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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Muse Took a Hike

Yeah, the Muse took off a few days ago.

I am still writing a poem a day, but now, I am indeed relying only on craft, and much of the work is not even fit to be called a rough draft yet. I am also, however, tinkering with previous work - as is the wont of poets. Fussing, fussing, fussing. And of course, that's what one does when the Muse takes off - because that fussing - that's revising - and that's craft.

But damn these Muses ... can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

Baby come back,
any kind of fool could see
I was wrong...
and I just can't live without you.

Baby come back,
craft is certainly an imperative indeed,
but my love
i need your inspiration.

Baby come back,
the full gin bottle stares at me
and my words ring cold and empty
without you in the mix.

Baby come back
the gin bottle is empty
and my words lay
flat and stale.

Baby come back
anything i write now
in comparison to the words you gave me.

Baby, just come back.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Celebrating Love

love is limitless
honor their hearts' desire
equity at last

In my travels today, I walked by the store above as a worker was changing the sign - several of us gathered to watch as the letters went up and we read the message aloud with a thrill.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Prose vs. Poetry

Prose is less exacting
more forgiving in its form and function.
Poetry is meticulous
brooks no errant sloppiness
frowns highly
on a pell mell approach
unless pell mell is calculated in the poet’s mind
executed with great precision
before tumbling across the page
in a torrent of black ink.

© 2008 Birdstory Publications

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

More from the Muse

Listen baby,
I’m gonna pack up
and move on.
This ain’t working for me any more.
I can’t get any sleep with you
banging away like that
and even a Muse needs his rest.
And the bed is always full of paper scraps and pens.
Damn near poked my eye out last night with that pen.

Stop beggin’ baby.
You're like an addict.
Stop crawling. And don’t lick my toes.
You’ll find no inspiration there,
only toe jam.
What’s a matter with you?

You’re on your own now, girl.

© 2008 Birdstory Publications

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Muse Bitch Slaps the Poet

Look, the muse tells her,
you are a pain in the ass right now.
Always complaining
this word isn’t quite right
that line break is off
the language cliché
the metaphor mixed
the repetition dull
the direction isn’t quite where you wanted to go.

Give me a break, you recalcitrant bitch.
You’re writing every day, aren’t you?

So quit your belly-aching
and be grateful I don’t
call the Block over
to teach you a thing or two about
inspiration and the lack thereof.

Inspirate this, bitch:

I need a break
so you gotta rely on Craft now.
And don’t give me any more of your lip
or I will lay your neck on the Block
faster than your fingers could ever fly across the keyboard.

See if you get any writing done then.

© 2008 Birdstory Publications

Monday, June 09, 2008

The Muse

Bang that keyboard
as if sheer will
and the heavy tap-tap-tapping
of fingertips
pounding the keys
will arouse the muse.

He is still hidng under the covers
from the noon day sun,
grumpy and uncooperative.

“Stop working me so hard,” he grumbles.
“Even a muse needs his sleep.”

Perhaps he is in the wrong bed
and is not my muse at all.

You know how muses can be sometimes.
They wander off into the wrong places
at the wrong times
then feign innocence, ignorance
when no words of relevance appear on the screen.

©Birdstory Publications, 2008

Sunday, June 08, 2008

What To Do In San Francisco

Stand on the corner of 16th & Guerrero eating carne asada tacos with lime. Let the lime juice drip down your chin and grin shamelessly at all the passers-by.

Ride the F Market up and down Market Street, discussing politics with the old man in the seat in front of you and the teenager, her hair dyed pink and purple and green,on the seat across the aisle.

Walk up to the Twin Peaks Lookout and instead of taking pictures of the view, take pictures of the tourists.

Smile at the panhandler outside the Civic Center Muni Station near the Main Library and drop a dollar in his cup. He will tell you you’re beautiful and one of God’s creatures and wish you well for the day.

Wander through the ruins of the Sutro Baths when the surf is high and the sun is shining. Then have pancakes at Louie’s Diner overlooking the ruins and leave the waitress a piece of sea glass along with a generous tip.

Give your book of Charles Bukowski poems as a thank you to the pony-tailed, bearded bus driver who, seeing you half a block away and running madly for the bus, waits for you at the stop, and commands you to “step up , darlin’, step up” as he opens the bus doors.

Shop at Thrift Town on Mission for $15. 45 worth of mis-matched china plates.

Listen to the old lady on the corner of Castro and Market, every Friday evening at 5 as she plays her cello, a blue and orange bandana wrapped around her elegantly-shaped bald head. Be sure to put a buck or two in her open cello case and then revel in the smile that fans across her face ever-so gracefully. She is one of San Francisco’s finest.

Nap in the rose garden in Golden Gate Park, your arm flung across your face as a shield protecting you from the sun’s rays.

Sit in Union Square, watching the shoppers hurry by with their red Macy’s bags and share an orange with the bum to your left. He will speak to you then about Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Emerson and Thoreau and expound on the Beauties of the Universe.

© Birdstory Publications, 2008

(Saturday's poem is still in process and as yet, completely unworthy of posting.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

A Summer Kiss on Your Smooth Neck

a summer sestina

You sit in Dolores Park, tongue slowly licking
honey-mint lavender ice cream on a plain cone.
You watch the lovers kiss, the babies cry, the mamas laugh,
waiting for the warm breeze to find you
and leave a summer kiss on your smooth neck.

Small dews of beaded sweat glisten on your neck as
the summer sun beats on the freshly mowed lawn,
smooth except for the small mounds of emerald
waiting for the kiss of a dog’s butt, of a bum’s worn shoe,
of your bare feet ready to run across the grass
in search of a lover on this fresh summer’s day.

On days like these, when babies cry in the park
shedding their tears on their mamas’ necks,
your lips long for the taste of salt,
the taste of summer grass and hay lingering
on full lips, long for his kiss
smooth as a warm beer on a hot day.

Smooth as the blue sky, he slides alongside you
on the green bench with Luisa & Ramon carved into
its old back, names framed with a kiss.
His hand caresses your swan’s neck
warm and lovely from the summer sun.
Your lover bends his lips to pale skin.

Your hands cup his face and
gently smooth the stubble that cloaks
sweet skin toasted by the summer sun.
On this sun-drenched afternoon
you yield willingly to one kiss after another,
your creamy neck bends slightly at such a soft touch.

He waits for your lips, your kiss
for your tongue to
move to his neck
to feel your rough tongue drift lazily across the smooth skin
on the damp nape of his neck,
joining this summer day to a lover’s heat.

A white neck teases one kiss after another and
your lover demands a summer full of kisses
as smooth as the honey-mint lavender ice cream melting on the grass.

© Birdstory Publications, 2008

A sestina is composed of 7 stanzas. The first 6 stanzas have 6 lines each; the last stanza is a tercet - 3 lines. Stanzas 2-6 must take the last 6 words of the last line of the first stanza and repeat them, using one of each of those 6 words in a particular order in each line of each stanza. The sestina is an exacting form, and though I think the language a little cliche, I like this first effort of mine. The challenge is to follow the form without sacrificing content to form. A poet's puzzle.

For those interested, here is the pattern:

2nd stanza: 6, 1, 5, 2, 4 3
3rd stanza: 3, 6, 4, 1, 2, 5
4th stanza: 5, 3, 2, 6, 1, 4
5th stanza: 4, 5, 1, 3, 2, 6
6th stanza: 2, 4, 6, 5, 3, 1
7th stanza: 6 &2, 1 & 4, 5 & 3

Thursday, June 05, 2008


Lucifer found her not in the dark of night
but came to her on a summer’s afternoon
when sunlight filtered through the tree limbs
and left soft shadows on the ground below
interspersed with flashes of gold.

He did not come to her with a dark look.
There was nothing sinister in his countenance.
He came with eyes flecked with amber
sharp, white teeth
full red lips
and a strong square jaw
accentuated by a closely trimmed mustache and beard.

He did not greet her with “Pleased to meet you,
hope you guess my name”
for that would have tipped her off.
He winked.
He smiled.
He placed a warm hand on her bare shoulder.
She shivered
but did not recognize the touch.

She sat with him on the plaid blanket
under the mulberry trees
as he softly traced his fingers along
the sun-warmed calf of her leg
up and under her soft cotton skirt
to find her tender thighs,
his hand slipping like silk between the pale blue lace of her panties
and the smooth white cream of her skin.

He had brought wine and roses.

She had no idea the wine was poisoned
the roses rotted through and through.

© Birdstory Publications, 2008

Wednesday, June 04, 2008



Obama! Obama! Obama!

The cynic in me says it doesn't matter -
he has already lost the general election
because of

the color of his skin
the content of his name
the character (and stupidity) of the average American voter.

But the idealist in me revels
in this landmark moment.
The idealist wants the impossible
to happen in November.

So I will mix water with wine
and burn the clean, white bone of a fatted lamb
as sacrifice to the gods.
I will cross my fingers
step carefully over sidewalk cracks.
I will light candles in church
and pray on my knees.
I will beseech the blessed
Virgin Mary, Mother of God,
Goddess of all that is good and right
to intercede on Obama's behalf
on my behalf.
I will write letters.
Walk precincts.
Donate money.
Register voters.
And I will book a hotel room in Washington DC for January,
just in case
just in case.

Because why not?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Ok - TWO poems a day (if you can call this a poem)

Hillary, Dilliary, Billiary
spinning the numbers
trying to change the tally.

Unity with inpunity
so she says
then continues
to hedge.

Drizzle drozzle
drizzle droan
time for this one
to go home.

The "real" poem for the day is in the previous post - but I like this one better.


lays lightly on
the bay, a mirror
turning gold to silver

© Birdstory Publications, 2008

No one said I would write a good poem a day - hahahaha!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Continuing with Summer Project #1: A Poem A Day


One wine tastes of smoke and oak.
Think cinnamon
cocoa powder
and pour me another while you’re at it.

Another smells of roses and chocolate.
Blooms in the mouth
coming to full flower
only after half a glass is gone.

Now this wine wants to hitch a ride
home with me
and stay the night.
I will let it slip in between the sheets with me,
but I shan’t ask it back again
as it is far too forward
and only interested in pleasuring itself.

Another, feisty, errant, wants to pick a fight.
Kicks down the door,
ravages tongue
roughs up the gullet
and demands a second chance.

One in particular is impertinent and
needlessly pretentious.
Cloaking its damaged ego
in manufactured self-importance,
hoping no one will notice
it is betrayed by cork and bottle,
tainted through and through.

But this one,
this one
wants to caress my lips
linger on my tongue
warm my veins
flush my cheeks.
This one wants to make love to me
slowly, purposely
without cessation.
I will let it have its way.

© Birdstory Publications, 2008

Summer Project #1, Day 2, Poem 2

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A Poem A Day - That's All I Ask

Summer Project #1: Write a poem a day. And so I begin:

essential to the game

indigenous to North America
feed crop for animals and baseball players
one oz. nets 6 grams of protein
and relieves an inning of stress

store at least a dozen uncracked kernels
in the left cheek
shift one to front center of teeth
crack and rescue seed with tongue
swallow seed
shift debris to right side of cheek
repeat until right side is full
left side is empty.

spit shells
swing bat