ever a time

is there ever a time

when everything comes together in your mind

the perfect tug unravels the yarn ball tangled thoughts into a single line

clear vision lays before you

crystalline in acceptance of everything?

deserving of anything?

I get glimmers,

though any attempts to hold on,

only makes the clarity retreat more swiftly

so i must settle, for now, for here, for this

for it is all a gift.

i will try to remember on days long forgotten,

that there was ever a time.


“We” are special until we think we aren’t.

It still takes two to tango, even if we never learned how.

faults are natural, they occur.

they occur in the streets, in quiet spaces, in blank faces, in every nation.

no one can explain it all, nor understand it all.

but traveling widely it seems the world’s majority people are seekers of good, are good.

may “we” not fall into their hatred

may “we” be bigger than that.



it is the number one thing I feel writing this, after being so absent for months. I would hope I was digesting, adjusting.  perhaps that is true.  I would like to see it so.

in truth, i hesitated even finding the words, as my mind searched to remember this place.  only to find that the key was already unlocked. it has just sat here, waiting for me.  patiently, as good things seem often to do.

but right under that feeling and maybe even pushing up from under, like a child using his arms to hold up the top of the fort, I feel joy.  Joy that I remember the feeling of contributing, that I can get better at it.  That love is worth sharing. That telling stories is part of who we are as people. That art affects.

Realizing this, I will try to begin, bare chested. Forgetting heaviness, letting go, filling up light airy lungs with good, with truth.






For my grandmother (poem)

For my grandmother:

There is somebody who will remember

the map of your skin

and the candy you chose

to fill the heavy lidded,

solid fitted,

multi- faceted

bowl of your life.

I will remember

the powdered rose scent

of your bathroom

and what you chose

to surround you.

your unmatchable smile,

the way you giggled,

your love,

all still keep me company.



The flesh of this fish (poem)

From the moment I felt too close to you

Blushing at touching

Overlapping and apologizing

There was no denying

As we were filleting

More than the flesh of this fish was

Going to be exposed.

Because your eyes on me

Made me fumble

I was jumbling words

and stumbling for sentences

Everything got slippery

Scales shifted

You showed me the way

And made me try it for myself.



(I liked it.  Even if I don’t remember how to do it again in the future.)

(artwork by me in Notan Printmaking tradition)

Nomenclature (poem)

This is a poem I wrote Jan. 13th, 2015 at 10:43 am Hawaiian time. I just refound it.


In your abbreviated goodbye

I see it all very clear

The second you know you can affect me

Is the same as when you disappear.

You talk big story, say you want me to be raw and real,

How did I know when I tried

It would turn in to a raw deal?

But no matter,

rebuilding skin is second nature,

And I hate to say it, but it’s all nomenclature.

What you say I am and what you see

It’s just the version you attached to me.


I thought maybe you were different

Could see through to the other side.

But somehow I’m always just a symbol

And all I’ve got to keep is my pride.


Yes, I know I got a chest full of lions,

That no man has ever tamed

Not sure why I keep trying  to think all men aren’t the same.

So I lock up the cage again,

Walk around pretty untouchable me

Going into the jungle again to let me roam free

Maybe this was just the way my life was meant to be.


But when you caught my eye it felt more than fleeting

Sound disappeared in eye smiles meeting.

The way my heart felt, like it never felt before.

Each time I found you at the threshold of my door.


Now I wonder was it all a dream

Can anything ever be as good as how we seemed?

Cause it was give and take

and tea and cookies

The middle of the night and the sunrise

It was the running river and the stars above

I don’t want to wonder what happened to our love

Because life is beautiful and life is free

And that’s how I want to

Remember you and you me.


Why does it scare me to see your fallibility?

The trees lose their leaves,

The river gets muddy

And I never worry

Cause I know they’ll come around again

Grow again and clear.

Thankful at 13 degrees

While shoveling I felt weirdly peaceful knowing I no longer have anything in this cabin worth stealing. The most valuable thing was the security equipment that was stolen… I think this is a great lesson in both how real life is in Alaska sometimes and how freeing minimalism can be.

170222  Today was a day of days.  I taught 2nd grade all day in Fairbanks, then I threw a bunch of stuff in my car trying to catch every microsecond of light I could for the 2 hour drive ahead of me in snow flurry filled conditions.  I have no idea where to begin the thanksfuls for this day, so I’m just going to begin at the start of my car trip.  Thankful that the library in Fairbanks opts not to fine people for late books, they will simply charge you for it if it’s a month or two past due, and if you bring it back you get your money back. So I didn’t have to detour to the other side of town to return my items due today.  I was also thankful that the flurries subsided around the same time the traffic died down about 1/3rd of the way to my cabin.  I arrived just as the darkness began to overtake the sky and didn’t have to decipher the road or ditches so hard for those tanks we call moose.

I arrived to my cabin in late Feb for the first time since just after Christmas, and I had that knowing feeling when I saw the drive buried in over a foot of snow and a set of tracks from the end of the driveway to the house.  Without walking on them I followed them all around the house, leaving me to wade through foot and a half deep snow and find my back door broken open.  I went in and found the only thing that appeared missing was the game cam that was for tracking intruders…apparently not well hidden enough.  I gathered myself and went back to the car the only spot of warmth around where I could collect my thoughts for a moment and quit moving.  Thankful that the weather was over 10 degrees and the car was still warm now that my jeans were soaked and cold.  This one is so big I can’t even say.  If the weather had been even -20 which is an easy possibility any winter day here, then every thing after this point would be 3 times harder with 4 times more stress factor.  You can’t mess around with your core warmth when you are arriving to a cold cabin.  I was so thankful for my trusty Blaze King stove and kindling that was quick to light.


Though it would be a few hours before I couldn’t see my breath inside, it went right to work.  Then I changed into my reliable underarmour fleece pants.  Thankful.  Also thankful for the few minutes left of energy in my phone that make a quick call to let someone know my situation before it died and would not charge for a few hours until everything warmed up.  Thankful for the long snow shovel in the shed left by the previous owners so I could carve a parking space for my car in the driveway.  And thankful for years growing up in Minnesota winters so I can competently use a snow shovel.  And thankful for the know how to break up the work.  Stop shoveling, get some bags from the car, haul them to the house.  Check that the wood stove is still keeping fire.  Go back out and shovel some more.

Thankful that Taylor and I had chainsawed and stacked wood over the summer to prepare for winter warmth. Thankful to have the woodstove at all since the back up propane fueled Toyo won’t start.  And so thankful that this summer we moved the power pole got the electricity reactivated so I can turn on lights and see, and even have outdoor light for my shoveling.

While shoveling I felt weirdly peaceful knowing I no longer have anything in this cabin worth stealing.  The most valuable thing was the security equipment that was stolen…   I think this is a great lesson in both how real life is in Alaska sometimes and how freeing minimalism can be.  There were still some totes upturned, and crates rifled through, but I think the thief quickly realized there wasn’t much (s)he could gain from this house except bedding, kitchenware and home repair.  I am also really grateful that the person did not do needless damage to my things.  This is the fourth time my place has been broken into, and I feel like I learn a little bit more every time, and I let go a little bit more every time.  And weirdly have a little more faith in humanity.

(Side note: Today I also realized it’s hard to be creative when your time is consumed by basic need fulfillment.  Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in action!)

170221 Observe Others: Creative Exercise

…you could also imagine who these people might be and create characters for them, which seems like a great exercise for people who want to be better writers. Because lets be honest, some of the things people say would be hard to imagine. Having real life examples seems like a great starting point.

Interior Alaska in the winter time is not the easiest place to try to carry out the exercise challenge on page 50 of Tharp’s book The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.  She wants you to go out some place in public and write down twenty actions that occur between two people.  Then she says to try the exercise again but this time only write down the things you find interesting.  She says by applying judgement to a situation we become more selective.  Also that looking at what you wrote down and left out in both trials can teach you more about how you see the world.  She says if repeated patterns will emerge, and not the world, but your self will be revealed.

So on Tuesday evening I went to the busiest place I could thing of that might have some action, where I could also have my computer and not seem nosey.  I had to adapt the exercise some because I couldn’t necessarily see all the people around me, but I could hear a number of different groups of people interacting over a span of time.  What you read below is not necessarily sequential, but as many fragments as I could catch of their conversations.  I think it is also including part two in a way because I could only focus on one thing at a time, so I must have naturally had to select the most interesting thing at the moment to attend to.  Tharp says after doing this exercise you could also imagine who these people might be and create characters for them, which seems like a great exercise for people who want to be better writers.  Because lets be honest, some of the things people say would be hard to imagine.  Having real life examples seems like a great starting point.

Ok here’s what I picked up over a few hours:

(Meeting of young mothers)

“I’m not going to tell her we met, she would just feel bad.”

“I feel a weight is lifted.”

“I put in faith prayer and it was the second thing that came up.”

child “No I want to…” Mom: “ok, ten, five?” (Child goes to hide under the chair)

“Mom I’m ready”

“Where’s Andy?  No, no, no…(mom looking under chairs) Yes!”

Other younger child goes under the chair and says “count to three, four” mom starts looking, “no, no, yes!”

Is she on big skis now?

Last time I’m asking you.  We can do it the hard way.  Come’on children lets go out the door.


(Group of young college guys: later saw they were playing video games)

Oh my GoD! I have whiplash.

You guys have to stand so Sean isn’t taller than you.  Later guys

We did it!  Whoooo, oh man, so close, why do you do this to me?

It was me, you were attacking me.  Whoa, god dammit, whooa laughter, lets go.  Dammit.  laughter, lets go.. Top ten animated…….   kill him, kill him.

I’m still alive.  I killed you, it was siiiiick.

He thought it was person who.. Who down in whoville.  Oyea, oyea, WOW.  whatwow, ya dare me to?  laughing…  64 character… dr. Mario.  Love him.  So you’re wrong.. why are you playing that?  Get, go away.   (Laughing) I got saved by a cloud.  I’m trying, I’m trying too hard.  ok wait.  it has to happen, once it hits two of them.  …dark mess.  Player four.

you’re dead.  ok I gotta go.  Vanish, vanished.  See you guys later.  Ok.  That damn mask.  Of course they attacked him.  not why.  Fuck. on you, rage, f in rage.

I can’t get a character I don’t know and can’t use for a third time, can I, really?  Hey, be thankful you aren’t sonic.  Yeah go ahead try.  WWE   Rock hawk.  Rock hawk rocks the stage.  I don’t like anyone who’s fast.  You don’t like Sonic even though you’re the one who trained Eric.  Ok. Alright, this is your biggest comeback in the entire world.  We’ve seen a …. reverse, but will we see another one today?  Just do what I do when I have problems…. how embarassing.  (Laughing)  Yeah you just realized.  Jesus Christ.  Right?  Wrong?  oh, no.  I hope I got jilted.  Up the mega coupa.  God I’m hit.  I don’t want to have to make this comeback again.  It’s rated G what did you expect?

He just killed his own son, is he proud?
Yea you did something.  Fricken smash santa claus.  Sh==  fricken lone wolf.  Everybody



(Guy and girl watching a movie and eating, both eating.)

G: Want me to go get our stuff?  B: Ok (guy continues watching alone)  G: I asked for whip cream B: Ok  G: Here you go. later.  Girl giggles loud, guy’s on phone.    “I’m supposed to be the red ranger” (fighting movie) shields. Girl: “He does say red and later he says he supposed to be blue.  I wonder if when they filmed this they just wore suits and said…”


(Group of older women)

“That’s from that book”  My phone will just up and call someone, does your phone do this? Or it will be about to call someone.

I try I try every day.  Hey, you’re there.  Alright we’ll see.

(some leave and one woman calls her child)

“Hi is  this a good time?  ok, good. Those bloody noses. No its just…  This person…. what I’m saying is basically what I’m saying is dad has real strong feelings about so he tells you those suggestions, we can’t help ourselves.  Whatever you feel is gonna work, you have different goals and know what is gonna work.  He’s willing to step back.  You’re always going to be getting a little advice, you just gotta do your own thing, what you know is right.  Caroline had a different dream and she wanted to be in Montana so she did it.  You’re gonnna find your path, and you’ll show us what it is and say see this is working.  You gotta take the things that go along with that life. If that’s the way you’ve found to provide for your self. I think the biggest down side is, when you have a job you get up at 7 and go.  When you are working for yourself you have to have the discipline to sit down and do it.  And a job makes you go, you know?

I’m by myself, I’m by myself.  But. (pause)

It’s just hard for him, it’s the difference between who you are.  It’s hard for him to see things different than him.

right,  right,

Don’t worry about it, take your time and make the right decision.  I’m not worried about it.  In my prayers just pray about it. hope you come out sometime.

(Conversation with child ends and I realize there’s still another woman there with her.  The one who was on the phone says to the other lady:)

Sorry, right at the point where he’s job hunting again.  hope he takes his time and finds something good.  they’re not hard steps.  No. (she leaves with one other older lady)





170216 Magnetic Poetry

Internal gifts of moments
stretch through you
from time to forever
to never again.

I will also write out my refrigerator poetry by the pictures, since sometimes I can’t find all the words I want to use.  To learn more about the beginning of this process for me visit the first of my magnetic poetry posts.  For more poetry posts visit Poetry under the Projects tab of this site.

This first one encompasses the first four pictures so I will transcribe it here:

Internal gifts of moments

stretch through you

from time to forever

to never again.

And every minute is a deposit,

a correspondence,

an order to rebel against the faithless swarm

who are beaten and lost.

You are the one

who can remind them

that power lives in moments,

real and imagined.



This next poem had a few different endings and includes the next three pictures:




amid the stars

in the midnight sky


flood me

with the right




that i may see





and the last one for this round is simple:

ask the absurd

supply the response


170213 Twenty Questions: Creative Exercise

She talks about da Vinci and his ability to observe and question so many aspects of his current issue of interest.

On page 176 of The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, Tharp encourages people to be thorough.  She talks about da Vinci and his ability to observe and question so many aspects of his current issue of interest.  Tharp invites us to write down twenty questions that we have about a topic before beginning an investigation.  She says whether you are preparing for anything…from a drawing or to a film and more forming questions can help you to cultivate a sense of purpose and understanding.  I think it can also maybe help me to engage with my own mind about what it wants, or to challenge me to think more deeply.

The first challenge I see is to decide what I am interested in writing twenty questions about.  I feel there needs to be some sort of exercise to get me to a place where I’m ready for this exercise.  Since that is not provided I will have to try to sort this out myself…So at this point you may want to scroll down a ways to where I’m over this hump, move on to a different post or join my pain as I contemplate some possible topics:

Possible topics…  book I want to write about (sleep, water, two worlds)

spin dance study… ok that was easier than I thought, I am actually really interested in both those avenues and that took me less than 5 minutes to think up.

I will choose the Book for twenty questions to get me started into the creative process

  1. What will you name the sleep side?
  2. How will you identify the villains?
  3. What have they done that is so heinous?
  4. Will there be elements that braid the two worlds together?
  5. What can pass through the layer? Why?
  6. Is there a limit on extra senses for the sleep world?
  7. Is each person the only one with that ability or can it be held by multiple people or are some traits singular and others more mundane and wide spread?
  8. How can sleep be stolen?  Water?
  9. How can this be made more relevant and relatable to today’s world?
  10. Is there are more important factor that should be addressed instead?
  11. What is the main goal of the protagonists?
  12. What is the main goal of the antagonists?
  13. Is there a middle ground?
  14. Do we at times get to see things from both perspectives?
  15. Do we get personal with both sides?
  16. What kinds of messages should be sent?
  17. How soon are duel personalities revealed..if ever?
  18. Which characters are aware of their flip side presence?
  19. How do I make sure it isn’t cheesy?
  20. HOw do I make it realistic?

In a way I like this idea of presenting questions, but then in a way it is overwhelming too.  As I pile up the questions before me that need to be answered I feel further from my goal because I see more to do.  I guess it is also a starting point and I can try to tackle something once it has been named.  Perhaps on another day I can use my creative time to start to design possible solutions to some of these questions. This exercise took me 20-40 minutes.