the ugly earring

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

Tag: parenthood

playing dead

the girls have a new game they play outside –
one lies down on the ground, face up, eyes closed,
dead grass knotted in her hair.
one sister comes to the rescue,
placing the dead sister in the little red wagon
and carting her to the gazebo, which is really the hospital.
The sister pulling the red wagon is really a doctor
who saves the other sister
with concoctions of dead leaves, berries, and dirt,
which they call medicine.

the father leaves the door open while he works,
listening as the sisters play.

meanwhile, the contractions become
more intense, and the mother

makes a batch of homemade granola
for the nest.

… only a few more weeks,
dearest friends.

illustration from the dead bird by margaret wise brown


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.


Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.

just wait for the birth

“You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to be born. Fear not the strangeness you feel. The future must enter you long before it happens. Just wait for the birth, for the the hour of the new clarity.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

(thank you Leigh – for sharing little M’s birth story once again)
(photo: a father’s view)

nobody sings anymore.

Nobody sings anymore.

And then last night I tiptoed up
To my daughter’s room and heard her
Talking to someone, and when I opened
The door, there was no one there…
Only she on her knees, peeking into

Her own clasped hands

(photo: amiri and amina baraka)

(poem:  Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note)

new obsession: family portraits

(from here)

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”


stranded on the PCH


wake up, wake up,

we’ve made it to the ocean.


and look they’ve come to meet you…



(if you look carefully you can see them)


yama collected some souvenirs…




and seashells.


while we wait for AAA to unlock the car.