the ugly earring

ug‧ly [uhg-lee] offensive to the sense of beauty; displeasing in appearance

Category: parenthood

“they just want to play”


“he was not expecting to uncover much we did not already know: kids love dolls and dinosaurs and trucks and cuddly monkeys, and will construct worlds around them before eventually, inevitably, disregarding them for ever. “At their age, they are pretty all much the same,” is his conclusion after 18 months working on the project. “They just want to play.”

image: Alessia – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

from  this gem: Toy Stories by Gabriele Galimberti


no society that loved


No society that loved children would consign nearly one in five to poverty. No society that loved its children would put them in front of television for 4 hours each day. No society that loved its children would lace their food, air, water, and soil with thousands of chemicals whose total effect cannot be known. No society that loved its children would build so many prisons and so few parks and schools. No society that loved its children would teach them to recognize over 1,000 corporate logos but fewer than a dozen plants and animals native to their home places. No society that loved its children would divorce them so completely from contact with soils, forests, streams, and wildlife. No society that loved its children would create places like the typical suburb or shopping mall. No society that loved its children would casually destroy real neighborhoods and communities in order to build even more highways. No society that loved its children would build so many glitzy sports stadiums while its public schools fall apart. No society that loved its children would build more shopping malls than high schools. No society that loved its children would pave over 1,000,000 acres each year for even more shopping malls and parking lots. No society that loved its children would knowingly run even a small risk of future climatic disaster. No society that loved its children would use the practice of discounting in order to ignore its future problems. No society that loved its children would leave behind a legacy of ugliness and biotic impoverishment.

love this so much – the entire: Loving Children: A Design Problem by David Orr
by way of the good: Reference Libraryimage: Evelyn Ackerman (at Sam Kaufman)
by way of the good: Stork Bites Man

the first morning


coffee and a llama ride.



part of my makeup

“…I’ve stabilized my life to an extent now over these past 10 years. I’m very at ease, and I like it. I never thought I would be such a family-oriented guy; I didn’t think that was part of my makeup. But somebody said that as you get older you become the person you always should have been, and I feel that’s happening to me. I’m rather surprised at who I am, because I’m actually like my dad.”

1. ziggy
2. david bowie



you are my bread
and the hairline
of my bones
you are almost
the sea.

poem: the window diane di prima
image found here

Li Li the lizard


Springtime signals the return of the alligator lizard. The glow from our kitchen window at night has brought them intimately into our life as we’ve watched and studied them over the years catching their nightly fare of moth and flying bug. One of M’s first phrases was an excited chant of “Li Li” when she spied a lizard hanging out on the window glass.

When our Siamese cat, Igor, caught one several days ago the girls rushed to save it from an early death. It was my first day back at work. It was a day of adjustment for all of us – Ami and M waking up earlier than usual, L adjusting to the bottle, Love jumping into the role of circus ringleader, and me feeling a dose of self pity and melancholy for having to return to the real world.

It wasn’t easy.

The lizard helped lighten the load for the girls, especially Ami.

She spent the afternoon coddling and caring for the lizard even making a home for it in our backyard. Her sister followed closely, always by her side.

I can imagine how the hens responded – heads cocked and intently watching with their one-eyed stare. While I was at home, the girls spent a lot of time with the chickens, chasing them, holding them, and digging up worms. Several times, Ami spoke in her sleep, talking to her sister about the chickens.

Used to their constant attention, perhaps, the hens felt a tinge of jealousy. With her sidekick sister, Ami paraded around the backyard with that lizard hoisted atop her index finger.

That night, she put the lizard away in the home she made. It consisted of a terra cotta planter, a metal saucepan, and some old wood. We told her the lizard was already gone, and if not she should set it free.

In the morning, the lizard was still there.

Both girls took to the lizard like a new pet. It spent most of the morning perched again on Ami’s finger. At some point,  it even nibbled the tip of her finger – a kiss.

I wasn’t there when it happened but Ami said it went something like this: she set the lizard down in the grass right next to her and M. The hens were watching from the distance and in an instant the lizard darted for its escape. Ami chased after it but was intercepted by the second chicken in command, a hen named Henny Penny.

She saw her lizard dangling from Henny Penny’s beak. She stood there paralyzed and let out a horrific, tearful “Nooooo!” The sound of little girl cries filled the backyard. Little M scurried after the chicken – also traumatized and howling between tears. She chased Henny Penny around the rose bush.

It was too late.

Like a quarterback on the run, Henny Penny skirted past the girls and the other hens, hastefully eating the lizard in several quick bites.

her swan


“There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it.  So should we.”
― Ina May Gaskin

Image: Joseph Beuys, ‘Schwangere und Schwan (Pregnant Woman with Swan)’ 1959

this notion of time

anniversary poem

later, you would shave your head. and i would trim the hair
on the nape of your neck. this notion of time, a passing year,
another we’ve made together.
you ask me – what sex is the baby.
but i don’t answer. instead, i tell you
it is okay for you to remarry when i die.
i see it in my face more than yours.
these gray roots and the lines around my mouth.
– she will have your eyes.

i woke up last night, and the porch light was on.
i swear i heard rain. a ghost reached for you.
and then i found you –
asleep between two daughters,
wearing an old sweater
i bought you years ago.

the baby kicks

And then it was over, this world we had grown to love
for its sweet grasses, for the many-colored horses
and fishes, for the shimmering possibilities
while dreaming.

But then there were the seeds to plant and the babies
who needed milk and comforting, and someone
picked up a guitar or ukulele from the rubble
and began to sing about the light flutter

the kick beneath the skin of the earth
we felt there, beneath us

a warm animal
a song being born between the legs of her;
a poem.

image via old lawrence
joy harjo poem: when the world ended as we knew it