Watching for whales 2018

Watching for whales 2018


The Shake Shack
Crystal Cove, California


Down along Pacific Coast Highway
on a smooth curving lip over a mouth of sea
just a glance before Crystal Cove’s
jutting forehead of rocky cliff looms to startle any driver
the Shake Shack sits

perched between spiky palms
it feeds a snake of traffic winding in off hot lanes
and into tight lines waiting their turn
bumper to bumper in suntan oiled heat
for cold malted nirvana through a straw
hot patties dripping mustard and sauce down chins
and tasty spears of salty fries munched while sunglasses mirror bikinis and liquid blue 

a lick of seabreeze tugs a scarf
it’s silk blowing a reminder of time
hats and pink skin rise
sandals and sand between toes and inside rental cars
leave the ledge of California dreaming
to take in and take back to the insides of the mainland
that tiny dose of what paradise southern beaches can be
and prop a dancing surfer-girl on the dashboard
a talisman
to recall and call in
this slice of life
once back in the saddle of home and neckties and routine


Ticketron trail
Crystal Cove, California

Something in me was ready for more
a little itch I know
when the animal inside
wants to explore

a path less traveled whispered
giving my paws direction
a thrill of not knowing where it was taking me shot through my veins

winding me around blind corners
of bone-dry thicket
bright mustard no longer
a narrow maze
of white feather-quills rising up beyond my brow
from wings of a once animated bird
that lay now pointing the way 

slithering serpentine sweep
slipped me down a little swish of dark earth
further, further
until I landed in a cleft of bush

little mouse that I am pivoted
looking up to see her hipbones jutting up East
and legs a parting canyon stretching out West towards the bright sea
I stood in the vortex
the making place between 

my breath caught
and I hopped up
scaling her ribcage
aliveness pumping through my heart
and powerful scurrying around on the Great Mother
while she was napping

until I realized she was just laying there
washed out
giving herself over to the pitter-pat of wolves
pecking of birds
rooting of grasses
letting her nature melt into the scene 

I stopped and laid my cheek against the stone of her tummy
listening for a breath or a beat
next to her navel filled with Angel’s Trumpet
moonflowers so lovely with their tips of night sky
ready to lure and send to shaman-worlds-of-dreaming
even the bravest of souls

cutting a wide swath around the power in that center
and gazing up at full blue breasts
she rumbled, I ain’t doin’ it any more

the ground shook and I got it

Giving birth and nourishing this green ball
Mother Earth, phooey
Thas jes what they say
Done with tha' role
Feeding y’all
Some nice babies have come along…
But oh dem stinkers!
Some of ‘em I can’t even look at anymore
No hope left in my eyes
Think I’ll get me a new job
Be a fairy princess
or a mermaid
or visit my sister, Kali
Jes wipe the slate clean

I couldn’t blame her as I tiptoed across her neck and chin
to see her hair flowing down the mountains
to the rivers
circling back into the sea
where her feet were firmly planted



Newport Beach, California


You know I like to get that iron out and press those sheets
into origami crispness
fresh steam releasing paper-white fragrance of home and newness
sliding into them at the end of a day
where its just me
just for me
holding onto my quiet books and feather-soft pillows and little downy dog nestled into the peace of clean and pretty
an undisturbed lady in waiting

today I left them alone
didn’t want to wash the you out
pleasuring in their crumpling
relishing signs of our rumpling
I let them hold the places of the night
‘cuz you’ve disturbed me in such a nice way