Tuesday, November 30, 2010


And, speaking of mementos:

I ask my son
what he might like me to get for him
in Vietnam.
"A monkey would be nice,"
he says, and then hugs me,
lifting me off my feet.

Monday, November 29, 2010


The laundry basket
overflows. Swim trunks heading
toward mildew; sweaty,
clay-stained tennis clothes. On all,
the smell of bug spray.
Memories, and their smudgy,
pungent proof.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The End of the Holiday

Rush to the airport.

Suburbans in a dust cloud,

surfboards on the roof.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Oh, Mexico

When in Mexico,
you go slow.
What began as a run on the beach
ends as a stroll, as I squint into the sun
to admire the motion of a fisherman
throwing his nets
again and again
into the sea.

Friday, November 26, 2010


I itch.
My ankles and feet have been mauled
by tiny flying vampires;
when did this happen?
Drat the mosquitos!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving in Mexico

The air, sand and ocean are warm

and the beach nearly deserted.

The water laps gently at

a family of waders--

a mother, father, grandmother,

and three little boys in their underwear.

At a plastic table under a brightly colored umbrella,

seviche and micheladas are served.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cihuatlan Tennis Club

At the end of a dusty, potholed road
in a Mexican village
is a secret garden.
Walk through the rusty gate
past the worn-out tree swing
and there it is: Cihuatlan Tennis Club.
Spongy red clay underfoot;
hibiscus blooming courtside.
The drone of cicadas
and the mewing of a few
of the litter of kittens that live
at the house next door.
Beyond the fence,
coconut palms and banana trees.
The air is soft and heavy;
the sound of the ball muffled
and the speed at which it bounces
a bit slower
like time itself.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Manzanillo Bound

Glennco vacations:
a plane full of Lagunans,
Manzanillo bound

Monday, November 22, 2010

Break with Tradition

Packing my bags
and pondering
Thanksgiving in Mexico:
turkey enchiladas?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Before All Things

Today is the last Sunday after Pentecost, and the last Sunday of the liturgical year, celebrated in many Christian denominations as the Feast of Christ the King. Next stop: Advent. I'm feeling stuck and had a hard time coming up with a poem, so here's a "found" poem from today's lectionary. It's from a passage in Colossians 1; I just played around with the form.

The heart-and-cross image above is the insignia of the Vendean insurgents, a group of believers who fought against the suppression of the Church during the French Revolution. I love the internet for finding quirky facts and images like this!




before all things


in him

Saturday, November 20, 2010

127 Hours

David and I took the boys to see the movie "127 Hours" tonight. It's based on the true story of Aron Ralston, the young man who was out hiking alone in a remote part of Utah, became trapped when a boulder fell and crushed his arm, and had to amputate his lower arm to save himself. For such dire and gory subject matter, it's a remarkably life-affirming and even funny movie. (The filmmaker, Danny Boyle, who also made "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Trainspotting" some years ago, clearly has a gift for finding light in the darkness.)

"127 Hours" was incredibly hard to watch yet absolutely gripping. It wasn't an eat-popcorn-and-kick-back-in-your-seat kind of movie. It's the kind of movie that makes you consider the most powerful drive we have--the survival instinct--and wonder what you would do in that situation.

Could I do that?

Would I do that?

Am I made of the same stuff,

or something different?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Bon bons, Babes and Le Ballon Rouge

I almost fell out of my chair

when my 13-year-old informed me

that he was attending the French Film Festival

at Thurston Middle School.

My son? A Francophile? Formidable!

When did this happen?!

Alas, I quickly figured out

that the reason for his sudden interest

in French cinema

was food and girls,

in that order

(at this point anyway).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh, Orthodontia

His retainer's gone

missing again. The first one

was left in Spain last summer.

Its replacement, last

seen by the sink, seems to have

"disappeared." Will the

third time be the charm?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Home(land) Security

home security system:
as much for keeping people in
as keeping people out
(when you have teenagers)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I love
the hum of home
homemade granola
and everyone home for dinner

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Incredible Shrinking Calendar

I just looked at the calendar.
It's Monday again
and practically Thanksgiving
and therefore almost
Is that even possible?

Sunday, November 14, 2010


These piles of paper
threaten to bury my desk.
Time to de-clutter.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quiet Saturday Night

Something in me loves
a quiet Saturday night
at home by the fire

Friday, November 12, 2010


Like all mothers, I suppose, I love it when my boys get along, and it distresses me when they fight--especially when it starts to get physical. I cherish those times when they chatter and carry on like best friends. When I dropped them off early this morning to surf at Salt Creek, they were doing just that. I happened to get a picture of it.

quick, take a picture:
the trash talking has stopped and
the brotherly love
has kicked in--oh joy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I was sitting in the car today waiting to pick up Schuyler from the high school, and I turned on the radio. The first thing I heard was Johnny Cash singing "Hurt", originally written and recorded by Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. I've heard it before but had never really listened to it. Johnny Cash's rendition is so beautiful--mournful yet stoic at the same time, if that makes any sense.

Here are some of the final verses:

what have I become?
my sweetest friend
everyone I know
goes away in the end
and you could have it all
my empire of dirt

I will let you down
I will make you hurt

if I could start again
a million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way

When I got home, I pulled up the video on youTube and watched it. Oh--my heart. It's effectively a contemporary psalm in music and images, and it made me cry.

A broken king in

black, hat in his hand, a man

after God's own heart

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Regular Things

Doctor's appointments,
driving lessons and homework.
Just regular things.
(for which I'm thankful)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jeannie

Jeannie, my sister,
you sparkle and shine! You bring
love and joy to all
that you do. Mother of three,
you are my four-years-
younger hero. I love you,
and happy birthday!

Monday, November 8, 2010


I almost walked right by it,
this perfect burst
of concentrated green.
Monochromatic, yet not.
No two leaves exactly alike.
Thank God for pockets
of verdant, fleeting beauty.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Karate Whiplash

My neck is so sore.
It hurts to breathe. Could it be
karate whiplash?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Brown Belt

Even more than the belt itself

I'm proud of having learned this:

If you make a mistake,

correct it quickly

and keep going.

Better to do the needful imperfectly

than to not do it at all,

or to call attention to your mistake.

And now

off to bed--

sore, exhausted

and content.

Friday, November 5, 2010


It's the day before.
I've got karate on my mind
and butterflies in my stomach.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Indian Summer

Our Indian summer continues...

Another hot, crackly day
and the house is an oven.
We suspend homework
for a few hours
and call off dinner
for time being
and race down to the beach.
The water is cool and refreshing
and we catch wave after low-tide, lazy wave
until the sun slides into the sea.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November Glass

gold November glass

one more wave, then another

the sun flares, then fades

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rest in Peace, Andy

Today was strange--midterm elections, of course, and then I found out that Andy Irons had died. It's a shock. I didn't know him personally, but he was a friend of some of my friends, and such a famous, gifted athlete that the entire surfing community is grieving. He reportedly had dengue fever but there was also talk of accidental drug overdose. I don't know what the medical examiner will find, but in any case, my heart goes out to his family and his wife. It's a tragedy.

a hot, windless day

voters are nervous, edgy

a champion is dead

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints Day

a great multitude

here, and on the other side

communion of saints