Seattle Dog

Baby Seattle Toy

Today you were there, just a glimpse.
The humanness in Matilda’s eyes,
The pause in Drover’s step at my command,
Reminded me. And I missed you.

M&D

Your little six-month paws at
Double-time to keep up for our slow jog.
Your tilted head when I left.
Your 9-month-year-old joy at my return.

Baby Seattle Dog crop

You were my relentless alarm clock of love.
My focus and my feeling.
You flew in the cargo hold to new lands.
Scaled castles near Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

Seattle Castles

You jogged with me
In Korea and Colorado,
In Turkey and on Turkey Trots
In Washington State and Washington D.C.

Seattle Gila Wilderness

You were there in my first year of the military
And in my fifteenth.
You watched me leave on each deployment.
You were the best part about coming home.

Seattle Dog

When the vet said “cancer,”
And the x-ray was dotted like pox.
You slept at my feet as I wrote my last dissertation chapter.
I guess I could only cry so much.

Hol Seattle and Me

You missed the conclusion.
Yours was at our dining room table.
The needle slipped in. Your feet
Paddled furiously, then infinite stillness.

Every morning a habitual side-step
To miss your sleeping form
Until we moved to a new house.
You, ashes in a wooden box.

Seattle Snow

Nearly a decade now, and there are two more
Kur-aaaay-zee blue heelers.
I know you would set them straight.
Remind them of the rules.

Matilda and Snowman

I wish you could meet Matilda,
She shares your intensity.
I wish you could meet Drover,
He tries his hardest to be a good dog too.

Drover and his monkey.jpg

I wish you could swim these mountain lakes,
Run the forested trails,
Bark at elk and deer and chipmunks,
Sleep pressed against me.

Seattle Regal

Noisy Neighbors

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The piercing whistle snaps me awake. Full-moon ice glow floods the bedroom sapping color and setting the mood for ghosts and unsettled spirits. I hold my breath, listening.

In the space before breathing, on the razor-sharp edge between horror and peace, the air around me vibrates with potential. For just a moment Trump hasn’t refused Japanese food in favor of a well-done American burger, or defended white supremacy, or grabbed another woman’s genitalia, or lied. Fracking pauses. All of Congress dreams of doing right by people. Ski lift tickets are free. The boxes surrounding me and scattered through the house lurk in shadows—less tasks facing me than sentries guarding me from gorgons. I don’t have papers to grade. I’m not behind in my writing.

I hover.

The whistle again, and this time it’s a bugle. Breathe. I don’t understand this term to describe an elk’s call except, perhaps someone listened to someone else trying to blow through a bugle and failing in squeaky eruptions. Yet there it is, just outside my window. And, beside me, my very heart stirs in his sleep.

I stand by the unfamiliar windows and look down into another realm. Alternately dark and light, the cold-gray invites winter faeries and goat-footed fauns from their hiding places. Flat, yet alight as if the moon rises from within, the smooth snow emits its own energy. I can reach my hand through the glass and brush against this alternate universe. I feel the silky frozen air between my fingers looking down on the scene.

The elk steps directly below these windows. Below my form. Below my reaching fingers.  Regal movements lifting his knees above the snow, he is both natural perfection and Claymation or computer-generated imagery.

With one last bugle, he stalks towards the other forms, tantalizing females seductively pawing through the ice. They drift into the pines mere ghosts—spirit smoke.

In moving, you never know if you’ll have noisy neighbors.

The Shape of Things

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The world softened that morning.
Words such as powder, blanket, wonderland,
Cliched through my senses while I abandoned myself
To snow.

Behind me the news blared about a gunman
Alone, in the Lonestar State,
Killing children, women, men, in a church,
Bullets rendering flesh to pulp.

I can’t see the rocks out front anymore.
Grotesque gargoyles now muted to
Turtles, bunnies, and puffs,
Crouched under dazzling purity.

The elk bugles, but only
Long after the wolf’s howl.
We pick our way past the rounded lumps,
Put on paths by the shape of things.

Bhabha-land

I’m both the prairie mouse

And passenger behind the window.

In the world, of the world

Encased away from the world.

Am I looped into the

Third Space?

A white girl temporarily

Experiencing Bhabha-land?

I know better.

I know my cultural shift

Between two same cultures

Bears no colonial oppression.

I remember a sodden Northwest Day,

My heart friends and I,

Zoka and the moment.

A realization at once familiar.

We don’t have to be “either/or,”

We can be “both/and.”

Mid-sip on a sugary coffee

There isn’t, can’t be, a clear dividing line.

This morning, coffee again,

I am at home in a glorious sunrise.

I am also in our mountain “chateau” sunrise.

I am also at a literary conference sunrise.

I am witnessing a sunrise in my heart.

Soon I will part with more

Tangible objects with emotional significance,

And rend a few more holes in my heart.

The best way to let the sunrise shine through.