Wednesday, January 13, 2016
You close your eyes and I know what you’re doing Owl Man. I see you for what you are. Hooo hooo hooo.
You lick your lips and I can only imagine what you’re tasting (creamed honey/Hershey’s kisses/body juices). Oh Owl Man, why don’t you just notice me for once?
You see me as the Pharmacist Assistant, the one who checks you out when you’re picking up your prescriptions (Zoloft, fungal cream). You see me as the overweight (“curvy”), middle-aged (“40 is the new 20!”), funky-haired (who actually knows how to henna?) woman who may be of Portuguese heritage. You, Owl Man, know me even though you think you don’t, even though you think this is less than it is.
You take a twenty from your wallet. It’s well-worn. You probably bought it in Greece when you were there to help people who were in some kind of crisis. OWL MAN.
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
I love my horse more than I’ll ever love anyone. Okay? My kids know it. They don’t resent me for it. They just know that’s how I am. Caroline once needed me to really break it down for her. Once. She was sad, maybe, but she got over it, she accepted it, she realized that I’ve always connected with animals in a way I couldn’t with people. Billy resented it, though. I first realized it when we were taking a weekend in Napa. We hadn’t been on a vacation just the two of us since before the kids were born. A really long time. He couldn’t relax, fidgeting all the time, drinking more wine than he ever would normally, I mean he rarely even drank… I finally asked him, “What’s up?” and he broke down, like, crying and the whole thing. I’d never seen him like that.
Sunday November 22, 2015 at Our Town
from a text
I love kittens!! Mom said if I finished reading my new book that she got me (it’s called: KITTENS) and ask Auntie Genie about the responsibilities around raising an animal friend as a pet, she MIGHT, maybe, will POSSIBLY consider letting me go to the shelter (where they keep the kittens from dying before they’re old enough to take care of themselves) and learn about some of my favourite ones. When I told her that I promised I would and would make sure I was very well informed about kittens and EVERYTHING they need before I asked her to get one, she said, Now, Izzie, this is not a YES or a NO it is a MAYBE, and it is ON CONDITION. I Know I know I know already. She is “non-committal”. Just like my father was. Or at least that’s what Auntie Genie tells me. She told me that FACT when I asked her once if he left because he was allergic to me. She said, Of course not, but that would have been a better reason.
Monday November 16, 2015
We finally got a TIGGER! My Tigger came from the Round. You know the Round? Do you know things like that, Diary? I don’t know. This is my first one so I’m not exactly sure what you know and what you don’t know or if you’re just, like, me, or if you’re something else entirely! Okay. So, back to the point. Sheesh. We got my Tigger at the Round. It’s where other Tigger’s go when they lose their Mamas or their houses. We went there on Sunday, on the Sunday-before-my-birthday-party-Sunday, and we walked around and all the Tigger’s were crying! It was so sad I actually cried too. My Mama said, “Don’t cry Nelly! We’re gonna save one of these lil’ guys!” That cheered me up so I stopped. When we saw our Tigger I absolutely knew that it was ours because it looked at me like it knew me. She looked at me like she knew me. (She’s a girl Tigger.)
Wednesday May 27, 2015
The animals leave the shores and all that’s left is the ebb and the flow
The sun slips like a salamander behind a cloud
Peeks out when the time is right
Five hundred ways to say “thank you”
And ten thousand ways to say “love”
The animals tread water when they’re lonely
and whisper comfort in a language we’ll never understand
Morning comes with the butterfly lightness
The animals stretch awake
Reaching for fresh water
Wednesday May 27, 2015
The animals leave the shores
They pack their things and go
To where nobody knows
But they follow the pull
And when the night falls down
And blankets the day
Wraps it up in a starry shield
Protects it from going away
With the little ones in the armpit of the elders’
With the little ones curled up tight in the heart of the pack
They don’t hold back
From giving them everything that they need
The animals they move along
Trying to chase the sun
Don’t expect anything from anyone
They know they’ll soon be done
documented in the flesh of the earth
are paintings Mother Nature hangs up in her living room
Sunday May 17, 2015
Let’s make a world where everyone has enough
Where everyone has what they NEED
When they NEED it
Where mother’s can feed babies from their breasts and where father’s can sing lullabies
Let’s make a world where trees are our priests
Where forests are our temples
Where dolphins are our recognized and respected sisters
Where computers and labs and scientists aren’t involved in food growth
Where governments champion children, art, the elderly, green space, democracy
Let’s make a world where we celebrate one another’s successes
Where we dive deep for our bravery and bring it to each interaction
Let’s make a world where we listen
With our whole being
Where we stop
Let’s make a world where we dance in the street with strangers
Let’s make a world where anyone can marry anyone
Where love is the beginning, middle and end
Let’s make a world with less cars and more bikes
With less oil and more bio-fuel
With less guns and more sunflowers
With less plastic and more recycling
With less hiding and more showing
Let’s make a world where we are all different
Where we can smile at our complicated understanding about otherness
Where we can remember
Where we can remember
Where we can remind each other
We all come from the same mother
But we need to love her up
Love her down
Love her all around
We need to be more radical in our loving
We need to embrace change
(it’s always here)
It’s always here
We are water
Water is polluted
We are polluted
It’s not complicated
It’s a simple story
Why can’t we understand?
Thank you for your bravery
Thank you for your attention
I made this cake for you
Monday May 11, 2015
Bud’s got more to say now that the whales are singing. His hands are open and he isn’t hitting his head against the wall. “Don’t touch me, Molly. Don’t touch me,” he says, smiling. I massage his palms, the muscles harder than concrete. He spends his afternoons on the porch, overlooking the ocean. When he hears a whale he calls, “Songs! Songs!” He dances and I say, “careful not to get splinters!” He lifts his feet higher. When his mother comes home from work she says, “How was the day?” She pours herself a glass of white wine. She kisses Bud on the forehead and he wrinkles his nose.
Wednesday May 6, 2015
According to Gwen’s self-diagnosis, she had 3 days to live and a whole lot of goodbyes to give. I laughed when she said that. “It’s just mild discoloration. You’re fine!” Gwen wasn’t amused. After spending hours googling her “condition” she was convinced that she had the rare unpronounceable disease, and this was, in fact, the very end of the line for her. “You don’t know anything, you’re not a doctor, Ian!”
I laughed again. “Neither are you! Come on, don’t put this stress on yourself, people on there have nothing better to do than to scare perfectly healthy people who are not even close to dying.”
“And if they’re right? Some small chance that this is actually happening? Then what?”
Friday May 1, 2015
from a vintage matchbook
Daddy and little girl
Playing with new tricycle and puppy
Good good man
And the ball bouncing one two three
Happiness until the air runs out
Mommy comes with belly full of baby new
Big sister runs and jumps
Daddy pushes little girl on swing
Laughing and family growing
Tell me when you get cold!
Mommy and puppy new keep their watchful eyes open
Little girl dragging tricycle along
Can’t ride it if you don’t get back on!
Daddy kneels down next to little girl
I’m right beside you, don’t be afraid.
Mommy and belly baby new, Daddy and little girl smile
Wednesday April 29, 2015
Overheard at Higher Grounds Coffee House
We had been waiting impatiently at Connie and D’s place, running out of things to keep us busy while they proceeded at the hospital. Aunt Laura told us that Connie appreciated our concern and was touched by us all wanting to be there for her. She said as soon as there was news we would hear from her. It had been 5 hours already. We had cleaned the house by that point, watered all the tomato plants, played two whole rounds of Monopoly, and still we hadn’t heard from Aunt Laura. When Michael called me in a panic about his sister, I was out on a run. I was training for the marathon coming up in May. So instead of running home, I ran to Connie and D’s so I could sit with her brother and try to keep him from freaking out.
Thursday April 23, 2015
from a street sign
When I approached his body laying there in the middle of the street, I felt an overwhelming sense of dread–as if it were my little brother or my own baby, lifeless, helpless, quiet. Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a problem with overreacting to roadkill. I love all animals, I hate seeing any of them injured or dirty or unhappy. Seeing them dead is pretty hard for me. Even when it’s a skunk or a squirrel. Most people don’t care about those animals because they’re a nuisance. I don’t see them as that. I see them as these almost human beings trapped in a world of insensitivity. So I was walking up to this poor thing and it wasn’t moving. I’m glad I didn’t see the moment of impact. Really glad. But as I got closer I started full on weeping there, right in the middle of Rathburn Rd. Sobbing for a dead pigeon, and wishing there was someone I could call for him.
Friday March 27, 2015
She’s kept a food journal for twelve years. Mostly it’s been a secret. Only three people know. Sonja – because they spend so much time together and secrets are boring to keep for so long with someone so close; Pete (her once removed ex) – because he once caught her writing in it, when she’d thought he’d been asleep, and he asked and asked until she caved and then he made endless fun of her (via questions) and then she left him; and Jillian – because when Jillian was going through her sex change she felt it was only fair to reveal something private and strange and a bit shameful because Jillian was revealing so much so publicly and it was all she could think to reveal of herself.
She decides, one particularly rainy evening, as she sits cross-legged on her bed, her sheepdog Oscar snoring beside her, that this madness has to stop. She’s taken to recounting everything she’s eaten before bed, a kind of calming ritual, perhaps similar to putting ones legs up against the wall or praying (but entirely different). Today, she can’t remember what she’d eaten for lunch. Was it a can of tuna on baby salad greens? Was it miso soup? Was it half a cantaloupe with cottage cheese? Was it a protein shake? It was as though every day was every other day and nothing was as it should be. “Why am I doing this?” She asks aloud, Oscar waking up and cocking his head towards her, just the amount of sympathy she needs.
Tuesday March 10, 2015
I wish he would ask me out. But he won’t. Because he can’t talk. Because he’s a horse. Because I’m a turkey. Because the world isn’t ready for inter-species love affairs just yet. Because feathers and manes might get tangled.
I wish he would look at me. But he won’t. Because I’m out of his eye line. Because he prefers Daisy, the thoroughbred mare. Because all I can do is cluck and that’s only on a good day.
I wish he would spoon me. Because I could fit right in to that place under his neck. Because then maybe I’d kick this cold. Because then my beak wouldn’t chatter as I’m falling asleep.