Monday, July 31, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle


Sunday, July 30, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle -Glacier Bay, Alaska

Too hot to write, so here's a little something
to cool you...

- mimi

Saturday, July 29, 2006



Once again, this blog has a mind of it's own, and won't let me post under the picture, for some peculiar reason. oh well.


a man rides by on a bicycle in the rain. it's early morning, the heat wave is breaking, for a little while. the book I'm reading is perfect for a rainy morning, but there is a word that has me puzzled. listen to the silence, your Honour, that's all i ask of you. it's vertiginous. i decide not to look up vertiginous now, instead, curl back under the quilt of dreams and let the smell and sound of rain soothe me back to sleep.


i watch a butterfly land on my arm. on it's top wing are four descending, perfect circles. the butterfly rests, allowing me to look for awhile, to lose myself in it's galaxy of small planets. briefly, i wish to know the name of this delicate creature, then wonder why it matters. it's nameless, as all such magnificent works should be.


there is a woman seated in the shade of an umbrella, drinking coffee,writing on a yellow tablet. she wears a back-baring shirt, and at the base of her neck protrudes a hump. she seems not at all aware of it, rather seems to flaunt it. is she a female Kokopelli--that mystical flute player who appears in drawings on ancient cliffs dating from 200 A.D.? Kokopelli is a joyful figure, a Pied Piper, with a large swelling on his back. some call it his burden basket, filled with the travails of humankind. some believe it to be filled with gifts. the woman is proud and i admire her. i could not be so brave.


on the newscast stands a man holding in his brown hand the shriveled remains of grapes seared by the California heatwave. these aren't even raisins, he says. what will become of the wine to grace our tables and our lives? what will become of celebrations, lovemaking, joy and laughter as the rising global warmth sears our souls? who can stop this tragedy? us. we must. for our children and our children's children.


out on the rocks of the Point walks a naked man. he's an old guy, yet tall and unbent by living. he looks up, sees me sitting there, seems embarrassed for a moment, then says oh well, it's probably nothing you haven't seen before and walks on. a mist begins to rise out by the island lighthouse.


these days i feel as naked as him, though my body is fully clothed.


listen to the silence

- mimi


Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

Don't remember where I took the photo of
this statue, but there was no name of the artist.
She's Kuan Yin, goddess of Mercy, and Lord knows
we, and the world, need all the mercy we can get.

And as my grandmother used to say: Mercy Sakes!
Which would be her response upon hearing that I've
had some recent publishing of my poetry. Check out,
if you have a moment, these sites: (a beautiful magazine called
Cliffs- Soundings) I have 2 poems in the forthcoming
summer issue. (an internet
magazine published quarterly) I'm in their summer
issue: The Silver Braid, devoted to artist/poets. ( a cool British on-line magazine
called Angel Head--2 poems in it.

I'm pleased and honored to be a part of all three of these.

"One of the most calming and powerful actions you can
do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show
your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times.
The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares,
builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire.
To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like
these--to be fierce and to show mercy toward others,
both, are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.
Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully
lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the
tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

- Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, from "Do Not Lose Heart."

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle


It must be the deepest cold of winter. You choose
the rock you want to cut, and tie a piece of
old-fashioned clothesline around the exact line you
want the stone to split. Then you set the line afire
and the stone cracks in the cold air. Tap it with a
hammer and the stone splits apart. My friend tells
me this story as she talks of her life with a stonemason,
crafter of walls and gardens and fountains. It's easy,
she says.

Sometimes I feel as though I must split myself--cut into
the core of me and divide into two or even four pieces,
so that I can be among all those people and places I love.
The lands call to me, each with their own song.

The beauty of the Southwest, with it's mountains and
canyons and vast pineforests has settled deep into my
heart. My life is there, the man who has loved me all
these years; one of my children--a son and his children.
But the drought in the West parches me, in body and soul.

When we moved there the first time, back in the 70's, it
was only for a little while. I was eager to return sixteen
years ago. I didn't reckon on the rain. I miss it terribly,
didn't know how I would miss the colors of deciduous trees,
the softness of the air, the land that is my blood and bones.
The land shaped me as I grew in my mother's womb.
The great rivers are the arteries that formed me; the wheat
and corn my mother ate grew me tall.

I was born in Ohio--just up the road from where Tecumseh,
the great Indian leader, was born on the night of a shooting star.
As a child I read about him, fascinated by the fact that he
probably roamed the same lands that I did, looking for
arrowheads in the freshly plowed fields. Found one when
I was grown, in the hills of southern Uh-hi-ya, as the Indians
and old-timers called it--a beautifully crafted ebony spear point.

I have a daughter here in the Midwest, and two grandsons. My
parents and my ancestors are buried here. This place of my roots
calls to me stronger each day. How can I divide myself?

It's not easy.

- mimi

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

His hands seemed made of clay...
Again the woman wakes with these words in
her head. They had first come yesterday afternoon
when she'd fallen asleep to escape the heat. Her
grandfather's hands, she thinks, for his face seems
to float through her mind. Then more lines come to her:

like the earth he'd loved so much
and to which he'd soon return.
She didn't know how to let him go.

Surely the beginning of a poem the woman thinks, as
a soft night wind blows across her body. She
reaches for pen and paper beside the bed.

Tonight, 2:30 a.m., words scribbled in the sultry July
night. Heat pushing in on her. She waits for dawn,
another scorching day in the heat wave. Her words
seem excited to be freed in this middle of the night
writing. There is no moon to light the page, only
a hot wind. She thinks of winds--the mistral, the
Santa Ana, the Chinook.

In the morning it will be difficult to deciper the writing,
nearly illegible, like left-handed writing from this
night side of her brain, but she'll choose a few words,
and be amazed at the dark weight of them.

She remembers the warm touch of the lake she'd swam
in last night before bed. How it rocked her like a
tender lover...


- mimi

Monday, July 17, 2006


This is one of my Alaska pictures--the home of
Susan Butcher, four time (I think) winner of the
Iditarod, and her current team. She is an amazing
woman, an inspiration to all us women to go for
whatever it is we're seeking, without fear.
Unfortunately, she's currently battling her biggest
fight--cancer--and I don't know her condition at
this time. She has a beautiful husband and two
young daughters, as courageous as their mom. Send
good thoughts to her, it can't hurt.

Saw a man and his dog last evening, out walking,
last rays of sun highlighting the dog's silky coat,
and I was suddenly overcome with longing for my
old pal, Zack, and how he loved me so tirelessly,
so unconditionally. Without fail, his eyes would
tell me he KNEW when I was sad or sick or just
had the blues. I was his god(dess). How the hell
often does that happen to us in this world?

At this point in my life I'm a gypsy and there's just
no way for a new dog. But one of these days I'll settle
down again and then...

For Zack and Mollie and Maggie and Black Maggie
and Burt, and all the canine friends I've known:


There was a field we used to walk,
my yellow dog and I, down by the corn.
In those days, back when it rained enough,
you could almost hear the tall stalks growing.

Zack was a long-legged puppy then,
in that time when there was enough
of rain and summer days stretching out
endlessly as the long green fields.

Today I watch a man and his dog
walking down by the corn in a dry season,
and I'm remembering clumsy, lumbering paws
crossed over my hands that last morning

we never think will come,
and how Zack brought a dream that night
of a bouncing, yellow pup by my side,
his coat full of light and soft as summer rain.

- mimi

Friday, July 14, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle


Life is good when you listen
to the song inside you,

listen to what makes it sing,
what stills it's voice.

When I come home
through the bright blue door, it sings.

When I hear a cardinal's song
in evening heat, it matches his.

My song serenades the terns
with their breakneck dives,

red bills, headfirst
into green waters.

In old, hilltop graveyards
it sings, softly,

though the dead delight,
I think, to hear it,

and it plays to you, my heart,
on summer afternoons

when mares tail clouds
float across the sky.

How good it is in this lonesome world
when someone hears our song.

- mimi

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

In the early hours of Monday, July 10, a small
building passed away. It was in a remote corner
of the world, one noticed by few, and cared about by
an even smaller number. You wonder, I suppose,
how a building can die? And why that would be
important? If you've known a beloved building you
will understand--this building had a heart. It held
the soul of this small village, and of a kinder, gentler
time. The Pioneer was a genuine, old time general
store where you could find most anything you needed,
providing you were willing to squeeze through crowded
aisles to find it among the myriad shelves of unrelated
items. The owners were helpful and kind, they cared about
their customers. And their customers cared about them.

The building was over a century old, built in 1900 and
it's destruction is, by far, the lesser tragedy, for two people
lost their lives and at least seven others were injured. The only
blessing is that it didn't happen in the daytime, when the
village is filled with tourists. A gas leak is suspected, but
there is no final determination of cause for the explosions
that rocked the village in the night, destroying or seriously
damaging three different buildings.

For those of us who live nearby, and for all who loved this
old building, there is a deep sadness that will never be healed,
no matter what fancy new store takes it's place. The ghost
of the old Pioneer will always live in our hearts.

This poem or part of a poem came my way this morning.
It seems appropriate:

Some say you're lucky
if nothing shatters it.

But then you wouldn't
understand poems or songs.
You'd never know
beauty comes from loss.

It's deep inside every person:
a tear tinier
than a pearl or thorn.

It's one of the places
where the beloved is born.

- Gregory Orr

Sunday, July 09, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

After all the travels of the last few weeks,
it feels good to be in a quiet place. My soul
gets frazzled. And I'm suffering withdrawal
symptoms from not writing or reading poetry.
It's exciting seeing new places, being in the
midst of lots of people, but I need peace in

As usual, till my own words come, I rely on
other's words. This is part of a poem entitled
"It Happens to Those Who Live Alone." from
"The House of Belonging" by David Whyte:

I have my freedom
nothing really happened

and nobody came
to see me.
Only the slow
growing of the garden
in the summer heat

and the silence of that
unborn life
making itself
known at my desk

my hands
dark with the
crumbling soil
as I write
and watch

the first lines
of a new poem,
like flowers
of scarlet fire
coming to fullness
in a new light.

Life blooms in silence.

- mimi

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

On the train from Talkeetna (the town that inspired
the TV series Northern Exposure) to Anchorage, we
pass a bright blue house set back from the tracks in
the middle of nowhere, that says "City Hall". I reach
my camera too late (the above picture is of a different
cabin), but we're past it. The official sign by the side
of the tracks says "Sherman, Alaska." The guide
tells us the story: seems a man named Clyde Lovell
and his wife live there. The town population is 2,
and Clyde is the mayor. For six months of the year,
that is--then his wife impeaches him and, alas,
no mayor the other six months. Why she doesn't
take over the job, I can't imagine, but since the guide
didn't even know her name, I doubt the lovely Mrs.
Lovell is very ambitious. The next year Clyde is
again elected mayor.

Before you think of moving there, however, know that
the Lovells' daughter lives in a cabin further down the
tracks. Apparently Clyde insisted she not be inside the
corporation limits of Sherman. Might screw up the
election, eh?

(somebody asked me if Alaska really was full
of eccentrics.)

- mimi