For joe & veronica

As plump as a fig—bite like a snake
The banter of love started about 8 years ago and:

It hit them like a headline: Island Girl meets Texan Troubadour

It all began on the wrong side of town
when Fiesta time was ripening on the vine

He danced with her once
this goddess divine
he danced with her twice
and the banter began

As Joe says they had everything and nothing in common—as is the way of the most colorful kind of love

She liked Prince and leopard pattern
He, Beatles and classic design

But plump as a fig, bite like a snake
the muse of quick wit and artistic sensibilities took over

Like no one else before, this Bard of Bexar County caught Veronica’s banter
and raised her five
then behold, this Goddess with spirited heart,
she met his bet with … a kiss

As plump as a fig, bite like a snake
the banter intoxicated
it bubbled
it thickened

This brew of Love made up their life of two beautiful, precious daughters Paige and Yvonne, beloved pets, love of family and musical notes
speckled with artistic expression
these two are True Originals, all Texan style

And the banter plays on, it somehow carries them

It may strike like a snake
or mix into a comical fruit salad
But it’s NEVER ordinary

It’s their secret code
it’s that exotic  fig

A symbol of their unique love
that belongs only to them

So today we celebrate with you, Mr. & Mrs. Killough

We raise a cup
to the banter
to the madness
to the art and the music of your
Crazy Indescribable Love!

*Joe & Veronica met at a bar called “Splatzh”

Happy Wedding, Love Aunt Maurine

gliding in this naked canoe

sinking me into the mists

no shores to steady me

just the ripples of lost meaning breaking the water before me.

whether this vessel is propelled toward muddy swamp

or pristine lakes of bliss i do not know,

the current has been directed

and the mists bog my mind

tease me into confusion

rock me between trepidation and bold embrace.

god save me from this slippery slope

how dare i tread on these waters?

but it is too late for that, this journey has begun

the current has been directed

and for all the fear, i can’t deny that love softens these waters

the surface so smooth and the body so warm

this boat glides easily into the depths of the unknown.

i can shiver or sing, no matter

the current has been directed.

perhaps these waters will lead me to trust the mysterious river of love

to call the sun to burn away the hazy fog

to see through the fear that i imagine in front of me

yes, i am traveling into the mists, it is no accident

this current has been directed

and i am the passenger

duly appointed to this voyage

this post by guest poet, Tim McKillop


The wind blows with out them these days.

I used to think we would always ride on the wind,

all of us, wings out, eyes forward,

a squadron of feathers tip to tip

doing roller coaster rides over

our favorite mountains, the ones with all of the oaks

and pines and the grape vines

lined up into runways

of green pastels and orange poppies.

do you remember those peaks

white frosted and cool where

we would ride the highest branch tips

back and forth on the highest trees

singing all together as one

while the wind painted and fused us

into a sky of exaltation and being,

and all of it was ours.

funny, I’m smiling now

thinking about the look,

you know, the recognition one

a nod, a slight tip of the head up

from one of us to the other to the other

until we all knew right then

that this was good really good

and we would swing up into the air

and play and dive and loop the loop

and barrel roll and laugh and laugh

and laugh or was it singing

i can’t remember exactly

but it was fun.


is everyone still here? i’m not sure.

i don’t think they are.

there once seemed to be so many of us

hanging right up here

at the very edge of the world  

turning all of our favorite pines and aspens into

big loud debates of being

and chasing everything

everything else away.

oh how we loved the air

its coming and going seen and unseen

on warm days and cold

i wonder

are we breathing in

everything we are

and expelling all we’ve been

or trading places with ourselves

into some kind of cold vapor of invisibility

i don’t know

i think.

do you see?

i’m flying pretty high now.

I can feel everyone right there with me

the edges of our wings massaging the sky

and dipping down into the deep valleys

and riding the face of the mountains

right up to their very peaks

where you can see so much. everything is here.  

watch closely I may just disappear

i don’t know

i think.

                                   – tim

reposting this poem which got 1st place at the 2021 San Mateo County Fair

in the dream i am picking meat off a human skeleton
it is miniature, but still anatomically correct

i am consuming the last morsels off the bones, picking it clean
and i marvel at the structure, the bony foundation that held this life for all the years–
living and breathing, it was perfectly designed to hold so many things
the skeleton of what held us

and at the same time, i’m calling his number
one digit different from my cell number, that’s how we were linked

it’s been so long since i dialed those numbers
the ones i relied on countless daily
they always got me through
but now, i try his old number and then,
another man’s voice is at the end of those sacred numbers
and i’m not surprised, was just testing

it is a confirmation of the crossing to some kind of foreign frontier
and i find myself here in a new world
with a phone number that no longer connects me
our worldly code dissolving into infinity

i’m picking what little is left off the bones
of our past
it is getting thinner every day.

for sue and terry – who met “Rico” on a post “Hurricane Maria” beach in Puerto Rico. His outgoing nature captivated them as did his situation: starving, abandoned on the beach with no food or water and in bad physical shape. Through no small effort they rescued him, flew him to California and began to restore and care for him. The ear infection turned out to be terminal cancer but he got the finest care and was able to befriend every creature he boldly introduced himself to, including me. The “gait” refers to his severe body injury that left him with a walking disability which deterred him not at all.

Rico with the twirly gait

stepped a tender foot to the exact spot, the intersection to you

Rico with twirly gait walked a jagged, hungry line


into your hearts.

who knows what his eyes have seen

in the poverty of riches, hurricane winds and thirsty ocean

how many hearts has this soul gazed upon

rubbed against and touched

only to be left behind in empty sands.

and yet he never gave up his quest for love

to give love

to receive love.

it only took a small army to bring him to a new land

for his eyes to see no small miracle

to welcome him to a house of love

and a place for him to rest and give love, receive love

for that’s what his soul was meant to do.

a soul that never gave up, never ran away and stayed steady in his crooked walk, never complaining, showing us the meaning of gratitude.

blessed being, your work is done here

we see you

we acknowledge you.

and now,

Rico with the twirly gait

has run off to Shangri-la

Photo by Sue Munroe

aparagraha, the poem inspired after losing our place in the 2017 Sonoma fires, has been included in the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art’s installation “From Fire, Love Rises: Stories Shared from the Artist Community.” Sponsor, radio station, KSVY 91.3 will also feature the poets reading their work. The museum show begins September 29th and features 30 artists and poets who created art about their experience of the fires. Show ends January 6th. I will be there on Saturday, September 29th from 6 to 8 p.m. The poem is below.

aparigraha is a sanskrit word expressing non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness. it is the opposite of the desire for possessions. our beloved cinque terre, our retreat in sonoma, has burned to the ground. this poem was born from that experience. 

shiva came through this place
smoke signals foretold

wiper of slates

Destroyer, you hit your mark
smeared your body with our ashes

crumbled our city
of material dreams, security illusions.

that which you have reduced to settled piles
disintegrates my grasp of worldly form

with one fierce sweep you’ve left me clinging
my fist clenching

nothing but material ash

oh shiva, open my eyes sealed by
beholding the “Plan”

my hands wail, they pound futile rage,
but all that is left is suffocating ash, a strangle of fear.

run! shiva has swept through here.
run for your life. run until you collapse in the horror stilled by the dissolution
and stand in it, melting like ice in fire

stand in the loss, in the center of it all, in the calm eye of the hurricane
release my false grip

travel through shiva’s eyes where destruction offers a path, that if taken
shows the soul beyond the pointless grasp, false security


shiva, destroyer
cut the cords to my grasp of that which is not my soul

leave only the cinders of what never belonged to me
force my hand open to lay on my heart
embrace eternal heart beat

let what has been taken
blow away in the winds

leaving me standing with palms open
on shiva’s purified ground.


i just want
to have the sweet nest of your tender arm
wrapped against my cheek

then, i can know i’m safe
i can melt in your love
and all my love
can wrap its long tendrils around you…
my love would squeeze
and pulse
and express…
it would give and give

let me
rest against your sweet inhale
feel your breath on my brow
igniting my third eye
i can float in the wave
of our mutual dream…our love tending to each other

oh, let me once more engage
in a sweet song of relief before i leave this plane
let me release in love dear mother god,
and Love and Be Loved
once again

without reserve
without back story
with abandon
gazing into the ocean
of receiving eyes

and dive
in the waterfall
of love.

the time for mourning passes

the horizon sets orange
and the sky turns to ash

sun is setting on the burned behind
the ways before don’t seem to work
on this new puzzle, well timed

waving goodbye to familiar
it is gone
whispering hello to foreign
telling myself, i don’t have to pretend to be strong

let the pattern take shape
find in it, my place

the broken chips, releasing old ties
beg to welcome
the new sunrise…

for my duchess on the wedding day of her son (I wrote this a few years ago and just realized I never published it!)

hold tight
you’re still the girl
who was
before your life as mom

caress her face
she’s the grace
who picked her music bright
call of the wild
took on a life

your blue eyes
put some stars aside
baby in your nest
rocked through little one’s tides
ocean cool to fireside

hold her hand today
my sister’s hand
as i watch her
let loose her fingers
embrace this bold day

big wings, he spreads them
we gaze his dactyl flight
sky to call
him from your palm
brings your hand to future light

hold to your breast
endless mother gold
son of your heart
your wings will always enfold
cherishing the nest of family three
forever relishing
the Mother you will always be

today was a lifetime in a day

hard edges scraped my sides

reminded me
i’m not alone

pain is with me

like a hot sun, it burned my heart
which bled
and softened it, even when i thought i had nothing left to melt

left me wonderless

like Samuel Beckett
i can’t go on, i will go on

and i do
i did

in one day

anger the street bystander
hopelessness the corner beggar

i can’t give myself to them

i go with the scrapes
embrace the hard edges
i cry out even so

the ache that won’t go away
the terror
that he will become only a memory

how can anyone we love turn into only a memory?

and i am here
for no reason i can see

and in the same day, i swim in soft currants of love
miracles, even
and i ask myself, where is your gratitude?

until, all in the same day, i again divide against razor’s edge
and i forget what the question is
i let it slice me
tear me apart
i can’t try anymore

i am your victim, Life
i am your lifetime in a day

through me you feel it all
from sublime grace
to groaning angst

i am apparently your bucket
your receptacle

the body of water open inside
splashing droplets

droplets sparkling in a day
that dare never
to risk their purpose
by asking why

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