In the Wilderness

In the Wilderness

Grocery store hike
oh I love this vista
the pyramid apple pear orange mountains
spread across the plain of polished floor.
I love
the cliff of cleansers in spray bottles.
I travel the canyon
walled by bagged potato chips
run through by veins of red and green
jars of salsa
in the sparkle of a hundred starry lights
suspended far above my head.
I savor the views:
mosaic bluffs of pale vinegars and red ketchups
tumbled wedges of cheese in the cooler
strata of canned beans.
I cross into the wintry landscape of white and cold
eggs and tofu and milk and ice cream
I marvel at the glass cases
cold against my hand.
I remove myself from
the asphalt in the parking lot
my car
my house and its neediness
my obligations
I meditate

on protein drinks and gluten-free oat bars
and raspberries
glowing in green cartons.


Shadorma 136, 139, 145, 147,148

From Unpredictable Hue, 2019.

Grocery shopping is a thread through my life. Several times a week I go to the grocery store.

Checkout line.
Conveyor belt. Goods
move forward
counted up
while a wet spot on the belt
rises rolls repeats

Canned pumpkin
bottles of iced tea
greeting cards
in wire racks
that twirl. What it is to need.
What it is to lack.

The orchids
clustered at checkout
Cut-price and
a bargain.
The lanes full of shoppers who
spare them not a glance.

Pull a cart
brown wrapped rectangles
piled this high
and heavy
you move slow. Kids run past you
stop short. Ouch your foot.

animal crackers
I wanted
no reason
other than this one: to bare
my teeth at you. Grrr.

Subversive Lawless Behavior

Housecleaning. I looked through my poetry list (yes, I keep one, because if I didn’t, I think you might be reading the same poems over and over here!) and I realize there is a number of poems that have gotten forgotten along the way. I didn’t finish them or didn’t remember they existed or something happened to keep me from resolving things. I decided to do a clean up to complete them and let them see the light of day. So for the next few posts that’s what will be happening – some of the poems are more than a year or two old and some, well, they are less than that!

So I’ll start with this one here.

Subversive Lawless Behavior

The lights ranged in rows
above the aisles in the grocery
shine on me with enthusiasm
as I pass underneath them.
Carrot rounds float in neat tiers inside glass jars.
Chicken legs lie thigh to ankle in the glass case.
I move up and down the aisles in a zig-zag pattern.
My arm reaches out to grab an item
when cued by the displays. Of course I regret the disruption
of the beautiful symmetry
but it is necessary.
Tea bags line up one behind the other. They greet me
through the cellophane windows of their cardboard boxes
like residents of an apartment house
watching a parade.
I progress on my way. A can of peas calls out to me
from the bottom of the shopping cart
where I have tossed it
without a care for where
or how
it landed.
I gather
it is upset at all the sloshing.

grocery store

grocery store

Spring Poetry Marathon Day #4

Today I returned to the grocery store to work. I have something planned for later in the day and so I decided to Marathon in the morning. I realized that up to now I have always gone out in the afternoon. Anyway, the store was open when I could fit my session into the day. To change things I sat in a different section – the row of small tables next to the checkout lines and the front windows.



It was a good location. Lots of activity. And the view out the window equally attention-getting. The site sent my mind through a lot of different channels – the inside happenings, the parking lot/street inspirations,, and then just some tangents suggested by whatever thought occurred to me as I started up a new poem.

Here is the poem I chose for today:


The verdict is in.
The tree on the edge of the parking lot
planted as a skinny youth fifty years ago
is dead
and I can tell you that this is the case
because the tree
has missed its April cue to leaf out
first time ever.


Decision Tree

Decision Tree

Shopping once again for dinner
I am struck by the number of choices
available in the aisles of the grocery store
and how I can’t seem to comprehend
how to make a choice
among all the choices
so I make the same choices I always make
which is my choice
and then I choose to get out of the store

"Between Two Choices" mixed media

“Between Two Choices”
mixed media

Ordinary? I Should Say Not

The grocery store is the nexus of human life and the parking lot is its guardian.

I don’t know what I mean, exactly, by this statement, but I think you may understand it, anyway.

Here is a haiku group recording my observations of one person at the grocery store parking lot.

Haiku Group Lady and Mercedes

Old lady, bored stiff
Wrinkled hands big sunglasses
Rich and tired of life.

Dark blue Mercedes
Bored old lady grips the wheel
runs over the curb

Well-kept Mercedes
Old hands with red fingernails
grip the steering wheel

Embalmed old lady
maneuvers the Mercedes
Clips a shopping cart

The grim-faced woman
wrestling the blue Mercedes
subdues it and parks

"Society Lady" acrylics on canvas

“Society Lady”
acrylics on canvas

Flow and Ebb

Today I had an appointment, and I stopped at my grocery store afterwards to eat lunch. I had time to sit and I also needed to take the time to sit, if you know what I mean! As I ate lunch, I watched all the other people going about their grocery store business – a series of little portraits in real life all moving around me. Seemed like a good time for some haiku-writing. So I did, and here are the results.

Grocery Store Haiku Group

Glass bottles of tea
temporary companions
lined up on the shelf

Hands moving gently
the lady wearing glasses
chooses the pink blooms

She pinches the pears
squinting through her thick glasses
and then walks away

Hanging on the rack
the bananas are all green
to ripen at home

Three women talking
stand in front of the old man
reaching for apples

A picky shopper,
this lady is, five minutes
for two potatoes

A pile of mangoes
and she only chooses two.
Why not a few more?

What is the reason
the man in the blue sweater
buys those red peppers?

Surveyed, chosen, wrapped,
handed over the counter:
tonight’s fish dinner