Ode to Miss Charlotte M Mason

Ode to Miss Charlotte M. Mason

Charlotte. May I call you Charlotte?
Is it appropriate to be so familiar
with someone so profound?
You are not my friend.
You are my hero.
My mentor.
My inspiration.
You voice continues, even now, to speak
for the children’s sake
for Heaven’s sake
for the sake of all that’s holy.

What would you have done or said
in the face of assaults on nature
of melting ice caps
rising temperatures
shrinking glaciers
clearcut forests
dying bees?

You were ahead of your time
would you raise up a cry
as the natural world crumbled?
How can children walk
beneath trees and sky
when the trees are gone
clearcut for profits
and bottom lines?

No future

Yesterday, I found this in a notebook I kept about a year ago.  Don’t even remember writing it.  Must have been half asleep at the time? Such a nightmare vision that, unfortunately, has the potential to become reality in the not-so-distant future.

I don’t want to live in a world
of survivalists sitting on their
porches with guns across their laps
ready to shoot starving refugees
escaping from urban horrors as the
forests and ice caps die.

I felt saddened by being the end
of the genetic line of my ancestral
forefathers and foremothers knowing
the line stops here with my children
and their choices not to reproduce
which at first felt overwhelming, bleak.

But now, I wouldn’t want any future
descendants living in the world we
have been actively creating for the
future, a world without diversity, and
without balance, and possibly, eventually
without even life.

I have a growing sense that it’s time
for the human race to put our affairs
in order and prepare for a desolate
future without us, a future that belongs
to only whatever survives the coming
mass extinctions.

I am glad my descendants won’t be here
to see the end.

Poem: language

by Debi

who is mother tongue
who is father country
the collective
the source of identity
language moves from place to place
water, rain, flowing
can take things away from you
the assembly, monolithic
one language, one place, one overall
you have to give up things
in the land of the free?

Poem: is there peace

by Debi


is there peace
.           in your heart



you    ought to
.          refuse to
.          deceive yourself

.           justice
.           righteousness

.           your thorns
.           your heart
.           your deeds

be        broken
be        cut away

so your heart

.                                    can beat

Poem: free fall

free fall night sky

free fall
by Debi

lying on the lawn
gazing up
at the endless night sky
hanging on tight
to the damp grass
a strange illusion
in the mountains
where the sky is free
from city light

lying side by side
we both sense it
this overwhelming need
to hang onto the Earth

what would happen
if I let go
a free fall
into the eternal night
would the stars
catch me
would the moon
cradle me
would the blackness
comfort me
would I die
would I live
would I fly

that night
I hung onto the grass
beside you
I’ll never know
falling up
into the night sky
but I’ll never forget
that exquisite
strange feeling
of almost falling up
at your side

Poem: leaking family trees


leaking family trees
by Debi

energy from the light
glowing paint
Day-glo thread
the visible emerging
from the invisible
when the final darkness comes
still glowing

circles of death tanks
feeding the ground
the rivers, the homes
the families, the future
a secret, a cover-up
20,000 turns around the sun
until Spring

the children unborn
carrying on the family business
cleaning up the waste
from the death beds
of their fathers


Inspired by Ginnie Hebert, Leaks, 2013
Cotton quilt, glow-in-the-dark paint, glow-in-the-dark thread



Upside-Down World

upside down hanging lamp

This is a short excerpt from a project I’ll be working on during the month of July for Camp Nanowrimo. This work currently has no name.  It will be a cross-genre work of fiction blurred with non-fiction, poetry, memoir, prose, stream-of-consciousness, epistolary forms.  And whatever else may work its way in there.

Upside-Down World
by Debi

Friends become enemies. Lovers, exes. Families, estranged. What the hell’s happening? The world is upside-down. My world is upside-down.

I’d lie on my back, hang my head down over the edge of the bed—down over the edge of the world—and the ceiling of my childhood home became the floor. The floor, the ceiling.  Magic.  This was Upside-Down World. A charmed world peopled by people similar to my people. But altered. Different. Stronger. Bolder. I was younger. Ceiling Girl older.

Upside-Down World was sparse. The only décor, an occasional floor lamp (the hanging lamps of right-side up world). The floor (my ceiling) was white, flowing-from-room-to-room. White. Always the same. Uniform. Level. Steady. I sensed something serene about those sparsely furnished and simply colored ceiling spaces. I knew nothing of Zen. But felt the truth. Less was more.

Lying on my back in this house, this home of my grownup years, the ceiling’s slanted. Unsteady. Yes. So is grownup life. No level surfaces. No easy answers. No sure footing. An upside-down world.

Dear Ceiling Girl …

You’ve watched. What did you see? What do you see? Does it make sense? You’ve followed me forever, looking down. A witness. Seen the highs. The rockbottomness of rockbottoms. Can you trace the path, the twisted journey, that led here? I’m lost. I’m here, but lost.  Confused.  I miss the surety of childhood’s future. The hopes. Dreams. Imaginations. Magic. Witchcraft. Wishcraft.

Are you still there, Ceiling Girl? Or did this upside-down world shake your footing, too?