“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


lost and found dreams

they are dreams intruded upon not left alone
 tattered shoved about pushed over the 
past sleeping past waking past here past now past then
past when
past if and why not and why.
they hear the rain the hail the leaves tapping on windows
sliding against screens torn by the wind and

they are lost birds looking for south.

and yet
and even so
they curl about me 
protecting warming hushing singing lullabies
whispering it's okay it was only a
go back to sleep.
they leave a light on and the door open.

even dreams know when it isn't real.



3 days

december 22:
i may find a photo for these words, but maybe not.

it's cold outside, but not snow cold, just northeast texas december cold, brown and gray landscape, fallen leaves everywhere, dreary sky, gusts of wind that look like winter.  sunday afternoon quiet on the almost-christmas streets of my neighborhood.  the shadows are not yet dark, details not yet hidden.  3:40 pm.  a friend stops by, we talk, then i return to this keyboard.  at 4:16, the details begin to slip away.

december 24:
the morning of christmas eve.
clear cloudless blue blue sky, but cold.
christmas shopping done, packages wrapped.
the ever-wonderful michael's gift, scheduled to show up 3 days late,
showed up early instead and is sitting, waiting for him, a surprise.

it has been an uneasy season and i have the front door open despite the cold air.  a fan blowing for me, the fire for the cat.  my belly wants nothing more than for it all to be over, this christmas, this year, and it wants cold air.  the uneasiness extends beyond me.  across the street, behind the christmas lights, an argument has ended a relationship. he is gone and she is there, and never mind that she is right, i miss seeing him outside, smoking, calm.  a man of untold stories.  i sat with katie on the outside stairs, in the then warm air, in barefoot darkness under her red christmas lights, sheltered from the drizzles of on and off rain, and we talked while they shouted.  later, i couldn't sleep.

december 25:

cold and sunshine and a gray sky going blue, slathered in white clouds.  when i was a child, christmas morning meant the street was full of new bicycles and skates, new coats and thises and thats, full of us kids outside in whatever weather the world had given us.  now the streets are silent, everyone inside, unless you count adults walking their dogs, a neighbor in her white robe, smoking a cigarette, another neighbor walking to her car, red bow in one hand, keys in the other.  not a child yet to be seen and it is almost 10.  back then, in my childhood, christmas was a mixture of santa and jesus, and no one worried about too much one or the other; it was christmas and that meant both presents and  oh little town of bethlehem, and it meant tinsel on trees and wings on angels and no one lectured you if you believed, and if you didn't, you didn't lecture those who did.  you sang along with christmas carols anyway, and did it with true joy.  'twas the season, after all.



prison break

no rules.

let this next year be out of focus and full of even more imperfection, 
full of flowers that outgrow their containers and dangle dangerously over the sides,
pushing their roots out the bottoms.
contain this, baby.


reverb 13, day 19:
how will you practice self compassion?



reverb 13 / day 15. view from a bedroom window

right through the heart. caught.

from the living room, it looked like a bird, but a few steps into the bedroom and i could see it was a leaf, and a heartleaf at that.  and in further truth, in real life, none of these lines run straight across the view - they are all crooked, running north downhill, the fence more downhill than the back of my new neighbor's garage.  from my spot here on the couch, i can see the uneven space between the garage and the back gate, and in that space i can see the curly cue of a chair on her back porch, up the back steps.  it looks like handwriting, that bit of a curl, black letters against the peach of the house.  a love letter, i think to myself, or a bit of music on another rainy morning.

i wrote that paragraph yesterday, and then discovered the garage will be torn down.  life moves forward and on, and my view changes once again.


Give us a sensory tour of 2013.
from reverb13.
day 15.
easy to want to cheat on this, to backtrack through this past year's blogposts and secret journal pages, but i won't.  i'll close my eyes and see what's there.
gray.  it seemed gray.  too much beyond my control.  colors i loved painted away to colors i don't, juxtaposed by colors i love on the end of a paintbrush, covering old memories and darkness.  a bit of dark, a bit of light.  gray.  it seemed rainy, and green with that gray, and it smelled like pain and honeysuckle.  it sounded like too many phone calls from too many emergency rooms in the summer heat and my heart beating fast and loud and hard.  it tasted like fear and freedom.  and always, it felt like bare feet on a constant journey, every day new.  
it was gray and soft and hard and i turned away from too many others and embraced a chosen few.  all my clothes felt too big or too tight, and i gave away the ones that scratched at my skin.  i floated on warm water under hot suns, slow, slow, my eyes closed behind black glasses, my skin older and wiser. my fingers learned again the ache of writing.

it was gray and quiet, gray, then full of noise.  i daydreamed of running away and dreamed nightly of returning.  it smelled of long ago, root beer and butter cookies and cold fried okra.  i muted them all, desaturated, turned the volume down.  i watered the colors but they ran like tears across pages that refused to stay empty.  it was gray and sepia and the color of my mother's dress in an old photograph, faded blue.  she wore pearls.

the itch of an ant bite below my left breast.
outside, december sunshine and christmas sparkle against exhausted trees.
they assumed when their leaves fell, they could exhale, relax,
but they are burdened with tinsel and bows.
inside, the house is too cold in one room, too hot in another.
there are clementines in the refrigerator, and expensive strawberries,
and on the side of the bathtub, shampoo that smells like green tea, and frasier fir candles.
i am touching christmas with only the tips of my fingers.



jingle bell and my own personal christmas evolution

last year's christmas wreath seems suddenly too tame.  i am wanting wildness this season, overgrown-ness and unruliness.  the emma tree has been gone for 2 christmases now, and i miss her imperfection, but her absence has awakened ideas in me long ignored.  ideas that have nibbled at my ears and fingers, always there in small ways, but ignored the way you ignore a small pain - you just go on about your life and it eventually goes away or becomes a bigger pain and you then have to do something about it.   me.  there.

i am falling in love with the imperfection of autumn/almost winter, the way the leaves pile against the curbs and scatter across the walkways.  the way they are raked clean on tuesday but wednesday morning finds them back again, giggling at you as step outside the door.  the way they fall like raindrops before the wind.  the shadows they cast on the walls while doing so.

the sound of this morning's sleet against the front door.  

all of these suddenly inspiration.


jingle bell cat still waits outside my kitchen window, at least on the warm mornings, the first face i see when i open the blinds.  the other morning, however, he was pointed the other way, watching a bird in a tree, still, silent, then slowly moving across the yard to the broken down bench, and then, just like that, nonchalance, a stretch, a smile.  he watched the leaves fall, and then turned to watch me taking pictures through the closed window and screen.


this morning, across the street, in and around the house that once was mary's, the christmas lights are off and the santa claus pictures thumbtacked to trees are a bit bedraggled from the rain.  the red ribbon tied around the ginkgo droops; on the other hand, the silver garland wrapped around its twin trunks is a bit of brightness on this gray morning.  next door, the catawba tree is now without leaves and i am tempted to climb up into it and glitter the ends of its naked limbs - glitter would then fall into the street with every breeze and follow the leaves into my house.

and that  is the christmas decoration i am craving.



between warm and night

there is a warm crescent moon in tonight's december sky; i stand under the milky clouds to pay my respects, and track the flight of an owl from our yard to trees somewhere behind us; church bells ring the hour.  across the street, the christmas lights chime in, no rhyme or reason to their song, a child's chorus of colors strung helter skelter through the ginkgo tree and around the windows. voices float in the darkness, car doors slam, a dog barks.  coming home.