Copyright 2013 Journey by Fire All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

honeysuckle hyperbole

ardently awaiting his
e - a - c - h - a - n - d - e - v - e - r - y
arranged into patterns
slow whines
tingling spines
lock-picked minds
like cherished checks on an
erasable calendar
of memories

reminiscent of a junkie's endless search for another first

sweet and fleeting
as honeysuckle nectar
blessing virgin tongue

once tasted
forever bound
haunted by the bitter and beloved
of his...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

swimming lessons

our suffering salts oceans

submerge in it
humbled by its grandesse

swim swim swim swim
swim swim swim

buoyed by ancestral grace

then get out, dry off
live legacy

love laugh thrive

our joys float cirrus striations

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gazpacho Gumption

my whole life, i've avoided tomatoes, despite a deep-seated desire to pick a juicy specimen off the vine and bite into it, liquid coursing down my chin...

as a kid i ate my spaghetti plain, with butter and cheese
no tomato please

as a teen, i'd order sandwiches -no tomatoes- and grimace
when they'd forget and leave me to pick off each slimy seed

as an adult, i grew to appreciate vinegared sauces, even teaching myself
to eat the chunky bits - first by closing my eyes, then pretending they were pieces of red bell pepper...

and now, as a mom, i find myself compelled to model the green eggs and ham rule (don't say you don't like it til you actually try it!)

so when the kids and i stumbled into a free cooking demonstration, and we watched the chef chop, dice and liquify lovely fresh local organic produce, then season it and serve it on a fancy tray, i tried it.

i lived. i even found some small enjoyment in the blend of flavors... as long as i didn't think too long or hard on the number or taste of raw tomatoes mixed in...

oh the thrill. i've savored and swallowed gazpacho...there's hope for me yet!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Three Things Tag

Tagged by lovelyannie

Here are my responses:

3 places I would pack my travel bag for



3 On-Screen characters I love to watch

Idgie Threadgood (Fried Green Tomatoes)
Mouse (Devil in a Blue Dress)

anyone played by Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Flying Daggers, Geisha, etc.)

3 moods that describes me the best


3 things I always think of doing on a weekend

making memories with the munchkins
doing laundry/chores/cooking for the week
working (catching up/getting ahead...)

3 things from my childhood that I can’t forget

a recurring dream of flying

the lyrics to the Jem theme song

bringing a favorite story to life

3 things I would never say no to

a trip to the beach

dancing to good music

an adventure

3 things I can’t live without

my children

I am tagging my following friends:

Monday, August 30, 2010

property value (senryu)

shots reverberate
cherubs dream fireworks transformed
home sweet home for now

somewhere across town
bay windows welcome voyeurs
city living's best

Saturday, August 28, 2010

the toe check

testing volcanic waters
-wellness infused-

impatient yet unconditioned
to the blistering burn

yearning to float beyond
the sphere of flesh
to some nirvana state

where i submerge fully
at will
unscathed by fear of
heat or consequence

Friday, August 27, 2010

saturday morning entertainment

bedsprings sing
hips colliding
activate force
wondertwin power rings
in reverse
She becomes liquid
He becomes beast
transforming bedroom
into sensory feast
inhibitions unleashed
embracing dionysian splendor
to hedon's fullest glory
both swiftly surrender
as reality succumbs readily to a
poet's allegory

reflection of a nation

psychologists say
that which we find odious
in others
is that which we loathe most
in ourselves
we are a nation
that fears fascism
decries racial apartheid
and caste systems
fiercely combats
childhood starvation
medical deprivation
pandemic devastation
of AIDS, money-driven bloodshed,
moral superiority
and religious fanaticism
on foreign soil

what do we see in the mirror?

Monday, August 23, 2010

in their absence

their absence paints the walls
shades of mellow
excess energy to spend
than where it belongs
showered into small upturned faces
and huge wide open souls
everything influenced
by their lack
even seconds apart
not breathing
til they are back
strung out and taut like sheets on a summer line
moved only by outside winds
their absence oozes through my pores
until they’re home again


limbs twist
features contort
navels french kiss
sweat combines
your pheromones and mine
skin melds
bodies interlock
your ship in my slip
two souls intertwined
fused at the atomic level
union of intervention divine


multi-tasking: a haiku of (human) nature

right hand on keyboard
left hand inciting your rise
which ending comes first?

nothing but work

a job ain't nothing but work, says my friend
but happiness and goodwill alone don't spend

mortgage and gas and clothing ain't free
so work ain't nothing foreign to me

done babysat
and scooped ice cream
guarded lives
and checked out books
served food
washed plates
withstood dirty looks
typed memos
answered phones
in syrup sweet tones
sold clothes i couldn't afford
wrote volumes on blackboards
done chalked and talked while young minds balked
left that to birth my very own
world comes full circle like twilight zone
now i'm good as i wanna be
with friends, respect, and good money
damn i'm glad i gotta job
opportunity knocked and i turned the knob
but some days i'm tired of being a working slob
when work gets old
future's untold
choices slim
like they been hitting the gym
1-find long lost uncle with loot to spare
2-find old man who'll pay to be touched down there
3-find wet spot on a grocery floor
4-give all up and be happy poor
5-early to bed and early to rise,
go in with a smile like i just won first prize
cause much as i wish this role i could shirk
i gotta carry my ass to bed, and be on time for work


an ancient feud exists within
torn betwixt
two warring desires

-the heartfelt notion-
to celebrate the joy you bring
shouting proclamations
that sound suspiciously
your name
from hilltops
i'd channel mjb
and sing
youuuuuuuuuu are...
myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy e-ver-y thing...

and still

-the irrepressible doubt-
which leads to niggling need
not to
this simple good thing
at once
tangible and inexplicable
surreal and so so real

I can
see touch smell
and you

yet history confirms
that all things

pessimistic? perhaps
i prefer
striving for happiness
in all i do

somehow that has come to include you

fine line walked
balancing on the brink
between self-preservation
and prophecies self-fulfilled
bracing for disaster
while seizing each day
still unsure of tomorrow
while hanging on every word you say

heart heralds your approach with
finest trumpeteers
mind reins me in with countless facts
that reinforce worst fears

I could go on and on and on
but really what’s the use
I’d rather close my eyes and breathe you in
how about it…truce?

Sunday, August 22, 2010


it begins in the beginning
with lullabye lies


diamond rings
and be-right-backs

fragrant words
like portals into paradise
suns revolve around
and kindness and beauty

big magnolia-petalled
flourish for a short season
then disintegrate
dust to dust

til some young god
scoops the ashes
and spits
fairy tale
back into existence
…the very image of his Father…

crooning sweetness in ears
Christopher Williams
—promises, promises—
tone soured
vows broken

ash and dust
warmed over
now petrified
like molten lava
into earthcrust
thick, expansive
an external core
which in time
might sprout life
through its cracks

universe in eternal jest
sends the very best
to tread light
across this barren ground
bringing to bear
day in day out
pudding proof
that words
both precious and cheap
are only as strong as the
company they keep
concrete foundation
shifts to quicksand
when promise is betrayed

action drowns all out
intent on full display
and the greatest gift
ever given
is the promise
never made

Saturday, August 21, 2010

message to the judge

excuse me your—
excuse me ma’am, but
honorable ain’t something i know for sure about you yet
so please allow me to call you what you are—

Your Highness,
both knees bruising I approach
like grandma say do only for God
my eyes tell epic sagas
cause words would take too long
too long to explain
too long lived
too long in this position
for simple restitution
when fair should just be fair

but in this place
i am mute
heads talk disconnected from soul
unaware or unconcerned
bloated breath
at every turn

none of this should have been
but here we all are
and Your Majesty
i just hope your ESP
is ON and turned up high
cause what i seen and have to say
is bubbling up inside
if words have power
and i speak the poison
somebody might curl up and die

no offense intended
but this was not my choice
to kneel on spirit-stained carpet
boxed in by false golden lasso walls
ceiling drips echoes of bible verses
despair and desperation
this space
where i am
drowning with no voice
for YOU
to decide whether i deserve
a lifeline

so Your Holiness,
in supplication
i humbly request
that you honor your title
be just

thank you.
and, um, Amen.


i ask my grandma a question about anything.
her answer, a meandering trip...
through 60 year old memories, fresh as yesterday,
past character after character, too wild to be fiction;
hopscotch from my infancy backwards
to her own childrearing years,
then zoom decades ahead to last week's AARP meeting...

and somehow, in the process, while lost in her crinkly, watery eyes,
i realize i have my answer, and more than i ever knew to ask.

Friday, August 20, 2010

out of anonymity

I am

a mother
to protect and provide

an almost-recent divorcee
with all the luggage that implies

an educator
struggling to maintain
between work that feels like my life
and a life that demands i stay sane

an athlete
who needs to drop twelve thousand pounds

a gypsy
who knows more about passing through
than hanging around

an easy addict
to beauty, to vibes, to life, to great food
to anything that makes me feel good

a writer, i'm not
more like
a bountyhunter for
wayward thoughts

always in search of words that inspire
connections my mission
peace my desire
my name means sun
some know me as fire


Thursday, August 19, 2010

easy mark

if I was your mark i’d be easy
if you was that stalker type sleazy
no victory to claim, if that was your aim
cause I gave you myself so freely
fresh wounds, all alone
got beef, house aint home
face covergirl breezy
eyes open wide, hands over ears
singing lala lala laaa (means)
come trust or bust
proof still a must
if that sh*t aint right we gets greasy

the lesson

she squirms uncomfortably
perched precariously in the palm of his hand
constant pressure on her pulse
now more than she can stand

he consciously incites
hip propulsions
and sparks of revulsion
at the vulnerable position she's in

"uncle" she begs
closing hand over wrist;
"relax and enjoy...
i'm handling this."

still she wants to object, to be perfectly clear
you don't understand...not like that, over here...
words caught in her throat
what escapes is a moan
he laughs low in her ear, won't leave her alone

she tries to refocus
to savor the moment
but the shit don't feel right
and he doesn't know it

Breathing slowly in
And even more slowly out
she gathers her strength
and prepares for a rout

she squeezes her thighs
traps his hand like a vise
she seals his loose lips
with a deep-probing kiss
she traces his nipples with tips of her fingers
all his fight seeps away, only lust lingers

she rolls them both over
humming "4-leaf clover"
eyes locked
gun cocked
he reaches out to assist
"relax and enjoy...
i'm handling this."

she slides slowly down the slick of his skin
glancing up to see the flash of his grin
anticipation her ally, back in control again
pressure builds blindly
his hands start to grope
so she reaches around for a headscarf-turned-rope

now nervous, but practicing great self restraint
he's anxious to see what picture she'll paint
her tongue as the brush
his canvas erect
a modern picasso
vibrant, complex

deliberately, deliciously
she sips, sslurps, surrounds
while he fights himself to keep his voice down
he bites his lip til it bleeds
watching her lips perform tricks
he'd never believed
eyelids grow heavy
he's so close to ready
coyly she retreats
prolonging his release

"uncle" he begs
stretching his legs
since his hands are still tied
she smiles with quiet pride
then buckles in for a wild ride

he plays silver
she's his lone ranger
as they start comin' 'round the mountain
he screams as if in danger

before sleep can encroach
she whispers "i hope you took good notes.
cause once the tremors subside,
it's your turn to drive..."

discussions with the devil

heart races
voice trembles
hands quake
with emotion
barely contained
near impossible
precious lives
lie in the balance
while forked tongue flies
and justice stands by
almost paralyzed

waiting for a sign

every conversation
an unholy communion of

where one
reverses realities
shining strobes on
stormy truths
like high priced crystal
under shopping mall lights
creating man-made prisms
and calling them

and the other
begs to be
heard overstood valued
holding tight to luminous
images of miracles
burned bright
into corneas dimmed
by human deception

Creator’s covenant
revealed in sets of twos
a Master Builder
with wood, nails and answered prayer
a space beyond the bridge of struggle
a place where peace abides

Thursday, August 12, 2010

amnesiac arithmetic

one day i started
to try to purge you from my mind

first blessings
then sheep
then every fine behind

got all the way to
and almost cried out loud
cause that's how many kids we had
-or would have if you'd stuck around-

so i shook it off and pushed on through
getting caught again at
cause that's how many times you
i'm sorry baby. i won't do that shit no more.
then all the way to
before i caught my breath and grinned
as i remembered each tender spot you kissed
see there i go again
6 - 7 - 8 - 15 - 22
wait - wasn't that your pager number back when i first met you?!
the times in five short years you've somehow made me scream...
in pleasure, passion, anger, pain...and last night in a dream
at 99
i realized the counting thing backfired
and i got scared thinking that's how old i'd be before
these memories expire

Monday, May 10, 2010

Serenity Prayer

God, please grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference