Poetry Day: Move



Do you want me to move you?

Show me

just a little of who you really are-

I will make a shovel out of words-

and dig down beneath your soul

so I can lift it out-


and present it to you

from every side.

When you see it

all together like that

and not in the scattered,

broken pieces

that you think now define you

as no longer complete-

as damaged goods –


you will see what I see

and this sad home

that you have made in your head

will be too small-

forcing you to move

to more suitable accommodations.

Age Before Beauty


Prell Shampoo

Breck Coconut Cream Rinse (square glass bottle)

Chapstick (metal tube)


That was once the entire list of my beauty arsenal that I carried to school, swim team practice, and anywhere else I had to look more human than Yeti. Can I just say that by today’s standards, I may as well have been washing my hair with radioactive waste but it got the layers of chlorine out, which was the point. A few months after a summer of sun and the constant acid hair bath, I had a pretty awesome and free ombre hair style. Back in the day, Prell was the gold standard for freshy-fresh hair cleaning. It never seemed weird that its vivid green color was suspiciously similar to the Ooze that changed four regular turtles into sewer dwelling ninjas.

The conditioner: some of you remember the commercial with the beautiful island girl with perfect hair down to her rear end. She would take her comb and start to run it through her hair and because of the Breck Coconut Cream Rinse’s superior ingredients, the comb would magically float, all by itself, down the length of her deep brown, Hula Girl hair. I wanted that hair. My only island blood is Sicilian so, yeah, that didn’t happen. But I could dream, couldn’t I?

My little beauty kit was a small bag I’d gotten from somewhere and the hairdryers were attached to the wall; big white metal things with a black metal vent you could turn down for short girls, up for us who were taller. We would stand there and rub and brush and in spite of the odds, we would step away with a pretty presentable fall of smooth and glossy hair. I think it had to do with the fact that you could use both hands to fix your hair with a wall blower. I would put one of those things in my house in a New York minute. They rock.

So today, while I was putting on some makeup so I could go to the grocery store and not “scare people”, I did a visual inventory of my dressing table. The drawers, baskets and boxes hold a zillion and one products that now sort-of do what my four item list once did.

These days, I purchase my makeup organizers at Home Depot and there are products in here called “primer” and “base coat” though they didn’t come from Sherwin Williams. I have things that look like trowels and some of it might be spackle stuff but I don’t want to know.

Pluckers and scrapers and scissors litter the space but I need them when I find that errant hair that shows 1/16” on my upper lip, yet when I pull it out the true length of it makes me scream in horror. Where does that hair live? Did I lose the little algebra I had retained to make room for the Rapunzle factory that must be hard at work inside my skull? And if it’s so busy pushing that hair to my lip area, why in hell can’t it push more to the top of my head? What is going on here and who is in charge of this deconstruction anyway? We need to talk…

Jar of Wonder

Jar of wonder

I’ve used the last of the lotion I concocted several months back and I can’t seem to toss out the cool jar. It’s squatty and round and it once held a moderately pricey and amazing royal jelly body butter from Savannah Bee Company.

Custom blending makes me feel like an alchemist; scooping and stirring and sniffing this and that to decipher its compatibility with the other bits and bobs. I do the same thing with spices, much to the entertainment of my family. Oh, crap. Here she goes again. It starts as a chore because I’m out of something that I need. Once I get going, I fall into the spirit of the scavenger hunt around my home. Every bathroom has some Bermuda Triangle area of lotions and potions and tiny tubes and bottles from hotel stays and gift baskets that I open and smell. If it passes muster, it comes with me to the kitchen.

I start with something thick and un-tinted like Nivea and add a few tablespoons of it to the jar; then the fun begins. A teaspoon of Curel, another of Jergens another of some cocoa butter weirdness and on it goes until it’s almost full to the top. At the end, I add a big dollop of some perfumed cream with a soft and lovely fragrance like the old Breathe Romance from Bath & Bodyworks which, of course, they no longer make just because I love it. Luckily, I’ve been a miser with my last jar so I save it for mixing like Merlin would have saved his stash of dragon blood for spell work.

I’ve made a tiny treasure of this oft used vessel and now call it my Jar of Wonder and the lid bears some of my artsy handiwork and sparkles like a starry night. It seems so much more lush and decadent with the beauty lid when I go to rescue my indoor-winter sand paper feet and hands.

The point of all this is that when I found the jar empty this morning, my first reaction was the same as it is when so many good things end; a downslide into an inventory of all that once was and is no longer at my fingertips. It’s just a jar for cripes sake. I know this. But, cut me some slack. I live in mid Michigan; the second cloudiest place in America, so my vitamin D sunshine levels are dangerously low in January.

And as it turned out, while I was on my search for ingredients, the more I found, the deeper it sunk in that I do indeed have far, far more of everything of this sort than I could ever need. Even if that means I have a whole lot of a little of this and a little of that.

So, it’s not a 40 oz. vat of royal jelly body butter. No matter. If I had a giant container to mix and stir in, I could probably make 40 oz. of my Wonder Cream and be up to my neck in it for months to come. And is that not the way of all our “I don’t have enough…” stories?

Maybe we don’t have Jay Leno’s garage full of cars and motorcycles to choose from that might match our outfits today, but we can always find a way to get from point A to point B and that was the goal anyway.

Perhaps we aren’t in the throes of big-big love at this part of our lives, but we may have a dozen friends and family members who collectively fill our cup with joy and that is really something.

So I don’t have any royal jelly body butter left, but I do have all this other stuff that, together, works remarkably well.

The point is, when you’re feeling like you’ve just run out of something and you’re going to feel its absence because you have come to count on it, go on a scavenger hunt in your life and see if you might have a variety of things you can notice and celebrate and bring together to make your own Jar of Wonder to soothe the rough spots in your life.

Look around. You just might surprise yourself.

Poetry Day: Phoenix



Only in the opening of climax

do we awaken and

release the immortal phoenix

dreaming deeply within-

its vastness experienced

as our bodies rise

sternum to the sky

to receive the ecstatic lightening

that burns away






and situation-

we all rise

on wings we have kept tucked

tight to our backs

hidden beneath street clothes

extending them only

in private-

with another-

who came in the name