Snowbird’s Odyssey

Avoidance, we
do it well – displace our
selves to warmer climes
choose a locale by the sea
anoint sunshine as our power,

and when the Ides of March arrive
our restlessness stirs once more
heat turns up and
we escape – renewed drive
leads to home’s door.

(Dark Side of the Moon offers a weekly cinquain challenge.  This week is the Insane Cinquain – check link to learn more. Image from personal collection.)


Sought-out careers stagnant
communication with colleagues
soaked with commitments –
underlying imposed courtesy

we are doubly dependent –
mutual caregivers supporting
water treading, our authority
drowning in preset obligations

Past dwellings, connections
sopped with history, hold on –
leftover dregs, stale-dated –
their validity disappearing,

We are overcoming, debriefing,
navigating release, minimilizing
plan to alter direction, trade
accommodations, rest willingly

have boarded sanctity – a timely
cubicle of release, slotting an exit,
having transformed belonging –
are wrung out seeking drier ground.



Conceding ability to focus,
yearning for a cause; tired
of sticking myself out, only
to be brought down; stilted

by this life, sick of taking
second best – No, I’m not
holding up – never the early
bird; or king shit – sagging

like breasts hitting thighs;
always showing up single,
slightly used, ripe for easy
pick up, dubious covers –

have rooms full of history,
would otherwise be retiring,
but unless God has some
secret passage, Heaven

only tortures me; a magnet
for worries – my problems
have more vision than I do –
once carefree, now I pray for

responsibility exit; wouldn’t
recognize Mr. Right if he
came in unannounced, seem
to cherish would be enemies

(not related, at least), store
intentions behind lollygagging
pursuits, rationalize guest
appearances from control;

seek support from transients,
am obligated to any protecter –
(affairs please apply within) – am,
as I said, conceding ability to…



Me Want Cookie!

Cravings, no better than a
tower-sized Cookie Monster,
prowl, growl, stampede –
threatening my very core.

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

I flee, take shelter in forests
of broccoli, stalks of celery,
hope this infantile impulse
will pass by, forgotten; then –

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

I will drown the inclination
in a shower of water, cleanse
my mind of such sinful desire,
nourish myself with liquid –

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

No amount of rationality
appeases the ravenous
creature, fists balled tight
in a childish fit of conviction

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

I am losing ground, tension
building – raise the alarm –
run for shelter – the key is
to remain inconspicuous –

Give me sugar!
Me want cookie!

Close the door! Do it quickly,
if no one sees, it doesn’t count –
just one will do it, maybe two –
try not to leave any crumbs.

Me got sugar!
Me had cookie!

I collapse into a puddle of guilt,
self-loathing, disappointment,
while the inner muppet smiles
tummy momentarily satisfied.



“Can you consistently eat when you eat, and sleep when you sleep?” asks Derek Lin in “The Tao of Joy Every Day”.

Therapeutic Touch is a practice which teaches how to stay fully present and centered in the moment.  Practitioners learn how to set aside all distractions so that they can focus completely on the treatment itself.  Like many others, I struggled with this concept in the beginning.  I would quiet my mind, focus on my breathing, and then remember I had forgotten to change the laundry over, or return my mother’s call.  My mind, I discovered loves to travel in multiple directions at once.

To train myself, I would pick random times during the day and “check-in” on myself.  The first thing I discovered was that I was driving without actually being aware of what I was doing.  Behind the wheel, I felt an inexplicable need to be in front of the traffic, weaving in and out, tailgating, and exceeding the speed limit.  I decided to replace this behaviour with mindful breathing, always bringing my awareness back to what I was actually doing.  Instead of passing the car in front of me, I would take deep breaths, and will myself to stay aware.  It didn’t take long before I began to notice other drivers like myself, driving aggressively.  Ironically, I noticed that many of those drivers did not gain a lot of ground, having to stop for the same lights, and succumb to traffic.  Remaining conscientious and choosing to drive mindfully, I knew myself to be a lot less stressed than those other drivers.   It was an aha moment.

I learned how to bring my full attention to my clients, effectively able to sense the subtleties and different patterns they presented.  I felt I had mastered this art.

Yet, in response to Lin’s question, I have to confess that I usually eat as an aside to whatever else I am doing, and when I sleep I toss and turn with thoughts of what was undone from the day before, or what needs to be done tomorrow.

I can’t help but think that if I could just focus on eating as a solo activity, I would be more conscious of the taste of the food and the response of my body, and maybe, just maybe, not eat to excess.  I would have to turn off the t.v., and the computer, close the book, and just eat.  It is a effort worth exploring.

As for sleeping, well, that is another matter.  How does one clear the mind enough to just sleep?