Poem to Jessica

on champagne waves

the unspoken snap of knowing

an event is at hand

in the snowsoft they came

one then the other

tentative in the rose light

the deer whispered down the dune

blending in sundown lace pines

their unseen presence came into my laughter

effervescent waves and waning sun

were outshadowed by the miracle of tenderness

a deep silent surprise crackled in me



ice light on the ocean

serenely unrelenting in constant motion

but more

she’s the perfect limb

the poised senses of the wary

she’s the ecstatic soundless step into the open

the mottled fawn brushing past

my gentle one

my sunset hush

I’m filled with splashing surf in loving you

go gently perfect peace

i love you


Laura Romaine 4/81



Ode to Mickey, mi gato


we met,IMG_0004

the cow kitty and I,

when my realtor

showed his house —

he checked me out


the hood is his

several blocks of it

the story of how

the cat came back

from Reno

to be mine is

part of his charm.


street smart

with a squeaky falsetto meow.


whines about hot weather

loves tuna water tea

Mickey gives me

dead rats

occasional birds

in my closet


he gives me


reasons to open cans

warmth on the blankets

in the chilly dawn


he emerges from

under the honeysuckle

and meows

when my car drives up

Mickey rolls in the dirt



in cat love

at me.


he drinks

from the kitchen sink


in the catnip

he loves

water and chases

the stream

from the hose


when dancers

come over

he walks among us

and parks in the kitchen

when the party starts


when I sit on the front porch

for cool air

he takes the other rail

when I work in the garden

he sleeps there


when I take a road trip

he comes back over the fence



telling me not

to go away again.



black and white

cow kitty

with attitude.


I Wish I Knew What Is on My Mind

No images

Not a line.  I’d rather look at the flowers in the yard

Or prop my feet on the couch in the sun going down

Than write.

My brain was all abuzz with details of the day

That have numbed me.

My muscles are tired from a long walk

And my cat disconcerted that we are out of tuna water tea.

Maybe this is normal.

What folks mean when they say they’re tired.






End of week wind down…

IMG_0029Like the pacing tiger

walking off screen

I have sought, talked



and retaught…

I gave to my mother, my sisters and remembered my brother


I wrote with strangers this week

and I communed with the stars and my garden.

Tonight I danced, and made two 7-letter words in Scrabble

tossed down a champagne


Now I’m ready for the final day of the work week.

And sleep.

Blessed sleep.


A day off on the Elkhorn Slough

otterMonths ago my 84 year old mom asked me if I’d go on a tour of the estuary at Moss Landing with her and I agreed instantly.  I put it on the calendar without any idea how busy I’d be the week of April 15th and I’m glad I did.

First, I’ve made spending time with my mom a personal priority.  And it is good for me to admit that a personal necessity day away from the layers and layers of my job as interventionist is time well spent.

So, like some of the otters we saw from our little tour skiff, I wrapped myself in eel weed, metaphorically, to not drift off with the tide and let myself float in the wonderful present.

I mused and sometimes I enjoyed the gift of forgetting for awhile that I am a teacher.  Truly these times to let one’s mind unravel and drift are super critical to creativity.

I had a wonderful time with my mom.  We saw much wildlife:  great pelicans, egret, terns, harbor seals with their pups, rafts of otter.

Tomorrow I go back to continue to do my best with my students in focus groups, staff leadership team and coordinating the writing grant.  But I will be more tuned in to what I really think, and how I want to be with my students.  The mad press from on top and the insane pressure of testing cannot be what my world is about.  My students need a genteel, humane place to learn.  They need a person who has sorted out what really matters, not another program thrown at them.

So, I continue to press myself to write.  To take creative breaks.  And to realize that taking care of me is worthwhile.

Back to the Future

Tonight some parents, grandparents and kids from grades 3-5 met in the school cafeteria for a writing workshop titled, “Back to the Future.”  We had several Vietnamese families and Hispanic, including a family from El Salvador.  And the PTA president whom I think is Portuguese.  We started with getting the parents on one side of the room to talk with each other about school memories and the kids did the same, for warm ups.

Then the gist was that kids and parents would interview each other about school, freetime and personality, talking awhile. We had a three column menu style interview form, from which to choose questions. The interviewers main job was to listen not to take notes. Then, after Fran shared her super-cool model ode, titled “Dad,” we wrote odes to each other on poster size paper forms.

We even had a bit of time to gallery walk or share, while having cookies.  Everyone got a little journal, a gel pen of their color choice, and several blank ode forms to take home to retry or make parents’ day gifts out of their writing.

What I lovesLaura April 2013 was the conversations.  The way folks talked with each other.  My teaching partner Fran and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  It’s a lot of work to promote and plan an event, but worth it.

Things are written down different ways


Locks would seem to point to bondage.  Or security.  Or exclusivity.  No Romantic ever wrote, “My love is like an old rusty lock that’s never sprung in June…”

The token may be an inverse metaphor for true love to some, but I think they are one of the ways we write significance. The brassy glittering array of locks on the bridges over the Seine, with the keys thrown into the water, says something about ritual and wanting to be remembered. They’re the urban version of carving initials in an old oak tree.  I don’t take the locks literally.  I see them as bookmarks to brain maps.  They make a folk art pageantry by the charm of their variety of styles and degree of weathering.

To me they are statements, like poems, that only the key knows.  What heart thoughts hovered there as the shackle bolted into the body?  What worries with the certainties?

When I studied the array of locks up close I wondered if the people who had placed them would ever return?  Would they come together traipsing up the bridge flooring homing to their bit of hardware?  Would only one return?

Sometimes words will be scrolled into oblivion, or lost in journals, or never mailed. These ornaments along the railing are each a line, or a poem…or at least the promise of one.

Even our pageantry is sometimes writing.


Tonight the beginners salsa rueda had a good turnout.  I have been going to another class so there were new dancers as we progressed around the circle to the calls.  On the second “dame” (give me another one) my partner collected me for the cross body lead and I was immediately taken with his manner and appearance.  Slim build, Japanese angular face with longish hair combed over to the side, with bits falling on his forehead and glasses.  He has a dance frame so he probably knows ballroom dances.

Silly me.  I kept watching him around the circle and looking forward to my turn to dance with him.  A light, polite touch and graceful lead.  I was trying to guess how much younger than me this man might be.  Hard to tell.

He stayed around the rec center for part of the intermediate class and I found myself watching him across the room.  How funny!  I really cannot remember the last time someone’s presence made my heart do little pitta pats and I felt shy.

And of course wanted to be slim, svelt and at least 10 years younger.  Oh oh, there it is.  See previous post about losing resentment.  Perdu des poids.

Still, I came home from dance class with my memory of him.  It was fun to feel attracted to someone, however inaccessible or available he may or may not be.

Laura & Lorena: Inspiring Teachers to Write