Spun Words

Spinster's poetry...enter at your own risk

My Photo
Location: Oakland, CA

Bringing the stories back to history....

Monday, August 22, 2005

In my head

You'd be there,
and I,
and we would care
about nothing -
lost in our stare.

The world would go by.

We'd strip away
to skin and bones
and the animal strength
of strong, hard lust.

Midnight sun

It was like a dream
in which the sun never set,
love never died,
and the music just played on and on.

The soft kisses
are only half remembered now.
The champagne is gone,
and here the sun sets.

But dreams are elusive
and darkness
can nurture them
just as richly as the light.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


I want to write poetry to you
on your naked back -
the pen slipping in my shaking fingers.
Your even breaths sloping my words.
Your hair tangling in the ink and drifting away.

I want to read the verses
through your teeth and tongue and eyes.
I want to smell them on your skin -
adding a comma or question mark
with a touch of my eyelashes against your cheek.

I want to watch the stanzas of shivering silence
weave through the air between us
to see through to the other side
where we are poem and verse.


My blood runs liquid gold
for you.

Cut me,
pour me out
and shape me.

Wear my brilliance
as a necklace
against your heart.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Do you ever wonder if I think of you?

For my father

In my morning
fog steaming the bathroom mirror
I see you.

In my hair, with a collick off to one side;
In my eyes, small behind thick glasses;
In my nose and mouth and teeth -
I so proudly say I've never worn braces.

You are there in the way I stand:
one leg longer than the other, throwing off a hip,
in the width of my shoulders
and the breadth of my hips and thighs
I would have been a good farmers wife, all those years ago -

I have your knack of remembering trivial bits of history
that aren't as important to anyone else as to
you and I.
I love politics and a good debate - If I can win...
which is maybe why we don't debate well together.

I even have your fears and
luckily (dig deep) your courage.

Don't ever wonder if I think about you.
Without you, I would never be me.

Did I ever tell you I wanted to change the world?

For my mother

You held me as a child
told me I was beautiful
could be whatever I wanted.

You let me hold you as an adolescent.
I learned the wisdom
that my reflection is
and I should hold fast
as tight as I can
every moment I can.

You let me go as an adult -
let me seek demons and fall
and come into my own
out on my own

And in all this,
I saw
a revolution
of love.

Did you know that I wanted to change the world?

Because you looked me in the eyes
and knew
I could.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Water poetry

I found going through my poetry that I had a lot of poems related to water. I grew up in the Land of 10,000 lakes, so maybe it's not such a suprise that I have such an affinity to water.


With my hand on the faucet,
I let flow the water
to wash away her sobs
behind the wall.


Tonight I was alive!
Pounding surf, driving rain
and the pulsing of my blood.

There was healing for me
on the beaches of Rehobeth,
and I don't think I can
ever settle for anything
but whole again.


Salty wet
wave upon swelling wave
breaking thunder on my shore.

Not too close.
It teases toes
and wet sand slips out
from under me.

Farther now.
It laps at my ankles
riding hard
up to my knees.

Nearly there.
The hardest waves
break on my thighs
and threaten to pull me in.

All in.
I push up from the bottom
to rise gently
on the swells.

The farther out
I swim,
the less I need
to balance or correct.
I simply slip
from valley to peak
over again.

Minnehaha seducing Hiawatha by the falls

"Let your heart speak, Minnehaha!"
Stanza X of "The Song of Hiawatha" by Longfellow

When it is dry,
a trickle of water
curves down this bed,
licks the lips of this stone ledge
and lyrically descends
to the bed below
desperately stretching to reach the river.

After the storms,
the water swells
and overflows the banks,
gathering strength and speed,
racing to burst out
and fall
spraying all those below.

In a temperate season,
the water is smooth,
langorous and silky.
The soft tips of rock
reveal a path
from one shore to another.

and again,
you take me into your arms
for the journey.

This poem is really a love poem for the Minnehaha creek and falls in Minneapolis.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Note about poems posted today

These poems were about my second year in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps when I worked at a residence/hospice for men with AIDS in Baltimore, MD called the Don Miller House. This was 1994-1995.

Don Miller House

Sometimes when I look at them
I see big, happy, openmouthed kisses
that they will never give again the same.
I see Christmas presents opened
with awareness and memory
and joy regardless.
I see partners, friends and families
who touch and love and laugh
and a mother who won't go past the doorframe of her son's room.
I see beautiful women
richly gowned, stripped down
to be the men I know.

And sometimes,
I hear fatback frying in the kitchen
and icecubes pop-popping in the freezer.
I touch skin, hair, clothing, latex,
and smell bleach, fried bacon and eggs
and flowers donated from the outside.

And always,
I feel their tears pull chords in my belly
so that I ache and grind my teeth at night.
I feel their anger pulse in my blood -
push me on to work
until there is a cure.
I feel their laughter rattle response in my throat
until my muscles ache
and I cry for sheer joy.

I guess they've gotten to me.


That long night
from chair to sofa
that I didn't sleep,
and the sound of your breathing
was sandpaper
on my sanity,
I wished you dead.

When the bugs crawled the walls
and we reached for one another,
I should have stopped
to look at the revolution
of our hands together -
my pale palm
your dark palm.

I should have steadied
my breathing with yours
at this connecting
one human to another
in the midst of a hallucinating death.

But you were the first to go,
and I wanted it done.
The tearing of my soul
acceptable grief
if you were gone.

In memory of Michael who would rather have me reciting lines from a John Waters film

I forget you,
only to remember
in the shower
just as I've lathered up -
suds spilling down sting my eyes.

Sitting on a couch with friends,
I feel the heaviness of your head
and silky hair against my arm.

The next touch on my hand
reaches into the dark and lonely
drawing out a raging
which sits on my shoulder.


In the morning, there is a single drop of
dew on the rose outside my window -
all the crisp transience of the dark night.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Snow Day

Soft white quiet beyond
the icy melting panes
of my bedroom window.
Warm grandma quilts
hot chocolate, the morning dies.
As the afternoon grows,
so does the village
of igloos and forts guarded
by portly snow people,
naked of all
but mother’s old scarf.
Evening blooms crimson, violet,
now black and blossoms of stars.
The scent of smoke tickles
the carroty noses of those pale
sentries forgotten already
in the rush
of lunch packing & evening baths.
the next day, melting
under the sun of the coming
weeks, months, years.

This is best read centered on a page, where it reminds me of a snowman.

Trains aren't convenient

The pulse of America,
our pride the Transcontinental:
two lines converging at a silver spike.
The iron horse chuffed through
fields of wildflowers, over rivers and
into the dark heart of mountains.
It was flying.
It was power.

For the beast on the rails,
we offered up the buffalo
and defiled sacred lands.
Sherman broke the back of a nation
by shattering rail on his path to the sea.

1998, I took Amtrak cross-country
to see the sunflower fields in North Dakota
and the sunsets over the upper great plains.
Passing through towns with ancient,
boarded-up station houses, I wondered
what it meant to the people there
that the train didn’t stop any longer?

I Wear Gaugin

The fiery flowers
plum and peach petals
fatigue fern leaves
curve around this body
working under
fluorescent lights.

Answering the tight
rushed summons of the phone
all day long.

O, to step out of my life
into Gaugin –
out of this skin of fax and file
into this body, my earth.

Barely healed

Each night when I take off the ring,
there is a soft and tender strip of skin
like that which grows new over an open wound.
It reminds me of you.

Memories of 13

Why didn’t I know?

Lying beside you on your bed
I listened to you talk about
his fingers inside you.
I thought
you should never be hurt,
and I wanted
to lick
the frosted cherry gloss
from your lips.

That clear, sweet moment -
sun-warmed –
we never touched,
but your spark
brought a little light
to the darkness around me.

Sunday, August 14, 2005


Long, thin and dark
reptilian of my dreams.
Would you, if the lights went out
on this Metro train,
let me sit next to you
and slip on your tattoos?


Mix the yeast in water with sugar.
Rest hands on either side of the bowl.
Bend to smell the potential.
Rise or not, it always smells the same.


With the world at your feet,
you flirt with my girlfriend.

She laughs.

You preen –

Never knowing
I’d open melon soft,
honey hot
and velvet
to your touch.

Morning shower

Clear water
dripping on my cheeks,
scalding down my back.

I am cooked
all through.
No pretense.
Nowhere to hide.

The world is steam
and grey.
My eyes sting –

Clear water
all but myself away.

Stormy Weather

My heart is thunder,
rolling liquid across the sky.

You are lightening,
setting to blaze acres of dry prairie in an instant.

Together, we are wind enough
to raze houses
and rain enough
to change a river’s course.

We are stormy weather,
you and I.

Torture me

Torture me

with your breath
remind me where
my skin lies

with your tongue
dissolve my bones

shatter me
with your fingers

break me
with your teeth

suck me out
set me free