Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Day of the Year

Memories, like a swirl
in a family recipe,
mixing ingredients

written long ago
traditions on a collision course
with new experiences

like the whirlwind
of a tornado
pulling out the old

blending it with the new
and in the confusion
loud screams and terror

the aftermath
a deafening quiet
wondering what to do next

with changes in the physical
landscape, the economic
condition and fluttering

of renewed hope
next year’s promise
of another beginning

review last year’s resolutions
some hit, some missed
now with greater resolve

I’ll create a new list
to make this year worth living
and to cope with the disappointments

one day at a time
creating adventures
taking risks to discover

my own style
never too late
to learn again

to stretch out
for new horizons
redefining what is possible.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Fancy Fans

In early spring, when flowers start to bloom
ladies adorn themselves in pastel colors
shedding the dark woolen shades of winter
opting for the cooler fabrics of silk and lace

adorned with pretty dresses and large
colorful hats they emerge from their homes
ready to attract potential companions
in the warm days ahead.

The men are never able to resist their charms
often choosing women who look like their sisters
perpetuating the family name
drawn by the fluttering of the dazzling fans

like butterflies in the ritual dances of spring
tempted and reeled in
by the flicker of color, lace and mystery
quivering in the dance with a woman
holding a fancy fan.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Three Monkeys

Three male monkeys,
cousins from the same line,
synchronize in time
to communicate beyond language

offering each other
their own special talents
and in the company on one another
are a phenomenon to behold

they jump from one place to the next
swing from branches to vines
scamper across open spaces
creating such a noise

escalating the frenetic energy
creating chaos inside and out
not harming each other
but scampering all about

their laughter infectious
others soon join in the fun
but when the day is done
they have to say so long.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Believe In Love

Photo by drice

Romantic novels abound
with tales of love

the pursuit then capture
followed by everlasting happiness

but that is the lie
love is something else entirely

beyond the passion
and the fairytales

a commitment
that supersedes circumstance

a trust that transcends

the ability to rise to the challenge
and build a life together

beyond economic adversity
and physical infirmity

it includes conversations that are always
interesting even when no one is speaking

a synchronicity that finishes the other’s thought
and takes actions without being asked

conflict can be heated
yet resolved quickly

shared memories and shared
goals, however diverse,

allow each person to grow
through life experiences

when love bridges the gap
for eternity.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Quiet Before The Storm

Picture by b/d rice

Clouds gather along the horizon
billowing and dark
above the mountain peaks
ladened with a cache of rain pellets

ready for release.
Arsenal includes lightning
thunder and hailstones,
strong winds and freezing cold.

The beach is almost deserted
with the onslaught of high tide,
white caps on dark waves of ever increasing
size, surrounded by a surrealistic quiet.

First a few drops then the build up,
rapid like machine gun fire,
with rumblings and flashes overhead
it goes like this for hours.

Afterwards, the house still standing,
and by morning the sky is clear again
the beach littered with debris from the storm
desire, hope and regret.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trees Before Snowfall

After the bloom of spring
and the languishing days of summer

trees change their wardrobe
one more time.

They let each leaf fall
like a stripper on a burlesque
stage until they stand
completely vulnerable
in the winter sun.

They shiver
as the temperatures plunge

but by morning
mother nature drapes them
in an elegant gown
of snowflakes and ice

totally transformed
from the night before.

Pictures by b & drice

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dog Riding In Car

Humphrey assumes the position when riding in the car in H.B.

He takes in the scene and smells on Main Street.

He is startled by loud noises and motorcycles.

Photos by drice

Friday, December 16, 2011

Indigenious Woman

Pencil drawing by drice

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Cloud

In simpler times cloud formations
were summer entertainment
lying on the hillside in the city park.

Brothers, sisters and neighborhood kids
made out shapes and told stories
entertaining each other for an hour
or more, but times have changed

half a century later
a cloud is a virtual place
to store memory, post music videos
and make political commentaries.

The first hours are free but then
can be accessed with a fee
paid in monthly installments for eternity.
invented by a man who died recently.

Who says you can’t take it with you?

This phenomena is the new normal
like an electric light switch and instant
television. Kids don’t wonder how it all works
they just want it faster and quicker
everything is obsolete before the next generation.

The world changes so rapidly
those summer days of languishing
on the hillside are gone

can’t even see the sky anymore
buried in electronic media accessories

ipod, iphone, ipad
maybe the brain is growing with these changes
intuition accelerating at a similar pace.

Here is a description of a cloud today:
automatic and effortless
seamlessly integrated into your apps,
so you can access your content on all your devices
and it’s free

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Virgin Snow

What is it about virgin snow
unblemished powder hiding all the flaws
of an industrial world

covering lost memories from the day before
vulnerable and inviting
a new beginning?

Unlike the desert sand,
whose barren landscape
lacks the innocence

of the fresh snow.
To leap from the porch
and fall outstretched

like two large scissors
opening and closing to leave
an imprint of a heavenly angel

or to chase the dog to the top
of the hill then roll down
like a giant snowball

with the drops of blood
from a winter nosebleed,
crimson on ice dust,

sunlight bounces
off the surface making it difficult
to look but impossible to look away.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Swan Song

As the story goes
swans are mute their entire life
but before they die a song emerges
to say goodbye.

However quixotic the notion may seem
it is a lie, no such thing
they hiss and grunt like any dying being
unattractive, unromantic, and disgusting
nothing poetic about it.

Doesn’t matter what the truth is
the tender tale perpetuates.

“Leaning her breast against the reedy shore
thus sang her first and last and sang no more.” Gibbson

Coledridge perpetuated the myth when he scribed,
"Swans sing before they die t’were no bad thing."

Tennyson continued with,
“The wild swan’s death-hymn took the soul.”

Truth and fiction mix so often
it becomes real
so until the time of my demise
I will write my swan song so I am ready
when I die.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Standing near the window
peering down the street
waiting for their car to pull into the driveway
and I don’t have to babysit

Standing by the sink
listening to the slow tick of the clock
waiting for my husband to come home
and I don’t have to be alone

Standing in the doorway
watching my children walk down the street
waiting for them to grow up
and then too soon they are gone

Standing on the highway bridge
feeling the river below my feet
waiting for the current to subside
and when the moment is right, jump in

Saturday, December 10, 2011


He talks about
those around him
people he knew growing up
dreams or specters

they all seem so real
content as they prattle about
gossiping and giving him advice.

He used to be a superman
lately he stumbles with this
ache then that sickness
doesn’t have the strength

to fight. Those he loved
don’t seem to love him anymore
doesn’t have the patience

for them anyway
too busy with old acquaintances
who now surround him
tempting him to leave it all behind.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Winter In The Desert

The first time I saw snow
falling in the desert
I was in Joshua Tree.
The snowflakes,
sprinkled like confectioner’s
sugar, dusted barrel,
prickly pear and saguaro cacti.
This normally harsh environment
was suspended in wonderland
for a few minutes.

The snow didn’t last long
soon the area was soaked in rain
arroyos formed taking the water
out to the streets where flash floods
swept debris and automobiles
with the same force of a menopausal
woman rushing to clean house
before company arrived.

From wonder to terror in less than
sixty minutes. I hurried to higher
ground to get away from this temperamental
and harsh mistress of the barren sand.
Then just like that it was over,
no evidence of her tantrum
except for puddles in the parking lots
and debris piled haphazardly along the curb.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Baile Folklórico

Mother combed my hair smooth
pulling it back from my face
curling it in a bun, using black bobbi pins
to hold every hair in place, adorning
the look with silky yellow roses

to match my sisters, all dressed in ruffles
made from the same blue cotton,
highlighted with crimson ribbons,
offset with bright yellow sashes.

The music began and we grabbed our full skirts
swishing, kicking, and twirling
mesmerizing audiences
with our flurry of color releasing
the joy expressed in the dance.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Floral Arrangement

Watercolor by drice

Sunflower petals, asters and baby’s breath
cut and arranged in a crystal vase
their untimely death brings life to a room
filling it with springtime.


Watercolors by drice 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011


Watercolor by drice

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Introduction to Heaven

As long as I can remember
I’ve known the inside of Catholic churches
years of prayers already layered in the adobe walls
pictures of stations painted on white washed plaster
wooden statues primitively carved
saints who help intercede to god above
the large wooden crucifix
the son of god who opened the gates of heaven

for sinners like me
a reward so great it couldn’t be denied
but retribution for the original sin
was my only way in
and gratitude for his ultimate sacrifice
a life of good works and long suffering
constantly working to be worthy
of a love so great... the life of his only son

but as I age I truly wonder
if heaven is worth all this anguish
I want to be like the grasshopper
in Aesop’s tale
to play the day away
and let fate cost what it may
for at least in the moment I played,
I have firsthand knowledge of pleasure

Wouldn’t it be better
to celebrate the almighty
by basking in his creation
rejoicing and giving praise
to his almighty power
by worshiping
with all his creatures
dancing at the harvest
howling at the moon
glorifying his name
every single day?