happiness is…

this is one of those rare instances where I call upon my face to serve as art replacement – I believe I was about 16-17 years old here – I do remember the t-shirt – very fond of it at the time – Happiness is a German Shepherd 😘

knowledge

look there, there is a mountain with its rock sliced away to make room for the road snaking beside it
the path we are cruising across while passing by these mineral laser cuts
college winter break over and back in pursuit of a degree
to obtain a knowledgeable living beyond this education to pay for more roads to go more places and slice more rock
to learn how the mountain with its amended face, was not shaped overnight
to dissect human interest in the history behind this path and others like it
to comprehend the sheer number of minds invested to form things to this very point at this very moment
to appreciate the melding of learned people
some thanking the mountains
some thanking the machines
some thanking both
ultimately, for you to decide, through your knowledge
which sacrifices were worth this trip

Spirit Muralthis was a large wall mural I painted in my son’s room, long since painted over
horse characters from the 2002 animated film Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron from DreamWorks Studio
“…a spectacular tale about discovering the true hero inside you…”

it’s me, isn’t it

you have changed
so different from what I remember
but it’s me, isn’t it
the one who has changed
I’m a practicing fear-less now
so damn tired of being afraid
don’t want to hurt
don’t want to worry
but there is no way of wearing fierce
without pushing ahead forcefully
and you
I’m trying not to leave behind
our toes were in the sandbox together
the wind, she’s blowing all our castles away
there is natural sparkle in your eyes
while my own eyes fight to shine
I was there so long ago
but you can only see me through the blinding brights of eighteen
oh daughter, eighteen really sucks

Caroline Hands Crossed

Caroline Hands Crossed

marble journal

well, here we are my friends, into another season
the season you choose inside that amazing mind you were gifted
over some earthworm who must content himself
with getting washed from his hole come spring
I do not own this thought
it is one I pass on to my children
vessels safeguarding future knowledge trapped inside present time
a new morning over coffee, I’m caught in a precious time warp
staring at me, before it gets stowed into his school backpack
a loaded composition notebook–sentinel of coagulated educational emotion
this particular marbled gem of bound cyan lines is bursting at its stitching
so bloated, it appears yanked from the Dead Sea then baked on some remote Mayan steppe
I wonder about my son’s limitless thoughts, the ones I’ve seen, the ones I never will
triggered by calculated classwork prompts
I believe I know my son as well as I know myself
my crammed journal has not been as honest as his
learned years have taught me to erase
going forward, I’d like to use the mind I’ve been gifted
and not get washed from a worm hole come spring
this year I choose the season of color
no neutral shades will hide my eyes or stifle my pens
I will be honest in my art
I will be honest in my writing

my first honest thought
this scares the crap outta me

Paper Shadow

Paper Shadow

“they”

her eyes face the pavement
“they” whisper
in booming voices
secrets no one could know
cutting 
tearing at her invisible flesh
piece by piece
bit by bit

the backside of her heart vacant
“they” say
“they” laugh
“they” commune
“they” cackle
exhaling poisonous fumes
their souls
shriveling with each round

this assault will continue
as must she

Dolores/oilthis 4’x’3 painting is almost 30 years old – one of my dear sisters allowed me to stretch and contort her beautiful face for the purposes of art
where I have common brown – dolores’ eyes are beautiful blue

this verse was published last year, I reworked it extensively
every time I return to my older poems – I cringe a little, laugh sometimes, then rewrite

making art

he asks
why do I have to take art
I respond
art is not something you take
it is something you give

she says
I can’t even draw a stick figure
I respond
life saving fire has been born
of simple sticks

he says
I can’t do anything right
I respond
you’re in good company
now put all your wrongs together

and make beautiful art

tiger mouth/acrylicI really like this verse (first posted last year) but not because I wrote it.
I wish we said this to young creative hearts more often.

tiger – acrylic on canvas, long ago-thank you

you sexy things

seven am
returning from a school drop
two older gals
walking, striding, smiling
sun
yea, it’s shining
not as brightly as these two powder-fresh sprites
their white Sketchers impossibly polished
like their well-seasoned eyes
almost see facial twinkling from my car
I’ve lowered speed
decelerating
crawling my Ford tires
slow the rushing axles

beaming at these living cherubs
while I sing along with Sirius ’70’s

wouldn’t you know
you sexy thing
starts playing
too freakin’ perfect

exuberant I’ve grown while observing these fine ladies
damn, still buckled in
I wanna get out and dance
run, sprint
stride step with these great smiling ladies

I picture them shakin’
moving their tried and true derriéres like they were 25
and in their minds, they still are
easy to deduce by their meandering glitter trail

I bet these 2 beauties were live wires
the kind that stretched and sprang back
knocking all them young lads for a loop
and a tongue tie

with their bedazzling smiles
and fine fighting features
you go girls!
you sexy things!

 even more perfect ’cause I love hot chocolate especially after wine;)

this is for the man

this is for the man
who raises his children
well
despite the fears
hidden beneath his cape
this is for the man
who teaches young hearts
to embrace
courage enough
to face their own fears
this is for the man
who despite his wounds
and scars
battles ever onward
leading always by example
even when his mind and body
are exhausted
he teaches his children
it is not by the flesh–
fingers, arms, legs
but by the heart and mind
we are all connected
this is for the man
whose stubble
their supple face skin winces at
when they goodnight kiss
his solid chin

Who

 HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU DADS

silver Lexus

staring at the indigo ceiling, she strings her eyes open to keep her throbbing head from besting her balance. a bitter taste still presses heavily on her dry tongue, not so much bitter as itchy. that 3 am glass of water–ice cubes in vodka with a wine chaser did nothing to buff out the gouges. she was smarter than this? is? was? though she still is high on her quick responses to his bullshit. she is lowdown everywhere else it is possible to be fucking depressed.

her acid tongue runs over her morning teeth trying to scale off his crap. too many fleshy buds holding the previous night’s nasty exchanges. he’d been caught. man-trapped as it were by a predator. code for woman with fake tits and personality to match. was she proud of herself? God no. simply not. he is. he was supposed to be her ‘one.’ she’d checked off the little boxes in the left column. told her mother too. big mistake. dammit. urban jungle is how he tried explaining his momentary lapse in judgement. weakness really. he said the young woman had pounced. what the hell did that even mean? she always thought the phrase–urban jungle–contrived surreal bullshit. no strangling vines, no anaconda appetites waiting to swallow or shrill beast noises presenting themselves at sundown. the urban jungle was code for horny people on the prowl. didn’t matter if the prey was already mated. end of story.

she manages a vertical out of bed. the sheets are lead. her head like a bombed out site. no mercy. no love. alone in the fucking urban jungle. a jungle she doesn’t even buy into. isn’t one person enough? is? was one ever enough? oh Jesus, she doesn’t want to open that Pandora’s coffin. monogamy–a papered plan to collect taxes and keep the real estate market salient in 3,000 square-foot-plus foundations. she’d defended that dissertation. gotten herself past the melodrama of people politics. long ago. wasn’t worth the fracturing. she’d ceased arguing, debating, hating her parents (for their political convictions–the convenient fondling of the upper middle class). her green soul had been skinned pink. she wanted to enjoy life, not see red perusing yellow papers. so what happened to this intelligent woman? she looks long in the mirror waiting. for an answer. any response. not beginning with, I’m sorry. but she was. is. sorry. sorry. sorry. she is. was hard on his brain. maybe too much?

she wobbles on her shaking legs to the bathroom. doorbell rings. it continues. relentless really. the chimes–sick bell jokes when one’s head is shredded brass knuckles. she manages a wobble back to the second floor window by the bed. her throbbing eyes are ready to roll out of her pounding skull. ping pong balls hitting glass. she rolls up the bamboo shade. her eyes look down onto the tumbled blue stone driveway. blood-colored roses on the dash of a silver Lexus. his. car door whooshes. open.
lionesslioness in Prisma pencil on black construction paper (dumb paper choice) – drawn in 2007 think

side by side

we hope our children view the world through rose-colored glasses
shades
pray they live well, so their buckets won’t need lists
green bucket
we’ll try to respect their deep-seated thoughts
car leg
and teach them to respect those who have gone before
pray
they must always believe they’re more magical than mermaids
lil mermaid
and understand playing dress-up is fabulous, as long as they remain young at heart
money bat
we’ll tell them it’s okay to think upside down
Caro upside down
and they’re the apples of our eyes
apples
and when the world gets too big, they can hide under a blanket
eyelashes
and that same big world is full of wonderment
max laugh
we’ll let them sit in a red chair and do absolutely nothing
max red chair
and tell them they don’t have to smile all the time
painting image
as long as they keep their heads above water
max head above water
we’ll hope they love each other enough to hang out upside down
upside downand sideways
butt heads
but above all that they’ve learned–
love simply means standing side by side
carmax hugwith Caroline attending college this fall, and Max a high school junior come September, I’ve been waxing nostalgic
I published this post last year but have been thinking about it lately
damn, time wearing his ankle wings and over-priced Nikes sure does fly
xmas 2105

Spirit mural