Showing posts from April, 2010



detects you from a corner next to the potted Anthurium, a poster child for normal behavior in the ghetto. It sneaks up and tries to get cozy then proceeds to suffocate you with an invitation to ponder justifying past deeds,lining them up for the firing squad aiming for the whites, in a sea of gray. Drowning in delusion it comes up for one last gulp one last vain attempt, to stay alive.

Lawns Horses and Pigs

We moved into our new, old house in 1985.

A new adventure, on
a dead end road in the country,
away from the noise and traffic,
a piece of the rock to call our own.
2.1 acres that we had to rope and tame
rough doesn’t even begin to explain it.
Imagine carving out a lawn with hand tools
and brute strength and doing it after work with lanterns into the night.
It took years to even think about having a lawn,
fifteen years to be exact, by then we had two houses
and a three car detached garage.
Add fruit trees, flowers and a pond not to mention a giant lawn.
Our ancestors would have been proud.

In the beginning we purchased a bull
and went to work.
During the day we had our business to attend to
Roofing and Vinyl siding, when it was slow we painted and did interior renovations, hell we did it all.
After work sometimes by flashlight
we would pull weeds, and hack away at California grass
about six feet high tough and tangled
choking upon itself in the humid tropical clime.

Bully the steer wa…

Excavating Bones

Inspired by Poem a Day--Academy of American Poets April 2010 and by Spencer Johnson's, "Who Moved My Cheese."

Excavating Bones
Skeleton in ice gently thawed and cradled; hair
and bone worn down to marrow. Frigid strength icy lover; your contact sears callous scrutiny. I can hear your muffled scream preserved in time’s frosty cavern, concealed in cheese station C, and me in E, advanced and alone.

Caterpillar Dreams

Caterpillar Dreams
Inch your way on tiny feet climb into the tree of dreams. You are not yourself the monarch lurks inside.
Spin a strong silk pad. Sleep, you are not yourself the monarch lurks inside.
Hunger for red clover goldenrod and fluttering breezes beneath the cool shade of the stately palm. You are not yourself the monarch lurks inside.
Awake from nature’s baptism. Shed your former skin. Declare your magnificence. Dance atop yesterday’s fragile petals soar into the callous wind.
Fly dazzling insect. Show off your large tawny orange and black wings. Rise potent prince, wander throughout the provinces. You are magnificent. You are Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G minor. Fly brilliant monarch, Fly!

Compost at Dawn

Up at Three—not a pretty sight!!

They say the older you get the less sleep you need.

I’m here to tell you that they are WRONG whoever THEY ARE.

It is a bald faced LIE.

Those THEY’s need a good bitch slapping

and I know just the person to do the job.

No thinking about it or talking it over--just a grim reaper.

That’s what you get when you mess

with a crazy person—two shots directly

into the brain—no questions

no dilly dallying

just cold hard steel

right between the eyes

and then I’ll go work in my garden,

start a compost pile.

Don’t you love fertilizer?

The flowers love it

I can hear them screaming now

pile it on—we’re starving here!!

And by the way--Have you ever heard of this other element—it’s called WATER!!!

We don’t have any feet or THUMBS,

so if you could just

pay us some attention

we will show you

something nice to look at

tomorrow morning,

when you are still awake


Sneaking up on Roosters

They wander the windward campus  clucking amongst themselves. Searching for the most juicy bug, fighting for crumbs tossed by meandering poets and writers, breaking for lunch and a stroll. Intellectual folk who thirst for candid photos of roosters and hens, stray cats, grasshoppers or even dead centipedes, adjusting optical zooms and praying for that perfect shot. The shot that will inspire; stop them dead in their tracks, produce sighs and email home clearly, to Mom and Dad.

Contemplating the Wind

The wind rises at three a.m.
still drunk as it rushes about
looking for things to stir up.
It snakes the orange and pink bougainvilleas
as it reshuffles their geometry.
It blusters at the Manila palm
who bend and bow
as it howls at the front door
demanding to be let in.
It spews loose sediment
as it turns away
relentless and finally settles
on a blade of grass
and lifts it up
skipping it across the driveway.

A Call to Reason

The thing about reason is it
gets raped from behind;
leaves too many doors open
to getting your head chopped off.
As an infant, we start out with infinite trust
and if we are lucky we leave this world
relatively intact, abused but whole.

Time is the key.

Since the beginning man
has killed. It is instilled
into our hard drives. We learn how to protect ourselves
from an early age something that never loses its
significance lest we fall victim to indifference, obscurity
and terrorists plotting to infuse us with their religion.
We sit on a lower rung
on the ladder of evolution
pushing all the wrong buttons
pondering the ape/man ratio
erasing unpleasant history from memory
like a crack addict obsessed with getting his next high.
We live in a world where
stupidity reigns alongside legalization
brothers on the same see-saw.

Only until we are able to
subdue these primal urges
will we ever be able to move up
the ladder, whether it be here
or as a future virus on a brand new planet.

Time holds …

Life in a Glass Bottle

Circa: Earth Day 2010

Life in a glass bottle longs for a calming breeze butterflies and bees. Hears the pop of daylight, dawning as it rises yawning. Is pitched by cobalt seas and daring fish that please to give you the evil eye and consequences ply as they nudge you and toss you in the bay. But then let us say that you are not tossed and Abused by the cost and still float aimlessly about and get hooked by a snout of a humpback whale and her calf out for a laugh swimming and diving at play that manage to avoid the plastic nooses and glass ball cabooses aluminum cans, fish net and twine dumped and left behind for a poor fish to find strangled alone on the reef hooked like a thief in the night By this human blight that litter and waste proud and uptight, in childish haste Now concerned about the earth pondering its worth on a planet spewing rebirth.

A Mother’s Strength

A preview from my new book Letters To A Prisoner

Crawls on bloody knees to protect her young would rather die than betray her child’s blind innocence chokes on the creaking silence of an unanswered call lies awake in empty rooms fighting back a flood of tears summons courage from deserts of dry wells shows up with a pail of forgiveness every morning stares down dismay for years on end. Her love is fierce. Her love is granite. She is god.

Shama Thrush

White-Rumped caller flaunts black feathers, chestnut belly trills rich shy solo.


New Poetry Syllabic Form: five lines 7, 4,6,4,3,

designed at Celebrate Reading at University of Hawaii --Manoa
with Brandy McDougall and Mahealani Perez-Wendt

Trying again to follow
a set of rules
designed by ancient trolls
intent on hard
ball tactics.

I can hear the pitter pat
of Pele’s tears
sliding down the valleys
in between the

Waves crest and fall thrash shore, small
sandy grains dance
signing with native drums
in ancient tongue
to the gods.

Revisions Revisions Revisions

**Write about the loss of that child—three different versions.

He would spend hours playing with his Lego’s barking in his make believe world

All of his Tonka Trucks had dents because he would use them to dive bomb the

Lego land village pretending they were bombs dropped from an airplane, buzzing and careening; buildings continually blasted to smithereens that wrought destruction in his volatile game. Debris would collide with half drunken Pepsi cans their contents spilling into the faded lime green carpet leaving indelible traces. I can still hear the vroom vroom noises, voices he would’ve later mastered, his control limited to the special world he left behind the last vestiges outlined in the droopy eye of a stuffed green dog.

I noticed the droopy eyes of a lime green dog perched on his bed. It was a sad dog his stuffing peeking out of a torn seam. The room was now clean an uncommon state since this rambunctious child had infused that space. Every square inch resonated his being fr…

The Digger Files

(Write from the point of view of your character-see First Draft- Revision)

The Digger Files

MMM- I love Pepsi and Fritos
Now- where was I? Oh yeah
I need some new Lego people
a cop and a fireman to go wif
my new Fire Engine vroom, vroom
whirr squeal, bush—shifting gears, and here comes the siren
eeoh eeoh eeoh, eeoh eeoh eeoh, eeoh eeoh eeoh
 honk, honk honk-- beep the horn Mr. Fireman
beep the horn.

Now I’ll smash that Lego land town wif my
tuf Tonka Dump truck and then I’ll build it
all over again, only better.

Now I want you people to LISTEN TO ME
It’s time to get outta here. That’s an order people.
(Blue, white, red and green pieces fly in all directions
The green dog with one eye, now has one yellow
and one blue eye.)

Whew this is hard work
My mom needs to buy me some more
chips cos this is the last bag.

Ma-let’s go shopping okay?

First Draft- Revision

List five words--use some or all of them to describe a child and write a poem
Trucks, stuffed animals, bag of chips, can of pepsi, lego's

At seven he was a messy child
traces of sweat smeared with mud
bare foot and shirtless
even his hair stuck out at weird angles.
He directed each day like
a drill sergeant
barking at his Lego people
making deliveries with his tough
Tonka trucks mimicking the hum and the whir
and the vroom of life with childish enthusiasm.

We named him Digger, because he liked
to dig holes in the back yard, usually at odds
with our instructions, but we asked you to rake leaves.
Totally oblivious he would happily recite his accomplishments
at dinner, and note that he had done it all by himself.
Lips smacking
teeth crunching doggedly toting a can of Pepsi and snacking
on a bag of Frito’s corn chips, too busy
to sit still, his mind would race
contemplating his next project.
Proud and perturbed we would shake our heads
as the stuffed menagerie
on his bed complacently…

I Want To Be A Poet

I want to be a poet because
I need to know
Who I Am,
HOW- --I am.
like breathing or SEX.

Like Starbucks coffee
to choose from an endless list
of black and strong
with cream and

I want to be a poet because
it doesn’t mean a thing
if you ain’t got that zing
to people in the bayou
with alligators for neighbors
and mosquitoes as big as flying
saucers that want to drink your blood
and leave welts the size of basketballs.


The BALLS that it takes
to stand up and SHOUT
and about
the Assonance and Consequence of

I want to be a poet
because of the reason and the rhyme
marking time
dripping off my tongue-- aged like fine wine.

Lyrical and magical—ALICE
chasing a rabbit into a hole
filled with soul, out of control
hanging on a cliff
with a NOTE
high on hope
instead of dope.

Set adrift
on a boogie ship
with a Fever
and cursed ----to just be.

I want to be a poet
because of sibilant s’s
and becaus…

No S’ss Here

Prompt--Write a poem without any S'ss

Come child
do not dawdle family fault line crack produced a tidal wave of truth.

Revisiting Lex Luthor

The springs creak as I lower the stairs and climb up

into the attic, into my past.
I inspect the cobwebs frozen in time
marking a sticky corridor, lined with daddy long legs
scurrying to stay inside the shadows.
A shaft of light from a small window
pierces the gloom
exposing the intricate web.
Far away in the corner
packed on top of the
pink insulation, is a stack
of old cardboard boxes
carefully penned in black sharpie logic.
A remnant of youth balefully stares
like an abandoned child.
At first glance with no trace of recognition
but then comes with open arms
to grasp my shoulders and close me in.
I try to suppress a shudder
as I descend into the contents
revisiting a haunted domain.
A musty kiss
brushes and lingers on my cheek
raising hairs, as I open the flimsy cardboard
flip the contents and watch
as it slides out and lands into a heap between the beams.
Haunted flashbacks
of Clark Kent and Supergirl
mingle with betrayal of innocence
and blankly stare from glossy pages.


Glass shards gouge bloodless vein tarot cards show disdain.
The writing prompt on another forum yesterday was to write an essence poem.
A short, structured form of two-lines, six syllables each with an end rhyme and internal rhyme.


Come early for
your appointment.
Fill out this form in triplicate.
Use blue or black ink.
Don’t leave anything out.
Please write firmly and legibly.
Which do you prefer your proper name
or your nickname, she asks
as I approach her couch
and lie down.
My vision blurs and then adjusts.
A kerchief is wrapped around her head
it is worn; her dress is tattered but clean.
So tell me, why are you here?
An engraved request appears
like writing on a black eight ball.
I proceed to vomit last night’s dinner
onto the faded white shag next to a recent
stain. It ponds and congeals
into a purplish brown glob
and she addresses it rapt
poking and prodding into yesterday’s veal
and mashed potatoes.
Years spin past and unravel like dark blue thread
and a large deck is pulled out of a drawer
and dealt as
strange points of light appear on the horizon
like distant flickering
stars exposing black holes and
the mysteries of the universe.

When Beauty Fades

Beauty faces age leaves old notions at time’s gate opts wisdom instead.

Lethal Fungus-Tanka

Umbrella opens
providing tempting shelter. Seductive white cap emits toxic slumber, slams naive visitor at dawn.

April Snag-limerick

There was a young girl from County Cork
was rumored six times, with Sean O’Rourke.
She was a strong Philly
seduced his poor willy
then delivered twin pickles, the stork.

Windy Day

He who doesn't see is as blind as pidgeon poop behind frond's curtain.

Pineapple Express

Last year this time
nine members
of my family came to visit
from upstate New York.
They all stayed
at the Queen Kapiolani,
which is on the zoo side of Waikiki.
This included my parents, both of my sisters, one brother-in-law, his parents
and my niece 11 and nephew 13 that I hadn’t seen in
ten years.
They rented two cars
plus my Hyundai made a caravan.
My brilliant husband, volunteered to stay home and cook for the tribe.

Two unforgettable weeks of hurry up and wait, from hiking up Diamond Head to strolling Waimea Falls. Patiently looking for this one and that one in the forty ninth ABC store in the International Marketplace. My camera snapping hundreds of pictures, capturing precious moments.
One of the highlights was a kids fishing contest for golden tilapia on Easter in my small fishpond.

Still the days flew by, on the last day here I took them to Dole Plantation.
Having acquired some wisdom by this time, we decided to skip the Maze
instead we boarded the Pineapple Express
to ride…

Classy Lines

Antique Mercedes decked out babe in polished chrome infatuation.


Eat a chocolate bunny and stuff yourself silly.
Ask your scale to lie for one more day. Satisfy your longings, and then call your loved ones
Tear yourself away from outdated traditions, invent new ones. Eat one hundred jellybeans and then eat three more. Rejoice in sweet memory and resurrect your dead dreams.

Spring Fever

Peacocks race through field practicing for Spring Fever tall and small compete.
Mongeese watch from pond take note of noisy neighbors mad commentary.
Cardinals picnic doves, myna’s and sharma’s feast on Milton’s crackers.
Trees hum with bird song fish flip for raucous new tune syncopated beat.

Not Guilty#@$%

Two large crows CAW---CAW

in a cold dark brown koa cage
their shiny
black feathers flexed in anticipation.

The honorable raven presides speaking
in their native tongue. He is flanked
by two rooks, the first randomly calls
the lucky hens and roosters
their names plucked from a hexagonal cube, the other
leads us to the box where we are to be judged
as a good fit
or later dismissed.
I am the first,
my seat is pointed out,
my feathers only slightly ruffled
I try not to squawk or show any signs
of distress as my foot catches on the carpet
as I push through the swinging doors
proceeding carefully and cautiously
up into the box
an omen.

We are to judge the blond sheep
next to the plumper crow
he has been accused of
ferocious bleating, kicking and spitting,
however we are reminded that he is innocent
until proven guilty.
We are instructed by the raven
as to the laws of the wilderness
and will have to listen
to testimony from the witnesses
and watch for
certain markers of doubt as ther…

And Justice for All

Justice is not blind.
It is late.

It needs to
individually approach the bench
in private
to address all
the significant reasons
why nine tenths
of the jury pool need to be
excused as well as observe the rights of
the conscientious
objectors in the gallery,
the people who do not agree with the laws or the process
as it is written, and interpreted.

It needs to swear an oath to educate
its citizens on how to spot a liar
probable cause, evidence
and beyond a reasonable doubt
Yes, justice needs to dot all of its i’s and cross its t’s and make copies.
It needs to make sure that you aren’t so smart
that you recognize the hypnotic effect of being confined
and cloistered and it needs to
validate your parking. Take role call.
Find and arrest those no shows and have extra forms
for those who left their summons at home. And it
needs to do all of that by four and if
it cannot, then you the jury,
will have to report tomorrow at eight thirty
fight rush hour traffic, park on the other side of town…