Madam Vice President!

My mother subscribed to Vogue

and I buy it for my daughter, Willow

Their sense of fashion

skipped a generation when it came to me.

I got into ripped jeans during protests in college

and never got out of them.

But just look at this fine woman leader

on the cover of Vogue.

Tennis shoes and pink satin.

She’s game

Game on!

It makes you weak in the knees

and proud as a peacock.

Here we go!

Navigating Love

Having lost the charts of the rugged coast

this bold lack of navigation

now has us fully lost.

What returns at this late hour

is a song we sang in our youth

on the bow of the Amorita.

It’s a sailors lament

about running out of whiskey.

“And I scarcely think that I’ll get a drink till I get to Buffalo”

Between then and now

who can really say what happened.

A life is so big.

She’s ok where she is

tucked into a hospital bed

foggy with not knowing.

She’d like to lay low

and just let the hull rust.

But we, her family,

screech like gulls

shouting Up, Get Up

We want another day.

Loving Jan

I called my sister today.

She’s been in a nursing home

over the holidays.

I have not been sleeping well.

When she answers the phone

I rest back in my chair

it’s the soft tone of her voice, an instant pleasure,

my first love, my beloved.

I am myself because of you.

Love a small boat, it leaks and has seen better days

It’s a tenuous sistuation

we tip with the slightest movement.

But even if we fall out

cast into the cold water

I will reach for your hand

and I will find it.

You wanted to tell me something funny,

“They have a all purpose soap, you said

and I washed my hair with it today,

and when I looked in the mirror

my hair lay limp and thin and flat to my face

I looked twenty years older, I looked like mom

I looked just like Annie, remember her hair?

I laughed so completely and we had ourselves a bit of fun.

Rest Well Kitty o

Our time has run out

no more sand in the upside down clock.

Mother Earth is calling to you

where your no longer warm body

will rest.

Her timing is impeccable,

neither of us could continue.

Me cleaning up after you

and you so very ill.

Our final act of love

is being with each other at the end.

So brave So true So impossible!

Burglar Siblings

My brother and I

are from a long line of burglars.

It’s an unconscious profession,

an undisclosed mythos

a trade passed down by generations.

If we could just admit the truth

( our love of thievery)

my brother steals from me

and I steal from him.

This acceptance is Love

freed from it’s box,

the horded treasure

can return to source.

The End!

A Poem for his Grandmother

I am water,

only because you are the ocean.

We are here

only because old leaves have been falling.

A mutching of memories folding

into buried hands.

The cliffs we learn to edge

The tree truck hollowed, humming.

I am a tongue

only because you are the body

planting stories with thumb.

Soil clings to your knees

Small stacks of empty clay pots dreaming.

I am the milky fish eye, only

because it’s your favorite.

A slipper is lost in the yard.

A haku lei is chilling in the icebox.

I am a cup of feathers,only

because you want to fill the hours.

I am a turning wrist, only

because you left the hose on.

Heliconias are singing underwater

Beetles are floating across the yard.

(A poem by Donovan Kuhio Colleps

Entitled Kissing the Opelu.)

I am in so many spirit walks

that I’ve lost track of them all….

walking with my sister whose been looking at the other side

walking with a new baby coming in and her wild journey to get here.

Walking with my brother’s move to Hawaii.

It’s too far away to suit me

but then he is always in the “dog house”

(according to me.)

Walking with myself and my inability to change.

Feeling the sweetness of love

coming from the beyond

where my sister and my mother and my father are

my grandmother too.

This place is a spirit walk.

Thanks Charlie

I contemplated my friend’s joy

in the middle of the night when I was not sleeping.

How can her joy not be diminished by pain?

There is no be doorway into joy,

If I have to look for it I will not find it.

Guilt likes to keep in seeking

and not finding.

The idea of finding the door was a misdirection!

Can I go to the flip and claim my responsibility

for the entire pain of the world

that way guilt has no wiggle room

and something peaceful like joy is here instead.

These are my thoughts this Thanksgiving.

Thanks Charlie!

Rituals

We can either do rituals from our hearts

where we sing and know our true name

or lame duck rituals, like watching the evening news.

We are performative creatures

beings of two worlds.

Rituals are connecting experiences

where we claim our partnership

in the dance

both as lover and as hero

as a being and a doer.

Like standing stones in a circle

that dance under the moon light

when no one is looking.