Things Afoot

Rambunctious. Radical. Raring to go. Reckless.

Have you ever felt like that? I feel all of it and more. I’m coming out of my skin.  Out of this old skin, into something…new?

Or is this just me finally coming into bloom?

Whatever it is, it’s electrifying. Or, in the words of poet Nikky Finney, pencilfrying.

Something is definitely afoot.  Watch this spot!


The Blackened Alphabet
by Nikky Finney


While others sleep
My black skillet sizzles
Alphabets dance and I hit the return key
On my tired But ever jumping eyes
I want more I hold out for some    more
While others just now turn over
shut down alarms
I am on I am on
I am pencilfrying
sweet Black alphabets
in an allnight oil


Lynn Carol Nikky Finney, “The Blackened Alphabet” from Rice. Copyright © 1995 published by Sister Vision: Black Women and Women of Color Press.


Color A World

There’s nothing like the smell of crayons to reclaim childhood.  As a kid, I spent hours sprawled on the floor–coloring book center stage and all of a 64-count box of Crayola crayons scattered around me.  Coloring was my meditation and play well into junior high school.  Now I’m well into adulthood and I rediscover the joy of coloring books, crayons (and gel pens) every 15 years or so.  Long Live Crayola!


you take a gel pen and place
a chartreuse swipe within the lines
of a flower        maybe gerbera
or ox-eye          could be sunflower


you follow the curve of petal
remake it into yours in saffron
in azure       is it rudbeckia
or black-eyed susan


you don’t care about realism
whether it follows proper form
because it is whatever you want
your need right now


you focus on the drawing
let it fill your eye’s horizon     color
a hand-reach outside expectation
bold enough to muffle feeling




A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.
–Proverbs 17:22 King James Version (KJV)

The best feeling in the world is to awaken with a joyful heart and laughter in your mouth. I’ve only experienced waking up mid-laugh a few times. I yearn for more.

Another rarity, my attempt at writing formal poetry: a pantoum.




laughter followed
circling up
yellow bright in morning air
blessing and welcome

circling up
around the bed and room
lifting from sleep’s void
bodies loose in release

around the bed and room
effervescence in the gravid house
bodies loose in release
stretched beyond holding

effervescent in the gravid house
laughter followed
more abundant in sharing
yellow bright in morning air

Favored Things

When I was kid, I’d wait every year for the special showing of The Sound of Music. For me, the star songs were My Favorite Things and Climb Ev’ry Mountain. The music and singing made my heart crack open with joy.

Many years beyond childhood, I don’t wait for a special time for joy. My heart is always open.

Favored Things

sinew and muscle
tapers to those steady broad
hands encradling my own

I thought it myth
a saying or perhaps
a social falsity

when they say
eyes sparkle or light up

when they say
eyes are the soul’s window

but what can I say
with the truth before me
as I bask in your glory