night suspends its tent,
old moths-eaten sky
a mile up, a world wide

that farmlight too is gone,
blinked out in the dip of road
between hilllocks

taking father’s key
from where I know
it’s hidden
I let myself in
do the dishes
while waiting
for his return


told what to change into
before mom and dad let us leave

begging mom and dad to change
and go out with them ashamed

wearing sunday best
anytime we see our parents

telling our kids what to change into
before we can go and see nana and pop

Forest Refuge

Forest Refuge

Pass trunk to trunk
your movements, a pulse
of an organelle in the forest cell.
The bars of the conifer grove
denote home. The fibrous
living welcome mats are beneath
your feet, they reach for miles,
tangling over and under themselves.
They, up the twigs, are an extension
of your own vascular system. You
are among only safe kin here. Stretch,
spread your back, unfasten
the hook and eye that clasps
your shoulder blades.
Let your fingertips reach
with the layered limbs
their horizons extend yours.
Lean your back against the scratch
of vertical bark. Know home
in the aromatherapy of pine gum,
lay yourself down on the damp dawn
a bed of needles that cannot pierce,
cannot mend or weave or work, only be,
only smooth your brow. Even as
you wipe your hands of them and
would leave, they press themselves
like creased pins of dollars into your hands
their polished red imprints in your palms
wishing you only the best, safe trip
soon return.



I pass trunk to trunk with a rhythm
like a pulse, pine gum on my legs
I sit on a damp orange bed of needles
spread my back against vertical bark
I am held by the conifer grove
feel secure to know that the roots
spread under me to the horizon
that I am contained in the depth
of layered limbs which stretch out
beyond me as I am one cell,
my positive ions exchanged
for ever new air and skin.

Japanese garden

Japanese Garden

carp, the living flowers, pucker up
swish coy fans in watery shadows
as walking is made by footsteps
life is made by the motion and pause
mid-stride shifting of weight
off the ground suspended
faith restored that ground
will remain for a while
with each letting down
the weight of each sole.

muffin top men

(not a literary endeavor)

muffin top men

it would be too easy to make
a cracks about their back beltlines.
they could use a little less baking.
so does the lady in the poured tight
muffin paper skirt. Her spaghettini
strap-back shirt, daring as
the scrappy look in her eye,
the miniskirt strapped on
on the tool belt line just under
her hips, bones shifting under the
padded comfortor silk of her skin
she swings with pride of comfort
with herself, nonchalant unless provoked.
like construction workers of old
she expects whistles. And gives them
to the road crew’s love handles
turn to watch her pass wind.

Sunburn Treatment


It feels like a chimney fire inside the pipes of your limbs
and you try to keep it from spontanously combusting up
your flue, setting your hair on fire with fever.
You bathe with cold clothes, dress in cold compresses,
discover medical uses for frozen cranberries,
compare icebergs to gelatinous aloe vera,
do a base coat of pepto bismal-pink calamine lotion,
gulp with guilt at the oceans of extra water
while the aquifers drop elsewhere and drips
are savored in deserts as you stand in humidity
and spritz yourself with cold water spray. You
take two cold showers, daily, run a cool baths
soak until your teeth shake, find out
how your skin stretched when you bend and
how much space is taken up by the darting
of goosebumps that pull tender red taut.
You try to balance the burn from within
but still, one burgundy birthspot
the size of an electric iron remains
recalcitrant and peels onion skin thin
bits of irradiated, abandonned skin.
Out of touch with your inner snake
you stake dark territory by day. Dare not
take your injured skin out to see sun.
Blue bones would run from a repeat of this.
Skin is expelled for misbehavior
for the fear-sighted forseeable future.

Watching Home Reno

Watching Home Reno

it’s so pleasant
to be in a room
with a man stripping
wire, the tools, the
grab, the pull, the
release, rubbery sheath
and its done, the bared
copper glinting in the gold bar
of sun, the palmed pressure
the difficult digital, finery of
touch, wire nuts to connect up
power and ground
and zounds
not only his eyes
but the room lights up

by Pearl Pirie, Aug 05