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 book, Well on Your Way). 

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.

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. :)


I don't do lines. Lines

of coke, lines for waiting, lines

of words... Oh, wait. Shoot.

i 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.


Our little Rosebud

pops and pokes and huffs her way

into timid hearts.

the palouse

Golden globs glide by.

A galactic landscape flecked

with glimmers of home.