Sunday, April 26, 2009


Off you go into the East--
Peace Corps-two-year-stint. Cheers--
toasts and travel-friendly presents at the pub.
we'll keep pictures of smiling faces and beer.
our hopes and dreams and
the-selves-we've-never-been go with you:
off into the East
to teach
to help and
to learn the ways of a wider world.

The Hard Way: Stories of Danger, Survival, and the Soul of Adventure


Time to feed the cat,
nuke a cup of tea and
pull on shoes and sweats.

I set the timer
add a little incline and start walking the walk.

it's beautiful outside
but in here my rubber concourse keeps me
on track.

Step by step
I wake.


Why did I tell you?
honesty's price is pain.

Confession is good for the soul
unburdened, but
what of the soul of the confessor? I
was unsettled, defensive. You were
stricken, betrayed.

Love you
I did, but
love was not enough to extinguish the burning
restlessness inside me. I
always wanted more. To be
To do
more. To
feel more.

I was not the woman
we both wanted me to be. You
were not the man I needed. Our love
far beyond romantic nostalgia.


the highway beckons.
wind whispers, now roars and
the road ahead sings with speed. I'm giddy
with the promise of forward motion, drunk
with anticipation of mysteries around the next bend.
calls to a deep restlessness inside of me, a siren song
luring me
and off-course.

more April09 poetry-each-days.....


visiting the family, I
sit quiet amidst
the cacophony of excited voices. The
clashing threads of conversation run
around one another
-- a rising tide
of sound rolling in and out like a wave. Sibling
rivalries seep out from under adult veneers as
I remember
childhood dinner tables--a race
to the last breadstick.


hot flash
teeth gnash
I suddenly cannot breathe
every muscle clenched
clamped down to contain

you just don't think
don't consider others
don't see your impact
yet deny
this is so

and so
there is no recourse
no words to clarify
to rectify
to purify the damage

and so
there is no place for this fire
except down


Every morning you
wake up breathing
you're ahead of the game.
in dreams you fly,
inhale and lean into the breath at the perfect angle
and you catch an updraft.
is this what geese await as they prepare for migration?
and in the space between in and
just breathe
and grasp a new beginning.


fog rolls in damp, cold
sits heavily on the sand
hungry gulls circle

a single image
fashioned by form
a verbal elegance
a mystery
a snapshot of this moment

Saturday, April 18, 2009

.... poetry snippets, snatches, and notions


Wrap me in a violet silk kimono backed with
my deep blood-orange-red creativity chop coiling
‘round my spine, feeding me
steady energetic streams of light. Today
I am a warrior.


A breath catches in my throat
when I see you are available--your blue
shingles, white trim and open windows beckon me, call
to my soul to fill you with
and creative energy. Be
Mine! Be real in my life, manifest
materially in my life now. I
see the paintings on your walls, feel
the candle light warmth and hear
laughter spilling from your open door on a summer night. I gaze out the attic window to the ocean on a blustery
winter's morning--
happily planning our next celebration.


purple passion
keep me sane in a black and white world
a flash of luxury amid mundane chores

jacaranda trees drop your lilac petals
trickle down and fill my heart
keep me awash in art

violet night enfold me in warm darkness
keep me cloaked in deepest velvet

As we sleepwalk through the charcoal landscape
keep one eye open on the bruised horizon

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Words tumble out of my brain


my love is kind, holding
me close against the darkness

my love is patient, listening
sympathetic as I rant and tear and sputter

my love is silly, teasing
me shyly as if we are on our first date

my love is brave, exploring
with me rueful and surprised at our life's aging

my love
let the last thing you hear me say to be
I love you
my smart, sweet, sexy, crazy, musical love

a bitter taste you left --
if I see you on the street, I'll
cross to the other side. You
are my stupid ex,
a cheater, yet
did we simply back away from the truth
stumbling blindly apart together?


Quick, pour me a shot of
something strong and keep it coming again and again and
it's tequila I think that does it best, the
blotto black-out numbness. I don't want to feel
if it takes an extra-large pepperoni
pizza to stuff this rage back down into
the abyss, then so
be it.
No, maybe a fast, just drink black
coffee, grainy and bitter. Today I
wish I smoked
-- long cool menthol sticks of fire between my fingers, exhaled frigid wisps trailing in front
of my glassy eyes --
it would give me something to do with my hands
biting my nails.

(Original title "Meditations in an Emergency" by Frank O'Hara)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

PAD Apr09 #10-- FRIDAY


It is Friday
We sit at a restaurant and think
Through the meal I wonder
How the meal is much like a life.

It begins
We enter a little unsure
Through the meal there's laughter
How the meal is much like a life

It is over
After eating we sit and digest
And remember the great food we've eaten
When its over we just have to go

Through the week we work and we play together
The week is much like a life
And it is Friday.

By Jim Rasfeld


5 o'clock and it's begun--week's end.

Time for a movie; time for a drink
Time to see your lover and time to uncover your true self.

And it's time to loosen up and play
at least for the next two days,

By Stacey Rasfeld

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Memory's Past

your room, four o'clock:
we lay in dim afterglow
dreaming of our future life.

Highland Park, summer:
we sat in grassy twilight
drinking dry white wine.

jazz club, off-night:
we sang through spotlit smoke
breathing in sparkling applause.

your car, after hours:
we kissed under crisp starlight
dancing close then away.

Crystal Cave, weekend:
we drove by dead reckoning
holding hands underground.

I close my eyes and I'm
with heat.

I open my eyes and I'm
in bed
clutching the cat.

Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Today's prompt from the Writer's Digest Poem-A-Day April Challenge got my husband into the act. Both our posts follow.


day in, day out
the cat wakes me, looking for breakfast.
as soon as the sun is up, as soon as
she sees my eyelids twitch, she begins her refrain:
meorwr! a raspy scrape of complaint.
I give in: I
get up,
go into the bathroom,
take a pill, then
stumble into the kitchen.
she follows from room to room, impatiently
herding me toward her empty dinner plate and
stagnant water dish.
what do we want today-- the blue can or the orange?
she considers, eyes fixed, ready to pounce on my first wrong move.
I know my job: open the can, spoon out the mush, set down the plate.
fresh water.
one small caress as she licks the glass clean,
her smacking pleasure filling the room as I make tea and prepare for the day.

By Stacey


routine, routine, routine,
routine, routine, routine,
routine, routine, FUN!
routine, routine, routine.

by Jim

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Poem A Day #7 - Clean/Dirty poem

Happy Tuesday night

-- the duality of today's poetry challenge prompt (clean/dirty) really hit home for me.

I've never been very domestic, and FINALLY have hired a maid to come in and clean. Guess what? They days she comes in, I end up doing laundry, going through paperwork, and generally doing all the chores around the house that I've been putting off. It's as if my mom is back in charge (and I mean, my MOM-from-when-I-was-12-years-old) and I've got to get my act in gear!

and so, we have:

Clean / dirty / clean

tidy up, straighten up, sweep -- just
look at this endless list!

When you get to the end, you have to go back to the beginning again.

Last night's spaghetti pots sit soaking in the sink while
the once-white stove top bears bright orange tomato rings-around-the-burner.

Stoop to scoop up piles of smelly socks into the washer; they'll be
"all-temp-a-cheer-clean" until Sunday's soccer game grounds
sweat and new grass stains back into the soft absorbent cotton.

You make your bed each morning only to toss and turn and crumple the quilts each night.

An endless loop-de-loop: you
vacuum dust bunnies and
straighten couch cushions because
company's coming, then
spend the next morning clearing empty beer bottles and
scrubbing pizza stains out of the carpet.

The joke's on us-- we disinfect by day and
invite chaos to dinner each night.

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Missing

It's almost taboo to discuss, but sometimes, it feels like those who have died are simply on vacation or living in another city. It's unreal to believe that the sun still sparkles on the water, cars still clog the freeways and people still line up for a mocha latte when our loved ones can't.

Are they in a better place? At the very least, the pain and confusion is over. And we are left with the beauty shared while they were here.
there are holes in every life, standing
empty like blank pages in a scrapbook

soft dreams of those who did not wake
murmur through our memories
but we only catch snatches of the conversation

ghosts move just beyond our field of vision:
we used to share every secret, every
steamy stolen night, every
sunny walk along the lakefront, every
frozen pay phone drunk dial --
now who can you call crying at midnight?

goodbyes pile up inside
baggage left unsaid and unresolved
and yet, if you wake up breathing, you win
another morning, another
beginning, another chance
for the next hello.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

another April day, another April poem... why? well, why not?

April Poem-A-Day Challenge #5: a landmark.

During this challenge, I'm finding myself obsessed with the topic all day and spitting out lines and images in a rush just before going to sleep at night.

From Point Vicente Lighthouse

A low moan sighs in rhythmic pulses
outward from this brown spit of land
--a warning of rocks submerged.

Waves crash and rumble
in a tumble of surf along the cove as
pelicans dive and wheel and glide above the churning water.

A stream of visitors
raise binoculars and telephoto lenses aloft
peering for a flash of silver fin or sudden spout.

be there whales passing here?
their migration route from south to north
stop to scoop up krill and linger in the warm current.

there be whales passing here
skimming underneath the shining surface
and we hold our breath
in awed witness to their graceful dance.

April is Poetry Month- join the Poem-A-Day Challenge!

I've taken on the challenge to write a poem a day for this month, writing from daily prompts set by Robert Lee Brewer (Writer's blogs).

Join in at:

So far, I'm keeping up-- Wish me luck!

BTW, here's what I've come up with so far:

April 1: Origin Dance

Catch a swirling starburst mix
add heat, water and light
and somewhere / everywhere an end to night

Breathe an open sigh into clay made flesh
add a stolen rib
and duality emerges

We fumble towards self awareness
striding through the shadows with blind will
and grope for one another
flesh into flesh

We come from clay and water and air
we strive and work and sweat
from microbe to meteor, we spend our short span of days
then to the spinning stars we return

April 2: Unknowing

unguarded word
two torn tickets
simply killed our love
instantly, permanently, ruthlessly, with prejudice
don't look back, at your peril
even to know the whole trashy truth

April 3: the problem with sugar

sticky and luscious sweets--
I'm addicted to these:
jelly beans (orange, yellow and green),
red licorice, gum balls and pralines.
peanut butter kisses beckon and
and chocolate raisins tease

but alas
my girth grows bulge by bulge
as my sweet tooth I indulge

April 4: miso

My black & white scared-y cat
takes her time around corners.
She likes to sleep in a cavern of quilts on the bed
and will sit on my hand while I watch tv
if I rub her belly.

She used to be fat,
but now her cheeks are severe
and her little paunch sways back & forth
as she sashays across the carpet.
Every morning,
she rubs her nose against the floor register
and lays along the warm vent awaiting breakfast--
her impatient cry my persistent alarm clock.