environment for me. What made it even more amazing was that we had arrived at the cusp of winter and spring.
Everywhere I looked I could see new life bursting out of seemingly dead plants and shrubs. It was breathtaking to watch the full moon sink behind the snow caps of the San Bernadino mountains as the sun rose, blushing the mountains of the park. My ears soon tuned in to the noisy cactus wren that sang from the top of a telephone pole and the courting of white winged doves. Each morning I watched for the Anna’s humming bird that visited the new blooms of the manzanita tree. My son and I would visit the wash behind the cottage to examine the footprints in the sand–ground squirrel, jack rabbit, lizard. We learned the names of the many cacti in our yard as they came into flower. And chasing him up and over the huge golden granite boulders in the park, I felt like a little kid all over again.
I came home renewed and not a little in love.
Hopeful bench sitting
by an expanse of ice
waiting for the thaw
Happy Valentines Day and love to all in my life.
How much light in a winter sky!
the subtlety of mauve and rust and slate
heavy-bellied clouds floating
like seasoned bathers in a cold sea
each dwindling moment of olive oil light
caught in the wick of a seed of grass
chest-breaching call of the gulls
the lake surface a battered pewter plate
bouncing back the cupped light
medieval in its splendor