Friday, February 29, 2008


for Writers' Island February 29, 2009
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On the south
side of our house
in a sunny spot
the snow
has melted
away from the foundation
and crocus leaves
have stuck their
noses out
of the ground.

Inside the house
I sit in the warm
glow of my
computer screen
feeding logs
of ideas
into the fire
of my poetry.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Apology Consider Distant

for 3WW February 27, 2008
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I chase Kylie
around the house,
play with stickers,
draw pictures, color,
read a Maisy book
and more Maisy
and you ask what’s
for lunch. I give
you a couple choices
to consider
and you decide
on a chicken sandwich.

You are in your recliner
watching a fishing show.
I pull the meat from the bones,
toast the bread,
and make the sandwich.

When I hand it to you,
You say, “No pickles?”
so, I get them
and then you want chocolate milk.
I get a glass, open the fridge,
pour the milk,
squeeze the Hershey’s
in, get a spoon, and stir.

Handing it to you, a little spills
and I offer an apology,
“Sorry ‘bout that.”

Walking away, I add
in my head, Asshole!

Okay, I know it’s your
birthday but, enough already!

Later, when Kylie’s napping
you wonder why I seem
so distant.

I just shake my head
and pick up the crayons,
books, papers, dolls,
Play Dough, necklaces,
your socks,
your magazines,
your wounded ego.


Here's an acrostic poem for Poem: A Virtual Poetry Group. I'm not even sure what I was writing about but it was fun.
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Little did
I Know that
Normal means
Dancing in the middle of the week
After work to old albums

Listening to
Evening sneak into our lives
Even though outside

Jonquils are
Almost ready to
Cut through frozen soil.
Opposites. Like our salt and pepper marriage
Brimming with
Spices and sneezes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Weather for ReadWritePoem

Motorcycle Haiku

The air smelled like pine
as we wove around corners
on my husband’s bike.

Splashes of color
on the September hillsides.
Sun warm on my face.

Such a bonus day
this summer-like afternoon.
My husband and I

spooned together.
I wrapped my arms around him
and smelled his clean shirt.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


For Sunday Scribblings
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Passion in Parentheses

the list of worksheets to be completed,
grades to be recorded,
papers to correct
is written on a purple sticky note
taped to my computer

before starting them
I put Simko’s newest CD,
A Study of Dreams, on
and my school room

I’m floating on a feather of wind
and skimming the mountains
in a glider

snowflakes kiss my face
as I swish down a slope

the ocean has a voice
and it’s whispering
through these songs

I’m at Ferry Beach
watching the sun rise
inch by inch
it tiptoes
across the waves
and seeps into me
turning my blood
to music
and my brain to fire

I’m back at camp
Gary’s fingers play
melodies on my thighs

we sigh and sigh
in the purple night…
Oh, yeah, that purple list!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Romance for Totally Optional Prompts

I've been thinking about romance all week but I guess I'm just not in a romantic frame of mind to write something new.

Last year I had my poetry-writing students find a piece of artwork and write a poem inspired by it. I did it with them and told them I'd open an art book and point to a picture and go with it. This is it. It's called "Nude in the Sunlight" by Renoir. Needless to say, they were thrilled with my random pick!

Nude in the Sunlight

We escaped
from our work
and slipped away
to these woods
to make love
in the sunshine.

Then he asked
if he could paint
me sitting
in the glow,
as natural
as the air
swirling around
the leaves
and my breasts.

I pulled my shirt
up to cover
part of me
because no man
should ever know
all of a woman,
but let him
love me again
with his paintbrush.

What does he see
as he sketches?
Does he notice my arms
thick from doing
my mistress’s laundry?

Does he see my hair
loosened like the grasses
fluttering freely
but still anchored?

He captures the coins
of light on my skin
but he can’t draw
my soul
hidden in my sturdy

He thinks he’s painting
me but each stroke
lights the fire
of naked
that I’m smiling about.

Soon I’ll head back
to the steamy washtub
taking the freedom
of the afternoon
with me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Punch T-shirt Unravel

For 3ww February 20, 2008
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Gina slunk
into the classroom
late again,
balancing a cup
of coffee and a bagel
on top of her books.

Her head
was partially shaved
and her hair was blue.
Piercings adorned
her eyebrows, nose,
and lips.
Her T-shirt was tied
above her midriff
and the sleeves
were rolled up
showcasing the art-
work inked
into her skin.
Even her legs
were covered
with tattoos.

I let her tardiness
slide since I knew
that she was living
alone and working
almost full time.
She’d written an essay
about how she didn’t
get along with her parents,
how her life was unraveling
now that they’d kicked her out.

I noticed a new tattoo:
Japanese calligraphy
and asked her
what it stood for.
Black eyes
punched me
in the heart.
“Family” she replied.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Name Poem

For Poem: A Virtual Poetry Group February 18, 2008
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My Name is Linda


A cloudy night,
the wind
hanging limp
in the trees.

A lake
before daybreak,
the dull side
of aluminum foil.

The moon,
an empty dinner plate.

It might be from the Spanish
meaning “beautiful”
but they’re not sure.

Or it could be Germanic
meaning “soft, tender”
but, again, no one knows.

My dad
named me
after a popular
song in 1949.
He didn’t know
I would become
a poet.
He didn’t know
I needed
a name with weight:
Wait. Those are queens.
No. Too biblical.

When I started
writing poetry
I considered
a pen name
like L. Ryan Jacobs,
Ryan being my maiden name,
But that was too snotty.

So, I remain
simply Linda,
making snow angels
in the winter,
adding a little Kool-Aid
to the water
and watching
the sunrise spear
across the lake,
the moon
break in exclamation points
through the clouds.

An Ode

For ReadWritePoem February 18, 2008
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Ode to My Legs

when I walk
cutting the black
material of night.

Fence posts
guarding my estate.
I can open them
or keep them locked shut.

furniture legs
curving slender
holding up
the table
of my body.

Tree trunks
growing from the roots
of genetics
tall and strong.

Rubber bands
connecting hips
to feet,
stretching, bending.

just legs
when I get in bed
and braid them
with his warm ones.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Time Travel

Writers’ Island February 16, 2008
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Time Travel

Woke up in my waterbed
after twirling to 45 records
at my friend’s house all night.
Bobby Darin floated
in my head as I
made breakfast
and drove to school.

Started first block
with Silent Reading
and was transported
to the Soviet invasion
of Afghanistan
in A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Traveled to Denmark
by having my students
act out The Nunnery
Scene in Hamlet.

Then it was off
to Cyprus to watch
Iago manipulate

Returned in time
for lunch duty
where I went back
to last weekend
to visit with Kylie
when we made a book
and filled it
with stickers
and art work.

On the way home
I saw a car
with a Florida license
plate that took me back
to Christmas 1988.
Nathan was fourteen
and Erin was eleven
and we spent the holiday
at Sea World.

Sat down to blog
and clicked ahead
to India to read
Gautami’s poem,
Hopped backwards to England
to catch up with Jo.
Jumped up to Scotland
to see Crafty Green Poet
then returned to the US
for Tumble’s words
and to ask Why Paisley?
then turned the clock back
three hours to Mike
on the west coast.

Received a letter
from a friend that
flipped the calendar
back several days.

Ate supper at Monk’s
with Jerry, Elaine,
Kramer, and George
in New York City.

Back in my waterbed
I pull my pillow
up around my head
like a taco shell.
Maybe I’ll visit
Mexico tonight.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

3 Word Wednesday

Girlfriend Imagined Slight

February 13, 2008
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I’m hanging under a parachute
swaying in curls of air.

My feet hang heavy
under my body, weights

full of the rocks
you’ve been throwing

at me for the last couple of weeks.
Like an idiot, I’ve been

catching them, and, now,
I’m so heavy that I’m falling

faster than the air
can stop me. The chute

helps and slows me slightly,
as 36 years of commitment should,

but the ground is looming.
Briefly, I imagined

you waiting to catch me
in a trampoline

but that image faded
quickly and here I am

in an air elevator, dropping.
I’m just an aging girl,

friendless, now that you’ve
strapped that parachute

on my back and pushed
me out of the plane.

Monday, February 11, 2008


ReadWritePoem February 11, 2008
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Could I Throw a Poem Away?

There is a sand sculpture
on Ocean Park Beach.

Architects have worked
all day
on these castles

made from millions
of grains
of sand and water.

They will last only
the next high tide.

I walk by them
and say
hello and goodbye.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Fridge Space

Sunday Scribblings February 10, 2008
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I saw them in the fruit
drawer, strawberries
red and freckled.

Left by my son’s
girlfriend after
their last visit.

Each day a splash
of summer in the snow
white fridge.

I kept meaning
to eat them, let their
sun shine in my mouth.

But a banana
doesn’t need to be washed
and trimmed

so I opted for the easy
and left the berries
to turn cloudy.

I saw those little mice
growing but I
left them there

and I have no idea why.
This weekend
Nathan and Amie

came to visit again
this time bringing
blackberries and blueberries.

I saw her open
the storage bin
and pause, wrinkle

her face, then reach
in, remove those gray
snowballs, and throw

them away. My face turned
as red as those strawberries
once were.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


That girl who thought she was pregnant ended up being 0% pregnant, after all. But, she assures everyone that that they are going to keep trying. She's in 10th grade! Makes me want to cry! See

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My Bad!

Bridge Disturbed Still

3WW February 6, 2008
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I disturbed him while
he played Bridge on Yahoo Games~
And I’m still alive!

Monday, February 4, 2008


For ReadWritePoem February 4, 2008
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The color, of course,
is important.
For this day
she chooses
a soft pumpkin
to go with her jeans.

First she pushes her arms
up and into the angora.
It tickles a bit
but not too bad.

Then her head
enters the sunset
of her youth
and, for a second
or two, she can’t see.

She knows her head
will pop out
on the other side
of twelve

but, in that darkness,
in that in between
time, halfway
from light to light,

her heart somersaults,
just once, then her eyes
are through the collar.

She pulls all that sunrise
down over the curves
of her tomorrow.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


Sunday Scribblings February 3, 2008
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“Take the ball
to the basket
and draw a foul.”

It’s the last seconds
of the game;
our team is behind
by one point.

The coach repeats
this and repeats
it. A mantra.
Advice, I’m always
getting advice.

I hear my dad’s voice
telling me to “tromp”
on the gas
to get the lead out.

And my mom
telling me
to never say,
“I’m hot”
when with a guy
or he might get
the wrong message.

The buzzer sounds.
The crowd cheers.
The ball is in-bounded
to me. 4 seconds.

I pivot
around an opponent.
3 seconds.
Dribble. Step on the gas.
2 seconds.
A jungle of hands and arms.
Aim. Shoot.
1 second.
No basket.

I can feel
the sweat
trickle over
my forehead.
First shot

I breathe upward,
try to cool my face.
Release the ball.

No time
for the other team
to score again.

Coach high-fives me
and says, “You were
so hot tonight.”

Friday, February 1, 2008

Why I Am Alive

For TOP January 31, 2008
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The bathroom needs to be cleaned,
laundry needs to be done.
These thoughts are nets
binding arms and hearts.

Making supper every night is boring.
Changing sheets, dusting, vacuuming.
A dirge sung by clouds
in shades of gray.

Then Kylie comes to visit
in her two-year-old radiance
She is an orange tree
growing in January snow.

“I count to ten in Swahili.”
she announces.
“Moja, mbili, tatu, nne, tano,
sita, saba, nane, tisa, kumi."

“Wow! Can you teach
that to Grandma?”



The teacher is taught.

After she leaves,
zipping all that freshness
into her jacket
and taking it with her,

moja, clean the bath
mbili, strip the bed
tatu, start washing machine
nne, dust
tano, wash kitchen floor
sita, put sheets in dryer
saba, vacuum
nane, water the plants
tisa, make the bed
kumi, write this poem.
Linda's Poems