Lathyrus Odoratus

to grow sweet peas
is to plan
preparing the bed
sowing the seed
stringing up net
or twine for vines
to grow sweet peas
is to think ahead
and lust
for a sweet scent
and delicate
if ever you receive
a bouquet
of sweet peas
thank the giver
from the bottom
of your heart
for certainly
they have borne
to you
a precious

This poem was originally published in my chapbook “Talk” and expresses how I feel about receiving a bouquet of these exquisite flowers.   If you grow them and need to get rid of some I have plenty of vases to put them in.

Crows and the Pear Tree

Crows dive bomb the pear tree
knock fruit to the ground
descend upon it—
peck the fallen delicacies
with gusto— slurping, devouring—
leave only hollowed skins
limp and weeping on the grass.

We applaud their diligence
the industry of their harvesting,
while we are busily packing boxes
preparing to move, a wearying task.

Watching crows gives me reason
to pause, and I think of them writing
accounts of their feasting
in crow journals late at night—
of pear juice dripping down
their chins.

This unpublished poem was written as we were packing up our Eldridge Avenue home in Bellingham preparing to move to Twisp.  The hollowed out pears were a sight to see, and finished off by yellow jackets.

Wiping the Sleep From My Eyes

sometimes I awaken
wrists and ankles crossed
as if in bondage to sleep
I untangle myself from dreams
to face a new day

in my shower I sing songs
with words known only to myself

morning has rituals
a choreography of steps
morning has silence
blessed silence gladly found
a sense of seclusion

some would say
I am not a morning person
this is true, I do not spring
from my bed hungry
for news of the world

that small portion
of time
is mine
to savor
like hot buttered toast
I am spiritually fed

Published originally in:


A collection of 23 poems:

Self-published for Western Washington University Staff Art Show, June 1998.
A copy of this chapbook is in Western Washington University Special Collections
in Wilson Library.




The bone white snag above Beaver Creek fell
down in a storm. It was a two-tined fork pointed
skyward, a favored perch of magpies, its alabaster
brightness a cynosure obscured the trees beside it.

It began to lean after heavy spring rains saturated
the ground, we thought it might take down a tree
beside it but instead sheared o only a few limbs.

Now the space it occupied appears gap-toothed,
and gone forever is its sculptural beauty—that fork
tuning the wind—will be missed until memory
of it fades and what is not there is what is there.


Published in – Clover: A Literary Rag  Vol. 13, Summer 2017 & Resting in the Familiar


To Get Rolling

Christine rolling hay bale

My site is up and I am adding poetry to it and will continue to do so.  I have already enjoyed connecting with other poets.  This year I am trying to read poetry every day.  I do buy books of poetry so have a good collection to draw from.  Last night I read half of the poetry in Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workspace.  I highly recommend this book.