Escape into Life


Thanks to Kathleen Kirk, several of my poems are now published (with art!) at Escape Into Life:

You should also check out Kathleen’s personal blog — Wait! I Have a Blog?! — which includes links to her poetry. Today she blogged about thistle, which explains my featured photo (rather proud that I captured this).



home again, home again, jiggity jig

I need to upload my pix from Idaho to the computer…but I am home again, sitting in my writing space, scribbling away.

We left my sister’s place above Lewiston, Idaho, at 7:15 yesterday morning, dropped my mom off at her place in Chehalis at 8 p.m., and didn’t arrive home until 10 p.m. It was a great visit with my sister, my brother-in-law, and their boys, and we stopped on the way home to see my aunt and uncle, and a niece….I drank a lot of coffee.

This morning I’m trying to find a handhold on this rock ledge so I can step back up and into the path again.

“I think of the journal as a witness, a repository and a playground. It is where I begin things or bring thoughts to some kind of clarity.” -Dorothy Allison


Although my niece, Shelby, wasn’t part of our family until she was eight, and my older girls were seven, I have been thinking — obsessively — about when they were all younger, and I thought I would share this poem. It was part of a collection (now abandoned) that I called Unbridled. I was experimenting with not using punctuation.

the orchard

My older daughters were five that summer
playing at their grandmother’s my mother’s
with their cousins my nephew Tucker
and Hailee my cousin’s grandchild
my family with its layers of generations
I went outside to check on them
and found all four lying in the grass
eyes closed and their hands folded
I said what are you doing
and my twins who had an agreement
then never to tell on each other said nothing
but Hailee in a flat scary voice said we’re dead
I looked to the kitchen window
wondering which grandmother stood there
my mother or my cousin each with her
history of loss that is not a good game I said
and the children stood up looking relieved
the cherries were on and I held down a branch
I let them pick as long as they wanted
their innocence so ripe I could smell it
on the wet pits they spit into the grass.

first published in Pontoon: An Anthology of Washington State Poets, No. 10 (2007)

The purpose of art…

“The purpose of art is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived and not as they are known. Art exists that one may recover the sensation of life; it exists to make one feel things, to make the stone stony.” -Victor Shklovsky