Mouse wars

Listen up mice!

When you invade my home

you are about as cute

as the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man.


Yes, your soldiers have followed us

from Chicago, to Washington D.C.

and now to our home, our safe haven

in the City of Brotherly Love

We are not Brothers you and I.


My cousin says

I should get out my flute

pipe you right out

cackling gleefully

as you march to your doom.


My girlfriend’s Babchi

found your weakness.

“Bacon, dental floss, snap trap.”

Others agree. Death for you

should be sudden, swift,



Your scratching, sniffing

scurrying, spying,

has turned this peacemaker

into a killer. I agree

with what Susan said,

“The only good mouse,

is a dead mouse.”

R.I.P. Mickey.


NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 29

Process Note: Built from Facebook comments about my war with the mice.





Revenge Song

There are places

where the killer

lives next door

afraid that you

will come for revenge.


Cowers darkly inside

his own memories

buried deep in the well

of his dread.


He has also

lost all of his family

he remembers

when his own heart

turned red.


He has seen

how the grief

becomes fury

he has heard

the blood song

of the dead.


So he knows

that you will

want to kill him.

He believes

there is no other way.


And sometimes

he wishes

you’d do it

But there is something

that stands in the way.


He knows

his own life

could have meaning.

He remembers a time

that was true


Before the madness

of grief, pain, and fury

blocked the things

that would try

to get through.


And there you sit

wrapped close

in your pain quilt

remembering the sorrows

he has caused


One more step

and you’ll find

you have killed him

without thought,

without breath,

without pause.


And so

we are trapped

in this nightmare

and Death

walks among us

each day.


And so

we are trapped

in this nightmare

and Death

walks among us

each day.


But what if

we let grief

wash through us?

And what if

we knew we were one?


And what if the songs

that the dead sing

remind us

to look at the sun?


Perhaps we could

see through the shadow

Perhaps we could

reach out our hands


Perhaps Death

would have time

to rest then.

And cease

his sad

march through

our land.


NaPoWriMo 2013 :Day 25


The Hares of Cancelvania

Bee and Frog climbed a hill past the bog,

On their way to Cancelvania

They had heard that up there

All the townies were bears

Posessed by some sort of mania


Abuzz and ahop, they soon reached the top

And their eyes grew wide as four moons

Instead of strange bears

they found hundreds of hares

holding bear-shaped helium balloons!


They danced! They leaped! They sprang on huge feet!

Bee and Frog were not sure what to do.

Till the smallest among them

came right up between them

shouting, “Haroo there! How di de doo?”


Bee said, “Bzzy as always.” Frog shied away

feeling frightened of such a to-do.

He said,” What is this fare?”

“Why all the bears?”

And then sat down and cried on his shoe.


Hare scurried near, “Why, there’s nothing to fear.”

You are welcome to join in our fun!”

Frog looked up in surprise

Bee dried the tears from his eyes.

And they all went to play in the sun.

At the Hare Bear Fare there in the sun!


NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 24

Reunion Confusion

Why do I want to see them all

from twenty years ago?

Although we do not write or call,

why do I want to see them all?

To throw some kind of midlife Ball?

To re-live what? I just don’t know.

Why do I want to see them all

from twenty years ago?


NaPoWriMo 2013:  Day 23

The New Olympians: An Earth Day Poem

Miracle Planet,

what have we done?

Allowed our own god Greed

to hold your Future,

which must be

our Future, hostage.


And now Greed’s

power has grown.

This god has corrupted

Justice, Industry, and Governance.


And we sit, paralyzed

by Greed’s minion  Guilt.

She drives our hand

to make offerings,

obeisance, offer fealty

to the servants of Greed.


But what if we reminded

Guilt that she is none

but Anger turned inward?

Instead of paralysis,

Anger could push us to

act, to resist, to vision,

to change.


What if we withdrew

our offerings to Guilt

to Greed, and to Destruction?

What if we found

new gods to worship?


What if our Future

was released

from bondage,

wounds healed?

What wonders

could she weave

on this Miracle Planet?

And do we have

the courage

to set her free?


NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 22

Aarati’s Fortune Cookies

fortune cookie

1.You will walk farther in comfortable shoes.

2.  Your beliefs will take you half way to your destiny.

3. You will eat pie at least five more times.

4. Your children will be your friends.

5. Your hosting prowess will help save the world.


NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 21




I can

I can be

I can be alive.


NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 20

Walk, Pray, Fear, Heal

I am walking to work,

electric orange trench

over muted grey shift dress

and sneaker clad feet.


This is my urban-American

professional woman

uniform over brown skin.


On the radio this morning:

“Police pursuing suspects

in Boston Marathon Bombing.”


I pray as I walk,

Cherry blossoms

hanging fattly

in the branches above,

“Let them not be Muslims.”


Passing by the crossing guard,

lime green raingear catches my eye,

and the sound of a woman’s voice

talking shrilly behind me

hooks my ear like a helpless fish.


“Chechnyan?  That’s Islamic right?

They are all the same people right?

And what are we going to do about it?”


Inside my body, my heart is yanked

from my chest, and beats wildly

flailing around, recognizing

that danger is near.


My mind races ahead.

“Is she alone? Am I safe?

Should I say something?

What should I say?

Would it help? ”


I imagine myself

turning to her and saying,

“You are making me afraid.”

I turn. She is on the phone.

We exchange glances. I turn back.

My sneakered feet quicken

to match my heart.


A Black woman in hijab

passes me in the other

direction, her children

close to her skirt.

They are beautiful.


An aging white couple

walking their two dogs

nods warmly at me.


A White newspaper man

hawking his wares

lifts peace into the sky

crying, “It’s a beautiful day

in Philadelphia.”


I try to take comfort

in these things.

These human beings

holding me in the light.


But the fish, once

released from the hook,

still bleeds in the water.


And the uniform

does not hide

the brown skin.


NaPoWriMo 2013:  Day 19


Today is a day when there’s nothing to say

nothing to write, nothing to bray

nothing to vent and nothing to moan

nothing cry out, nothing to groan

nothing to laugh about

nothing to figure out

nothing to show

nothing to grow

nothing to say



NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 18


Portrait Part 2: Beauty Marks

We are the face that glows with memory and prescience.

Our eyes hold galaxies and the moistened soil after a summer rain.

Our hair finds the tempo of your heart and matches it.

Our feet reach down into the earth’s core and burn.

Our legs rise like columns bracing the temple of our torso.

Our torso swells and recedes like the tides.

And when you meet us, our soul reaches out

to yours and says, “We welcome you, be at peace.”


NaPoWriMo 2013; Day 17

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