Otter in the Park

I get a thrill,

as does every city girl

when she sees a wild thing,

catches a glimpse

of something


some thing which is not tame,

that knows of no existence but

its own.




One more of us

There is one more of us now.

See her there, in the window seat.

I’m not sure when she came. She has been crying since she looked out the window and saw

the rain. I don’t think she is used to the gray.

None of us are, at first.  It takes some getting used to, the gray, and the isolation of soundlessness.

I have been here in the library for awhile, since 1890. I died at the hands

of a husband gone jealous.

We have a hierarchy of ghosts.

The colonel is the oldest.  The lady at the window is the newest.

We take turns on the stairs.

Only one of us can roam downstairs at a time. We try

not to scare the children.

Anyway, she will get used to the gray.

We all do. It’s the only color ghosts


What The Water Knows

Does the water know

it sparkles in the sun?

Do those hard grey stones bruise as the rapids rush by?

Cold in the deep,

warm in the shallows–

is the heavy depth of stillness

quiet like sleep?

Such a long journey from bubbling spring

to vast ocean

must be tiring.

(See the spines of the fish, rainbow treasures of scales sloughed off

as a gift in the water.)

What tree’s deep roots reach into the muddy

creek bottom–

pulling molecules of water from beneath the surface to the top, green leaves glistening…

The water’s voice–shall it rise in anger over the sharp edges of the rock ledge,

pooling down below–

dwindle to a murmur

past the pebbles of the shore’s edge,

lapping against the canoe

laid to rest on the sand

as we picnic in the sun, by the sparkling, oblivious water.

String Theory



All sorts of entanglements.

Theories on the invisible things which

connect us.

The Butterfly Effect is a

deceptively fragile description

of the tough as silk invisible trajectories that bind us.

How we wish it was not so;

We try to


that selfishly snuffing out this last candle

extinguishes more than the light

in our own room.


I Shall Be Mistress

robe and crop

Shall we play that game that is all the rage

because of that book.

You know the book I mean?

I shall be Mistress,

and you shall be my willing


I have this collar of velvet,

and a leash of silk.

Over there, that divan is covered in fur

as soft as down–I will

lay your naked body face down,

and make you do

unspeakable things.

I must warn you, though–

I am descended from Machiavelli and De Sade,

and my interpretation of those shades will be a harder kind of

fan fiction,

way beyond the sparkle of twilight.


Caveat Empty

Caveat Empty

lincoln park photo

I rejoice in thinking of you

without disharmony, —

in the ability of knowing

you no longer

own my most painful

rejection, my foolishness of heart,

that thought I held that I was something in your nothingness.

I can accept that I was a

stepping stone, a conquering underneath

your foot

to a higher plane of existence,

to memory long forgotten before

my perfume left your pillow.


Nov-92, revised 11–9-14

Tectonic Shift

Tectonic Shift

She thought, perhaps, the world

might end if she wasn’t perfect–

if she didn’t do as


She tested her theory

with a straying of the heart.

And, of course, the world did not end.

She wondered if, perhaps, she wasn’t quite

unperfect enough to test the theory,


there were further indiscretions,


the world was still standing.

Or so it seemed.

She thought, perhaps, the world would end

if she was less than perfect.

And, perhaps, it did.

4-5-90, revised 11-3-14IMG_1235