Wednesday, October 29, 2014

And on the Fifth Day...

A went to Chicago for a conference FOUR days ago.

It's a testament to the effed-up-ness of his work schedule that the kids finally got around to wondering where he was this morning.

OR

It's a testament to how technology can keep us connected despite distance--they've been texting, emailing, and talking all along.


-

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Summary

Morning
is a kaleidoscope calling out
--although it is hard to hear
I answer: Yes? Hello?
as though speaking into
an old-fashioned telephone

Night
mimics birds bedding,
my arms punctured now
by pain, pine-tree needles.
In the end, the day leaves
unnoticed and uncomposed

_

Monday, October 27, 2014

Eerily, just this morning a colleague told me that he'd sent out a job application to the U of Wyoming at Laramie, and then we had the near-obligatory talk about Matthew Shepard.

An hour after, I find in this weekend's edition of The Guardian--a truther-style story about details that might have been suppressed in the race to anoint Shepard as a poster-boy for anti-hate legislation.

We seem to prefer heroes on a template, but details are not the enemy.

_

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Nostalgia and Kindness


It's true that every time I hear this song, it brings a lump to my throat.


Nu says, "That's like you, Mama. You left your mom and Dad too."

At silently thumps me on my shoulder. (Somewhat smirkily, the way he seems to do everything these days, but still kindly.)



Broods: Mother and Father

_

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Quiet Thanksgiving

Right now
the afternoon brightens
the dogs sleep
beside me

the last of the corn
and the best acorn squash
from the garden are
roasting from light to gold

The kids sleep one room away
done with every weekend activity
A stumbled home from a night shift
and also sleeps

I? I have something completely
unrelated to work to read
while the week's laundry
churns itself clean and dry

Sounds so ordinary
but this hasn't happened
in years. It is a returning
peace, to be thankful.

_

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Backstory...

So Nu has a 'sister' at school.

"Angel and I do every thing together. We're really, really sisters."

I get it. Sometimes having a loving big brother is not really your thing, and you need someone  more like the giggly tweens populating the shows your parents decided to ration.

"We're really, really, REALLY sisters."

I guess?

"You see--before dad met you, he and Angel's mom had Angel."

It takes a while to convince her that I'm really uncomfortable with this scenario...

"That's ok, I don't think Angel would mind if we switch it up and make it about you and her dad."


_

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Less is more?

At loses nine (nine!!) teeth at one go.
(Because his orthodontist says so.)


Monday, June 16, 2014

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Yes! Mazel!


(I'm secretly rather proud 
of the place cards I made.)


Friday, May 02, 2014

Happy Birthday Atty!



 Wishing this sweet, sweet love of mine happiness, health, and smiles always…
(And the strength to best anything life may throw at him.)





Friday, April 25, 2014

Addenda

(Everything I need... to do.
This weekend, I had better start
preparing the soil and compost
then re-shelve ALL the books.)

_

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Then there's this...

It was so much more colorful this morning
For all that our branches are still so bare.

Got the kids to run to the window to look with me 
The first sunrise since I took to bed on Monday

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Prophet

(For J.K.)

Morning light
your message asks
if I'm alright--when you
dreamt of me last night
it sounds like maybe
I was not alright

Morning breaks too,
birds are the traffic
wardens of our sky--
like them, I become
many many things.
All small magic--

Like a funnel it's still
and still the same thing
on the other side. One
must keep on, there's
little choice on a slide.
I just thank you, believing...

me as I argue what I didn't
know I knew. That's huge.
See: If I said now, even
innocuously, "raincoats on."
Someone (age 6) might scoff
"How would *you* know?"


_



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

(Grandson) Rise!

My dad mimicking At's hair :)
Defiant hair runs in the family…

(I'd be ok if 
At didn't inherit 
the ear hair though.)

-

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bouncy Ball Soup...

Happy Passover!
(These three were such good guests!)

-

Monday, April 14, 2014

This is a morning


Painted with the colors of my childhood
a door swings, calls my childhood name
the stairs lift me as did mother and father
the breeze, their blessing calling me home

_

Friday, April 11, 2014

An Explanation

Hours rhyme 
silenced
on either side

you miss 
all this
when you die

comb calendars
take back
days--

some days
nothing 
happened

some babies 
are called 
baby

answers turn
and run 
into mouths

you squeeze
the neck
of a bottle

_

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Dimple in Time

In the middle of August 
four years ago, I uploaded 
this picture of Nu to FB.

It was whimsically captioned:
 "One day, the child made a wish--
and then summer started."

My sister's school friend
(newly friended) found it 
today, liked it. Others did too.

I looked through that 
entire album at work
and missed my babies.

She was just two then 
she's headed for Grade 2
this August. Soon.

So small and squishy, right? 
But I remember thinking then
that she'd become a big kid.

Ok, yes.
Time is fleeting,
but it's also so ridiculous.

_

Monday, April 07, 2014

Of Never

They
try to make
the day stay--

to find
days that are
round and ripe

to
grow cities
and conversation

spiral
in slow, secret
snail-like orbit

the year's
great love,
time's anchor.

_

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Quiet/Spring

little snow callus
to amputate
*
ghost weather
I'm not afraid
*
calla lilies
may evaporate
*
But my kingdom
is coming
*



Saturday, April 05, 2014

Melting

Is she wondering about 
the snow? Just last week 
it was piled high like  
"The Wall" in GoT.

Strange how in spite of 
all the naughty potties 
she still makes me laugh
and melt some more.

_

Friday, April 04, 2014

On Coolness

I gave her a bad haircut.
and felt terrible.
She didn't care!

She wore a velvet hat 
and added 
a leather jacket.

Me: How are you so cool?
She: Don't know. 
I guess I just am.


But not every one in the family 
is cool (exactly) like that
Exhibit Big A:
Who it seems--
might let me get away
with just about anything :).

_


Thursday, April 03, 2014

Working/Not Working



Kids are on spring break
and the furthest 
they've traveled this week
is to work with me.

Quick! 
Guess which kid 
picked out their own meal
at the cafeteria?

_


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Quickly

You place the fight in my eye,
throw me a cape of illustration
the ideas ride along underneath,
in the hiccup of my photograph.

_

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Look me in the eye!

This picture cracks me up.

(Scout & Grandpa R)
_

Monday, March 31, 2014

These Days

I translate everything:
extra hour of daylight,
half hour before kids,
come home--
I make up courtesies.

Every place is all
papers and books
(and prayers)
And I'm always telling
my date again.

No. Nothing personal
allowed--
unless it's already on
an official form
a continent away.

What a terrible idea
to tell them everything
to give them my books
to give away thoughts
that initiate my breath

Read on, hoping for
another line that
invents the kind
of caress that
can make you forget.

_

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Encircled

We drew a lot of circles in class today because of Martha Nussbaum and the Stoics.

But it reminded me of another Greek:
Euclid
(Vachel Lindsay)
Old Euclid drew a circle
On a sand-beach long ago.
He bounded and enclosed it
With angles thus and so.
His set of solemn greybeards
Nodded and argued much
Of arc and circumference,
Diameter and such.
A silent child stood by them
From morning until noon
Because they drew such charming
Round pictures of the moon. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Serious Accusation

These days--and nights--with the kids cute, funny, kinda little, and sleeping under the same roof feel so blessed.

Letting each day go is a struggle, I know I'll look back on now as some of the sweetest times of parenthood some day.

That said, the kids aren't really *that* little.

Just yesterday, the first-grader accused me of treating her "like a kindergartner" :).









_

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Those Who

There are those who
just can't hold still for a pic
in the henna/bleach Tardis gear  
(made by an awesome student).


They are the same ones who 
suddenly transform into
a giggly, floppy, silly pile
of puppies in ten seconds.



_

Monday, March 24, 2014

Downcast

1) That mid-morning call from the school--heart-racing panic before I understand that there is some meeting about traffic safety scheduled for Wednesday.

2) The official admission that MH 370 is really lost--do I grieve or conjure alternative endings?

3) Way before we've celebrated the beautiful way the judge struck down the ban on same-sex marriage in Michigan and the lovely way county clerks stayed open on the weekend to enable couples to marry, the expected appeal by the officially installed trolls against marriage equality. The counter-appeal from Equality Michigan is here.

4)  Reading the Good Wife spoiler before I could skip it--reading speed isn't helpful except in elementary school.

Trying not to dwell on these and continue working…

_

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Disease Detectives


In the end, At didn't win at the Rube Goldberg machine he'd worked on for weeks and weeks and weeks…

Turns out he's a good "Disease Detective." Perhaps we'll make a doctor out of him yet?

(In the background I can hear the theme song from Nu's show *!!!Detectives!!!* jazz hands and all.)

_

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Control

(Fright)
Addicted to rebellion
does it makes it alright?
Warping what you say-
you feel, the way we go.
We'll be okay, O.K?
Go on forever like a
bad spelling of
Mississippissippi

(Fight)
Throw a million arms
in insults crafted like
poems; throw smiling
selfies, "alrights" right
back into the wind;
scoffing like the glint
on a knife, blood falling
through our words.

(Flight)
Thinking through this
tsunami of absolutely nothing.
Then suddenly feel far away,
falling, speeding through space
trying to leave all of this--
the limp flags of you and me
war, anger, surrender, earth,
being awake, everything--

_

Friday, March 21, 2014

With What is Left of the Moon Tonight

I bronze those years as wild
but did we disappear
into shyness
mildly trembling
from undiagnosed gaze
thoughts that ate us whole?

Gone unappeased for weeks
the sun, the day and night
falling upon us
as the road squints
and is growing from tiny,
drowning, reinventing in bed.

You've come with me, silently
your words flickering
peripheral--ghostly
an axis buried
so deep underground
not even breath breaks or stirs.

But you can locate me as if--
as if by a sensuous sonar
just your mouth
closing in with
rush, ache, amusement
wordlessly speaking of touch.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

power

Her eyes pool with regret
agrees she really shouldn't
have taken so long for breakfast

now it's late
now I can't walk her
into her elementary school building

now she'll have to ring the bell herself
wait for the double doors to open
line up at the office for a "late card"

and walk the almost emptied
hallways to class.
By herself.

Her mouth is a cartoon of sadness
her hands (still dimpled) tug
wordlessly

I say "no."
I hold out.
I'm very stern.

O.K. Out you get.
O.K. I'll watch till you get in.
O.K. But I'll only come to the door, O.K.?

There--she's ahead of me
smiling small and secret
her eyes at half mast and triumphant.

_

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Diagnosis

Their eyes tell me about my future
how they grow up soft
in my heart

Their hands travel like my past
muddied innocent
grown lean

Their touch keeps books of memories
to listen, turn, learn
and cry out


_


Sunday, March 16, 2014

O Lorde, it was amazing!


Is it odd to have so much admiration 
for someone years (decades even) 
younger than one?

I wish I had been as nonconformist,

outspoken, confident, and powerful
 at seventeen, any time in my teens,
Or--heck--now.

I wish I had taken the kids too…

_

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Eat your Bath!


I made Bisibele bhath for dinner.
And Nu thought it was hilarious
saying stuff like:
"This bath is delicious!"
"I've eaten all my bath!"
You get it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A snuggle before work

Big A dropped the older kids off at school
but there was still some snugglin' goin' on…

_

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

New York

take it as proof
make it a prayer
memory 
around earth
beyond desire

learn its anarchy
discern distance
lost
in indecision
and questions

_

Monday, March 10, 2014

Meditation

I wait for the sun.
The first golden
sliver

A fingernail's
paring
of light

A coin that
scribbles
exchange

Glittering
the day
with

More than
one-sided
coherence

_

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Snow Mail

Retrieving mail
from the mailbox 
apparently requires 
mucho teenage bravado 
and action-film acrobatics…

_

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Baby Madness

 Scout would like you to meet Huckleberry.
(He isn't sure we ought to keep her though.)


And here are all four kids…
(Nu is Huckleberry's special big sister
--and raising Huckleberry is clearly tiring work.)


-

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cue

Filling hands decorously
with design
undone by words so porous
they're refined

Here you are, your hands
wide open
their words worried, wrong
so often

_

Saturday, February 15, 2014

By the light of the moon...

The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
(In Ann Arbor)

_

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lens

an unused diary
ephemera

an empty page
asking

risen yeasty
answering

bruiting
newborn quiet

_

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tense

The river is
then has been
erased by snow

The snow was
plaint and now is
obdurate

spreads diamantine
skirts upon ground.
And no one

knows--nonsense
or treasure or
madness

_


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Amends

this mouth is madness
madness

is eaten by eyes
rent by hands
rent by words
that are noise

I fold it like a kite
fly it closer to my sky

_

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Impertinence

Our pronouns are wrong
unfashionable
collective

Our tenderness grows oddly
strong, parking
in spaces

The best one was yesterday
a decade ago
the first

Everyday another escapade
ordinary, brighter
impertinent


Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Horror

At just finished reading Conrad's Heart of Darkness and wants to watch Apocalypse Now.

Why? Because he heard that those were the cultural artifacts that inspired a video game he loves called Spec Ops. It appears to be a first-person-shooter game, but At assures me there are more peaceful ways to play the game. We had a long car-conversation once about "it teaches that killing people is wrong" (At) and "you didn't already know killing people is wrong?" (me).

Whatever. I've assigned the Conrad to college students multiple times to complaints of "too hard to read." So currently, I'm a proud mama to a 14-year-old (less-than-stellar report card notwithstanding).

_

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Traffic Controller (Dinner Prep Time)

Rapt. Playing "Rush Hour."
This set is almost ten years old,
and initially used to be At's.
(The Ya-Yas gave it to him.)

Monday, January 20, 2014

Surprise Portrait

This showed up in my message folder...
There usually aren't (m)any pictures of us

Another thing I really like is how we're  
flanked by a portrait of Big A as a kid…


_

Saturday, January 18, 2014

In the Compost

Corpses wait
orange peel
egg shells
sliver of skin
hothouse scraps

Leavings
iced over
in furrows
hatch plans,
sharpening

The first
green spear
of spring,
terrifying
with constancy

_

Friday, January 17, 2014

Snow Secret

The snow like a balm
blanketing, quieting
wanting

An incomplete dragon
intermittent, young
uncertain

Raising itself as if
on a leash
to elegy


_______________
In memory of S.M. (1996-2014)
[From a memory of the beginning of Silas Marner.]


_

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Friday, January 10, 2014

Thursday, January 09, 2014