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The Flipside


Passing Youth

Afternoons carousel by

In circles, high, then low

And I slide

past the child on a white champion stallion

With pink and purple ceramic ribbons streaming beneath my hands

I stop before the watchful mother with her arms protecting

on either side of an unsteady daughter

Making sure there are no falls

Between the future and the past

Still staring

And the turning mirror

Of changing me

Old and young

With the golden spires that spear the horses moving


Moving up and down.

I am still staring

At a painting of kings, queens and quests regally splashed through the spine of this

This casual whirligig

The mall clamors around me

the buying and selling of existence

Carries on

While I’m spinning

Going nowhere

Being somewhere

Hearing a comforting tune

That tells me I’m in a magical safe place.

I don’t want out.

I know I can’t stay.


Sometime I have to dig my fingernails into the keyboard to bleed
It’s a healthy thing I swear.
If you only tasted the iron in my apathy
Would you then keep typing?
I went to a jungle last week
I hated the place
I hated the monsters
I hated the climate that made me sweat the natural scent of selfishness
You just brought out the worst in me
I keep throwing mud at the wall and hoping it will stick
I want this rush to qualify as substance
I want this mush to be molded into the solid desires on the other side of that tv screen
Jealousy lives wild and free in me
Next door to the domicile of sadness and disappointment
Are we so healthy now?
We’ve jobs and good manners
We haven’t been disowned
You disowners
You dethroners
Usurp my core
And know how deeply nothing I can deign to feel

Distract me with some chimes
It will only take a small bowl of charming, jingling things.
You could carrot this horse into a corral of pretty things
Like comfort and protection
You know nothing of the price of your castles.
My eyes are wide open and I don’t like it in this cavern.

Someone let time run wild
An animal to ravage youth and plunder security
Feeling so at the mercy
Didn’t you want to be a career maven?

The Rest I Seek

Tired of running
Tired of pretending it’s the same
Acting as though you understand
Trying to share the empathy of a moment
When you stand at an antipodes
Relating here, a fool’s errand
Could one retire?
From caring?
I see no finish lines
I’m out of breath and belief
I’m running without shoes
I’m jogging without you
It’s all uphill
It’s all heavy treading
And no rest


Thinking about lakes and fly fishing somedays
Remembering snow-capped mountains
Her Colorado land-escapes.
Thinking about baseball caps
And work worn hands of my grandfather
Who saw much and said little
In a memory scrubbed haze
Thinking about freshly cut tree globes
That gargoyled the other kin’s back
on California Sundays
A hastily packed suitcase full of decades
The salt and sugar granules that run fast through the creases in my fingers
To trail on the ground for my feet to walk away from
Crunch-crunching over yesterday
I chose to put eternal picture frames around the glass dishes
That hold the peanuts and chocolates of slow-moving holidays


Pachelbel’s Canon Plays

I’m as tall as the kitchen counter

My black and white leotard has pandas

And I’m a prima ballerina

Leaping off living room furniture

Life tastes rich

I pick up silk scarves

Spin them in the air


Move with the sound of strings

Staring outside at the backyard pine tree

Through the window in this Southern California suburb

I envision greatness

And weddings

Brides and ballerinas

My sixth birthday

Knows perfection

You’re making people I’m making memories

This place is new

You’re making people
I’m making memories
I’m discovering life

Some days
I believe in new things
Knowing I’m alive
Wanting to be active, participating, creating in the world
Those days
I want a new fishing pole
I want a sewing machine
I want a good camera
I want to make fine espresso
I want to plant a spice garden
I want all the art supplies
I will cook a feast
I will capture light on the water by a lakefront
I plan to travel to Australia, Ireland, Thailand
And learn all the dances
All the languages
All the life

Thinking it would be nice to share it
Thinking it would nice to invite in a friend
Thinking settling down for a long time would be the best course.

Both peaceful and lonely
Creating space for my own life
My nest for quiet time
For making things


And it was necessary

To seek oxygen again

To breathe deep out of the stifling air

You always drown me.

I know you do this

I know

And I always let this go

I always run head first to your ocean

Deep waters I know not to swim in

Deep seas I never find the bottom of

Rip currents, they always unsettle me

Would you forever tsunami my afternoons?

What ocean in me let you rain over me?

Storming storming

A light conversation

Then becomes a torrential downpour

Expectations, disappointments, total inability or refusal to acknowledge any indication that these words and behaviors may be upsetting me.

But I wrestle my demons.

Did something in me collapse implode and sink so far down I can never appear without


The dragon skin shell that could protect me from your talons?


They are

Of laughter

Of smiles

Of idle dismissals and warring for property rights

They are ever mining in curiosity

They are ever needing food, needing care

They are giving hugs and needing hugs and reaching reaching

They are rage, tears and screams in a moment.

They underslept and overenergized

They are a merrygoround of fists gripping existence

Needing to be heard

And hearing things that need to be silent

They are the beginning of the story

They are the ever present middle

They are growing into people

They are growing out of shoes

They are loud when you want noise, loud when you want silence, loud when they want things

They are quiet when you aren’t with them

They are quiet when you are reading and they lean upon your shoulder and then speak over you to tell the story.


They are quiet with they’re hiding your shoes and hoping  you’ll stay for hours.

They are quick with their feet.

And quick into messes

Quick into wearing food

Quick into yelps of joy

Quick into unexpected little dangers, and just as quickly returning to safe heights, unsharp things and unbumped heads

And they heal

And they hunger

And they hold

And bring hope

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