Wednesday, November 29, 2017

haiku today & tomorrow & lucky 13

Tomorrow, it's purely celebratory.  haiku was adopted on 11/30/04.

Ah, haiku's jade-green eyes.

Sometimes it's the thin stream of blue ink

which keeps you afloat.  And where does it comes from?  Somedays from the sky into a watery depth.  Sometimes from the unconscious, upward.  And sometimes, it's pure horizon.  A body at rest.

Meals are like this, too.  And while we're on slippery subjects, aren't reflections liquid pools of tar?Others might suggest, ink of squid.  I'm fine with either.

Your guess as good as mine

But isn't she fetching?  Force for the good.  Pele?  Demeter?  Grab a pomegranate or a bunch of beets.    Fix them for sharing.  While the beets roast and just after washing your hands of pomegranate  paint, put down words on a page.  See what happens.  And in the waiting...?

Autumn looking forward and back

The orange season.  Pumpkins, squash, orange-red leaves.  At its core, persimmons are the building blocks of an autumn kitchen.  And to poetry, imagine that.  Every third poem has a wink to persimmons.  Every six, pomegranates.  Just do the math.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Sometimes an abstract is all the landscape I need

The poinsettia returns as an abstract across an abstracted landscape.  The heart of it really.  Like the properly-weighted verb in a sentence.  Like a twist of pepper -- not too much, not too scant -- in the soup.  How carrots allow themselves to become part of the abstracted landscape of a soup or stew.  Clouds are the perfect model for such thinking.

Is this a toy

or a very specific and practical tool?  Perhaps you never see but if it wasn't invented the simple would not function?  Ball bearings?  Makes me think of writing.  Without a pencil and its progeny, which  words would have gone unwritten.  Without a mirror, which masks, silent.  Think of the kitchen as a laboratory of invention.  Spoons, spatulas, strainers, saucepans.  Moving away from the beguiling "s" sounds -- can openers, mandolins, rice cooker, knives.  You get the point  No pun intended.

Look deeply

look closely, you might see the star-center of a persimmon.  Or you might see the abundant body of a pomegranate.  Or both.  When you read a poem, can you see the shadow of revisions.  Can you hear all the out-takes?  And in soup, can you identify the mysterious ingredient or what the cook left out?  And if she did so on purpose, why?

Monday, November 27, 2017


into or out of.  So liquid, perhaps our fingerprints are unreliable witnesses.  Feels like a train station ready for an unexpected journey. The packed spoons, pens & notebooks are not those which will be used on this journey.  Implements & instruments -- anew.

Sometimes it's about what you are seeing

when you are not seeing.  Call it memory.  Call it dream.  Call it kindness.  Soon a spoon arrives. Soon you reach for the pen and see the paper.  Soon, simply you walk.

Memory as a wreath

Ah that poinsettia won't let go of memory.  It circles & encircles.  It wreaths memory.  Like needle does thread.  Like pen finishing off an "I."   Like spoon in and out of split pea soup.  Here memory has the hopeful tinge of pomegranate, don't you think?   Sheer abundance.

The state of a poinsettia's memory

I wonder about the state of a plant's memory.  For instance yesterday's poinsettia.  Is its memory firm/grounded as its roots?  Perhaps, pervasive?  Or liquid as time & properties of water?  Is it dissolving to sleep or rising?   The same can be asked of a poem.  The same can be said of a meal -- does it rise from the plate or is it resting before the eater's expectations?

More life-gifting than Santa Claus

In the Mission District of San Francisco -- poinsettia.  Stop walking and listen to the story.  The man who is painting a small pink canvas in his driveway tells me the poinsettia was formerly the root above and migrated to a trunk next to to the original.  He's lived there for 29 years and it flowers every year about this time.  Walking is a banquet for the eyes and posies for the page.   Keep walking.  Keep looking down.  Keep looking up.  Keep a blank page & pen nearby.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

The clarity water brings to a dream

especially when the dream requests a glass of water.  Especially, when the meal is served with liquid nectar such as water.  Especially when the dream invites otherworld succulents.  For what is a dream if not otherworldly clarity.  Sounds like a meal coming together.  Sounds like a poem being offered cool water.

The simple isn't

simple nor what is expected.  By the way, which is more crevice like -- a split in concrete or a vein? How does water hold together as a circle:  self-contained & perfect?  How many line breaks in this image and what influence does it exert upon the next meal?    Combining the dry with the wet is an art form -- culinary & in watercolor.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Birds among the squash

This is widely known:  birds are sentinels.  But what do we know about Winter squash? Here's a tidbit rarely shared:  Winter squash always show up in force for a carnival and consider themselves a self-contained casserole.  Consider that.  Consider, placing your next 23 poems inside a hallowed-out squash which you have just prepared for baking.  Oh my.  How those words will taste.

Tapas and the tip of a conch

and squashes for days.  Because these are the days of Winter squash and no discontentment. Carrots, too, aplenty.  And essays to feed the soul; in particular Mary Ruefle's "Madness, Rack and Honey." Go for it and never apologize for being sentimental again.  Thanks, Beverly, for the top photo.

Fall and the fate of the birdbath

Clearly, gone to the turkeys.   Or, gone with the turkeys.  So much depends on a preposition.  Much like a twist of pepper.  A line break.  Ah, when to use (judiciously) the semicolon.  And then, there's those fallen leaves.  What are they?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


The loss of figs is the advent of Fuyu persimmons.  Slice them -- 8 petals to lead you to beauty. Even the word persimmon, is a poem.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Yes, temples dream

a kaleidoscope
roof & sky
a fractal web
and just now
you stepped
into that dream
why are you wearing
shoes?  And what
sweetmeats will you offer?
Which poem recited?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The temple swallows the mountain

No sleight of hand.  Just a delft touch of the alchemical to create a tasty eye-soup.   Poems are like this -- tasty & colorful and always respectful of sky & mountain.

Some food by its shape

is pure comfort food.  Winter squash for sure.  Rooted and sturdy with insides that surprise & beguile made sweet by roasting.  Which is what certain words dish up, too, as poems.  I'm thinking editing a poem tries to get to the inherent savory and/or sweetness.  A kind of roasting, I'd say.  

Top left:  Blue Ballet Squash -- new to me.  Yummy!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Yes, there are no figs left

and yet the seasonal has a way of addressing absence & its ensuing lament.  Pomegranates.  The word itself is a poem.  Even without the thrill of its 613 seeds, the pomegranate is a joy to behold.  Fecund and juicy.  Fall is spilling.  These beauties picked by Bev from her brother's tree.  Wow!

A spin on the chicken & egg conundrum

we know
where the feather
it calls "nest"
the same can be
of spoon & soup
pen & paper.
the frittata --
stridently yellow --
needs eating

Newest best friends from Tehachapi


a litany of blessings
animals are the perfect poem

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Today's gift is 14 years old


& about his 14th
haiku has this to say:
no e-cards
no funny hats
no age-related jokes
above all don't write/read me a poem
just bring ahi-grade tuna & don't stay for dinner

Friday, September 29, 2017

Trees deserve stars, webs and jewelry

especially hand-made, hand-crocheted.  The nights/mornings are cooler, you know.  This reminds me of many things including those petite nests that swaddle Asian pears.  What do poems deserve?  Poems deserve to be read; deserve to be heard.  A bit of jewelry never damaged a poem.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Red is an indicator

attract and repel.
Artichoke has a bit of that, too.
Beets not so much.
Which words both attract & repel?
Which words are red?

Friday, September 22, 2017

Windows frame a story

feed a hunger, too.
The windows here
tell a tell a different story
than the windows of San Francisco.
What shows up is worthy to see.
The same is true of which words
appear on the page.  Or which
tasty morsels find their way
on toasted pita this morning.
A bit of cheese is a given.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Otherworldly ruffles

Fractally speaking, isn't this succulent magnificent
in its folding & unfolding.
Just what a satisfying meal does.  That ping of pepper,
a bite of lemon, the saltiness & brine of an olive.
Just like a  poem with just the right amount
of twist & turn.  The hinge of poem is a line break, of course.
Of course.  L'Shana Tova.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Succulent calligraphy

The language of succulents is a graphic one.  A roadmap to the luminous written upon their bodies with black-tipped pens issuing white ink.  Some of the finest writing happens on plants.  And on stones, too.  In the kitchen, the simple squeeze bottle writes in the language of pesto across a platter of heirloom tomatoes.  Or potatoes.  Mozzarella included.  Or not.  There are several haikus occurring the photo above.  And below.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

A watercolor paints memory

while a photo relives the present (as memory).

Does the memory of a great dish do the same?
Or trying to remember that line of a favorite poem?
Is the present and memory, time's taste.?

Friday, September 15, 2017


What's the message here, folks?  Definitely, some force wants our attention.  Grabbing onto our eyes with fervor. I think it's patience for the process.  The unfolding.  The unseen & unseen.  How did this sky-display influence breakfast?  Or the writing of the poem?  If I were a novelist, I would lean into suspense.  I'm not; I'll stay rooted to the non sequitur.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sometimes you need to get close

A rose is both meditation and magic.  Sometimes you need to get close.  Really close.  Close enough that you become what and who you are looking at.  So close that you become the hue.  So close you step into magic.  Why is yellow so inviting?   Roses, scrambled eggs, sun and goldfinches.  And my favorite:  yellow No 2 pencils.

takes a yellow pencil to pen a poem about a yellow rose

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What do a deer and birdbath have in common?

The mountain behind.  What do I have in common with a deer and a birdbath?  That same mountain in front of me.  What do poets writing in English have in common?  26 letters to create a heaping sack of syllables.  What do cooks have in common?  The principle of knife, spoon, hand & eye.  And often a plate which is the foundation for a mountain of arugula.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bright sunshine

makes me crave the respite-shadows that scrub oaks create.  Or a morning of deep cloud
that might lift.  Or might not.  My grandmother always said, "Pay attention to what you can't see."
So, here's a quartet of the unseen -- the table upon which is a cup of tea & a journal & a pen.  And on this auspicious day was written

dating the page
my hand

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Beside the feather...

Notice the red dot to the south west of the feather.  I wonder how many ladybugs reside within one mile of this patch of grass?  And while we're on the subject of questions, whose feather is this? Have you ever thought that fallen feathers by nature are nonreturnable?  Do words adhere to gravity?  Are fallen syllables nonreturnable?   What of a crestfallen soufflĂ©?  I'd say, edible.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Who speaks the language of tomato?

Basil, of course.  All type of basil to all type of tomato.  Go ahead, eavesdrop.  Don't stop there -- listen-in on the whole garden.  For what is a garden if not a linguistic wonder.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Meditation on inside & outside

Roasted for an hour at 425 degrees these eggplants are shrived & charred to the world.  Inside, a creamy & sublime wonder.  Simply add cropped garlic & fresh red onion.  Nothing else.  Nothing more.

If we could see the insides of our alphabet (all 26 letters) what poem would be written?  How would our speech differ?  Would I still love the word "perhaps?"

Ah, when nightshade speaks, pay attention!