The Dining Room (from The KittenCat Adventures)
She is sitting in the corner of the dining room,
and she watches as the table fills with treats.
She knows so very well, by the look and by the smell,
there are lots of things up there a kitten eats.
She sees chicken in a basket, she sees salmon in a dish—
pretty vegetables are letting off some steam,
but what really sets her kitten whiskers twitching to and fro
is a cup, right in the centre, filled with cream.
Cream is frothy, cream is cool, cream is tasty on the tongue.
Little KittenCat sure wishes she had some.
She would lap it up with pleasure, and she wouldn’t leave a drop
(and gobble up the food, leave not a crumb).
She knows that she is not allowed to get up on the chairs
and even though the urge is very strong,
she sits back in her corner of the busy dining room
for she knows she’ll get a treat before too long.
KittenCat is comfy, and she shuts her eyes up tight.
As the room grows dark, the smells grow rich and deep.
If you listen really close you may hear purrs from KittenCat,
for KittenCat has fallen fast asleep.
beneath mother’s gaze
a toddler poised,
in the meadow’s
epicenter, lost in
the sun-lit bliss
of waist-high grass
and enraptured by
the sweet aromas
of clover and timothy,
by the vast unfolding
a bright vermilion
with spots of white,
the rhythmic wind—
all there to be
touched and gathered
as a tiny hand
reaches out, a conjurer’s
a squeal of marvel
as the blossoms
rise and collect
a stirring cloud of
We’ve talked the sun up,
settling all the universe
over saw dusted floors.
He’s laughed with me.
He’s cried my tears
in heavy blood drops.
I’ve seen this man,
but perhaps only in dreams?
They could give me sadness
for what is not.
Yet the visions frame
as the clock strikes
first one, then two,
I know this man.
I have seen him
a weather beaten face,
I have shaken his hands,
calloused by grace.
The Devil Sends
The truck dumps topsoil on the grass
at the end of our long clay lane,
the place the west wind burns by August.
Barefoot I jump in the loamy earth,
decide to make a rock garden.
My husband wheelbarrows huge
foundation stones to circle the base.
Our sons bring bricks from the torn-down
chimney. One builds steps to the top for fun
facing north, away from the house.
l ask him to make more on the south side
to see from the kitchen window.
Don’t know until too late
l’ve turned play into work.
Granddad gives a wrought iron Sundial for the top
“Gonna be some job to keep the weeds out of this.”
For the first years we call it the Shinto
shrine. Nasturtiums border brick stairs.
Dainty carpathian harebells thrive
a while. Hardy rock garden perennials gray
then die. Even sturdy sedum. The herb
quadrant goes wild. Dill disappears.
God steps in, gives wild strawberries.
Next, buttercups, Queen Anne’s
lace, asters, and goldenrod.
Then the Devil sends the sod
that finally takes over.
Our sons have left home.
Only the forget-me-nots bloom now.
Kissed and Outgunned
She’s got a heart-stealer smile,
a rebel ready
to yell with her tattoos drawn
underneath her skirt;
two loaded guns
she never leaves at home.
Black glasses and brass knuckles,
metal studded leather jacket
stained with blood and booze;
you better protect your stitches boy,
this girl will tear you apart.
She’s got a punk rock style
tougher than a hand grenade,
keeps a switchblade
tucked in her back pocket
in case she’s looking
for a fight.
These midnight city streets
are filled with bruises,
and broken bottles;
she struts down
the dark alley in her high heels
towards me looking
to take my heart away.
I wait for her
against the chain link fence,
she approaches slowly
with blade in hand.
I pull my pistol out,
only to be kissed and