Sunday, August 10, 2008

Occasional Lovers

~ ~ ~ ~

Occasional lovers.
I think that’s what we were.
Maybe more occasional than lovers.
Our timing was so bad.
Or were we impatient?
Perhaps just too young.
But on occasion
wasn’t it sweet?

~ ~ ~ ~

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Love and Love and Love

~ ~ ~ ~


How is it possible to feel
So much love
After such a long time?
I don’t understand
How my heart works,
Or my head either,
For that matter,
In these things.
There is Love,
And there is Love,
But there is also Love.
And trying to explain
Is just too much.
I’m happy that I can be
In this place and time
With the medley of feelings
I have for the people
In my life
Without being caught up
In the “politics”
Of love.

~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, April 21, 2008

Just This Night

~ ~ ~ ~

I feel the weariness of being alone this night.

It isn’t sadness,
but a longing to be part of the other.

I have no idea who the other is,
but I want to belong.

Just a little.

~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, April 17, 2008


~ ~ ~ ~

I think I’ve outlived “The Thing.”
Oh, it’s still there,
always has been and probably always will be,
but it’s reframed.
Looks like –– maybe –– three times the charm.
I’m not angry,
but I’m disappointed
that it ends like this.


I truly wanted to have something
to bridge the gaps,
to complete the unfinished emotions and events.
I hoped to build a friendship
that made up for the hollow years.

We started out with excitement,
promising not to lose each other again.
Gradually, little threads of the relationship
were drawn together
and it looked as if we might be able
to make a bond strong enough
to forge a lasting friendship.

It seems that’s not to be,
for whatever reason.
Because once more
you’ve simply faded from my life.
As I look at the past few months,
I’m amazed that it looks
like it always has before.
Your life gets busy
and you’re consumed
in ways I can only guess
because I’m never privy
to what makes your life click.
The distance is the dagger
that severs the threads of “us.”

I still feel, and probably always will,
that our connection is destined.
But I can’t do it alone
and from a distance
and with only threads.

There has never been time
to weave those threads
into something strong enough to last.

And so, with sadness,
I release my grip on the loom.
I drop the thread
that I’ve frantically tried
to create into a masterpiece.

~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Misplaced Hope

~ ~ ~ ~

There is always hope.
Sometimes I have trouble finding where I left it,
but I know it is .... somewhere.
It is often harder to find in the night
when the lights are subdued
and the mind is tired and less able to fend off
the dirty little gremlins that invade my thinking
with muddy footprints of doubt.
Being alone is both treasure and curse.
I’m free to think my own thoughts as I wish.
I’m also captive of my thoughts.
And sometimes in the long nights
those thoughts roam wide and far,
and they carry home to me the brambles and burrs,
as well as the fragrant pollens,
of the fields of my life past and present.
I find myself working harder to find
the rainbow that signifies hope
when the sky is dark.
I always have hope.
I just misplace it sometimes,
especially in the long, dark nights.

~ ~ ~ ~

Added 4/22/08:
My faithful reader, My, translated this poem into his/her native Chinese. I'm very honored by this, so I am posting the translation here.


~ ~ ~ ~

Thank you, My. :)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Facing the Threshhold

~ ~ ~ ~

The door opens,
and, toes on the threshold,
I stop.
So much lies beyond,
but it is still invisible for me.
I wait.
I wonder.
It’s silly to stand here like this.
There is no turning back,
there is only forward,
regardless of what is there ahead of me
beyond the threshold.
I wouldn’t turn back if I could,
because that part of my life is over,
and every step I take forward leads me to greater happiness,
but still, walking into the darkness is hard.
I’ve walked into darkness every step of my life,
but now I walk it alone,
no safety net,
no emergency lights,
no one to push me on when the road gets bumpy.
Then it occurs to me that every step I have taken
brought me new and wonderful things,
even in the darkness,
and the joy of living my life for myself
is a treasure beyond wealth.
I’m happier now,
facing the darkness ahead,
than at any time in my life.
The unknown always seems dark and sinister,
but grasping it and holding it close
makes it familiar
and wonderful.
Sometimes the safety net
and the emergency lights
and the pushing ahead
were red herrings in my path to happiness.
Now my mistakes are my mistakes,
and my joyful successes are my own.
And the darkness beyond the threshold
cradles a new experience
that is mine alone.
And I step across the threshold into the darkness
with a smile.

~ ~ ~ ~

Monday, March 03, 2008


I've never understood war. I suppose I am a pacifist, at least in some minds. But I also think it is much more than that. I believe I was born with the soul of a Social Worker. Long before I realized that it was my professional calling, I believed in such things as people having the right to make decisions about their own lives, whether I liked it or not. I don't believe we should have a military presence in any country other than our own unless we are invited by the people of that country. If one of our own borders or shorelines is threatened, we have the right to protect ourselves, but we don't belong halfway around the globe with arms and troops under most circumstances.

The following was written sometime in the past ten years. It was in my heart a long time before that, at least since the Viet Nam involvement.

~ ~ ~ ~


I remember the war from long ago
when soldiers went away as told.
They fought and died and were maimed
in body and spirit,
and came home to nothing.
I hate war.
I hate that young lives were twisted,
never again quite right,
but I hate even more vehemently
that we dishonored them for doing their jobs
when they returned from that war.
What happened to our country
that we could disrespect our own
with downcast eyes and backs turned
as we did?
I could say, “But I didn't,”
yet I am an American and as such
I’m part of the generation that stood by
and failed to defend the defenders
of everything America stood for.
Shame on us.
We stood by while they lost their innocence, their lives
and their sanity
in a war that shouldn’t have been but was.
Broken spirits, broken bodies, broken minds
were what came back from that senseless war.
Later we realized how wrong we were
but it was too late.
The damage was done and irreversible.
We learned about PTSD,
acronym for “death by inhumanity of selfish peers.”
We learned that suffering in silence and loneliness and disgrace
is harshest and most damaging.
But it was too late for the children of that war.
I hate war.
But I especially hate that war
which stripped us all of dignity,
of national pride,
of ability to respect people as people.
Something died in that war
that is greater even than the total of the human lives.
They were doing their jobs.
We didn’t do ours.
All we had to do was say
“Welcome home. Job done in honor.”
But we didn’t do it.
We averted our eyes and turned away
from the young people who simply did their jobs and then came home.
It wasn’t their fault, but it was they who suffered
from decisions made in ivory towers and based on lies.
And America turned it’s anger on the children,
not the ones who stole the children’s lives.
I hate war.
But I don’t hate the ones who carried out their orders.
I can –– and do –– abhor those who sent our young people
to die, or worse, to live and remember.
They remembered alone.
They remembered in silence and in agony.
What they remembered became blurred and fused
until honor and shame,
pride and disgust,
loyalty and evil became inseparable factors in their minds
and those minds became scrambled eggs.
We left them alone.
We left them in shame,
the shame that was our own shame.
This was the war that taught me that
I hate war.

~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Differently Alike

~ ~ ~ ~

I watch the sun set.
Every time I marvel at the loveliness,
a beauty that is never like any one before it.
There is a serenity in the evening.
The colors are peaceful.
The air is soft.
The sounds are gentle as the world unwinds
for the night.
The night is long and restful.
I listen and hear for a short time
before I sleep
And blissfully unaware of all except my dreams.
When the sun rises again,
it is once more a delight of quiet colors
that strengthen into the bright sunlight.
The sounds rise from near nothing
to the busy babble of the daytime.
I’m challenged with the diametric analogy,
the ever-changing sameness
of each turn of the earth,
happy to know I can expect
to be surprised

~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Whoever You Are

~ ~ ~ ~

I miss you.
I’m not even sure who you are,
But I miss you.
I’m very alone and I’m waiting
for you,
whoever you are,
to join me.
I want to feel you touch me,
a brushing of elbows as we both reach for a book to read,
or the warmth of a momentary caress
of your fingers on the back of my hand,
love unspoken.
I find myself wondering if you miss me.
Is there an empty place in your life,
a place that I fit?
Or are you happily oblivious of my absence?
Or am I simply insane?

~ ~ ~ ~

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Living Outside the Bubble

~ ~ ~ ~

There is a bubble
that I can’t get through,
no matter what I try
I can’t get in.
It moves and I can touch people inside
yet the skin of the bubble is between their hands and mine.
Someone laughs at my joke.
Another smiles and invites me in to talk.
I go.
I sit.
I talk.
I laugh.
I eat.
I drink.
I dance.
It feels alright.
And then as I leave the bubble pushes against me
as if hurrying me away,
reminding me of it’s presence,
strengthening into a thicker wall
with each step I take.
As sure as I breathe
I was never really inside the bubble
with everyone else.
I’m not part of the people inside the bubble.
I don’t belong.
I ask, come see my world,
here outside the bubble
and there are polite mutterings
that say no.
No thank you, but
And when I’m out of sight
when the bubble has pushed me far enough
I no longer exist
inside the bubble.
No matter how I push
the bubble doesn’t break.
It’s so thin I feel the ridges of their fingerprints
when we touch.
I feel the hugs and the lips brushed on my cheek
but the film holds me back
again and again.
I can’t remove it
or break it
or open it.
The bubble wins.

~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday, January 20, 2008

You ask what’s wrong

~ ~ ~ ~

You ask what’s wrong,
and I can’t answer.
Not because there is no answer,
but because the answer
is too painful to speak.

~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sranding on the Edge

~ ~ ~ ~

Standing on the edge,
looking in,
looking around,
seeing nothing.

What do I hear?
There is sound,
but it is nothing.

I know that I’m where I should be,
but I’m here

Sometimes we have control over life
and others we don’t
and knowing the difference
is key
to making life worth the living,
to being happy,
to avoiding being pulled
into the darkness
of nothing.

Holding on to the good in life
I know is what I must do.
Disappointment will be,
but I won’t give in again.
I’ll remember to be happy
even here,
standing on the edge,
looking in,
looking around,
seeing nothing.

I’m in charge.
Of me.
Of my frame of mind.
Of my happiness.

Even when I'm
standing on the edge.

~ ~ ~ ~

Sunday, January 13, 2008

He Loved Her

~ ~ ~ ~

He loved her
in ways we couldn’t understand
and probably never will.
He loved her
when they were youngsters,
just old enough to date.
His love held strong

through all the years

of hard times

and good times alike.

Through the challenges of raising children,

the mundane daily life,
his love for her was ever present.

Often he lashed out
with a tongue as sharp

as the bite of a whip,

yet he loved her beyond description.

I think he feared losing her.
I believe he never thought himself

worthy of a woman such as she.

She was beautiful.

She was smart, no, wise.

Her heart was big and gentle.
He knew he wasn’t worthy

of a woman as perfect as she.

When the dust of stressful times settled

they were always together,

hand in hand,

and at those moments,

the love in his eyes
when he looked at her

was beautiful to see.

I don’t know that she found life

as sunny side up as he did,

but she unabashedly loved him in return.

~ ~ ~ ~