A Brutiful Truth – a poem

with thanks to Glennon Doyle Melton for coining the conundrum.

You can listen to this poem here.


This poem has been pulsing since 4:14am

Lucky numbers by all accounts of my heart and that of my sister’s

Turn toward the Brutiful


Kids under rubble and the angry tides of Matthew

A Haiti not forgotten

though tramped upon

by a sasquatch of narcissistic personality disorder

riding the waves of misogyny

What’s that?

It’s a swimmer on dry land for a spell

twenty minutes of misbehavior captured

in the face of

little girl brides

left home from school

and boys who can’t walk home and wander

for their profiles

may elicit

shots fired

their strides, their skin

their love of Legos

who then can face this day?

Vote in a parade of misfits

your bread is treated with five rounds of Roundup

Wheat and the big C

amber waves of


did you see a loophole

in the Dakota pipeline?

Muslims marching for

Sioux Cherokee Chumash

or was their a spark of hope

in a Syrian Santa

passing stuffed animals

to tiny hands in Aleppo?

I rise, swipe, pray, breathe


Goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity

it lies in our spirit

she whispers

four hands forward and back

edit out the brutal

for three pulses of your heart



reading tea leaves on the isle of Orcas

where Heron visit reeds

Crane signify Druid patience

longevity and secret knowledge



there’s my boy

puppets, drawing Illuminati and begging for

wrestlemania in oxidized waters

yes, I say and green light, statue




hash browns and hail marys

a candle lit for

a cousin


trees digging dry soil

the taproot still finding sustenance

in the hope

if we face the Brutal

underneath we will find

the Beautiful

it is ours

each time we

say yes to



Building a Better Block — for Bethel, Vermont

To view the video that illustrates the poem, click here.

To listen to the poem, click here.

a dog named Denise
and a deconstructed taco
this one Vermonted up
with pork and apple chutney
the vegetarian is not mailed in
uncrowded mushrooms dance with pepitas
until Crazy Gringo Taco Bar runs out
I spin into Gilead confections
before cash leaves hand
a salted caramel seduces the buds
they cry, More! More!
so an apple cobbler with cream cheese filling
take five bar
and my childhood favorite: elephant ears

Alas I am abuzz with cane and confidence
fly to The Hive
with fair Lindsey
who learns to eat sunshine and poetry
while painted faces born of my namesake, Stone
speak of favorites: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots
construction paper verse spills under and above glitter glue, feathers and pom poms
Kelly’s earth music
Anika’s bunny pumpkin puppy family dog poem, inverted

Cut to Lindley’s scraps crafted with fine furniture fingers
her earrings dangle from my lobes
reminding me of Vermont trees laden with faeries and tucked in Lylee’s golden pouch alongside Lisa’s felt snail, Joy Full

Did you know the B.U.G.s on chairs painted between vines and pines stand for
Bethel Under Ground?
Community insurrection for places to sit, sip and savor
Kirk speaks of midnight runs for theater seats on sidewalks
bounce to blue lanes where e-bikes zoom me forward and back
into a beer garden framed by Ola
the wave, beloved eighty years plus
earth and truth via Tennessee
she speaks of equality in the face of all the hoopla
knowing elegance over the mess of sloppy slurs

The checkers, chess and tic tac toe of tree stumps
make me wish for more stories
Doug settled in town after Fort this and that
fixing roads, minding a granddaughter
I assure you, I tell her,
as we both spill, trip and drop,
your mind is too full to worry over table corners
that’s no clumsy
you’re just creating fire
it’s a gentle burning

There’s a better block in Bethel now
sprouted amidst Nell’s pizza and dominoes
all hail the hearts who uncover treasures
chalk love
paint streets
waddle with wattles
for this