Thursday, November 25, 2021

Smiling at Terrible (with Teeth)

not-quite Journaling, 23

Slaughter prejudice
like a lady.

10/9/2021: I have been organizing my old blackout poems (again). And since this one made me cackle (while showing an outrageous amount of teeth), I thought I should share it with you. Also, it’s a page out of Pride Prejudice and Zombies, which is October perfect.


Nature is therapy.

10/17/2021: Yep, therapy one can plant, love, watch bloom and fruit, and even eat.


can blossom
light and darkness
out of terrifying pain

10/29/2021: I believe this all the way to my achy bones. You?


When terrible found me,
I smiled… with teeth.

11/2/2021: I created this blackout in the autumn of 2018… Now I can’t stop snickering at the fact that I did not notice the “terribly” instead of “terrible” grammatical horror. Oh well, the heart of it remains true: when life gets tough, I bare my teeth in a defiant grin and live forward. I seem to do the same when I notice a typo after 3 years. 😁


When pain rips you apart,
gather all the pieces…
and craft yourself

11/9/2021: I think that while we are doing the gathering and the crafting and the wholing… we should keep in mind that our new whole might look nothing like the whole we used to be. And that can be a very good thing (especially for those of us who always wanted to do something drastic with our hair but never did because it would’ve broken our father’s heart and our father is too adorable to hurt).


11/20/2021: this elfchen is the last of 3 pieces I created for a chronic illness art therapy class. It answers the question, “Why write about pain while you are hurting?” I don’t know why others might choose to use writing (and reading too) as therapy, but for me writing is an upcycling of pain: words can turn agony’s screams into song.


When I remember comfortable,
I sigh.

11/24/2021: It’s true. When I recall those dreamy years when my flesh and bones and I could stand, sit, and lie down without feeling pain, I sigh with longing and nostalgia. Sigh…

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #3: Pain in Ink.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

I Am She Who Caught All the Lemons

I am she who sports
knee-high boots all summer long
collects memorable
and lusts
totes with wide straps—

boots to walk steady
to save my scalp
from burn and chill
widely strapped totes


I am she
who caught all the lemons
life threw her way,
and sweetened

(the sour little bastards)
into soothing sips of poetry.

photo by Heather Barnes, on Unsplash

- I created this poem for the coordinator of a newly formed chronic illness group (out of my local Veterans Affairs Medical Center), who asked me for a few pieces to use as examples in their first chronic illness and pain management art therapy class.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #3: A Different Interpretation, where we are asked to reinterpret a well-known saying. I used a combination of “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and “These boots are made for walking”.

Thursday, November 11, 2021


not-quite Journaling, 22

Nature is art you can eat.

10/21/2021: I photographed this grape because I thought it had super cool markings. While I was cropping said photo, I noticed that if I turned it 90 degrees clockwise the markings looked like a happy fish (top photo); and 270 degrees clockwise (bottom photo) made the fish look slightly irritated. In the original photo (3rd photo here), the fish can look happy or irritated depending on the viewer’s perspective.


a tiny garden
near my bed

10/25/2021: Outside, the weather is gloomy and most people are gloomier… so it’s nice to grow a bit of brightness inside.


how she refuses to follow
no drum but her own

11/4/2021: My faucaria tigrine (tiger jaw) plant has decided to bloom after what seems like forever. According to what I’ve read about this thorny member of the Aizoaceae family, they bloom from autumn to early winter. Blossoms open around midday and close in the late afternoon. But my tiger jaw’s bloom seems to have missed the memo, because she opens from very late evening to past midnight. I love a blooming rebel.

- for our 2nd Friday Writings, over at the Poets and Storytellers United blog, Rommy invited us “to use a subject we studied in school as inspiration”. Agriculture was one of my favorite subjects, in middle school. Although I didn’t exactly write about what we used to do for class (plant a garden, tend it for most of the schoolyear, delight in the fruits of our labor…), my love for plants and gardening is partly a direct result of those classes. 

Thursday, November 4, 2021

A Well-Fed Love

never tames
a well-fed love,
time only makes good

Our first date was wild.

Remember? You wrecked your car, so
I put your hand on my thigh and drove
us around.

Lunch ended with chocolate covered coffee
cream, our mouths learning our bodies,
our souls finding ecstasy in being one.

Our first date was wild,
and the next have tasted even better.

photo by mehdi pezhvak - on Unsplash

- on the anniversary of our first date (June 29th, which is also the anniversary of our engagement and of our handfasting), my Piano Man and I have been recreating our first meeting. We ride the same ferry, go to the same restaurant, eat the same foods, walk in the same park, and end the day similarly naked in each other’s arms. We’ve missed the restaurant outings and ferry rides these last 3 years (first because of the joys of chemotherapy and then because of the pandemic). But, thank the Universe, nothing can keep me from recreating that yummy day in poetry… or from ending the day similarly naked in each other’s arms. 

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Friday Writings #1: I Write with My Food.