Friday, June 30, 2017


  1. regarding humankind as the central or most important element of existence, especially as opposed to God or animals.

I believed humans were kindest,
able to put others lives before our own.
Until I saw a Mocking Bird attack
a Rattle Snake 
to save a Blue Jay's baby.

I believed humans were most playful,
socially animating objects to share laughs.
Until I saw a Lamb and a Blue Healer 
play Soccer
with a volleyball.

I believed humans were most eloquent,
creating new language to represent ideas.
Until I saw a Gorilla
signing "water-bird"
to explain a Swan.

I believed humans were most creative,
fashioning art and tools that solve problems.
Until I saw an Elephant
use rocks to build a step-stool
for an undersized calf.

I believed humans were wisest,
mindful of goals and masters of plans.
Until I saw Gibbons 
sort cards in patterns
to obtain a prize
and Magpies adapt 
for contingency hints.

I believed humans were most complex,
synthesizing sciences to birth robotics.
Until I saw ancient Aspens
cloning colonies
via Rhizomatic roots and nodes.

I suspect
my Grandparents were correct,
in that all creatures,
great and small,
live of central importance,
if not singular intelligence.

I believe
all molecules matter.
All beings created to function,
qualities always evolving
into more beautiful forms
the universe requires. 
Maybe reptiles write poetry too and we'll learn how to hear it one day.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Baggage Wall

Build your walls of baggage.

Try to keep me at bay 
but still
secretly hoping 
I'll save your day.

There isn't enough drama 
in your closet 
to fence out my heart, 
not enough skeleton clubs 
to cleave us apart.

Stack up your baggage, Baby.

That wall will make great fuel
for the flame we're gonna burn.
Bring me all the hopes 
you thought you'd have to urn.

Stack up all the things
you thought better left
in the dark,
because we're still
gonna make a great embark.
I'm your two by two,
and this is our story's arc.

We're plenty slick enough 
to slip these customs agents. 
Our good intentions 
are sly enough to slide those gates.
We can afford the waits.

Stack up you baggage, Baby.
It won't wall off our world.

In or out,
I want to know what you're all about.

We'll establish an ancient trade route.

Go ahead,
stack up your baggage, Baby.
Throw in the kitchen sink.

I've got a torch and a wink.
This is how we step 
                            over the brink.
Cat's have no boundaries. They're good at love like that.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Things we've lost

We've lost
Another sunset lost.
all kinds
of things...

Your keys,
in another state.
My ring,
in another country.
Our way home
at night
and once,
in broad day light.
But never
one another.

Our tempers,
in another fight.
Our patience,
in another minute.
Lots of sight
of the whole
But never
our love.

My will power.
Your courage.
Our fortitude
in a storm
of grief.
Our place
among the flames
of too many
But never
our hope.

Plenty of time.
and occasionally,
even tomorrow.
Maybe some
But never
this chance,
to find

We've lost
far fewer
we've gained.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Active listening

I scoured every word you uttered.
I scaled carefully in between lines, staking out each possible path toward discerning
all of your hidden meanings.
I chalked the hands of my focus, ensuring I could catch and grip
each of your non-verbal hints long enough to climb the mountain of our misunderstanding
until we could reach some shared summit.
I avoided all unsteady crevasses, hasty assumptions, and crumbling interruptions so that I might hear better the toe-holds to your thoughts.
I was so careful, that you laughed and said that I creeped like a creep,
I treated the plain planes of your intentions as if they were an Everest.
and that left you wondering
if it was you that I feared such a moron or if I was the dullard
to require such safety measures in active listening.
You couldn't decide if you should be offended,
but you were any way
out of principle
unwilling to be metaphorically scoured and scaled.
It occurs to me that I do not need to attend every word.
Even in the dark I could find your heart,
just by stilling my mind,
and closing my eyes,
to find the steady drip, drip
of what you want and why
letting the rest dip away unheard
like stone wearing way under water
at sea level.
No climbing required to actively listen
and echo you back
until we know we're understood.
This act of active listening
is less action
and more
than implied.
The peak of Mt. Wheeler in Great Basin National Park, where climbers frequently stack stones while listening to the wind together.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Let Our Pride of Love Save Us, Please

I am a voracious reader. Books, stories, tales. They really matter to me. Genre and type do not.

I even love reading the cereal box and highway signs on road trips (just ask my wife, she loves it).

Debating whether I was first a writer or reader is too much like the great chicken and egg debate—just pointless mental masturbation; but I believe I was first a reader inspired to write.

At first I didn’t care what I wrote.
Anything was fine so long as I was telling a story that gets at the heart of what it means to be human: an endless journey of growth, punctuated by amazing adventures in learning.

I actually didn’t care about fame or visibility of any kind, but especially as a lesbian.

In my little heart of hearts, I don’t want who I am to matter to potential readers as much as I want the story I am telling to matter to readers.

But then I realized something very important, for myself as a reader, and in my profession as a writer . . . something I already knew from my work in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, but just failed to translate to other domains of my life . . . stories matter the most to us when we identify and empathize with the people involved.

For some readers, like me, that probably means identifying with the characters; but for other readers, maybe many other readers, that could mean identifying with the author.

While this doesn’t have to happen on any demographic level, including sexuality, it does have to happen on a genuine level. Even if I don’t necessarily view my sexuality as all that important to my personal identity or career, society does. The world does. And that great external force of perception means my sexuality shapes my experience on a genuinely visible level.

As such, my lesbian voice as an author and in the representation of my characters, is much more than a matter of my pride. Visibly living that pride is the only way I can create a story genuine and artful enough to inspire empathy and spread compassion.

Being visibly proud of my sexuality and telling stories involving characters like me may help others connect to my stories and find what they need. I have so many LGBTQ friends who need evidence that someone accepts them, that someone is proud to know them.

Some of my friends were disowned by their embarrassed families and left homeless as teenagers. Some gave their lives with honor to serve their country and were buried without their still-embarrassed -family at their gravesides. Some were passed over for promotions because their organizations were embarrassed by their identity, and one was shot because she looked a little too butch.

I now realize that when I claim with pride my LGBTQ status, when I use my lesbian identity to proudly create art, I actively help put an end to these horrors. I change the salient story to one of a happy lesbian author, writing about LGBTQ characters who grow beyond hate to find health and happiness.

I hope you will join me in being proud of your identities and above all, in being proud of our ability to accept and love many identities. I hope you will help me change our salient stories.

Please, be proud enough to share who you are, because someone else out there (a reader, another writer, a musician, a mother, a sister) needs to know you too, if we are all ever going to discover how love saves the world.
Rehearsing our first dance for our Texas wedding, proudly supported by friends and family. Credit to AzulOx Photography.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Yea, Verily

The world is going to hell in a hand-basket,
Rolling like a stone with no moss toward the crack-ass of doom.
Because of those lily-livered, over-educated, snowflake liberals?
Because of those myopic, misanthropic, red-neck conservatives?
Because of all the apathetic insufficiently engaged ditzes in-between?
But more likely,
We'll wipe out the human race,
Yea, verily and pass the peons please,
Because of our self-fulfilling prophecy,
Of a world whirling toward gloom.
Yea, verily and pass the pity please,
Because we are convinced,
the problem is too big, spread and deep,
For one person to make a difference
And that making a difference means
Convincing others to see things
From our point of view.
Yea, verily and pass the prejudice please,
Because we don't realize,
Making a difference should mean
Understanding others well enough
To make them secure enough
To find the rare courage required
To do their own internal reflection
Without caving to cognitive bias,
Or debasing in debates over what is fact.
Or I could change course,
Yea, verily and pass the peace please,
I may be any one
of my brothers and sisters
only keepers.
So Yea, verily,
I will own my responsibility
To ask,
"How are you today
And why?"

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