Solstice 2023

I greeted the Sun empty-handed
worn out from too long nights
spent counting out collected griefs
from near and far.

The Sun gave me Her gift

of the light I could not hide from
illuminating who I was
and asking what I wanted to be
the morning that light came back 
into the world.

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United Friday Writings. 

To Heal this Broken World

If my words cannot hold water
let them at least not act as tinder
for those eager to stoke the flames.

If I am struck silent
at the scope of the horror,
let my eyes at least be
brave enough to not look away.

If I can remember
only one thing, let it be
that every needless death diminishes us all.

The ability to kindle compassion
is the only superpower
that can heal this broken world. 

Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem is linked to the Friday Writings Prompt at Poets and Storytellers United.

Proto-Mouse (In the Last Days of the Dinosaurs)

I did not witness the first strike
but I had already seen the signs
that came even before the ill-omened moon
and understood the end was near.

I did not have to measure
those deep and ancient fault lines
to be wary of the poison I could smell inside them
well before I scampered too near.

The impact ignited the built-up gas
devouring any possibility
of sound over the screaming flames.

And it took no great cunning
to know this poisoned air
would burn down all of the history 
of a once lush era.

Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings.

Eclipse Warning

My anger is a fast-moving planet.
But when it eclipses fear,
whole worlds can be re-ordered.

Photo by Jongsun Lee on Unsplash

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storyteller United's Friday Writings Post.

Heavy Hearted

I have to kiss the world 

twice as hard now. 

I have to feel the weight 

of each leg of every butterfly 

that chooses to alight on my skin. 


I have to drench myself 

in the feel of moss 

and twilight colors 

over and over again 


to make my heart full and heavy 

with all the world’s subtle delights 

to outweigh the grief it carries. 

Song Choice: Nature Boy covered by Aurora

Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writing's Prompt at Poets and Storytellers United. It asked us to use a clichรฉ in an unusual way.

Pleasantly Lazy

The pleasantly lazy feeling
of stretching wide
over not quite so crisp sheets

and feeling the sun 
gently tugging on my eyelashes,
completely unbothered
by thoughts
of what comes next.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Liner Notes for This Groove: This poem was inspired by the Friday Writing's Prompt at Poets and Storytellers United, Glimmers.

Thoughts on Your Birthday

I wanted to tell you
how I fell in love again
with the sun on solstice morning.
Her warmth pulled me back
to myself and all the living
I have yet to do.

I miss you most in these moments,
when I’d share
another ridiculous whimsy of mine
and you’d take it as seriously
as a selkie takes the ocean.

Maybe this is why you called me Joy.
That never made sense to me.
It wasn't as much joy as survival.

I know the limits of my moth-eaten memory
and no matter what well-meaning people say
it isn’t the same as you still being alive at all,
not even a little.

I am left making up stories instead
about the sun and the stars 
caring enough to watch me

scavenge strands of joy
from the little moments of living,
in the hopes of weaving something beautiful
enough to honor who you were.

Liner Notes for this Groove: Today is the birthday of a friend of mine who passed away. These were just thoughts I had about it. 

Aiming Towards the Sun

 Aiming towards the sun,

the hawk shows dedication.

Cultivating grace

in those who witness her flight.

She shows the path to follow.

Liner Notes for This Groove: This tanka was written in honor of a fellow student of Japanese tea ceremony. She recently got her tea name. What that means is that she has practiced tea for a long enough time at a high enough skill level that she earned a name that shows she is part of the Urasenke tea school lineage. My tea teacher told me that in older times tanka poetry was sometimes composed in honor of students who achieve a high level of proficiency. I decided to try my hand at it. She seemed quite pleasantly surprised at how well it turned out (she had no idea I wrote poetry at all).

I am years (and years) away from earning my tea name, but I do hope that if I do earn one, it will be as lovely a celebration as we had for her.

Blue Sky Dreams

All my blue sky dreams
surviving despite the rain
startle me. To think
I almost let them wither
fearing an endless winter.

Liner Notes for This Groove: This song is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings prompt. LOL, I did not in fact follow my own prompt (this song is one of my favorites), but I did feel like celebrating hitting a milestone for a work in progress I had to be goaded into starting. Thank you Magaly, for kicking my butt to the 40,000 word mark. ๐Ÿ˜œ

My No Is. (I Am Just Like Everyone Else)

My no is
both scythe and scalpel,
cutting away diseased and dead bits
to make room for healing and growth.

My no is a sign
showing where respect ends
and disrespect starts, saying, 
"Cross at your own risk."

My no is a test
designed to offend only those
who think anything less than 
my complete and uncomplaining compliance
challenges their self-worth.

My no is not the reason 
this bridge is burning.

You brought the matches and the gasoline
only after I said, "Stop."

Liner Notes for This Groove: For my birthday, I decided to gift myself with setting a boundary that was long overdue. A friend had been taking advantage of my generosity for years, demanding I do a time intensive task for him regularly. Very recently he acted in a way that was highly disrespectful and minimizing of the work I did. I decided to tell him that I could no longer do it, and encouraged him to find someone with more patience time. 

I'd like to say I was surprised his response was to play the victim and end the friendship, but I long suspected I was only valued for what I could do. There is however a wonderful sense of relief I'm relishing. As I said, this happened on my birthday. And I was with family and friends who affirmed what good relationships look like (LOL, I owe a few of them a call back). 

As for the boundary breaker, I wish him well and hope he finds enough emotional maturity to honestly deal with why so many of his relationships go south. But he's not my problem anymore. Oh well, more cake for those I care about and those who care about me. 



Some memories

are sharp enough to cut

off my breath,


leaving me


like a fish

who just wants

her ocean


Song Choice: Breaking Down by Florence + the Machine

Liner Notes for this Groove: I know I'm getting serious about a new writing project when I start writing poetry in the voices of my characters. Rina has a some serious inner demons to face (and several fae beings are just complicating the situation). But I'm deep into the super ugly rough first draft and enjoying getting to know her world.

This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings prompt, Writing About Writing.

Grail Quest

I have made a vow
to be a knight, brave and true.
And now all my vows
compel me towards the grail.

I know there is no true healing
for some of the wounds I have taken.
There are things beyond
even the grail’s power.

But that was never the point.

The pain will not end
when I reach the grail.
But at least then I know
a new quest can begin.

I am a knight, brave and true,
seeking both my reflection
in the water of the grail

and remembrance
of all the adventures 
still left to find.

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem is linked to Poets and Storytellers United's Friday Writings Prompt, Small Victories.


The thing about grief 

is it’s more than the moment of impact. 

It's also the shockwaves 

after the asteroid hits your world. 


It’s the cracking  

along the fault lines 

breaking apart continents. 

It’s respecting the rage of the underground rivers 

racing madly where you hoped 

there might be gold, or at least iron

enough to try to make steel. 


It’s the near drowning 

in dozens of deep wells of resentment 

before you find any sign 

of a reservoir of grace. 


It’s the exhaustion 

in the mental cyclones  

of forgetting and remembering,

wondering which is more painful. 


It is also knowing 

that even if every breath  

I take ever after 

is ragged and choked 

there is something in me 

that wants to keep breathing.  

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem is linked to the Friday Writings post at Poets and Storytellers United. At the time of this posting, it is a few days past the second anniversary of a dear friend's death. This poem was inspired by thoughts I had when I visited one of our favorite nature centers.

Spring Insists on Coming

Spring insists on coming.
Even though winter still gnaws
at the edges of my world,

spring will not stop coming, coaxing
life from the seeds
I thoughtlessly planted,

not understanding how fragile
the sprouts’ little green necks
can be, stretching out skyward.

Some will never make it that far,
asleep forever
where even late frost can’t hurt them.

But spring is here
and for whatever it’s worth
so am I.

Liner Notes for this Groove: This poem in linked to the Friday Writings prompt at Poets and Storytellers United.

Love Letter to a Wildflower

beautiful things grow
in unexpected places.
you taught me that

there is no wall
no cement pavement
thick enough
to keep what is meant to grow
from unabashedly blooming.

at the end of every winter
i search through last year’s dead leaves
and the cracks of suburban civilization
until i find you again.

Line Notes for this Groove: This poem was created for the Friday Writings Prompt at Poets and Storytellers United