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Even as a kid, I had a strong need to write, dance, and draw. I never became much of an artist, nor was I disciplined enough to learn to play a musical instrument well, but writing stuck with me. I say need instead of urge, because it kind of is. I feel better physically and emotionally when I get whatever’s whirling around in my mind down on paper.

Sometimes ink and thought unite,

illuminate and ease my plight.

Then the thought,

succinctly said,

can finally be put to bed.

Neptune’s Horses


The ocean path here

winds gently atop

a pile of black, basaltic boulders,

thrown violently together

by geologic giants of a distant past.


Someone before me

smoothed the way,

optimistically taming this stretch of craggy cliff

But almost every year a portion of it washes out,

asserting nature’s clout.


This afternoon

I came around a bend

hoping to spot some whales

and saw instead

fierce beauty captured in the winter sun.


Glorious steeds!

White, misty manes whipped furiously

off muscled, gleaming, emerald necks.

Joyfully rearing up, they pawed the ocean air

play-fighting the stiff, off-shore wind.


Rushing reckless,

Heedless, towards indifferent rocks

Smashing! Crashing!

Spellbound, I held my breath

as Neptune pulled their broken bodies gently back to sea.


Their wavy manes spread smooth upon retreating waters.

I stood a moment. Mourning.

But then,

as if their death had never been,

Reborn! Roaring!

They tossed their manes and galloped in again!


Poetry is the most elemental of writing forms, and my first attempt at writing.  I started in high school, but it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I decided to pull out the scraps of paper and backs of envelopes I’d scribbled on and stuffed into a drawer over the years and try to make a book out of them. I was a little nervous. Would anyone like them? Were they too personal? Too bitchy? Too sappy?

So, I asked a few male and female friends both to read them and tell me which ones they liked, which ones hit home, and if there were any they thought were just plain bad.  I was surprised that some of the ones most meaningful to me, like Fair Trade, weren’t necessarily the ones they picked, such as Reluctance, which was the overall favorite. But we all agreed on the ones that needed to be tossed! Ha! Tilting Windmills was published while I was attending graduate school at UC Irvine.

It’s been many years, but since my move to Oregon, I find myself reaching for pen and paper, jotting down poems again. Working on Tilting Windmills II. A new poem, Neptune’s Horses, inspired by the ocean near my home was recently published by the poetry journal, The Avocet.

If you have favorite poems you’d like to share here, please feel free to email me on the Contact page.