pain in the deepest blue-gray swell of ocean crashing on cliffs and exploding in my head. beg to leave, go, settle into calm, peaceful sky but no.  medicate without true placation i breathe in and breathe out mindful of each ocurence as it needles and gnaws, clawing at each part of my body wearing me down to nothing more than a staccato reaction of myself.

my words not heard in your ears the final wild-card for a perfect storm and i break in that moment.

only to pick myself up and be whole.


Saturday morning.  Sunrise.  White froth thrown from cliff-crashing waves dances before me, as if to say ‘Good Morning’.

Sun threatens to pierce through the morning clouds – her hue sure to influence the direction of my thoughts.

I am the grand crash splashing myself about the rocks; the uneven yet consistent tide; the fluid combination of darkness and light.

Leather & Lace.

These cliffs are my spiritual home.


i need you to know…

my love is there.

i push, because-

i want you to grow, into

your best you.

my strength – your strength –

same eyes,

same legs,

same heart –

butt heads;

push and pull, and

i know…

it’s hard to carry your load, and

it’s hard to carry my load, and

i need you to know…

my love is there.

i push, because

i see amazingness

in you.

i just needed you to…


interior monologue

Art in various forms.  Warm rosemary bread and coffee; Vanilla Nut.  Drumsticks and earphones.  Dirty socks on the floor.  Stuffed Animals.  Beach artifacts.  Fresh herbs and scented candles of the real-wick type.  A swinging chair in which to sit and ponder life.  Palm trees and brightly colored, freshly planted flowers.  Painted Terra Cotta pots of twelve-year-old girls.

A B-B-Q pit; our first major purchase together.  Books and books and books and music. Always music.  Peak eared puppy scampering by.  Overflowing laundry baskets and unflushed toilets.  Jingling dog tags.  Cuts and scrapes on my hands boast labors of love.  Dog toys, pencils, discarded food wrappers breaking free from their under-couch resting place.  Basketball hoop, deflated balls, no air pump in sight for years.  Paint where it should not be and slightly unsightly hedges; both requiring too much attention to be addressed.

Voicemail messages from my long-distance love, saved and savored.  Empty propane tanks and price tags still stuck to their owners.  Teenage cologne and brightly colored hair.  A subtle stench in bedrooms that do not get cleaned to my liking.  Pilot pens.  Sunshine rays that reach past the umbrella novella shine brightly on dog leashes.  Breeze.  Stairs piled with belongings needing to be ushered away by those who belong to them.  Lives changing almost before my very eyes.

Ice cream and puppy treats.  Music.  Always music.  Drum kit, crafting, art supplies.  Sparkling water infused with joy and happiness.  Friends and sleep-not overs; cereal stuck to bowls not properly rinsed.  Dirty finger smudges, travel souvenirs; another string cheese wrapper.  Journals piled atop one another in hopes of becoming a book.  Hostage math text (remnants of someone’s fifth grade).  Coat closet bursting at the seams minus any actual coats.

Tortillas, cheese, and sour cream.  Elementary school recess loudness competes with the din of skydiving plane zooming overhead.  Magnolia trees promising eventual shade and privacy and waterfall-turned-herb-garden amid various grasses, plants, palms and neglected dog poop.  Warm sunny places to nestle and shady spots in which to nap.

Transformation.  Always transformation.  Grandma Tena’s too-small china cup and daddy’s ashes in a tin I once gifted him.  Discarded school papers, a painted starfish, and two dozen tulips blooming in matching vases.  Love.  Always love.  Sent by my love with love.  Music in the backdrop; music in the foreground.  Open and trusting bonds.  Acne and stinky feet and elusive showers.  Vans aside sparkly golden flats, both pair in need of replacement.  Broken ear buds left by the discarder and trash trucks taking entirely too long to complete their missions.  Cacophony of sound ripping through my silence; home entirely too close to the main thoroughfare.

Puppy kisses with stinky puppy breath.  iPhone chargers abound.  Shattered screens replaced with hard-earned money and vivid dreams that make no sense.  A drawer full of his clothing and lip gloss he always kisses off.  Puppy nose peeking from behind potted flowers; restlessness desiring of a walk.  Taylor GS Mini, rosemary bread with butter, and an end to deliciosly satisfying contemplative thought….

Memories to cherish and last a lifetime.


He needed the $60 cash I had in my wallet, so he could get a hotel room for his wife and toddler-aged daughter.

Her name is Faith, he said.  Wounded war vet with no help from the VA; struggling to survive day-by-day, he said.  His name was Johnny.  I don’t remember his wife’s name, but I found it uncanny that they had named their daughter Faith.  Faith, who was conceived when he returned from war.  Faith, who was conceived while he was wounded, and after 15 years of marriage to his wife with not a pregnancy prior.  Faith, who has been living in a car and random hotel rooms for the better part of her short life.  I wonder if Johnny and his name-I-can’t-remember wife had any idea how poignant faith would be to them so shortly after the birth of Faith.  Johnny is worried she will remember these horrible times.  He does not want her to know this part of her life.

I am a sucker for the human experience; this I know.  I rank a tad high on the scale of naivete.  Regardless… Johnny seemed genuine.  Johnny seemed I-don’t-know-what-else-to-do true.  I had to act in faith for Faith.  Faith that goodness still exists in this human race of ours.  Faith that his Faith will sleep tonight in a warm bed with clean blankets, after a warm bath.  And perhaps a bedtime story.

Johnny left with a piece of my heart.  A bit devoted to faith; the remainder devoted to Faith.  Best of luck, Johnny.  Keep the faith, and Faith, in the foreground as you press on.  I believe in you.

scars and all

Various shades of purple adorn my arms; legs; hands.  Various stages of physical healing represent stages of healing in my mind.  Some of my wounds are so raw they ache; others are mere reminders of obstacles I have overcome.

Sometimes I scratch so hard it soothes me into temporary comfort. Sometimes I don’t know whether the soothing is physical or mental. Sometimes I apologize to my right forearm who carries the brunt of my mindless processing.  Sometimes I scratch until all I can see is my own blood exiting my body, and sometimes I see fragments of pain dripping out of me in the droplets of red.

Sometimes I am filled with shame.  It is usually when I am momentarily oblivious to my scars that I intuit others noticing.  I wonder what they are wondering and I fold into myself without realizing I have allowed outward forces to infiltrate and minimize me.  Sometimes I dress in an effort to cover the outward pain that reflects my inner pain.  Sometimes I don’t care because I honor the growth each marking represents.

Sometimes I see the beauty in all of my blemishes; each mark upon my body as a step I have taken back to me.  I own them all…and sometimes I draw constellations in my mind from the patterns of purple on my body…imagining them to be a beautiful representation of something that I cannot quite define but know has a higher purpose.

Sometimes, I just sit and marvel at the journey that is life.  Scars and all.


from the ashes of her deconstructed being,

she learns to take hesitant breaths.

from the fears that left her knowing nothing of herself,

she sees glimmers of enlightenment

and love for her soul, and

lightness in her dark.

sate amid her famine

tears with a purpose, she knows,

but is still to weary to define.

from the ashes of her deconstructed being,

she learns to see herself as beautiful again.

from the fears that left her knowing nothing of herself,

she repurposes her heart

she walks with less trepidation, and

does not convulse

does not regurgitate

signs of healing, she knows,

and she allows herself to slumber.

she knows

She lives this but doesn’t know it.  Her writing flows through her in beautifully scripted eloquent sentences and her words pierce me as she looks on in amazement.  She tells a story as if she were living a moment and that is where the sweet spot of beauty is found.

Words; hers, mine – they all come together to form a meaning or moment – and with her they are all poems.  She doesn’t see herself.  She writes with a vengeance while telling her story.  Poetic, always poetic – beautiful in a way only she can deliver.

It is a gift, I tell her; more so if you are unaware.  She lives and feels, and these most crucial pieces of life become her words and we are offered snippets and slices of her journey.  A view as seen through her green doe eyes and expressed through her tell-tale words.

Tell her she is wonderful.  Tell her she is amazing.  Swallow her words one-by-one as she reads them aloud.  Say nothing.  She already knows.  Somewhere deep inside of her; she knows.


Rays of sunshine through fronds of palm. I cannot give due diligence to the prattling thoughts – the ones that aren’t even truly known to me until they make their way onto the pages I write to find me.

You taught me the gift of the written word back when we were all sleeping on waterbeds and rollerskating under disco balls and we didn’t know that we should have been sleeping on Posturepedic mattresses all along to prepare us for the aches and pains that show up and linger as we age.

There must be a goldfinch nearby.  Either that or you have woven yourself into these rays of sun shining down on me.  It would be like you to do that in spirit – you never were one to exhibit force or neediness – peacefully inserting yourself into my words as they assume the persona of your sloppy-bordering-on-unreadable scroll.  You chose this perfectly reflective moment in which to rest your hand with the lightest touch on my shoulder, adorning me with that familiar pat-pat of yours.

I think you’re telling me it’s all OK.  You were always good at that.

letter to my children

I just saw my life flash before me.  It is through the imagining of my last days that I try and decipher what I most want to share with you.  You can’t leave it all behind with no warning; you can’t even begin to try.  I find myself wanting to impart life lessons as equally as I want to simply savor these last moments with you.

But I do want to talk to you about love.  It’s one thing I have given my all to, yet never really mastered.  I love with a heart so full, it’s hard to tame, and it sometimes gets the best of me.  I’m not sure whether mastery in love exists or is possible, but I do know I have learned most of what I know about myself through loving others…and you will too.  I will tell you also to love with your fullest heart each time you love. Trust yourself and test your boundaries, but know when to reel it in as well.  Wear your heart on one sleeve maybe, but not both.  I love that I have loved with my raw and real core; that I have loved deeply and truly and painfully and with passion.  But I was afraid when I should not have been; confident when it made no sense to be. You’re bound to go through your share of loves and heartbreaks, and you’ll come to understand, through your own experiences, how beautiful and intricate and complex and simple love is.

Know this:  You’ll always be able to pick up the pieces – no matter what.  I think that is part of what makes the act of loving so beautiful.  When your heart is ripped from beneath you…when you feel as though you cannot carry on through the pain…it is then you will know you are truly alive; and from there you will package up your grace and every last ounce of strength you have and put your heart back together…and you will love again.

Be gentle, child; not only with your own heart but with the hearts of those you love. They are trusting in you to handle them with care.  Your loves may not last forever and that’s OK; love kindly and passionately with a full and beating heart when you do.  Be compassionate.

Most importantly, love you first.  Your heart won’t ever be ready to protect the heart of another until it knows it is safe with you.