N is for normal

N is for normal. How often do you feel normal? Are your feelings normal? Are mine?

I kept my books from when I was little and I have some of my mother’s too. Some we wore out. I am thinking of Nobody is Perfick, a book by Bernard Waber. The illustrations are fabulous as are the sentiments from a kid’s point of view. Peter Perfect is held up as a model to all the other children: he is polite, he says thank you, he says please, he doesn’t roll in the glorious mud….. but…. the ending is very satisfying.

Does normal mean average? No one is the perfect average. Does normal mean the cultural norm? Are animals normal? Maybe we are all normal all the time: if a sparrow is normal and a deer is normal and a cat is normal even when she is acting like there is a phantom in the house…. maybe we are all normal too….


And since we’re on children’s books, I started playing with N words, inspired by another great children’s author….

Normal is nice, normal is nutty, normal is naughty and nasty and new. Maybe it’s nearly narcissistic to need to know that no one is not normal. It’s nasty to natter that Norman’s not normal. It’s naughty to name a normal nematode Abnormal Norma. Nodes newly known nearly never need normalcy. It’s not nice to knock nude nuts. Knight knapping is not as nice as night napping… nighty night!

Bernard Waber’s website: http://www.bernardwaber.com/

nematodes: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/nematode/soil_nematode.htm

I took the photograph of my daughter and two friends at an October beach Hawaiian birthday party…  the coldest Hawaiian birthday party I’ve been to, so the girls were gathering wood for the fire.


M is for mourn

M is for mourn. We mourn for losses. Mourning is part of being human and we have to give grief room and space. How can we love and feel intimacy without also feeling grief and mourning?


I wrote a poem the day my sister died. I had flown home four days before, after seeing her in hospice, 7 years of cancer. I flew home the day before her birthday. My birthday is three days after hers. She died the day after my birthday. It has now been four years.

An apology, a love note and a remembrance

I step outside into a fine mist rain.

I am enfolded in cloud.

The dog still wants to be walked.
The cats want their treats.
The bunny rattles her cage.
The fish will want feeding at the usual time.

My heart lies stunned in my chest.
The dog does not pull.
I walk measured.
He waits.

The rain comes harder.

I hope that where you are, is joy.

The crows harsh caws comfort me.
I answer.
They watch from the tree tops as we circle.

I am enshrouded in cloud.

We are back to the house.

I try to remember.
I have the birds.
I have the trees.

We go in.

first published on everything2.com with other poems for her here: http://everything2.com/title/An+apology%252C+a+love+note+and+a+remembrance

I don’t know who took the photograph. Probably my grandparents.