Sunday, December 31, 2006


Photos by S. Auberle

New Year's Eve
The silver pine cone hangs above the Weatherford Hotel, the countdown clock ticking away the last hours of 2006. The sky is that intense southwest blue, the air crisp. Snow still covers the ground in shady spots. At ten p.m. (for those "east coasters") and 12 tonight, the pinecone will make its slow, sparkling descent to ring in the New Year. People will be dancing in Heritage Square.
Just finished brushing my granddaughter's long, blonde hair and am writing this as I wait for the internet connection to be restored. I feel frustrated, cut off from the world, with no internet access, and just when did this happen? When did my dependence on technology supercede joy in the moment? In the softness of a little girl's hair, the blue of her eyes, the amazing thoughts she comes up with and, thankfully, shares with me?
When did this addiction to technology become more important than walking out into moonlight on snow, more important than the sharp winter stars, the smell of pinon smoke scenting the night, a raccoon scurrying up a tree as I walk out the front door?
Though I rarely make (or keep) new year's resolutions, maybe 2007 is time for one--increase and appreciate the quiet, simple moments in life--and decrease my increasing addiction to, and dependence on, technology.
On this last day of 2006, I offer this old Gaelic blessing:
Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the watching shepherds to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

A blessed and healthy New Year to all,
- mimi

Friday, December 29, 2006


Thursday, December 28, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle
I saw her today,
blue on blue on blue
ice, sky, bird.
She was stepping shyly
onto the frozen pond,
and how, you may ask,
do I know the bird was female?
It was just a look,
a topknot of feathers
ruffled in the cold,
the way she stood so still
as I passed near.
There seemed a connection
(a poet's fancy, no doubt)
of eggs and nests and nurture,
a connection in the season
when bird and woman
must leave safe ground,
step out onto that place
where our old faces
shine back at us,
new and full of light,
though we feel unsure
but strong, because
it's what we must do
sometimes, to survive.
The sky is a mirror
beneath our long legs
but oh, beautiful sister,
where will you sleep tonight?
- mimi

Saturday, December 23, 2006


"Love all God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love."

- Dostoyevsky: The Brothers Karamazov

Somehow, in this season, it seems easier to look at the world with love. Maybe we're looking through a special filter. And so, my friends, I wish for you, "Christmas Eyes" the whole year through...

Warmest Blessings,

- mimi

Friday, December 22, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

Thursday, December 21, 2006


"Back When It Snowed"

Though there is currently a blizzard slamming the west, we on the western side of the Continental Divide, unfortunately, received only a couple inches. This is our house in the good old days when it snowed. But I remain hopeful for a white Christmas. And if not a white one, green/brown will be just fine...

Life is good.

- mimi

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Green Bay
Photo by S. Auberle

softly goes a fox
into the dark of the moon
she's a small prayer
in the cathedral of snow
a red candle in the night
- mimi

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Sunday, December 17, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

crystalline silence
till a hundred ducks descend
o loud holy night
- mimi

Friday, December 15, 2006


All photos by S. Auberle

Though I live in the mountains of this great state, and wouldn't have it any other way, there are untold wonders to explore in this amazing, wild state of Arizona.

Up in the high desert land of the Navajo Nation, lonely hogans dot the landscape beside ruins where ancient peoples once dwelled. Today you can find women in their colorful velvet blouses and skirts herding their sheep among the red rocks. You will be entranced by the faces of the little grandmothers, the history and weather of their homeland etched in brown, wrinkled faces. The black-eyed, round-faced babies will simply melt your heart.

The Hopi mesas, with their ancient villages , haunt you ever after if you're lucky enough to attend one of their ceremonial dances and the Kachinas will dance through your dreams.

The Grand Canyon cannot be described in words. You must visit it, stand on the edge of eons of geological history layered before your eyes, breathe in the whistling wind and laugh at the antics of ravens clowning in the updrafts. If you are truly blessed, you may hear the whisper of giant wings above you--the magnificent California Condor. Breathe. Pray. Relax. Know you are part of it all.

Sedona will enchant you, with it's vortexes of mystery and magic, it's red castle-rocks surrounding you. Where people come to shop, be healed, be enchanted...

It is said that this state contains all of the climate zones--from Alpine tundra to desert and all in between. And though I could never live in the heat of the desert, it is absolutely exquisite in its Zen-like beauty. The giant saguaro sentinels stand guard over all. Sunsets and stars and the smell of sage and creosote bushes after a rain will astound you.

Do I exaggerate? Come see for yourself... and Christmas in this amazing state may be the best of all...

- Imagine Peace,

Thursday, December 14, 2006



for Billy

The first year
you set out the elephants
I smiled at their scarred
and broken bodies,
but the tenderness
with which you touched them
took my breath away.

I wanted to hold you
till being grown-up disappeared
and we were little kids again
watching your parade of elephants
marching under the Christmas tree,
bodies unscarred, trunks raised in glee,
trumpeting their way to Bethlehem.

And every year, in every house after,
out they came from their battered boxes,
the old gray line joined by new ones
blue and amber and black ones
fierce old warriors and tiny-tusked babes.

Every year the elephant parade grows
and every year comes
the same look on your face
as you set them under the tree,

as you return to that soft place
where no one is allowed to enter
except the small boy and girl,
noses pressed against the window
of your heart, watching the passing parade.

- mimi

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

"If anybody wants to keep creating,
they have to be about change."
- Miles Davis
"The moment of change
is the only poem."
- Adrienne Rich
"Things do not change;
we change."
- Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Digitally altered photo by S. Auberle

Though this is not the season for forest fires, it may be the season for change. Which is, of course, what fire is about. Burn away the old, make way for the new. The old year is going fast. Too fast, both for comfort's sake and for all we need to accomplish. But just maybe, at this time of year, we can set accomplishments aside. Set aside the usually frantic pace of life that we carry on all year, to make way for a quieter way of living. (Yes, after we have finally declared that we are ready for Christmas.) Then, perhaps, a change--a softer moment or two, in the midst of all the holiday frenzy. A moment when we stop and look up at the brilliance of winter stars, dazzling in the dark of the moon. A moment when we stop and listen to the silence of falling the small voice of a child or an elderly person living alone. A moment when we hear the words of a loved one whispering things we haven't heard in too long. Just get off the merry-go-round...for a moment...change...
- mimi

Friday, December 08, 2006


Photo/Collage by S. Auberle

On December 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot
and killed by a deranged fan in New York City.
Imagine was one of his best. This is my version...


Imagine you are Iraqi.
Imagine you are scrabbling
for every meager penny
to scrape together enough
for tickets
to anywhere
to save your life
and those you love.

Imagine you are ready
to leave your home
and everything you own behind.
Imagine your loved ones
are one or more
of the 7,000 Iraqi civilians
killed in September and October.

Imagine your wife or mother or daughter
victim of religious extremists.
Imagine your child
bleeding to death on the street.

Then complain about
the frantic shopping days
when you rush to buy
gifts for your loved ones.
Whine about the intolerable burden
of having to spend a day or two
with your crazy, dysfunctional family.
Grumble about the travel, the weather,
the food, the airport, the highway.

Do the words seem to stick in your throat?

Imagine peace,
- mimi

Thursday, December 07, 2006


"Seattle Fish Market Wall"
Photo by S. Auberle

No reason, no message, no poem.
I just like this photo.

- mimi

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle


the flowerpot
on my windowsill
and the dusty
Christmas cactus
takes the words
to heart
red blossom
a bright bird
like fireworks
like a small

- mimi

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Photo/Collage by S. Auberle


Tell me of your terrible tenderness
and I'll tell you of mine.
How when one snowflake
spins down from the sky
I want to cry,
how I tremble at the first note
of a Rachmaninoff Concerto.
Tell me how you lie awake
watching the winter moon
spill light across your bed,
and I'll tell you how I clasp myself
when poems wander into my heart
in the deepest part of night,
how their urgency compels me
to write in the dark.
Tell me you, too, awaken
in the morning and read
scribbled words, wondering
who wrote them--all smudged
like that, and creased and crinkled
like the wrinkled sheets
we toss on all night long.

- mimi

Monday, December 04, 2006


Photos by S. Auberle

The air is crystalline sharp this afternoon--blades of sunlight piercing the water. Light, blinding light over all. The air is biting. Solstice nears.

Forming ice on the pond has a beautiful, satiny sheen.

Prairie dogs have burrowed deep beside it and the porcupine, fox, coyote, heron, deer and elk who often visit here are nowhere to be found.

At 4:00 p.m. the sun is low. Moon is full this afternoon at 5:45 in Gemini.

Each day open water in the center of the pond shrinks. Ducks are congregating closer and closer together now, laughing their crazy calls at me. I am acquainted with the crows, the geese, the eagle high in the snag on the hill above.

I walked this pond when my mom was dying, when my granddaughter was being born. Emotions run deep for me here.

As I walk today, old and new feelings, unsettled, rise to the surface of my heart, then dive back down--quickly--as the opening recedes, as ice closes over.

I am comforted by wildness...

- mimi

Sunday, December 03, 2006


So many homeless people in this world. Mostly we never know who they are until they're gone. But this man didn't even have a name in death. Yet he was some woman's son...


(previously published in Clark Street Review)

This morning there is just this:
a flock of purple pigeons rising
above sunlit clouds, railroad tracks, the old station,
that grove of little scrub oaks by the tracks
where a nameless man froze to death last week.
It was his home, they said, and he was last seen alive
sitting on a piece of carpet about four in the afternoon
wrapped in a thin blanket, smoking a cigarette.
I don't know how he got in this poem.
I started to write about the iridescent feathers
of birds against storm clouds and then he jumped in.
Maybe he thinks the snow coming in from the West
will erace all traces of him. Maybe he wants us to know
that his hair was red and soft to the touch
and that he liked those pigeons
and he was good at math and dancing
and cried whenever he thought of his mother,
that he once had a way with the ladies
and liked the Stones and jazz and the sound
of that whistle when he couldn't sleep
for the train shaking the ground
he lay on or was it him shivering
as the snow drifted around him...

- mimi

Saturday, December 02, 2006


Photo by S. Auberle

early winter death
this black snap of branch in ice
i curl 'round my heart
- mimi