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I love the challenge of expressing an idea or emotion in just 17 syllables. Here are some of my favorites (a few of which appear in my books, Well on Your Way and Well in the Lead). 

origami spirits

We fold our souls like

paper boxes. Hidden, till

rain soaked, they unfurl.

whatever works

I fight my battles

with armor of pure Golden

Oreos. Foolproof.

outside my window

Menacing Mount Should

obscures the sacred blooms of

the Garden of Is.

a bitter sweet

Regrets, melted in

like warm caramel,

refuse to unbind.

elizabeth's attitudes

(a series of haiku)

Money. The root of
nothing. A lush blossom of

Power. Soul’s raw force.
Sparks of light, guided by grace.
Truth, galvanized.

Praise. Lacking for most.
Lovely, but not always love.
Best reserved for God?

Rivals. Sure path to
ruining a perfectly 
good game. 

All work and no play
makes an ego-driven mind
jump for joy. Gotcha.


then and now

Technicolor world

once swam in sepia. Now

songs spring from whispers.


square peg

Familiar. Presumed

to constrict. Must hide, play small.

Soul shrinks. Heart gets squished.



the cusp


The sun nods early,

as Boreas taunts the swift

November air. Soon.




Hydrangea blooms, brown

and brittle, clinging to stems,

dancing with each gust.


if i weren't afraid


Shortcomings and shame

sharing every shimm’ring stage.

Shadow serenade.


no-good nurse


Mom has a new knee,

and I have a new patient.

Percocet for two? ;)




Inner critic roars,

Why did you...?! Why didn’t you...?!

This time, I roar back.



off to school

(a tanka) 


Little bags of cheese,

Shredded of course, with Goldfish,

And salami, sliced.

Three-year-old hands grip a Toy

Story lunch box. So grown up.


off to college


Even his bed? Gone?

Tricky thing, this letting go.

Shattering success.




There was a camera.

Wasn’t there always? How else

To enshrine her faults?




Vacant guitar case,

Left while blowing out of town.

Emptiness spills out.



Red, sticky sugar.

Hung for love of hummingbirds,

Shared for love of me.

the best gift

A four-foot mansion.

Corduroy. Macrame. Shag.

Grandpa's skills amaze.

playing with fire


The flames of his pain—

Fear, loneliness—devour

My boundaries.  Again.


A mother’s children,

Held like petals by a stem,

Once released, float free.


Confidence. I am

completely certain that I

can keep a secret. :)

think (a free-form haiku)


The Curiosity

family's black sheep.


As the worm spreads, each

device—every viral bit—

blasts: YOU. ARE. ENOUGH.

all in our heads (a tanka)

The Beast's imposing

castle—through forced perspective

only—looms above

Fantasyland, as beliefs

dressed as truths e'er deceive us.

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