Walking my morning walk
finding rhythm with the sun—
it’s vast orb glowing white through a curtain of mist
burning away
then coloring orange
along the backsides of cedar trees

music plugged into my ears
through my phone strapped like a tourniquet
to my arm

I stop to face the
serotonin heat, let it penetrate
to amp and rev me

the music in my ears veers to Pink Floyd
soft acoustic and low rumble of words 

Daddy’s flown across the ocean
Leaving just a memory…

I don’t remember adding that
to my playlist
I fold in half and drop
with your soft strong sound
your face a flash in my head
I crave the hugs only you could give
I fall on the asphalt
to my knees

eyes close
I am ten
with you at the laser light show
music throbbing
lights pulsing
no doubt you were high
and I
mesmerized by the swirl and flash
of light and sound

you were Elvis
or God
(what’s the difference)
speeding yourself through hours
or slowing your body down
collapsing days
at a time
more than once we thought
you were dead

your menagerie
of bagged and separated pills
white powder
a mirror and a
rolled tight hundred dollar bill
locked in your nightstand
next to the pearl-handled pistol—
Did you know how easily
I picked the lock
when home alone?

I hate that when I saw you last
bloated and tinged green
on morphine
in the hospital
your mouth was bound—wrapped tight
with surgical tape holding the breathing tube
floating oxygen
down your windpipe
we held hands
we didn’t swap one word

then you were gone.

If you face the morning sun
and let it burn through your eyelids
psychedelic red swims through your head
and black mountains rise
and white stars zig dot-to-dot patterns

red bleeds to green bleeds to blue bleeds to purple
and pulses to the music
in your ears

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Before Blackfish…

I wrote this years ago in a workshop. Zoos and SeaWorld (and people who fool themselves into thinking we can tame animal/mammal/reptile nature) have always made me uneasy.


Sea World

The killer whale lives
behind thick, manmade plexiglass.
His slick, glassy eyes stare through
throngs of people breathing
a pretense of salt air—
sitting targets
in a splash zone.

Pavlovian, he is.
Or pretends to be,
this killer whale
his black and white glistening bulk
summoned by a slap
a human hand collapsing
on the water top.

The majestic length of him
swims dizzy blue circles
trapped in tricks
a gigolo
a circus act
watched from the safety
of hands holding
admission tickets—

but don’t be fooled.
In that eye gleam he stares
at the man with the sun-baked skin
and unkempt hair
who sits, heavy on the metal bench.
The whale admires the world of tattoos
on the man’s neck and biceps—
their eyes lock
on shared history
through the myth of thick glass

and the whale wishes for the thrill
of the chase
with the sun bleeding on ripples
of a gull’s horizon—he wants
to careen his body down through fathoms
meant to collapse a man’s lungs—
to the bottomless oceanic embrace
to rise up, a cyclonic God sending tidal waves
through platoons
boats teeming with twenty-plus men
who thrash and wield bloody spears
who die for teeth, baleen, and blubber.
Commerce and War
before the evolution of the pump jack.

Don’t be surprised when just once
that great whale plummets a trainer
to the bottom of the contrived and pristine
aquamarine pool
and holds him down
for fun

a sacrifice
to the relentless gaping mouth—
the insatiable days
when the trophy of the great whale’s flesh
was stripped and burned for lamplight
and when the flexible roof of his mouth
was used
to cinch a woman’s waist.





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Salad Dressing Options…

If I’m being lazy, this dressing is fab tossed with the Mac Grill Chx Florentine salad:

If I’m in the mood to mix in the kitchen and actually have all the ingredients on hand, this is a dressing recipe to follow for the Roasted Garlic Lemon Vinaigrette…

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I’m not much for salads…but this one…I crave…


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Friday the 13th Full Honey Moon and First Kiss




It’s been awhile…this delicious moon deserves some poetry…


First Kiss

Beneath this fullness of June’s ripe strawberry moon
the expanse of sky lay atop
the lake, glistening like tumbled black glass
where two hearts sync pace
alive with the growing pull
lulled by the opalescent shimmer
the white fire dance of moonlight—

water surges, slaps, sucks soft algae off the sturdy pine
thick posts thrust deep into silt and loam
the moist churn of fresh soil
adrift on their skin
man and woman
toes off a dock–

the planks moan under their gravity
thighs barely touching
as hands swirl wine in womb-shaped glasses
a vintage ripening in their moon-filled mouths

somewhere sweet honeysuckle climbs its tangled and
greedy reach and morning glories beg for more
than just one day

frogs chirp their throaty serenades
as the white crocus blooms
craving the grapple
of saffron love-release

he slips an arm around her waist
leans closer, cherry and oak
still bubbling on his tongue

he traces her warm lips with a fingertip
conjuring the fire
growing roots
in her blood


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Uno Mas!

If you ever go to Cabo San Lucas, take a taxi to the Plaza del Sol. Wind your way through the kiosks to the open-air bar in the back. It is called Uno Mas and is my favorite, favorite bar.

Gina and Fernando hand squeeze every lime and/or orange right into your drink. The best margarita ever…

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Cabo San Lucas

I am not a desert person. But there is something about the Baja Peninsula–the dry-boned desert mingling with the white sands and rough surf. I could listen to those waves crash for hours.

Having grown up in Texas, visiting Corpus Christi or South Padre, I am familiar with the ocean’s waves, the therapy of its sound, the sting of its creatures and salt. But the sheer force of the Sea of Cortez in its dangerous tango with the Pacific Ocean creates a whole new oceanic experience.

Under your feet you can feel the crash of the water on the beach–the aftershocks spreading through the sand and the rooms of the hotel. I don’t see how anything there can stay structurally sound.

Over the weekend,  a boat (too close to the rocks jutting from the beach) lost power and stalled in front of my hotel.  As the boat tipped in the merciless waves, the crew jumped ship. Onlookers watched as the crew in their life jackets were tossed like rag dolls on the waves of the ocean. Fear permeated. Fear that those floating bodies would be bashed onto the rocks.

Ropes were tied to horses (typically used for tourist jaunts down the beach) then were somehow threaded to crew members and to the boat. True horsepower pulled the men to safety and positioned the boat for rescue.

It is on this beach that I stand in awe and in fear of God.

The water beckons: Come closer…closer…closer…

The first time I visited Cabo San Lucas was in 2007. It’s beauty brought tears to my eyes; its power made me think of Neptune/Poseidon. Greek mythology was one of my favorite units to teach high school freshman, and Neptune’s Horses is one of my favorite paintings. After hearing and feeling those waves crash in Cabo, I got it–I felt that power beyond human grasp that made people believe (and fervently pray and sacrifice to) the one they thought controlled the whims of the sea.

Following the picture is a poem I created after that first visit to the Baja Peninsula…

Where Neptune’s Horses Play

Baja Peninsula (2007)

Pacific waves bray underground
horseplay tremors
horses play their hungry slam on a
beachfront flecked with abalone

in the roil
they rear-up, tapping the air
with their front legs
haunches braced
they lunge forward
a mix of glistening froth

the bronzed man deep
with muscle pulse and
lasso at his hip
stalks the sand
set on fire by the sun

he seeks to claim just one
glorious beast

so many
Neptune would never know

hoofpound beach shake
rattle the strong man’s thighs

the horses rise high and run
for the black rocks jutting

to the white sand
to the man
they stampede

run and retreat
run and retreat
a cat and mouse temptation

how to yoke the beast he thinks
terrific in beauty
and strength
he desires
to tame

and churning foam
cold and grabbing
for the ankles

they frolic
he thinks
rough play a gesture
for affection

horses stampede
oblivious to his going under
breath trampling

in their white foam
he grapples and flays
a toy on the water
he sinks

and the beach echoes
with rumbling

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