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Quizzing Glass

24 Sep

Her eyes said to the professor,
Why don’t you stop studying me and
be with me.
And then she was grateful
to have become so very
not something buried then
a curiosity for
But like a live oak,
limbs and leaves flush with green,
hung with soft sighing hair,
he was just unable to see
beyond the glass
in his own.


20 Apr

“All you need is Jesus. He will fulfill all your needs, honey;  don’t you know that?”

“Love yourself completely. No one can love you unless you love yourself first.”

“When you give up the desire, it comes.”

“Accept what is and you will achieve peace.”

“Surrender, and then God will take care of the rest.”

“Love is Universal. There is no difference between types of love. It comes from everyone.”

“Accept people for who they are. Love their imperfections. Be the bigger person and love them no matter how they treat you.”

“You are only alone because you want to be. Nobody gets what they want.”

“They are men. Seriously, grow up.”

“When you aren’t looking, then the right person arrives. Stop Looking. ”

“If you build it, they will come.”

“Maybe be a little less confident. You know, men have fragile egos.”

“When you fix your thoughts, then the world changes. If you look at this negatively then it will be. Try to see the gift.”

“Everything is a lesson. What are you learning?”

“Be grateful. You could be in Syria.”

“All you need is yourself, babe.”

“Each day is an opportunity to start again. Don’t worry. It’s NEVER too late!”

“The only person holding you back is you. If you’d stop seeing the negative then you’d be happy.”

“If you move yourself into a place that feels the way you want to feel, then it doesn’t matter if what you want arrives.”

“Just join a ladies group. You’ll make good girl friends.”

“Suffering is pain times resistance. Make friends with the pain. Be with it. Stop resisting. Look at its texture and then your thinking about it will change. “

. . .said everyone (renunciate or householder)

already beloved of a calling,

of children,

of friends and family

of one other, above the rest.

Sharing the anchor of hands

within the deep fathomed current,

they toss toward me a wrinkled lifering of advice

about the dry dustshadow space in my heart,

an anomalous magnetic pull

bending its own needle toward a something nothingness.

This is the place where you should be

the one I want beside me,

our soul’s wisdom heaped like seed in a sack,

of hope to sow the world.

I’m not looking for completion.

I’m hungry for evolving into more,

swinging free of the pull of this black hole.


I never saw a starving man bow to bless

a dry plate upon which he must blame himself

for there being no bread.

No bread.

No fault.

That’s what Is.

Mercy is not found in gravity.

The Blue Rose Apron

19 Apr


When she smiles,

suddenly, I am a child

circling the Sunday dinner table

taking orders for dessert.

“With or without ice cream, sir?” I ask Grandpa,

penciling lines I imagine

a waitress might write.

Soon, she serves crystal cut bowls full of cobbler

like blackberries kissed by diamonds,

steaming and syrupy sweet,

cool white rivers of melting cream

mixing purple then blue

like the roses on her apron

as she bend around to hand me a spoon.


I notice her hands,

worn smooth as a lucky coin

while she fries chicken in a big black skillet.

Sizzling clouds of pepper and fat

mix with the back door breeze

billowing her blue rose apron.

I’m fifteen.

I cross the kitchen,

not too cool to sit on a corner stool,

the last one Grandpa made,

but my knees rise high

like a cricket held too close for comfort.

And suddenly,

I am tall.

Suddenly, she is ever so



She plays the upright Richmond piano,

my teething marks still on the bench,

And in each line

of heartbreak and Patsy Cline

I feel so crazy.

I am so lonely.

Into the pocket of her blue rose apron,

I reach for tissues layered with Windsong,

her low alto inside the ringing tones

against the storm of tears

from this heart, so far from home.

She knows this type of leaving,

this type of loving,

too sweet, too beautiful

to hold for long.


Time suspends me at seven

upon entering the lilac coolness of her room.

I lie across her bed,

my feet on muslin pillows spotted yellow and blue,

my face to the open window’s summer breeze,

lined with tears and truth.

On its hook in the closet,

a blue rose apron rests among clothes

too dear now for anyone else’s wearing.


The pause between bees wings and a bluebird’s echoing call

is the silence where you hear her,

her spirit, her smile,

now light,

now air.



Ollie Ruth Mullins Beard

12-09-1920  — 4-13-2017


4 Apr


I am sore

in a thousand different ways,

said the uncurling rope

in contemplation of its knots.


Cosmic Cup

31 Mar



there was a way

to empty all the words

right down to the curve of the heart’s cup,

a way to let them pour without spotting,

without the fear of stain

on the ironed cloth of present being.

Cups are supposed to hold in curved kindness,

despite crazing of human heat,

despite bits of golden rim dissolving into the drink.

Nevertheless, purpose serves.

To empty and refill from a darkened kettle

steeping stars and nothingness,

a limber liquid

offering all, over and again.

Love and eternity

in each dark sip.

To Oz, R.S.V.P.

26 Mar

I used to have adventures.
And I will again.
But Aunt Em is gone now and the house needs resurrection.
Somehow the wonder of new places is tinted a bit blue.
Toto #2 prefers the back porch,
and the witch, she’s long melted 
My friends have all found their missing parts.
They write often.
In answering your question, yes.
I know the direction.
Although I can’t see the rainbow from here,
I still know it’s there.
The bluebirds are building in the bush out back,
their wings folded round things to come.
Expectancy is the very air.
And while I’m grateful for the invite,
and it tugs this wanderer’s soul,
I’m hoping,
if I stay in one place and make ready,
Adventure might come over.
Who wouldn’t want to find the rainbow ends
right where it begins,
in her own backyard?

How Fairytales Die

14 Mar


like the little ducklings of resurrection morn,

are soft boned and quick breathing,

precious passing promises

in an ecstasy of pin feather and fluff.

Archetypes of the tender hearted,

yearning fingers close

around their bright quickening

to cage heaven,

only to rebirth in raven shadow

a whispered craving.

Close and closer is its keeping,

till memory and time

is all one holds onto,

like rising mist from

the green glass of a morning pond

in April Sunday sunshine.

What a pressing poisonous

surprise to open

captor hands

to find


so soft,

so silent,

so innocently


Pasion de la Cocina

7 Mar


Tonight I crave the rice you made,
the grains popping in the singing oil,
musica latina tangled in your hair,
dancing barefoot in the kitchen
amid sizzling clouds of comino y cebolla
and curling swells of culantro
as green and hot as your coyote eyes.
Your caramel lips,
cafe con leche cushions
parted for kissing,
whispered delicious songs
into the fragrant rind of my ear.
Reaching melodious chords
around my waist,
and down my thigh,
sang of stirring the sweetness and heat
of my own beautifulness,
like palming the round of a glass
to warm the spirit,
like rubbing the rim with one wet finger
to hear it sing.


The Note I Wrote

3 Mar



The Note I Wrote


“Spirited away by Latin poets.  Do not send ransom.”

For their ravishment has freed me

from a flat white ironed life,

crisp and starched,

where you once placed me

brim filled with the rapture of carmine fire


only to sit in silent sparkling

alongside the cold silver.



The Present

13 Feb



Grace gave me two odd shoes,

each beautifully different

from the other.

They almost fit,

at least, well enough.

I can’t walk while wearing both.

One is high, the other low,

so I must walk one foot shod,

the other exposed.

I must choose

which foot will be cold

and vigilant down to the naked toes.

When the sharp edges of

aloneness press

into the pad of my tender sole,

I wear one,

or the other,

to cushion some comfort,

to save some sting.

Because moving forward

is the only way down

this regretful ridge

past trees, to forest view.

Paths never seem smooth

or cut clearly

for these feet kissed with curiosity.


I must muster gratefulness

for these odd shoes.

They have walked me far,

and held my toes dear

even when one rubs reality raw or the other pinches the point.

It’s not their fault they don’t fit,

being made for the shape

of another’s foot.

Nor is it mine.

They’ll gladly wear me, instead.

One for desert dreaming,

one for snowy silence.

Am I a glutton for ingratitude

by yearning for a pair

made to house my feet home?

Right and left.

Is it so much to ask God

for simple shoes,

with supple strength

and yet, also

lightly laced

for dancing?


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