{thanksfully: 19}

2018 Fruitcake 11

It’s fruitcake season

Not like the fruitcake we grew up with – this is moist cake, filled with cardamon and coriander, organic dried fruit (READ: nothing dyed bright red or green), and a buttery flavor which apparently comes from cooking brandy into it. It startles people on a yearly basis who believe they firmly hate fruitcake. I sure did.

holiday baking

reluctant givers
we sort through oven bounty –
“this one’s uneven,
this one’s a little too brown”
learning how to share takes time.

{thanksfully: 17}

#subtext a
even your silence
roars of your truth and deafens
are all my words null?

#subtext b
not all who wander
take mountain paths sans compass:
note: your guides are blind

#subtext c
from that pulpit preached
truth told slant, muddying facts
and i sit silent?

blueprint
rock-based construction
makes foundations earthquake proof
a steel roof weathers –
thick walls withstand storm surges
shelter welcomes refugees

{thanksfully: 14}

When things go sideways with my computer, Tech Boy glares a lot, jabs keys in rapid succession, and mutters about a new keyboard. I’m like the cobbler’s son without shoes – when something goes wrong with my tech, I delay intervention as long as possible, come up with workarounds and don’t often tell Tech Boy at all – for one thing, the man really, is very, very, very busy, and for another thing, I don’t want another laptop – I held onto my old one for ten years, and he’s already dragged me, fighting tooth and nail, into new tech. While we both use things until they fall apart, his stance on technology tends to be, “If something doesn’t work, let’s take it back to the shop and trade it in,” and I already have enough problems trying to remember how this laptop works.

But the third reason I don’t tell him? Because I’m STUBBORN. And oh, the frisson of joy when, without assistance, I figure out how to make something work by myself!

Is it weird to be grateful that I am stubborn? Because I am…

tiny victories

give me bragging rights!
it’s hardly rocket science
but intuition
raises my fists in triumph
the human will reigns supreme

{thanksfully: 13}

Autumn has finally, genuinely arrived with nighttime temps in the forties, and in other states, cities reporting rain and preparing for snow. We anticipate “sweater weather” but for me, it’s hats, tights and headwraps – it’s finally cool enough that I don’t sweat to death wearing them.

ode to orange & fuchsia tights

a slimming shade, black
approved by fashion police
(who needs approval?)

{thanksfully: 12}

Vacaville 37

This past Veteran’s Day, remembering looked different to everyone. To some, it seemed a day to beat the drum for how we have made a “great” America. For others, it was the reminder of the horrors of war. For me, it was remembering our oldest family members, and realizing anew that there were some stories they never told.

veteran’s day

patriotism seems
straightforward: a waving flag,
a love of homeland,
a readiness for service,
gratitude for sacrifice.

patriots vary –
ancestors slaves or slaughtered,
immigrants, fleeing,
clinging to broken pieces
gathering shards to make Home.

despite its defects
this is my Home, my country
flawed, like that uncle
at Thanksgiving who argues;
loved, like the kid’s table’s smiles.

Chōka – the long version of the tanka – consist of 5-7 on phrases repeated at least twice, and conclude with a 5-7-7 ending. I didn’t quite do that, and my envoi is completely a mess, but…meh, the exercise is to write gratitude poems, and I’m not going to worry about it.


{thanksfully: 11}

Sundays used to mean getting up really early to go grocery shopping. At six a.m., the only active thing is the produce department, a whole rafts of people replace the ravaged displays of fruit and veg. Grocery stores that early are usually peaceful — though I have run into people before who haven’t yet gone to bed — and who really need to go home, sober up, and do just that. But, still – I am grateful for early hours, and the determinedly chipper people who work them.

introvert shopping

early morning aisles:
piled deep in cardboard boxes
chilled, damp vegetables
wait beside empty displays
blesséd* is the emptiness

I know. Blessed is a single syllable, unless your syllables use formal Elizabethan phrasing.