Tag Archives: parenting

Family Values

lying in wait was more tolerable than lying in worry

watching for her to peer around the corner

sprinkling sparkling remnants to be crafted into

something, anything

pretending that words could matter on a screen to

someone, anyone

but the visits became more sparse

returning me to words that drift on air from

one ear, another ear

leaving me wondering if ownership exists

when attitudes are hurled like a storm

nobody recording the cold temperature of rejections

or the burn of a verbal punch landed on another

denial the likely outcome of useless confrontation

and the mantra, buzzing in my head

“what other people think of me is none of my business”

so less so should their shenanigans towards one another be mine

or is that true

do you ever stop mothering, do they cease to be your child

I am old enough to know that ridicule is a beast

in the pocket of the unleasher

how do I convey that to a young man

that is trying to trust, trying to love

in a world where even those closest to you


Treading Upward

I may not know the loss of a continent

or a lover

but I have lived the ripples of a pond

with stone cold drops to the bottom

heart and lungs weighted with life’s heavy rope

to the depths it sent me searching

for a perfect sunrise without a sky

winter’s bloom with no air

the ache of your absent body

answering only to arms of self abuse

houdini existence with me escaping life

wondering why i could not heal

lacking the balm of action

brought from tackling fear anew




Mourning Dove

hear the cry in early rays

rising with the sun

searching landscape, better days

before to depths, a plunge

where is the coo, call of young

waiting eagerly to feed

haunting call of backward glance

a lonely heart does bleed

life pulse

a heart sits

behind the eyes

viewing private tapes

living moments 

abiding in between

interpretations found

rendering verdicts

composing diversions

making silent wishes

until it beats no longer

light goes dim

curtains close

others look for meaning


dishonor in the apron
even if that is where
i long to be

scrubbing things and
creating life like
family’s recipe

fight for freedom
but not of choice
looking down on nurture

leave them all to
fend for self
not my job, your future

but what if life force
is where longing lies
a mother is who i wish to be

rub their heads
kiss scraped knees
holding worry inside of me

where will this lead
when first they fly
leaving me no child to mend

looking up unto
bright blue sky
with wisdom ready to lend

The New Sentinel

memories are singing

through me, from me

louder than canyon echoes 

i watch us

tinting our expressions

with borrowed confidence

we are the parents now

the aunts, the uncles

wanting to pass along

the tribal rites

link arms in communion

surrounding the young

providing a haven

of knowing, of being

with each other

integral to the clan

remaining elders

test the strength

of our bond and purpose

while relaying again

the lyrics of our song 

reluctantly i submit

to the changing of the guard

Meant to be

looking for light and tolerance
dark ball sitting in stomach’s pit
longing to direct willing youth
warn them away from mistakes
made when tired was unknown
womb not heavy with experience

mother’s worry that well-worn paths
still hold sharp stones that wound

young men not compliant types
to boyhood warnings and direction
throw caution as broken boomerang
laughing at monsters under beds
no need for bandages on scrapes
as life chisels and defines into
the men they are meant to be

Relinquishing Keys

tomorrow is a big day for me

my youngest child turns 20

it is the relinquishing of the keys

no longer directing a teenager

now advising a young man instead

directions are meant to be followed

but advice is a new beast, optional

we’ve been practicing for a few years

dealing in advice until he chose not to take it

snapping back to direction, me still driving

i don’t expect this to be easy, it wasn’t before

how embarrassing to catch your mom trying

to steal the keys from the hook, sit in the front

why is this so scary? i know he is ready but

maybe i am the one who is not prepared

handing out maps I seem to have misplaced my own


he read it once, read it againchords

asked me to stay right here

he ran down and back with

guitar and a strap and said

mom, just lend me your ear

the words he sang out

in his young man voice that I love

I sat quiet and somewhat amazed

I have heard him before

singing out through his door

but this is a moment I’ll save

he’s so tall I look up 

just to see his big grin

smiling as bright as the sun

I think of him still as my little boy

even though his growing is all done

I considered the difference

in the words that he sang

though the order was all just the same

the laughter, the passion, his eagerness too

this all isn’t something you train

I smiled at him, thanked him, and agreed to a future show

he said we’ll try some new chords tomorrow mom

right now I’ve just got to go

Sestina Mountain

Like every man, he remembered watching embers glow in the fire

It was summer camping with his father, back when they both were young

Long days of hiking and leisurely fishing, followed by peaceful rest

Tears bring misty memories of a fishing pole being the greatest present

And sharing burnt marshmallows that were dripping off of a stick

Looking up from the rock where you perched, dad taller than the mountain


A self-made, self-employed man, bills stacked at the desk are his mountain

He has worked hard and gone it alone; there is nobody he can fire

Married once, a girl he met that was traveling through town, it didn’t stick

Didn’t expect life to throw such a curve to them, so naïve and young

She left under cover of night, hadn’t heard from her since then to the present

They say that tables turn on the wicked, some never earn their rest


He stays focused on his needs, some of his wants, forget the rest

You can spend a lifetime trying to reach the top if work is your mountain

Always working towards the future, never honoring the present

Do people even grasp, today could be the day they leave in a blazing fire

They keep looking back like they believe they are the eternal young

There are no vampires here, no need to stab through the heart with a stick


His father still lives in the hills, knife in hand he whittles a stick

Forever making it known, to those that would listen, he earned his rest

He made his son a man and worked hard when he was young

Who could complain about a man that raised his son to honor the mountain

Bringing sweat to his brow, air to his lungs, and fish to the fire

How could they know, time in the past would rip them apart in the present


Each time he beat her, mom would leave then come back for her present

One day she didn’t come back, he guessed that the fear didn’t stick

She sent a postcard, just once; it was of a winter cabin with a roaring fire

Dad said she was evil and didn’t love him, he could guess the rest

Never along on their camping trips, now finding reprieve in the mountain

A place of peace, to recapture what was lost when she was young


Bold, cool, and confident, in the springtime nature turns out her young

Leaves them to hunt and gather, learn on the fly or die in the present

To find their way through the dark before reaching the crest of the mountain

They crawl or scurry with no soul to whittle them a walking stick

Learning from hunters that the meadow is no place to stop and to rest

From God or from man, avoiding the bitter flames of each fire


The glances at young make our hearts in throat stick

Our gift is only the present, perhaps the future holds the rest

Sharing knowledge of the mountain and the secret of fire