Five years old!

photo by Elizabeth

Joya entered our lives heavily pregnant, matted, burred and emaciated after having been abandoned on the streets. The day after Joya came here, she got a bath, a full body shave and a vet check.

Five days after her arrival, she gave birth to six large, healthy, hungry puppies.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Nicco! Finley! Koko! Rory! Buckie! and Brady!!!

Each of these birthday pups was adopted by a wonderful family and each is having a great life!

Special thanks to NorCal Poodle Rescue, who ensured their survival since Joya was literally on death’s door when she was rescued from the streets. As Joya’s foster, I was deeply impressed with the commitment NorCal Poodle Rescue provided to the puppies and Mom. This rescue continues to help too many wonderful dogs in dire circumstances and spreads joy through the world whenever one of these poodles/mixes is adopted.

Rescued

10.5.16 – Joya arrived, photo by Elizabeth
                  Dog Cloud

when clean
              you feel like a cloud
     as I finger your hair
                             so  soft   &   light
  you might                             drift away 
                           if not
                  for Love's Gravity   
                
                        gold as Sun
                 airy as Sky
                             You are our Constellation
       after we'd raced too long & lost
              through stars' buckshot 
                       until You reconnected 

          those beacons of Light
              Beauty     &     Hope
    with balls & squirrels & a belly
                  splayed
       for all the love & joy
                  our hands could supply

Thank you NorCal Poodle Rescue for letting me foster the wonderful Joya, five years ago today.

Catalyst

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photo by Elizabeth

As if disintegrating the stone of our being to sand
we pour ourselves empty to be remade beyond 
the merciless sins we rise above.


The beauty of your breast cleaved away,
my lungs stomping their sun-fire dance always,
yet we reshape ourselves as balm for each other 
till we can bear our stories’ terrible weight


and are transformed as if to sound—
water on granite, wind through pine, 
an osprey’s haunting cry.

Thank you to the editors of The Tishman Review for first publishing this poem.

Passing

photo by Elizabeth

you're in Hawaii
so I drove to your house
clicked off the headlights
rolled down the windows
and bathed in the dry oak and grass
winds that normally surround you

which made me think of Langston Hughes
and Zora Neale Hurston, how for decades
they missed each other, each too proud
or lost to find themselves back 
to the other's laughter and company

all that longing over language used

and I wonder if your life is so full
that one less relationship is relief
or if this same ragged cloth
beating my face and chest
wind-whips through the vacuum I've left

Thank you to the editors of Apollo’s Lyre for first publishing this poem.

Sand

Joya, photo by Elizabeth

brown naked body
sprawled beneath the sun

scars of ritual and beauty
crossing its belly

where birds, dogs and people
have left tracks

soon made invisible
by waxing tide

Thank you to the editors of Agape: A Creative Arts Magazine for first publishing this poem.

If Bird

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photo by Elizabeth

you would be my loon
calling long past light,
my mourning dove, my
sweetest finch flashing
sun from black as night. 

If my bird you were I'd
feed you nectar from my
palm and plant thick trees
for you to rest and nest until
I could transform my arms
and hands to feathered limbs—
our hearts remade as song.

Thank you to the editors of The Tishman Review for first publishing this poem.