Unravelling and weaving, sometimes simultaneously

The Choice (Haiku)

When in a dark room,

our choice is to close our eyes,

or light a candle.

(c) RCGA, 2020

The Sentencing

Sometimes you write something in a hurry, and it needs editing, and maybe expansion or reworking, but the dirty baby that it is still deserves a viewing and a clean diaper, so here it is. I don’t expect it to be loved by everyone; but then again, nothing ever is, really. Love is wonderful, if you can get it, but equity, even when it has to be frogwalked into being, means you have self-respect and boundaries that may have taken the contributions of a thousand ancestors to achieve. I don’t care if you love me. But treat me as your equal, or acknowledge your time is over.


In your desire to take the natives from their native place,

full knowing you will always judge the difference of their face,

in your determination to make them look just like you,

but not too much, you know, enough, to pass in your purview,

to dress them up and force them to their knees in bullied piety…

well, that might seem okay to you, but it’s not right to me.

When you moved in and took the land from people who would share,

you only knew of ownership and dominance, despair;

where you came from you were the very bottom of the pole,

and so you raped and pillaged, and you lied, and killed, and stole,

until you had your subjugated tribes called civilized,

and all the opportunity to lord them that you prized.

But that was not enough, because you had a bigger goal:

a large ambition that would only be fueled with a toll

paid with the blood of others, taken from their native place,

full knowing you will always judge the difference of their face.

When finally by civil war and discord you were forced to set them free

you still did not see equals, and that isn’t right to me.

You kept pushing, you kept pushing, so you wouldn’t have to see

any sign of happiness or growth, or plain humanity

to reservations in the places that were least interesting to you

in backwaters and shotgun shacks and barren deserts, too;

you fought their education, their employment, who they wed,

you said that the only good ones were the ones that were dead.

You went back on each treaty, each agreement that you wrought

because you didn’t have respect for people that you’d bought

or people that you’d treated like the offal on your shoe

for generations acting towards them as if they’d wronged you.

You thought they had no freedom in a land you gained for free,

and the wrong of that is still wrong, it sure isn’t right to me.

You blocked their votes with Jim Crow and with gerrymandering,

you put a sign for you alone on, face it, everything

redlining cities, backs of buses, back doors, separate schools,

you wouldn’t even share your water, like a bunch of fools,

and even when you murdered them, or made them disappear,

you never made them go away. Look around you, they’re still here.

It’s time for you to face the fact that when you build a state

on the backs of people forced to linger in the third estate,

one day you will wake up and you won’t recognize the place,

full knowing you will always judge the difference of their face,

yet still you will at last pay due to all the debts unpaid;

responsibility is yours, and balance will be weighed.

© RCGA 2020

Floor Veteran

Some days it’s been long enough
that I forget what it was like
to work as a busy nurse on a full unit,
where everyone is
dipping and diving around each other,
lifting and pulling,
up to the elbows in excrement
and then up to the elbows in a scrubbing sink,
flushing, flushing, flushing,
with toilets, with syringes, with hoppers.
Battling the clock,
a dozen conflicting agendas.
and the full bladders of self and others.
Being kindly dominant to a variety of strangers
to get them to eat, or not eat,
to swallow pills, to roll over,
to take a deep breath,
to take one more step and pivot.
Struggling to get someone into support stockings,
or out of them.
Struggling to advocate
without seeming insubordinate.
Calling the pharmacy.
Calling the lab.
Calling the doctor.
Calling families to come back, because…
it’s time.
Time for the surgery,
time for the baby,
time for the transplant,
time… to let go.
I forget, and yet I never will.
I look at them now and I feel a pull,
as if I am going to drag on
those rubber-soled shoes
and a fresh set of scrubs or a uniform,
that I’m going to clock in
with a piece of toast hanging from my mouth
and rush to the report room,
where the fairy tale of my next few hours
will spiel from a recorder
or someone’s tired lips,
telling me what my quest will be
while I hope I have the energy
to help my team win today.

(c) RCGA, 2020

Nurse’s hat and stethoscope.


Again and again,

we hear our brothers and sisters cry:

“I can’t breathe”.

Why aren’t we providing

the air they need?

Why are we denying them

dignity, equity… life?

(c) RCGA, 2020

Parallel Universes

Sometimes I dream of

alternate realities

where my children lived.

I imagine them

growing up with families

of their own out there,

and maybe some people

that I knew and still love here

are having more days.

This middle world place

is a strange reality;

but it’s what I’ve got

except at night when

all those parallel places

send me a postcard.

RCGA © 2020

Quadrille for Quarantine

I suppose I must have been hacked; it took me a while to get back in here! But, after a year (and what a year it has been) I am wandering around in here shaking the dust off.

Quadrille for a Quarantine

(Quadrille: Groups of four riders taking part in a tournament or carousel, distinguished by a special costume or colors. Also, a square dance where each group has a distinct set of figures)


There is a blended certitude in the mornings,

undistinguished by an actual day’s activities,

but solid in the continuance of sunrise, at least,

even when obscured by heavy clouds.


It seems some of these mornings,

there is nothing to wake for,

nothing to tempt me from the billows,

or another cup of tea.


Yet on the lawn I see the quadrilles,

shadow prancing amongst the clover heads,

pixilated pixies on the edge of my imagination,

tiny equine legs swift dancing their dressage.


There are the green ones, like a deep breath of cut grass,

earthy and sensual, twisting and stretching.

They are there to remind us that green will out,

that no tide of brown will overcome that shoot of gladness

bursting through the clods to prove spring.


Then there are the blue ones, the firmament embodied,

light footed, graceful, endless in our vision.

They are the harbingers of faith, of things unseen,

just past edges of horizon we can strain to see and fail,

but straining, still know that there’s something there.


And finally the red ones, deep and solemn in their scarlets,

step step sliding in a circulating waltz that seems to shepherd,

to hold the whole together in a sanguine tide of order.

In the carmine we feel our blood move and sing,

speaking of ancestors, family, descendants, life’s chain.


I can put down my robe, and my empty mug,

and find my way out into the uncut grass to join them,

even if they are only reflections of more hopeful mornings

when we are in the after, and the quadrilles will fade.


Because it is morning, and mornings have continuance,

the sun comes up daily, even when the rain obscures it;

I am certain of few things right now, separated and alone,

but I am checking the lawn for quadrilles anyway.


(c) RCGA 2020


The Cusp

The March wind,

neither lion nor lamb,

stirs the early buds and clover;

the breath of a chimera,

cupidinously warm

against the tender leaves and petals,

a lulling lie coaxing fuller bloom

before the frost has fully left the field

for its season of sleep.

Somewhere in the top of the pecan,

whose wise branches click together,

continuing bare,

a crow in her nest caws out,

and the echoes of response

radiate across the false blue sky,

morning warning,

a shivering siren:

Winter is not gone yet;

do not lay down your guard…

don’t listen to the capricious March wind.

(c) RCGA 2019

On the Occasion

I don’t suppose anniversaries of birth

matter to anyone but the living…


after all, it’s a marking of time

that is no longer relevant

for a soul in the ether.


But I


still alive,

and so your birth day,

the concept of the cycle

when you first took breath

on this plane we shared

means something

to me.


Blessings on your nativity,

soul that floats,

spirit that resides

outside the concept of time.

Thank you for coming here.


The Good Book says

our years on this earth

are threescore and ten,

yet you only stayed

for half of that tenure.


Perhaps you had other things

to do.


I can only hope that somewhere

along your journey,

you recall the revolutions of the sun

that marked our years together,

and when you do

this clear and bright blue day

reminds you of

the kind of love

we’re capable of here.


© RCGA 2019


In a couple of days you would have been 40. The brass plaque is cold when I say hello, colder even than that empty side of the bed.

The Mystic Fool

I had a dream last night
while I was huddled
beneath my blankets
my back to the empty side
of the bed
that you lifted the covers
and slipped in beside me
knees behind knees
hand on my belly

your warm breath
against my ear
carried the words
I love you
down into
the empty cavern
of my heart
a familiar and coveted echo
I still hear
in resounding rounds
this foggy gloaming

though your body
is gone
and that side of the bed
is cold
in the morning light

(c) RCGA 2014

View original post


God isn’t “colorblind”.
We were created with marvellous variety
and an artist’s joy.
Beautiful, unique, precious beings
all made from the same materials.
Can’t you tell?
There is no preference
in the Master’s handiwork.
All are made with love.
All reflect the majesty of origin,
and the humble source of our structure.
We are all clay,
molded to the preference
of a natural wisdom.
When we look at each other
we should not be blind, either.
We should be dazzled,


RCGA 2019

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