Job Description



My work is to be the student of the buds

that have been on the birch all winter—

tight and red, they know when to clench,

when to wait, when to swell,

when to burst, when to green.


My work is to open like the scent of juniper

when stroked by afternoon sun,

like the gong when rapidly rapped

into a shining explosion of resonance.


And when I am wall, my work

is to add hinges and become door.


And when I am lock, my work

is to find the lost key.


My work is to be baby bird,

to open my beak and take in

whatever the world has to feed me

and then

learn to fly.



One Reality Check




cleaning off my shoes

before walking through the mud,

and Love says to me,

what? do you think

I am going to carry you?



It is the child of cold and warmth.

It is right it should show up

both cloudy and clear,

this union of opposites,

shaped like a spear, piercing

the silence with dripping, dripping.

It forms itself

the same way it disappears.



Apparently no one told the tickle in my throat

that this was a silent retreat.

All it wanted to do was explore the sound

of throat clearing, the sound of cough.


All around me the sound of nothing

but breathing and sitting, but in me,

this tickle saying Notice me, Notice me.

Here I am and what will you do about it?

I told the tickle, If I were freeclimbing,

I would ignore you. My life would depend on it.


The tickle said, but you’re here,

here in a quiet room, and your life is at stake

in a much different way. What are you willing

to notice? What do you wish away?

Isn’t this just one more way you tell yourself

life would be better if it were different?

Primary Relationship



Consider the generosity of silence,

how it holds the space between icicle drips,

how it meets squawk and howl

and laugh and sob with the same acceptance,

the same respect. How it asks nothing of the world

and yet is always there waiting

beneath the passing car, the passing thought.


I don’t want to live my life without knowing you,

silence, you the great loom on which all life is woven,

you the wisdom with nothing to say.


I want to invite you into all the rooms of my heart,

want to know the ways you permeate me,

how you inform every cell.


I want to find you inside every word, to know

in all my speech the silence that supports it.


I want to know you, silence, you who was here

before the big bang and you who continue to grow.

You who touch the seas and the barren rock,

the snow covered mountain, the meadow of mud,

who touched the first leaf and met the first cry,

who will touch the last leaf, who will meet

the last song. And go on.


And Just Like That




the deep field of snow

with its crystals and diamonds

turns to mud


and the stem of purple orchids

drops its blooms

until it is only stem


and we, too, rearrange

and become not beauty

but its source

Though it came out last year, this book review in Colorado Central Magazine just became available on-line.

Naked for Tea Review

To see more about the book, or to order, visit wordwoman.comnaked4tea-front



Mom, she said, is it true? And it wasn’t

that I’d tried to keep the truth from her,

it just never came into conversation,

old horses are sometimes used for glue.


Yes, I said, wishing I could soften the message. It’s true.

She knew its truth already, but don’t we all

sometimes long to be wrong? New tears dammed

in her eyes before they fell. Is that really


the world I belong to? she rued, then buried

her face in the couch. Two hours later,

I thought her same thought as I read the news:

Anti-Semitism. Bribery. Child sexual abuse.


I wanted to hear the stories weren’t true.

Oh world, so broken, still, unglued, I choose you.

One Tuning



you and I—

two notes in a minor chord

longing for resolution

One More Rejection



in the cathedral of failure—

learning to bow to our weakest self

and rise emptier, more full of song

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