Sunday, August 29, 2010

Koko Head Hike 15.14

Climbing

Up railroad ties

Drenched clothes dizzying heat

Shaking while crossing the trestle

Dump fear.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Reassessing Preferences 15.13

Precious moments

reflect Hawaii’s leisurely pace

fade in and out on a cerulean zephyr

and sandy walks in Kailua

imperceptible as they light in our footprints

marching to a German cadence

and settle at last on love’s single red rose

so sweetly presented.

New York minutes

vividly unfold as pages in a prized book.

Healing moments inhaled and exhaled

with family

while strolling country hills

retracing past lives

outlining a memoir’s flawed pattern

and pausing for a moment to capture

as brazen deer

feed on emerald lawns

and toast the amber dew.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Not an Addict 15.12

Hello, my name is Cornelia


and I’m not an addict or an alcoholic,

I am his Mom


and I am stubborn

a family trait.

My past behavior reflects

that I can be glaringly stupid too.


I had a moment of clarity recently

it seems my main problem

is that I’ve developed a nasty habit of speaking my mind

I also have some forgiveness issues.

I want my chocolate chip cake and ice-cream with the pirouette cookie

and I don’t want to share.

I want to sit on the right hand side of god

and then tell him how to run things.

I like pants

and yet

skirts are also nice.

I love my family

and I am embarrassed by them.

I invite suggestions

but will do what I want.

I tend to ignore gorillas in small rooms.

My problem is

I can’t have it all and I’m running out of time.

So my brain talks to me and says

Cornelia, choose already!

Find out

if all your hard work and effort

all the time you put in

all the tears

was worth it.

Keep going.

You are almost there.

Let go of the false hope

the alternate reality

where life is always fair

where you get Prince Charming --and the castle.

Just Be Happy!


But Just Be Happy--is bull.

You have to work to make yourself happy--it’s hard

you have to decide every day---you have to choose it.

Happy is a metaphor for good choices.


So stop moaning

about what you don’t have

about what life didn’t give you?

how you didn’t deserve to suffer

and about how tough it was

all those years

in the blistering heat

in the tropics

working as a roofer

twelve hour days

having to go home

crawl into bed

only to wake up and repeat the same thing the next day—year after year

to go shopping after work in filthy sweat stained raggedy clothes

walking through Safeway looking

like I was homeless

only I wasn’t—I was building a life

carving it out of stone—me and the other fossils

who could’ve done it better in your instruction book

yada, yada, yada

cause nobody wants to hear it!


Sometimes the only thing left

is to get down and pray

yes –pray, from a non believer

Pray for peace

Pray for enlightenment

Let go of the entitlement fantasy

Pray that your hijacked memory comes back

and that you see really wake-up before you get locked up or the reaper comes for your sorry ass.

Pray that you see what really matters

before you drown in that pit that you’ve dug for yourself.

Because there is one thing I do know

I was quite willing to get down there with you

to wander dark alleys

hunting for discarded scraps

forgetting about family

blanking out my own sanity

lost on some river in Egypt.

Face down, eyes closed, teeth grinding, always there

a phone call away, waiting for you to have one lousy moment of clarity.

I did manage to learn a few things though

I learned that

I count too

that my wants and needs are, just as important as yours

that if I constantly drive against traffic with you-- ignoring reality

that I am not taking care of me.

I learned that it’s not only okay to say no, it is a requirement.

So don’t ask me for help anymore.

Don’t ask me to sit quietly and watch

while you destroy the most precious thing in my life

one day at a time

bit by bit

because if you don’t care enough to help you

at least have the guts to leave me alone

because I could sure use some help right now.

Because I’m mom

and even though my brain is saying no

my heart is saying yes

because my off switch

is stuck

and because even if I could turn it off

I won’t.

I will defy logic

Dad

and the law if need be

because that’s how I’m wired

but you already know that.

You are betting that Mom

will come and bail you out again and again

and tomorrow will magically be okay

and hell the world’s coming to an end anyway in 2012

so, WTF!

Might as well go out smiling

kiss your bony butt goodbye

take your mom hostage with

drag her stupid ass through the mud too.



We could make up some

Mom’s coming to jail to visit me and bring money, so I can do more drugs-- T-shirts

make them this shitty brown color

or maybe a piss yellow

or how about a purple barf stain.

Purple’s my favorite color.

So when mom has to drop her laundry

to see your sorry ass in jail

she can tell herself it’s because she loves you

and it wasn’t really that bad

and then promise you again that she

will keep jumping back into that pit with you-- forever if need be

because she couldn’t possibly let you do it alone.

Someone might rape you

or stab you repeatedly

leaving your bloody corpse unrecognizable

and then she would have to bury you in a closed casket

and then mom would have to

dig up some old photo

before you were a drug addict

when you still resembled something loveable and pure

and pretend to all the relatives

and friends-- you still had,

that life had just dealt you a bad hand

and if you had just had some breaks

and a little help--you might still be alive today

only--that would be a lie

because it really wasn’t about that at all

If the truth were to finally come out

long after your rotten corpse

decomposed

and the cockroaches crawled around

your intestines and had millions of babies

nesting inside

your ruptured skeleton

buried in an unmarked grave

that the real reason you died

the real reason you wasted your life

even though you had it all

was all because you made some bad choices.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Barbel 15.11

Thirteen
and in love
with a new boy
every day on Face Book.
Posters of Justin Bieber
hang in her bedroom
soon to be replaced by the latest teen idol.

She is the hot one
in her crowd
and likes being the
center of attention.

Silver braces line her teeth.

Her bright eyes
one blue
one brown
and long blond shoulder length hair
will make her Dad
pace the living room
in a few more years.

Right now
she’s still into sleepovers
with her chubby
girlfriends
and swimming at the town pool.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Karl 15.10

Karl

is a bear of a man

owns his business.

He is the man to call when
you need heat in the winter
and AC in the summer

He charges more for his time

because he’s good, damn good.

He is a proud man
honest and
has integrity

so long as you pay him.

Competition is fierce
and cash flow
a constant juggle

although he is
pretty good at
balancing work and play.

An agreeable man
he enjoys his imported beer

retired from both the Army and National Guard

he was stationed in Germany
he has siblings there
family means everything to him
since his mom and brothers escaped
from his wife-beater father

and moved in with his step dad.

Food is a comfort
after a hard day of service calls
and since he quit smoking

as it is with Heather
their stout gray cat
who demands breakfast
at six a.m.
scratching
at the bedroom door
her tail swishing to and fro
in cadence with clock
as it chimes at the hour
every hour

Ding, Ding, Ding, Dong
Ding, Dong, Ding, Dong
DONG, DONG.

He is married to Sabine
his soul-mate.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Crystal 15.9

The oldest
most world wise
writes it all down
She digs out the old

foundation exposing the rotten wood replacing it, careful to maintain the integrity of the structure, a painstaking process, as she crafts and starts to build a new stronger base discovering along the way how the cement was first formed, alert to to how the form needs to be outlined first reading the instructions and then mixing the sand and gravel then slowly adding water building layer upon solid layer smoothing the surface until it is compacted and firm. A sly sally she knows exactly what needs to be shown and what should fall away hidden, the work means everything to her.

The work paves the way.

She is not to be fooled with.

Her short cropped light brown hair
exposes a few gray roots
her penetrating blue eyes
see the cracks.

She is the athlete

tough and tenacious
willing to bend
but only so far
her roots grow deep
and she remembers everything
separating the reality
from the fiction
separating herself
from the characters
within her fragmented past.

The others inside her sleep
and remain silent for now.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sabine 15.8

is Playboy material

her blunt cut flaxen hair
parted in the middle
frames an oval face.

Sharp blue eyes
question everything.

She is the queen in her castle
complete with central air
and vacuum
sucking out the waste
transferring it
to face again at a later date
a perpetual motion
defining the orbit of her existence.

A mom to a teenage girl
who looks more like sixteen
she does it all
from house painting to
to riding the tractor and
when she’s done at home
she cuts the lawn
for her mom
risking poison ivy and snakes.

She feels trapped
but resigned to staying
in everyone’s good graces
for another summer
as the thunder builds
and echoes
a warning
of an impending cyclone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Carolla 15.7

is the middle child
a fighter and
an ex smoker
often noticed for
her Dolly Parton-like bosom.

Short and fierce
she breaks through the bull
divides her time
between
FOX NEWS
and QVC

her zealous tongue
encouraged
by her
redneck husband.

She works at the school cafeteria
mostly for the medical
suffers from
allergies and snores
like a lumberjack.

A new grandma
she proudly carries
pictures of the baby
in her wallet

along with
her menopause badge
and a silver revolver
with a pink pearl
handle.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gisela 15.6

She doesn't hear them anymore.

Her attention is held captive
by wishful thinking.

Her sparkling blue eyes have turned gray.

Buxom and petite
wearing last years
bargain basement
matching dress and hat
she stubbornly
wait for Godot.

Lost in yesterdays
rotary dial
and rabbit ears
fearful and furious.

He has scolded away
her innocence.

She still works for nickels and dimes
to regain control
convinced
that it really doesn't matter
that she still has to work
that her brothers and sisters
don't write.

Fifty years
ignored away
as fine.

Sometimes she takes things
shiny beads
a ring
briefly
satisfying her hunger
though
more and more
thirsty now
for the fermented white grape
and her arthritic
ankles and fingers
ache from the damp.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Horst-- 15.5

He can’t tell them what he wants

lost inside another vodka fog
sneezing green balls of phlegm
into his palm while
searching for Kleenex.

His hairless
white belly
distended inside a white t-shirt
overlapping beige
shorts, the only pair that he can find,
as he mechanically belches
and squeezes out farts
that would’ve put Hitler to shame
as he starts to sing from another old German opera
unable to resurrect his youth
failing to amuse his
sedated audience.

Happy hour begins at eleven
in his tiny world
and continues
long into the night
every night
as he salutes the setting sun
with cracked deformed nails
constipated and
cursing at his bad luck

and to anyone who will listen

pausing for a moment as
he tries to ingratiate himself
on a practiced widow
down the hall from his room.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Therapy 15-3

Up at seven
I pull on my swimsuit and head out the door
ready to tackle the group.
Armed with advice and witticism
our conversation like the bright morning sun
is circular
our walk
mired in the tide pools
of rationale and comfort zones.

The old thread that ties us together
is strong
a crocheted blanket dragged from birth
pacifying our discontent
deflecting our resolve.
repeating the sequence each morning
unable to decipher the combination
digging up ancient history
wanting in
unable to find
the entrance
blocked from my view.

Eric-Acrostic 15-2

E-Z Does It at 41,
Ready to party and have some fun
Italian pizza piping hot and
Chocolate ice-cream hits the spot.



Happy Birthday!!!

Meet Me in Maine 15-1

Meet me in Maine

by the shore
I’ll watch the birds
learn some words
hoot and holler
leave some dollars

vacationing with family.

And forget about
writing poems
the rhymes will keep
till I get home
and dig my toes
into the sand
hanging loose
getting tanned

It’s time to go
eat lobster rolls
and for a stroll
then play some cards
and have some laughs
for time sure flies
and that’s a fact.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Unlocking Memory

Witnesses flood perceptions door
banging to get in
plagued by
an impermeable strain
of
dementia
distorted
and dissected into
quantum realities
as facades crack
and begin their
ascent
gasping for air
fearing the vacuum
housed inside their
glass containers.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Time Traveler

Driving back
into a dark overgrown jungle
pushing past awkward and wild

to where the truth lies

rooted deep

impassive
like a tall oak
cooling me
from the blistering sun
as leaves begin to fall away and
expose old scabs
piling offerings
damp mounds
dormant and unruffled
waiting for a familiar face to
burn them on the alter
and appease the gods
applying the salve
soothing the ache
that gnaws
like a fungus
mushrooming
white circles on the lawn.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Breaking the Fast

Piping hot coffee warms
my innards
cozy
inside a moss green mug.

Juicy blueberries burst
pushing against
orange cantaloupe
swimming inside a
slippery pool
vying for my attention
tempting me sweetly
from the second shelf
next to a muscled Greek
packing extra protein
blinking
his vanilla honey code.

Kornelia with a K

Kornelia with a K

sat next to me last night on the flight
from Honolulu
but that’s wasn’t all
Kornelia liked to be called Konnie
I had to ask her twice, to be polite
did I hear it right

Konnie with a K?
yes she said, that was right
Kornelia was German
spoke with an accent
her family
originated in that land
where they made the kielbasa

but that’s not all

Kornelia loved living in Hawaii
but it was time for her to go
back to Germany
back to her family
back to school
she’s no fool
Kornelia will be back some day
to the land that paved the way
so send an email, drop me a line
keep in touch for you won’t find
many of us in economy class
so plant your behind, listen up
Cornelia is coming from the back of the plane
and Cornelia, dear sisters, is unrestrained.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Bake, Bake a Cake!

An old German Nursery Rhyme in German and English with a Haiku at the bottom.

“Backe, backe kuchen!”
der Backer hat gerufen
“Wer will guten kuchen backen
Der muss haben sieben Sachen:
Butter und Saltz,
Zucker und Schmaltz,
Milch und Mehl,
Und Eier machen den Kuchen gel.”

“Bake, Bake a cake!”
the Baker called out.
“Whoever wants to make
a good cake,
He must have seven things:
Butter and Salt,
Sugar and Lard,
Milk and Flour,
and Eggs to make the cake gold.”


German rhyme calls back
Happy childhood memories
Bitte, Deutsch sprechen!
(kindly speak German)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ready to Go

All packed
Breathe deeply
Check list
Determine objective
Early on
Freedom earned
Goals accomplished
Heady thoughts
Ignite memory
Jump high
Kick habits
Leave anchors
Manage choices
Need little
Open up
Pop pretense
Question everything
Resolve approval
Speak clearly
Tackle doubts
Use resources
Value judgment
Work hard
X-ray attitude
Yield for no one
Zealous stance.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wonder Bread and Klingons

We grew up in a quiet town surrounded by four lakes;
sometimes we'd go hiking and swimming at the fourth lake,
since it was a short walk from the railroad tracks,
halfway between my house
and my cousin Ralph’s
just before the town dump.

Mid summer
the urge to explore
strange new trails became strong,
Captain Kirk and
Mr. Spock were my heroes.
Ralph and I would
set our phazers on stun
and dare to encounter
alien life forms.
it was quiet
except for the odd branch
falling or when our shoes crunched
on a dry patch of leaves,
occasionally a snake would cross our path,
but Ralph would always arm us
with a cap gun
or a long stick with a sharp point
on one end to protect us.

The favorite part
would be lunch,
my chubby cousin
always made sure
that we had plenty to eat.
Being a skinny child,
I was more interested
in the possibility of
running into some
Romulans or Klingons
but when the food appeared
I would inhale it.

One favorite, when my Aunt ran out of bologna and cheese
was cherry koolaide accompanied by
wonder bread and white sugar sandwiches,
the grit of the white sugar
against our teeth put us into orbit
and I would lick the sugar
and let it dissolve
slowly on the tip of my tongue
after showing my
cousin,
who had an annoying habit
of teasing me
for no reason.

Sometimes I would daydream
of him falling down
and breaking a leg
and then I would have to save him
and he would be eternally grateful
and never tease me again, of course
I would have to let him lie there helpless and in pain
for a very long time before I came back,
and risk running into aliens and bears just to teach him a lesson.

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