Monthly Archives: May 2013

What Do You See? (Please Comment)

Please help me name this newest retablo, just finished today. (Think of a retablo as a box containing a story.) What story do you see?


(Click on this second smaller image to increase size of picture. You should then be able to Zoom in and use your scroll bar to see different parts of the image close up. Use + and – to zoom in and out.)

The Dogs Are Barking (May 19,2013)

The Dogs Are Barking

They break the morning––a daily rite.
It’s just a warning. The dogs won’t bite.
Two strangers talk but pass unseen.
I doze, they walk, with a wall between.
I lie here posed between thought and sleep.
My eyes still closed. I’m swimming deep.

I resist the trip––that journey up––
preferring to sip from the dreaming cup
whose liquid darker and bitter thick
reveals a starker bailiwick
than schedules, crafts, menus, schemes.
Much finer draughts we quaff in dreams.

I try to sink back into sleep,
once more to drink of waters deep;
but the dogs still bark. They leap and pace.
My dreams too dark for this morning place.
Those dreams lie deep and intertwined,
wanting to creep back up my mind.

But its slippery slope is much inclined
and provides small hope that I will find
again, that world well out of sight
where truth lies curled, still holding tight––
as oysters cleave and then unfurl
with mighty heave, the priceless pearl

of that other mind that slips the knife
beneath the rind of our daily life.
Time is a brew of present, past
and future, too—whatever’s cast
to stew and steep the story rare
that’s buried deep in dreams laid bare.

Dreams are stories we tell ourselves
that draw our quarries to bookstore shelves.
Pinned to the page, they reach their height
and bring our sage self to the light.
But the dogs are barking. They’re hungry, cross.
When I rise to feed them, the poem is lost.

Uncaught, dismembered, it blows away.
Like petals, scattered in the light of day.

Give Me Blue


Give Me Blue

If it is a blue with no sadness in it:
the blue of the sky above Colima Volcano
with no other clouds in it except one puff
of earth’s hot breath becoming visible
in the cool morning air.

If it is a blue
with no middle ground of safety,
nothing that makes it ordinary.
No hue of boredom
or gray cast of age.
No tint of ever ending––
just pure blue
holding its mood in,
letting you feel however you want to feel.
The blue of glass that reflects the sky.
Iris blue and periwinkle.
Cerulean and cobalt.

If it is a blue with not a smudge of green in it,
or yellow or white or black.
Blue-blue like my sister’s daughter’s eyes
and like the color that a blueberry Popsicle
should be its blue dusted by nature
as though frosted, even in the heat of summer.
Like blue caught in icicles.
The color of a jellyfish
or Noxzema jar.
Bluebottle fly, tenacious,
only its color not annoying.
Blue as a shiver. Blue as blood. Blue as Hawaii.

Not the blue of a heart before forgetting.
Not that blue with a lot of
dullness soaked into it.

But if you have Blue as in Australia.
Blue as in a first place ribbon.
Sky blue,
true blue,
never blue.
Blue that if it’s ever had one gram of sadness in it,
doesn’t show it.
If you have that blue,
and you want to give it to me,
then, sure.

Give me blue.

The Leaf Never Falls . . .

. . . very far from the tree.

My sister sent me this message and poem that my mom wrote for her egads–over 50 years ago!

Hi there–
I was looking in a box of letters & memorabilia (including my Salutatorian speech from high school, of all things) that Mother gave me years ago, and I found this poem she wrote for me on my birthday one year. It’s so great I have to share it.


I’ve used my best china,
Which I’ll wash–I bet.
I made you a cake
Which you already “et”

I’ve washed your clothes
And made your bed,
But please let this all
Not go to your head

Today is your birthday
But tomorrow is not,
So you’ll do your own jobs
You little–darling girl.

In regards to your room,
I had meant to do more,
But I took one look
And made for the door.

She was so clever; I wonder if I appreciated it then?

xxoo Patti



It floated off to the side,
disappearing when I turned to face it head-on.
It hadn’t his features, really,
but I felt his presence a dozen times after—
something floating just off the corner of reality.

Then, weeks later, in the bedroom—a bat.
It flickered against the white curtain and then disappeared.
Moments later, there it was again.
I jerked my head quickly around, flipped the curtain out,
examined its other side.
Moments later, there it was again.
Then a circle floated across to join it.
A hair floated down from above and stuck, center-vision.

A few hours later, the fireworks started—
flashing corollas of light just to the right of me,
like subtle flashbulbs going off.

This was when I decided I needed to see a specialist.
Yes, a retinal detachment, he agreed,
but not yet perforated.
Now, my movements curtailed,
I await that new cloudy ghost
that will be a harbinger
of surgery.

Every tope, every cobblestone
brings a new flash of light—
a signal to still myself.
No jumping. No Zumba.
No jogging. No lifting.

I wait, inactive, watching floaters
move to the center of my vision
and off to the side again.
I practice various levels of exertion,
waiting for the flash that signals rest.

I wait for words to float
across my vision,
to rend my inactivity
and prompt me
to pin them to the page––
to stitch them together
into a clearer sight
of what is there, invisible,
inside me, waiting for the tear
to let it out.
They are the ghosts
of the future
and I am the one
who seeks to gather them,
to mend the tear
and anchor
these slippery ghosts.

As we sat in the waiting room waiting (of course) for my eyes to fully dilate so the dr could do his tests, Gloria asked what the red dot was on my blouse. I hadn't noticed it, but the nurse said, "Oh we put that on her to show she'd been dilated!"  Two hours later, I was still waiting for the dot to turn green so I'd know my eyes had returned to normal!!!!

As we sat in the waiting room waiting (of course) for my eyes to fully dilate so the dr could do his tests, Gloria asked what the red dot was on my blouse. I hadn’t noticed it, but the nurse said, “Oh we put that on her to show she’d been dilated!” Two hours later, I was still waiting for the dot to turn green so I’d know my eyes had returned to normal!!!!

Red Dot Syndrome

Red Dot Syndrome

Artist's rendering of my retinal disfunction.

Artist’s rendering of my retinal disfunction.

Gloria, contemplating my fate.

Gloria, contemplating my fate.

Retina specialist humor.

Retina specialist humor.

An undashing pirate wench

An undashing pirate wench

My reward!!! Gloria got to share.

My reward!!! Gloria got to share.