Precious Art


At Lake Tahoe with DJ, Alyssa and Larry. We sit and ponder, silent for a moment. I remember beautiful things. It’s a strategy I use to keep from crumbling. That doesn’t mean I don’t cry. A focus on all the beauty that surrounds keeps me walking.


The candles in the kitchen of my tiny house with its Karastan carpet in the middle of the floor. The candles making a soft light.

The bonsai on my window sill surrounded by tiny white lights and Ellen’s painted rock. The bonsai is a gift from my dear friends in the Story Sisterhood.

The orchid, tiny, tall and slender, a gift from Mead during the days following Donnie’s decision to move. Move on.

The card, artful, in blues and greens and purple and violet with a touch of yellow and orange water color marks and thin lines. From Monika, a woman I’ve never met in person, only online, sharing writing and colorful visions, vibrations of kindred spirits, a reaching out, her sympathy card, with its heart felt message.

Remembering the fire in the back yard fire pit two nights ago. Smoking from green kindling scavenged from the curb instead of walks in the words. Our strategy for urban fires is yet to be developed.

This morning wet glistens from the rain last night that kept Highlin’ awake and us through the thunder.

The golden light from the antique lamp on my dining room table, covered with the old lace table cloth I shibori dyed in fuchsia and yellow green shades.

I know the difference between satisfied and dissatisfied. I follow the good feelings a particular thought gives me and I witness he goodness that follows. The beautiful memorial for Donnie.


Tryin to go back and figure out the past is of no avail. Better to go forward from where I am. In my Darley House. Sunlight streaming in. New botanical print fabrics drying.

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Creative Lineage

I'm not saying my mother didn't judge. She just never asked a lot of questions. That was her gift.

We lived in Perry, Kansas in a rented farmhouse when I discovered Laura Ingalls Wilder. Later we moved to Topeka. I rode the bus to the downtown library, spent hours perusing and choosing between Laura and Willa Cather. Then rode the bus home anxious to devour their stories. Laura lived in Kansas also. Therefore, in my mind, we were connected. In my mind we had a personal relationship. It was 1958.

Thirty years later I read Of Women Born by Adrienne Rich. Her edict for women to write the truth about their experiences no matter how painful became my mandate. I was validated. I wrote short, suscinct poems describing my life, then shared them in a community writing class taught by my feminist friend, Lucinda. Feeling Like a Shitty Mother. Discovering the Other Woman. Defining Rape to my Sixteen Year Old Daughter. Lucinda read my work and said, "this woman has something to say.

I read my first poems at an open mic at a bar. Since a number of my poems were about sex, I dressed sexy. Classy sexy. With a slight edge. Not trashy. I dressed to be seen and to be heard. Tables in the front circled the mic. A spotlight defined the stage. An audience gathered, prepared to listen. In the back, a silhouette of men sat at the bar engaged in a low chatter as the poetry reading began. I walked into the light, leaned into the mic and said in a clear voice, soft, yet firm, "this poem is on discovering the other woman." The entire bar fell silent.

I spoke. I was heard. I listened to the applause. I read more poems. I was serious, and yet I heard unexpected laughter. I paused, gazed at the women sitting at the tables in front of me. Why are they laughing? I asked myself, silently. This is my life. Then I realized it was a laughter of recognition.

Yes, this is my life and it is your life and in the absurd details, we are one. We are connected. We have nothing to fear. I let the laughter wash over me as one sordid detail after another revealed itself. After heartbreaking decisions appeared next to painful despair giving birth to a temper tantrum so outrageous there was nothing left but humor and laughter and the revelation of the degrees to which the absurd rules.

In 1989 I went to the Women Writers Conference at the University of Kentucky. I attended a Spiderwomen Theater performance. In a dramatic moment towards the end the women turned to the audience, pointed their fingers at us and said, "tell your own story." My mission was defined. In 1990 I organized poetry readings. I was seeking women with the courage to walk to the mic. I asked if they wanted to read their poems. I wasn't interested in credentials. There was no editorial intervention. I didn't ask any other questions.

Today, I create art to wear for women who don't need to answer questions.

Botanical Print Silk Devore Crop Top

Botanical Print Silk Devore Crop Top