This Socks


I folded laundry
for ten straight hours—my hands ache
no poem for you

One of the things I try to do before school starts every year is tackle the mountain of clean laundry that accumulates during the summer. Mt. Clothesmore was especially challenging this year. I am down to about half a basket of things with no homes and the socks. I’m sure I’ll get to that tomorrow.

We also had some minor excitement today when some bark dust caught on fire for miscellaneous reasons that have been identified and will not happen again. Overall, this day gets approximately a 5.32 out of 10.



Checking you out checking out
Maximum packs of pills
Some cold you got there, lady

Bags of refined crystals for me
Socially acceptable RDA implosion
Dying slow, but dying too

You don’t smile, you don’t have one
Fingers to face, worrying at it
Eyes here, there, at me, don’t see

I tug my shirt over my tell
Breathing hard from standing still
Hungry to hate, settling for you

I’ll go straight to the needle
Finger sticks to pay a different piper
Both buying to use ourselves up

I used to self-medicate depression with sugar. I had a high-stress career and a lifetime of bad habits behind me, and I’d buy a couple of candy bars on the way home from work just to deal with the anxiety.

At one of my stops, I ran across a couple, both buying four boxes of generic Sudafed. Not rocket science to figure that out. With age I find greater compassion, and I realize that we all cope somehow.

I’ve broken the candy habit, for the most part, and I’m not on my way to the DIABEETUS.  The depression is mostly mild and comes and goes.  I still want a bag of candy, I just don’t buy one.  I hope those folks are in a similar place.



Plant the seeds
Or till the sod,
You’ll find our
Homely gastropod.

He ate my frisé,
Peas and beans,
Chowed all the leaves
And in-betweens.

Then slimed away,
Full fed and smug.
Next week’s menu?
Salted slug.

I’m not sure why Oregon has a state microbe (brewer’s yeast), but not a state mollusk. Specifically, why isn’t the slug serving in some official capacity? Lord knows we have enough of them. We could encase them in decoupage and sell them as souvenirs. I say it’s time we force this lazy garden grifter into some real responsibility. I just haven’t figured out how to keep the tiny sashes on yet.

The Geologic Equivalent to Waking Up Dressed Like a Disney Princess with Sharpie Drawings on Your Face


the Erratic Rock
got stoned with Canadians
woke up in Oregon

This 36-ton Canadian rock sits on the top of a short hill in Yamhill County, Oregon.  It was carried here, likely encased in glacial ice, during the pre-historic Missoula floods.  There’s a very brief hike to get to it, long enough for your kids to think there might be something other than a rock to look at when you’ve arrived.

I adore the Erratic Rock, because the idea of a boulder acting unpredictably, even whimsically, is so delicious.  I like to think it rebelled against its Canadian mountain parents and hitched a ride.  “You guys don’t understand me!  I’m different, I don’t want to hold up a mountain for the rest of my life!!”

Beach Body


The tide goes in, the tide goes out,
The tide goes up and in your snout.

The air was there, but now it’s not,
The tide macramés strands of snot.

Again it’s in, then out the breach,
Behind it leaves a little beach.

You’re found aground, tide receded,
The nose now knows–you’re deceded.

This seabird appears to have slipped on a banana peel and DIED.  Life is not a cartoon.  Please pick up your fruit skins.

The first couplet is an homage to the old classic nursery rhyme, “The worms go in, the worms go out…” etc…  That’s one that’ll stay with you for life.

The Usurer’s Apprentice


magical kingdom
spellbound, I don’t notice when…
poof! cash disappears

 Disneyland was the best vacation we’ve ever had, period.  It’s also where the reality of how much things cost sort of goes all wibbley-wobbley.  It’s time to go home when you find yourself in a tub of ice with a phone taped to your hand, sans the kidney you traded for a balloon that was, let’s face it, a really, really awesome balloon, but probably not worth a kidney.



               Officially notified, she sat down at her desk, staring without seeing.  There was something she had to do, but she couldn’t figure out what it was.  This was all wrong, and they were expecting some sort of response.  Her eyes roved across the items on her desk, on her shelf next to it, pens, notebooks, should she write in a notebook?  Stab into an artery with one of the pens? 

               She stopped at the little bottle of Higgins ink.  Unopened, purchased for some creative urge that was never satisfied.  She carefully tore the top of the box and pulled the bottle out by the rubber dropper.  The others shifted, uncomfortable at her silence but unwilling to break it.

               She grasped the bottle with her left hand and turned the dropper lid with her right.  Not that old, then.  It opened easily.  She squeezed hard, forcefully, then closed her eyes and released.  The full dropper was pitch black, the liquid form of a vaporous emotion.  She cupped her left hand and let the drops of darkness fall into it, splashing, filling her palm, small spraying dots marking her white desk.

               The dropper went back into the bottle.  She put her hands together, floating the ink evenly across her palms, like she did with her moisturizer every morning while Adam was in the shower.  Adam would not be in the shower tomorrow.  She pressed her hands to her face and pulled the color of hollowness across both cheeks, her forehead, her eyelids, scrubbing it in.  The outside would reflect the inside.  This was right.  This was what she was supposed to do.



the neighbor lady
pressure washes her driveway
into losing weight

My neighbor is a frequent user of her very loud power washing device. Every imagined particle of dust must be blasted out of existence.

“But look at all the dirt that comes off!”

That’s your driveway.

My Fancy Color Didn’t Work Out


Never ask a creative
What color you should paint.
The answer will always be
Some color that it ain’t.

You should ask a farm kid.
They’ll say, “Get the leftover stain.”
They’ll get a roller and use it up
And the rail looks nice again.

I’m working on getting that second-story deck rail finished, a year after I started it. I could blame it on the rain, but you’d probably cry fake–mostly the problem is that it’s way more work to “frame my vista in a buttery vanilla color” than it would have been to “slap some stain on the fence that keeps the kids from falling off the deck.” Regrets, I have them. I also have an ugly half-finished deck rail. Not what I had imagined.

I’m Bringing Pumpkin SpicyBack


I have decided now it’s Fall.
I’m tired of this hot Summer.
What? Another month, you say?
You better check your number.

I dress us all in cardigans,
We sweat so much, we float.
If I don’t relent soon,
The kids will ruin their coats.

I’m making pumpkin pies,
Enough to feed a horde.
Never mind that no one here
Likes pies made out of gourd.

I took a heat gun to my trees.
The leaves have that autumny crunch.
Thankgiving is next weekend, folks.
We’re gonna thanks a bunch.

When September rolls around,
And the weather actually turns,
I’ll send the kids sledding down the hill!
No snow? Not my concern!


The Truth: I do wish it was Fall, because I love Fall. I do not love Pumpkin Spice, in fact, I hate it. The only redeeming thing about it is that it heralds cooler weather and all of the other delicious things about the holidays. I also think that song I referenced in the title is terrible. So, I used two things I dislike to name my own work. Bad.