Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On Visiting Mrs. Blanton's Third Grade Class to Talk About Poetry

Little poets
with bright upturned faces
greet me at the classroom door.

I meet Julian
and Tasha
and Cole
and many others.

We speak of haiku
and poems about cats,
nymphs and goblins.

They listen
and bubble with questions:

Can I read you my poem?

What is your favorite poem?

and, from a charming young journalist, head cocked:

What magazines are on your coffee table at home?

The room vibrates
with the open-hearted, uninhibited creativity
that comes from smart kids
who still know that we all can create something beautiful,
who haven't been told that they can't.

I leave feeling buoyant and blessed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Dew on every blade
of grass. A flashing silver
sun. A day, afresh.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Night Creatures

Between dusk and dark

at the bottom of Oak Street

the halogen glow of my headlights

falls on a group of figures


on a mattress in the middle of the road--

flashes of long, tossing hair,

a loud whoop,


I smile. Teenage girls.

I turn right on Glenneyre

and drive on

with that sense you get

when a creature

passes in front of your car

so quickly

that you only recognize what you’ve seen

after you see it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monterey Formation, As Seen At Crystal Cove

roughly layered rock
tells time in shades of
chalk-grey, sand and rust

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Dear Friends,

So many good things have happened since I wrote my 365th poem in 365 days back in January. I sent my writing brain on vacation for a few weeks and then started up again. I just had to take a hiatus from my poem-a-day discipline, and work on some other things.

A book proposal and some chapters of said book (stay tuned). Also, a coffee-table book compilation of some of my favorite Laguna Beach-related poems and images from the blog, which is my love letter to my hometown of almost ten years. Watch for it in December.

Hmmm...what else? I did some copywriting and blogging this summer for my friends at Laguna Beach Stand Up Paddle Company--they recently launched a fabulous new web site. I've been working on my tennis game, but it's still not that good. No worries! (That's my new, post-40 attitude about things that are supposed to be fun.) I'm getting better at maintaining my pre-yoga zen while jockeying for a spot in Geo's classes at YogaWorks (breathe, no pushing, there's room for all 50 of us focused people to get our 90 minutes of wonderfulness, throw the mat down NOW!)

Some of the highlights--blessings, truly--of the past few months include watching my youngest son Willem's metamorphosis from smart, sassy eighth-grader to smart, slightly-less-sassy freshman at Laguna Beach High School. Also: watching my godson Vasco Possley turn into a surf-stoked grom this summer at Hakama beach. And: our eldest son Schuyler did a journalism internship in which he hung out with rock stars and dove with sharks (don't ask). And: my husband David wrote a book!--the companion guide to our friend Rob Bell's Love Wins. At risk of sounding like a bad Christmas letter, I'll stop now. But I'm so proud of my boys (all of them) that I am compelled to brag them up a bit. They inspire me.

Speaking of inspiration, I've recently joined a power posse of other women writers, Redbud Writers Guild, about whom you will undoubtedly be hearing more. We are a group of writers, bloggers, speakers and activists who support and learn from each other. This is a group of gals who get sh#t done, and who publish a book about every ten minutes, so I'm scrambling to catch up!

I'll be writing and posting poems a few times a week. It's good to be back.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The True Vine

And, borrowing from John's gospel, this is poem #365, and my prayer for the new year:

Cut off every branch
in me that bears no fruit, and
prune the ones that do.

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Dog's Life

Claus the Dalmatian
wears his goggles when he goes
out--sensitive eyes.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Downside of Bacon

The only downside
of the big Sunday morning breakfast
is that I go to church--
and everywhere else after that--
smelling stridently of bacon.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


It's Saturday night.
Harried mom, crabby kids--
they want to go out
but I want them to stay in.
Can't we just have a nice evening together,
and where do you want to go anyway,
I cajole.
Suddenly, the situation strikes me as funny:
I remember hearing this a long, long time ago
only I was the teenager
trying to escape.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mirror Mirror

Last night was Laguna Beach's first Art Walk of 2011. David and I went to our friend Carla Tesak's gallery, Salt Fine Art, for the opening of her new show "Mirror Mirror." Carla, who is originally from El Salvador, specializes in Latin American contemporary art and has totally turned me on to several of her favorite artists. Tonight I fell in love with the work of Luis Cornejo, a young Salvadoran artist who paints by blending both acrylic and oil (which I guess is technically difficult), and combines hyperrealism with flat, two-dimensional images. He draws much of his inspiration from the world of fashion, pop culture, and current events, and his paintings are meant to deliver a subtle social critique and challenge our ideas of perfection. I love this untitled painting (above). I'm not sure if my interpretation-as-haiku is what Cornejo intended; if I ever get to meet him I'll ask.

A woman in blue
wonders if she's playing the
game or being played

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Killer Kitty

(Photo credit goes to my wonderful husband David!) This is a classic victory pose by our cat, who is not large but is definitely in charge of the critter population on our hill. Long may she hunt and keep us rodent-free!

Our mighty huntress
has struck again. Topanga,
one. Gopher, zero.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RIP, Christmas Tree

I have put our poor Christmas tree
out of its misery.
Rest in peace, shriveled little shrub;
it was high time we said goodbye.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Caffeine-Assisted To-Do List

Must clean out the fridge
and un-decorate the house.
First things first: coffee.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pressing On

I focus on this one thing:

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead...

I press on toward the goal
--Philippians 3:13-14

Has it really been almost a year,
this daily homespun poetry thing?
I'm pressing on toward the goal.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter in the Desert

when night falls it smells like snow--
sharp and clean and full of memories
and promises of what is to come

Saturday, January 1, 2011


a lot of champagne
plus a little tequila
equals a headache!