"dazzle gradually"

"Dazzle Gradually" 2017 poems, paintings, new art & photography--a diary, a discipline, a delight. Read over my shoulder as I post my unedited poetry ---you can see it in the raw or get my first book and see how the work evolves with new books rolling out next year.

Polly Alice

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Kiwi Kiwi on the floor
Kiwi Kiwi out the door
Kiwi Kiwi I don't know you anymore

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for:
my quirky kids who can sneak down
a half flight of stairs in tandem
with a blanket over their heads--
like a Chinese Dragon
on Double Ten, and my
heart pops like fire crackers.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Warding Wreath

I bind this vine
a circle then a line
a line, a circle
ivy for friendship
marigold for sight
and morning glory
for reunion.
This wreath to
remind that the
beginning is the end
and the end
is the beginning
light to half light

Better and Better

The sign on the door read
Better and Better
--ironic if we went in
since everything has only been
worse and worse and worse--
Under the lentil nothing changed,
at first, we felt the same.
Looking back I think the saying may be true-- when things start getting better, they tend to go on that way for
a long while--  Here's to that, and to
Digory and Polly, silver
apples, talking lions, and
doorways that are never

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

ADD with Jesus

You may think that a writing desk is like a raven,
but I have no idea how this is true
I do know that a writing pen is like a ram caught  in the bush
How do I know this?
Because I am never prepared, whether I think ahead or not
I go off to an important lecture without a pen or pencil
I bake bread without checking how much flour I have first
I pour my cereal and then look for the milk
You could blame it on ADD but I always thought it
was because whenever I needed something I'd look
over and there it would be waiting for me like Abraham's
old goat when he needed it most.  How odd.  Yes.
But that's what I've done, and it's always worked.
Living like Abraham can be odd, expecting angels to come
to dinner or bargaining with God when he's used to
bows and scrapes.  Well that's what I've done, and that
is why when I showed up on my turn in the class last July
I wasn't worried--
when I had no pen.  I look up and to the left and like usual, one is
sitting there lost by some other student.  No one else is yet in the room.
Its for me.  I hardly say thanks.  I used the pen until today when
it ran out of ink while I was writing a list of things to be thankful for. 
I was sorry,
but glad to know that when I needed something for one hour
Jesus made sure the ink ran for 4,320 hours.
Now that I have Rx reopening my brain power against ADD
I plan ahead just great and I miss the old days when it was Jesus, me
and the goat caught by the horns.  So sometimes
when I drive to the store and they open up a new lane
just for me, I know that my goat is still there
if I ever need one.
Thanks Jesus- you sure know how to catch a good one
and by the way, my taxes are due, know where I can
find any good fish?

When I grow up

When I grow up I want to 
be a morning glory vine.  Yes I do too.
First you'll think I'm so innocent
until I spread sky high with hearts greener than green
I'll swirl and twirl and lock myself in place around and around
until it's impossible to get me down
Then I'll bloom every morning and on full moons too
I'll soak up the sun and drink vats of dew
The hummingbirds will love me and butterflies coo
at the nectar I make which is not all I will do
Then the best part will come for I will make seeds
heaps and heaps of them in balls that are green
And then comes the part where I get profound
No matter what happens or who cuts me down
I'll last forever in a black pearl gown
of the seed with everything in it that's me
because there are so many-- you'd count indefinitely
and have to give up in the end
for if you pull me out you still can't win
the least little touch and my seeds will give way
and fall to the ground where they will grow some day
and do all that I taught them and meant them to be
little sunlovers and dewdrinkers they'll be
Once a morning glory gets going there's no way
to stop her or slow her or make her to stay
And maybe a mother is just alike that way

Here is the link to pictures of the morning glories in my garden...


Way to go you
I tell myself when I fix the tricycle
wash another load of whites that stay white
repair the laundry rack with a screw driver

It's the big tasks
like the bits of broken glass all over the front yard
the uneven drive-- in the crevices, the rock mulch
the flower beds, the logs-- from the fireman's grateful axe

Help for hire
is the first thing I tried, but the man
who said he'd "clean up the yard," only blew
away the leaves, leaving the shards behind

Cry a little
is my second approach
or maybe an angry letter about what "clean" means--
oh yeah, and the leaf guy stole my rake

Compose a phone call
never helped anyone especially if you
never actually make the call to complain
that the world has cheated you and life is unfair

Do it yourself
is the little red hen's motto
that I often have to follow when nothing else works
I get out the broom and sweep up the glass in Thanksgiving

That's not enough
I told myself and I knew it already
I scraped up shards of glass with the shovel--during, before
and after Christmas and Hanukkah and Kwanzaa and all the rest

Safety first
I taught my toddler not to put glass in his mouth-- and
washed away more menacing diamond grains when I watered
the the new rosebush in the front yard with the hose

I found the light
helped because as the sun sets in the evening while the kids are riding
little toddler bikes the rays catch on two or three bits of glass
every time I think this is the last piece

I found the light
helped because the sun sets at a different angle each day of the year--
its more noticeable when the season changes-- a different angle each day
shows there is always another shard of glass I miss

I see the light
reflect on the pile of glass on the low wall where I collect them
the rain washes them clean from smokey yellow to icy white
I put them in a little jar in the garage to save them and remember

It's half empty
there is room left for the shards I may find tomorrow
more bits to be brought out of the soil by raking and rain storms--
squirrels, worms and birds will help me find the rest

I knew it all along
I tell myself when I look at the jar full of splinters
I've prevented-- by picking up each shard
I see that impossible tasks are always solved like this one

One day at a time

Sendak's Window

The Wrinkle in Time Quintet Boxed Set (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, An Acceptable Time)Here is a poem about my thesis paper I've just written.  It's in the last revision now.  I just read that Madeleine L'Engle lectured on "Myth, Fairy Tale, and Fantasy."  Since my paper was on this subject I wonder if I can find these lectures somewhere.  When I do, I'll find that my paper was already written most likely.  Well there is nothing like doing things the hard way all on your own-- which seems to be a pattern I follow-- Then you really know them.

"What looks inside and outside?"
"My Window? says Kenny

How do I open it?  Pull out
the dragons and swords from within,
piles of books, keys, spoons and a gnome or two--
and let them loose onto the pavement
fire, smoke, clanging filling up
the empty street I live on where
no children ever go outside to play?

I will study my reflection where
everything is backwards and upside down,
and I will make my frown into a smile.
Then I will run in place until I've flown a mile.
I will see a butterfly made of bread and spread.
I will close my eyes to walk where I've been told not to tread.
There in the dark, I will catch a small star then
bring it back to where you are.

We'll play catch with it and
jump rope too.  I'll be St. George and we can do
all the stunts ourselves.  We'll save England
then on to the next until each country comes out dressed
with flying banners that wave all the best names:
Joan and Romeo and John and Jill
and we'll tell each story 'til we've had our fill.

Before Bras

I can remember back before breasts
or mine at least.  There was
nothing to get in my way from
cartwheels and back bends.
When a backwards flip down from the high
bar was called a "skin the cat."

I can remember back before pantyhose
were a necessity.  There was
nothing to get in my way on a Sunday
from running on the grass; I was never
hampered by elastic digging into my waist
or worried about hair showing through.

I can remember back before computers
were invented, before teachers printed out
banners of dot matrix bunnies.  When
we all had typewriters and ribbons. 
We knew the smell of whiteout could stir
up impatience in even the most even temper.

I can remember back before condiments
came in plastic squeezy bottles.
When jars were glass, and mustard was
something I spread with a knife,
yellow soaking into the dark brown
bread for grandma's ham sandwich.

I can remember back before we met
in another Millennium, on another world.
When I drew in my red sketch book
and you wrote stories in your green one.
We both thought life was all about the future,
but we weren't prepared for the past.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bare Bones

I'm finding that keeping up with poetry is harder when my mind is busy with other things like writing a master's thesis or figuring out a new stage of life.  But I proved my theory in the last 11 months that writing poetry uses a muscle that grows with the exercise.  It's the same muscle I use when I'm trying to remember I dream I had.  Bits of odd ideas and images float through my day and these are poems.  If I can grab onto them, give them a name, and plan to write them I won't forget.  If I go about my life then they clutter like leaves in my subconscious and I never bring them out to examine in the light.  They go to waste. 
I think its cool that this muscle I use to remember the ideas to poems seems to be my imagination.  It grows with use.  A dream come true.  I think I may write a poem every day forever or until I have nothing left to write about.  It's been one of the best things to ever happen to me, whether they are read or not. 
I'm thankful to this poem-a-day to keep me at writing poetry.  Now I guess I will go onto the next step and learn how to revise:)


I never knew what love was until
I knew your hair curled under
that hat you slept in
and wouldn't take off because we
pretended we were sailing and your
sled was a boat that would
take you anywhere if you wore a hat
a hat which made you a man
instead of a baby boy with
new teeth as white as sails

Cricket Hope

I heard a great silence
down by my left foot.
A cricket rested his tune.
I listened but no.  It
was still as a schoolhouse
after the bell. 
Not a song, nor a string,
or a peep or a ping.

The grass breathed alone.

The crickets were silenced
and I've only just come to
tell you. 

I heard the last note.


Sherlock: Season One [Blu-ray]
I know you like Sherlock Holmes knows London.
I read the headlines each morning,
and nothing goes unnoticed
as I solve each mystery whether I am
asked to or not.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nano Wrimo

National Novel Writing Month is here!
Let's all celebrate with a tear and a cheer.
My husband who is usually down in a funk
silent, blue and muttering junk
is now laughing at puns while doing a jig--
he talks about time travel and flying pigs!
He plans to write characters who circle the moon
who meet wise sages and ask for a boon--
National Novel Writing Month is here!
Let's all sigh with relief for fun that is funny
for characters, plots and jokes that are stunning
National Novel Writing Month is here...
a bizarre yet satisfying end to our year.
Fifty thousand words or more, he's giddy
he's gaddy, he's wordy, he's mad, he
sneaks to he keyboard both day and in night,
but when will he go to bed and turn out the light?

Beans and Brandy

It's the end of the month and the cupboard is bare
Let's make a list of what is there:

beans, can of refried
beans, bag of  limas dried

beans, can of pork n'
beens, can of red, dark and

brandy, from last years Christmas pudding
and then there is exactly nothing

I could cook them up in a terrible feast,
they'd make a roaring gaseous beast.

I'll leave them there for another day
I may get hungry again in May.